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Old 07-04-2001, 06:19 AM   #61
alanheng
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

As a rider of an SV650, I have to recommend against it as a beginner's bike.



Beginners don't have the mechanical wrist control of an experienced rider, and with the grabbiness of the V-twin's clutch, and the SV's jerky throttle response, a new rider will have a difficult time riding the SV smoothly (I know because I've tried to teach 4 people how to ride on the SV).



Also, the SV is a bit top heavy; and the steep rake angle is more prone to causing a drop than a more relaxed bike.



Finally, the SV is far too capable for a newbie to be able to push the bike's limit, and therefore said newbie would not be able to experiment effectively with body positioning, how s/he grips the bike, etc...



I think a KLR250 or something similar would make the ideal first bike.
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Old 07-04-2001, 06:33 AM   #62
alanheng
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Well said.
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Old 07-04-2001, 06:35 AM   #63
bored
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Happy independence day - token Brit here. I'm genuinely surprised that rider training isn't mandatory in the US. The UK system is indeed pretty tight, but it's a bit dull, so stay with me.



First there's compulsory basic training (CBT), which is a requirement before you can ride ANY powered two-wheeler on the road (picture riding wobbly figures of eight round cones in a parking lot on a CG125, followed by a chapperoned ride on the roads, takes a solid day). You get a pass when your instructor is satisfied, so it's tough if you're really ill-coordinated.



The next step depends on your age and road experience. 17 year olds can ride a 125 on the road, then take a test (about 45 minutes, one on one with an examiner); if successful, they're then limited to 33bhp (think restricted Kwak ZXR400) until they've ridden for 2 years or are over 21, then all bets are off.



If you're over 21 and hold a car licence, you can take a 'direct access' course, as I did, which allows you to ride anything post qualification, but training and examination must be on a machine making more than 46bhp. This involves about 5 days accompanied road riding, 3 on 125s, 2 on 500s, followed by that same 45 minute one on one test. I had a great time.



I qualified about 2 years ago, ran an SV650SY for a year, then traded up to a CBR600FX (F4 in imperial?). The thought of riding Britain's narrow, wiggly, congested roads with no training was unimaginable back then, and still is. Along with the legal constraints upon an R1 as a first bike goes the insurance 'drag chute' - I pay £900 (about$1300) pa to insure my CBR. An R1 is uninsurable for me, and if I'm honest, that's probably a good thing...
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Old 07-04-2001, 06:53 AM   #64
uncleron
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Default Re: You are the problem.

More government control is not the answer, but I can not accept having the government force riders to wear helmets (or any other draconian government measure) while stupid people run around the roads unchecked. Perhaps instead of banning things like cell phone use, the government should look the other way if a cell phone user (for example) is dragged out of his car and beaten to a pulp after causing an accident. I do not support additional laws, but there needs to be some sort of deterrant to the stupidity that is rampant in this country. No one who has actually ridden a bike on the street can deny that a large proportion of cagers have no business operating heavy machinery. The street is a dangerous place, and since we are on the smallest, lightest vehicles it follows that we would suffer a disproportionate number of fatalities. It is unacceptable that NHTSA would use this to push more regulation of bikers, but that is what lseems to be happening again. You are correct that the government is tyrannical, we live in a police state, and the situation is getting worse. I would not deny anyone's rights, but when their actions threaten my rights or well being I will fight back. Bikers are a minority in this country, and our basic rights are compromised in a number of states by mandatory helmet laws and police campaigns that target "unsafe" riders "for our own good". If the government's goal is really to save lives, than they should pull over the reckless drivers who cause traffic accidents, not target riders who choose not to wear a helmet or may be going a little faster than big brother wants us to.
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Old 07-04-2001, 07:17 AM   #65
girardmi
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

looking at the stats... if you figure a typical rider will put in about 50,000 miles on a motorcycle (which is conservative) over their riding career before quitting or dying, that's a 1 in 50 for dying in a motorcycle accident. throw in inexperienced or unskilled riders and your figure a responsible rider has only a 1 in 200 chance of meeting his maker while riding. There is one guarantee in life.... we all die sometime. 200 years ago I would have been considered middle aged at 20, 100 years ago I still might have been married with 7 kids already, and 50 years ago I might have died for my country before the age of 19. I plan to take advantage of the extended life span I've been given and live it up, but also use the common sense, maturity, and intellengence that I have to stay alive.
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Old 07-04-2001, 08:01 AM   #66
Haird
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

