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Advanced Rider Track doesn't cut corners to teach riders turning techniques

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anthony Jennings
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Motorcycle riders on Guam itching to turn corners at realistic speeds, but in an environment conducive to learning what their bike can and can't handle, got a real treat during Advanced Rider Track Day on the Andersen flightline July 27.

Eighty percent of motorcycle mishaps occur on corners, and 92 percent of those mishaps are due to excessive speed in a corner. This is the reason the 13th Air Force Safety Office, in conjunction with the 36th Wing Safety Office and Joint Region Marianas Safety Office, brought the California Super Bike School here; to give riders the opportunity to turn corners like they would on the streets.

The course is the first of its kind to be introduced in the Air Force. Where most other courses focus on slow speed turns and the basics of riding, the Advanced Rider Track is intended to teach riders how to turn corners in a safe and competent manner, but at realistic speeds they would encounter during recreational riding.

"It is intended to supplement the basic, experienced and military sport bike rider course," said Lt. Col. Michael Benham, 13th Air Force chief of safety. "They're all excellent courses but they're relatively slow speed courses. Even the sport bike course gets up to maybe 20 to 25 miles per hour, which is just where bikes begin to handle and is certainly well below where most riders tend to ride. People buy sport bikes to go fast."

Instructors with the California Super Bike School coached riders as they navigated the course, pulling them off to the side to give them tips on the fly.

"The curriculum is based around riders walking away from this program with an understanding and ability to apply throttle control, how to calculate their entry speed, and lean angle," said Kristi Martel, CSBS coach class two.

The CSBS instructors also provided tips on how to properly maintain their motorcycle.

"Riders have to keep in mind the upkeeping of their bike," Ms. Martel said. "That means making sure you have tires that provide adequate grip, making sure their bike has oil, or ensuring their chain is properly maintained and has the proper length without too much slack so it doesn't interfere with the rear suspension."

The course wasn't just for riders with sport bikes. Cruisers and mopeds were also welcome. Col. Alan Wieder, 36th Mission Support Group commander, brought his classic-style cruiser and got something out of the course though he's been riding a motorcycle longer than he's been driving a car.

"For me, I'm picking up a lot of confidence in what my bike can do," Colonel Wieder said. "I think this course will help out any rider wherever they ride, whether it is Guam or back in the states. I encourage all riders to take advantage of every opportunity you have to learn more about your bike and handling it."