Motorcycle simulator allows Airmen to test skills, prepare for open road

  • Published
  • By Airman Alessandra N. Gamboa
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Taking a virtual ride on a motorcycle simulator can help ensure Airmen posses the skills to safely operate a motorcycle as well as give those considering buying a bike a better idea of whether or not riding is really for them.

The simulator at the 28th Bomb Wing Safety building, which displays a realistic obstacle course on its computer screen, grades riders on their speed and ability to safely negotiate common road risks including open car doors, sudden stops, tight turns and pedestrians without spending a dime or risking injury to themselves or others.

Master Sgt. Joseph Jackson, 28th Bomb Wing weapons safety manager, motorcycle rider and basic rider course instructor, said he encourages both new and experienced riders to test their skills with the simulator.

"The simulator is a realistic training tool Airmen can use to figure out if they possess basic motor skills - such as knowing how to operate a clutch - without finding out on the road," Jackson said. "It's better to spend a day in the ERC (experienced rider course) than in the ER."

Tech. Sgt. Shane Christian, 28th BW ground safety NCO in charge, explained that many of the risks leading to ER visits include weaving in and out of traffic, excessive speed and complacency among young, male riders.

"We have seen from statistical information surrounding motorcycle-related fatalities that age and gender are common factors," Christian said. "While human factors, such as these, cannot be eliminated entirely, our job at safety is to focus on preventing mishaps through preparation."

Part of the preparation, Christian attests, includes using tools such as the simulator which can help new riders learn proper risk management through common scenarios presented in the simulator's obstacle course.

"The simulator gives Airmen training they can use, by helping them become cognizant of common dangers, in a safe and fun environment," Christian said.

The simulator is free and open to Airmen new to riding and experienced riders alike. Those curious to see how well they perform, can contact the 28th BW ground safety at (605) 385-7233.