Here are the Bio's of our RiderCoaches.
Bryan Fortner, President/RiderCoach/RiderCoach Trainer
I grew up in upstate New York and have been riding motorcycles since I got my first mini-bike when I was 8 years old. I got my first real motorcycle on my 10th birthday (Suzuki DS80). There wasn't a week went by that I didn't ride that motorcycle. We lived near several thousand acres of wooded area that was legal to ride on. When I turned 16, my dad handed his 1973 Suzuki GT550 down to me. At that time, the hook was set. I have had a passion for riding ever since.
I joined the Navy right out of high school and spent a couple years over seas. As soon as I got back to the states, I had to get another motorcycle, so a friend sold me his 1985 Kawasaki Ninja 600. Then I had to take a MSF Basic Rider Course in order to ride my bike on base. That was my first experience with motorcycle education.
Years later, I got wind that MTSI was looking for new RiderCoaches, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to look into becoming a RiderCoach. I helped out with a few classes over that year, then the next spring, I took a class to become that coveted RiderCoach.
Over the years of being a RiderCoach, my family has become involved. My son has joined the Navy, but he helped with being a Range Aide for several years. My wife helps with running the behind-the-scene things and my other kids also like to help out with the classes. It’s neat to see the kids point out people who are riding without proper gear. That foundation of riding safe eases my mind as a parent, so that when it comes time for them to ride, I know they will always try to be as safe as they can be.
Rick Shipman, RiderCoach
I took my first MSF course in 1990 and became so pleased with it that I started volunteering as a range aide four years later. Although I have been riding for over 30 years I learn more with each class that I’m involved with.
Since becoming a RiderCoach, I have taught over 300 classes. It has been a pleasure to work with so many people from the classes because the unique interest we share is motorcycles, the thrill of “knees in the breeze”,and the different perspectives presented in the classroom provide a richer learning experience for everybody.
My “real “job at this time is as an Research Machinist in the Industrial Engineering Department at Wichita State University. I have also graduated with a B.S. in Manufacturing Technology, from Southwestern College.
I have been involved with Motorcycle Rights organizations for 20 years and have made lots of good friends over the years. I look forward to teaching another three or four hundred classes with this new company as well as meeting all of the students that want to improve their riding skills.
Bob Beavers, RiderCoach
I have been a certified MSF Instructor/ Rider Coach since 1991, teaching classes in both Missouri and Kansas. I live near Galena, in the Kansas Ozarks located in the extreme southeast corner of the state. When I am not teaching motorcycle courses in Kansas I am a Manufacturing Engineer for Modine Manufacturing Company in Joplin, Missouri.
I was born and raised near Junction City and I began riding motorcycles on the street in 1975 as a young college student trying to save money on insurance. I didn’t think about motorcycle safety much back then. My training consisted of riding around the section roads around Manhattan until I learned how not to fall over. I purchased my first motorcycle helmet from a state trooper near Pinedale Wyoming in the summer of 1976 while on my first multi-state tour. By that time I was hooked on motorcycles.
Looking back, I’m not sure how I made it through my early motorcycle years, but good luck and a lack of traffic helped me stay accident free. I took the MSF Experienced Rider Course in 1990, and was impressed with how much there was to learn. The next year I trained to be a MSF Instructor and I have been learning ever since.
Since 1986 I have put over 250,000 miles on Old Red, my Heritage Softail, including trips ranging from Alaska to Mexico with my wife Diane always riding passenger. She is often the voice of reason in my ear when I stray from the path of proper riding technique. Continuously practicing the same techniques I teach has allowed me improve my own skills and enjoy riding even more. The greatest feeling I get is when I meet one of my students out on the road and share their excitement as they handle their motorcycle like a pro that’s been riding for years. It makes me proud of my work, and makes all those long weekends worthwhile. (editors note: Bob has been teaching long enough that some of his students are pro’s by now.