The Motorcycle Safety Foundation at 40

May 03, 2013 View Comments by

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation at 40The two-wheeled careers of many motorcyclists begin with a weekend spent in a community college classroom and parking lot taking their Basic Rider Course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Over the past 40 years this introduction to motorcycling has become a pivotal right of passage for aspiring motorcyclists across the country. The MSF is a non-profit organization that seeks to make the roads a safer place for riders. Unfortunately, a recent report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association suggests that 2012 may have seen an increase in motorcycle fatalities. In response, MSF president and CEO Tim Buche calls the numbers, “a somber reminder that motorcyclist safety should be everyone’s responsibility.” To that end, the MSF has ramped up its research into the area of crash prevention, spending $2.4 million since 2010 to update its Rider Course curriculum to better prepare new riders for the challenges of the road.

The result is that the BRC now contains:

  • 40% more material on rider perception and finding an escape path
  • 15% increase in on-course collision avoidance and swerving practice
  • 30% more concentration on curve negotiation, both in the classroom and on the range

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is also working with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on a project called the 100 Motorcyclists Naturalistic Study. Using cameras and data acquisition sensors mounted to their bikes, the study tracks 100 motorcyclists as they go about their daily riding routines for one year. The MSF hopes to gain real-world information about how riders react to on-road situations that will translate into improved training and crash prevention.

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