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Old 02-13-2012, 07:28 PM   #511
Tripped1
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Originally Posted by deacon51 View Post
And you know, as an experienced rider in the service what I found the most frustrating was when some 19 year old with less then a month of experience, no license, no 'required' training course, and no gear but a unbuckled helmet runs his GSXR under a SUV at 70 MPH. None of his leaders knew he had a bike, but all his buddies did. He was telling everyone about it in the smoke pit, for months. But he had no resource for good information.

Maybe, if only someone with some experience would have had the tools to talk with the kid, he would have made some other choices. Not Sr, to Jr. or any of that BS, but as a motorcyclist who loves the sport would talk to any new rider looking at a brand new GSXR. But instead we have another young man with head trauma and a busted hip and a disability check.
Only get you so far.

I had a buddy when I was in, he went off and got himself a brand new 636 when he decided that he wanted to ride. So I tried to haul him around, spend 4-5 days in parking lots showing him the basics, took him with me to the track/drag strip, even got him a freebie trackday.

Didn't matter at all, he killed himself leaving Pearl Harbor, crashed on the ramp onto H1 hard enough to break the chin bar off of a Shoei RF1000.

You can't regulate young and stupid.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:40 PM   #512
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I left the service in '04 but still contract for the DoD and work with Active Duty at a Joint command.
When I left the service, I was working with the Safety Officer and some other riders to develop a recommendation to the base commander. I'm not sure what happened to that recommendation, and I'm kind of hitting the highlights from memory.

Also, I have only read the first and last page.

Sr. leadership should...

Designate a Motorcycle Safety NCO for every command (E-7 or above)
Make your commands Motorcycle Safety NCO a MSF Instructor, provide funds for the training, provide time for the training during duty hours.
Start a motorcycle sponsorship program, lead by the command Motorcycle Safety NCO.
Every Active Duty service member, E-1 to O-9, with a bike must take part in the sponsorship program.
Develop sensible guidelines that all sponsors should demonstrate, a code of safe riding, perhaps.
Experienced riders would mentor new riders on the safe riding code. Mentors should lead small groups (3 or 4 bikes total) on riders where the safe code is demonstrated, during normal duty hours.
In tandem to the Motorcycle Safety NCO, a base motorcycle riders club, with an official charter, should be formed.
It would be part of the clubs charter to advise leadership of any safety issues or recommendations. This club should be chartered at the DoD level and cross all branches of service.
Out of curiosity, who gets to sponsor/mentor the O-9?

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:45 PM   #513
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Originally Posted by Tripped1 View Post
Only get you so far.

I had a buddy when I was in, he went off and got himself a brand new 636 when he decided that he wanted to ride. So I tried to haul him around, spend 4-5 days in parking lots showing him the basics, took him with me to the track/drag strip, even got him a freebie trackday.

Didn't matter at all, he killed himself leaving Pearl Harbor, crashed on the ramp onto H1 hard enough to break the chin bar off of a Shoei RF1000.

You can't regulate young and stupid.
No, no you can't. At least you had a chance to make a difference. No program is going to be 100% effective. Some bone head will drink and ride... and die for it. Some douche bag will hit a guard rail 2 am when the rear end washes out on the off ramp. You can't stop it, but that doesn't mean you don't try. You had a chance with you buddy, but not everyone has a buddy... or if they do it's not a buddy they should be learning from.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:50 PM   #514
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Originally Posted by D R View Post
Out of curiosity, who gets to sponsor/mentor the O-9?

If the E-1 has the experience and the O-9 is buying that retirement Harley... well maybe in this case the Private just may have a bit of knowledge that could save a flag officers life.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #515
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I've thought about how to make the gear requirements more stringent, but I don't think there's a way to do it coherently. You could mandate full-face helmets (which I actually think is a pretty good idea). But what's next? A jacket? Does it require armor? Leather? How about pants? Same questions. Boots? Are military boots OK, or do they need to be riding boots? How about the over-the-ankle riding shoes that the motorcycle clothing manufacturers are selling? How about gloves? A set of gardening gloves has more protection thsat some of the "motorcycle" gloves I've seen people wear. YOu could go on and on. I just don't see how to do it.
You can mandate all kinds of things but how much difference would it make? All the safety regulations and mandates in the world are useless if they are ignored. That is the major problem out there.

