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Photo Information

Marines with the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force prepare for departure to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, during their monthly motorcycle ride, Oct. 3, 2014. Unit motorcycle group rides are a requirement of the Marine Corps Motorcycle Safety Order and promote safe riding habits across all experience levels. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders/Released)

Photo by Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders

New motorcycle training being developed

14 Oct 2014 | MCBQ Saftey Division

If you're a regular reader of Safety Gram's Monthly Mishap narratives, you may have noted the frequent and alarming occurrence of injuries and deaths as a result of motorcycle riding appear monthly in the Safety Division’s Safety Gram. On many occasions, these hazards are due to negligence by other drivers who may not have been safe or observant of their own accord. However, many others are entirely preventable with appropriate training, sufficient personal protective equipment and experience with safe riding practices.

To combat these mishaps, the Safety Division gathered a number of motorcycle safety experts from across the Marine Corps to develop a comprehensive riding curriculum for installations and negate potential accidents from the start. Representatives from Safety Division, Marine Corps Installation Command, Marine Corps Installations West, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California; MCI East, Hawaii, and Marine Corps Base Quantico convened to construct the early framework for the new Riders Essential Skills Training.


With a focus on the beginning rider, the REST will challenge participants to master proper braking and cornering techniques at realistic speeds. The course is intended to function as an independent source for Marines to gain the skills required to function as safe, competent riders.


During this gathering, the representatives from each installation provided insight as to the resources presently available, indicated how they can maximize those resources, and where they require additional support to accomplish the mission of mishap-free riding.


The assembled team began drafting the requisite information to convey through the classroom portion of the REST, and also identified potential course layouts and exercises to maximize a rider's participation in the course. While REST is intended to help riders avoid accidents after having completed the course, the working group placed a great deal of emphasis on making the actual training as safe as possible, as well.


Some of the topics and areas of focus included:

• Tire contact and traction

• Cornering

• Braking

• Hazard avoidance


• Infrastructure and space required for riding course

• Instructor requirements


The primary purpose of the REST eliminate motorcycle crashes by embedding strong capabilities in regard to riding fundamentals. If a rider is proficient in even the most basic skills, such as braking effectively and negotiating a curve properly, the chance of an accident is decreased exponentially. Many beginning riders drastically underestimate the capabilities and limitations of a motorcycle, and consequently pay the price for that negligence.


As the Marine Corps' most valuable resource, Marines need to be safe and knowledgeable in everything they do. Consequently, the Safety Division will continue to seek to develop the REST and hope to present a safe, educational, and beneficial program in the near future.

Marine Corps Base Quantico