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Old 12-30-2010, 09:00 AM   #41
Jeff Cobb
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As for the quality of US drivers...it was bad enough before. Now, with cell-phones and texting, it's beyond belief. I watched a small pickup weaving from side to side down my street a few evenings ago. I was about to call the cops and report a seriously impaired driver, but as he came by, I saw his IPhone lighting up his face. Of course he was texting, two-handed, while trying to drive. Instead of requiring helmets, the Feds should mandate a phone and PDA disabling device in every vehicle. THAT would save lives.

Yeah, or to start sounding like a fired up ABATE advocate (which I'm really not), how about making the car drivers wear helmets too? Obviously some need them.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:09 AM   #42
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Well, they used to - as I understand it, the "unrestricted" autobahn is now but a fond memory. 120 (kph) is the Limit, with markers on the vehicles restricted to lower speeds (such as trucks, buses, etc.).

I've also learned over the years that, JUST because you "learned to drive in Europe" does NOT automagically make you a "better" driver - just one that knows the law and penalties like the back of your hand. I went to HS with 3-different German exchange-students. Two of them could not drive for shyte, and they already had International Driver-licenses when they set-foot in the U.S.
Well that's too bad. Wasn't sure if it was still the case, so I said "I believe," but now that you tell me, it's not surprising.

Agreed nothing is automatic, but more training usually helps most people. I think good training should not just be skills training, but a clear teaching of the ethics of the road, the need for courtesy, and about the need to hold one's self accountable for what ever it is they are driving/riding.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:16 AM   #43
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How that design paradigm became hugely popular in the late 80's and 90's is another story, one I've never fully understood. It was much more than their design that caused the "Harley Craze." Let's not forget that HD was a gnat's whisker away from bankruptcy and failure when AMF bought them in the 1970's. Americans were all over higher-tech, better handling Japanese bikes as soon as they started shipping them here.
I think Harleys in America are akin to comfort foods served up at family meals, present and past. And I mean this with no disrespect. Americans understand them, and we know we enjoy them. There is no need to acquire a taste for Harleys, as we might a new-think motorcycle - or sushi. This is especially true in the Midwest, for both foods and motorcycles. Although much of Colorado is similar in topography to the Alps, Harleys are indeed the most popular bike there.

A middle-aged friend of mine who still races MX and has had sportbikes in his garage forever was shopping for a cruiser. He was intent on a Harley, but I advised him to also consider non-H-D offerings. He wouldn't hear of it, telling me he wouldn't have to explain to anyone what a Victory or a Star was if he instead rode a Harley. The uninitiated call Victorys and Stars "Harleys" anyway! He's no hurting for money, so he has a Harley sitting next to his Tuono and CRF450R.

H-D is more than a brand which builds motorcycles. It's an American icon, even more Americana than icons like Coke and Levis. The American motorcycle market had proven to enjoy familiarity, as the uninnovative cruiser market continues to dominate. When you ride a Harley, you don't say "I ride a motorcycle," you say "I ride a Harley." And if your dad or grandpa or uncle rode a Harley, then the magnetic pull of nostalgia also influences your purchase decision.

Americans often regard motorcycles as a luxury or recreational hobby, so our decision of which to buy isn't based on the sheer usefulness and price the way we decide on an appliance like a coffee maker or fridge. A Harley is perceived o be a premium product, and more pointedly, is something to aspire to. This is largely true even for non-riders - it's common to see H-D t-shirts on people who have never owned a Harley.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:22 AM   #44
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Well, they used to - as I understand it, the "unrestricted" autobahn is now but a fond memory. 120 (kph) is the Limit, with markers on the vehicles restricted to lower speeds (such as trucks, buses, etc.).
Some fact checking might be in order. I rode unrestricted parts of the autobahn as recently as 2007. I'm quite sure there continues be sections of it with no speed limits. They may be fewer of them than there used to be, but it's still vastly superior to our highway system.

And, in general, Euro drivers are vastly more attentive than American drivers.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:13 AM   #45
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Some fact checking might be in order.
Ok, here it is:

The advisory speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) of the German autobahn is 130 km/h (80 mph), but there is no general speed limit. Austrian and Swiss autobahns have general speed limits of 130 km/h (80 mph) and 120 km/h (75 mph),
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Its.......A FACT!
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:11 PM   #46
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Ok, here it is:

The advisory speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) of the German autobahn is 130 km/h (80 mph), but there is no general speed limit. Austrian and Swiss autobahns have general speed limits of 130 km/h (80 mph) and 120 km/h (75 mph),
Perhaps that was what I was recalling - a misunderstanding on my part. Actually, I'm glad of that: "Speed Kills" is total Bullshirt. Now, if only Montana (and other states!) would grow-back their balls and recycle all those aluminium signs with the big "75" on them that the Fed made them put up (so they could suckle money from Uncle Sam's Tit), and take back the Highway.......
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Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along now...

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Old 12-30-2010, 02:15 PM   #47
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And, in general, Euro drivers are vastly more attentive than American drivers.
I'll not argue with you on that one. They'll give a little plastic card with their picture on it to anyone that can stumble in the door, here. Watch out for my Father-In-Law while you're out there on the roads - he doesn't pay-attention to shyte most of the time, and when he DOES it's only to attempt Assault on other drivers.
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Oderint Dum Metuant
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 12-30-2010, 05:56 PM   #48
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...And, in general, Euro drivers are vastly more attentive than American drivers.
I disagree, kind sir! American drivers are quite attentive. The pay attention to the radio, their cell phones, their lunch, makeup, and a myriad of other tasks. Let's see one of those Europeans do that!







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Old 12-30-2010, 06:48 PM   #49
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i TO DISAGREE SIR AMERICAN DRIVERS.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:42 PM   #50
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i TO DISAGREE SIR AMERICAN DRIVERS.
Motorcycle Parts user name & first post with no link? WTF is goin on here?
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