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Why did you participate in rider training

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Outlaws Justice:
     New Question.

Some time back I posted a thread here asking why people do not take training? One of the many things I learned from that thread that was several pages long, is that the type of riders who tend to hang out on motorcycle forums are the smaller percentage who are true motorcycle enthusiasts. This is also a smaller portion of the riding population who actually look for and have taken rider training at some time at some level.

So since it seems many here believe in and have taken some form of rider training, what encouraged you to do it?
Someone tell you about a great experience?
Was it because friends rode better?
Was it a close call while riding?
Was it a thirst for knowledge?
Was it to overcome some fear threshold?
Or maybe just to get faster!

Let me hear what or who got you to consider or take additional training, it might be also nice if you include what you took and how long it has been since you did it.

I am not interested in becoming a "faster" rider.  In order to do that all one has to do is twist the throttle a litter harder, right?  That will make me go faster, right?  But I took rider training in order to be better able to control the bike at ALL speeds, instead of just letting the speed and the bike control me.  I don't want to have anymore "Oh S***!!!" moments, if I can help it. I took training so that when presented with an unexpected circumstance  I wouldn't tense up and make it worse, but that I would smoothly and confidently be able to deal with the situation and make it better.  I ENJOY riding more now because, like virtually any skill, the better you do it the less frustration there is and the more enjoyment there is.  I've still got a loooong way to go, and I will never be at a level of some others.  I'm OK with that.  I don't have to be better than them, I just want to be better tomorrow than I am today.  Rider training will help me to get there.

Outlaws Justice:
I agree, I am not out to prove to someone else that I am better than they are, I am only out to improve myself and my chances to make it back home safely. In 2015 there was a 10% increase in rider fatalities nationally, that is a lot. With the latest numbers per miles driven/ridden they show that riding a motorcycle is 37 times more dangerous than driving a car. To put that in perspective, that cup of Coffee at Starbucks cost $3.00 yesterday, today it costs $111.00, that is 37 times more. so what can we as riders to to improve our chances of getting home in one piece. Remember you can do everything right and still be dead. Better skills can help you compensate for what the other person does. At the end of the day it does not matter if you were right if you are dead.

When the branches of the military required follow up training on your own motorcycle (Different branches required different levels of training) the military saw a reduction in fatalities ranging from 37% to 61%. Any reduction in the number of fatalities is an improvement.

For me I see some really bad riding a lot. And wonder if the rider knows it was bad and how close to getting hurt he/she was. This encourages me to not do that through education. I'm not getting any younger and hear all the time how reflexes and response time slow as we age so perhaps I can stave that off a bit through training and practice.

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Over the last 25 years in our MSF Classes, I'm guilty of having stated more than once that with good practice, we could out-stop an ABS equipped bike. The explanations I'd heard were generally somewhat complicated and convoluted. But it made enough sense to me that I still believed it enough to repeat the claim. I'm not sure I could clearly explain it, but I believed it.
Our friends at FortNine have done a better-than-average video comparing what happens when you depend solely on ABS electronics vs using your well practiced skill set. I'm happy to say that that they are backing up the claims I've made for all of those many years. With good practice, you CAN often stop more quickly than you will by just trusting an ABS system. It won't happen without practice, and the electronics will save your behind on occasion when you aren't at your best, but with some practice you CAN be better.
Watch this video more than once and see what YOU think. Be ready to pause the video to read the captions and think about what they are saying.

I attended a civilian version of the Midwest Motorcycle Training School in Auburn Hillls, Michigan a few years ago. They cater primarily to training motor officers, and motor officers are some of the very best riders around...they know their stuff. But the instructors for this class got to a stopping exercise on day 3 of 4 when we were instructed to just slam on the brakes and let the electronics stop us. I specifically asked the lead instructor if our goal was to stop as quickly as possible without having the ABS kick in and his response was "Why would you do that? Just apply maximum brake pressure and let the electronics do what they were designed to do." The problem for me now and then was my belief that ABS is designed to keep you from locking up a tire (leading to a loss of control)...not necessarily to stop in the shortest distance you and the bike are capable of doing. That, along with another discussion about swerving where the head instructor refused to even try to explain the difference between pushing the bar vs pressing the bar (I specifically asked when he said I was doing one of them but he wanted the other) led me to leave part of the way through day 3 and accept "in my mind" that the training I was getting was not nearly worth what I had paid for the tuition to the class. I got 3 days of inadequate and half-ass training for 4 days tuition plus paid for  5 nights at a motel, meals, etc. Very disappointing.
Geoffrey Greene


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