MSF Course – Range Bike Selection
March 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm #2652
I’m wondering abot other’s experiences with what they ended up riding durring the MSF course. In this I mean did your instructor help select bikes for people?
Here’s why I ask In my course the larges bike on the range is a Yamaha TW200 and the smallest bike is a Kawasaki Eliminator 125, with a seat height difference of 4.3 inches. What ended up happeneing on the bike selection is some smaller people (by this I mean average height arounf 5’5″ and less than about 140lbs) leaving the 3 largest riders (all my size or larger at 6’6″ and 260+ lbs) in the course on a pair of the Kawasaki’s and a Honda Nighthawk 250.
What this resulted in was people struggling not just to grasp the mechanics of riding a motorcycle, but struggling to grasp the mechanics of riding a motorcycle the wrong size for them. It’s not just that I looked ridiculous triding around with my knees over the top of the tank, but the space between the peg and the gear shift was so small that to upshift I could only use the side of my boot or had to take my size 13 foot off the pegs completely and get at it from under the peg and gear shift (which meant i was dragging my foot if I had to upshift on a left hand turn).
Has anyone here had a similar circumstance in their course? If so what did you do? I’m going to speak to my instructor about it this week so that my next class (and the test) will hopefully be on something more my size.March 30, 2009 at 3:50 pm #17429megaspazParticipant
Yeah. Not sure how that works out for tall people. The bikes there are more for average to smaller height folk. Definately talk to your instructor. At our range, we had a few more choices than you described above. I rode the nighthawk and the rebel. The nighthawk was fine, but the rebel sucked balls. Not sure what the protocol is for maintanence, but the condition of the bike matters a lot too. Especially, if it’s a pita to shift.March 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm #17430Clay DowlingParticipant
To get an appropriate sized bike. A nighthawk should be able to fit most anybody.March 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm #17433
The Nighthawk is bad for big feet. The left peg is very close to the gear shift and part of the motor sticks out right there as well. Check it outMarch 31, 2009 at 6:30 pm #17469
I am really sorry to hear that you are having that problem with the motorcycle that they chose for you. I try to fit students to the motorcycles according to size and experience. If they have a Nighthawk at home I try to get them on our only Nighthawk (still the premier training motorcycle IMO). I get that you are having a problem up shifting. What kind of footwear are you using? I have had SMALL people show up to class with a certain (motorcycle) manufacture specific boot where the sole and heel are so high that they have problems getting a foot under the shift lever. If they were on that manufactures motorcycle they wouldn’t have a problem because there is more room between the pegs and shift lever. (Hint, the manufactures initials are HD). Great boots but, maybe not so much for the class. I would almost rather see a student wear leather, high top, athletic shoes. Low heal and sole. Remember that we don’t send ya home with that motorcycle, so all you have to do is get through the class.March 31, 2009 at 6:32 pm #17465
Sorry my computer hicupped.March 31, 2009 at 6:34 pm #17466briderdtParticipant
Yeah, I was really disappointed about that one…March 31, 2009 at 7:29 pm #17467
I was just wearing a pair of doc martins which aren’t thick, and don’t have a big heal on them especially since they are about 7 years old. My problem is that I happen to have a size 13EE foot.
What I was really driving at with my original question was to find out if other MSF instructors help fit students to bike, as our class bike selection was just a free for all where everyone just ran and jumped on a bike with no input or direction from the instructor.
For example as an instructor, if student 1 can fit on either bike A or B, but student 2 has difficulty on bike A, doesn’t it make sence to put student 2 on bike B and student 1 on bike A?
Yes it’s true you won’t be taking that bike home, but you also won’t be buying and riding a bike after that doesn’t suit you either.March 31, 2009 at 7:41 pm #17470eonParticipant
It was a free for all in my class as well but that didn’t really matter since all but one of the bikes were 250cc crusiers (I’m guessing the ergonomics are roughly the same between them). There was one Nighthawk which I had hoped to grab but I was too slow.March 31, 2009 at 8:42 pm #17472DKParticipant
We were a free for all too. I got screwed out of choosing my bike too, because I didn’t realize we were supposed to sprint to the bike we wanted…
I don’t see anything wrong with the instructer swapping bikes for students with special needs. I was swapped with a girl in my class because her bike would stall if you didn’t keep the throttle up a little. She couldn’t handle it and I happened to be the sorry sucker next to her in line. No big deal. I was able to deal with it until the first break when the instructor adjusted the carb and it was smooth for the next two days.
You probably need to just be forward about your issue and ask if one of the other bikes might fit you better.April 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm #17480
I’m going to show up early and have a talk with the instructors before our class room session this week.
Worst case scenario I just go push one of the little people off the bike I need! Dern little people…April 1, 2009 at 8:22 pm #17481Clay DowlingParticipant
You should always lift them off, so the bike doesn’t get knocked over.April 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm #17486
If you can get them to swap, all the better. The problem with swapping in the middle of the class is that you (and the rider you are swapping with) are used to the motorcycle you are riding and it takes rolling time to get used to a different motorcycle. Also if you are allowed to swap, then the rest of the class may find a need to swap, as well. Have you said anything to the instructor before this? Since you are a paying customer, I would expect you to speak up and say what you need and the instructor to do the best to accommodate you. I hate the shotgun start approach to a class. I really think it is important to make sure you are going to be comfortable so you can concentrate on the important stuff. Good luck with that.April 2, 2009 at 6:26 pm #17489WeaponZeroParticipant
The bikes we had in my class were:
Honda Rebel 250s
Kawasaki Eliminator 125s
I did my first day of class on the GZ250 and just couldn’t get the hang of it. the “Feet forward” riding position demanded by cruisers made it nearly impossible to be able to control the bike for me. I was struggling with half the exercises they made me do on that bike despite the fact that I had been riding for a few months when I took it. For day 2 I used the Yamaha TW200 and the difference was like night and day. Everything came easy, even easier than on my personal bike (Suzuki SV650).April 5, 2009 at 9:05 pm #17534
Just had my last riding day. I used the TW200, and what a world of difference!
All of my control issues went out the window and I was able to easily pass the course.
The little secret my course instructor told me is that if you want to reserve a bike, show up a little early and place your helmet next to the bike. It’s as good as reserving one I was told.
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