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"Rollout" plan for
Courses will be posted to the website as follows:
Mar./Apr. courses - Feb. 4
May courses - March 4
June courses - April 1
July courses - May 6
August courses - June 3
September courses - July 1
October courses - Aug. 5
Nov. courses - Aug. 30
You can register on line at idahostar.org or call us at 208-639-4540 or toll-free at 888-280-7827.
While course registration does not open until February 4th, our website is available to you all winter long with rider resources, tips, and information about riding.
STAR Spring Openers
The Idaho STAR Program will be holding three Spring Openers in March and April to kick off the motorcycle riding season. By the time spring arrives, some of us will have been off our bikes for a couple of months - the Spring Openers are a good reminder that even the best rider can get a little ‘rusty’ over the off season.
A big thanks to the local motorcycle dealers for their support. This year’s events are being hosted and co-sponsored by:
The Spring Openers will include riding demonstrations, handouts, giveaways, and information about the factors involved in Idaho’s motorcycle crashes. The focus will be on what riders can do to better control their bikes and avoid crashes. If you live nearby any of these locations, we hope to see you there. Come say ‘hi’ - there will be several chances to win a STAR course gift certificate. There will also be coffee, hot chocolate, and lots of bikers sharing stories.
The Flying W
73 – 75% of fatal crashes are associated with rider error
72% were on cruisers or touring bikes
68% were riders over 40 years old
17% involved a car violating the rider’s right-of-way
We’ll be sharing information at these events about what riders can do to be more skilled, ride safer, and prevent crashes.
If you want to see some videos from last year’s events, click on the images (above and below). The videos are cool, but there’s nothing like being there in person (and you can’t win the drawings by watching the videos…). So mark your calendars, spring is just around the corner – hope to see you there!
Winter Riding Tip
Idaho winters are known for having the occasional mild, warm, and sunny afternoon that just begs us to go riding.
If you decide to take advantage of one of these days to go for a ride, remember that your bike may have been sitting for a long time. Check the tire pressure, oil level, cable and control operation, etc. In other words, take a few minutes to make sure your bike is ready to go.
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It has been said that motorcycle riders have a higher ‘risk tolerance’ than the average road user. I don’t know how we would actually measure this, but I am willing to grant that it's true. We, who ride, simply can’t (and most of us don’t) ignore the fact that we are more vulnerable to injury or death if we are in a crash. I believe that most riders are aware of this fact, and very few (if any) would disagree.
The key phrase here is “… if we are in a crash.” Here is where we, as riders, may not really be seeing the reality of the risk. This is not one of the articles where I present a bunch of data and statistics (we do publish those from time to time, but not this month). This is going to be a much simpler approach for each of you to do your own ‘reality check’ for crash and injury risk.
You (most likely) drive a car or truck in addition to being a rider. Here is a question to ponder: "How many of the drivers that you know (including yourself) have had at least one car crash of some kind?"
Half? Three-quarters? More? Whatever the percentage, I’ll bet that it is high. I won’t say everyone either has crashed or will crash, but a lot do (the insurance industry estimates that the average driver files a claim for a collision once every 18 years – but I said I wasn’t going to get into statistics…)
Given that riding a motorcycle is much more complex and challenging than driving a car, we need to ask ourselves honestly – how likely is it that sooner or later, we will be in a motorcycle crash? Our fault… a driver’s fault… nobody’s fault – it doesn't matter – they all count. That answer is for you to come up with.
Now – I encourage all riders to take what we know about our vulnerability to injury or death if we are in a motorcycle crash and combine that with the answer to the question above about how likely it is that we will be in a crash sooner or later. Just hold those two things in your mind and in your heart for a few minutes. As we start planning for the 2013 riding season, ask yourself… “How prepared am I to meet the challenge of managing that risk?”
Here are some potential New Year’s Resolutions for you to address the reality of the risk:
These can be resolutions for you and gifts to those who care about and depend on you.
Take a riding skills course to sharpen your crash avoidance skills (Idaho STAR registration opens on February 4)
Commit to riding sober
Invest in a new/better helmet or jacket
Get some quality riding pants or boots
Check your health, disability, and life insurance and make sure you have adequate coverage to protect you and your family (I don’t mean to get all grim on you here, but this stuff matters)
Happy New Year – I wish you a safe and enjoyable riding season in 2013!
Idaho STAR continues to grow in reach (more riders) and scope (more course types). In 2013 we’ll offer 8 different course types at 14 sites. That’s right, 8 courses!
If you are thinking about rider training, we have a class that will fit your needs. Whether you are new to motorcycles, a veteran rider, or a rider coming back to the sport after a few years off, we’ve got a course for you.
Our three new courses for 2013 are: Introduction to Riding, Cornering Skills Practice, and Braking Skills Practice (see below for a complete listing of all 8 courses).
These new courses are based on student interest and on the analysis of recent crash data in Idaho. The idea is that riders (yes - experienced and veteran riders, too) will benefit from learning (or refreshing) specific life-saving skills to avoid crashes.
Here is a list of our course offerings for 2013. We will provide a more in depth description of each in the February newsletter, as we officially open enrollment for all of our courses on February 4th.
**NOTE – the new courses will be up on the website this week.
Introduction to Riding – NEW! –Want to see if motorcycling is for you before taking our Basic I? 3-hour session.
Basic I Course – For the novice rider with no or limited experience. Our most popular course. 15-hour course.
Basic II Course – Already comfortable with your bike but need more instruction in street-strategies? Skip the Basic I and take this course instead. 8-hour course.
Experienced Course – Never stop learning is our motto, and this class is a great tool to keep working on your riding skills. For riders with at least three months of current street-riding experience. 8-hour course.
Braking Skills Practice – NEW! – Have you had a close call while braking? Find yourself skidding the rear tire? Come out and improve your braking skills and your ability to handle emergency braking situations. No classroom; no tests. Endorsement required. 3-hour course.
Cornering Skills Practice – NEW! – Had some 'scary moments' in corners? Come out and practice leaning and cornering with confidence. No classroom; no tests. Endorsement required. 3-hour course.
Precision Riding Clinic – Master precision motorcycle control – course is based on Police Motor Officer training. Put your bike where you want, when you want, every time. No classroom; no tests. Endorsement required. 16-hour course.
Sidecar/Trike Course – If you have a trike or sidecar rig and are riding it, come take this class and improve your skills; you’ll be happy you did. 8-hour course.
We are hopeful that during 2013 we’ll serve more riders than ever before, save more lives, and make Idaho roads safer for everyone.