Make An Informed Choice



Our Mission is to reduce motorcycle crash fatalities while being an effective, transparent and professionally run 501(c)(3) public charity. We are a resource for the general public and governmental agencies, and we are purposefully independent of the motorcycling industry.

Ruling year info



Joseph Thomas Elliott

Executive Director

Patrick Strawbridge

Main address

636 Mallard Ave

Springfield, OR 97477 USA

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NTEE code info

Automotive Safety (M42)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Most people would agree that riding upon a motorcycle on public roadways is dangerous. But the level of danger is much higher than most people realize. And the countermeasures that have been attempted over the past 40 years have not reduced the danger to an acceptable level. Well-known countermeasures including rider training, motorcycle licensing, and personal protective equipment have not reduced the danger. Motorcycle Crash Fatalities are at disturbing levels. Information about the danger of operating a motorcycle on public roadways has been systematically suppressed. In government sponsored motorcycle safety programs there is now a culture of motorcycle recruitment and promotion, leading to inappropriate increases in beginners participating in motorcycling. The people currently beginning to participate in motorcycling are not provided enough scientifically accurate information to make informed choices on how to manage the danger of motorcycling.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Research: Data and Data Analyses

We publish the annual fatality counts for Motorcycle Crashes, Motorcyclists, Motorcycle Drivers, and Motorcycle Passengers. We match Population, Vehicle-Miles-Traveled (VMT), and Person(Occupant)-Miles-Traveled to the appropriate fatality count to make scientifically meaningful rates. These rates can be compared to the corresponding rates of passenger vehicles to obtain a measure of relative danger. We have developed the DangerOmeter to compare states relative motorcycle danger and to quantify the effectiveness of motorcycle safety/danger programs. We also evaluate the danger of motorcycling compared to other common vehicles used on public roadways. We quantify the relationship of the motorcycle endorsement of drivers' licenses and motorcycle driver training to fatality counts and rates and provide measures of the populations' motorcycling participation on public roadways and how this participation impacts fatality counts. We also measure the efficacy of motorcyclist personal protective equipment.

Population(s) Served

This program encourages behaviors that decrease motorcycle crash fatality rates; discourages behaviors that increase these rates (rates described in the Research, Data and Data Analyses Program). Additionally, information and techniques of non-behavior motorcycle safety/danger mitigation systems are developed and disseminated.

Population(s) Served

We develop appropriate motorcycle driver training curricula that scientifically reduces the danger. These curricula are free to use, copy, or distribute. These curricula are designed to have an ultra-low mishap rate. These motorcycle safety/danger training allows persons to "Opt-Out" of continuing to become trained and/or licensed-endorsed. The experienced motorcycle driver training focuses on skills and knowledge that scientifically reduces danger. We provide information on training program management, to assist state coordinators, program managers and others tasked with conducting motorcycle driver safety/danger training. Additional advocacy training, to help advocates learn how to best assist all victims of motorcycle crashes.

Population(s) Served

Other motorcycle danger mitigation techniques besides rider/motorcycle safety/danger driver training can be effective for motorcycle danger reduction. We have three areas of concern: Road Engineering, Vehicle Engineering, and Improving Motorcycle Law Enforcement. In our view, these areas have been neglected by the administrators of motorcycle safety/danger programs. Law enforcement of motorcycle driver compliance is a priority.

Population(s) Served

The study, explanation, and use of the scientific method and engineering to carry out NMI programs. A. Description of The Scientific Method and application to motorcycling. B. Description of Engineering solutions to motorcycling issues.

Population(s) Served

Monitor programs, entities, and financing involved in managing the danger of motorcycling, and eliminate conflicts of interest between NMI funding sources and NMI missions. Expose outside organizations discovered to have conflicts of interest between citizens’ needs, stated program goals, and profits.

Population(s) Served

Recommendations to the USA States for
Reducing Motorcyclist Fatalities

The following “talking points” help define the position of NMI in reference to the safety/danger of motorcycling on public roads in the USA:

1. Scientifically measure the danger of motorcycling

Riding upon a motorcycle on public roadways is dangerous, but the danger to motorcyclists and the danger of motorcycling to society* are not well documented or understood. Car occupants, including both drivers and passengers riding in automobiles, are called “motorists.” Motorcycle occupants, including both drivers and passengers riding upon motorcycles, are called “motorcyclists.”

* Societal Danger and Rates will be measured as to include the entire population.

Currently, based on Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) motorcyclists are killed 27 times more often than car occupants (motorists). This understates the danger because the occupancy rate of cars is about 1.4 times that of motorcycles. When the occupancy rates are considered, motorcyclists are fatally injured an astounding 38 times more often than car occupants. Another way to state the danger is that All-Other-Vehicles account for 99.4% of the Vehicle-Miles-Traveled leaving only 0.6% of the miles traveled by motorcycles, yet motorcycle drivers account for 21% of all drivers killed!

