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Old 07-03-2001, 09:48 AM   #1
desertbilly
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Interesting and important information but I think they're missing the boat on the statisitics.



I think they have to look at helmet usage, experience and bike type. Here in AZ, Harleys are extremely popular, and (IMO) less than 5% of those riders/passengers wear helmets or other protective gear. I don't see any way a person can go down in t-shirt/tank top/jeans/shorts/sneakers at 50 to 80 mph and expect to survive.



I routinely wear a suit, lid, gloves and boots. I realize the cruiser crowd must think I'm a complete loser, but I'm going to do my best to stick around to raise my kids.



I wish motorcycling was more about a fantastic ride on a beautiful, open road and less about looking cool and fitting in. I'm not for mandatory helmet laws, but I do wish the cruiser and squid cultures were more supportive of safety gear.
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Old 07-03-2001, 10:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Better motorcycle training is long overdue in this country. I just took the MSF course a few weekends ago (I haven't ridden a bike in about 8 years, so I wanted to start over again). While a nice course, it is not *nearly* enough for beginner training. For the absolute beginners in that class, there is no way they are ready to hit the streets, even though they now can legally update their license and go. They definitely need another class or two, including training for *high-speed* dangers, before they're really ready.



Almost every other G7 country has a rather strict system in place. In England, for example, beginning riders are under a pretty severe HP restriction for the first year, then gradually move up to Superbike status. Even though it involves a lot more testing, I think I would prefer something like that to the fast-and-loose method we have now. I mean, it's insane that anyone, regardless of their training, can plop down the bucks for a GSXR or 929. Maybe some of the Brits here can explain their system in more detail.

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Old 07-03-2001, 10:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

I agree with Kcobb above... I think we need a tiered licensing system for motorcycles. I can't believe how many times I've heard "A CBR600 F4 (or GSXR or ZX-6 or R6) is a good starter bike" and it simply ain't so.
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Old 07-03-2001, 10:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Near as I can tell from the info in this little press release is that the numbers are up for those under 30 (those more likely to buy a bike too powerful for learning on) and those between 40-49 (yuppies wanting to regain their lost youth without any training) I would guess that those that make it to 30 are more responsible about their riding. I call it survival of the fitest...if you aren't smart enough to be properly trained and wearing the proper safety equipment then you probably don't deserve to continue your existance...Squids and Yuppie cruisers fit this perfectly.

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Old 07-03-2001, 10:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

I know what you're talking about. 750 Katana, always wear my lid, jeans and try for a long sleeve shirt, need to get a suit. I live in Phoenix and maybe 1 in 20 of the riders that I see have a helmet. Alot are wearing shorts and T's. I know it's damn hot (should be 110 today), but skin grafts are a bad thing. Unfortunately articles like this do paint a bad picture of the riding community. One thing needs to be done is ofcourse better education to riders and cagers alike. Maybe tougher license requirements. Most people have the view that riders have a death wish or "think they own the road". The bad apples tend to stand out the most. You see immature squids doing some really stupid things and just know they are not going to be around more than a year.
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Old 07-03-2001, 10:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

I agree DesertBilly. They need to look at the intangibles regarding who is riding what bikes. Look at the exploding popularity of Harleys. And who is buying them? Mostly baby boomers that want to look cool as they weather their mid-life crisis. I'd guess that a large percentage of them are first bike owners. Age does not equate to road miles and experience. Couple this with the fact that, at least here in Florida (not far from Daytona), on any sunny weekend, the local bars parking lots are FULL of Harleys. It appears that Harley riders (in general) consider drinking and driving as part of their culture. Helmet, no helmet, heck it doesn't really matter if you drink and ride. Don't get me wrong, I drink way to much beer, but the bikes are in the garage when I wet my whistle.
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Old 07-03-2001, 10:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

I think one of the biggest links is re-entry riders, that is why the largest increase was among older riders. Younger squids without experience are still sliding off the road at about the same rate as before but more and more people who haven't ridden in 10-20 years are getting back on and figuring "it looks like a bicycle, I'll just jump right back on" and they are very rusty in there skills. A lot of the people in that catagory (I know quite a few) never let there licenses lapse while they were having families and so there was no test involved, still have a valid license, haven't ridden in 15 years, buy a 1500CC cruiser that is no GSXR but it still a lot faster than the 400cc bike they had in College and they get themselves in trouble. Dealers are the first step in getting re-entry riders into class.
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Old 07-03-2001, 11:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

The reasons are pretty simple and right in front of our faces: 1. More people are getting into motorcycing thus putting more bikes on the road. 2. Many, many of those new riders are NOT taking rider training/safety courses and are suffering the consequences of inexperience. 3. Many more of us (not me) are going helmet-less these days and are suffering the consequences of that poorly made decision in accidents.

Seems pretty clear cut to me. Somebody mentioned a tiered licensing system and I think that's a really good idea. Couple that with mandatory rider training and I think fatalities will likely start to decrease. As for the helmet issue, I still think that's a personal choice. If you're dumb enough not to wear one, tell your family not to cause a ruckus when you suffer brain damage or die because you made a poor choice. Nuff said.
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Old 07-03-2001, 11:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

It's amusing. The article is written in such a way as to perpetuate stereotypes and the "riders" who respond perpetuate many of the same myths. ("I'm safe, but it's those other cruiser, squid, [insert prejudice here] types who cause accidents.") Why was ther no mention of the percentage of accidents caused by automobile drivers? Also notice that only a passing mention was made of better educating automobile drivers.



I currently represent a husband and wife who were hit in separate accidents thirty days apart. Neither was at fault and the people who hit them had basic insurance which will pay nothing towards their recovery. Both at fault drivers will end up paying less than $100.00 for their traffic tickets. There will be no other consequenses to them. Until you change that, drivers have no incentive to look for, and avoid hitting, motorcyclists.
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Old 07-03-2001, 11:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

and then there are many mid-life crisis types along with empty-nest boomers who have NEVER EVER owned a real motorcycle. If they had anything at all it was one of those under-5hp "motorbikes" that required no more license than a bicycle back when they were teenagers. A lot of this well-heeled bunch are going out and buying BigTwin Harleys and the like for poseur cruising around their suburban communities (probably the most dangerous places on earth to ride in terms of road-oblivious cage zombies) and they're NOT learning a thing about safety on a vehicle they barely have a clue how to operate. As we all know, the dealer basically tells you "1 down 4 up" and that's the extent of his interest in your safe operation of it. I've bought a dozen bikes over the past 20 years and never once had a dealer inquire as to whether I had any business getting on such a thing or if I might want or need some instruction. That is why you see a rise in the 40-49 bracket deaths. Hopefully they'll get a clue things need to change before the safety-nazis take over and regulate motorcycles out of existence.
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