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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

does anyone have info or know where to find the dimensions of the figures for slow speeds maneuvering tests for MSF test and even better police training test. I went couple of times to the parking lot just to better learn my bike and found out that I really like those slow speeds maneuvering figures. now that I got a little better at it I would like to live up to some official standards/requirements of the motorcycle proficiency.

I know some may say just go to the MSF venue and they have everything drawn on the asphalt. but I live in NY and everything is locked and fenced here even lines on the asphalt hahah.

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Absolutely, I will take the course in spring before a new season. Now however, it is also very nice to go and leisurely exercise/have fun on a parking lot. I bought a lot of red plastic cups. Fill them a little with water and there we go - perfect cones.
 

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Hi guys,

does anyone have info or know where to find the dimensions of the figures for slow speeds maneuvering tests for MSF test and even better police training test. I went couple of times to the parking lot just to better learn my bike and found out that I really like those slow speeds maneuvering figures. now that I got a little better at it I would like to live up to some official standards/requirements of the motorcycle proficiency.

I know some may say just go to the MSF venue and they have everything drawn on the asphalt. but I live in NY and everything is locked and fenced here even lines on the asphalt hahah.

Thank you!
Typically, the maneuvering course is set up to mimic the width of a standard residential street, roughly 24 feet wide. All of the drills are intended to be done within the confines of that space or HALF that space, for drills in the lane of travel only. The hardest I find is the "box of death" which is slightly smaller than 24 feet wide and you have to ride in a figure 8, without going outside the box, or putting your feet down. There are other drills as well, including stopping, obstacle avoidance and riding over stuff. It is hard to duplicate the course without the painted cues on the asphalt, but you can generally get close.
 

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The hardest I find is the "box of death" which is slightly smaller than 24 feet wide and you have to ride in a figure 8, without going outside the box, or putting your feet down.
Definitely! I took the MSF course when I returned to riding a few years ago. I dumped that little Suzuki 250 several times while learning/practicing that box because I refused to put my feet down - just rode the bike down when I lost it! There's definitely a reason those MSF course bikes have the mirrors and turn signals removed! I did manage to successfully complete that awful box when the time came to take the final test. I don't think I could do it on my C50, though. In fact I wonder if a C50 is even capable of turning that tight?
 

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Definitely! I took the MSF course when I returned to riding a few years ago. I dumped that little Suzuki 250 several times while learning/practicing that box because I refused to put my feet down - just rode the bike down when I lost it! There's definitely a reason those MSF course bikes have the mirrors and turn signals removed! I did manage to successfully complete that awful box when the time came to take the final test. I don't think I could do it on my C50, though. In fact I wonder if a C50 is even capable of turning that tight?
The MSF Experienced Rider Course is done on your own bike. It too, involved the "Box of death". Yes, the humble little C50 can manage to make the turn. It is a matter of lean and application of throttle. Just need to feather the clutch, give it gas, lean it over and forget you have brakes....
 

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start wide...master it,,then just move the clones closer as your skills improve...before you know it, you'll have it mastered...just remember to keep looking over your shoulder and use the foot brake only..experiment with different techniques also.
 

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Fill the cups with beer. Then pick them up as you pass and drink them. If you finish the course, you should be good.

FWIW I have lowering bones and 4" forward controls. I scraped floorboards three times just on my ride to work this morning and can do a full steering lock turn.
Don't be afraid to lean.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Fill the cups with beer. Then pick them up as you pass and drink them. If you finish the course, you should be good.

FWIW I have lowering bones and 4" forward controls. I scraped floorboards three times just on my ride to work this morning and can do a full steering lock turn.
Don't be afraid to lean.
Haha Iove the beer idea. This way I will be more motivated not to hit any cup...
 

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I don't think I could do it on my C50, though. In fact I wonder if a C50 is even capable of turning that tight?
The C50 is easily capable of an 18' U-turn and figure 8. Key are to practice 3 things until they are automatic. 1. Turn head and look all the way around where you want to go. Do not look down or at the cones. 2. Feather the clutch with the engine revs above idle. 3) Lightly use the rear brake. I took the advanced rider course on the C50. C50 was perfectly adequate with proper technique.
 

