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Old 01-17-2007, 05:31 AM   #31
jkloppie
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I hate to say it, but an awful lot of people haven't a lick of sense when they start to ride. Tiered licensing might give them time to grow some. That said, I would personally hate to be caught up in a tiered system, but I see the necessity.
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:44 AM   #32
gr8shandini
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

Just like helmet laws, I think this all comes down to the ruse that this is about public safety and not a simple money grab (how much you wanna bet that the DMV is going to charge exponential rates for each successive tier?) and an excuse to create a class of bikes that no one is allowed to drive on road.



When a motorcyclist gets into an accident, who gets hurt? The motorcyclist. When is the last time that you've heard of someone other than the operator getting killed by an out of control motorcyle? I'm sure it's happened a few times, but it's certainly not common. So why motorcycles? Shouldn't the size and power limits apply to four wheeled vehicles? People have mentioned several times that you wouldn't let a newly licensed 16 year old drive a Ferrari, but the barely dry ink on his "class C" endorsement allows him to do just that. In fact, I used to have a BMW M3 with over 330 horsepower and the message board I belonged to was filled with kids that were handed the keys the day they passed the driver's exam.



But wait, it's not just sports bikes we're talking about here. A Gold Wing or Road King is too much for a newbie because of it's mass. Well, then what about the fact that anyone with a class C can go straight from the DMV to their local Hummer dealer and buy an H2 with a 8,500 gross vehicle weight? That's the equivalent of a squadron of 10 Wings rolling down the road and it's being piloted by some jackass trying to talk on the phone and eat a burger while doing 75 mph. Who's the greater menace to public safety here?



And finally, what about the mass of the rider? Everyone keeps assuming that the first tier is going to qualify you for something along the lines of a 125. Someone even mentioned 50ccs. Well, that may be fine for a 130 lb teenager, but I got started in my mid twenties weighing in at 225 lbs and fully capable of righting a 500 lb bike from near drop situations. My daily commute included 30 miles on the highway, and a 125 would have been a ridiculous proposition for practical transportation. We keep saying we want to emulate the Europeans, but we forget that your average Brit can get to work and back without touching a motorway, but freeway driving is an unavoidable part of the daily drive for most Americans. Hell, the speed limits on even some of our surface streets top 50 mph and that means that traffic is doing about 65. You have to let new riders get on something capable of keeping up or they'll probably give up motorcycling altogether.



Sorry for the rant, but I happen to be a libertarian and have heard for years about how much better this country would be if we emulated Europe by restricting our freedoms. After a while, you start to wonder why we fought for our independence in the first place.
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:46 AM   #33
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

"How about we try enforcing the ones we already have?"



Holy Shyt! I think you got something there. You mean those 500 gun laws on the books are already enough? Nah.
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:58 AM   #34
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Default A Power Related Newby Crash...

Here is a case where the power of the bike in a newby's hand directly caused the crash:



New rider, name of Reed Kennedy, decided he wanted a Buell. He asked for advice online, and got it: "Take the MSF course, wear proper gear, and for the love of god DON'T start with a 1.2L Buell Cyclone."



He ignored the MSF advice and just got a permit to start with. He ignored the advice about getting a cyclone. Fortunately, he did get (most of) the proper gear.



What happened, at about 20 miles on the odometer, is he hit the muni railroad tracks running parallel to the traffic on Market street. Not a happy thing for any rider, but not catastrophic.



What WAS catastrophic is that the deflection caused by hitting the track caused him to goose the throttle. Which wouldn't have been a concern on an EX500 as there is very litttle low end. But on the big Buell, it was enough to unsettle the bike (understatement) enough that he bounced off the side of a Muni bus in the next lane, compressing the frame and totaling the bike.



For further reading, google groups for "Reed Kennedy" and "Full Disclosure".





Likewise, my cousin once launched her 1.2L virago across her lawn due to a similar effect. "No harm, no foul", but still not good.

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Old 01-17-2007, 06:00 AM   #35
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Default One other simple thing: Actually REQUIRE a liscence...

