Motorcycle Safety Foundation Celebrates Milestone Anniversary

This year, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation celebrates 40 years of providing motorcyclists with rider training and education in its mission to create and support motorcyclists of good riding character and to save lives. Further, the Foundation initiates programs in public information and education, as well as public policy, with a goal of creating a safer riding environment.

Established in 1973 when few formal, research-based motorcyclist training programs existed, the not-for-profit MSF created an education training program that has evolved from a single learn-to-ride program into a comprehensive training system with the breadth and depth to address a variety of riders’ needs and interests and promote lifelong learning.

Since its inception, MSF curricula have been used to train approximately 6.5 million motorcyclists and are expected to exceed seven million riders later this year. A factor for this increased training pace can be partially attributed to MSF’s relatively recent emphasis on adult learning principles, the practice of placing greater responsibility on the student, and overall learner-centered facilitation as opposed to instructor-centered instruction.

“So much has been learned about safety and learning methods over the last four decades,” said Dr. Ray Ochs, MSF vice president of training systems and lead developer of the groundbreaking MSF Basic RiderCourse. “MSF looks at recent research and contemporary literature to ensure the best outcomes for riders. Program success results from being firmly rooted in substantive underpinnings, which include motorcycle-related research and experience, general and traffic-related safety principles, a focus on adult and accelerated learning principles, and motor skills development principles.”

MSF is supported by 11 original equipment manufacturer industry members. With 2,625 recognized training facilities in 48 states and 14 countries, MSF trained a little over 400,000 motorcyclists in 2012 alone. Furthermore, these motorcyclists were trained by approximately 9,500 MSF-certified RiderCoaches, who are, in turn, trained by 250 RiderCoach trainers.

“Over the last several decades, MSF has raised the bar in motorcyclist safety training and education,” said MSF President Tim Buche. “We started out addressing only minimal skill and knowledge level content and progressed by adding the behavioral components of riding, which includes the social and emotional demands of riding in the complex world of traffic and technology. MSF’s formula for rider safety promotes fundamental skills, perceptual skills, collision avoidance skills, and the behavioral aspects of riding that emphasize hazard perception and the brain’s executive functions. MSF sets the highest standards for its Rider Education and Training System programs.”

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, 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 can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been recognized worldwide since 1973.

The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. For safety information, visit or call (800) 446-9227.


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