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Old 01-03-2007, 06:43 PM   #41
DonM
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Default debridement

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Old 01-03-2007, 06:45 PM   #42
kwh
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Default Re: Power to Wait

There has been some empirical research done in Europe on this issue, at the behest of riders rights groups who were objecting to EU plans to introduce power limits. The basic finding was that prodigious power per-se was not a factor likely to lead to casualties, EXCEPT in the context of inexperienced riders, when too much too soon is measurably dangerous.



But you also have to factor in that that is 'inexperienced' by european standards. By US standards, a newly licenced European rider is actually quite highly skilled and competent.



For example, in the UK, before you are even allowed on the street on your own, on a learners plate, on a bike with a maximum of 125cc and 15bhp (and that also covers those little 50cc scooters which are limited to 30mph), you need to complete a compulsory one day course roughly equivalent to your MSF class, but with an extra assessed street riding section tacked on the end. And if you haven't passed a full licence test within 2 years, you have to pass it again to carry on riding that 125 on L-plates.



To get a full licence, which allows you to ride bigger bikes and use motorways (freeways), you also need to do a written theory test, and pass a video/computer moderated 'hazard perception test'. Only then can you take the road test, a pursuit type test where you need to ride under the radio direction of an examiner on another bike, on a broad selection of types of road and in disparate traffic situations, pausing only to carry out a few set manouvres competently (emergency stop, U-turn in the road, obstructed pull-away). You can take that test on a 125, in which case you are restricted to riding a bike with less than 33bhp for the next two years (you can get restrictor kits fitted to enable ou to have that Hayabusa if you really want a 33bhp 'busa), or only if you are over 21, you can train (with a qualified and certified instructor riding behind you) on a big bike, and take and pass your test on a big bike (i.e. over 45bhp), in which case the tester is looking for a superior standard of ride appropriate to the higher performing machinery, and you can ride what you like straight away then.



The typical British wannabe biker on a 'Direct Access' training course (the one that lets you ride anything right after you pass) has had five days of riding under instruction (CBT plus 4 full days of road riding) before they take their practical motorcycle test for the first time, and has probably done a minimum of 600 miles on the road with an instructor talking to them through headphones, giving them advice and tips throughout.



Judging by some of the video I've seen of US riders, many of the people handing over their money and climbing on 120bhp 600cc Supersports bikes down at their local motorcycle dealership have never even sat on a bike in their lives, let alone ridden one on the road!



Anyone wonder why the accident rate is so much higher on your side of the pond?
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:01 PM   #43
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Default kpauls multiple point plan to save the MO world

Excellent piece Gabe. But I disagree.

WA State used to have tiered system, until a Republican State Legislator from Mercer Island (an exclusive Seattle suburb on a island in Lake Washington) bought a Harley. To his chagrin he couldn't ride it home. So he changed the law with lobbying help from the HD dealers I am sure *

kpaul's multi coverage program
[*]I still feel a tiered licensing program is good idea for younger squid like riders even older riders returning or who are new to the sport.. Yes we can't prove it yet with numbers that a tier license system would reduce crashes..but as you said it would likely reduce the severity of the accidents. I would bet that crashes would be reduced but the problem is we don't have data do we?
[*]Mandatory MSF training and mandate a refresher course every 3 years I can hear seruzawa trembling in his compound.. Sorry but you can't get a pilot's license or keep it with out training..
[*]I would actually beef up the MSF training to include some actually street time training akin to drivers education courses or European training
[*]I would require Motorcycle makers to help finance the proposed government study
[*]Federal motorcycle protective clothing law requiring full face helmets, jacket, pants, and boots. States who don't comply get their highway funding cut... This was done by the feds to get the drinking age raised etc.



I bet that if this plan was adopted, crashes would go down, severity of injuries would be reduced, insurance costs would go down and we could all keep our privilege to ride. We as riders should be out in front of the government bureaucrats... Not the other way around..







* This story was told to me by two different MSF instructors.

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Old 01-03-2007, 07:04 PM   #44
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Default Re: Power to Wait

I'd like to see some facts; what has been the experience of Europe/GB w/tiered licensing? I have seen too much of the "buy your son a GSXR for his last birthday" syndrome. Maybe mandating training, and doing something to keep inexperienced riders off of bikes that are beyone their capabilities would be a good thing.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:09 PM   #45
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Default Re: Power to Wait

I concure that tiered licensing is not a solution.

Proper training, self discipline, continual practice, and global education would better serve the motorcycle, as well as the entire motorist community.



My first motorcycle was an 883 Sportster; Black, of all colors, (I actually had a so called seasoned HD rider repremand me for buying a black harley as my first bike! Apparently one has to work up to the color black, when riding a Harley. Hmmm, perhaps a tiered color structure is in order as well?) But I digress... The point I wish to make is that after receiving proper training, I continued to practice what I had learned, riding in empty parking lots, read books and articles to increase my knowledge, and set out to systematically work my way up to more challenging riding situations, first mastering the simple urban back streets, then onto the more imposing highways and freeways. With continual practice comes increased skill and the confidence to know what to do wihen situations arise. I advanced to bikes with more horsepower such as the Ducati and the Triumph, each time taking the time to get to know the characterisitcs of each.

The old adage, " you must respect the road since it does not respect you", while sounding somewhat cliche, is never the less true.



The other issue that I have with the tiered structure is that of singling out the motorcyclist. What about all the people who drive those thinly veiled Patton tanks, or the youths whose first car happens to be a corvette, or some other muscle machine? Should they not be tiered as well? I lost three close buddies, all seasoned riders, all taken out by new drivers. One can never eliminate all risk, but one has a responsibility to do what ever he or she can to minimalise it.



I think that all licensed motorists should be given a course similar to what one receives during a motorcycle safety class, so that they are made aware of the responsibilities that they have, not only from their own perspective as that of an automobile motorist, but from the point of view of the motorcyclist as well.



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Old 01-03-2007, 07:10 PM   #46
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Default Excellent Post... Gabe go to the U.K.

Excellent Post. I think you are spot on. When I took the MSF class I was surprised to learn that all the training was done in a parking lot. Now for folks who had never ridden a bike that was useful but for others it seemed silly.. Also the training is only two days... Unfortunately, I think the "free spirited" Harley riders that dominate the U.S. motorcycle scene or what I call the the GPTB* will not stand for any increase in training like you have in the UK. I would actually like to see Gabe go to the U.K. Do the training and see if he doesn't change his mind.



*GPTB Gray Pony Tail Brotherhood: Baby boomer riders who prefer cruisers (Harleys if they can afford it). They dislike helmet laws and any government "interference" with their perceived right to ride a motorcycle.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:12 PM   #47
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Default Re: Power to Wait

Well said.. I was trying to be more diplomatic but I definitely agree with you on this one.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:16 PM   #48
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Default Re: Power to Wait

Good point... I think some folks are ignoring the laws of physics... i.e a bigger powerful bikes are harder to stop, control, and have more energy in a crash.. But we are missing data aren't we..
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:20 PM   #49
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Default Re: Power to Wait

Hey if you had a flat tax just think how many tax lawyers and accountants would be out of work.. I agree with on the tax thing. The current system is like friction to our economy i.e. it is holding us back.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:22 PM   #50
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Default Re: Power to Wait

That's on old tired argument. If we as in AMA would be out in front of the public on safety we would save our privilege to ride not the other way around
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