By Mr. Robert P Johnson (Leonard Wood)March 31, 2009
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - The Maneuver Support Center Safety Office hosted the first-ever MSRC sportbike safety class on Fort Leonard Wood, Monday.
"This class is designed for the sportbike rider," said Randy Sipes, MANSCEN safety specialist. "It's an additional course to the beginner and advanced motorcycle safety classes that are required for riders on post."
To kick off the first class, Maj. Gen. Gregg Martin, MANSCEN and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, visited with the class and observed the training.
"This class is to keep you alive and safe with the greatest knowledge," Martin said. "It's great that we can offer this level of training here."
The class is designed to address specific safety issues associated with the sport bike or cafAfA racers, said Capt. Richard Poirier, student in the class.
The sport bike is typically faster with an emphasis on speed, said Poirier, a 15-year veteran of motorcycling. The design of the bike requires the rider to lean forward and lay across the gas tank. The sport touring bike is similar, but the rider sits upright more, but still not as much as the typical motorcycle.
"With the sportbike, because of it's ability for acceleration, higher speeds and higher maneuveribility to accelerate and higher speeds in corners, the Army now requires those riders to get an additional safety training class specifically designed to cover issues with these bikes," Sipes said.
The first class of 12 riders conducted class under the watchful eyes of Kelly Haworth and Roy Tappendick, both contract instructors from Cape Fox Professional Services.
"This course comes closer to real street riding than any other course we offer,"
"This class takes experienced riders and puts them through a ridingdriving course designed for the sport bike. It covers braking, cornering and acceleration in a controlled environment," Haworth said.
"It's an awesome course that not only improves the skills, but improves the mind-set of riding a motorcycle," Tappendick added.
Even for seasoned riders, the course brought out training points.
"It's a good refresher course - especially on the corners and techniques for going through the curves or the hard-braking portion. This (class) also teaches you how to look forward through the curves," Poirier said.
The class is a requirement for all Soldiers anyone wanting tothat ride a sport bike on the installation, said Sipes. It is an additional class to the beginner and advanced motorcycle classes already offered. The rider will be given an additional card to carry certifying that they have attended and completed the MSRC a sport bike safety class.
The class is currently will be offered twice a month through September, and enrollment is limited to 12 riders per session, Sipes said.
To enroll in the class or other motorcycle classes, riders can log on to https://airs.lmi.org go to "view available courses", "Fort Leonard Wood www.wood.army.mil", choose either the Basic, Experienced or Military Sportbike Rider Course and complete the registration form. and click on the safety office link. Then follow the links to register for the motorcycle class.