Safety Resources
First and Foremost, Rider Training
Proper training is the best preparation for becoming a safe rider, and continuing education helps keep you safe. If there is one first step that can be recommended for becoming a scooter owner and safe driver, it is to take the rider training course that is offered where you live. While many licensing laws allow for one to be self taught, the benefits of a formal driver training program cannot be stressed enough.
United States
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (USA)
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (or MSF) is a national (in the US), not-for-profit organization that promotes the safety of motorcyclists with programs in rider training, operator licensing and public information.

Modern Vespa officially recommends the MSF Basic Rider Course (or BRC) as the single best way for new riders in the US to start riding. The MSF BRC courses provide beginner riders with instruction and practical riding skills, and also provides a helmet and a motorcycle for the duration of the course. In many states, passing the MSF course gives the student an automatic waiver for the DMV riding test. Check with your local MSF organization.

While MSF is predominantly motorcycle-oriented, they have recently begun recognizing scooters, and are offering a pared-down scooter course in some areas: MSF Scooter School

They also have an online library with a variety of materials, including a free booklet with riding tips for scooterists: MSF Scooter Tips booklet (pdf)

Even if you've been riding for some time, there's always something new to learn. Increasing numbers of seasoned riders are taking the half-day Experienced RiderCourse to hone their skills and fine-tune the mental skills needed for survival in traffic. This course is conducted using your own scooter or motorcycle.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation and The National Safety Council have partnered to provide an Internet-based interactive Motorcycle Defensive Driver Course. Based on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's curriculum, this two hour program covers vital safe riding information for educating riders. This is not a substitute for the Basic Rider Course, nor does it provide a waiver for the DMV driving test. In many states this can be used for motorcycle insurance discounts. Check with your insurance carrier to see if you qualify. (fee charged to take online course)
Private Training
Alameda County Sheriff's Civilian Course
This program is designed to teach basic, intermediate and advanced skills to students. This training covers much of those taught to police motor officers. It is a highly tactical and defensive training environment, and very challenging.

Total Control Advanced Riding Clinics
Unfortunately for experienced riders, there is a large gap between the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced RiderCourse (ERC) and the many racetrack schools around the country. Many riders are interested in improving their skills but are unwilling to take on the additional risks associated with a high-speed environment. If you fit into the "I'm interested, but" group, you're not alone. In fact, if you add up all the attendees of all the race schools together, they only represent a tiny percentage of street riders. This is not to say they are not good schools. To the contrary, they have much to offer. But they are not for everyone. Fortunately, Lee Parks' Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic (Total Control ARC) has a solution for those experienced riders "caught in the middle," as well as those track-day junkies and racers who want to be able to further enhance their skills in a controlled environment with expert instruction.
Gearing Up (Canada)
Canada's National Motorcycle Training Program has developed an enviable reputation both in Canada and internationally for its excellence in course curriculum and delivery. That excellence has led to several provinces allowing riders to obtain their motorcycle license without taking any skill test other than the one delivered at the end of the training program. Many insurance plans recognize the value of Gearing Up by offering insurance discounts to riders who successfully complete the rider training program.
Motorcycle training courses are part of the licensing process in all Australian states and territories. You will be given basic theoretical and practical instruction in riding and safety during your Learner and Probationary courses and tests.

In Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia it is still legal to ride a motorcycle or scooter up to 50ccs with a (car)driver's license, however, the motorcycle licensing courses give valuable information on defensive riding techniques and improving your safety on the road.

The following links will take you to the details for your state:
New South Wales
South Australia
Western Australia
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory
We currently do not have information about training resources in the rest of the world. If you have information to share, add it to this page!
Selected readings
Just a start, but some of the most recommended books for skill and knowledge building. Readily available through online booksellers and real bookstores.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Guide to Motorcycling Excellence: Skills, Knowledge, and Strategies for Riding Right (2nd Edition) (Paperback), Whitehorse Press; Second edition (October 1, 2005)

Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well (Paperback)
by David L. Hough, BowTie Press; First edition (April 2000)

Street Strategies: A Survival Guide for Motorcyclists (Paperback)
by David Hough, BowTie Press (November 2001)

More Proficient Motorcycling: Mastering the Ride (Paperback)
by David L. Hough, BowTie Press (March 2003)

