Archive for August 2010

Side by side–the early RSS and early BRC

August 4, 2010

This is actually a response to a comment on the last entry. Read it for yourself—here’s the summation from the range cards for each curriculum:

The following is taken directly from the range cards for both courses.

Exercise 1:

RSS: Getting Familiar with the Motorcycle 5 mins (though it normally took longer as I’ve been told).

Skills: 1) Mounting motorcycle, 2) correct seating position, 3) leaning bike left and right and to full lock both ways. 3) Identify controls, 4) roll on and off throttle, 5) squeeze and release front brake and 6) clutch (separately). 7) Turn on and off other controls (and choke in different positions).

BRC: Motorcycle Familiarization  30 mins

Skills: 1) Mounting motorcycle, 2) correct seating position, 3) leaning bike left and right and to full lock both ways. 3) Identify controls, 4) roll on and off throttle, 5) squeeze and release front brake and 6) clutch (separately). 7) Turn on and off other controls (and choke in different positions).

8) Practice finding neutral with engine off. Roll bike (to prove in neutral). 9) Practice using clutch. 10) Shift to second, 11) shift back to first. 12) Start/stop engine. 13) Practice throttle roll on/off. Stop engine.
Exercise 2:

RSS: Moving the motorcycle 15 mins

Walking, straddle walking, buddy push.

BRC: Riding Demo, Simulated Practice 25 mins

Group Rocking, Power Walking, Riding

Done in 1st Gear with Friction Zone, shift to neutral, shift to 1st. Using brakes in 3rd part.

(It should be noted that one of the near fatal crashes happened in this exercise in the BRC, also the rider left the range and hit the elderly pedestrian with the result she had a broken hip and, in Delaware, a woman rode across three—yes, three—ranges, hit an SUV and an instructor’s Harley and ended up with multiple breaks in both legs. These are the only ones we know about and not necessarily the only ones that happened.

(RSS 20 mins elapsed)

(BRC 55 mins elapsed)

Exercise 3:

RSS: Starting and Stopping the Engine 5 mins

Starting the engine in neutral and running it for 30 seconds.

BRC: Starting and Stopping Drill 25 mins

Skills: Power walk; crossing traffic coming the other way; brake to a stop at cones then in part 2 ride from 1st cone and stop at the last one.

This is the exercise believed to be running when the latest student crashed and died in the BRC.

(RSS 25 mins elapsed)

(BRC 1.20 hrs elapsed)

Exercise 4:

RSS: Riding in a straight line 35 mins

Skills: Group Rocking, Power Walking, Riding

Done in 1st Gear with Friction Zone, shift to neutral, shift to 1st. Using brakes in 3rd part.

BRC: Shifting  & Stopping 30 mins

Skills: 1) Riding in a straight line; 2) shifting to 2nd;  3) downshifting to 1st;4)  braking to a stop; 5) turns; 6) using outside-inside-outside in turns.

(RSS 60 mins elapsed)

(BRC 1.50 hrs elapsed)

At this point, RSS students are 60 mins in and doing what the BRC students did at 30 mins.

At almost 2 hrs, BRC students are up-shifting and downshifting, slowing to turn, using lines through a corner, dealing with multiple lines of traffic and on-coming/turning traffic  and braking to a stop.

Exercise 5:

RSS: Riding the Perimeter and Large Circles 20 mins

Skills: “Gradually increasing speed up to 12-15 mph”  “in a straight line; slow using brakes” for corner. Move to large circle A and then to large circle B.

BRC: Adjusting Speed & Turning 30 mins

Skills: Ride perimeter and then weave between the cones. “Speed up as possible in the straightaway and slow for corners.”

(RSS 1.10 hrs in)

(BRC 2.20 hrs elapsed)

Exercise 6:

RSS: Weaving 10 mins

Skills: In 1st gear ride perimeter and then begin to weave between cones.

BRC: Controls Skills Practice 20 mins

Skills: Pause-n-Go; left and right perimeter turn; weave; traffic check; weave.

(RSS 1.20 hrs elapsed)

(BRC 2.40 mins elapsed)

Exercise 7:

RSS: Turning on Different Curves 20 mins

Skills: Perimeter riding; weaving, large oval;

BRC: Cornering 30 mins

Skills: Large oval in second gear

(RSS 1.40 mins elapsed)

(BRC 3.10 hrs elapsed)

At just over hour and a half in, RSS students have been practicing with the friction zone, slowing in 1st without stalling and cornering in 1st gear. RSS students do not shift to 2nd until Exercise 10—2.35 hrs into the course. Before they’ve done so, they’ve learned basic cornering, slowing, clutch control, braking all at the lower speeds demanded by 1st gear.

While BRC students have been shifting to 2nd from 1.20 mins in.  In Exercise 8—3.10 hrs in—BRC students will shift to 3rd gear.

BRC students have learned far more skills earlier in the course, shifted to 2nd and had to downshift and brake to a stop all at the same time in the same exercise.

If BRC students are traveling below 12 mph and in 2nd gear that would be difficult to believe—and a question of whether it’s a good idea.

RSS students have had a chance to hone clutch control and braking without having to worry about upshifting or downshifting. They learned cornering without having to worry about shifting or turning immediately up the middle of the range with traffic coming towards them (and turning up the middle).

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