Allow Scientific Method to guide your program. "The Statement must be measurable and disprovable, the explanation difficult to manipulate, and reporting of results be completed in a truthful manner." This will help you guard against confirmation bias and “truthy” statements
(those we wish to be true, but are not factual). Truthy statements sound good, and make us feel good to say them, independent of the facts.

2. Encourage Transparency with Fatality Rates

We believe that state and federal government Departments of Health, Law Enforcement, and Transportation should take an active role in managing the danger of motorcycling. To better encourage transparency, we encourage state governments to make current and target Motorcyclist Fatality Rates available to the public. Specifically, the danger should be disclosed to news media outlets and to all those involved in motorcycle safety/danger-reducing programs at both federal and state levels. State motorcycle training administrators, site managers, instructors, the general public, and federal safety administrators should be made aware of the danger, to avoid following tactics that would actually make the situation worse.

Motorcyclist Danger (per VMT) for 2015 was 24 Motorcyclist Fatalities per 100 Million Motorcycle Miles Traveled.

Motorcycle Societal Danger (per population) for 2015 was 16 Motorcyclist Crash Fatalities per Million Population.

In 2015, motorcycles represented only 0.66% of VMT but 14.1% (21% of all drivers) of crash fatalities. Based on historical experience, the rate of Motorcycle Crash Fatalities per Million Population can be reduced from the current 16 to no greater than 8.

One of the reasons for failure to comprehend the relative danger of motorcycling is that the numbers of other vehicles on the road are so much greater than the number of motorcycles. Currently the average ratio in the USA is one motorcycle per 150 cars. We encourage you to test this statement by counting the vehicles you see in the traffic stream.

3. Advocate for better engineered roadways and vehicles

Crashes are often precipitated by driver error resulting from confusion over paths of travel, changing speeds, signals, signage, surface problems, and other drivers. Roadways and vehicles can be engineered to both reduce the potential for crashes, and reduce injury should a crash occur. We support better engineering of roadways and vehicles; and the integration of “smart” devices that can be shown to reduce crashes. And importantly, the transportation system can be improved for law compliance and enforcement so that motorcycle drivers will be motivated to drive legally and responsibly.

4. Acknowledge that people respond to incentives, whether or not the incentives result in negative or positive fatality results

We support the separation of beginner training from motorcycle endorsement of licensing. Government should have responsibility for driver licensing, to ensure that all drivers know how to operate their vehicles legally and responsibly. Private industry may have responsibility for driver training. Private industry should be active and responsible for all sorts of other motorcycle training that is not linked to directly obtaining the motorcycle endorsement. When state subsidies and reimbursements are provided to motorcycle drivers in training, such incentives should apply to every student, including those who "opt-out."

SEPARATE the license/endorsement testing incentive from beginner training. Incorporate an "opt-out" attitude into the entire publicly funded state motorcycle training system to help limit motorcycling to that part of the population that are serious motorcyclists who are willing to put the time, money, and effort into understanding and managing the danger.

The Department responsible for issuing licenses (Motor Vehicles, Department of Licensing, Motor Vehicle Administration, etc.) should be in charge of licensing/endorsing including driver testing. State license examiners should not have any incentives or conflicts of interest with motorcycle training or motorcycle industry organizations.

State license examiners for the motorcycle endorsement should be motorcycle subject matter experts. History has taught us that unskillful motorcycle drivers will benefit greatly when given an expert explanation of why they failed the endorsement testing.

There is also Law Enforcement issues (using negative incentives, i.e. penalties) that are effective for reducing fatalities. These include enforcing laws regarding speeding, impaired driving, and the use non-street legal motorcycles (such as minibikes, pocket bikes, dirt bikes, etc) on public roads. Greater enforcement, and penalties for violators, of current laws regarding these areas would reduce motorcyclists fatalities.

5. Avoid state encouragement of drivers to use vehicles for recreation on public roads

Many of today’s vehicles are capable of very aggressive acceleration and top speed. However, when a motorcycle crash occurs, motorcyclists have almost no protection from injury, and impact speed relates directly to the degree of injury. Speed is directly related to the potential for fatalities, and when motorcyclists use their machines for recreation, speeding is common. We believe that state government should specifically be limited from encouraging motorcycling for purposes other than transportation. In particular, departments of Health, Law Enforcement and Transportation should adopt the policy that motorcycle drivers should operate “At Suggested SPeed Limit All The Time,” (ASSPLATT).

