Whether you’re a motorcycle rider or not, there is no limit to how much you can learn about a two-wheeled vehicle, improvement of riding skills and keeping yourself safer on the road.
Servicemembers on Fort Bragg were given the unique opportunity to receive expert advice from professional motorcycle and BMW factory rider Nate Kern, who held a two-session motorcycle workshop seminar for riders Jan. 17, at York Theater.
“Once those training wheels come off and you go out of the parking lot into the road, reality sets in,” said Kern. “Winning to me is keeping all riders safe.”
Throughout the seminar, Kern emphasized the importance of safety, the fundamentals of body positioning, as well as mental strengthening while riding. He also gave the audience an opportunity to demonstrate their body positioning on motorcycle displays provided by Capital BMW from Raleigh, N.C., on which he gave tips and made recommendations on how to position themselves better.
“I wanted to give them a genuine understanding of my personal experience and slow them down mentally to get them to understand and comprehend the fundamentals,” Kern said. “These are people who have served our country valiantly and I want them to drive these machines not only safe, but smart.”
Kern has been professionally racing motorcycles since 2002 and serves as the BMW S1000RR Superbike technical ambassador. He was key in BMW’s historic 8 hours at Daytona endurance race win in October 2006, which was the first time BMW won a significant superbike race in 30 years. Prior to the win, Kern earned many trophies from the American Sportbike Racing Association’s Championship Cup Series that has brought him a huge following in the USA.
Staff Sgt. Jason Smith, a clinic noncommissioned officer in charge from Co. B, MEDDAC in Fort Benning, Ga., also came with Kern to help servicemembers learn about motorcycle safety. Smith voluntarily took his personal leave days and drove to Fort Bragg to help in the seminar.
“The training addresses the knowledge gap for beginners and fills in blanks for experienced riders as well,” said Smith.
“I’m all about getting our Soldiers and Airmen to become better riders,” said Zacheau, who coordinated Kern’s visit to Fort Bragg. “I felt that this was a great opportunity for servicemembers to receive not only free, open to the public training, but a chance to talk to a professional,” he added.
“This was a great event,” said Pfc. Sean McGee, a health care specialist from 550th Area Support Medical Company, 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 44th Med. Bde. “Even though I’m not experienced and have only been on a motorcycle once, I learned a lot. Safety is really important when it comes to riding any vehicle, but especially a motorcycle because you are more exposed.”
Kern will continue to train servicemembers throughout the year at other military installations and share his experience with motorcycle safety and techniques. He is set to head to Fort Lee, Va. in May.
“Anytime that I am able to share my knowledge to help other riders become more efficient in riding is great to me,” said Kern. “Whether novice or expert, you can always learn more.”