MSF Calls on Motorists to #SeeMotorcycles as More Riders Get on the Road
Two years of strong motorcycle and scooter sales, continued demand for rider training, and higher gas prices mean more riders are likely to be on the roads this spring and summer, so the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is doubling down on getting the word out to #SeeMotorcycles.
“May has been the traditional start of the riding season for many across the country because the weather is getting warmer and the days longer,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. “That’s why it’s a great time to remind drivers to actively look out for motorcyclists, and for riders who are taking their bikes out of hibernation to do a thorough pre-ride inspection. It’s also a good idea to take time to refresh your riding skills, ideally with a safety course.”
Motorcycles and their riders have a smaller profile than cars and trucks, and it can be easy to overlook them. “We encourage drivers to use their turn signals, keep speeds down, and be vigilant when driving, especially when changing lanes,” Pritchard continued. “Please remember to #SeeMotorcycles.”
Motorcycle and scooter sales were up 14.2 percent in 2021, the second consecutive year of growth, and since 2019, sales are up 21.8 percent, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Reporting System, which gathers new motorcycle and scooter retail sales data from 14 leading manufacturers and distributors in the U.S.
“Demand for rider training is also robust,” Pritchard said. “The Motorcycle Safety Foundation saw an estimated 48 percent increase in enrollment in 2021 over 2020, and early data from 2022 indicates a continuing trend.”
In a recent Motorcycle Industry Council survey of motorcycle owners, 57 percent said they plan on using their motorcycles more since gas prices increased. And of those who plan on using their bikes more often, 69 percent said they would use them for commuting, 69 percent for day trips, and 59 percent for errands and shopping.
“These are all indicators that more people will be out riding this year, so it’s the responsibility of all road users to look out for one another,” said MSF RiderCoach Armene Piper, owner of Clutch Motorcycle School in Loveland, Colorado. “Riding a motorcycle is such a fun way to get around. But a rider’s No. 1 priority should be safety. That means following the rules of the road, wearing safety gear each and every time they ride, and using smart street strategies.”
More tips for riders and drivers are available at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s websites: msf-usa.org and forcardrivers.com. Users can also test their perception and knowledge with timed challenges and quizzes. (https://www.msf-usa.org/RiderPerception.aspx)
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the country’s leading safety resource and advocate for motorcyclists, creates education and training systems for riders of every experience level. For those looking to get into riding, formal motorcycle training, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourse, is among the best ways to learn. MSF also offers refresher courses and advanced skills courses for experienced riders.
Rider training classes in Missoula are mostly sold out already, except for two sessions still available in September. Click here for details. Kalispell classes are already sold out as well. For info on other locations in Montana with motorcycle rider training, click here to learn more from Montana Motorcycle Rider Safety.