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I wonder what technic is more correct/ useful in real life at making figure 8:
1) to keep your throttle steady and let the engine rev and fether the clutch as you perform the turn or
2) what I have been doing is just to throttle on (with necessary clutch play) whenever I need this momentum.

I know that at the basic MSF course they suggest to keep it steady but may be they do this because it's just easier for beginners..
Thoughts?
 

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I wonder what technic is more correct/ useful in real life at making figure 8:
1) to keep your throttle steady and let the engine rev and fether the clutch as you perform the turn or
2) what I have been doing is just to throttle on (with necessary clutch play) whenever I need this momentum.

I know that at the basic MSF course they suggest to keep it steady but may be they do this because it's just easier for beginners..
Thoughts?
In my opinion, the rear brake is one of the more important aspects to slow speed maneuvering. The front brake may cause the bike to lose balance, the rear brake will keep you upright.
 

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Definitely! I took the MSF course when I returned to riding a few years ago. I dumped that little Suzuki 250 several times while learning/practicing that box because I refused to put my feet down - just rode the bike down when I lost it! There's definitely a reason those MSF course bikes have the mirrors and turn signals removed! I did manage to successfully complete that awful box when the time came to take the final test. I don't think I could do it on my C50, though. In fact I wonder if a C50 is even capable of turning that tight?
I took the experienced riders course on my 1800 Goldwing along with several others on their 1500 and 1800s. Although I wasn't one of them, several riders were able to navigate the "box of death" successfully on that large bike. (I always figured I had reverse to help bale me out if I got in that tight a spot, particularly riding two up). So if good riders can manage on a 800+ pound bike with linked brakes then the C50 should be easy.
 

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I wonder what technique is more correct/ useful in real life at making figure 8:
1) to keep your throttle steady and let the engine rev and feather the clutch as you perform the turn or
2) what I have been doing is just to throttle on (with necessary clutch play) whenever I need this momentum.
I know that when in the turn itself, my throttle is pretty steady and the clutch is feathered. I increase the throttle and relax the rear brake as I straighten up.
For me, a near steady throttle, relaxed feathering of the clutch and light rear brake pressure seems to make the u-turns very fluid and smooth.
 

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I wonder what technic is more correct/ useful in real life at making figure 8:
1) to keep your throttle steady and let the engine rev and fether the clutch as you perform the turn or
2) what I have been doing is just to throttle on (with necessary clutch play) whenever I need this momentum.

I know that at the basic MSF course they suggest to keep it steady but may be they do this because it's just easier for beginners..
Thoughts?
Option number one as you listed above is the starting point for the safest and easiest slow speed turns.

1. Increased and fairly consistent engine RPM has two important effects on your ability to negotiate slow speed turns.

First of all at slightly higher rpm's the engine is producing more torque for pulling power and the possibility of stalling is reduced.

Second, the rotation of the engine induces a gyroscopic effect that enhances slightly your ability to keep the bike up right. This makes up for a reduction in the gyroscopic effect of the rotating front and rear wheels you would normally experience at greater speeds.

2. Consistent Slipping of the clutch allows for increased engine RPM at speeds lower than what would be normally experienced.

3. It is true that use of the front brake will cause unwanted instability in any turn.

The continuous use of the REAR BRAKE in a low speed turn For resistance, however, gives increased ability to modulate engine torque and bike speed to enhance control while turning and take maximum advantage of the engines gyroscopic effect in addition to the other advantages.

The bike is always more stable and predictable when under consistent, light application of power than it is when you are coasting and the transition between power and Coast simply adds more instability.

If in doubt about this principle, back off the throttle suddenly in the middle of a high speed turn/curve while maintaining a constant countersteer position of your handlebars - Then clean your shorts at the next rest stop.
 

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I scraped kick stand yesterday.
 

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The best cheap cones I've found are tennis balls. Cut them in half and they work great.

As for the figure 8, when I took the advanced rider course on my C50 I was able to do it in the expert area, which is about 3/4 the size of the test box, so I can attest that the C50 is more than capable of doing it. Keep the throttle steady, feather the clutch and ride the rear brake. The engine fighting against the rear brake will make the bike solid as a rock. If you try to do it with no brake you'll drop it. If you try to do it with no clutch you'll choke it out and drop it. If you try to vary the throttle you're not going to be anywhere near steady enough to go through. As previously mentioned, remember to look where you want to go.
 
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