How about a simple expedient: You NEED a motorcycle endorsement to buy a motorcycle from a dealership. Not a permit. Not nothing. But an actual-to-god M1 before you can take it off the lot.

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Old 01-17-2007, 06:08 AM   #36
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I got my first bike when I was 12 years old and have been around and owned bikes since then. When my parents allowed me to put my hard earned paper route money into a motorcycle did they do me a disservice by restricting my purchase to a 1980 Honda XR 80? By some of the arguments posted I should have been allowed to buy a KX500 and then grow into it. Do any of you think that there would have been a greater risk to life and limb with a 12 year old mentality and a two stroke widow-maker like the KX500? Thank goodness my parents put the restriction on me and I am still alive today to ride my 2006 Hammer. (Yes, I am old and the Hammer is an ego thing) My point is this (finally) At 12 yrs old I did not have the experience to ride a KX500 and the PTB in my life at the time were correct in limiting bike size. People who did not grow up on motorcycles as many of us did do not have the knowledge it takes to make a "common sense" decision for their first bike. Hence we have first time buyers purchasing beyond their experience level. Full-time racers are not allowed to hop onto a GSXR1000 and race at full out in any event they want. They must first race in more restricted events and prove a certain level of experience before being allowed to move up to the next level... some moving up faster than others. A racers environment is also strictly controlled. Yes they are going as fast as they can... but everyone is going in the same direction. There is no concern of running into Mrs. Mom in her pimped out Escalade.

Tiered lisencing may not be the complete answer but then most laws are made for stupid people. If the majority(?) of new drivers are not smart enough to limit themselves then limitations must be placed on them. Only experience will give them the needed skills to avoid the dangers of the road that are created not only by riding a motorcycle but also by cagers who just don't pay attention. Maybe tiered lisencing will keep them alive long enough to avoid becoming a negative statistic.



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Old 01-17-2007, 06:18 AM   #37
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I really don't have anything more to add to what I wrote in the original coumn - but I'd like to step out on a limb and do just a bit of ass-kissing:



When I write an op-ed piece like this one, on a highly-charged and sensitive issue, I generally prepare myself for a barrage of abuse in return. Especially if it is published in one of the mainstream motorcycle magazines, and even moreso if it is a "lifestyle" publication like V-Twin or EasyRiders.

I'd just like to say that one of the main reasons I continue to write for MO is the "Reader Feedback," which is generally intelligent and even thought-provoking. As a professional writer, that provides me with considerable fodder for future articles, even in other venues, but perhaps even more importantly, it makes me THINK -- and sometimes even re-evaluate my original position.

In any case, I just wanted to thank you all for the level of give-and-take in this forum. It makes it all worthwhile.



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Old 01-17-2007, 06:25 AM   #38
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

While I do indeed make contributions to many such efforts, I am of the humble opinion that there probably exists in the Federal Government some wasted cash that would dwarf my humble contribution. I get to deal with Federal, State, County and Municipal match requirements on a daily basis. The bureaucracy involved with the well-intentioned issues relating to "match" make me puke on that same daily basis. The idea that I should match my funds with my funds so that I can later be asked to make a donation of my funds to help secure my local match just pegs my crapola meter to the max. Sorry for the rant.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:28 AM   #39
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I spend about 6 months out of the year in Mexico, Veracruz to be exact, and I rather enjoy the lack of an omnipressive police force ready to hassle you for anything. There are laws against everything in the US, if I could make a decent living here I would definitely move here. I live in Houston and the police there are very nazi-esque in my opinion and assholes to boot.



I started off on a Vulcan 800 and besides the heavy weight and crappy brakes I would recommend it to a new rider. It all depends on how mature you are no matter what you ride. Here in Mexico there are kamikazees on 125 and 250cc's. I think they ride wilder than most people I have seen on any type of bike. I have seen numerous accidents here and they were all riding the "beginner" bikes. Stupid people=brains on the street no matter what they ride. For some reason people here wear hard hats instead of a helmet, not sure what the reasoning is behind that.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:31 AM   #40
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

Not a registration, but sale.You can buy a bike at the dilership ,and they never ask for lisence.

That's BS
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