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Old 09-18-2006, 05:30 PM   #41
nesbit
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Default Re: Death in the Pursuit of Revenue

Sorry, flawed logic! 60,000+ deaths a year indicate that traffic flow volume combined with the general incompetence of the driving population, is geometrically increased when speed is increased from 55 to 70MPH. The increased accident rate is simply a function of reduced reaction time. The result: We lose the equivalent of the entire Viet Nam war allied losses every year. Yet, you somehow manage to rationalize this as "people driving at the speed they feel comfortable with". The speed they feel comfortable with is actually determined by the cops setting their radar guns considerably above the posted limit so they are not constantly disturbed and distracted from doing whatever it is they're doing unrelated to their job description. A higher median default speed is therefore unconsciously arrived at. And, of course, they continue to tail gate while babbling on their cells phones and attending to other unmentionable personal preoccupations.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:48 PM   #42
Fenton
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Default Re: Death in the Pursuit of Revenue

60,000? Don't call a logic foul and follow it with an arbitrary number.

Try 44k (ish)



I do agree with the incompetence, cell phone and tail gating. However, I've yet to see conclusive reporting on the increased speed limit on highways has contributed to the increase of fatalities on surface streets and school zones.
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:52 PM   #43
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Default Re: 'Wobble' to Blame for Officer's Death?

I rarely agree with a lawyer, but the Electra Glide may not be a stable enough platform for high speed pursuit. I have heard rumor about the wobble problem on some Harleys, but I was unaware that MCN had documented them.



Unfortunately this situation is a case of what may well be an inferior design apparently being the cause of an officer's death. I know the loyalty that some police departments have for Harleys, but I just don't get it. Both my Buell and my VFR are/were rock stable at 85 and higher speeds. I even accidentally had the VFR speedometer calibrated by an understanding officer. (The bike just got more stable the faster you went.) As for my BMW or Ducatis, we don't even need to ask about high speed stability.



Maybe Harley needs to fix the problem by promoting pursuit model Buells. Or perhaps police departments should find out how good a police version ST3 would be. I sincerely doubt they will have a wobble problem. Some European countries even have police version 999s. (Try outrunning that.)



Reading sad stories like this one remind me of why some US police departments are opting for BMW police bikes. Police departments need to get the right tool for the job. Harleys are great cruisers. IMHO, they are not high speed pursuit vehicles.



Francis



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Old 09-18-2006, 07:13 PM   #44
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Default Re: 'Wobble' to Blame for Officer's Death?

"but the Electra Glide may not be a stable enough platform for high speed pursuit"



Cops should not give chase on motorcycles. When a car and a motorcycle clash, the car will win. Always. Rather, the Harley is a perfect platform for an officer to observe the environment with ample space for accessories required for police work.



"Some European countries even have police version 999s. (Try outrunning that.)"



Easy. IÂ’ll outrun a 999 in a 1970 Toyota Corolla. How? Well I hit reverse and ride the cop off his bike.



"Reading sad stories like this one remind me of why some US police departments are opting for BMW police bikes."



BMW motorbikes immune to impact from a car? DonÂ’t think so. A rider of a BMW will be taken off the bikes as easy as any other bike.



"Police departments need to get the right tool for the job."



Harleys are perfect for the job. Low maintenance, low maintenance cost, good low speed handling, loads of room for accessories, part availability etc. etc.



"Harleys are great cruisers"



Yes they are.



"IMHO, they are not high speed pursuit vehicles."



No, and no motorcycle on the planet is. Helicopters and motorcars are pursuit vehicles. Motorcycles are patrol vehicles. DonÂ’t ever try catching a car whilst on a motorcycle. You may just succeed and end up dead or badly injured.

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Old 09-18-2006, 07:22 PM   #45
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Default Re: Damning Evidence

Which motorcycle is more advanced than an HD? There is nothing on a jap bike hasn't been around since before 1930. I4 motors were first built in 1890. Overhead cams first used in 1912.



You'll stop wondering why police forces use Harleys once you understand what their requirements are. A slow steering, easy handling motorcycle is much useful for observation and patrolling. And no, motorcycles are not pursuit vehicles. Helicopters and cars are used for pursuit. Trying to stop somebody fleeing in a car whilst on a motorcycle is just plain dumb.

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Old 09-18-2006, 07:38 PM   #46
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Default Re: 'Wobble' to Blame for Officer's Death?

(reviews of the model by Motorcycle Consumer News, which in 1999 said that the "chassis gets unstable above 85 miles per hour" and in 2001 called its high-speed stability "the worst we've encountered.")



Compared to what?? Every motorcycle review ever published contains a certain negative aspect to it. There is no perfect motorcycle. If you hit a bag of concrete, in a turn, at 85 mph - no matter what you're riding - you only have luck to blame if you don't receive serious injury or worse.



Motorcycle officers are professional police officers; they are not professional motorcycle riders. How many of us truly believe we could've avoided the same fate if we were in the same situation? People die in motorcyle accidents every day - in much less strenuous circumstances.



Does my Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad have what it takes to overcome a concrete bag at 85 mph? Does your CBR 600 have what it takes? No? Yes? Maybe? It's not about the motorcycle, after all. It's about experience, proper judgement, and, above all, good fortune. In this case, rider error almost certainly played a significant role.



Yes, it's unfortunate that the officer perished in this mishap. But, riding a motorcycle is dangerous, and police officers are subject to the same laws of physics as the rest of us. Let us hope that in the future their judgement will also be commensurate.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:17 PM   #47
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Default Re: Death in the Pursuit of Revenue

There's nothing wrong with my logic, but there's something wrong with your analysis. The major cause of vehicle crashes is not speed, it's inattention. If you're not paying attention, going slower won't prevent a crash.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:20 PM   #48
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Default Re: Death in the Pursuit of Revenue

The deathrate on our highways has been going down. Case in point - the deathrate has been something like 35-45,000/year since I was a child (I'm now 35). Only a fool would think that there are LESS cars and trucks on the road, or that Americans are driving LESS miles per year than when I was 10 or 11.



The number has remained nearly the same, but the RATE has decreased substantially, on the whole.
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:05 PM   #49
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Default Re: 'Wobble' to Blame for Officer's Death?

I believe your reading it wrong, the concrete bag was on the shoulder of the road, he hit it after loosing control (possibly due to a wobble)
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:53 PM   #50
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Default Re: Death in the Pursuit of Revenue

If you believe that speed limits are picked solely for revenue purposes, then why not make the speed limit on the interstate 25mph. Then the cops could write tickets to people for going 50mph over the speed limit. If engineering isn't used, then why not make a residential street with a 75mph speed limit. Maybe you should take a second to think logically about that. And if you think that we should have an autobahn in the states, then maybe we should have a similar licensure program to other countries. I would much rather ride next to a German driver on the highway than an American. All it takes in the states is a 2 hour wait at the DMV to get a license. Hell, theyÂ’ve practically made it impossible to fail a drivers test so that we donÂ’t "discriminate" against people who canÂ’t parallel park. When it takes more than a year of training for an adult to get a license in the states, then you can talk about not having speed limits on the highway.
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