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View Poll Results: Is Gabe Right or Wrong?
Wrong! 10 4.90%
Right! 18 8.82%
I'm too weaselly to say! 2 0.98%
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:13 PM   #51
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Default Re: Tiers of a Clown: Gabe Responds to ''Power to Wait'' Feedback

You nailed it.
Reverēre meam auctōritātem

Bill Clinton and Chuck Schumer are praising the Supreme Court for overturning an anti-gay-marriage law that they both signed.
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:31 PM   #52
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Default Re: Tiers of a Clown: Gabe Responds to ''Power to Wait'' Feedback

Gabe seems to have changed his tune mid song... but I still like the basic melody...training is the key! I live in Japan where rider training is strict and coupled with tiered licensing. Its not prefect but it does tend to work. Riders must invest heavily in terms of both time and money to get a license. And even more time and money for a license to ride bigger machines. I am an American citizen who has been riding since the age of 21... I am now 39. I taught myself to ride on a Honda Rebel 250 because there were few training classes available in my area (actually none!). I slowly climbed the CC tree until I ended up on my current ride, a 1200cc Triumph Daytona sport bike. I took the MSF Experienced Rider's Safety course when I learned about it (it was not local but worth the ride!). I have a good riding record (in all my years I have dumped my bike once and gotten one speeding ticket). I moved to Japan 4 years ago. After my international license expired I registered to take the heavy bike test in Japan. I took 3 hours of lessons and then the test and failed (even after over 10 years exp!). I took 2 more hours of lessons and retested and passed. I met other riders who had failed the big bike test over 10 times! It's a tough test! It ephasises low speed manuevering and fine control of the machine. It costs 50 bucks for each hour of lessons, and 50 bucks for each test (you can only test once a week). Most people spend over a grand to get their license here. But the result is a lot of skilled, well trained, dedicated riders. (costs are the same for the light bike test, but the test is slightly easier to there are fewer retakes and fewer hours of training generally). There is no perfect solution, but riding training is very important. Lets make it more available, more comprehensive, and make it maditory!
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:36 PM   #53
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Default Re: Tiering - Saving Lives or Money?

I think one point that is getting lost here is that the tiering of licensing (not just motorcycles) happens more in countries where the government can use it to reduce its own costs; not create new costs. Bear with me and I'll explain.

In the case of Oz, the UK and the rest of the EU, if you have a crash in your beanie helmet and mess up your face, the medical system (government) will foot the bill for reasonable reconstruction surgery. The main reason why tiered licensing was introduced in these places wasn't "saving lives", it was the governments reducing medical bills. Its also why in Oz full-face helmets are mandatory in some states (or were back when I was there anyway).

The US on the other hand has a pretty basic medical system for the uninsured - the government isn't shelling out for the bulk of the medical costs, so the fed isn't going to throw extra money at it by taking the trouble to create a tiered licensing system (unless of course the cost can be offset by the fees - fairly unlikely).

Its far more likely to be a state by state initiative and I'd lay bets that the most 'progressive' states in this area will be the ones with best basic health care.

I'm kind of with the guy back there who said that the insurance industry will have more to say on this than the feds: if the insurance industry calculates that they'll get more money in the long run with a tiered system (bikers living longer and staying paying clients) versus those they'll lose (put off by tiering), they'll push for it.

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:37 PM   #54
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Default Re: Tiers of a Clown: Gabe Responds to ''Power to Wait'' Feedback

One of the biggest points being missed here is attitude, I had a teacher in tech school who told me once "attitude, not aptitude, will give you altitude" And he was 100% right. The majority of drivers in this country firmly believe that driving, riding, is a God giving right, the road is theirs to do with as they please, and if anyone gets in their way "pitty the fool".

In the good old US of A you might as well tell people that they can not screw, before you can tell them that they can not ride or drive, if you don't believe it, try telling anyone about using their turn signals, or not drinking and driving, or putting the damm cell phone down, just try it!

We can beat this subject ad nauseum, but until training and regulating manage to change the way people feel about being "the masters and owners of the road" things will remain the same.

