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Old 07-03-2001, 07:07 PM   #51
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

I'm posting this link with the utmost sympathy and respect for this man's family, but I think it adds context to this thread. As I said above, I really wish more motorcycle cultures considered it cool and encouraged riders to wear safety gear. Having seen this accident discussed on the KLR news group, I found this link:


The first part of the story is:

"Sandy police chief killed in motorcycle crash

Lawman, who died in crash, is deeply mourned

By Pat Reavy

Deseret News staff writer

SANDY — Law enforcement officers are mourning the loss of one of their own.

Sandy Police Chief Sam Dawson was killed Monday night in a motorcycle accident near the border of Wasatch and Summit counties.

Dawson, 56, was riding his maroon 2000 Harley Davidson on U-35 at 8:53 p.m. about 10 miles east of Woodland when a deer jumped over the guardrail onto the road as he rounded a turn.

"I don't think he had a chance," Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Ted Tingey said.

The collision with the deer threw Dawson about 160 feet, Tingey said. His friend who was riding behind Dawson and several other witnesses rushed to his aid.

Dawson was not wearing a helmet and suffered massive head trauma. An ambulance crew from South Summit pronounced him dead at the scene at 10 p.m., Tingey said. "

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Old 07-03-2001, 07:37 PM   #52
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

I hate to sound callous but look at the figures.

"...shows that 2,472 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 1999"

"There were 4.2 million motorcycles registered in 1999"

"Motorcyclists are much more likely to die in a crash than the driver of a passenger car. For every 100 million miles traveled, 1.9 automobile drivers died in an accident compared with 36.5 motorcyclists."

That really isn't a lot in comparison to how many bikes were registered (besides, what qualified as a 'bike' in that survey? Remember the 'Three Great Lies'). Don't get me wrong, less death is a good thing, and any attempt to improve would be a great idea. However, I think it is important to keep it in perspective. Considering the fact that there is no specific data on helmet / no helmet fatality data and so on, I don't think it is wise to treat this as a 'National Tradegy'. Not to mention the fact that there is no unified safety equipment standard. Also, I would like to point out that I think a TOTAL safety gear legistlation is the only way to sort this out. Helmet laws alone are pointless. You'll wish you were dead after falling off at 55 MPH, with a muscle shirt, sandals,shorts and a helmet on. Motorcycles have NO protection in an impact, cars have a lot. So figures like 'For every 100 million miles traveled, 1.9 automobile drivers died in an accident compared with 36.5 motorcyclists' are crap. Apples to apples, oranges to oranges. If you go to the NHTSA web site they rank by vehicle type themselves. That ratio is highly subjective to the level of protection your vehicle provides. Lets see what the ratio is for Transport trucks to cars. Bet you it doesn't look too great.

It would probably be more accurate to compare bicycling fatalities to motorcycle fatalities. Or whatever....

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Old 07-03-2001, 09:36 PM   #53
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

If we need any more laws, it's this one:

Force insurance companies to give SIGNIFICANT discounts to riders who have taken MSF courses and let the untrained riders pay through the nose.

I have a clean record, riding 20 years, and took the MSF basic & ERC. But, my ERC card is only good for a 10% - 15% discount when I was shopping for insurance for my Concours. WTF! If it was a 30% discount, there would be a lot more trained riders on the road. The insurance companies don't have to loose any money, they could just stick it to the untrained masses.
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Old 07-03-2001, 11:15 PM   #54
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

As an older rider, age 56, who again started rideing last year after a 20 year abstance, I can tell you that it was a tough go.

Bikes are much faster now than what I used to ride, the trafic density is higher, and the cage drivers more aggresive. After putting on some 11,000 miles last year, I can see why we can get in over our head very easily with our slightly slower reaction times and an attitude of I did this before.

I also know one more thing, if it does not get any better, our government will step in and force on us bikers whatever changes they think that we need.

So be carefull, don't drink and drive, and wear your gear at all times. At least that is my rule.
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Old 07-04-2001, 12:21 AM   #55
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Interesting how U.K. statistic are so different. For instance, massive increase of Motorcyle usage shows falling or slight increase in death rates. Excess speed is a factor in only a few percent of accidents and Alcohol? I don't think it registers and neither does not having a licence. Larger capacity bikes have less accidents.
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Old 07-04-2001, 03:59 AM   #56
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Actually UK figures for seriously injured and fatal motorcycle accidents are rocketing at the moment due to the obsession over here with race replicas and leisure riding. While we have a restricted power limit for younger riders, if you are over 21 you can do direct access and go straight onto any bike. We have loads of thirty somethings coming from a car, doing a direct access course on a hire bike and then buying an R1 or GSXR1000 and playing at being a racer on the weekends. The result is rural single vehicle accidents involving high powered bikes are increasing dramatically.

It is true about the insurance though. Due to increasing claims and the recent change to the law allowing no win no fee injury claims, insurance has shot up, expecially for sports bikes and for young riders. Still cheap to insure an old nail if you are an old nail yourself though.
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Old 07-04-2001, 04:15 AM   #57
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

I like one of the poster's suggestions that we talk horsepower. I learned on a 650... 1980 CB650 custom! Not exactly an R6!!! This was a great bike, heavy but low centre of gravity, easy to steer, good brakes (or so they seemed then!), etc.

