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Marines and Motorcycles


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I know the Code Superbike School people have been "donating" several training days per year to the military, with great success.

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I know the Code Superbike School people have been "donating" several training days per year to the military, with great success.

 

Outstanding :thumbsup:

 

Kudos to the marine brass for their correct response to this problem. :thumbsup:

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I know the Code Superbike School people have been "donating" several training days per year to the military, with great success.

I spoke with Dylan at length about this program at Barber a few months ago and we sent the Army Motorcycle Safety Program Manager over to North Carolina to look at the course. Unfortunately, I was investigating an accident and could not make the trip. Its fantastic training as you would expect from Keith Code. Real world speeds with excellent coaching make for meaningful training from my point of view. The hard data on the braking was stunning; many of the "trained" riders after the training decreased their stopping distance at speed by 30-40 percent. I kind of snickered at the "donated" comment but you can't expect Keith to do this for free either. I commend the Corps leadership for putting forth the resources to bring this training to their Marines.

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I know the Code Superbike School people have been "donating" several training days per year to the military, with great success.

 

Outstanding :thumbsup:

 

Kudos to the marine brass for their correct response to this problem. :thumbsup:

 

Definately support that - let's keep these guys alive

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My son Ryan was in the Marine corp. He rode a bike, first one was a 1998 K1200rs, second one was a 2001 Ducati 996

 

Ryan got all sorts of grief from the Marine Corp. Luckly Ryan kept his MSF certification card. Otherwise he could not have ridden. At the time he joined there was 6 months waiting list to get into the military basic rider course.

 

The stats they show, were also true for Ryan's little group. Ryan lost more guys to bike and car deaths after they came back then they did during the whole tour.

 

By time Ryan had completed his second tour and had his Ducati 996 on base he was getting 2 guys a week asking him to help them buy a new bike. By then he had seen one of his best buddies die, and he constantly tried to steer them to a good used SV650 standard or suzuki bandit or Kawaski EX 500. But all them had 20,000.00 sitting in a bank account from thier tour pay, and would end up in some Yamaha / suzuki shop and get a R1 or GSXR 1000. They could pay cash for it and get liability only insurance and walk out the door.

 

By the time he left, ryan had found a small group or reasonable riders and he really enjoyed the last 6 months of his Marine life. He had his bike, and good riding buddies. But the first 3.5 years were hard on him. Many buddies died, and Ryan did not get to ride a lot, becuase the guys he was riding with would be on a R1, no skills, bald tires doing whelies down the highway.

 

this is really a big problem, and has been since Ryan joined in 2004, and I suspect it has been for longer than that.

 

It is tuff, once you have been to war, come back and have 15 - 20K sitting in a bank account, these guys are fearless, and "rich" and motorcycles are a very tempting toy.

 

One of the last person's Ryan talked to, came to Ryan to "discuss" bikes. Ryan did not realize what the guy was doing, and in the course of the conversation he asked Ryan "if you could have any bike right now what would it be" Ryan said if I was rich an MV agusta 1000, otherwise an Aprilla Millie R factory. Two days later the kid rode up on the Millie R factory, never had ridden before, the 'salesmen' showed him how to work the throttle and brake in the show room (not even in a parking lot). Ryan was amazed he got home.

 

ryan heard he totaled the bike 4 days later. but the kid lived.

 

Once my youngest son is grown and off to college, I have a deep desire to become MSF certified and teach at local military bases in GA. I would like to give back in some small way to the Marine corp, it served Ryan well.

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My son Ryan was in the Marine corp. He rode a bike, first one was a 1998 K1200rs, second one was a 2001 Ducati 996

 

Ryan got all sorts of grief from the Marine Corp. Luckly Ryan kept his MSF certification card. Otherwise he could not have ridden. At the time he joined there was 6 months waiting list to get into the military basic rider course.

 

The stats they show, were also true for Ryan's little group. Ryan lost more guys to bike and car deaths after they came back then they did during the whole tour.

