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  • #16
    Lesson 7: More traffic, new tasks. Today, I go out into traffic and test myself on pressing. To my instructor's delight, I have figured this out, and while not on the pegs, I do send the bike over easily and achieve the skill point he is looking for. More 30kph zone riding, and I do not forget to mind the cyclists and pedestrians this time. The new task is the ausweichen, or avoidance. Two cones, offset by one meter. I must ride up to the first cone at 30kph, clutch in, and swerve, first to the right to avoid the first cone, and then to the left to avod the second cone. Then I must return to the riding lane. Now that I have the language of pressing down, this is not difficult. Next time through, I ride at 40-5kph, brake to 25kph, and roll through the cones with the clutch in. The hardest part is releasing the brake. Back into traffic for more "rules and regulations" work. We have not only to do the riding skills, but also show that we can safely ride on the street with traffic. I am nearly hit by a car, and have to use my newly-learned avoidance skill to not hit a few stray pedestrians who run into the street. All good.
    Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
    2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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    • #17
      They teach you to squeeze the clutch while swerving? Interesting, that's big-time points off on the test I administer.
      Originally posted by OBX-RIDER
      put the whiffer in the dilly
      sigpic

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      • #18
        The first time I did the maneouver, I just zoomed through it. Second time, "there is a wall there. You don't know what is on the other side. Let the bike slow down, go around it, and see what is on the other side." You have to ride out the braking one with the clutch in, too. I found it far easier to do under power, as with no drive, you are at the mercy of your ability to get the bike back up straight. There is no additional gyroscopic moment to help you.

        Not that that is the actual answer, but it is what I could come up with at the moment!
        Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
        2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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        • #19
          Lesson 8: Urban/suburban driving. Surprise! It is too hot to go to the parking lot, so I am sent out on the road, followed by what I now refer to as the peacock. Yellow R1150GS. 1 hour 20 minutes of into little towns, out of them, out past farms, up to 100kph. Basically what would be county roads in the US. We do some twisties, I blow one apex badly and cross the line (eek!), and use the entire lane for a few others. This earns me a few earfuls from my instructor, who of course cannot hear me cursing myself out. As we wait for a train at a crossing, we discuss whether to take the Autobahn home. I say yes, so we take a ~10km stretch of Autobahn back to the garage. Max speed is about 120, which is ~9K on the Eliminator. During this lesson, I begin to explore the rev band, and shifting at 7k finally makes sense. Other than the three blown turns, I hear only directions. Instructor seems quite happy at the end of the session. I finally get to the segment of motorbiking that I was looking forward to - open road - and it is worth everything leading up to it and more!!!!!
          Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
          2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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          • #20
            I love this! Thank you so much for going to the trouble of posting such a detailed account.

            I wish I'd had the opportunity to learn this way!
            sigpic

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            • #21
              I am enjoying reading this also, it's not just learning the motorcycle basic operation as we do with the BRC, but also takes you into real life traffic situations. Thanks, keep posting, I'll keep reading!
              Gerry
              Peace ~ Love Ride ~ Then Ride Some More
              '16 Kawasaki Vulcan S 650 with ABS - "ED-2ND" - Special in a new way.
              '05 Yamaha 1100 V* Silverado "Beast, Big Ass Bike" - The name said it all.
              '02 Suzuki 650 Savage - "Special Ed' - A wonderful memory.
              - Gerry -

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              • #22
                You are welcome! Next lesson is wednesday morning.

                I checked my card this morning, and discovered that I was checked off an every element of the urban/suburban driving. Pretty darn cool, bit of an ego boost for sure!
                Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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                • #23
                  How long are the lessons, how frequently, and how long will you take courses? Another thanks for posting this, it s interesting.
                  I still make a runny one now and then, but the goo is good on ice cream.

                  -- Overcaffeinated

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                  • #24
                    We need a new rider training system like this in the US.
                    09 Versys Blue and 2011 V-Rod
                    08 KLR 650 Red (sold)

                    Retired Eagle Driver, long live the eagle.

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                    • #25
                      Each lesson is 1.5 hours, or two 45 minute "driving hours". You book as the instructor's schedule permits - I usually am up twice a week. It is all one-on-one. I wear ears, so I can hear my instructor. Thankfully he cannot hear me! The gear requirement is pretty interesting - you have to have a helmet, jacket, gloves, and boots, all with CE-approved protectors or a TüV registration (goofy German technical authority). Pants are considered to show that you are actually serious, because you have gone above the minimum. So think on that - MINGATT here is everything but pants. Completely different philosophy.

                      Minimum training is 24 driving hours (twelve lessons). I will probably be around 18 lessons, some people need up to 50! I also may dawdle on the lessons a bit if I get "promoted" to the big bikes. If I stay with the small (<34hp) bikes, I can see being ready for my exam shortly.

                      The biggest hurdle for this kind of training is the cost - a BRC looks like it costs about $250 - this is going to run me $2K, so almost ten times as much. I just don't see Americans forking over two large just for the privilege of riding! But at the same time, you rarely hear of people dying in low or moderate speed accidents over here - while Germany and the US have the same number of traffic fatalities per passenger mile, in Germany they are all in pile-ups on the Autobahn. In the US, the fatalities are mostly in traffic running below 50mph.

