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"To combat the trend, the military has expanded motorcycle safety classes and started a pilot project hosting "Track Day" events on many bases. The events are an opportunity for military personnel to drive fast in a safe environment and to learn the limitations of their vehicles."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102990179&ft=1&f=1001

Someone in government service has some common sense...
 

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Yeah a buddy of mine in the USMC has been doing a lot of the free track days.

Also, the USMC, at least, is purchasing motorcycle simulators and will be training people on them. We went in and played with them. I can't say whether or not they'll help. To me they're just .... weird. But, I guess it can't hurt!

Simulator: http://www.simulatorsystems.com/motorcycle.htm
 

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Gee, seems like we did this in the early 70's, in fact, the Wing Commander was the prez. of the bike club.
 

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So, i my military opinion...

I figure this is worth at least $0.02

I participate in track days all the time sponsored by the military (Navy in my case) This is some of the best learning/teaching that i have ever received on a bike.

Unfortunately I had the opportunity of attending the MSF Military Sport Bike Riders Class. (note that it is endorsed by the MSF) Now if i was a spry young 18yr old rider again this class might be helpful if i had enough of an attention span to stay tuned in for the 4+ hours of classroom instruction before getting out on the course. Then when i'm out on the course in the afternoon i have to remain attentive to perform maneuvers at the blazing speed of 25ish MPH. Now i agree that for a new rider to a sport bike (or any bike for that matter) the tips/techniques taught will be beneficial down the road, but for myself this was 9 hours of my Saturday i will never get back.

To expand on the notes posted about this military policies towards sport bikes and motorcycles in general. We are now required to take a class every three years. This is a great idea. Once you finish your Beginner MSF class the military, for free, will give you the Advanced class or the SB class every three years. I would like to see this expanded to attending a track day, endorsed by the military, with formal instruction.

Having connections to the Naval Safety Center i was able to speak directly to the person who's proposal was approved for the SB Class and ask him about the weak content and inability to take the class to a track in order to operate above parking lot speeds. (PS- he owns a Harley and didn't want to take the class ...interesting i thought.) The response to this: "NO, we can't teach young kids how to race their bikes then they'll want to do it everywhere. We must teach them decision making and responsibility and how to ride within their limits" ...and i thought that a track day did that for me but maybe i'm wrong.

Some other interesting facts:
-U.S. Mortality rates for ages under 25 are almost exactly the same for riders in the military as they are for civilians.
-military looses more riders under the age of 22
-civilians loose more between the ages of 21-25
-i believe that this is due to military pay at 18yrs old.
-Accident rates are almost exactly the same for car drivers as they are for motorcyclists in the military ages 25 and under. (we all know how motorcycles end up in these situations)

So, i think that the target was in plain view but the aim was completely wrong. I'll be interested to hear other peoples comments on the approach the military has taken and if you have attended the SB class what your thoughts were. I feel that i might actually have some ability to change the class a bit and feel free to PM me with your thoughts and ideas.

V/R,
JS
 

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I'm in the Minnesota National Guard. Does anyone know if I would be eligable to participate in a military sponsered event such as a track day? Also, does anyone know of a web site that would list all of the scheduled events and their locations?

klotz
 
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