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Rider Education: Purpose and Goal

The basic purpose and goal of the Rider Education Program is to make the motorcycle environment safer by reducing injuries and fatalities. The National Rider Education Program was developed to provide GWTA members with a quality Rider/Co-Rider Awareness Program and to develop projects according to the needs of the members. Understanding that motorcycling is in itself a sport with its own risk potential, multiplied by varying factors, environment and our attitudes. Our concern is to help our members identify and rectify risk, through risk management. Namely, proper skills enhancement, but equally, if not more important, attitude. Through commitment, education and applications, we can reduce our accident rate significantly. Listed below are several benefits of a fully implemented GWTA Rider Education Program.  

  • Prevents Accidents.
  • Reduces Injuries.
  • Reduces Fatalities.
  • Reduces Insurance Premiums.
  • Helps prevent adverse legislation pertaining to Motorcyclists.
  • Improve the motorcyclist's image with the general public.
  • Generally improves and enhances the enjoyment of tour riding.

  We are anticipating reaping positive benefits from the GWTA Rider Education Program. Through the efforts of the Rider Education Directors and the participation of the membership, we will reach toward our goal of establishing the safest motorcycle environment possible.

  The R.E.P. defines a path of learning that builds on itself. A path of learning that generates a desire to make motorcycling more enjoyable, thereby keeping the fun in motorcycling and by taking some of the fear away from being out there on the roads, due to not knowing what and how to do something to avoid a catastrophe.

  Besides the Rider being prepared, the greatest lack of education in motorcycling deals with the Co-Rider. The first step is to make the Co-Rider an involved participant in the operation of the motorcycle. The Co-Rider Seminar hasn't been designed to teach a co-rider how to operate a motorcycle, but to inform and teach the importance in knowing the basic ins and outs in the everyday operation of the motorcycle, i.e. Where is the C.B. radio; How do I turn it on; What channel do I use and why; Where is the throttle and how does it work; Where is the clutch and why is it important to me, the Co-rider; The three brakes on the motorcycle (Three? Don't forget the engine braking!); The engine cutoff switch and why it is important....... the list goes on and on.

Program Structure

  The National Rider Education Program is a voluntary environment for skill and safety attitude improvement and has been divided into four (4) Levels for effective implementation at the chapter level. The program structure is noted below.

Entry Level ---- Safety by Commitment

  Safety is a state of mind that can only be attained through total commitment. Every accomplishment began with a commitment to reach the intended objective.

  The "Entry Level" is perhaps the most important part of the R.E.P. structure. Regardless of your training and skill level, it is basically worthless if you are not committed to utilize your training and skill level to their fullest.

Commitment ---- The first big step is the key to success.

  A One Time Join Level - After joining, you will be a participant as long as you are a paid up GWTA Member or Affiliate Member, no renewal for "Entry Level" is required.

  When you fill out the form for the "Entry Level" and pay the $7 fee (US funds)and give them to your Chapter Rider Education Director or Chapter Director, you will receive a four inch (4") Patch to show you have made the commitment and the right to climb the "Level" ladder to improved riding habits and skills. The 4" diameter patch is the center for the Level Rockers that surround it. All paper work is to go through the Chapter Rider Education Director or Chapter Director. This will enable the chapter to keep current records of the chapter's participants. Copies of the paper work are then to be given to the State/Province Rider Education Director.

Due to membership requests, effective March, 1998, if you do not wish to receive a patch or rockers, you may pay a one time charge of $5 (US funds) for participation in the program at all levels. You will receive an I.D. card upon completion of each level.


Level I ---- Safety by Knowledge

 An 80% successful completion of a Chapter Knowledge test & an evaluation, administrated by the Chapter Rider Education Director. The Knowledge Test will consist of general riding knowledge and related safety topics. The evaluation covers personal safe riding attitudes as demonstrated during chapter rides and functions. Current M.S.F. Certified Instructors are exempt from these tests. Motorcycle license endorsements are required for the riders.

When you fill out the form for Level I and pay the $3 fee (US funds), you will receive a "KNOWLEDGE" rocker. The Chapter Rider Education Director, or the Chapter Director, will handle the paper work for you and forward copies to the State/Province R.E.D. 