                      I got the master theory book over the weekend. The theory exam is 20 general questions, and 10 motorbike-specific ones. Out of about 750! The book covers bikes and cars, and has a total of 1125 questions in it. Yikes!!!! I'm actually way more nervous about the theory exam than the riding one....
                      Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                      2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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                      • #26
                        Can you remind us how licensing is done in Germany? I know many countries have some kind of tiered system based on training, time &/or miles. How is it there?

                        Gerry
                        Peace ~ Love Ride ~ Then Ride Some More
                        '16 Kawasaki Vulcan S 650 with ABS - "ED-2ND" - Special in a new way.
                        '05 Yamaha 1100 V* Silverado "Beast, Big Ass Bike" - The name said it all.
                        '02 Suzuki 650 Savage - "Special Ed' - A wonderful memory.
                        - Gerry -

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Classes are Mofa, M, A1, and A

                          Mofa - motoriziert Fahräder - basically bicycles with small motors. 50cc and below, 25kph and below. Theory is 20 questions, no practical
                          M - Scooters, from 15YO, not more than 50cc, 45kph and below, includes Mofa. Theory is 30 questions, practical is 30 minutes, with 13 minutes of traffic
                          A1 - From 16-18YO, up to 80kph, from 18YO on, faster than 80kph. Up to 125cc and 11kW (14.5hp), includes M, Mofa. Theory is 30 questions, practical is 45 minutes, with 25 minutes of traffic
                          A - From 18YO, faster than 45kph, from 50cc and up to 25kW (33hp) or .16kW/kg (212hp/tonne). From 25YO or after 2 years, unlimited horsepower. The unlimited hp has the special designation A(u), literally, Class A unlimited. Includes A1, M, Mofa. Theory is 30 questions, practical is 60 minutes, with 25 minutes of traffic

                          I'm in A(u), which means that if I get to the point to handle a big bike, I will get certified for A(u) right away as I am over 25. Otherwise, I will get my A, and in two years, it will magically unlimit itself.

                          Did that help?
                          Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                          2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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                          • #28
                            Lesson 9: back to the parking lot. We work extensively on the slalom, to develop a more natural body language. I get it done. I also make about 100 u-turns, and my foot only goes down once. Braking from 50kph is attended to. I lock up the rear again, but this time, it's deliberate - the lot is wet from an overnight rain, and I'm curious. I spend some time riding around in the 'hood, and get an earful for entering a private road. I though you just couldn't park there! The F650GS keys are dangled in front of me again, and I learn how to remove the front wheel of it. This is not part of the normal training. If he'd had the tire, I would have changed it for him. Friday night will be my first night ride. Yikes!

                            One small highlight of the morning was a red (never saw a red one!) R65 go by while waiting for my instructor to show up. How I lust after a blue one.....
                            Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                            2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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                            • #29
                              Interesting to see how much more they practice than is done in the US.
                              Here, we had a half day of theory followed by a day and a half in the parking lot at which time we did our basic skill test.
                              The training started with duck walking the bike and progressed through all the basics (straight line, slalom, cornering, U turns, right angle tuns, etc) to countersteering, swerving, braking. We did two up rides as both passenger and rider and navigated a tight cone course both solo and two up.
                              This was followed by two or three group rides of about three hours each in traffic. Instructor led, then each of us led in turn. Instructor gave immediate feedback wrt. riding techniques, lane positioning as well as hazzards while riding via radio.
                              By end of course we had done everything from city streets to back roads to freeways. No night rides, though as the course was in summer and we finished our rides before it was dark.

                              Passed the license test a couple of weeks later (45 minute riding test with tester being driven in a car behind me).
                              When I bought a bike a month or so later, I wasn't worried about riding it home from the dealership, a route involving city and freeway traffic for about an hour.

                              I still don't understand how people in the states are let loose on the road with such minimal training that they actually feel nervous about riding a bike on the street AFTER passing their course!
                              It sounds as if the German system would also ensure that by the time the rider is actually road legal he has sufficient skills not to endanger himself or others when riding in traffic.
                              Great description of what sounds to be a good way to learn how to survive by methods other than trial and error.

                              Once you get your license, are there any horsepower or cc restrictions or can you go out and ride your BMW RR right away?
                              "I race to win" - Ayrton Senna
                              "If he had survived Imola 94, we would all be racing for second place" - Michael Schumacher

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Corwin View Post
                                Once you get your license, are there any horsepower or cc restrictions or can you go out and ride your BMW RR right away?
                                Depends if I take the exam on a >34hp bike or a <34hp bike. >34hp, I can ride anything right away. <34hp, I am limited to <34hp for two years, then I can go buy that Hayabusa.

                                The interesting thing for me is that I want to bring an R65 home (I will eventually come home to MI), and depending on what year you get, they were available above and below the limit.

                                Regarding the reduction in endangerment... I've been married for 21 years, and up until this one, motorcycles were absolutely off the table due to safety, lack of available training, etc. But over here, I realized that I had a pretty golden opportunity to finally get this done and be safely up and riding. And honestly, the discussion went a lot better than I expected it to - my spouse was ok with the idea once we went though the details. The cost was another story, but I sold my fancy car to cover that. Yes, I sold a very nice car and bought a really old one to pay for this.. But I like the new old one better anyway.
                                Katherine goes to Fahrschule - the German rider training thread :: Nine Days in the Alps :: BRC 2014 :: Finding GS Land
                                2012 CBR250R (sold), 2001 Super Sherpa, 2004 BMW F650GSa - not a big Ford truck...

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