The story says that between 1997 and 1999 the number of bikes grew 9 percent while the number of fatalities grew 17 percent. That would suggest, but does not prove, that the increase in the number of bikes does not entirely account for the increase in fatalities. Other factors that could also account for the increase in fatalites include more miles being driven per bike, bikes being rideen in more dangerous situations, less training for bikers, bigger bikes, etc. But the discrepancy between the number of bikes and the rate of fatalities could also be due to normal statistical variation. It would take a much more sophisticated analysis of the data than is evident in this article to make any definitive statements about the causes of the increases in fatalities -- if indeed the data are robust enough to support any detailed analysis. However, the statistics showing that death rates per 100 million miles are 18 times higher for cyclists are impossible to ignore. Motorcycling is indeed more dangerous than driving cars and anyone who does not acknowledge this and take proper precautions is a fool.
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Old 07-04-2001, 08:09 AM   #67
starsans
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Maybe if the price of gas gets high enough, we will finally see less cars on the road - and more people riding bikes. Drivers driving while, talking, grooming, reading etc. is a problem of our times and will not change. We are too busy do too much in too little time.



One of the loves of riding my bike is slowing down to enjoy life instead of rushing somewhere.



Just some of my thoughts.



Steve
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Old 07-04-2001, 08:25 AM   #68
Gecko
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Default Re: no flames but I don

Yup and I was rearended last month in traffic but I'm alive and well because I was wearing proper safety equipment. As some else wrote those who use a motorcycle as a plaything seem to be at most risk, those that use it as transport the least. I put in just shy of 10,000 in the last year and I was out of the country for over three months.
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Old 07-04-2001, 08:26 AM   #69
TeamProBono
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Haird's comments are well made. Others have noted that many new riders are older (40+ years) men buying big cruisers (hence the increase in engine size in the crash statistics). Many of these cruiser riders are not taking the time to get adequate new rider training or practicing those skills. Likewise, too many cruiser riders, both sexes, all ages, are adopting the cruiser culture of t-shirts/vests, jeans or chaps (what? They'll never fall on their hips and butts in a crash???), often no gloves, and no helmet (or beanie helmets or open face helmets in states with helmet laws). They are certainly lowering their odds of surviving a crash (or at least increasing their injuries). And the squids? Well, they ride all kinds of bikes, not just sportbikes, and they dress even more poorly than the cruiser riders.



Regardless of government mandated safety laws, many people will still ride motorcycles and drive cars in the most skilless and clueless manners, without regard to their own or their passengers' safety, and often while distracted and under the influence.



All we can do is try to stress continuing rider education and wearing appropriate riding gear.



As for the statistics? Well, it only covered two years in the midst of a large growth spurt in the number of new motorcycles sold and new riders and returning riders hitting the streets. Let's see what happens over the next few years.



P.S. The "older men" comment wasn't meant to exclude the many new women riders. Only that in all of the crash statistics I've seen in 2001, the NHTSA and CHP (CA Hwy Patrol) have specifically stated men in the reports. Perhaps it means that women are more methodical about learning to ride and developing their riding skills and are therefore less likely to be involved in fatal motorcycle accidents? If so, perhaps that is something men can learn from.



P.P.S. I'm a man.
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Old 07-04-2001, 08:45 AM   #70
TeamProBono
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Default Re: Motorcycle Death Statistics

TD2:



Some good points, and, always remember:



They are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics.



(I forget the author.)



When the helmet law was passed in California, I was not so much outraged by the law, as I was by the outright fabrication of facts and statistics used by the laws author and sponsors to obtain its passage (particularly regarding costs of healthcare passed on to the people of CA to pay for those unhelmeted, uninsured motorcyclists who survived crashes but suffered head injuries).



Certainly, when excerpts from the NHTSA report are publicized, it skews the reality of the situation. And, as you pondered, did they gather statistics on what we as motorcyclists know are all the relevant issues? Probably not.



I hope they tried and I hope no politicians or regulatory agencies go off half- with this information. Not to mention, as I posted elsewhere in this discussion (and you and others have also noted), the posting covered the difference over a two year period and may be statistically irrellevant (or self-correcting--RUB'ies and squids get the training they need or Darwinism rapidly takes hold...).



Happy summer riding to everyone.



Evan Kay

Team Pro Bono

ex-WSMC # 101

e-mail: TeamProBono@iname.com



"I just kept it wide-open thinking it would correct itself.

Then I ran out of talent."

--C. Fittipaldi
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