Since March 1973, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) has set internationally recognized standards of excellence in motorcycle rider education and training. The MSF works with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), state governments, the military and other organizations to improve motorcyclist education, training and operator licensing.
The MSF is a national, not-for-profit organization sponsored by the U.S. manufacturers and distributors of BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio/Vespa, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha motorcycles.
Objectives and Strategies
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is the leader in championing the safety of motorcyclists by:
- Developing and maintaining a high quality, comprehensive, research-based Rider Education and Training System (MSF RETS) and its individual curriculum products.
- Establishing national trainer and site certification standards and providing technical assistance for training and licensing programs.
- Promoting model or enabling legislation to create state-funded rider training programs.
- Actively participating in government relations, research and public awareness
- Partnering with other motorcycling and public organizations to make the nation's streets and highways safer for motorcyclists.
The MSF does not deal with motorcycle design or manufacture; its programs focus on the motorcycle operator.
The Five Main MSF Messages for Motorcyclists
To enhance the enjoyment of motorcycling, MSF recommends that riders:
- Get trained and licensed.
- Wear protective gear.
- Ride unimpaired.
- Ride within your limits.
- Be a lifelong learner.
The MSF Rider Education and Training System (MSF RETS)
Since 1973, more than 3.5 million motorcyclists have graduated from basic or experienced RiderCourses. Each year throughout the nation and the military, there is an average of 7,000 MSF-certified RiderCoaches actively teaching, each trained by one of a team of 210 MSF-certified RiderCoach Trainers.
- The number of RiderCourse students trained both nationally and overseas, at civilian and military sites, has exceeded 350,000 annually in recent years.
- RiderCourses are available at over 1,500 sites in all 50 states, including 47 state-legislated programs. The MSF RETS is a comprehensive curricula system with supporting materials, technical assistance, RiderCourse insurance, RiderCoach certification and training-site/training-sponsor standards. Several of the MSF member companies loan training motorcycles through their local retailers. A national toll-free hotline, (800) 446-9227, links callers with the nearest RiderCourse training site in their area.
- The MSF staff work with a number of enthusiast groups nationwide to encourage and support MSF-recognized state motorcycle safety training programs.
- In 1997, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation began operating the MSF DirtBike School (DBS). Designed as an introduction to off-highway riding, the course is administered by DirtBike School Coaches nationwide. The DirtBike School is MSF's fastest growing program, and is already used by both federal and state agencies to train peace officers, search and rescue personnel, volunteers and others on the safe operation of off-highway motorcycles. In 2001, the DirtBike School also became available at various motorcycle retailers across the country.
Another important activity for the MSF is operator licensing. The MSF model Motorcycle Operator Manual and written tests were created using the same research-based development process as the curricula; they also serve as a complement to the education and training information contained in the MSF RETS.
- More than 30 state licensing agencies use one of five different MSF skill tests as part of their motorcycle endorsement procedures.
- More than 40 states use MSF's Motorcycle Operator Manual, and many incorporate the related knowledge test.
- Sharing the Roadway, a six-page insert for state driver's manuals, informs car drivers about differing vehicle characteristics and asks them to expect to see motorcyclists on the roadway and respect their right to be there.
- MSF licensing assistance to states includes conducting examiner-training programs, qualifying motorcycle license examiners, and providing technical expertise on motorcycle operation.
- The MSF partners with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to update and improve motorcycle operator licensing systems.
The MSF Government Relations office, based near our nation's capital, is the Foundation's advocate for motorcycle safety before the United States Congress and federal regulatory agencies as well as at state legislatures and state regulatory agencies. The Government Relations Office also serves as a clearinghouse for information on federal and state legislation and regulation relating to motorcycle safety, rider education and licensing issues. MSF-developed model Motorcycle Safety Education Program legislation has helped state legislatures craft rider education program laws that have enabled millions of riders to participate in motorcycle safety courses. Staff also works with the motorcycle safety coordinators for the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy, recognizing nearly 150 military RiderCourse sites.
In 1979, MSF began an awards program to recognize RiderCoaches, licensing examiners, state motorcycle safety and licensing programs and administrators, independent RiderCourse sites and all supporting sponsors such as motorcycle dealers, school districts, community colleges, and journalists, among others.
National Motorcycle Safety Fund
Tax-deductible contributions to the National Motorcycle Safety Fund (NMSF) will help build a stronger, safer motorcycling community. This charitable organization [501(c)(3)] was created in 1981 to supplement the work of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. One hundred percent of contributions to the NMSF go directly toward worthy motorcycle safety projects; there are no administrative, fund-raising or other costs paid from donations. Customary NMSF projects include:
- Supplying helmets to rider-training sites.
- Assisting in the development, production and distribution of educational materials on helmet use and the perils of alcohol/drug use in riding.
- Producing rider-awareness seminars and videos.
- Developing and distributing safety materials like an off-highway motorcycle riding tips booklet.
The NMSF needs people to help ensure a safe future for motorcycling. To request more information, or to send a contribution, contact:
|National Motorcycle Safety Fund|
2 Jenner Street, Suite 150
Irvine, California 92618-3806
|Motorcycle Safety Foundation|
2 Jenner Street, Suite 150
Irvine, California 92618-3806
(949) 727-3227 Fax: (949) 727-4217