Mandatory motorcycle safety class gets riders ready for the road

  • Published
  • By Angela Woolen
  • Robins Public Affairs
Traveling around on two wheels requires more than coordination. At Robins, a mandatory safety class is required for active duty military to operate a motorcycle.

Each month, there is a training class at Pave Paws Parking Lot near Bldg. 1400.

There are three separate courses, one for beginners, one for experienced riders and an advanced course.

The basic course is a two-day class designed to improve riding techniques for riders just starting out. The mandatory class, part of AFI 91-207 is required every three to five years. Civilians and contractors are not required to take the class, but it is highly recommended.

Last year, there were 157 active duty and civilians who went through the three courses, said John Paolozzi, Robins lead coach for motorcycle training.

During the first day, beginners are put through a series of nine exercises which they repeat until they're proficient.

"I've learned a lot," said Staff Sgt. Matt Palmerin, one of the participants in the BRC.

Palmerin, a 461st Maintenance Group maintenance scheduler, has never been around motorcycles. He bought his GSXR 600 to save on gas costs and because a few of his friends had bikes.

"This is my seventh or eighth time riding one. We're learning the basics, how the bikes work, shifting gears and about letting the clutch out," the Boston, Massachusetts, native said.

The program is free for civilians and military members. 

Paolozzi estimated the Air Force saved $21,000 last year by having the classes at Robins.

Donations from riders allowed the coaches to purchase a shed to park bikes inside to keep them out of the weather.

"They're learning skills and techniques that they can drive home with," he said.