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Old 08-09-2006, 08:15 PM   #81
KTMdog
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Default Re: 'Sayonara, Hayabusa', says ESPN Writer.

E-mail to the column author:





I recently read a portion of your ESPN page 2 column. While I agree with some of your statements in the section labeled "Sayonara Hayabusa", I find I must take issue with others.



You state that "The only real use of the acceleration ability is road rage -- to drag-race from stoplights, cut others off in traffic, speed like mad." A more accurate statement might read "The only real use of the acceleration ability THAT I PERCEIVE is road rage -- to drag-race from stoplights, cut others off in traffic, speed like mad." The original statement is, after all, a statement of perception or opinion - not an objective, proven fact. Riders are known to be able to use such machines without placing others at risk. I must confess that I find it somewhat alarming that the only perceived use that you see for such machines results in situations where other roadway users are placed at risk.



You state that "High-performance street motorcycles are socially irresponsible, and designed without regard for the safety of riders." The first part of this statement is ludicrous. Motorcycles are machines. Nothing more, nothing less. You cannot assign human behavioral characteristics to a machine without adding context in the form of a human operator/rider and the manner in which they operate the machine. Regarding the second part of this statement - I can assure you that the machines produced today are far safer than the machines I rode in the 70s. They stop better and are a more stable platform in a wider range of environmental conditions than the machines I rode then.



You state that "Roethlisberger and others who buy high-performance bikes don't wish anyone harm, they're just looking for an ego rocket." Really? Do you have information sources regarding Roethlisberger and others? Or are you simply stating your opinion? If the latter, what behavioral science credentials do you hold? Why should I believe this statement?



You state that "But public roads are subject to public regulation." Actually, public roads are subject to federal and state regulation - not public regulation.



You state that "Our nation's laws do not confer any "right" to operate on public roads a high-horsepower bike, anymore than there's a "right" to drive a bulldozer down the middle of an interstate." This statement is inaccurate. It is federal AND state law which regulates public and private transportation. These laws dictate minimum design standards, operator licensing, taxation, and a great deal more. The motorcycles that you rail against meet federal and state standards and qualifications for safe operation on a public road. Thus an operator who meets the standards and qualifications that apply to them is granted the PRIVILEGE of operating such a motorcycle on a public roadway. Regarding driving a bulldozer down the middle of an interstate - I've never seen a bulldozer that meets federal and state standards and qualifications for safe operation on a public road. I've never seen a bulldozer with a license plate. Thus your attempt at equating motorcycle usage and bulldozer usage on public roadways simply doesn't hold water.



You close this section of your column with the statement "The intended use of these bikes is lawbreaking!" Once again, your are asking your readers to assume that you either have inside information on ALL high-performance motorcycle operators or that you are qualified to make a blanket statement regarding the behavior of a group of people who share a single characteristic: They ride high-performance motorcycles. I find that I must enquire, once again: what behavioral science credentials do you hold? Why should I believe this statement?



Given the number of inaccuracies in such a small number of paragraphs, I can only surmise that it is not your intent to provide any sort of objective treatise regarding high-performance motorcycles and the riders who operate them. I can only surmise that your intent is to ignite passions with exaggerated, unsubstantiated claims. Thus I feel like this entitles me to respond in kind.



Norman Vincent Peale is credited with the following statements:

"Americans used to roar like lions for liberty. Now Americans bleat like sheep for security."



Given the level of exaggeration and unsubstantiated claims of your column, I think that the column can best be summed up with a simple BAH, BAH.







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Old 08-09-2006, 09:42 PM   #82
cgarrison2k6
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Default Re: 'Sayonara, Hayabusa', says ESPN Writer.

I'll say it again... Divide that 200 mph figure by 2.. now you have 100 mph. Is this absurd? You can't just pick a number without any justification.



Is the justification that the Hayabusa that Ben was riding can approach 200 mph?



The emotional part of the column is the reaction to the Hayabusa. It has nothing to do with statistics or facts, instead it is solely based on the author's opinion that 200 mph is too fast. It sure sounds fast, but is it any worse than a vehicle that only reaches 80 mph? They both exceed the speed limit, and therefore can allow the rider to break the law.



What would someone say to a Hayabusa limited to 60 mph with the same acceleration? Is it more safe because it has a lower top speed? How about a 500 hp Z06 with nearly the same acceleration, is it more safe? Would one have a good chance of surviving a top speed crash in a Z06?



Singling out one type of vehicle based on little other than conjecture makes little sense, especially when one is doing so in legislation.



While we're at it, let's add side impact airbags to Corvettes, Buicks, minivans, etc. Let's add rollcages, require helmets for drivers, and reduce acceleration dramatically. This would protect an irresponsible driver from him/herself. Why not reduce city speed limits to 15 mph so there would be little chance that a pedestrian would be hit?



Apparently freedom is less important than preventing every opportunity for one to be harmed.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:42 PM   #83
Arrow
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Default Re: 'Sayonara, Hayabusa', says ESPN Writer.