I have been riding for a long time, and was lucky enough to start on small bikes, mopeds, step trough Hondas, 250c.c. Yamahas, 400c.c. Kawasakis and so on and so forth, and it was the best thing that could have happened to me, I don't know what could have the outcome if I would have started on a 1000 Gixxer or a Road King.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:55 PM   #55
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Default Re: Tiers of a Clown: Gabe Responds to ''Power to Wait'' Feedback

By the way Gabe.. Even though you are wrong big time.. Just kidding This is a great topic and your article definitely got things rolling. Hope you do more of it in the future. But you have to less subtle for some of us... Good job.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:06 PM   #56
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Default Re: Tiers of a Clown: Gabe Responds to ''Power to Wait'' Feedback

You concluce rider training is important and should be mandatory - yet nothing in your example is evidence for that conclusion. You had 14yrs of experience. You were self-taught. You've only fallen once. And yet you failed the Japanese test the first time (in spite of 3hrs of lessons). This tells me the test is nonsense, and the lessons aren't any better. The test emaphsizes low speed maneuvering and fine control - just like MSF classes. How many riders are injured or killed in low speed maneuvers due to lack of "fine control"?

If there are good riders in Japan it's obviously not due to their testing, their tiered licensing, and probably not due to their training which is directed at the testing.

Typical riding courses are pretty much worthless. They qualify you to ride in parking lots.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:21 PM   #57
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Default Is there a lack of data?

Obviously you did not "get" my point. The insurance companies have hard data, compiled over decades, to support their rate structure. A 17 year old will pay a lot of money to insure our fabled GSXR1000, far more than I will. Why? I'm older, more experienced, with long record of being a nearly accident free driver. (Knocking on wood as I type.) I have had a motorcycle license in Georgia since 1975, the year they introduced the motorcycle license.

Age and experience make a huge difference in rates. So there is data out there to back up the point that kids and newbies need to stay away from bikes that exceed their skill level. They won't do that on their own, so we need to assure they are ready. I believe that it is a value to protect people from their own stupidity, which is why you can't execute a contract when you are 17 without an adult guardian.

I am no opponent of training, because I know that it makes for better riders, but I think that we have a responsibility to lower the body count. I have seen too many people crash because of a stupid bet or because they wanted to prove their skills. I have seen far too many parents insist that their little boy is ready for an R-1 as a first bike.

If you want to prove your skills, take a class held on a racetrack. If you think that you can race, go up against Freddy Spencer or Kevin Schwantz and see how you really stack up. Odds are, unless you're in the one percent category, they will embarrass you.

You can guage experience. Check state records and find out how long they have had a license for a motorcycle.

Age, experience, and training all count, and all change your rate. I have never failed to have an insurance company ask me about all three.

Gabe, you are doing the motorcycling community a grave disservice in saying that you should "buy what you want," once you are trained. I don't mean to rant, but you are arguing against the data all in the name of some bizarre conception of rights. This thread is the most dangerous I have seen on MO. It could cause people to die. It is irresponsible. There is no motorcycle training program that can prepare you for a liter sport bike. Training plus age and experience can.

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Old 01-04-2007, 06:25 PM   #58
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Default Why can anybody buy a bike without a license ?

Just require all bikers to prove they have a valid motorcycle license when purchasing a new bike and/or new plates. That will drive much of the riff-raff into MSF classes as a quick way to get their "M" endorsement and give them a little education in the process.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:53 PM   #59
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Default Re: At least ONE crash...

My cousin once launched her 1.2L cruiser across the lawn due to this phenomenon, in fact.

As well as being what took out Reed. A large displacement engine has a lot of power just off idle, so an inadvertant twitch of the throttle hand can send you flying.

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Old 01-04-2007, 07:26 PM   #60
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Default Re: Is there a lack of data?

Someone mentioned that they have never had a cop check to see if they had certification for a motorcycle or not. In California, it's right on the license. It would be interesting to see if anyone has any data on how many people out there are riding with nothing more than a vague notion of where the shifter and throttle are.

Isn't it odd that you have to be, at least in the eyes of your employer, qualified to fill a job opening, which may involve nothing more critical than sitting at a computer all day, but then you can get into a 4000 vehicle that can kill a whole family with little more than a cursory examination of your skills and drive any damn place you want?
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