Motorcycle Training

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Motorcycle training teaches motorcycle riders the skills for riding on public roads. It is the equivalent of driver's education for car drivers. Training beyond basic qualification and licensing is available to those whose duty includes motorcycle riding, such as police, and additional rider courses are offered for street riding refreshers, sport riding, off-road techniques, and developing competitive skills for the motorcycle racetrack. Many motorcycle training courses in the USA use the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course materials. Thirty-one states use the MSF tests for licensing, and 41 states use the MSF motorcycle operator manual. Completion of such courses often results in lower insurance rates, and all but five US states waive motorcyclist license testing for graduates of rider training courses such as the MSF. The US Hurt Report, begun in 1976 and published in 1981, expresses disdain for the ignorance and misinformation about motorcycle safety among riders studied, noting that 92% of riders in accidents had no formal training, compared to 84.3% of the riding population, and that when interviewed, riders frequently failed to take responsibility for their errors, or even perceive that accident avoidance had been possible. The US armed forces has responded to an increase in off-duty motorcycling accidents and deaths by strengthening existing requirements that service members take a motorcycle safety course and wear helmets even if not required locally if they wish to ride, as well as by offering rider training tailored to military motorcyclists. In response to the popularity of sport bikes among younger military riders, and the disproportionate representation of sports bikes in accident deaths, courses focusing on sport bike riding have been created at military installations around the world. Law enforcement motorcyclists, called motor officers in US police jargon, benefit from advanced training, typically lasting one to three weeks, that covers safety during routine patrol, and police-specific riding like pursuit, as well as policing methods such as safely approaching a suspect's vehicle. Like basic rider courses, police training is dominated by low-speed maneuvering. Much of what can go wrong on a motorcycle happens at low speed, and this is particularly true considering that the usual police motorcycle carries hundreds of pounds of equipment, often weighing even more than a fully-loaded bike on tour. And where the touring bike would spend much time on open freeways and autobahns, the police motorcycle is lumbering through urban traffic, pedestrian zones, and narrow city streets. Very tight U-turns and paired riding with a second officer are typical of the techniques practiced, and police training can include riding on inhospitable surfaces, such as up and down stairs or loading ramps or on railroad tracks. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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