 

By time Ryan had completed his second tour and had his Ducati 996 on base he was getting 2 guys a week asking him to help them buy a new bike. By then he had seen one of his best buddies die, and he constantly tried to steer them to a good used SV650 standard or suzuki bandit or Kawaski EX 500. But all them had 20,000.00 sitting in a bank account from thier tour pay, and would end up in some Yamaha / suzuki shop and get a R1 or GSXR 1000. They could pay cash for it and get liability only insurance and walk out the door.

 

By the time he left, ryan had found a small group or reasonable riders and he really enjoyed the last 6 months of his Marine life. He had his bike, and good riding buddies. But the first 3.5 years were hard on him. Many buddies died, and Ryan did not get to ride a lot, becuase the guys he was riding with would be on a R1, no skills, bald tires doing whelies down the highway.

 

this is really a big problem, and has been since Ryan joined in 2004, and I suspect it has been for longer than that.

 

It is tuff, once you have been to war, come back and have 15 - 20K sitting in a bank account, these guys are fearless, and "rich" and motorcycles are a very tempting toy.

 

One of the last person's Ryan talked to, came to Ryan to "discuss" bikes. Ryan did not realize what the guy was doing, and in the course of the conversation he asked Ryan "if you could have any bike right now what would it be" Ryan said if I was rich an MV agusta 1000, otherwise an Aprilla Millie R factory. Two days later the kid rode up on the Millie R factory, never had ridden before, the 'salesmen' showed him how to work the throttle and brake in the show room (not even in a parking lot). Ryan was amazed he got home.

 

ryan heard he totaled the bike 4 days later. but the kid lived.

 

Once my youngest son is grown and off to college, I have a deep desire to become MSF certified and teach at local military bases in GA. I would like to give back in some small way to the Marine corp, it served Ryan well.

 

Your comments are consistent with my experience. We live adjacent to Camp Pendleton, and between my 19 year old daughter and 20 year old son, they have probably 30 Marines they count as friends who have been through our house. My daughters first boyfriend (we'll call him "Joe") rode, and after her first date, the second was at the hospital. To his 2 or 3 concussions sustained in two tours of Iraq including hell in Fallujah he added another, when he was blind sided by a truck on base. The final report had him at fault, but he didn't remember anything. Joe was life-flighted out to San Diego. His CO came to work, counted the bikes of his guys, knew one was missing, and took out down the road to see if the kid life-flighted out was one of his (is he a good officer, or what?). Anyway, 3 days later, my daughter went to visit Joe for the first time (she's in college), and at midnight the door opened and this guy hobbled in on crutches, looking like he'd just fought a war and loss.

 

There's more to this antidote. My friend next door is a former E9 Marine, who is now a GS 10000 civilian on base. Joe's CO reports to my neighbor, so he more or less knew the kid. My son has bought and rebuilt three crashed/totaled bikes from a local wreck yard, an R1 and two GXR1000's. He was finishing the first, and Joe asked to ride it. So he flew down the street, sans helmet, at about 70 MPH in first gear, just "getting his feet wet again" after a couple of months of recovery from the last accident. The next day, my neighbor gave me a courtesy call, explained the Marine's new "zero tolerance" policy on Marines as nuts on bikes, and told me he'd have to reprimand Joe after witnessing his ridding behavior. As an ex-Navy Commander, I told him to "kick his ass", and if you can do something about my (non-Marine 20 year old) son too, go for it. Joe later said that he and my neighbor (also known as "God" to his fellow Marines) had a "nice little talk".

 

My son's now rebuilding the 3rd bike, a GXR1000 for a Marine friend, who has two heavy-combat tours in Iraq, some riding experience, and a bit of common sense. Most of the Marines the family knows either ride or want to.

 

And as you said, from these guys perspective, after you've been bombed and shot at and sh*t on for two, 8 to 12 month tours, you haven't got a whole lot of patience for those who want you to behave like good little boys. They want to cut loose. Maybe the best thing the Marines at Camp P. could do is plow a track and let the guys go fast and stunt in a safe environment.

 

I think the Marines safety program is great, and I'm all for enhancing safety. On the other hand, some of these 19 year old "wild kids" are more "men" than 80% of American males will ever be. We have to respect their freedom too.

