SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The Army Safety Center has released a radically different progressive training program for motorcyclists, which will be implemented Armywide as part of the Army Traffic Safety Training Program.

The program includes two courses for initial training, spread over 60 days to one year and sustainment training every three years after that.

Revisions to Army Regulation 385-10 bring changes to rider personal protective equipment and to civilian rider training.

"This is a new concept for the Army; the old method was to take one course to learn to ride and wait for another course years later," said Bill Maxwell, safety specialist and Motorcycle Program manager, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. "Now, Soldiers are required to build their skills over the first year of riding with two courses and then go back for advanced training every three years. Many motorcyclists have a serious accident within their first year of riding, making this a crucial time."

Maxwell said that after the Basic Rider Course, which is taught on the student's motorcycle or on a program-supplied training motorcycle, the program breaks into "sportbike" and "cruiser" training using two different courses.

Many riders are familiar with the one-day Experienced Rider Course, or ERC, and this course will be used for "cruisers and standards," while sportbike riders will get the one-day, Military Sportbike Rider Course, or MSRC, when they return for their second training class within their first year.

"By separating the classes by motorcycle design, each rider will get exercises suited to the performance of their motorcycle," Maxwell explained. "These two courses meet the initial training requirement, but many riders have been riding for some time. This is where the sustainment phase brings them back every three years."

According to changes made to AR 385-10, other requirements during the sustainment phase include training upon purchase of a new motorcycle, a move to a new

geographical area or a three-year period of inactivity. Motorcyclists will need to assess where they are in the training timeline to see if they are due for another motorcycle course.

Following a deployment of 180 days or more, riders will receive two-hour Motorcycle Refresher Training, complete with challenging drills to get their riding skills back, normally held during the redeployment cycle.

"Riders will have more training opportunities than ever before, each with an associated skill test," Maxwell said. "This eliminates the need for the local evaluation -- a Hawaii policy since 2005 to test riders on their motorcycle prior to getting their post decal -- which will be phased out at the end of November."

According to Maxwell, the Pass and Registration Office will no longer require the evaluation card, but personnel will check the date of the most current course certificate and turn away riders who have cards more than three years old -- requiring them to complete sustainment training.

Revisions to AR 385-10 also include two other major changes to rider personal protective equipment and to civilian rider training. For decades the Army has required riders to don a reflective vest or highly visible clothing. Soldiers are now encouraged to wear abrasion-resistant synthetic or leather garments that incorporate impact protection, fluorescent colors and reflective material.

Other elements of personal protective equipment, or PPE, like wearing helmets, eye protection, long sleeves, long pants, full-fingered gloves and over-the-ankle shoes or boots remains unchanged.

Also, civilians no longer need to show proof of motorcycle training for entry onto Army installations or to obtain post decals.

Changes to AR 385-10:

-Initial training
New Riders: BRC
Sixty days-one year later: ERC or MSRC Sustainment training

-ERC, MSRC, or Advanced Class
Every three years or upon purchase of new motorcycle, move to a new geographical area or a three-year period of inactivity.
MRT following deployments of 180 days or more.

-PPE
Sturdy synthetic or leather garments incorporating impact protection, fluorescent colors and reflective material are encouraged.

-Civilians are no longer required to show proof of training to operate a motorcycle on post.

For a list of acceptable advanced courses, visit https://safety.army.mil. To learn more, contact your unit motorcycle safety representative, call the Installation Safety Office at (808) 655-6746 or email william.n.maxwell@us.army.mil.

Page last updated Thu November 17th, 2011 at 21:37