Level II ---- Safety by Education

  The commitment to be a safe rider/co-rider prompts us to learn all we can about motorcycle safety.

  GWTA has chosen "on bike" educational (training) programs for the operators (Riders) such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundations Novice Rider Course (MRC-RSS) and the Experienced Rider Course (ERC) as well as any other approved course. (Alternative courses are to be approved by the National Rider Education Director.)

  These internationally recognized courses are taught by qualified instructors who operate totally independent of GWTA. It would be a "re-invention" of the wheel for GWTA to provide the above noted "on bike" courses since we already have availability to these excellent educational (training) programs at our disposal.

  So we say, "Go see the experts" for your "on bike" training. Completing these courses provides the foundation of your quest to be a safe motorcycle rider.

  Motorcycle Education goes hand in hand with commitment, and the "on bike" education by MSF for the rider. To become a LEVEL II participant, there are certain qualifications you must fulfill as follows:

  1. Rider and/or Co-Rider needs to be enrolled in Level I of the R.E.P.
  2. Rider needs to have a current Motorcycle License endorsement.
  3. Rider needs to have completed a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course, Experienced Rider Course (ERC) or Novice Course (MRC/RSS) within the last two (2) years or any other approved course. (Alternative courses are to be approved by the National Rider Education Director.)
  4. Co-Rider needs to have completed a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course (ERC or MRC/RSS) within the last two (2) years, or as an option needs to have attended a Co-Rider Seminar within the last two (2) years.
  5. Current MSF Certified Instructors are exempt from having to take the MSF courses.
  6. Complete the GWTA R.E.P. LEVEL II form and have it validated by your Chapter Rider Education Director, or Chapter Director, along with $3 (US funds)each.
  7. You will receive an "EDUCATION" rocker. You will then have achieved a greater potential for safety, due to the successful completion of the MSF Course and/or Co-Rider Seminar. Your Chapter should hold this seminar at least once a year during one of your meetings. You also may be eligible for an additional Insurance Premium reduction depending on your carrier.

  You can enroll in LEVEL I and II in the same year, or even at the same time, if you qualify.

Level III ---- Safety by Preparedness

  It would be great if we could achieve the coveted goal of zero accidents, however, we know realistically, this is hard to attain.

  Since accidents will and do occur, it is important that we be fully prepared to lend aid to unfortunate accident victims. The Level III of the R.E.P. was developed to deal with such circumstances.

  To achieve Level III participant, there are certain qualifications you must fulfill as follows:

  1. Rider and/or Co-Rider needs to be enrolled in Level I and II of the GWTA Rider Education Program.
  2. Rider and/or Co-Rider needs to have a current First Aid card. (First Aid certifications are normally current for three (3) years.)
  3. Rider and/or Co-Rider should wear protective riding apparel. (i.e. gloves, helmet, eye protection, long sleeve shirt or jacket, long pants & over the ankle footwear.)
  4. Rider needs to carry a practical First Aid Kit on the motorcycle.
  5. Complete the GWTA REP Level III form. Give it to your Rider Education Director or Chapter Director for validation, along with $3 (US funds) each.

   You will receive your "PREPAREDNESS" rocker. Remember, you can enroll in Entry Level and Levels I, II & III at the same time, if you qualify.

Level IV ---- Safety by Enhanced Commitment and Preparedness

  Level IV of the R.E.P. was designed for those special caring individuals who desire "to be all they can be" with regard to Motorcycle Safety.

  The requirements are more stringent than Level III and require a greater commitment on your part.

  We realize Level IV is not for everyone, but for those who desire to be of greater service to their fellow man, it is the correct prescription.

  Why desire to be Level IV? It's a worthy goal.

  Be prepared to save a life --- a high calling indeed!

  CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), a Level IV requirement, has been used to save many lives. CPR certifications are normally current for one (1) year.)

  Being trained to render CPR is a tremendous asset to those you come in contact with daily.