All Drivers, including those driving motorcycles, must focus on operating their vehicles legally and responsibly. Respect and consideration for other roadway users should be emphasized in state sponsored licensing programs. We acknowledge and share concern that this point may negatively impact some state's motorcycle tourism programs. Our position is that private companies should be allowed to take the lead in promoting motorcycle tourism and recreation. Private schools may glamorize and romanticize motorcycling. State programs should be prevented from glamorizing motorcycling.

We also believe that the principles involved in being a good driver on public roadways do not change with different types of motor vehicles. For this reason, motorcycle drivers should also be taught the principles found in the state’s approved driver’s education curriculum and driver’s manual used by all drivers. Drivers of motorcycles, while interacting with other roadway users, should be held to the same responsibilities and courtesies as drivers of any vehicle. Based on this concept, we do not encourage laws that give special privileges to motorcycle drivers.

6. Publicly sponsored (state) driver training programs can and should DIFFER from private training programs

We believe that public driver training programs should not promote motorcycling on public roads. We would support the concept of states being responsible for licensing and endorsement testing, and training be offered through private schools. These schools may offer training beyond that needed to pass the government testing for endorsement. When public driver training is offered, students should be made aware of the relative danger, and instruction should be limited to operating a vehicle in a legal and responsible manner. Endorsement testing must measure this knowledge and skill.

Since training has not proven to reduce motorcyclist crash or fatality rates, we encourage training programs to cultivate and promote an "opt-out" attitude for students. A student who has made an informed choice to opt-out of driving motorcycles on public roadways cannot contribute to the motorcycle driver fatality rate. Students in state programs should primarily learn about the extreme relative danger of motorcycling on public roadways. Private schools should be separate from and have no affiliation with state sponsored schools.

We acknowledge that it is difficult for private schools to take the lead with the “opt-out” philosophy. Not only should private schools be allowed to reject the “opt-out” approach to reducing fatalities, they should be allowed to encourage people to drive motorcycles on public roadways. Private schools should be allowed to offer “advanced” and performance training. Publicly sponsored schools should not offer advanced skill training above what is proper for operating a motorcycle legally and responsibly.

Theoretical Note: The motorcycling participation rate directly and causally accounts for the increase or decrease in motorcycle crash fatality counts. When the number of persons participating in motorcycling goes up, the fatality count goes up. When the number of persons participating in motorcycling goes down, the fatality count goes down. Societal Danger, that is Crash Victims divided by Population, is a measure of participation. Specifically, National Motorcycle Institute recommends the above actions will both lower motorcycle crash fatality counts (Societal) as well as Motorcycle Driver and Occupant Fatality Counts.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We have found that, absent extraordinary industry (and overzealous, but well meaning, motorcycle enthusiasts') efforts to stimulate people to take up motorcycling, about two percent of the population in the USA will become avid motorcyclists. These people will become hardcore motorcyclists in spite of warnings. This limited population of serious motorcyclists ride their machines regularly and extensively. They develop a skill set and a cluster of tactics they use for managing the danger they face. This two percent of the population will have widely different motorcycling interests and find their own way to motorcycling, through formal training and/or other means. These motorcycle enthusiasts have gained enough information to make informed choices about their participation and use of motorcycles.

This resolute two percent of the population (“Twopers") accepts that motorcycling is dangerous, and they are willing to ride motorcycles in spite of that danger. Twopers, like most people, know that riding upon a motorcycle without a helmet is dangerous. (We recommend that you wear a helmet, even though they may not protect the internal organs as well as we wish.) Twopers also know that riding upon a motorcycle, even while wearing a helmet, continues to be very dangerous. Motorcycle drivers wearing helmets are killed over 30 times as often as car drivers, mile for mile. This relative danger is hard to comprehend. When the relative danger is comprehended, reasonable people often reject riding motorcycles on public roadways. This is why most of the population does not, and should not, ride motorcycles on public roadways. Due to the nature of motorcycling, our organization accepts that among the “Twopers" there will be relatively high crash and fatality rates that we must accept as “natural" or “normal" due to the high relative danger motorcycles pose compared to other vehicles. Twoper driver fatality rates will be lower than the overall motorcycle driver fatality rates. However, even for Twopers, their fatality rates will continue to be nearly 38 times that of car driver fatalities per person, mile for mile. The difference is that twopers have enough information to make an informed choice.

We know that motorcycle crash fatality counts can be dramatically reduced. Our goal is to provide scientifically accurate information, both with sound theories as well as accurate data and statistics, to the general population. When the population gains access to this information they will be able to make informed choices on managing the danger of motorcycling. We know this will lead to a great reduction in motorcycle crash fatalities and morbid injuries. And, this reduction can be measured. Additionally, we will hold government agencies accountable when inappropriately promoting motorcycling and providing non-scientifically accurate information to their citizens about the danger of motorcycling.

