MSF Announces Motorcycle Rider Training Study

Landmark Motorcycle Rider Training Study to Begin Field Research in Southern California

IRVINE, Calif., March 15, 2007 - A milestone three-year study to determine the effectiveness of periodic involvement in a series of motorcycle rider education and training courses will begin field research soon, as the pilot testing phase of the study is set to begin March 23 at a new California Motorcyclist Safety Program rider training facility in Long Beach, Calif.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation entered a cooperative agreement to jointly fund this estimated $1.2 million research effort. The MSF is contributing 60 percent of the total funding for the research, officially titled "The Longitudinal Study to Improve Crash Avoidance Skills." The crash-avoidance skills of motorcyclists who have taken a series of MSF RiderCoursesSM will be evaluated over a three-year period.

The new Discovery Rider Training Center in Long Beach will provide training for all riders in the study. Students in the study will first complete the MSF Basic RiderCourse, which is the learn-to-ride course in the MSF Rider Education and Training System. This training system consists of a series of interrelated hands-on and classroom coursesdeveloped by the MSF that are designed to increase knowledge, enhance skills, and improve risk management strategies.

Students who successfully complete the MSF Basic RiderCourse will be offered, via random sampling, three additional training opportunities at periodic intervals throughout the study. The supplemental courses will be the MSF Experienced RiderCourse, plus two new courses that will be introduced as part of the MSF's Rider Education and Training Systemcurricula in 2007: the Rider Perception Module and the Skill EnhancementRiderCourse.

"The MSF's rider education and training system used in this study is built upon the principle of safety training renewal," said Dean Thompson, MSF director, communications. "We believe a rider's decision-making and crash-avoidance skills can benefit from being refreshed over time. It is important for riders to regularly refreshtheir knowledge, skills and risk management strategies. We're strong advocates of lifelong learning."

Rider knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences will be evaluated and measured over time. The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center will provide an independent evaluation of research that will for the first time take a comprehensive, field-based look at thebenefits of ongoing participation in a rider education and training system, and its subsequent effect on crash avoidance skills and real-world outcomes.

"This research on the benefits of rider training may yield results that could very well be used as a guide for future rider education and training initiatives," Thompson said. "It could have long-range impact by helping the entire safety community chart a course that can helpreduce the number of motorcycle crashes."

Since 1973, the MSF has set internationally recognized standards that promote the safety of motorcyclists with rider education courses, operator licensing tests, and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders may enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. For RiderCourseSM locations, call (800) 446-9227 or visit