  To become a Level IV participant in the R.E.P., you need to have the following qualifications:

  1. Be enrolled in Level I, II & III of the GWTA Rider Education Program.
  2. Need to have completed a CPR and First Aid Course. Both need to be current.
  3. Need to have completed an MSF Course or other approved course (Rider) or Co-Rider Seminar (Co-Rider) within the last two (2) years.
  4. Wear protective riding apparel.
  5. Needs to carry a First Aid Kit in the motorcycle.
  6. Needs to be an active participant in an organized practice session.
  7. Give copies of current certification cards, along with Level IV form as noted below:
  • CPR and First Aid.
  • MSF Course (Rider)
  • Co-Rider Seminar (Co-Rider)
  • Drivers' License showing motorcycle endorsement (rider)
  • Give to your Chapter Rider Education Director, or CD, the above documentation for processing, along with $3 (US funds) per applicant.
  • You will receive your ENHANCED COMMITMENT rocker.

 Level IV should be renewed annually by giving your Chapter Rider Education Director, or Chapter Director, copies of the current certifications that were originally required to become Level IV, along with $3 (US funds) each. You will then receive a Year Bar, i. e., 2nd Year, 3rd Year, etc., depicting how many years you have been a Level IV Participant of the GWTA Rider Education Program.

  Level I through IV may be completed on any brand or size of motorcycle, however, it is recommended that you use the same bike that you normally ride.

  Ride with GWTA Pride -- be an example to others. Always be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  When any GWTA member takes a Motorcycle Safety Course, CPR or First Aid Course, whether it be for the first time or renewal, or join or advance in the GWTA Rider Education Program, please let your Chapter Rider Education Director or Chapter Director know! It is very important that they keep good records. They will in turn forward these records to the State/Province Rider Education Director and so on.

Organized Practice Sessions

  An organized practice session is an informal, informative method of helping advance member's skill by encouraging non-competitive, self-challenging practice. Participation in practice sessions are an excellent method for members to devote time to develop and advance their skills with a few added skill enhancements. Real World practice is two-up, tour-laden and can include towing trailers or side-cars. Few courses are available today dealing with our style of motorcycling and touring. This added "touring weight" contributes to marked differences in motorcycle handling during those intense moments. This practice session is in no sense a substitute for a formal Rider Education Course. It is a program to encourage member enrollment and participation through self motivation.

  An organized practice session can be just a few bikes in a parking lot. They should have cones or other markers and set up an actual course. If practicing two-up, you might have the Riders do the practice run a few times solo, then pick up their Co-Riders and do it again. There should be spotters to determine if the Rider and/or Co-Rider are making mistakes and point them out to them. The practice session, if possible, should be fashioned after the MSF courses, but do not have to have an MSF Instructor run them. Please remember that you are doing these practice sessions at your own risk.

  Organized practice sessions also include exercises administered by drill teams, etc.

  These practice sessions should be held at all GWTA rallies if conditions permit. They should be organized by the State/Province and/or Region Rider Education Directors. It would be great if we could have these practice sessions utilizing trailers, sidecars, trikes, two-up and solo.

  The Region and State/Province Rider Education Directors have been given sample suggested layouts for the practice sessions and should be distributed to the Chapters.

  The information contained in this publication has been compiled from publications, interviews and observations of individuals familiar with the use of motorcycles, accessories and training. Because there are many differences in product design, riding styles, federal, state/province and local laws, there may be organizations and individuals who hold differing opinions. Consult your local regulatory agencies for information concerning the operation of motorcycles in your area. Although the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the Gold Wing Touring Association will continue to research, field test and publish responsible viewpoints on the subject, they disclaim any liability for the views expressed herein.

  The MSF's and the GWTA Rider Education Program's purpose is improving the safety of motorcyclists on the streets and highways. To reduce motorcycle accidents and injuries, the MSF has programs in rider education, licensing improvement, public information and research. These programs are designed for both motorcyclists and motorists. A national private, non-profit organization, MSF is sponsored by five motorcycle manufacturers: Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and BMW.  Call MSF for information on novice and experienced rider courses: 800-447-4700.

For more information about the GWTA Rider Education Program Contact:
Doug & Lori Green
181 Alta Dr.
La Selva Beach, CA 95076

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