Motorcycles: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Thomas Mendiola
  • 908th Airlift Wing
From the beginning to the end of our military careers we are immersed in the culture of safety.

Therefore, it's no surprise that safety for the motorcycle program continues to evolve into, if you will, "a well-oiled machine."

Sometimes during the evolution we miss subtle changes. Sure, you wear your personal potective equipment  and you've taken the basic or advanced riders courses, but did you know that retro-reflective materials are no longer mandatory for day riding?

Did you know that there is now a mandatory training course for sport bike riders?
How about your unit Motorcycle Safety Representative (MSR) - do you know who that is?

We'll touch on those subjects to clear the air.

Sport bike riders SHALL take a sport bike riders training course.

This recent addition to AFI 91-207 may seem tricky on the surface, but really it's straight forward. The question that goes along with this training is, "What is classified as a sport bike?"

The Air Force defines a sport bike as: A high-powered motorcycle on which the rider leans forward over the gas tank, like you see in the photo above.

So if this describes the natural riding position of your motorcycle, then this training is mandatory for you. Be aware that it is classified as an intermediate level of training, so this course should be taken after you have completed the Basic Riders Course.

The training must also be completed within 120 days of initial training or purchase of a sport bike.

Retro-reflective materials are no longer mandatory for riding
during daylight hours.

Yes, your read that right; but keep in mind just because it's no longer mandatory, doesn't mean it's not a good idea. I've heard the saying, "It doesn't matter what you wear, other motorists still won't see you if they're not looking."

Fair enough, but why not give yourself every chance and opportunity to BE SEEN - especially when your life's at stake?

So what is required?

Well, riders should choose upper garments that incorporate high visibility colors (e.g., fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red or fluorescent red, etc.) during the day and of course retro-reflective upper garment at night.

Who is my Motorcycle Safety Representative (MSR), what do they do, and how do I find them?

The MSR coordinates the motorcycle safety program for your unit. They are the first in line when you have questions regarding motorcycle safety and training, so naturally it's important to know who they are.

There are multiple ways to determine your MSR, but being the proactive rider that you are, you go straight to the 908th AW Safety SharePoint site:

Go to your unit home page. Displayed is a list of need-to-know personnel, including your MSR and their contact information.


Refresher training must be done every five years? This new regulation can be found in AFI 91-207 Table 4.1.