We start by putting our thoughts into the form “Statement because Explanation." Our understanding and theories of motorcycling danger are developed and expanded using the scientific method. We always apply the following mantra to our theories,"The Statement must be measurable and disprovable, the explanation difficult to manipulate, and reporting of results to be completed in a truthful manner." This mantra helps guide us when using the scientific method. If a statement is testable, that is, has measurable quantities, then we can use it in the scientific method. If the statement is not testable or does not have measurable qualities, then we do not consider it scientific. As our theories are developed and tested, and the data checked for accuracy and scientific significance, we publish the theories and data. This way others can test and offer feedback to the theories, which then will enhance and grow our theories, knowledge, and information.

Our website,, is central to our information storage and sharing. is the access point for our theories and data by all who are interested. We will be working closely with Guidestar and will work diligently to achieve the Platinum Guidestar rating. As we are achieving a high rating on Guidestar, we will use Guidestar to leverage our developing social media presence. Our social media presence will include active management of pages on FaceBook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We will continue to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase the reach of our messages.

We present our information at appropriate national conferences, such as the Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA) conference. Our science and motorcycle experts are in contact and work closely with the federal agencies NHTSA, NTSB, and FHWA. We maintain a group of motorcycle experts that are highly involved in many state motorcycle safety programs and will share our theories and information with their respective states.

We promote the concept that driving legally and responsibly is not dependent on the type of vehicle one chooses to drive. We will provide information to all Driver's Education programs for all types of vehicles regarding the relative dangers inherent to particular vehicles, such as motorcycles. It is crucial to reach the other 98% of the population that may not be aware of the danger of operating motorcycles and may then be susceptible to the romanticized versions offered by the motorcycle industry, and the motorcycle industry sponsored safety organizations.

We use science to understand and manage the dangers of motorcycling.

We have been in existence for 20 years and have many experts and supporters who volunteer much of their time and expertise. Our transparency policies and our new motorcycle danger paradigm are our most potent tools. As the paradigm shifts from the old "safety" paradigm which says, "Motorcycles can be safe and enjoyable," to the new "danger" paradigm, "Motorcycles are dangerous and can be enjoyable," scientifically supported techniques for danger mitigation will be created and become more available to the general public. Our position as pioneers of the new paradigm and our demonstrated commitment to the scientific method that guides our theories and testing gives us a quality of authority in the field of motorcycle danger mitigation.

Since our founding we have believed in the transparency virtues promoted by Guidestar. It is this very lack of transparency, and direct promotion of motorcycling, by other so-called non-profit motorcycle safety organizations that have caused, in our estimation, the doubling of the motorcycle crash fatality and injury counts. As the general public becomes familiar with our organization, they can use our example of public benefit charity, transparency and openness to aid in evaluating other organizations' motives for encouraging motorcycle participation. Since almost everyone uses the public road system, our public charity is designed to benefit all 100% of the population. Our lack of connection and lack of direct funding from the motorcycling industry is the fountain head for unbiased information to flow out to the general public!

Our organization includes volunteers who are experts in scientific, motorcycles, and other professional areas. We have developed scientifically sound theories, danger countermeasures, measures and rates. We update and publish this information on a regular basis. We also archive related information. We have the capacity to raise funds, receive grants, and pursue public education and scientific research. It is at our core that we are a public charity and community based for the entire community. We can engage our social media to spread this knowledge.

We do not promote motorcycling, we promote making informed choices.

We have established a transparent and motorcycle industry independent 501(c)(3) Public Charity motorcycle safety/danger organization that uses the scientific method. We do not promote or discourage motorcycling, we promote making informed choices.

We have established a new "motorcycle danger paradigm" that will be effective in reducing the Annual Motorcycle Crash Fatality Rate.

We have used, and cause to be accepted, the use of the word "danger" in motorcycle safety/danger education materials.

We have developed beginner motorcycle training curriculum, with an Opt-Out attitude, that has a demonstrated minimal injury rate to students. This curriculum is "open-source" and free to copy and distribute.

We are the first organization, that we know of, that is a motorcycle danger management organization, that is scientifically based, and not funded by the industry, or others who profit from the consumption of motorcycles.

What's next:

Promoting and gaining wider recognition and adoption by the general public of information provided by non-profit charities such as Guidestar and National Motorcycle Institute.

Refine the National Motorcycle Institute's structure and policies that align with Guidestar recommendations.

Greatly increase exposure to the general public and governmental agencies of our existence, and helpful information we make available for making informed choices about participating in motorcycling, as well as danger mitigation systems.

Achieve broader acceptance and the propagation of the new "Motorcycle Danger Paradigm."



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Board of directors
as of 11/06/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Joseph Elliott

Mark Carroll

Yun Kee Chung

Joseph T Elliott

Dave Hassett

James Millard

Patrick Strawbridge

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No