I own a VFR 800 which is capable of 150 mph (give or take a few miles). and I am sure no one needs a bike this fast on public roads.. .



Come to think of it, my first big bike, a 93 KLR 600 was capable of 100 mph, and I am sure no one needs that either...



What type of motorcycle would you think is clever and responsible?



So you think owning a powerful motorcycle makes you a more dangerous rider? I've seen hundreds of bikers on small capacity bikes riding like maniacs, oblivous to their surroundings... Do you think they are less of a menace?



The real issue here is training and attitude. Not the bike you are riding. It's as simple as that.



Please stop calling people stupid because they choose to ride powerful motorcycles.
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:54 PM   #84
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Default Re: There isn't even a safety benefit for the driver

The stats about the driver I did not know. Thanks for the education. This conversation comes up at nearly every family dinner these days and you gave me some new ammo.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:07 PM   #85
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Default Re: 'Sayonara, Hayabusa', says ESPN Writer.

I think the best point is that when you come up with a number, say 200 mph, and state that this is "unreasonable" then it is best to just leave your statement at that, i.e. any vehicle capable of over 200 mph should be banned. If Easterbrook had stopped at that point, people might have disagreed with him, but wouldn't have complained about some inherent bias in his article.



He didn't stop, though, and singled out motorcycles, which opened up the door to all the criticisms. Everything he hates about motorcycles and their riders also appears in the car/truck/SUV driving public, so if he really wants to ban the speed or the behaviour, he can't logically single out riders for his mythical ban. That he did so indicates a deeper bias that goes beyond mere logic.



I see your point, though. Reality matters less than perception. If the public sees bikes as dangerous and incorrectly assumes that all riders are idiots, they will get banned whether those perceptions are true or not.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:17 PM   #86
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Default Re: 'Sayonara, Hayabusa', says ESPN Writer.

"'And he mostly skirts the real point, which is stupid behavior'"



"No, I believe he is saying owning and operating a 200mph motor vehicle on public roads is stupid behavior."



But, conveniently, he doesn't say that owning and operating an automobile capable of nearly 200mph (Corvette Z06) is also stupid behavior. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.



"I think he is quite right."



You're certainly entitled to this opinion.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:18 PM   #87
Thruxomatic
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Default Re: 'Sayonara, Hayabusa', says ESPN Writer.

I just read a book about Common Law. It originates from the Norman Conquest of England where William and his successors attempted to codify and standardize the various bodies of law they discovered so that they made sense and were more or less the same across the kingdom. Due to the longstanding Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the Danish influx and the vestiges of Romanic law, things were pretty much a legal mess when the Normans took over.



That precedent was used later in the Medieval period for partially justifying the Magna Carta, where the King ceded considerable power and control to the nobility, who were ostensibly acting as the intermediaries for all Britons. If the law was to be equal around the kingdom, that implied that equality was a desireable end goal of the body of law and as such, the King's power had to be reigned in to bring equality between himself and the nobility.



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Old 08-09-2006, 11:38 PM   #88
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Default Re: 'Sayonara, Hayabusa', says ESPN Writer.

"That can only be done by eliminating the riders who ride irresponsibly. No amount of responsible riding can eliminate the perception caused by even a single asshat that rides irresponsibly."



You will never, ever eliminate irresponsible behaviour shy of nuking the whole planet and extincting our species. There are too many of us here, guaranteeing at at least a few of us will be idiots, a few will be psychopaths and a few will be so dim that the greater population can't trust them with scissors. The bell curve and nature guarantee it.



So ... the best response is to mitigate the behaviour as best we can by ensuring that when the dildos act like dildos, their ability to hurt the "rest of us" is minimized while their ability to hurt themselves is maximized. What activity seems to fit the bill perfectly? Motorcycles. Put those same asshats into cars and they will take a whole lot of law-abidin' folks with them to the promised land. Keep them on bikes and they will likely only kill themselves and the girlfriends dumb enough to latch on without protecting themselves first.



As you say, it is all a perception game and perceptions can be changed, so I don't see why you are so doom and gloom about this. We have an advocacy group (AMA) that can lobby for our interests already in place, so it is just a matter of making sure a) they have funds, b) they know how we all feel and c) enough of us follow the laws that when the AMA claims we are responsible they aren't laughed away from the negotiating table.



I think the greater motorcycle community could do wonders for our image as a whole by voluntarily taking care of the noise issue. If we fight it until the legal beagles impose something on us, we look like petulant children. If we take care of it ourselves, we build up community credit that would keep bikes on the road for the next century, IMO.

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Old 08-09-2006, 11:54 PM   #89
Thruxomatic
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Default Re: 'Sayonara, Hayabusa', says ESPN Writer.

Man, I am such a geek.
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:43 AM   #90
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Default Re: Which views he expressed are ignorant?

Nope, I do not endorse any legislative restriction on any part of our lives, being motorcycles, guns, right of association etc. etc.



"I hope that the imbeciles you speak of do moderate their behavior"



Not likely



"the imbeciles who endorse legislating away irresponsiblity lose their ability to enact or enforce legislation."



Also not likely

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