This bike probably had maybe 40 horsepower but I still got over my head a number of times.... If I'd started on a 100 HP "anything" I probably would have had problems.

Just a thought.
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Old 07-04-2001, 04:45 AM   #58
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Well, to take the opposing view, the argument about "this bike has enough power to get me out of trouble" is kind of bogus, sorry. Even the -weakest-new 250's out there today will out-accelerate probably 80% of cagers, and I'm probably being too conservative with that number. Notice I said 'cagers' not -cars-... most SUV pilots etc... drift along in a fog and aren't trying to race anyone, and they (in my observations) tend to drive slower than the average cager anyway, though with apparently much less skill and attention (lots of weaving). A 250 pilot who is excercising the proper amount of attention and control and awareness of his/her surroundings will be able to spot cagers who aren't paying attention and present a threat.

It's like they taught you in MSF class... it's all about threat assessment. As well, the few situations where there is a vast difference in speed between your bike and a car (such as merging onto a main highway or other high-speed street, or crossing the same) can still be handled better by the 250 pilot KNOWING the capabilities of his/her machine and not trying to 'stuff it in' where it ain't going to make it.

Common sense and awareness are where it's at.

Yes, a 250 feels very very weak to a guy who's ridden something much faster. But, remember that these are BRAND NEW riders we're talking about.

Its enough that they're asked to control the bike and stay upright and watch for threats and LEARN the 'street skills' they need to survive. It's probably asking a bit much to then give them 90 to 100 hp and expect them to not lose control when they panic while leaned over and nab the gas and loose the rear... or drift wide and over the outside edge of a mountain pass b/c they haven't learned instinctively that they need more angle (which ALSO tends to scare the new-riders the most... when they have to lean more than 15 degrees!).

No one wants to rain on anyone's parade, but I just can't get over the claim that "I -NEED- this much power to survive". Until I hear a really sound argument that I can't counter by saying "was the rider paying attention to the developing situation and could they have positioned themselves better before things got tense" then I remain unconvinced.

Unfortunately, there will -always- be the case where the rider was doing nothing wrong and some yahoo looses control of his car and takes the rider out. This is a sad fact of life. Wear protective gear and maximize your chance of survival. Even in those situations, I'd bet that the rider could have done better by braking and swerving (given enough clearance behind and beside of course) than simply 'pinning it' to squirt past. Think about this... to squirt past means that the moron is now behind you (if they were going the same direction) and could just as easily mow you down from behind. I'd prefer to have them in front of me so I can see them. If its an intersection/left-turn encounter, then this is perhaps the one good case for power... but I still think that proper awareness and scanning will help you spot that light-runner before you are in that position in the first place.

And, yes, I -AM- putting a lot of the burden squarely on the rider. This -can- be a dangerous activity, the riders have a lot more to lose due to their exposure. You would think that that would be enough food for thought to make them prepare themselves appropriately.

I am not supporting taking anyone's right to buy what they want, but instead calling for some common sense. If that proves to be an impossible request, then perhaps tiered licensing based on hp-levels is called for.

FOR THE RECORD: I've only been riding about 3 years on the street (ridden dirt-bikes off and on longer though), and I'm 33 and I always wear at LEAST a good armor-plated jacket and helmet and boots. I criticize myself for not wearing the armor-pants enough b/c I am a weenie in the heat (Texas gets damned hot). Maybe I require a law to make me wear them? I would do it if it was a law, for sure.. but that shouldn't be what it takes, I admit.

The dumbest thing to me is that I gear up like I'm going to war just to ride my dirtbike down some slow twisty trail, but I would never ride that thing with anything less than full protection! Why can't I (and street-riders in general) make the same mental connection to fully protect ourselves on the street!? The dirt-bike crowd somehow learned this lesson, we need to ask them how they did it!

I'm not perfect... and these are just my opinions, and I'm still learning myself... hope to always be learning.

O.k., if you fell asleep and ignored ALL of my banter, consider this: Do you think it's BETTER or WORSE for a NEW rider to solve his/her potential encounter with a car by going FASTER? My view is that, even if they DO manage to avoid the car, they are now probably going way TOO FAST (in relative terms.. this is new riders we're talking about) for them to safely avoid the NEXT car down the road, or that next patch of gravel/oil or that next curve, or that child chasing a ball into the street... on and on and on.

Discuss amongst yourselves!
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Old 07-04-2001, 05:09 AM   #59
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Default Re: no flames but I don

That's probably the case in most of the single-vehicle accidents. But recall that quite a significant proportion of motorcycle fatalities occur in multi-vehicle accidents.

I don't know if I'd call a car turning infront of us a "freak of nature", but many of us have had incidents where we've crapped our pants (or crashed) when it occured.
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Old 07-04-2001, 05:11 AM   #60
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

I would also tend to agree.

Another benefit of having licensing process similar to the UK is that we would start seeing a wider variety of motorcycles, instead of just the heavyweight cruiser or ugly uncomfy supersport options.

However, I also think that cage drivers should go through a similar training process to receive a cage license, and that cage drivers would have to take some kind of mandatory beginners motorcycle course. Maybe just something similar to what the MSF is now.

But none of this will ever happen. Instead, helmets and other safety gear will be mandated, across-the-board horsepower restrictions will be put in place, all bikes will be required to have ABS, insurance rates will keep going up, and anyone riding a sport bike will be harassed by "the man" because he is a punk kid out to kill himself and others.
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