BRC was a horrible experience - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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BRC was a horrible experience

I was so excited for my first MSF Course this weekend. The classroom portion was good and I passed the test easily. However, it was 97 degrees that day. Once we started really getting into 2nd gear and turning, I got scared...psyched myself out. Weaving around the cones was horrible. I mentioned that I was really scared and felt 3 laps wasn't enough. They moved on anyway. Looking back, that was the ONLY exercise that I didn't do great at. By the end of day 1, I was 100% scared. Within an hour, I realized I was in full blown heat stroke. I think I was way too sick to have performed well but didn't recognize what was going on. Obviously, I didn't go to day 2. (I should have been in the hospital but wasn't capable of logical thought) I can retake the course for free later on. But, now, I'm terrified of my bike. Slow speed stuff is tough and I wanted to be good...wanted to rush it. I know that's not realistic. Any tips on conquering the fear?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 05:07 AM
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Hi Rice Girl
The advice for the heat stroke is easier than advice for the fear of the bike.😉
I think you need to find a beginners riding course. See if your dealer or maybe a local riding club knows of any in your area. The cure is practice practice and some practice. If no courses are available to you see if you can find an instructor who can give you some training.
Low speed handling is something we all struggled with and some still feel uncomfortable with our heavy bikes in those slow turns. Check out the forum here on dropping the bike or picking it up. Tells you it happens more than folks like to admit.
Don't fret, you will learn and it won't take much time to get over the fear and have confidence. We all did...

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 05:15 AM
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+1 to what WEG said. Try early Sunday morning rides to the local High School parking lot and practice as much as possible. Practice will help create muscle memory which is where your confidence will come from.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 08:44 AM
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Hang in there. When I took the course it was also unbearably hot. Need to plan on being in a concrete world for 2 full days. Hydration is key! Our course provided the bikes. All under 250cc for easier handling. This would be what I would suggest for you. The courses here don't let you use your own bike until you get into the advanced course. Need to learn the technique and be comfortable with it on something you CAN handle before you try it on a bigger bike. And our course was mostly women believe it or not. And most had NEVER ridden, ever. Many bike were dropped and tipped over that day. BUT everyone passed!

Also we had a great instructor who listened, and gave good pertinent advice. That was also very beneficial. Try to ask around for things of this nature. Maybe find someone who has taken a specific course and get some feedback. Good luck!


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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 10:23 AM
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I had never ridden a bike when I took the BRC and I failed the first time. It was late August in Georgia and over 100 degrees both days. I got my bike before that, so I practiced what I learned until December. The 2nd time I took it, it was below freezing all day both days. We had 4 slides and spills, including one of the instructors. They really should have called the session off. But I managed to control the bike every time I slipped (big pucker moment during emergency braking for the final test!!), and I passed.

Even now, 8 years later, I still get tense during slow maneuvers if I haven't practiced enough.

DeputyLoud is right, hydration is key. That goes for anytime you ride, at ANY temperature. You loose a lot of body moisture on a motorcycle.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 12:03 PM
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Any tips on conquering the fear?

yes, I have a tip, but haven't tried it yet myself, only heard of it from someone else, we get fears naturally when we sense danger, but to just face your fears and do it anyway
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 12:44 PM
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Practice, practice, practice. If you can, find a friend who rides. See if they will spend some time in a parking lot practicing with you. Get some cones and set up some drills. It doesn't matter what skill level you are. Even seasoned riders could use the practice time. I think it will help your fear having a buddy there.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 02:18 PM
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I've been riding for nearly 50 years and having to take that sort of proficiency test under those blisteringly hot conditions probably would result in my failing as well! Suggest that you write off that particular testing session, get back onto your bike and just do some simple straight line riding to start, then slowly move on to riding around some gentle bends to rebuild your confidence. Then you can gradually move on to riding around cones, again beginning with them being widely spaced and gradually tightening the spacing.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 03:46 PM
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When I practice I always found the cones themselves intimidating and even the small ones were hard to take to an empty parking lot so I started using tennis balls I cut in half on my bandsaw 5 tennis balls made 10 "cones" there easy to pack into a small drawstring bag and if you do hit one it won't lodge under the bike you just roll over it and continue on. I still don't understand how some riders scrap there floorboards I'm just not that comfortable leaning over that far. But like I say some of us run in bigger circles than others 😃
Just keep riding
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 08:53 PM
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Don't take this the wrong way, but If you continue to be afraid of your bike, you may want to sell it. A friend of mine who bought a 1500 after not riding anything bigger than a 50 CC scooter before was terrified of his, and he almost killed himself on it twice by freaking out on it. When we'd go riding, even on rural highways with no traffic, he could not seem to go faster than 50 and he kept a death grip on the handlebars at all times. He would panic going into turns and almost went off the road a couple of times because he had no sense of how far he could lean it over.

Take it to some empty parking lots and use parking spaces as a slalom course, and practice turning and leaning. Chances are good you'll get over the fear and start to get more comfortable on it. It's always good to have a healthy respect for what these machines can do and how quickly things can happen, but fear of it will ruin it for you and might get you hurt.

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