In my opinion, one of the worst things they ever did was to mandate wearing a reflective vest. It has to be the most widely hated piece of required gear out there. I am a firm believer in hi vis gear and I hate it. Very few people wear it unless they are riding on base. Here's the problem. When you make a rule that nearly everyone hates, and ignores, you are creating contempt for the rules. In general, people will obey the rules is someone is there enforcing them or if people believe it's a good rule.

My recommendation would be to try to pass rules that will increase safety but not be so disliked that they will be ignored by the majority of the people. For example, instead of a reflective vest, allow people to substitute something else. Some of the services have done away with the vest requirement already. I would require that either the jacket or helmet be a bright color ( and leave the choice up to each rider) and that at least one of them have reflective material if riding at night.

As for training, one aspect of training that was almost completely ignored, at least when I was in, was training on riding gear. There is a lot of gear available out there and some of it is styled to appeal to younger riders. There is gear for all kinds of weather from extreme heat to very cold. There is also gear available for pretty reasonable prices. I think more riders would wear gear if they knew more about it. The safety courses I took told us what the gear requirements were but that's it.

I also know that getting many young servicemen to adopt a more safe attitude towards riding is not an easy task and I applaud those out there who are trying to do so. It would appear that the Marine Corps in particular is really trying.
The task is difficult but not impossible. There are a lot of safe and experienced riders out there who started out as reckless squids. When I entered the Navy in 1984 I was pretty much a squid. The only thing I was missing to be a full fledged squid was a high performance sport bike. A year of steady paychecks from uncle Sam and I was able to rectify that one "problem" by buying a Yamaha FJ1100, one of the fastesd bikes available at the time. Then I transfered to San Diego where I was able to unleash all 125 HP and my superior riding skills ( at least that's what I thought ) on the twisty mountain and canyon roads of SoCal. My high opinion of my riding skills lasted until I started riding with some experienced riders. Many of these guys were old geezers on slow and outdated BMWs. The bikes might have been outdated but these guys were not slow and would leave me in the dust anytime the road turned twisty. These guys also wore the proper riding gear and didn't ride like idiots. Luckily I didn't kill or maim myself and after a year or so of riding with these guys and I started buying real riding gear and became a much better/safer rider. These guys were able to influence me because they had credibility. Anyway, I arrived in San Diego with way too much motorcycle and little riding gear and left 3 1/2 years later with an EX500 and a full set of riding gear. BTW, the EX500 was way faster than the FJ.

The moral of the story:
1. Young guys can be influenced, even guys like me who "knew it all".
2. Mentoring can work if done by someone with credibilty. (don't expect a Gold Wing rider to mentor a bunch of squids.........unless he can outride them )
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:46 PM   #516
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Originally Posted by deacon51 View Post
And you know, as an experienced rider in the service what I found the most frustrating was when some 19 year old with less then a month of experience, no license, no 'required' training course, and no gear but a unbuckled helmet runs his GSXR under a SUV at 70 MPH. None of his leaders knew he had a bike, but all his buddies did. He was telling everyone about it in the smoke pit, for months. But he had no resource for good information.
I find it really difficult to believe neither he nor his buddies knew anything about the regs, required training, etc.

Maybe the BRC on base was only offered when his platoon leader had a latrine that badly needed scrubbing- that's a command problem that can be recognized and addressed. But I have a hard time buying complete ignorance.

Don't get me wrong- having a club, mentorship program, lots of good safety things, are a good idea... until you say "required". Trying to require something you can't enforce undermines authority.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:51 PM   #517
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Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
As for training, one aspect of training that was almost completely ignored, at least when I was in, was training on riding gear. There is a lot of gear available out there and some of it is styled to appeal to younger riders. There is gear for all kinds of weather from extreme heat to very cold. There is also gear available for pretty reasonable prices. I think more riders would wear gear if they knew more about it. The safety courses I took told us what the gear requirements were but that's it.
The PX at Ft Leonard Wood stocks Icon gear- helmets, gloves, jackets, I *think* pants and may be boots.

