An active duty for special work Corporal assigned to the Army National Guard, Fullerton, California, died in a PMV-2 mishap 16 July 2021 in Redlands, California, at 0033 local. The Soldier was speeding through a curve when he lost control and struck a pole. It is unknown who notified emergency service personnel. The Soldier’s completion of mandatory Motorcycle Safety Foundation training and use of personal protective equipment have not been verified. Alcohol as a contributing factor to the mishap is also unknown at this time. The safety/unit points of contact are waiting for the local sheriff’s department to release its report.
Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 27 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 17th off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY21.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
What can riders do to share the road more safely?
In most cases you will meet turns and curves on the road, so you need to learn how to ride your motorcycle through a curve.
•There are things you need to remember. First, with increased motorcycle speed, it will be harder for you to change directions. When you ride a bicycle, you just turn the handlebar toward the direction you want to go. It becomes the opposite when you are riding a motorcycle. Second, turning a motorcycle is done by counter-steering, meaning you need to shift the handlebars in the opposite direction of where you actually want to go. If you are going right, you have to push forward slightly against the handlebar grip on the right. This will actually turn the handlebar to the left. As the handlebar turns to the left, the motorcycle will lean to the right, which is direction you wanted to travel.
•As you approach a curve, slow down to a good entry speed that will allow you to roll on the throttle as you prepare to navigate the curve, and speed up later. You can gently use the rear brake for this. Position your motorbike outside for the turn, which means if you are turning left, your bike should be about three feet from the right side of the lane. When you want to turn right, the motorcycle should be about three feet from the centerline of the road.
•Look at where you are headed as this is where you want your motorcycle to go. If possible, identify the exit point of the curve to where the road gets straight again. You are not yet negotiating the curve at this point. You are still preparing to enter the curve.
•Remember the counter-steering technique. This is where you apply it – at the start of your entry into the curve. Keep your throttle open and roll to the curve, initially keeping a good distance away from the inside of the curve. As the angle of the curve tightens, you should be leaning closer to the curve. Point your eyes in the direction you want to the motorcycle to go. At the same time, you should be aware of incoming traffic from the opposite direction.
When you can see the exit point of the curve, position your bike to aim for a much more straighter line instead of following the angle of the curve all the way through, as you might end up bumping the rock face, a road barrier or the ditch. The weave pattern is more like outside, inside and then outside again. Do not use your brakes as you negotiate the curve, as your motorcycle will bobble and you will lose traction. You turn the throttle on here without pulling on the clutch to keep you motorcycle stable.
•Accelerate after you have negotiated the tightest angle of the curve and you can already see where the road becomes straight again. You should be moving away from the inside of the curve and more toward the inner lane as you accelerate. Acceleration will push your motorcycle up straight again as you prepare to ride on a straight lane.
•Your body should lean slightly with the bike as you negotiate the curve. Your first instinct would be to keep your body on a straight line when making a turn, but you need to practice until you gain confidence, as you have to be one with your bike when riding a motorcycle. Learn to lean with it, whether it is making a right or a left turn, and you will soon have a far more enjoyable ride. Keep on practicing until you have mastered the art of riding through a curve.