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General James F. Amos, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps takes 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing's new::r::::n::motorcycle simulator for a spin at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, March::r::::n::16. The simulator will soon be used for the basic and advanced motorcycle::r::::n::rider course at the air station.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Justis T. Beauregard

Safety first as 3rd MAW unveils motorcycle simulator

16 Mar 2009 | Lance Cpl. Justis T. Beauregard

Learning to ride a motorcycle could be dangerous, that is unless it’s just a simulation. 

The assistant commandant of the Marine Corps and the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing unveiled the Marine Corps’ new, state-of-the-art motorcycle simulator with a ribbon-cutting ceremony here, March 16. 

“What we have progressively seen is a loss of life with our sports-bike riders,” said General James F. Amos, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. “We have to do something to train young Marines to ride these bikes and keep them under control.”

3rd MAW asked Simulated Systems International to develop the sports-bike simulator because of the rise in motorcycle accidents.

“One [noncommissioned officer] asked me, ‘we have all these simulators for airplanes why not one for motorcycle riders,” said Maj. Gen. Terry F. Robling, the commanding general of 3rd MAW. “We think you will be impressed with what this course offers.”

Simulation exercises teach inexperienced riders how to operate a motorcycle and reaffirm the fundamentals of safe motorcycle riding in advanced riders, explained Todd V. Roberts, vice president of sales and marketing for Simulator Systems International.

The purpose of the simulator is to increase Marines’ knowledge of hazards on the roadways and to promote motorcycle safety, explained Roberts.

The simulator consists of four sports-bike trainers and one cruiser trainer that will become part of the stations basic and advanced motorcycle rider courses.

With the simulators, we can teach Marines on these bikes before they risk riding on roads, explained Robling. The simulator will go at any speed and simulate any weather condition or other obstacles found in daily motorcycle riding. Marines can crash a bike in the simulation and just try again without the risk of injury or death.

The simulator has everything that is on a motorcycle except a motor and wheels, explained Roberts. It also has full range of motion. It pitches forward and aft and rolls from side to side. We can teach our Marines to use the clutch and throttle correctly.

“We are doing whatever it takes to provide our young men and women who ride sports bikes the ability to understand how to control a bike that is significantly more powerful than anything they can imagine,” said Amos.

Marines and sailors who want to use the motorcycle simulator can contact the 3rd MAW Department of Operational Safety and Standardization, Ground Safety office at 858-577-7308, for information.  

For information on the basic or advanced motorcycle rider courses, that now use the simulator, can contact the Base Safety Office at 858-577-1358.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing