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ACT Provisional course and M.O.S.T
(This was originally a forum post, see the closed thread at http://canberrariders.org.au/threads/136729-ACT-Provisional-course-and-M-O-S-T-experience for the preliminary discussion)
I thought I'd share my recent experience at the P plate course and the M.O.S.T test for the benefit of those procrastinating on their L's or about to go for the course/test.
- Course and M.O.S.T at Stayupright Sutton Road circuit for $203. I did mine from 8am-4pm. Note that fee does not include bike/gear hire.
- Ensure your bike is roadworthy i.e. electrics, tyres, rego. Someone did not have their rego and had to spend $100 on hire. Another person's tail light was out but the instructor was kind enough to give him a globe to sort it out. Also freakishly the night before my low beam gave way, but I managed to find a H7 at a servo and change it in time.
- Check your tyre pressure and fuel, lube the chains etc. the day before.
- Arrive a few mins before time and bring lunch/snacks/fruits. They have water and basic coffee/tea facilities only. You may however ride into town for lunch (approx one hour break).
- Come prepared for bad weather i.e. rain, strong winds. I had taken the winter and rain liner out when it got hot and put them back on when it got windy.
Although six people were scheduled only five of us turned up. Everyone seemed friendly. Our instructor was easy to get along with as well - note that pissed off instructors can be an issue at times, so try your best not to add to it!
- Bike1 - Yamaha cruiser 950
- Bike2 (Mine) - Ninja 250R
- Bike3 - Yamaha 250VT
- Scooter1 - Vespa 250
- Bike4 - Kawasaki 250 gpx
The course was divided into 4 parts with breaks in between.
- Theory - catch up on learner stuff regarding crash avoidance, observation, buffering and cornering. This lasted for about 15 mins.
- Practice posture, mounting and dismounting, friction point control, stopping, turning (counter steering (high speed), lean + counter balancing (low speed)) for about 30 - 45 mins on the circuit. This included a demo on the skill and feedback to each of us on what we can improve.
- On road ride in and around Queanbeyan/Googong for about 2 hours. This included 3 designated stops where the instructor would provide feedback and ask us to focus on buffering, crash avoidance, 3 second gap etc. Often he would change his position in the convoy and someone would get to lead to the next stop. We got an hours lunch break after this.
- Practice M.O.S.T skills for about 40 mins. In this part we did drills simulating all the skills needed for the test.
- The first was to turn left within the lines and stop at a point without skidding.
- Cone weave followed by a tight U-turn, this U-turn (~5.5M) was tighter than the test one (6.1M) but they are pretty easy in any case unless ur on a cruiser. As for the cone weave, he started out by putting them in a straight line and slowly moving the second and the fourth cone in a staggered formation.
- Braking from 20-30K's - He gave feedback on the speed so we knew how much we needed to do.
- Obstacle avoidance and merge. This is where you speed to 20-30K's and swerve (counter steer) to avoid a obstacle and merge back into the lane.
We were given 20 mins break while he set the course up. He used different lines on the circuit and different coloured cones than the ones used in the practice. Then he walked all of us through the test and explained the requirement to pass and the points. You can read about it at http://www.stayupright.com.au/sites/default/files/most.pdf. To pass the test you must not accumulate more than or equal to 9 penalty points. Penalty points varies depending on the mistake. Stalling the bike at any time and any mistake in the final test is 9 points and an instant fail with the exception of low speed < 20K for which you get another attempt.
- The cruiser went first, put his foot down and missed the last cone and crossed the U turn line but finished well with 6 points.
- I was next. I felt a bit nervous as one does. He explained every part of the test once again before each part. Only after the U-turn did I relax a bit and finished with 0 points. I did 29K's on the braking but stopped a bike length before one accumulates any penalty points. The crash avoidance swerve is to the side the instructor is standing on.
- Bike3 put his foot down on the U-turn and missed a head check - 4 points.
- Scooter and Bike5 did well with 0 points.
There was also a person who turned up for the test, having failed previously and along with their partner bad mouthed the test. Now while I think the debate on the effectiveness of the test to worldly riding skills may not be completely unwarranted i.e. not putting foot down in U-turns but anyone with mediocre skills on the bike ought to pass the test if not cream it. It's not that hard and besides several riders past have done it; hence that person ought to as well. Anyway, that person failed the breaking test this time around as well doing what seemed like 10K in their first attempt and may have stalled or shifted up for some reason to 3rd gear in the second attempt and failed! This was the only time that our instructor wore a frown *:/ all day.
- Practice at either the Kambah (Church car park next to the storage warehouse on Jenke Cct) or the EPIC cap parks. Take 5 coke/water bottles to simulate the cones on the cone weave test. Remember to enter wide and exit tight with slow constant speed at friction point with controlled back brake.
- Try and do a U-turn within two parallel car parks (~5.5M). The M.O.S.T U-turn (6.1M) is a little bit bigger but you have to adjust for nerves during the test where you may not lean as much. You will need constant slow speed with back brake on, and then turn your head as much as possible as soon as you enter while counter balancing to lean the bike and you'll be fine on most bikes except maybe a big cruiser. In any case its only a few points even if u cross the line so don't sweat it as the cruiser guy showed.
- For the braking and the avoidance tests - DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR SPEEDOMETER. Only focus on braking at the right point! You need to gauge your speed from the amount of revs and the feedback during practice. My strategy was to build up revs while stationary and through to the entry and rev down/setup the brakes as I entered the lines before braking! I also did it in first gear but I guess shifting down might be more effective but I did not want to risk stalling.
- HEAD CHECKS - Remember the first thing is to always do a head check when starting off!
All in all, it's not that hard, and the course is fun and helpful so get out there and just do it!
- If you pass the test you get a certificate similar the one you got for L's except its for P's. If you skip the test or fail you can take the test after a minimum of 7 days for $45.
- Take this into Canberra connect and for no fee you get provisional on ur licence.
- After 6 months if over 26 you can get PB i.e. no need to show P plates. If under 26 you may do a PB course to get the same.
- After 12 months you are no longer restricted.
NOTE that if however while on your bike P's even if you have a full car licence and lose 4 or more points while driving your car you will lose ur bike licence (for 3-6 months)!
Hopefully, this helps you on your way to P's!