GI's and motorcycle crashes...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by dolomoto, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    A Ninja 650 is a good choice:thumb. Don't be in a hurry to move up to a bigger bike. Bigger is not always better and smaller is often more fun.
  2. southwade

    southwade ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I wanted a WR250X, but my wife wasn't having it, lol. "Hell no, that thing is ugly!" :lol3

    Women... :huh
  3. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    This is the type of beginner bike I was talking about, maybe paired with the Ninja 250. A lot of experienced riders prefer these lighter, very capable bikes.
  4. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    Show her a Guzzi...

    No need to thank me. :wink:
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    IMO, the key to getting young guys to buy less powerful sport bikes is to make them look just as sporty as the faster models. Kawasaki is on the right track with their Ninja 250 & 650. I used to sell bikes and most young guys mainly cared about how a bike looked. They often had no idea if a bike was actually fast although a 250 is a tough sell if the buyer can afford a bigger bike.

    If Honda's CBR250 sells well, we may see more beginner friendly sport bikes available. Personally, I'd like to see something like a Ninja 400 being sold. Many GI's however, can afford something bigger and faster and will still buy a bigger/faster bike than they should given their experience level.

    I don't think that there is any one "magic bullet" solution to GI's and crashes but having more smaller but still appealing bikes available would certainly be one step in the right direction.
  6. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

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    I believe in rider training. The USMC has done a great deal in the last few years to that end. They offer advanced riding courses to anyone with a CAC.

    And, Jason Pridmore's STAR riding school has FREE training for Guard members (priority to USA NG).

    I'm trying to get into both of these before the end of the calendar year.
  7. d.burbach

    d.burbach Been here awhile

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  8. Rhino-1

    Rhino-1 Been here awhile

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    Hmmm. What a topic. Fortunately or unfortunately, the young and adventurous will always want the fastest/swoopiest bikes out there, and displacement matters. I know, cause I had to have a GSxR at that age and fresh out of AIT, and I couldn't afford an 1100 so I settled on a Salvaged 750 (when Bert's was a small time moto recycling operation). 600's are a "stepping stone", but mostly inlines. Some were happy with twins or other displacements, but most of my buds wanted Ninja's and Gixxers.

    IMO, best we can do is try to train 'em up and pray for the best. I suspect it's always been this way... YMMV.
  9. J_White

    J_White should be working

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    Sounds like an excellent idea there. I crashed n burned in my younger days
    while in the AF, so did a couple of buddies... rank amateur riders we were,
    jumping astraddle of stuff like GS1150 and GSXR 1100 Suzys, that we had
    no business on - yet anyway.
  10. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

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    I'm a fan (and former RC) of the Military SportBike RiderCourse (MSRC). Taking a street rider who thinks they have "outgrown" their 600cc sportbike and putting them thru a basic course like the MSRC is a Revelation for most riders.

    Too many riders peg "performance" with acceleration (which is totally subjective by the Human body).

    For sure, some GI's are gonna be knuckleheads and do dumb shit, no matter what.

    But, there are some folks, with the right attention...will realize that there is more to motorcycling that outright speed...that late apexing, and trail braking, and nailing the perfect exit speed and so many other things can be thrilling and still be without Drama.

    Some of the most fun I've had on a moto was, after 300,000 miles...I bought a KLR (upgraded the suspension) and terrorized a few sportbikes in/around southwest VA.

