Motorcycle Safety Foundation: 100 Rider Study

Motorcycle Safety Study

The 8th International Motorcycle Conference hosted this month by Germany’s Institute for Motorcycle Safety showcased an increased interest in human factors, in addition to its traditional focus on the technology and design of vehicles and riding gear.

President Tim Buche and Director of Rider Training Systems Dr. Ray Ochs spoke on behalf of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, moderating panels, presenting academic papers and an overview of The MSF 100 Motorcyclists Naturalistic Study.

The "100 Rider Study," utilizing the latest data acquisition and video technology to examine human responses in real-world traffic, generated much interest at the event held in Cologne, Germany, by the Institut für Zweiradsicherheit e.V. and co-sponsored by the MSF.

Tim Buche says: "An increase of interest in human factors, looking for ways to improve rider skills and influence attitudes toward risk and decision-making, may be the wisest path to safer riding."

"It’s encouraging to see recent initiatives address how the rider and technology, or human-machine interaction, can and will play an increasing role in future contributions to motorcyclists’ safety. What’s revolutionary about our 100-Rider Study is the comprehensive picture we’ll have, of many factors contributing to both crashes and near-crashes. We’ll gain novel insights to better serve motorcyclists because it will examine day-to-day behaviors and reveal the character of our riders."

Some 175 attendees included scientists, researchers, educators and a wide variety of people working in the worldwide motorcycle safety community.

Conducted biennially, the event gives them an opportunity to hear, discuss and debate the latest in research and scientific findings.

Over two days, conference sessions covered these topics: accidents, safety and technology, environment, trends and development, and the rider.

Buche moderated the first rider session, which featured Veneta Vassileva, a medical doctor and safety coordinator for ACEM, The Motorcycle Industry in Europe, who spoke on the growing challenges European urban areas face as populations grow and place severe strain on traffic.

Martin Winkelbauer, of the Austrian Road Safety Board, addressed the naturalistic approach to research and what can be expected from this methodology. The potential implementation of advanced rider assistance systems, and the development of a research methodology that will assess riders’ acceptance of them, was discussed by Veronique Huth, project manager, CIDAUT Foundation, Department of Accident Analysis and Human Factors.

In the second rider session, Buche presented an overview of his new paper, co-authored with Ochs and the MSF’s Dr. Sherry Williams, titled "Giving Motorcyclists the Best in Training: Designing Principle-Based, Safety-Oriented Education and Training Programs."

Buche reviewed the decade-long transition of the MSF Rider Education and Training System (RETS) from essentially two courses to the greatly expanded, comprehensive MSF CORE Curricula.

The CORE features three sets of progressively more challenging hands-on courses exercises designed to help riders achieve finer skills plus increased capabilities for awareness, judgment and risk management. The CORE emphasizes the value of safety renewal for keeping basic and emergency skills fresh and top-of-mind.

Buche also spoke about critical underpinnings of MSF RETS development, including research and experience, safety and risk management principles, adult learning theories, motor skills development, as well as the concept of safety renewal.

Ochs moderated the accidents session, which featured Professor Dietmar Otte, technical manager and director of the Accident Research Unit at the Medical University in Hanover, Germany.

He presented "Injury Situation and Causation Parameter for Motorized Two-Wheelers in Traffic Accidents Documented in GIDAS (German-In-Depth-Accident-Study)," and an overview of injury patterns and injury mechanisms of crashes with specific incident configurations.

Dr. Steffen Peldschus was the second featured speaker, coming from the Biomechanics and Accident Analysis Unit, Institute for Legal Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilian University. His presentation, "Linking Active and Passive Safety of Motorcyclists," provided simulation models for motorcycle-to-car crashes.

Dr. Ray Ochs says: "There were many technology-based presentations, from use of electro-rheological dampers as a basis for semi-active motorcycle suspensions, to offset mechanisms that reduce front suspension torque during hard braking in a curve."

"However, it is important to emphasize the tremendous value of training and education programs that address the human factors of the human-machine interaction. Overall, the depth and breadth of the technical expertise on display at the conference was stimulating, inspiring and holds the promise for benefiting riders on two-wheelers, three-wheelers and scooters."

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 RiderCourseSM nearest you, visit or call (800) 446-9227.


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