 

Regards,

 

Scott

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Would like to know what type of crashes..........Driving along the road minding my own business and car pulls out vs. I am hauling a$$ and lose control..........Age??? etc...... We know most of the crashes were sportbikes.

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This is not the first time armed forces are suffering such loss of young soldiers in road accidents that they decide to step in.

 

At one point air force had exactly same problem with hot-headed fighter pilots taking advantage of Corvette purchase program offered by GM. Guys then proceeded to get into accidents and even killing themselves at such numbers that AF hired punch of retired race car drivers to teach the pilots how to drive those cars.

This I heard from one of the people who ran that program.

 

--

Mikko

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Not sure if you're addressing the original article or the crash that "Joe" was in.

 

He was literally on his way to his Marine Corps MSF class. He pulled out from a parking area into multi-directional traffic as near as I can figure, and he was hit by a pickup truck driven by a government contractor. He had a smaller bike (400cc), and it was probably the classic case of the inexperienced rider making a mistake. He still can't figure out how it happened, i.e. how he missed a truck coming at him, and he doubts the investigative skills of the base police. He's actually a pretty level headed guy.

 

The three wrecked bikes my son picked up were all stolen and wrecked in police chases. They look totaled when he picked then up, but he recognized that the major components were undamaged, and made $2K to $4K per bike. He's parried, his little investments into a 5 year old F150 Crew Cab and a 1999 Ducati, (along with his 2003 Yamaha YZF 426). He's got everything he wants, is bored, and has decided to go back to school. He's had his first fall on the first R1 he had (his first street bike, of course, but he was a 12 year experienced dirt rider) the first month he had it. Had his first car accident 3 weeks after he got his license. Seems like those bumps have kept him a little saner than his buddies.

 

Anyway, back on topic, my down of Oceanside is sport-bike-central every weekend, and yeah, these kids do stuff I wouldnt' think about. The city has about four R1200RT-P's patrolling the main haunts, their pretty visible, and their no-nonsense LEO's. While some residents resent these kids, I look at it kind of like when a weather inversion brings the sounds of artillery down on top of us, and the house literally rocks.

 

Both those military sounds, and those kids bikes whooping it up on their street bikes are to me, the sounds of freedom. God bless em and hopefully, the Marine Corps will keep them safe®.

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Would like to know what type of crashes..........Driving along the road minding my own business and car pulls out vs. I am hauling a$$ and lose control..........Age??? etc...... We know most of the crashes were sportbikes.

Can't speak for the Air Force, we don't work very closely with them, but the fatal motorcycle crashes in the Army, Navy, and Marines are very similar. Excessive speed followed by loss of control in a curve. Usually a combination of both. In fy 08 (which ended in Oct) I believe that every Marine fatal accident involved a sport bike. Ours (the Army) were over 80 percent. Our mean age for fatals is around 28, not as young as you might first think. Of the three services mentioned, our motorcycle fatal crashes don't line up with the norms. I don't have the exact number but I believe that nationwide somewhere around 54% of fatal m/c crashes involve another vehicle. Not so with us, more than 80% are single vehicle crashes.

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And as you said, from these guys perspective, after you've been bombed and shot at and sh*t on for two, 8 to 12 month tours, you haven't got a whole lot of patience for those who want you to behave like good little boys. They want to cut loose. Maybe the best thing the Marines at Camp P. could do is plow a track and let the guys go fast and stunt in a safe environment.

 

 

 

The statistics don't really indicate that previous combat tours are as big of a contributing factor as you might believe. I believe (and having served 26 years in the Army Infantry and in combat I know a little about the typical combat Soldier or Marine) the fact that our warriors are drawn to fast motorcycles is as much a factor of the the sense of adventure that draws a person to the military to begin with. Then we transform them into aggressive warriors. There is also a large amount of peer pressure, if a Soldier were to ride up to the barracks on a Ninja 250 or EX500 they are going to be called names that I can't repeat here. Even a R6 will bring comments like "well its only a 600".

 

The challenge, and its a big one, is to help them understand that there is a time and place for everything. 140MPH+ on a narrow winding two lane road with a Hayabusa that you bought last month is not the time and place!

 

 

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