The U.S. Marine Corps and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation staged a focus group of military riders to discuss ways to help them become the best motorcyclists possible, and to assess the mentorship program offered at bases around the world.
“The purpose of the focus group is to fine-tune the program to fit the needs and wants of the people in the program to make it better all around,” said Dale Wisnieski, traffic safety manager for the Commandant of the Marine Corps Safety Division. The session was held March 12 at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The MSF is also working to create a mentorship program for everyday riders across the country.
“This focus group is vital in helping the MSF with development,” said Dr. Ray Ochs, MSF vice president of training systems. “Military riders are key to discovering the thought processes of new, less-experienced riders, which can help us develop appropriate program materials that ensure a lifetime of great riding for all riders.”
The military’s mentorship program includes riding exercises that mentors can use to help teach riders how to handle various scenarios. Mentors are also guided on how to evaluate riders during small group rides.
Novice riders receive materials that they can use to help develop their skills and to learn to make safety a priority, with a goal of reducing mishaps. These materials can be shared with fellow riders.
“The big thing is making sure other riders are safe,” said Lance Cpl. Adam Nelson, a brig escort with Headquarters and Support Battalion. Sometimes, newer riders “don’t have anyone to teach them about what to do on and off the road, and how to take care of their bikes and themselves. I don’t want to see any riders, whether I know them or not, go down.”
The MSF is a longtime supporter of U.S. military personnel, and appreciates its relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense and all military branches. And combined efforts to keep riders safe will give the MSF more resources and information to improve and expand its safety programs.