Quote:
The moral of the story:
1. Young guys can be influenced, even guys like me who "knew it all".
2. Mentoring can work if done by someone with credibilty. (don't expect a Gold Wing rider to mentor a bunch of squids.........unless he can outride them )
Sure... and not too much a part of "the system". I suspect getting out on the bike for a blast through the countryside is part of getting away from the system for these guys. I know it is for me.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:07 PM   #518
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Peer pressure and clear expectations. Just like drinking and driving, unsafe riding is a risk that jeopardizes you and the people around you. Perhaps the best training is to sit on the other side of an accident investigation or line-of-duty determination.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:49 AM   #519
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The Vocal majority

I have noticed that most of us are of a similar opinion and of a similar background. I spent 28 years in an Army uniform and now I'm a DoD Civilian on a Navy base. Been riding for about 35 years, coulpe minor crashes and been an MSF Rider Coach for 7 years now. That sounds about like most of us.

"Required" and "Mandatory" are words and actions that come with the territory. Young men show poor judgement, I know I did. Sometimes luck is all that gets you through your twenties. reflective vest, I have one, I don't hate it, but I don't wear it all the time. I do encourage young riders to embrace full gear, it is hard because they think Levi's and Air Jordan sneakers will suffice. Luckily Helmets and jackets are a fashion statement and full armor is in style. Instead of safety Nazi style regulations, we could encourage an Underground Union of Riders. All riders of all brands and types of bikes talking about our mutual survival. Teach the young guys to pick the battles they want to win, and to use slight of hand to calm the non riding powers that be.

I have had limited success with the "them against us" line of thinking. Thats where the successful mentoring program works best, in a two way, conspiritory tone, rather than a senior to junior lecture. speaking of lectures I am starting to ramble. Lets help the new rider and ourselves by being smart and having a real agenda, not just displeasure at the vest.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:27 AM   #520
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Originally Posted by vecchio Lupo View Post
I have noticed that most of us are of a similar opinion and of a similar background. I spent 28 years in an Army uniform and now I'm a DoD Civilian on a Navy base. Been riding for about 35 years, coulpe minor crashes and been an MSF Rider Coach for 7 years now. That sounds about like most of us.

"Required" and "Mandatory" are words and actions that come with the territory. Young men show poor judgement, I know I did. Sometimes luck is all that gets you through your twenties. reflective vest, I have one, I don't hate it, but I don't wear it all the time. I do encourage young riders to embrace full gear, it is hard because they think Levi's and Air Jordan sneakers will suffice. Luckily Helmets and jackets are a fashion statement and full armor is in style. Instead of safety Nazi style regulations, we could encourage an Underground Union of Riders. All riders of all brands and types of bikes talking about our mutual survival. Teach the young guys to pick the battles they want to win, and to use slight of hand to calm the non riding powers that be.

I have had limited success with the "them against us" line of thinking. Thats where the successful mentoring program works best, in a two way, conspiritory tone, rather than a senior to junior lecture. speaking of lectures I am starting to ramble. Lets help the new rider and ourselves by being smart and having a real agenda, not just displeasure at the vest.
Encouraging informal mentoring sounds like a great idea but will be dependent on having riders capable of doing it. Still, it would be a low cost method of reaching at least some of the young riders out there.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:09 AM   #521
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Three Marines killed last night at 02:00 in a car wreck in San Clemente, alcohol and excessive speed are believed to be the cause.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:23 PM   #522
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Three Marines killed last night at 02:00 in a car wreck in San Clemente, alcohol and excessive speed are believed to be the cause.
What a shame...

Is the chain of command talking about mandatory remedial car training?
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:28 PM   #523
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Encouraging informal mentoring sounds like a great idea but will be dependent on having riders capable of doing it. Still, it would be a low cost method of reaching at least some of the young riders out there.
The Green Knights have 100 chapters worldwide these days ( I helped form chapter 22). Riders taking care of riders seems to be the best solution to the difficult problem. I'm pretty glad I retired don't have to deal with this crap anymore though...
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #524
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What a shame...

Is the chain of command talking about mandatory remedial car training?
Already required.........at least it was by the Navy when I was still on active duty. All drivers under a certain age had to take a safe driving class.

Those who have never been in the service would probably be amazed at the amount of time spent on safety training as well as training on alcohol/drug abuse, sexual harassment, equal rights, etc.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:50 PM   #525
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With the three day weekend this weekend all the Active Duty Army guys have to have a safety inspection of there car done this week. The other services have been laughing at them all week. (I work at a Joint Service Command)
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