The 7 Most Common MSF Student Rider Fails


Category: Guest Blogger

6) The Dreaded Box
Ask past students of the Basic Rider Course which exercise they disliked the most. Ask which exercise was the most difficult to pass in evaluation. You’ll likely notice a trend with the box, a limited space maneuver where a student must make two U-Turns in a box 20’ wide without using their feet to stabilize the bike. This exercise can be a real confidence drainer if done improperly, and is also where a lot of drops are going to happen if they do.

The box is a great chance to pull together a lot of the techniques you’ve already gotten the hang of. When you enter the box and attempt the first U-turn, go as slow as you possibly can. There’s no time limit and no one is waiting. It’s just you and the box. Turn your head as far as possible, looking back past the turn to where you want to end up. Use the friction zone and throttle to give yourself enough power to pull the bike around, while making sure to counter-weight with your leg on the outside peg. You may need to slide your butt off the edge of the seat to get enough of a counter-weight on the peg. Keep those techniques in mind and practice as much as you can. It will click sooner than you think and you’ll realize you had nothing to worry about.

7) They Like To Call It An Evaluation
Let’s be honest about what is at the end of the Basic Rider Course range portion. It’s a big scary test. Every Rider Coach probably has his or her own little innocuous synonym for it, but at the end of the day you know it’s a test. Just from my own experience, examples abound of students who did brilliantly all day only to make simple and silly mistakes during the “Evaluation.” As with any test in life, stress can be there to edge you into a mistake.


When you hear your Rider Coach mention an evaluation, you’ll find yourself on an idling bike waiting in line. You notice the very first part is the box. You start to freak out a little bit. Don’t worry, because you’ve done this all this before. Try to stay focused and relaxed. Don’t worry about what the other students are doing. Expect and accept a little bit of stress. Use that little bit of stress to reinforce the technique in your mind. Pace yourself and don’t try to rush through. Take your time and think only of what you need to do right then instead of everything at once.

Did you ever take the Basic Rider Course? How did you do in The Box?

Related Links:
Learn to Ride: How To Get a Motorcycle License
Learn To Ride: Continuing Your Motorcycle Education
Ask RideApart: How Do I Start Riding a Motorcycle

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