Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo



    Photo By Yoshie Makiyama | Dylan Code, a rider coach with California Superbike School, second from left, observes...... read more read more



    Story by Yoshie Makiyama 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    In any country, riding a motorcycle requires not only a license, but also quite a bit of skill. You cannot afford to risk your own life, let alone the lives of others. Marine Corps Installations Pacific Safety Office holds numerous training sessions for motorcyclists throughout the year.

    Among them is the Level Three Advanced Rider Track Day, the highest level of training, and was held on Feb. 11-12 at the Naha Port Facility, formerly the Naha Military Port. A total of 44 motorcyclists gathered to learn advanced riding techniques for road safety not only for themselves but also their neighbors.

    According to the Safety Office, there are nearly 900 active riders in Okinawa under the Status of Forces Agreement. 470 of which are Marine Corps personnel.

    Motorcyclists are required to complete prerequisite motorcycle training: the Level One Basic Riders Course, which contains four online training sessions, two days of face-to-face classroom sessions, and hands-on training. After the Basic Riders Course, motorcyclists must complete the Level Two Intermediate Rider Course within 180 days. In addition, the Marine Corps requires its service members to take refresher training, which is necessary before being eligible for the ARTD.

    ARTD is a follow-on training course that meets the five-year refresher training requirement and is normally scheduled semiannually. It is only required for active duty riders who already have a SOFA motorcycle license.

    “ARTD takes more space where riders can practice and improve their skills with more realistic road speed, which is something that is not available at basic and intermediate courses,” said Tsutomu Yamashiro, MCIPAC Safety Office rider coach. “ARTD takes place at the Naha Port Facility or Marine Corps Air Station Futenma where they can provide a much larger area for the training and allow the student riders to learn advanced skills and ride safely on public roads.”

    This year, the Safety Office invited Dylan Code, an instructor from California Superbike School. They have brought the instructors from the school starting in 2009; but most recently in 2017, an instructor from the Safety Office was certified, making the Safety Office self-sufficient to run the ARTD. One of the California Superbike School requirements is to perform quality control checks and to provide refresher training to the local instructors and coaches.

    According to Code, the course is to bring the rider who already knows how to ride to a higher level of control and it focuses on technology and technique. This allows the riders to act intuitively rather than thinking. Motorcyclists run into common problems such as running wide in the corners or speeding, and the course provides different approaches to resolve those issues.

    “We don’t normally train for highway speed but for the corner,” said Code. “We want them [riders] to be confident at the corners that are typically where they get in trouble. Speed is moderate but we want to make sure technique is good.”

    U.S. Navy Lt. Natalie L. Spritzer, a nurse with 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group and a rider enthusiast held a motorcycle license for a long time, but recently became an active rider again. “I am pushing my limit because it’s a controlled environment. You learn how you handle the situations and cornering,” Spritzer said. “It’s preparing me to ride safely. This is about safety, making people a safer rider.”

    For the active duty Marines coming to Okinawa, step one to getting a motorcycle license is obtaining a privately owned vehicle SOFA license. This can be acquired by meeting all prerequisite requirements, and upon completion of Newcomers Orientation Welcome Aboard brief. The next step for new riders is to take the Basic Riders Course, for existing riders who are licensed in the states and are up-to-date on their training, is to have their training certificates validated. Whether a new or current rider, an operational test will be conducted. Once all the requirements are met, the motorcycle license will be issued. All other motorcyclists, whether civilian or other active duty service members belonging to sister services, need to contact Motorcycle Section 634-2450 in building 908, Kadena Air Base for more information.














    Date Taken: 05.01.2023
    Date Posted: 05.18.2023 00:02
    Story ID: 444815
    Location: OKINAWA, JP

    Web Views: 44
    Downloads: 0