Motorcycle Safety Foundation

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Motorcycle Safety Foundation
FounderMotorcycle Industry Council
Area served
ProductRider Education and Training System (MSF RETS)
Key people
Gary Martini (Chair of the Board), Erik Pritchard (President/CEO), Ray Ochs (Vice President, Training Systems), Robert Gladden (Vice President, Training Operations)

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is an American national, not-for-profit organization, founded in 1973, and sponsored by the U.S. manufacturers and distributors of BMW, BRP, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio/Vespa, Suzuki, Triumph, Indian Motorcycle and Yamaha motorcycles. The MSF maintains rider training curricula used in most states for novice and experienced riders.[4]

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.


A Basic RiderCourse by TEAM Arizona in Chandler

MSF is a developer of comprehensive, research-based rider education and training curricula designed to develop or advance motorcyclists' riding skills.

As of January 2020, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has published 28 RiderCourses for current or prospective motorcyclists. MSF offers several courses via iTunes U including "An Adventure in Motorcycle Physics", "Dr. Ray's Street Strategies", "Dr. Ray's Guide to Group Riding" and "Dr. Ray's Seasoned Rider".[5]

MSF administers courses directly in Colorado, New Mexico, New York, and West Virginia and directly operates training sites called MSF Campuses in Troy, Ohio and Alpharetta, Georgia. However, in most states courses are administered by state agencies (i.e. Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety) or state university or community college networks 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.[6] In 45 states, these local training sites are certified by MSF. California, Idaho, Ohio, South Dakota, and Oregon states use non MSF-developed curricula. All fifty states have rider training programs.[4]

An MSF instructor demonstrates an exercise for students in Wisconsin

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.[4] Some insurance companies also offer discounts to those who have passed an MSF course.[7] All United States military personnel are required to graduate from an MSF course to ride a motorcycle either on or off base.[8]

Team Oregon dispute[edit]

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.[9] In the settlement, Team Oregon was granted permission to use MSF materials provided a statement of MSF copyright ownership was included.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[10][13]

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.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Motorcycle Safety Foundation: Contact/FAQ
  2. ^ Motorcycle Industry Council Announces Chairman's Award Recipients at MIC Communications Symposium, Inroads to the Future X, Motorcycle Industry Council, 20 November 2008, archived from the original on 5 August 2012, retrieved 5 August 2009
  3. ^ Julie Chichlowski Appointed Chair, Motorcycle Safety Foundation Board of Trustees; Appointment Follows Retirement of Past Chair David Edwards, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, 27 May 2009, archived from the original on 27 August 2009, retrieved 5 August 2009
  4. ^ a b c State Laws/Operator Licensing, The Motorcycle Safety Foundation
  5. ^ Motorcycle Safety Foundation (6 March 2014), Four New MSF Courses Available on iTunes U, Motorcycle USA
  6. ^ Cycle Safety Information (PDF), The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, 2008, archived from the original (PDF) on 30 July 2009, retrieved 5 August 2009
  7. ^ Seeley, Alan (2004), The Motorcycle Book, MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company, p. 39, ISBN 978-0-7603-1745-7
  8. ^ Anderson, Jon R. (16 May 2013), "Know the motorcycle rules DoD-wide and at the base level", Air Force Times, Whether they're riding off base or on, all military motorcyclists are required to follow the same basic set of rules, including: Complet[ing] an approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation driver's [sic] course...
  9. ^ Our Mission, Team Oregon, archived from the original on 12 March 2009, retrieved 5 August 2009
  10. ^ a b 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, archived from the original on 1 February 2013
  11. ^ Settlement Agreement (PDF), 19 December 2008, archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2011, retrieved 5 August 2009
  12. ^ News Release; Team Oregon Motorcycle Safety Program Lawsuit Settled (PDF), Oregon State University, 28 May 2008, archived from the original (PDF) on 15 August 2009
  13. ^ "Team Oregon Wins Settlement in Motorcycle Safety Foundation Lawsuit", WebBikeWorld, webWorld International, 7 January 2009, archived from the original on 6 May 2011, retrieved 5 August 2009
  14. ^ Volkert, Laura (18 June 2007), "Motorcycle industry group suit threatens Idaho, Oregon safety programs", Idaho Business Review, Boise, Idaho

External links[edit]