Accessibility Tools

| Michael P. Ehline

Riding Motorcycles as a U.S. Marine: Regulations and Inspirations for Aspiring Student Riders

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience, and for those with aspirations of joining the U.S. Marines, it can become an integral part of their military journey. However, it is essential for student riders to understand and adhere to the regulations governing motorcycle use within the Marine Corps. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the regulations that Marines must follow when riding motorcycles and provide inspiration and insights for student riders who aspire to join the prestigious ranks of the U.S. Marines.

Importance of Motorcycle Safety

  1. Understanding the Risks: Motorcycling inherently carries risks, and it is crucial for student riders to recognize the importance of safety. The Marine Corps strongly emphasizes safety, and this mindset should be carried over to motorcycle riding.
  2. Personal Responsibility: As aspiring Marines, student riders must understand that safety is their personal responsibility. Taking proactive steps to acquire the necessary training and follow safety guidelines will protect themselves and contribute to the well-being of their future fellow Marines.

Marine Corps Motorcycle Regulations

  1. Basic Requirements for Riding: To ride a motorcycle as a Marine, certain requirements must be met, including possessing a valid motorcycle endorsement on a state-issued driver’s license.
  2. Mandatory Training: Marines are required to complete a formal Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Rider Course (BRC) before operating a motorcycle on or off military installations.
  3. Protective Gear: The Marine Corps mandates the use of appropriate protective gear, including helmets, eye protection, sturdy footwear, long pants, long-sleeved shirts or jackets, and gloves.
  4. Prohibited Actions: Marines are prohibited from engaging in reckless behavior, such as stunt riding, racing, or operating a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  5. Motorcycle Inspections: Regular inspections of motorcycles are conducted to ensure they meet safety standards, including the proper functioning of lights, brakes, tires, and other essential components.

Benefits of Motorcycle Riding for Future Marines

  1. Skill Development: Riding motorcycles can enhance a student rider’s coordination, balance, and situational awareness, skills that are invaluable in the military, particularly for combat-related roles.
  2. Stress Relief and Resilience: Motorcycling offers a form of stress relief and can promote mental well-being, helping future Marines develop resilience and cope with the demands of military life.
  3. Sense of Community: The motorcycle culture within the Marine Corps fosters a strong sense of camaraderie and brotherhood, providing an opportunity for student riders to connect with like-minded individuals.
  4. Leadership Opportunities: Riding motorcycles as a Marine can present leadership opportunities, such as becoming a Motorcycle Mentor or participating in motorcycle safety programs, allowing student riders to make a positive impact within their units.

Motorcycle Safety Tips and Best Practices

  1. Continuous Training: Encouraging student riders to seek additional training beyond the basic requirements, such as advanced riding courses, will help enhance their skills and knowledge.
  2. Defensive Riding: Emphasizing the importance of defensive riding techniques, such as anticipating hazards, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, and using situational awareness, will help future Marines stay safe on the road.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Student riders should diligently maintain their motorcycles, conduct regular inspections, and promptly address any mechanical issues to ensure optimal safety and performance.
  4. Riding in Groups: Explaining the dynamics of group riding, including proper formations, hand signals, and communication protocols, will prepare student riders for the teamwork and coordination required in the military.

Real-Life Inspirational Stories

  1. Gunnery Sergeant Samuel Johnson: Gunnery Sergeant Samuel Johnson, a Marine Corps veteran, found solace and purpose through motorcycle riding after sustaining severe injuries during combat. Despite losing both his legs, he defied the odds and became an avid rider, participating in various motorcycle events and inspiring others with his resilience and determination.
  2. Staff Sergeant Amber Smith: Staff Sergeant Amber Smith, a former Marine Corps drill instructor, discovered her passion for motorcycles while serving in the military. After transitioning to civilian life, she pursued her dream of becoming a professional motorcycle racer. Through dedication and perseverance, she achieved remarkable success and became a role model for aspiring student riders.
  3. Corporal Joe Davis: Corporal Joe Davis, a Marine Corps veteran, used his love for motorcycles to give back to his community. He founded a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic motorcycle rides to wounded veterans, helping them overcome physical and emotional challenges. His selfless efforts and commitment to supporting fellow Marines serve as an inspiration to student riders.
  4. Sergeant Melissa Perez: Sergeant Melissa Perez, a Marine Corps veteran, experienced the transformative power of motorcycle riding firsthand. Struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after her military service, she found solace and healing through long motorcycle rides. Today, she advocates for mental health awareness and encourages student riders to embrace the therapeutic benefits of riding.


Aspiring student riders who aim to join the U.S. Marines can find inspiration in the regulations, safety guidelines, and stories of former Marines who have embraced motorcycle riding as a part of their military journey. By adhering to the Marine Corps safety standards, seeking continuous training, and fostering a sense of community, student riders can develop valuable skills and qualities that will serve them well in their future military careers. The combination of responsible motorcycle riding and the pursuit of joining the Marines can create a fulfilling and meaningful path for those passionate about both endeavors.

Our Trusted Supporters
Taran Tactical Innovations
USMC Bagpiper
As seen in Leatherneck, Magazine of Marines

Your Name Here

Marine Corps League, Orange County, CA
Lytle Creek Firing Line

Follow Us


General Stuff


Paul Ehline Ehline Memorial Ride
3838 W Carson St.
Torrance, CA 90503
Phone : (310) 622-8719

© All rights reserved.

Donations submitted through donation forms on PaulEhlineRide.Org are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by U.S. and state laws. These will be in U.S. Federal Reserve Notes. Paul Ehline Memorial Ride™ is a U.S. nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable Section 501(c)(19) organization that benefits US Armed Forces veterans under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. (Tax identification number 85-4040563.)