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Training helps motorcycle riders stay safe

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – New military motorcycle riders here have two options before riding: attend an approved motorcycle-training course or obtain their license to ride in accordance with state laws.

An approved course new riders may attend is the "Basic Riders Course," which safety officials encourage all military riders attend.

“The basic course covers the fundamentals of operating a motorcycle and offers safety-oriented mental strategies for riders,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Gransbury, Occupational Safety and Health noncommissioned officer in charge.

He added that the cost of the basic course is no longer reimbursable for locally-assigned active duty personnel.

Once the basic course is completed, military riders are then required to complete intermediate training 60 days to one year after.

The “Advanced Rider Course,” which fulfills the intermediate training requirement, is reimbursable.

According to the Hanscom Safety SharePoint site, Title 10 active duty Air Force personnel assigned to Hanscom, active duty military personnel at tenant units, as well as active duty personnel administered by Hanscom and assigned to local colleges, are able to seek reimbursement.

“Riders must attend and pay for a state- or Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved course out of pocket, and only those authorized will be reimbursed,” Gransbury said.

A complete list of approved courses is located on a Safety SharePoint site.

To find a local motorcycle safety course, visit https://www.msf-usa.org/ or https://massmotorcycleschool.com/site/page/.

Civilian motorcycle operators must adhere to local laws.

Another requirement for military motorcycle riders at Hanscom is an annual pre-season briefing before riding.

“This year’s pre-season briefing will take place at the base theater next month,” said Gransbury. “A Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club mentorship ride will follow.”

Officials are still coordinating details for this event. Civilian riders with base access may also attend this training.

Gransbury tracks attendance of motorcycle training and provides risk management awareness to military personnel.

“Active duty Airmen riders must also make contact with their unit motorcycle safety representative and be entered into the Air Force Motorcycle Unit Safety Tracking Tool,” Gransbury said. “A documented briefing in MUSTT with their commander is required within 30 days of arrival at Hanscom or within 30 days of deciding to become a motorcycle rider.”

According to Air Force Instruction 91-207, motorcycle safety representatives track unit motorcycle, motor scooters and three-wheeled vehicle riders at 49 cylinder capacity (CC) or higher.

In addition, AFI 91-207 and Department of Defense Instruction 6055.04 require that military and civilian motorcycle operators and their passengers wear proper protective clothing while operating on a military installation.

“For military personnel, the protective clothing requirement remains in effect off the installation, and it is highly encouraged for civilian riders,” said Gransbury.

For further information about motorcycle safety at Hanscom, or about the reimbursement process, contact the Safety Office at 781-225-5584.

Personnel may also learn more about these topics at the Safety Office’s secure SharePoint site.