    YMMV.
  11. TheWorstKind

    TheWorstKind In the Wind

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    I applaud the military for TRYING to do something about our young sailors, Marines, soldiers, and airmen hurting themselves while riding motorcycles. I certainly DISAGREE with parts of the process.
    Requiring every service member to take the MSF BRC is, imho, actually very good. Adding the Sportbike Course is also excellent. Where I take exception is with the requirement (at least for sailors and Marines) to discuss with and obtain permission from the chain of command to purchase a motorcycle.
    I remember being a young sailor. I loved my job, loved going to sea, but, dawgone it, when I was off the ship on liberty, that was MY TIME. I still remember how irritated I was when I was told I had to take the MSF course. Today, when I think about my reaction back then, I have to chuckle just a little. I was mad that the Navy was making me learn how to ride, on their time and dime! Can you say “Foolish pride”? And toss in a little “freedom loving rebel spirit” (I think a little of that lives in all of us bikers), now you have the basis for LEARNING THE HARD WAY.
    I would like to see more effort on reaching our service members in respect to attitude. Don’t make the process of informing the CoC seem like a little kid asking permission. After all, these fine folks are adults; sailors, Marines, soldiers, and airmen. Treat them that way.
    As for me, once I saw the light (when I got frustrated at scaring myself in corners), I decided to learn everything I could about riding motorcycles. Training/education is absolutely the answer. Learning is typically described as taking in information, then changing behavior. Learning will only take place when the attitude is receptive. Motivation by desire, not motivation by rules/fear of disciplinary action, is the way to go.
    Motorcycling is fun and exciting. Too many folks in the CoC are not bikers, or even folks who participate in higher risk/higher enjoyment type of activities, hence; they have no clue about how to properly advise a young military man/woman that wants to ride. Speed, lean angle, wheelies, etc. are all part of motorcycling. Requiring “abstinence” is akin to “pissing in the wind”. Let’s get the attitude (brain) right, and watch the stats improve!
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    ^^^^ well said. I completely agree.^^^^
  13. CafeRacer99

    CafeRacer99 Been here awhile

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    I've been in for 25 years and I've been on both sides of the desk for these kinds of counseling sessions. In the Army, this is less about giving permission to buy a motorcycle and more about making sure the kid has really thought through the purchase. Making sure they have taken into account the cost of insurance and know all the rules.

    I know that these Soldiers are technically adults, but not all of them are very mature. And many of them come to us not having had a lot of life experience. We want our Soldiers to live long enough to take over for us, so we do what we can to get them through the dumb years.

    The counseling has another purpose too: making sure the chain of command is covered if the kid does get in an accident. That's cynical and a little sad, but it's a fact of life. After any major accident there will be an investigation, and the investigating officer will want to see documentation showing that the Soldier was informed of all the rules and safety guidelines.

    I have a standard counseling form with all the info already filled in. Here is part of it:


    1. ALL SM'S THAT ARE CURRENTLY OPERATING OR DESIRE TO OPERATE A MOTORCYCLE, WHETHER ON DUTY OR OFF DUTY, ON OR OFF POST, AND WHILE A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES MUST POSSESS/ACCOMPLISH THE FOLLOWING:
    A. MSF TRAINING (OR OTHER APPROVED TRAINING)
    B. M1 (MOTORCYCLE) ENDORSEMENT ON DRIVER LICENSE
    C. INSURANCE FOR VEHICLE TO BE OPERATED
    2. PROOF OF THESE REQUIREMENTS WILL BE MAINTAINED ON FILE AT THE UNIT. IT IS THE SOLDIERS RESPONSIBILITY TO FURNISH ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION.
    3. MSF TRAINING WILL BE PROVIDED AND FUNDED FOR ALL SOLDIERS THAT DESIRE TO OPERATE A MOTORCYCLE WHILE A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES. SOLDIERS WILL NOT OPERATE A MOTORCYCLE UNTIL THEY MEET THE SPECIFIED REQUIREMENTS AND THE UNIT HAS PROOF OF THESE REQUIREMENTS ON FILE AT THE UNIT.
    4. SAFETY IS EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY. INTEGRITY AND ALL OTHER ARMY VALUES ARE EXPECTED FROM ALL SOLDIERS. ALL SOLDIERS ARE EXPECTED TO USE THE COMPOSITE RISK MANAGEMENT PROCESS PRIOR TO ALL TASKS AND ACTIVITIES. MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FOUNDATION TRAINING WILL GREATLY ASSIST IN MITIGATING THE RISK ASSOCIATED WITH OPERATING A MOTORCYCLE.
    5. PPE: HELMET, GOGGLE/FACE SHIELD, STURDY FOOTWEAR, CLOTHING (LONG SLEEVE SHIRT/JACKET, PANTS), GLOVES (FULL FINGERED), BRIGHT COLORS, REFLECTIVE.
    6. THIS DIRECTIVE IS IAW:
    A. DODI 6055.4, TRAFFIC SAFETY PROGRAM
    B. AR 385-55, PREVENTION OF MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
    C. ARMY SAFETY CAMPAIGN PLAN
    D. ALARCT 010/2005
    7. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY DIRECTIVE MAY RESULT IN UCMJ ACTION.
  14. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Had an interesting military (Army) student yesterday. Obviously aggressive riding stlyle... on a bagger. He said he rode it to slow himself down. Problem is he was so aggressive, riding a bike with limited capabilities was actually more dangerous than riding a bike that could handle the kind of riding he was trying to do. Twice he levered the rear tire off the ground- just getting around a corner to line up for the next exercise. :eek1
  15. markk9

