Motorcycle Safety Foundation
|Founder(s)||Motorcycle Industry Council|
|Key people||Russel Brenan (Chair of the Board), Tim Buche (President)|
|Product(s)||Rider Education and Training System (MSF RETS)|
|Mission||Motorcycle rider training, licensing and public education|
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is a United States national, not-for-profit organization, founded in 1973, and sponsored by the U.S. manufacturers and distributors of BMW, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio/Vespa, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha motorcycles. MSF maintains rider training curricula used in most states for novice and experienced riders.
MSF is a developer of comprehensive, research-based rider education and training curricula designed to develop or advance motorcyclists' riding skills. The MSF fosters a "ride safe" attitude, and promotes lifelong learning for motorcyclists. It also participates in government relations, motorcycle safety research, public awareness campaigns, and technical assistance to state training and licensing programs.
MSF administers courses directly in New Mexico, California, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York. However, in most states courses are administered by state agencies or universities that use MSF's curricula. Individual training sites may be public, as through technical colleges, or private organizations. Thirty-one states use the MSF tests for licensing, and 41 states use the MSF motorcycle operator manual. In 48 states, these local training sites are certified by MSF. Idaho and Oregon states use state-developed curricula rather than MSF's. All fifty states have rider training programs.
MSF is recognized by most state departments of transportation in the U.S. Successful completion of MSF's Basic "RiderCourse" usually replaces a state's riding exam, and may also replace the written exam, to receive a motorcycle operator's endorsement or license. Some insurance companies also offer discounts to those who have passed an MSF course. All Military personnel are required to graduate from an MSF course to ride a motorcycle either on or off base.
In addition to the Basic "RiderCourse" the MSF has designed an Experienced "RiderCourse" and various other curricula related to subjects of concern to motorcyclists, such as group riding and issues faced by more experienced riders.
The MSF external link provides contact information for local MSF schools.
MSF's courses are taught by instructors, or called RiderCoaches, certified by MSF and who, in turn, are trained by "RiderCoach" Trainers certified by the MSF directly. Certification of experienced motorcyclists as coaches is handled by state Motorcycle Safety Administrators.
Intellectual property dispute
A 2006 lawsuit by the MSF over alleged intellectual property infringement by the Team Oregon Rider Safety Program was settled in 2008. Team Oregon is a motorcycle training program run by the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State University. In the settlement, Team Oregon was granted permission to use MSF materials provided a statement of MSF copyright ownership was included. Team Oregon also agreed to only market its materials in Oregon, as in the past, and will still deny that the agreed upon acknowledgment of copyright is needed. Team Oregon claimed victory in the settlement, in that no payments were required and they may continue to use the training materials, while the MSF said the settlement was the same as one they had offered in 2006.
Underlying the dispute was the question of whether programs like Team Oregon, or Idaho's Skills Training Advantage for Riders (STAR), were free to develop their own training programs, specifically in response to the contention by the state programs that the MSF had made changes in their course that weakened it, making it easier to pass while putting riders at greater risk. Idaho's training manager had expected to be named in the suit along with Team Oregon, due to their similarity to Team Oregon.
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation: Contact/FAQ
- Motorcycle Industry Council Announces Chairman’s Award Recipients at MIC Communications Symposium, Inroads to the Future X, Motorcycle Industry Council, 20 November 2008
- Julie Chichlowski Appointed Chair, Motorcycle Safety Foundation Board of Trustees; Appointment Follows Retirement of Past Chair David Edwards, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, 27 May 2009
- State Laws/Operator Licensing, The Motorcycle Safety Foundation
- Cycle Safety Information, The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, 2008
- Seeley, Alan (2004), The Motorcycle Book, MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company, p. 39, ISBN 978-0-7603-1745-7
- Official MSF site
- State Membership Listing, National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators
- Our Mission, Team Oregon
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation Media Relations (19 December 2008), "Motorcycle Safety Foundation Protects Intellectual Property Rights in Settlement with Oregon State University and Stephen Garets (press release)", Reuters (Business Wire)
- Settlement Agreement, 19 December 2008
- News Release; Team Oregon Motorcycle Safety Program Lawsuit Settled, Oregon State University, 28 May 2008
- "Team Oregon Wins Settlement in Motorcycle Safety Foundation Lawsuit", WebBikeWorld (webWorld International), 7 January 2009
- Volkert, Laura (18 June 2007), "Motorcycle industry group suit threatens Idaho, Oregon safety programs", Idaho Business Review (Boise, Idaho)