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This is an example of a proper, working kickstand. It is not bent and holds the motorcycle almost upright. Use the TCLOCS method to ensure your bike is in working order. Tires, Controls, Lights, Oil, Chassis, Stand.

Photo by Courtesy Photo

Summer is the season to beef up on motorcycle safety

12 Jul 2017 | Valerie O'Berry/Editor Marine Corps Base Quantico

It is summer, which ushers in the motorcycle driving season in full force. What is better than driving with the wind in your hair and on your face with nothing between you and the beautiful scenery along the way? However, driving a motorcycle is a tricky business. It takes skill, experience and a special license to operate one safely. In fact, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than someone in a car or other vehicle simply because there is nothing to protect them from the impact of an accident, according to the Accident Data Center.

However, enjoying the benefits of motorcycle riding should be done in a safe manner. Here are some tips that were shared at the Back in the Saddle training recently.

To ride a motorcycle aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico a rider must first take a Basic Riders Course. This course is offered at no cost to Marines through the Traffic Safety Branch, Safety Division. To sign up for a class you need a CAC card. Go to to sign up for the basic or advanced rider’s courses. You do not need a motorcycle to take the basic course, or equipment, everything is provided. After taking the Basic Riders Course, you must also take a Level II or Level III motorcycle riders course after three years. These are also offered through the Traffic Safety Branch.

If you are a considering taking up the pleasure of riding a motorcycle on the open road and you have taken a safety class, you may be ready to buy a motorcycle. There are several things to consider. First, you need to make sure that the bike “fits” you. Get on the bike and see if you can put both feet on the ground while straddling it. Make sure you can reach the handlebars comfortably and use the controls. The biggest mistake you can make is to buy a motorcycle that is too powerful for your skill level. Do some research on motorcycles before you buy one so you can make a purchase that is right for your skill level. Motorcycles also come in different sizes: standard and low for shorter people.

Ensure that when riding your motorcycle you do not go above speeds that are at your comfort level. For example, if you are riding with a more experienced rider do not go too fast just to keep up with them. Ride to your ability level, not theirs. If your riding partner is going too fast for you don’t try to keep up with them.

For additional information consult MCO 5100.19, call 703 784-2120 or email

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