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NEWS | Sept. 8, 2014

Knowing your motorcycle riding requirements

By Jim McMurry 628th Air Base Wing motorcycle safety manager

A lot has changed in for motorcycle operators during the last few years.

The Department of Defense Instruction 6055.04, DOD Traffic Safety Program, Incorporating Change 2, Jan. 23, 2013, changed the training requirements and Personal Protective Gear required for active-duty motorcycle operators and anyone who operates a motorcycle on a DOD installation.

The Air Force followed the DOD Instruction by amending Air Force Instruction 91-207, The U.S. Air Force Traffic Safety Program, Sept. 12, 2013, to mirror the DOD requirements.
The Navy, which follows the requirements of OPNAVINST 5100.12J, Navy Traffic Safety Program, has not changed since the Navy's requirements were already more restrictive than the DOD requirements. The Army updated Army Regulation 385-10 Nov. 2013, to also mirror the DOD Instruction.

So, now that all the technicalities are out of the way, what does this mean to you as a motorcycle operator? First, PPE requirements have changed.
In all services, a DOT, Snell or ECE helmet is required, along with impact resistant eye protection, long sleeve shirt or jacket, long pants, sturdy over-the-ankle footwear and full-fingered gloves made of abrasive resistant materials. The requirements for upper outer garments to be brightly colored during the day and reflective at night have been changed to "highly encouraged."

Also, wearing motorcycle specific clothing that is abrasive resistant is also highly encouraged. This requirement is for all active-duty personnel, on or off the installation, for civilians who ride a motorcycle in the performance of their duties on or off the installation, and for anyone who operates a motorcycle on a DOD installation.

If riding a motorcycle is in your future, your training requirements are broken down by service branch due to the variations. Air Force active-duty personnel, must take an approved basic rider education training course prior to operating a motorcycle. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Riders Course meets this requirement and is offered on Joint Base Charleston.

Active-duty personnel with riding experience prior to entering the military and in possession of a state license with a motorcycle endorsement are not required to take the BRC, but will be required to take an intermediate course at a minimum.
Riders have up to one year to complete an intermediate course after completing the BRC. Intermediate courses include the MSF Basic Rider Course-2 (formerly the Experienced Riders Course), the MSF Advanced Riders Course, or the Military Sportbike Riders Course. The BRC-2 and ARC are offered at JB Charleston.

If you ride a sport bike, you must take the ARC or MSRC as your intermediate training. After completing intermediate training, you will have to complete refresher training every five years. Any approved course will satisfy the refresher training requirement.
The same requirements for basic rider education courses apply for Navy active-duty members and Level II training must be completed within 60 days of initial training. Courses approved for Level II training include the BRC-2, the ARC and the MSRC. Sport bike riders are required to take the ARC or the MSRC as Level II training.

After completion of Level II training, Refresher Training is required every three years. Refresher Training includes any Level II or Level II courses approved by the Navy Safety Center.

For other services and DOD components training requirements, contact your safety office.

Any DOD ID card holder (civilian, contractor, dependent, or retiree) can sign up for any motorcycle safety training course. However, since only active-duty personnel are required to take this training, they will always have priority in the courses.

Joint Base Charleston also has a unique training opportunity for motorcycle operators, the JB Charleston Street Riding Skills Mentorship Program. JB Charleston has the use of a 1.5 mile closed course to use for motorcycle safety training to include basic (Level I), intermediate (Level II), and advanced (Level III). Each level must be completed before advancing to the next. This program has been approved by all services as refresher training.

Riders can enroll in any of the training course available at JB Charleston though ESAMS,, or by contacting your squadron/command Motorcycle Safety Representative. For non-active duty personnel authorized to take these courses, go to to enroll.