by Kalama Hines from https://www.eastidahonews.com

ISP hosting motorcycle safety rally Saturday

POCATELLO — Approximately 80 percent of motorcycle crashes can be attributed to operator error, according to Idaho State Police Sergeant Andrew Nakashima.

That is why ISP is partnering with Grand Teton Harley Davidson to host a free motorcycle safety class Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Shiny Side Up Motorcycle Rally will be held at Hillcrest High School, and feature training for motorcycle riders from beginner to experienced veteran, because, as Nakashima told EastIdahoNews.com, there is a lot of “bad information floating around.”

“There’s a lot of benefits to be gained from training,” he said. “I used to ride a motorcycle before I got this job, and everything I learned was from the guys I rode with — telling me to do this and don’t do that. Having gone through a formal training program to be a police motor, I realized how much of that was false.”

Nakashima recently transferred to Pocatello’s new ISP Motorcycle division from Meridian, where officers host a motorcycle safety training event every year. He hopes this event will have a similar effect, providing local riders with necessary safety courses annually.

The event, which will feature vendors and food trucks, is open to the public. To take part in the training courses, however, riders will need a motorcycle endorsement or training permit and proof of insurance.

No experience is needed, though.

“If you buy a motorcycle Saturday morning and you ride it on down to Hillcrest High School, we’ll have some riding coaches there and we’ll take you through the very beginner (course),” Nakashima said. “If you’ve been riding for a while, we’ve got some other patterns you can try your hand at. … But it’s not just for beginners. If you’ve been riding for 20 years, you might be surprised what you can learn just going through an intermediate cornering class.”

Along with instruction from ISP, riding coaches from Grand Teton Harley Davidson and Idaho STAR — Skills Training Advantage for Riders — will be in attendance.

Instruction will focus on the factors that play a role in operator-error crashes, including proper cornering and safe lane changing, along with collision avoidance.

“One of the driving forces behind this event is getting people to realize that you are responsible for your own safety,” Nakashima said. “It’s not up to cars to watch for you. It’s not good enough to put a loud pipe on your bike and say ‘loud pipes save lives.’ We really want to push the training aspect for riders.

“Motorcycles need training. That’s pretty much the bottom line.”

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