MSF expands Motorcycle Safety Training

MSF Rider Training

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation today unveiled greatly expanded, comprehensive curricula, including the "Essential CORESM Curriculum," which the MSF recommends as the minimum training for every beginning rider.

The Essential CORE Curriculum includes the current MSF Basic RiderCourse, the new Street RiderCourse that takes students into real-world traffic, and the new Basic Bike-BondingSM RiderCourse that features skill drills to help students handle their own motorcycles.

This new Essential CORE curriculum anchors the additional advances in progressive curriculum that MSF is offering, including the "Expanded CORE" and "Recommended CORE" programs. All three levels provide more challenging hands-on exercises to help riders achieve finer skills plus increased capabilities for awareness, judgment and risk management.

"We’re presenting a new, and much improved, way forward for all riders and raising what is generally perceived as the minimum threshold of motorcycle riding competence. We want better-prepared riders capable of higher levels of thinking out on the streets," said MSF President Tim Buche.

"We encourage state administrators and other decision-makers nationwide, as they administer their motorcyclist-funded safety programs, to consider how to make these programs available. MSF has designed, developed, field-tested and refined these courses for the training community. We will need the collective commitment of motorcyclist safety stakeholders to put the CORE into action on training ranges and public roads nationwide. America’s motorcyclists deserve the best."

While assessing the type of training that many riders need and desire, the MSF developed the following three "core" sets of courses using instructional systems design practices and the results from original research and literature reviews. The MSF also conducted extensive pilot and field testing along with detailed evaluations.

Essential CORE

1) Basic Rider Course: The recommended first ride aboard a smaller, training-size motorcycle on a closed range.

2) Street Rider Course 1: The recommended first public-road ride for students with their own motorcycles (or training motorcycles), and the first MSF course taken beyond traditional, closed riding ranges. In a standard SRC 1, three students are linked by radios to one specially certified MSF RiderCoach.

3) Basic Bike-Bonding Rider Course: Skill drills to help students handle their own motorcycles.

Expanded CORE

1) Basic Rider Course

2) Street Smart – Rider Perception: A host-an-event kit with a compact disc containing perception tests relating to real-world situations.

3) Street Rider Course 1

4) Basic Bike-Bonding Rider Course

5) Advanced RiderCourse – Sportbike Techniques: For sport and other style motorcycles, this includes three classroom hours focusing on rider awareness and risk management, and four hours of riding on a closed range with exercises that aim to develop both technique and judgment.

6) Street Rider Course 2: Adding time and mileage to that in Street RiderCourse 1, focused on improving the perceptual strategies of street riding.

Recommended CORE

1) Basic RiderCourse

2) Street Smart – Rider Perception

3) Street RiderCourse 1

4) Basic Bike-Bonding RiderCourse

5) Advanced RiderCourse – Sportbike Techniques

6) Street RiderCourse 2

7) KS-Rider Course: Developed with Grand Prix road racing champion Kevin Schwantz, this circuit-type, fine-skills course uses a much larger riding range, permitting speeds closer to that on public roads.

Dr. Ray Ochs, Director, MSF Training Systems, said, "Each MSF CORE was created to encompass the knowledge, skill, attitudes and habits linked with high-quality riding, but the Recommended CORE is the most comprehensive.

These three COREs provide a solid foundation for a lifetime of safety and better riding judgment, and also extend training over a longer period for a much more rounded approach to personal development and the techniques of risk management. Riding skills are perishable and require renewal and commitment over time."

"We’re especially excited to announce the new Street RiderCourses, as there’s no substitute for being in real traffic," Ochs said. "And, from a practical standpoint, the new curriculum does not greatly increase the need for more ranges, which are increasingly difficult to come by. We can already do this with many existing facilities."

The courses featured in the three COREs are not the only MSF offerings, which also include a variety of introductory programs, specialized variants of the Basic RiderCourse, courses for scooters and three-wheel motorcycles, as well as a computer-based traffic simulator called the SMARTrainer.

Most of the newly announced courses are now available at certain locations. These include the Street RiderCourse 1 and Advanced RiderCourse – Sportbike Techniques. The soon-to-be-released courses, such as the Street RiderCourse 2 and the KS-RiderCourse, will be available at locations that have the most interest, as soon as MSF RiderCoaches receive the advanced training and earn the MSF certifications and ranges are approved.

Courses will be implemented this summer with expanded offerings the rest of the year, though much will depend on demand. Prospective students should check with their local training site or with a state program administrator’s office. The courses will be announced as they are released for public enrollment on the MSF Web site. All of them are slated to be ready for implementation this year.

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, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. For safety information or to enroll in the RiderCourse nearest you, visit or call (800) 446-9227.