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Old 01-17-2007, 05:32 AM   #41
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I took a very good course before I got my license which included some riding on dirt, street, and so many cones that I became conatose - which I discovered is not a bad thing. Tight circles at 2 mph are fun. The testing was sufficiently difficult that two or three out of 15 riders put their bikes down with the emergency avoidance drill.

Then I proceeded to ride my new 800 cc cruiser. What a diffeence from a dirt bike or the 250 cc Rebel cruiser at the course. I took seriously all the instructions, purchased appropriate gear, travelled in a cautious mode for the first summer until I had enough mileage to feel comfortable with high speed sweepers and city riding.

I felt very prepared to handle a 800 cc cruiser but my class mates were buying bikes with twice the horsepower and were less than half my age and taking far more risk.

As with cars, the demographics for accidents involve youth, speed, and inexperience. The premiums for young people and high performance bikes should reflect the risks.

There is another subset of older inexperienced riders who lack the strength or skill to handle their machines, especially with two up. Insurance policies should prevent two up operation for the first two years of ownership. That will discourage the buyer of a Goldwing from going cross country with his trailer and partner three weeks after getting his license.

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Old 01-17-2007, 05:43 AM   #42
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

Let me be the first to thank you back Fred! - Fonzie
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:44 AM   #43
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

Fred, I really like the way you defend helmet choice. Your recent contribution to the Friction Zone was about the best I have ever read.

In your Counterpoint you state, "So, the real answer isn't tiered licensing, it's more and better training and testing. But if the industry continues to insist on trying to give licenses to anyone who wants one, whether they can show any expertise at handling a bike or not, then tiered licensing may be our only hope, as repugnant as that sounds -- even to me. "

My advise is do NOT cave on tiered licensing just to get training. It is similar to giving up on helmet choice because it makes someone feel warm and fuzzy. In the US the big picture is NOT served by mandatory helmet laws for motorcycles nor the vaunted Tiered Licensing for motorcycles. Let's take a quick look at large part of that big picture...

I would agree that Tiered Licensing would probably save thousands of lives a year. Not from the power tiers but from training. Also, not from the operation of motorcycles but autos (four-wheelers). The cure is training and the real disease is bad auto drivers. When over 50% of my high-limit coverage motorcycle insurance premium is to pay for under-insured and uninsured it becomes crystal clear that the cost that my insurance company $fears$ is not the small number of uninsured motorcycles that are going to cause me and them, by extension, harm. It is clear that the other jerk is causing ME financial harm via insurance premiums and by extension they are most likely to be the same one to "take me out" according to insurance company statistics. If something needs fixin' it is pretty clear the under/uninsured guy (likely in an auto) is a huge cost and risk to my un-Tiered Licensed body and wallet. How about a little help here folks!

Mandatory helmet laws would likely save thousands of lives and untold millions of dollars each year, in autos. Mandatory tiered licensing (via almost exclusively the training portion) would also likely save thousands of lives and many millions of dollars, in autos.

It is so obvious that mandatory helmet laws and tiered licensing for motorcycles is not about saving lives or dollars because if it were, the massive low hanging fruit is with autos and our politicians and make-a-better-world-with-my-ideas types would have already gotten that done. How anyone can rationalize that Tiered Licensing (just the training part) is needed for motorcyclist more than auto operators is beyond my understanding. The political will to save thousands of auto operator/passengers/pedestrians/bicyclists and yes, even motorcyclist's lives does not exist in this country if it involves any of the restrictions that many in our community seem to freely wish for motorcyclists to be placed on auto operators.

Helmet choice? YES

Tiered Licensing? NO

Training? YES!

Head to toe rider gear? YES
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:45 AM   #44
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

When I was in Asia back in the 60's-70's I noticed as well the relative lack of police presence compared to the US. I also noticed that the lack of such presence didn't result in a criminal free-for-all in the commmunity. The idea that there have to be laws and cops everywhere in order to have a civil society is both false and very sick.
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:47 AM   #45
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People who fly private airplanes and helicopters certainly don't object to the rigorous training required before they can get a license; and while I'm not suggesting anything that rigorous, I would absolutely be in favor of a stronger education requirement along with the endorsement tied to the ability to register a bike.

IMHO, motorcycling is too dangerous for amateurs, and the big moto manufacturers who finance the MSF could make even more money by opening real schools with more extensive programs.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:00 AM   #46
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Most people are law-abiding most of the time. Most people look to the licensing laws as the guide for how they should prepare to get their license. If the law tells them they must take a class, get a permit, and ride a 125-250cc bike for 6 months prior to testing to the next level, that is what most people will do. And they will continue to do it to move up the tiers until they are happy with the performance of their ride. These are the people who's lives might be saved by a tiered system, as long as there is tiered training to go with it. Yes, some will ignore it and pay the price with treasure and/or blood. But we owe honest newbies the best possible training, testing, and licensing system. A system of walk-in, pay your money, ride a couple circles and stop in a box on a loaner 250 then go buy your GSXRFLHT is probably not the best system.

Giving squidly a ticket for every instance of reckless driving would take a heck of a lot of cops, judges etc. which would call for raising taxes. Most of the anti-law posters I see on this board are also anti-government and anti-tax posters. Can't have it both ways. See how many tickets squidly gets when the police are privatized into minimum wage flunkies or illegal immigrants and 911 becomes an interactive touch-tone menu system run out of Bombay.

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Old 01-17-2007, 06:03 AM   #47
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

Welcome, "Vic".

I think you'll do OK here.
Parfois, on fait pas semblant
Sometimes, it's not pretend
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Let them hate so long as they fear
политики предпочитают безоружных крестьян
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Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along now...
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:04 AM   #48
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I took the MSF advanced coarse a few years ago. I was ridding a XT225 yamaha at the time and the rest of the class was about 15 goldwings, 10 big Harleys and a few other midsize cruisers. Most of the 90% of the wing and harley guys were just returning to riding after giving it up for 20 years or so to raise their families. I really liked these guys but left feeling that due to such a long hiatus a majority of them were really putting themselves, their passengers and other people on the road at risk.

If a tiered system is to be implemented should this issue be handled also? Are lapses in riding going to force retaking of training classes etc.. or should their be a continuous training path say once every 5 years you need to get re-certified?
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:05 AM   #49
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oh, but didn't you post earler that you wanted squidly to get a ticket for every wheelie? How does this happen without cops? You are pegging the hypocrisy meter here.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:07 AM   #50
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Default Re: Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint

I'm for tiered licensing plain and simple, but NOT before registration and licensing are properly connected.

While I don't want more legislation, if motorcycling (and the perception of motorcyclists) in the US is threatened dramatically by not doing something, tiering makes some sense.

Case in point: I've lost a few ****y friends and relatives who bought too much bike for their skill level (or had no training at all), while all those who started on smaller bikes and moved up (or stayed in the 750cc or smaller range) are still here. Not proof, but certainly implies a trend.
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