    markk9 Been here awhile

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    I'm retired from the Air Force.

    The biggest problem with the AF and motorcycle training was the lack of training time, it could take months to get MSF slot. The commanders though if they make getting the training a pain, the airman would give up. Most (90%) still rode their bikes off base.
  16. Rhino-1

    Rhino-1 Been here awhile

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    I think we're agreeing that training is a good thing. And your quotes of my text are representative of the mentality (however misguided or incorrect) of how young soldiers/marines think (at least this one did...) and NOT what I now know after a couple decades... :wink:
  17. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    Therein lies the problem with the mandatory training in the military. The kid is gonna get fucked because the requirement was put in place without the structure in place to meet the requirement.
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    The purpose of our military is (supposed) to be to protect out freedom. If you take away enough of that freedom, then what's the point?

    While members of the military are often asked to risk their lives, that doesn't make them 2nd class citizens our any less deserving of the freedom enjoyed by civilians.

    OK, as a 21 year Navy veteran I know that all military members have to give up some freedoms in order for the military to operate effectively, but had I been told that riding motorcycles was not allowed, I would have remained a civilian because that would have been too intrusive to my liberties.
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    All those things are directly related to military training or duties. Riding a motorcycle off while off duty is not.

    BTW, I showed up for my for my initial training on a motorcycle and rode as much as I could during the next 21 years.

    Yes it is possible that a service member could have an accident and deprive the military of a valuable "asset" but then so could many other things.

    Why don't we just recruit a bunch of geeks who have no desire to do dangerous things. I'm sure they will make ideal warriors.
  20. Dastard

    Dastard Just another guy

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    You train a guy to ride his sportbike properly and he is going to push the limits that much more. Soldiers want to push the limit. Training raises that limit so he can push it farther. **Hopefully** the in-class mental portion struck a nerve and he will think about what he is doing and slow down.

    Training isn't the answer for every problem the military has. We are given cultural training before deployment and soldiers still urinate on or shoot the Koran. We have rules of warfare training and soldiers still beat captives. We have suicide awareness training and soldiers are still committing suicide in large quantities. We have free taxi service, commanders call card, briefs every friday about drinking and driving and soldiers still get DUIs. I understand why a command would want to make it difficult/impossible to ride.

    All that being said. I think the mandatory MSF classes are great for soldiers. They made me a much better rider and I know how to react when go into a corner too hot (thanks to some "outside the curriculum" training at my MSBRC)

    I don't have a clue on how to make riding safer. Education only gets you so far. Getting the soldier to live the training and understand WHY the rules are in place and then FOLLOW those rules... Thats the hard part. In my experience, putting someone in charge of or responsible for someone can make a huge difference in their attitude.