How To Ride A Motorcycle: A Rider's Guide to Strategy, Safety and Skill Development (Paperback)
by Pat Hahn, Motorbooks; First edition (October 29, 2005)
A beginner's manual especially geared to the needs of entry-level riders.
Government and Government Affiliated Agency Resources
(US) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The NHTSA has a variety of interesting and useful material on its web site. The NHTSA sponsors the National Motorcycle Safety Month Program and offers a lot of material in its Share the Road campaign. They have also posted a variety of research papers for public viewing.
(UK) Department for Transport - THINK! - Road Safety
The THINK! campaign targets both urban commuters and leisure riders with specific safety messages.
(UK) BikeSafe
An initiative run by Police Forces around the United Kingdom who work with the whole of the biking world to help to lower the number of motorcycle rider casualties. By passing on their knowledge, skills and experience, police motorcyclists can help you become a safer more competent rider.
(US) The National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators
The SMSA is dedicated to serving the needs and interests of state motorcycle safety administrators and programs by advocating motorcycle safety and fostering and promoting the exchange of ideas and resources. They offer some excellent safety promotional materials.
(AU) The Motorcycle Council of New South Wales
Great Australian web site with all sorts of authoritative safety info.
General Resources
Master Strategy Group's Motorcycle Tips & Techniques Web Site
This site contains a large volume of PTW safety and riding technique information. They offer safety tips, case studies, and sponsor several forums.
Motorcycle Cruiser's Riding Tips
Showcases articles about how to survive in any motorcycle riding situation. Find information and motorcycle riding safety tips on how to ride in the rain, cold winter, snow, traffic, how to avoid crashes, read crash studies and more.
MV Helmets Info
This article presents a broad collection of safety-related resources for the new or experienced rider. For choosing a helmet see advice here: Helmets
Group Riding
The following four references are offered as examples of group riding safety protocols. Each represents "A Way" to address group rides. MV leaves it to your group to develop "The Way" you will adopt. MV reminds you that to enjoy a safe group ride, every rider must be on the same sheet of music. Unpredictable behavior can cause mishaps. Thus, we encourage you to develop a Group Ride Guidelines publication covering the aspects of conduct similar to that contained in the samples given below. Design it for the needs of your group, and use it every time your group rides. Review it periodically and keep it up to date with lessons learned. Each and every rider in your group should know, understand and accept his/her responsibilities and the current practices your group has adopted - every time you ride.

Group Riding from the American Motorcycle Association
Group Riding Guidelines for Street Bikes from the Master Strategy Group.
Motorcycle Etiquette from the New Jersey Motorcycle Cruisers organization
Group Riding Guide from the Toronto Moto Scooter Club.
Serious Reading
Studies and reports pertaining to motorcycle safety. These tend to be technical, but are worth the time and effort to read.

The Hurt Report AKA Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures
This is a summary of the findings of the landmark 1981 study of motorcycle mishaps in the Los Angeles, CA area. The full report is huge and must be purchased, as detailed at the beginning of the page.

The MAIDS Study of Motorcycle mishaps in Europe (1999-2000)
This investigation was conducted on 921 accidents from 5 countries using a common research methodology.
Version 2.0 released April 2009
Registration required to view, but registration is free.

Washington State (US) Motorcycle Task Force Report June 2006
A report on the causes and circumstances of fatal motorcycle accidents in Washington State over a multi year period.

(US) NTSB Public Forum on Motorcycle Safety
This forum was conducted in Sep 2006. A wealth of information was presented and is available on line.

(UK) Department for Transport report, In Depth Study of Motorcycle Accidents, Nov 2004
A sample of 1,790 PTW accident cases was considered, including 1,003 in detail, from Midland police forces, involving motorcyclists of all ages, and covering the years 1997-2002 inclusive.

Motorcycle rider conspicuity and crash related injury, Wells at al, 2004 (Auckland, New Zealand)
A study of whether the risk of motorcycle crash related injuries is associated with the inability of the motorcyclist or his vehicle to be seen by other road users.

Fatal Single Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (US), Oct 2001
A study of fatal mishaps in the years 1990-1999, identifying causative factors.

(AU) Monash University Accident Research Centre.
Research reports on motorcycle accidents including hazard perception by inexperienced motorcyclists.

Last Updated Fri, 03 Aug 2012 23:02:58 +0000

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