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Old 04-21-2005, 02:36 AM   #31
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Oh, yeah; you'd have a freakin' firestorm of debate. But consider the fact that it might give the MC community a chance to be heard. Right now the news media and safetycrats paint motorcycles and motorcyclists with a very broad and mostly negative brush.

How much good press do motorcycles get? Not much unless it's about a chopper.
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Old 04-21-2005, 03:25 AM   #32
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

All I needed to know about perceptions of motorcycles, I learned at a very young age. I remember writing a paper in school in 1971 about a practical way to unclog the roads and consume less fuel. I suggested motorcycles as an alternative transportation option. I felt I wrote a very convincing piece, and expected a decent grade. I was given a "D" on the paper. When asked why I got such a bad grade, the teacher replied "Your idea is totally impractical." That was lesson #1. Lessons #2 - #10,0000 revolve around talking with people about motorcycles. Beginning with growing up with 2 parents that HATED motorcycles, to telling people about taking trips on a bike and them asking "What if it rains? What will you do?" Scary. This just in. People ain't getting out of their cars. In fact, with all the crap they are putting in them, from entertainment systems, to wet bars, they may just live in the things. Nice manifesto Gabe, but I think we went down this road before.
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Old 04-21-2005, 03:31 AM   #33
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Jeez Gabe. Don't you know what happened to the original Che? Not that he didn't richly deserve it.

I suggest you decline any invitations to tour through Bolivia.
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
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Old 04-21-2005, 03:57 AM   #34
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

There's only a traffic problem if you're dumb enough to live in a major metro area. Those of us when sense enough to avoid those hives don't experience this problem.

If I ever get stuck in traffic, I usually end up thinking... "Why was I stupid enough to drive through X" where X is usually Dallas, or Pittsburg, or Atlanta.

You want to solve the traffic problem for yourself?

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Old 04-21-2005, 04:12 AM   #35
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Like others have said, it would be difficult to convince others to ride motorcycles if they don't want to. But the flip-side of that coin is there are more registered motorcycles on the road today then in the history of PTW's as Gabe calls them. Motorcycles use less fuel, create less wear and tear on the roads, and take up less room. Hell, you can get four motorcycles in the same space as one SUV at a stoplight.

So how about making it more attractive for those who own them to ride them to work, rather then ride just on the weekends. Give us some benefits for the above mentioned reasons.

I live in Utah, so here such incentives could be 1) making lane splitting legal. When traffic is at a complete stop it would be really nice to be able to lane split them to the front of the line. Instead, I have to wait 3,4, 5 light cycles with the cars around me. If a motorcycle wasn't there one more car could be, thus one more car would get through the stoplight on cycle. Not much, but a start.

2) Lower property taxes and registration fees on motorcycles and scooters. Utah is age-based, not value based taxes, so it costs the same to register a $10,000 motorcycle as it does a fully loaded $80,000 Hummer H2. Who's getting the break here?

3) Provide motorcycle parking closer to the buildings than auto parking. Instead motorcyclists have to park with cars, increasing the chance of the bike getting backed-in to (happened to my neighbors HD), or stolen because you're in some remote area of the parking lot between SUV's where noone can see what is happening. But hey, Tonya Trophy Wife got a great parking space for her Mercedes SUV and backed into a bike leaving.

4) Provide motorcycle awareness training in drivers ed. They teach us how to avoid cars, it would be nice if they taught cage drivers to be aware of motorcycles. On a related note, Utah just passed a law where you have to pass a bicyclist with at least 3' of space or it is a ticketable offence. No such law about running a motorcycle off the road.

Just my 2-cents worth. But it sure would be nice. *sigh*
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Old 04-21-2005, 04:13 AM   #36
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Can someone tell me why, if my motorcycle is "just a bicycle" it has to have the same insurance as an automobile, registration, and taxes that bicycles don't?

I'll support the campaign called for earlier!
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Old 04-21-2005, 04:19 AM   #37
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Default Re: Amen to the bad driver comments...

and the need for "safer" vehicles. If a harpoon came out of the steering wheel instead of an airbag, I think we'd all be little more careful...
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Old 04-21-2005, 04:40 AM   #38
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My compliments to Gabe on this well written and insightful article. It just makes sense doesn't it. I live in a Suburb of Dallas and urban sprawl is consuming area like a red tide in the sea. Lane splitting is not a leagal option in this area so even for those so inclined ( read talented enough,brave enough,foolhardy enough?) it's just not a legal option. We do however have have motorcycle friendly HOV lanes. Several are of the painted line variety but the best, the one which I have the priviledge of using, incorporates a moveable zipper type barrier which moves the barrier to the outbound lanes in the morning and the inbound lanes for the evening rush hour. These lanes are patrolled by motorcycle cops who more often than not give the two wheelers a wave or a nod as we pass.

I've looked into the reasons motorcycles are allowed in these lanes and the most important was safety. When on the dedicated zipper lane your main risks are in front and behind you. You don't have to be too concerned with someone swapping mirrors with you from the lane next to you. It's not perfect, if there is an accident it plugs this capillary solid but only once have I seen it happen as the result of a motorcyclist.....and he was a cop. I've heard he did this all by himself (no help from a car) but have not confirmed this. The HOV lanes in Dallas by the way,are maintained and controlled by our transit authority DART.

If Dallas can allow two wheelers on these lanes why not other cities?


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Old 04-21-2005, 05:04 AM   #39
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:14 AM   #40
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It seems to me that Gabe is talking about scooters, not motorcycles. Good idea: Americans would need to dragged kicking and screaming – but, none the less, a good Idea. I've been trying to come up with a gas-price that would finally beat some sense into us: $5.00 per-gallon comes to mind (I'm an optimist). Unfortunately, scooters are - well, too European for us. After all, Europe is where the French live, and we can’t stand the French. Besides, where's the cup holder, the CD player, the climate control, and where's the protection, you need…while flipping someone off in traffic? Personally, I don’t see it; Americans are way-too insecure to ever come out of their way-fairing wombs. And, James Dean and Marlon Brando are too much a part of our deluded collective-consciousness (image sells, reality smells). Choppers: now, there’s something Americans can grasp. Ugly, powerful, expensive (useless): choppers are what we want. And, sport bikes? Sorry, almost but not quite. We don’t like our costume jewelry to be so obviously plastic.

Americans are so much NOT what we think we are. But, like it or not, the rugged individualist: Davey Crocket, Danial Boone and John Wayne (Marian Morrison) are who we imagine ourselves to be. How ya gonna keep up an image like that, on a Vespa?

Yeah, well, you can get up and leave, DEAL WITH IT!
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