We have been using science to understand and manage the danger of driving motorcycles for two decades. We have developed models for measuring danger and evaluating danger reduction measures*, offer training curricula, and provide other information for the people to use to reduce the danger of driving motorcycles. (*Others call danger reduction measures “Safety Improvement Measures.)
We have used the National Motorcycle Training Institute’s system, “the NMI System,” (and more recently “the NMI Motorcycle-License System,”) to introduce people to motorcycling since 1998. The NMI System was used first at our historic San Diego County facility (Est. 1979), and over the years it has been tested and refined. We decided to focus on managing the danger of motorcycling rather than encouraging more people to take up the sport. We conducted our first exclusively industry-independent motorcycle danger-reducing training in July of 2001. The NMI System has an established record for reducing unnecessary student mishaps in class, and more importantly, reducing the unnecessary motorcyclist mishaps after class. Early on we saw the need to track other data besides “numbers trained” and have developed an extensive fatality data tracking system.
All Consulting Motorcycle Experts to NMI are Volunteers and receive no Compensation from NMI (NMI Experts can receive compensation from other motorcycling entities, but if they do, then they cannot be a member of the NMI Board of Directors):
Meredith “Hoot” Gibson, Cofounder of National Motorcycle Training, Retired
David L. Hough, Motorcycle Journalist and Author
Hector Eide, Program Manager, Penn DOT Motorcycle Safety Program
Lee Parks, President of Total Control Training, Inc.; Owner, Lee Parks Design, Enthusiastic Entrepreneur and Capitalist
Joseph Elliott, Founder of National Motorcycle Institute. No financial connections to motorcycle industry, or motorcycle training (public or private).
Independent Board of Directors, All Board Members are Volunteers and have no financial connections to any motorcycle industry or training entities: To help guide our conflict of interest ethics, we use the Oregon Revised Statutes suggestions for government committees.
Current Board of Directors:
Mark Carroll, BS : Senior Instructional Specialist AMSEC, LLC a subsidiary of Huntington Ingalls Industries. Certified Anti-terrorism Specialist CAS
Yun Kee Chung, PhD : Senior Engineer. Megasonics, Inc.
Joe Elliott, MS, MS : Founder, National Motorcycle Institute
Member of the Oregon Governor’s Advisory Committee on Motorcycle Safety
David Hassett, MS : Quality Manager, Electronics Manufacturing
James Millerd, PhD : President and co-founder of 4D Technology Corporation. Member of California State University Physics Advisory Board. Member of Vistage
Patrick Strawbridge, BS : Command Master Chief, US Navy
We do not promote motorcycling. We use science to understand and manage the danger of motorcycling.
We maintain objectivity through careful monitoring of funding, minimizing and eliminating conflicts of interests of our funding sources with our mission. We carefully maintain our 501(c)(3) Educational and Charitable Status.
NMI’s Donation Acceptance Policy
Annually, there are more than 150 other vehicles on the road for every single motorcycle!
Using Science to Understand and Reduce the Danger of Motorcycling
The Scientific Method requires that the results be reported in a truthful manner, the explanations and theories offered be difficult to manipulate, and the statements used be measurable and disprovable. We have applied scientific method to our modeling and data collection.
Rider Training Development
During the 1980s and 1990s, the motorcycle industry developed training courses to provide a cheap and easy way for new riders learn to ride and obtain state motorcycle licenses. The industry’s curricula and instructor certification model was adopted by many state motorcycle safety programs, but the results have been very disappointing. In spite of many years of teaching and encouraging more people to ride, the result has been a continuing increase in the motorcyclist fatality rate, and no discernible differences in the crash rate of trained and untrained motorcyclists.
The NMI founders decided on the goal of managing the dangers of motorcycling rather than promotion of the sport. They applied scientific measurements to their training experiences and studies to create an entirely different approach from that of the industry. Our programs are the only ones of which we are aware that promote making informed choices rather than promoting motorcycling without regard for the results. We know that motorcycling can never be made safe. “Motorcycle safety” is an oxymoron (two words that contradict each other). Once the danger of motorcycling is recognized, it can be managed. To emphasize that concept, we also refer to our organization as the Motorcycle Danger Foundation (MDF) and the Motorcycle Danger Institute (MDI). Motorcycling is not safe, it is dangerous. Once you recognize the danger, then you can reduce it.
The NMI System
The NMI System is composed of five modules, gather2ride, begin2ride, continue2ride, going2ride, and test2ride. Significantly, each module is separate, and at the completion of each module, participants are given the option to choose whether to continue, or to drop out. We have applied scientific method to specifically reduce participants’ chances of mishaps.
Our programs give students correct data so they know from the beginning that motorcycling is far more dangerous than what the industry admits. NMI students are given the opportunity to learn about the difference between novice level skills and intermediate level skills, which gives them direct knowledge to make informed choices. Even after extensive training, our students know that motorcycling remains a dangerous activity, but that the key to managing the danger is continuing to develop proficient skills and knowledge.
The NMI System’s theoretical bases is derived from the 4 points of the Mission Statement. Originally, we called the beginning steps Learn-to-Ride, then Learn2ride. As we developed the theory, we realized that every step is a Learn2ride-better step, that the entire NMI System is the “Learn-to-Ride Course℠.”
If you are considering the operation of a motorcycle school, and would prefer to use curricula that has a proven track record of reducing the dangers of motorcycling, the NMI programs are available, free of charge, with no restrictions attached (open source). Unlike curricula from the industry, there are no ongoing contracts or fees.
We invite you to explore our website, examine our motorcycle training system, and discover how you can increase your students’ enjoyment and also manage the dangers while on their journey toward becoming serious motorcyclists. Please feel free to contact us with any of your questions.
National MotorCycle Training Institute (NMI) History
The nonprofit/public benefit organization “National Motorcycle Training Institute” (NMI) was created in November, 2009, incorporated in the State of Oregon, USA. All ownership and copyrights of the previous curricula were donated by National Motorcycle Training (dba San Diego Motorcycle Training, a California Corporation) to National Motorcycle Training Institute, a 501(c)3 Oregon public benefit/nonprofit institution.