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Over 40 service members from the San Diego region participated in Track Day, Saturday hosted by California Subperbike School instructors on the flight line aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The service members were instructed on performing proper throttle control during the day.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

Marines master basic motorcycle maneuvers

13 Mar 2009 | Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

Nearly 40 service members from across the southern California region, participated in Track Day here, Saturday on the flight line, hosted by the California Superbike School.

Instructors utilized two half-day sessions to teach beginning riders safety awareness and basic rider skills. This type of training helped Marines recognize motorcycle safety while driving on the open road.

“We coach and drill them primarily on three points: throttle control, setting correct corner-entry speed and ensuring the riders do not commit the bad habit of rolling the throttle on while increasing lean angle,”  said Dylan Code,  the project  manager and a rider coach with the school. “Not executing these correctly is an easy way to loose traction.”

Proper throttle control consists of the rider turning the motorcycle before applying the throttle, which was stressed by coaches during the 14-turn course.

“The course had a slow-technical section, a straight, a chicane, a sweeping turn, a high-speed ‘kink’ turn and a decreasing-radius turn,” said Code. “Many riders tell us they are unsure of where the limits are and only find out when they have overstepped their limits – which is of course too late.”

The experience was a step in the right direction for riders.

“This was a great opportunity for the service members to pick the brain of the professionals,” said Matthew McMullen, the station motorcycle training instructor.

“We taught them that there is a definite technology to riding a motorcycle,” said Code. “When you get it right, you have a safe rider. When you get it wrong, you are in a position for a mishap.”

The setup of the course helped the instructors pick out the deficiencies of the riders.

“The course had multiple corners which gave the instructors a good view on the riders form,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jason W. Linzay, the training chief for Marine Air Control Group 38, also a student of the class.

The school previously came to the station to teach Marines advanced motorcycle safety skills. 

“We’d been to Miramar in February to deliver a different and far more comprehensive motorcycle training course called the Advanced Motorcycle Operators School,” said Code. “It was developed specifically for the Marine Corps and is one of, if not the toughest motorcycle training programs in the world. In this program we take already experienced riders and turn them inside out.”

“To my knowledge, none of the graduates of our riding courses have been involved in a serious or permanent injury accident since starting the program in 2006,” said Code. “Our mission is to significantly reduce the number of serious motorcycle mishaps Corps-wide, until it’s well below the civilian average – then keep it there.”

The school plans to continue training at MCAS Miramar in the future. For more information on motorcycle events, contact McMullen at 858-577-1358.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing