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NEWS | May 21, 2020

Motorcycle training courses resume with public health measures in place

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base San Antonio’s Motorcycle Safety Training program has resumed with public health and safety measures in place following a hiatus resulting from the implementation of COVID-19 social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines.

The program, which comprises two basic courses and one advanced course, is being offered again to prevent any further delay in training that could place motorcycle riders at risk when day-to-day activities are set to resume, JBSA officials said.

Resumption of the program coincides with the expiration of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s “no-training” recommendation May 15.

“Training resumed May 21, beginning with those students who were originally registered for a canceled class,” said John Hernandez, JBSA Motorcycle Safety Program manager. “We have a significant backlog to work through before we can offer open availability.”

Hernandez estimated open registration would begin next month.

“We expect to have open availability beginning the second week of June,” he said. “Those students who were scheduled for a canceled class have been contacted individually and will be offered a one-time make-up class. If unable to attend they will fall into the normal first-come, first-served basis.”

With the resumption of training, public health and safety will continue to be a priority. These safety measures that meet MSF guidance and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations will be implemented:

  • Class sizes will be limited to eight students and two instructors.
  • Students will be screened at the door and asked whether they have any symptoms prior to entering the classroom. Students showing potential symptoms will not be allowed to continue the class.
  • All CDC, World Health Organization and local guidance on COVID-19 protective measures will be followed closely, including, but not limited to, 6-foot social distancing, frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer, and wearing of cloth face masks.
  • Equipment and common areas will be sanitized at the beginning and end of each day.
  • Students will be required to bring their own riding personal protective equipment.
  • The use of shared items such as pens, pencils, training equipment and materials, will be strictly prohibited. Sign-in sheets will not be used; instead students will bring forms filled out in advance.
  • Classroom activities that normally require student interaction will be demonstration only.

    The courses, which are conducted at JBSA-Lackland’s Chapman Training Annex, are free to eligible members, including active-duty military, Guard and Reserve who operate or intend to operate motorcycles; Department of Defense civilians who operate motorcycles in performance of their assigned duties; and operators of government-owned motorcycles.

    The program has historically been open to other DOD civilians, military retirees and military dependents on a space-available basis, but registration for those individuals is temporarily postponed due to the backlog of military personnel, Hernandez said.

    “We do expect to resume space-available training within the next few months once our obligation to military members is satisfied,” he said.

    The program’s offerings are the Basic Rider Course, Basic Rider Course 2 and Advanced Rider Course.

    The BRC, which consists of a classroom session and on-range riding instruction conducted over two full days, is the best place to start once someone has decided to ride, Hernandez said.

    “It covers the basics of operating a motorcycle and introduces risk-reducing strategies,” he said. “It also meets DOD requirements for initial training and must be completed before riding on base.”

    The program provides motorcycles but is no longer able to provide loaner helmets due to health precautions, Hernandez said.

    “Students must provide their own helmet certified to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 218,” he said. “We will re-evaluate the use of loaner helmets at a later time.”

    The BRC2, which consists of only riding exercises and limited classroom instruction, is designed for riders who already have a permit/license and possess basic skills and meets DOD requirements for intermediate training. For military riders, the course must be completed within 60 days and in no case more than one year after initial training.

    The ARC, a one-day course that complements basic skills and helps with personal risk assessment, includes a fast-paced classroom segment with several fun interactive activities to improve perception and hazard awareness and range exercises that enhance basic operating skills, crash-avoidance skills, cornering finesse and improved braking. For military riders, it must be completed every five years and meets DOD requirements for refresher training.

    Course instructors, volunteers from the JBSA community, are certified MSF rider coaches, and the program is always looking for experienced riders to join the cadre, Hernandez said.

    “By committing to teach a certain amount of classes each year, we will provide the training required to become an MSF rider coach at no charge,” he said.

    Motorcycle safety training was postponed in an effort to ensure maximum protection against the spread of the coronavirus, but program officials believe the safety measures will enable training to safely and effectively resume, Hernandez said.

    “Our ultimate goal is the safety and well-being of motorcyclists,” he said. “Riding motorcycles is an inherently dangerous activity that claims the lives of Airmen every year. For that reason we offer not only initial but recurring training, which means riders get everything from fundamental skills and risk-management techniques to more advanced crash-avoidance skills necessary to safely operate a motorcycle on the streets.”

    To sign up for courses, go to For more details, contact your unit’s motorcycle safety representative.