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Old 11-14-2005, 04:43 PM   #31
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Default RE: Less power for bike riders to save young lives

I'm in Australia (Vic) and am limited to a 250cc bike. While it is now frustrating me after 20000km and 18 months on the 250, I still support this type of system.

I have a few of comments:

1) The NSW system (power to weight, and maximum of 650cc) is the most sensible regime I've seen. They even outlaw the 2 stroke 250s like the RS250 - sensible really, as they are harder to ride than something like a GS500.

2) I don't understand why people see this as restricting freedom. If it is, then isn't the enforcement of speed limits, alcohol levels and other traffic rules restricting freedom also? They are simply rules to try to reduce the number of accidents.

3) No-one appears to be considering the impact beyond the rider themself - what if you hit a pedestrian? What if you cause someone else to run off the road? Less likely than just killing yourself, but possible nonetheless. Beyond that, there is the impact on their immediate friends and families. It is not unreasonable that governments should enforce measures to try to reduce the number of accidents - better that than have them ignore it IMO.
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:02 PM   #32
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Default Re: Less power for bike riders to save young lives.

There seems to be an undercurrent with this issue, and in many of the replys, that squidly idiots on powerful sport bikes are the main culprits/victims here. Maybe that's the case in SA or europe, but poor riding skills and lousy risk assessment cross all age and bike lines here I think. If we can institute an effective, tiered rider education system for young people, maybe we'll see the fruits down the road. But what about re-entry riders on giant crusiers (or anything for that matter)? Don't recent statistics indicate that they are disproportionately represented in single rider accidents? Will the 50 year old leather guys go for 250's or 500's? Not likely in this country. That would be downright unamerican (and anti-Harley D too).

I would love to see a comprehensive rider education program, far beyond the wimpy MSF and Rider's Edge "certification" classes, in order to get liscensed and insured. Non-stop promoting education to make it an intergral part of motorcycle culture is the only thing that will work here.
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:03 PM   #33
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Default Re: Less power for bike riders to save young lives.

I am back to riding after a 20 year break in Aus. One of the things my mates insisted on me taking was a Stay Upright riding course on defensive techniques and advanced cornering and braking that they were also doing even though they had been riding for up to 30 years continuously. It was a brilliant two days of practical advice and track time. Stay Upright is also one of the providers for prelicence training which is also compulsory in New South Wales. My feeling in Aus is that more and more people are taking training seriously with some riders doing the Stay Upright course and others such as The Superbike School as a refresher every few years. Improved my riding out of sight.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:41 PM   #34
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Default Re: Less power for bike riders to save young lives.

The important thing to ask here is the people in various states in Australia what they think of the restricted system. In NSW, it's not just a power-to-weight thing, they have what is known as the LAMs system (Learner Approved Motorcycles).

You might think, "Great! It's just some government enforcing the rules", but many of the members of the LAM board are not government individuals. They include manufacturer representatives, motorcycling media persons, motorcycling riding group/club members and the like.

It really is a system designed by riding peers, not just some politician in a suit with a hatred for bikes. Now the argument may be put forward that why shouldn't an adult have the choice to ride a 1000cc sport-bike from day one, but then we have many stories regaling us with learner squids who are killing themselves at the first opportunity.

Rather than approaching it from an "us and them" point of view, there's something to be said for the approach that NSW/Australia takes with a "community approach" to helping out new riders, to ensure that they get to live long enough to become a member of the motorcycling community.

Any 600cc+ sport-bike will catapult the novice rider to 150mph+ speeds in quick time, or having them exiting a corner and reaching catastrophic speeds by the next corner without the skills to deal with it. Powerful bikes are also more condusive to wheel-spin and the hazards this causes, even for experienced riders.

The intent is not to dash a new rider's hopes to ride the bike they see winning WSBK races, but to gently introduce them to the world of motorcycling. Just like swimming, you don't throw a newbie into the deep end and hope that they stay up for air, you teach them in the shallow end where it's slightly less deadly.

It's only a year or two, and most riders in Australia in states where these laws exist, while chafing at the bit initially, ultimately come to appreciate the slowly, slowly learning experience later on once they get their full license and their first big bike.

New riders over here are constantly encouraged by other motorcycling community members to engage in rider training courses like "Stay Upright", and others. It's not compulsory.

After all, who wants to see their fellow biker buddies wrapped around a tree the first time they open the throttle on their new CBR1000RR being the first bike they've ridden since their old pedalled bicycle back in school?

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Old 11-14-2005, 10:50 PM   #35
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Default Re: Less power for bike riders to save young lives.

Yea, I'd welcome some sweet smaller bikes... I long for a 300 lb bike with 50 hpr and top of the line suspention, brakes, handling etc.

maybe a VFR400 would do...
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Old 11-15-2005, 12:43 AM   #36
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Default Re: Less power for bike riders to save young lives.

On a note about 250cc bikes being "weak", many of them have a top speed of around 110mph, and will do 0-60mph in under 7 secs. While not exactly high-end sport-bike performance, they are still quick enough to out-accelerate your average mom&dad jap sedans, and will happily cruise along even at high freeway speeds. While 110mph is still fast enough to kill anyone, there's still a big difference between hauling a top-end sport-bike down from 170+mph, as opposed to 100+mph when the learning rider decides they want to open the throttle and see what their new toy can do, just as most every person does at least once when they get their first bike.

Still, the LAM's system that NSW employs is a fairer and more even-handed approach, and allows learners to ride decent & grunty 500-600cc bikes, just not eye popping screaming sports monsters that 10 years ago the world's top motorcycle racers only ever dreamed of having.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:36 AM   #37
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Default Re: Less power for bike riders to save young lives.

Motorcycles are about danger and excitement; a car is better in all situations so what's the point in placing new restrictions on them. Everyone gets told how it's going to kill you and/or rip your body parts off, but people still do it and enjoy it.

Harley gangs used to be it, now the Squids are the noisy dangerous young we hate, and that's what people want to be part of and with all the rebellion of the baby boomers coming back to biking in the other news, and their equally swift deaths, restricitions on power output just raises the beauty of a stupidly powerfull motorcycle up a notch to the youth of today and tomorrow.

Motorcycles are still sexy and that's why we ride them and why others want to.

Riding staring down at the freeway asphalt flick by it occurs to me that similar normal operation compared to a dangerous machine like a heavy press would be insane. MC's are stupidly dangerous by default and nothing's going to increase that until they start fitting seatbelts to them, which makes about as much sense as a power restriction.
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