May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and according to an announcement the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) are teaming up to promote rider education.
The MSF offers a full suite of rider education programs consisting of hands-on, classroom, and online courses as part of the MSF Rider Education and Training System. The RETS is designed to help novice students become competent riders, and help current riders become even better riders. Each course is research-based and develops knowledge, skill, attitudes, and habits associated with safe and responsible riding.
“With more people getting into motorcycling every day, it is important new riders learn how to ride the right way, right away. The best first ride is the MSF Basic RiderCourse or a similar research-based course in your state,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the MSF. “We thank the AMA for their continued leadership in raising awareness of the importance of rider education and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”
“The AMA has aggressively supported research-based, state-approved motorcycle rider training for many years, as part of a comprehensive motorcycle safety program designed to prevent motorcycle crashes and fatalities,” said AMA president and CEO Rob Dingman. “One of our focuses in Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is to maintain – or increase – funding for programs, improve training reciprocity between states and promote incentives, such as insurance discounts, that can result in more riders completing rider training courses.”
Both organizations also implore car and truck drivers to be aware of motorcycles in the traffic mix and to look carefully before changing lanes or turning at intersections. Motorcycles are narrow, and may be harder to spot than other vehicles.
MSF Rider Education Training System
The MSF team continuously works to evolve rider education programs. Some of the program highlights include:
The MSF Basic RiderCourse covers the basics of operating a motorcycle as well as safety-oriented mental strategies. Motorcycles and helmets are provided. Successful completion of this course (consisting of a three-hour eCourse, five hours of formal classroom activities, and ten hours of riding instruction conducted over two or three sessions, plus knowledge and skill tests) may serve to waive the license test in many states.
Basic RiderCourse 2: For riders who already have basic skills. Similar to the BRC except speeds are higher and students should use their own motorcycles. An excellent refresher course for practicing and renewing riding skills includes an informal classroom component for discussing safety concepts based on past riding experiences and current knowledge. If the license waiver component is not needed (no classroom activities and no knowledge or skill test), there is a "Skills Practice" offering.