Straight out: I consider the general motorcycle rider education- at least in California, nothing else as a joke. Though, my guess is that the situation isn’t much better in other states. First of- my knowledge comes from teaching thousands of students on the track and street- asking pretty much each of them from who- and where they learned from. I’ll give you some ‘pictures’ according to what I’ve seen where their level at:
There was a 17 year old new rider in one of me ‘Cornering School Day‘ classes and he was taught by “the” certified institution for motorcycle drivers licenses what ‘Trail Braking’ is. Quote: “...it’s applying the rear brake by being on the throttle while entering a turn“. I have no name for that kind of “made-up”- but theories…
- No clue theory: “The” certified institution has no idea what Trail Braking actually is, and just made this up… or
- No resources theory: They actually know why the best riders on this planet are doing it- but can’t teach it… or
- Marketing theory (my favorite): They figured that the Trail Braking process involves front brake usage while entering a turn is actually a conflict to their certified curriculum- to stay away from the front brake doing any leaning. The goal… in order to “sell” to the people that they do “teach” Trail Braking, and to have an effective Google key word driving traffic to their website… they just made their version of Trail Braking up
There was that 65 years old Lady who reached retirement and bought a brand new motorcycle to finally live her dream. She called me to teach her to
learn from the scratch. I told her to go to “that” institute for the basic rider course where the outcome is obviously ALWAYS a motorcycle drivers license is, but she denied. Quote: “I’ve been there, but after a instructor saw me dealing with the bike they took me out and told me to ‘go home and practice'”. That’s a $300 advice to a new rider- really?!
And I’m asking you… practicing with who- when this ‘certified’ institution suppose to be that element in a life for a new rider?! So I was asking instructors who attending my Braking Seminars ones in a while (!) about stories like that, and most of the time the answer is: “You know… we are teaching crowds”.
I think that this excuse stinks, because this is taking the money and going the easy way with someone who might need quite more attention and some inspirational words. Not taking time for an individual is a big failure and irresponsible. If it’s s too much asked from their instructors, then teaching new riders in masses shouldn’t be the way to go- correct?!
It took me 30 minutes to trust again, and one Road Skill 1on1 course to operate her bike. After lots of Scooter sessions on the DMV Keyhole she’s riding her Harley and her biker tattoo around Sacramento now.
These are just a couple of examples which I don’t just made up… that’s reality, and I would have tons of more to share from riders who know better now! But each time I’m ‘confronted’ with that institution, someone is playing their certification card. That actually makes me worried, because their certificate which allows them to certify comes from an other instance which obviously has even less knowledge about teaching riders.
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp
Part 2 is coming up soon