Comments on errors

Today’s entry comes from an instructor who sent this to me via e-mail:


“I tried to blog this however I kept getting timed out.

“Errors/mistakes in the Skill Evaluation:

“It could be construed that the first error made occurs when the student first tosses a leg over the seat of the bike and everything after that spirals downhill. Jokes aside what occurs in the skill evaluation is a mirror to what ‘skills’ weren’t learned leading up to it or a reversion to the habits that one arrived with at the start of the course.

“I’ll take each of the evaluations one at a time and then give my understanding of what went wrong.

“U-Turn box:

“To properly make the left and then right turn the skills learned in exercise two have to be considered. In that exercise the student is introduced to the throttle, clutch and both brakes. Many students ‘throw away the clutch’ and rely on the throttle in both parts two and three. Posture is also a learned skill and that is introduced in both the class room and again in exercise one and two. Another telling exercise is exercise four when the student is first introduced to the tight turn after the stop. If the student ‘blows’ that off then the slow speed skill of throttle and clutch is not reinforced. Generally the student will get the bike going and then rely on the throttle. A roll on will straighten the bike out and then send the students to parts unknown. Exercise six which is a summary exercise of skills learned to date is the giveaway as to how he student will do in exercise ten and then the first exercise of the skill evaluation.

“The swerve is a crock of sh-t in that the student when he/she exits the u-turn box is already headed in a direction which lessens the impact of a properly executed swerve. It is not evaluated however a roll off is most common. If engine braking is construed to be in fact a form of braking, then every student could be construed to be braking while swerving.

“The common error that I’ve found is ‘anticipation.’ In the Pa. program they took the time to paint an anticipation line before the actual timing line to cut down on the re-try. Again, if the student hasn’t learned how to stop the motorcycle which is taught in the third part of exercise two and then reinforced at every stop thereafter it will be magnified during the skill evaluation. Braking is a summary skill and then it is practiced each time the student comes to a stop regardless of where the stop is to occur. Over braking is common as the student waits until the last possible second then over brakes. this I believe is an overlap to the driving habits they have acquired over years of driving. The student will use the brakes on the bike as they do while driving their car. I believe there is a direct carry over.

“With regard to the last one which is cornering many RCs confuse throttle induced speed with utilizing the proper line through the turn. The premise is if the proper line is utilized which is ‘outside, inside, and then outside’ one will find that its use is the shortest distance through the turn. I’ve timed it with another RC riding and then myself riding. Very little roll on is required if the line is correct. The error stems from many students not using the technique I dare say that the vast majority of students go to the inside of the turn way too early which causes the roll off in mid turn because they literally run out of room. Again the higher speed cornering is learned in exercise five, seven, touched on in eight, eleven, twelve, thirteen, and implied in fourteen, fifteen and again in sixteen. The latter two exercises the implication comes when the student makes the turn to return to end of the line.

“It is rare where a student with decent skills coming into the evaluation will brain fart although it happens. It is also rare for a student to have an ‘ah ha’ moment and do spectacular on the skill evaluation. The skill evaluation magnifies the unlearned skills. The sad part of it all are those unlearned skills will be further honed on the street because the mistakes made on the riding range will surely be made on the street because that is what the student learned to do so they can’t immediately change when their ticket gets punched.

“The whole premise is wrong so the errors start before class. The premise these days is the license begets skill versus skill begetting a license.

“Use what you would like…oh yes feel free to disagree.”

OK-that’s his take. So what do you all think–agree, disagree–have something to add or ???

Explore posts in the same categories: Instructors, Motorcycle Safety, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Motorcycle Training, State Motorcycle Safety Programs, Uncategorized

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