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Motorcycle Safety Foundation launches new phase of training exclusively at JCCC


Motorcycle Safety Foundation launches new phase of training exclusively at JCCC

JCCC media contact: Anne Christiansen-Bullers, 913-469-8500 ext. 4184

Motorcycle Riders
Students in a recent motorcycle-rider training program at Johnson County Community College practiced the basic operating functions of the bikes during the range portion of the training. Photo by Susan McSpadden/JCCC photographer.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Before its national launch, the newest version of a popular motorcycle-rider training program made its debut at Johnson County Community College.

The new curriculum, offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), which can be offered either online or in a traditional classroom setting, provides a greater emphasis on rider behavior and on emergency responses in real-world traffic.

“Our interest in adopting the new MSF curriculum is to provide a superior learning experience for our students and prepare each to safely ride our streets and highways,” said Phil Wegman, program director in continuing education at JCCC.

The training program is called Basic RiderCourse SM (BRC) and is the most widely used learn-to-ride curriculum in the world, with annual enrollment approaching 500,000.

The new BRC is the fifth version the foundation has developed in its 41-year history. It was last updated in 2001, and the new class now includes the MSF Basic eCourse, taken online prior to in-person classroom instruction.

Though eCourse was developed in 2013, it was previously recommended but not required. Switching more of the out-of-class content, such as necessary critical thinking skills, to an online platform makes classroom time more valuable for hands-on learning. (Though in Kansas, due to state statutes, much of that online learning will still be done in the classroom.)

“Though the MSF Basic eCourse is a great tool to gain a better understanding of motorcycling, it does not teach someone to ride,” said Ray Ochs, vice president for training systems for the MSF.

“The best way is through the MSF Basic RiderCourse that includes step-by-step motor skills development under the supervision of an MSF-certified RiderCoach,” he said.

The new BRC Course teaches behavioral concepts as well, including:

  • Risk awareness and management
  • Hazard perception and judgment
  • Self-assessment and decision-making 

“Each iteration was a student-focused improvement based on extensive research by the MSF and other organizations concerned about motorcycle safety and learning,” Ochs said. “With the updated BRC, riders can now experience more depth and breadth than has ever been available in an MSF novice course.”

Additionally, the riding portion of the BRC was modified to provide:

  • 20 percent more time on basic motor skills
  • 30 percent more time on cornering maneuvers and emergency responses
  • 30 percent more time on traffic-type interactions

However, overall riding times remain similar to the former curriculum. The new BRC skill test also was adapted to better align with the licensing tests used by many states.

To transition to the updated BRC curriculum, local sites must make some adjustments to their ranges and be approved through the Rider Education Recognition Program. RiderCoaches also need to be trained and certified for the new curriculum, and JCCC was the first site to complete the process.

“We believe the MSF curriculum updates will make the material presented more personally meaningful to each participant and provide each with an awareness of their abilities, skills and limitations,” Wegman said.

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.

The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Polaris Motorcycles, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha. For safety information or to enroll in the RiderCourse nearest you, visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website.

To enroll in the RiderCourse at JCCC, call 913-469-2323, email Wegman or call him at 913-469-4446. Check online for a schedule of upcoming training sessions.