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Thread: Does Training Work? Smarter-USA

              
   
   
  1. #1
    teddillard
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    Does Training Work? Smarter-USA

    Interesting site, with more links to more PDF reports that I had time to read this morning: Smarter-USA.org

    One report was surprisingly inconclusive. Not that the studies had been done and they didn't know what to conclude, but that not enough real data was out there. Lemmee see. Here it is, via Kneeslider.

    "The George Institute for Global Health, located in Australia, did an analysis of worldwide studies to determine what type of motorcycle rider training is most effective in reducing accidents. Their conclusion? No one has a clue. The effectiveness of training, whether before or after you get your license, simply isn't known from the evidence available."

  2. #2
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Interesting - some good points about "who is riding" being a big factor. Still, from all the other discussions, I'm getting the point pretty loud and clear that even if the statistics are lacking, taking a class or two is a damn good idea.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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    Empulse R #24 frodus's Avatar
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    Re: Does Training Work? Smarter-USA

    I'm gonna sign up for the advanced rider course from Team Oregon in spring if I can get in.
    Travis

  4. #4
    Senior Member Spaceweasel's Avatar
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    I'm planning on an advanced rider course in the spring to brush up on some dormant skills. Maybe some track time, too, if I can work it out.

  5. #5
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Was thinking about this while driving my very safe (for me) car...

    I'm sure track time can make you a faster rider. But on balance, does track time make you a safer rider? I've never done a track day, so I have to admit ignorance. Maybe it's as simple as "yes". But I was thinking, a lot of what people do on the track is try and go as fast as they can. Then they take that to the street, where, it seems to me, you should have a different mindset - that is, riding safely. Having fun, but not pushing your limits. The "muscle memory" you develop on the track might train you to ride too close to the edge. Or, maybe you hone your skills near the limit, and then if you can make yourself turn it down several notches on the street you're better for it. Or maybe you get your kicks on the track and it makes it easier to tone it down otherwise.

    Just something I was thinking about.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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    Senior Member Spaceweasel's Avatar
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    Some of the same lessons that translate from dirt riding also apply to track learning - you can hone certain skills (threshold braking, lean angles, traction modulation) in a more forgiving environment than on the street. Plus, I would agree with the idea of getting your kicks out, and then being able to slow it down on the street. Knowing how you and your bike behave at the limit is valuable knowledge, and can be fun to acquire - but exploration of limits on the street can have some dire consequences.

  7. #7
    teddillard
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    (^ what he said. Dirt riding is the most basic translation of how a bike wants to handle and how to handle it.)

    My -opinion- is yes. Without any doubt at all. You're pushing the whole system, if you will, to it's extreme, in a relatively safe environment, to a point far beyond what you can do, or should do, on the road. When things go wrong you learn what the best thing to do is, and what the bad things are.

    A stupid simple example, learning to handle a car in the snow. I was lucky to learn to drive in the country, in an orchard town. We'd get snow, we'd all jump into our cars and bomb around parking lots, roads, whatever, doing drifts, skids, just having a blast, but also learning how to drive. You have to be able to make mistakes to learn - anything.

    When you're just driving, unobserved, on the road you can have every idea you can think of for "what you would do if...". On a track, you can try it out, and see if it's really what you should be doing. Ever try to describe steering into a skid to someone who's never skidded?

    As far as de-tuning what you know for the street, again, due respect, but when you take a class you'll get how much respect it gives you for what you're doing. When you see your buddy flying over the haybales on the track you'll think a little clearer about hanging your balls out in the canyon on a blind (decreasing radius, for all you know) curve. I'll use the gun analogy again. You take a gun safety class and learn what can happen, you have a hell of a lot more respect for how you handle a gun.
    Last edited by teddillard; 02 October 2013 at 1544.

  8. #8
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Makes sense to me.

    The one little thing is about your buddy (or you) flying over the hay bales. What about people getting hurt at the track? Seems like people can learn to ride on the street and stay out of trouble, for the most part, whereas crashing is pretty much the accepted norm at the track. Even though it's safer to crash there, it's not exactly safe. I guess there's a difference between dirt and asphalt, but neither is very fun to hit with your head.

    Not trying to argue - actually thinking if I were to go to a track day, what would I do? Would I be out there going 100+ mph? Or driving like I would on the street, just knowing there weren't any cars.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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    Senior Member jonescg's Avatar
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    I do know that here in Australia, the Monash University Accident Research Centre ran a big study on motorcycle safety. They asked for submissions from various organisations. Many motorcyclists, both individuals and representative groups made submissions with the overwhelming response form long-term riders was "real world training and track days". There is no substitute for experience, so the best way to get experience is to get out and ride in the safest environment possible.

    They rejected the suggestions out of hand

  10. #10
    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Getting back to the OP - I read through the papers on that site (at least the ones that had working links). Long(ish) post below:

    I know this is a touchy subject - this is my summary of what I found, trying to be as objective as I possibly can. I'm not trying to be argumentative - just informative from what the science seems to say.

    A little background: I've been studying human learning for over 10 years, and one thing I've learned is that the ultimate test of whether something "works" is if there is evidence. Over and over again, learning researchers have found that teaching methods and courses that people thought worked great didn't actually work at all. A lot of the time, both the students and the teachers thought learning was happening until they were actually tested. Often, even when students can perform well on the specific things they are taught, they can't do tasks that are just slightly different, even when "experts" see both tasks as essentially the same.

    The results in those papers are interesting, and kind of disappointing. Disappointing in that one would really want training courses to be really effective. There seems to a serious lack of evidence that training courses reduce accidents. Not that there haven't been studies, just that most of them show no difference. In some of the studies, they actually found that accidents were higher for people who had taken a training course. But it's a correlation, not necessarily causation. It could be that those people were more prone to accidents for some reason.

    I looked around and found another interesting paper here. Seems possible that the repetitive, short duration of the practice in training courses might not be ideal. That's actually similar to other types of learning - it's much better to have sustained practice over the long term (like months) than a "crash course" over a few days, especially for "deep learning", or skills that require consistent practice. There is also some evidence that training can make people overestimate their true skill, which could cause them to take more risks and thus have more accidents - which would explain the counter intuitive results that people who had taken courses had higher accident rates.

    The one finding that supports training courses is from the paper here. For beginners with less than 500 miles of riding experience, riders who had training had fewer accidents - half as many, which is huge. But, for riders with more than 500 miles of riding experience, there was no difference in accident rates between trained and untrained riders. There's a table summarizing other studies - only two found a reduction in accidents from training, and the differences were slight. Others found no difference, or higher rates for trained riders. So, on the one hand, it says that beginners DO benefit from training. But it also suggests that even slightly experienced riders might not get any benefit, or worse.

    To be sure, these are basic training courses. I didn't find anything about advanced courses or track training with a professional...those could be very effective, there just isn't data that I could find.

    There is apparently a long term study conducted by MSF that started in 2007. I searched and searched but couldn't find any data from it. Should be interesting, since I think it is the first long term, randomized study on the effect of training courses.


    I'm still going to take a course or track days or whatever seems like it will make me a better, safer rider. In spite of all this stuff above, it seems like a good idea.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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