100815-top-10-motorcycle-change-00

There are a lot of things in the world that need changing, but these motorcycle-related ones are the things that take precedence. Though I have not yet officially thrown my hat into the ring as a GOP presidential candidate, I think it’s safe to say I speak for all humanity.

  • Andy C

    A lot of riders will argue that they want a cheap bike and then customize it as they see fit. I wonder if that was the same argument car drivers made way back in the 1910’s. Give us features that make motorcycles friendly to everyday commuters (comfort, storage, safety) and there will be more sales. Oh, and bring the NX750X to the U.S.

  • Alexander Pityuk

    May i add another thing that needs to change right now? Climate! It’s the beginning of october and i have snow behind the window. Are you %$@ing kidding me?! Where is my share of global warming?

    • fastfreddie

      Do you live in Yakutsk by any chance?;)

      • Alexander Pityuk

        If I did! But no, I live in Ufa, which is a relatively southern city (by our standards of course). Usually we get first snow and sub-zero temperatures in november. Sometimes no snow until december.

        • fastfreddie

          Sounds like oslo that.Counting on a few more weeks of riding before the fell of snow.

          Maybe heated roads should be mandatory in colder climates?

          • Alexander Pityuk

            I wish decent roads were mandatory in Russia :)

    • http://motorcycle.com/ Tom Roderick

      What you want is the #1 selection from my Top 10 Star Wars Technologies Motorcycles Need: Weather Control. http://www.motorcycle.com/top10/top-10-star-wars-technologies-motorcycles-need.html/11

    • john burns

      It’s here. Supposed to be 101 today. Luckily I am on my way to Alabama to cool off…

  • Jeff LaLone

    Re: tax credit – Don’t we already effectively get that? The two main taxes associated with vehicle ownership are sales tax and fuel tax.

    Up here in NY, sales tax rates and title fees are the same regardless of vehicle class. Since (most) motorcycles cost less than (most) cars, the sales tax ends up being smaller.

    Same thing with fuel tax. On-road fuels have a few cents of tax tacked on to each gallon. Since (most) motorcycles get better mileage than (most) cars, you end up buying less fuel and, hence, paying less tax.

    I’m all for more/better tax credits that I can take advantage of, just wondering if there was something I was missing here.

  • DickRuble

    Number ONE that should change (especially with the current oil prices) should be the ethanol in fuel at the gas pump. Maybe shorty old grumpy man JB should put the joint down, ride to a gas station that dispenses ethanol free gas and do a ride comparison between ethanol and ethanol-free and write a report. Ethanol if far more expensive than petroleum derived octane and we are all just lining the pockets of ethanol manufacturers while ruining our rides.

  • Scott

    Lane-splitting would be a non-starter if ever pushed. It’s tolerated in CA because of their dreadful traffic
    woes. The only major study (Berkeley, 2014) found that 17% of people in CA motorcycle accidents were lane-splitting. Their laughable conclusion that lane-splitting is “relatively safe” because the victim’s injuries were slightly less severe than the other accident victims was seized upon by the moto press, making us all look as dumb as the anti-helmet nuts already established.

    People who are not dumb or blindly biased will easily recognize that an activity associated with 17% of accidents is not one to encourage. Ironically, a recent NHTSA study found that only 16% of accidents involved distracted driving, yet those of us who are not dumb or blindly biased recognize that distracted driving is a huge problem. Or, maybe the cell phone industry should seize on that data and proclaim it is safe…freedom for all!

    • DickRuble

      The best argument against lane splitting is that it goes both ways. If you can squeeze in a car’s lane, they can also squeeze in your lane. It happened two weeks ago to me in a non lane-splitting state, and the obese cow in her equally obese SUV seemed to think it was her prerogative.

      • Scott

        Right, and we’ve all had butt-clinching moments like that and certainly don’t want more.

        I could *maybe* see filtering being okay when traffic is totally stopped, but I would want to see some data first.

        • DickRuble

          You have to use European data for that. They allow lane splitting.. they also have a far more stringent driver/rider permit testing and their drivers are not nearly as motorcycle hostile.

          • john burns

            because European drivers are used to it. Ours would get that way, tho we’d need to be careful at first wouldn’t we? Lots of California drivers will move over to give you a little more room if they see you.

          • DickRuble

            It’s rather because US drivers have a bizarre sense of fairness.. That’s the reason the US has four way stops. Drivers here also want “their” lane to be “theirs”. You don’t see that nonsense in Europe, or roads that tilt outwards in a turn, or highway exit signs posted a few yards after the exit, or…

        • Old MOron

          Come ride in California for an extended period. Get some data. Until then, don’t pontificate.

          • Scott

            I’m not pontificating. I’m trying to tell you guys, no matter how badly you DON’T want to hear it, that the one study that has been held up as PROOF that lane-splitting is safe did not say that at all. Not at all. I linked it above. Go read it.

          • DickRuble

            Any study that would show that, given constant velocity, tighter packed particles tend to collide less or less violently, would generate skepticism equal to yours. I do believe the study is flawed and pointless.

          • Old MOron

            I’ve read the study. It’s not controlled. It’s not perfect. But it certainly does not condemn lane splitting – like you do. I was referring to your personal perspective.

            Come out and ride with us. Not for a day or a week, come out and get acclimated.

          • Scott

            I guess the bottom line for me is, yes, the study does condemn it. 17%??? That’s not too subjective, like I mentioned distracted driving was only 16% and it is universally acknowledged as unsafe. If I were the researcher and found that 17% of accidents involved lane-splitting, there is no way I could make silly statements like it’s relatively safe, only at certain speeds, and only based on marginally different injury rates. Just smells like they were grasping for anything positive to say. They failed miserably, and the rest of us had this big fat lie dropped on us by advocates.

            It’s like saying Russian Roulette with a six-shooter results in injury 1/6 of the time, but Russian Roulette is relatively safe compared to other forms of being shot in the head, because the other methods resulted in 2% more damage. Assinine.

          • Old MOron

            Well, you can spend your time constructing contorted analogies, or assigning causation where it doesn’t exist. http://www.motorcycle.com/top10/top-ten-motorcycle-things-that-need-to-change-right-now.html#comment-2298687434 Never mind that the whole world sees the benefits of lane splitting. Never mind that it works quite well in California. You stick to your contortions. You’re entitled.

            And if, as someone who actually rides in California, I find your contortions annoying, well, I guess I’m entitled, too.

          • Scott

            Contortions? Oh, you mean like “relatively safe” compared to other accidents but not compared to not doing it at all, only at certain speeds, only compared to small injury-rate differences??? Come on, man, you got to see the irony of you accusing me of contortions. The Roulette thing was a little tongue in cheek, don’t get all worked up. I hope we eventually learn its safe. That way you guys are happy and the rest of us don’t suffer (costs) for your preference. I might do it myself!

          • Old MOron

            Well, you’ve turned in an unexpected (to me, anyway) direction. You’ve gone from “*maybe* see filtering being okay when traffic is totally stopped” to “might do it myself” – presumably with moving traffic. Not that you should care, but I’m happy for you.

            But you seem to be waiting for some authoritative figure or study tell you it’s safe first. Well, however it comes to pass, I hope you do try it, yourself.

          • http://norimek.com/blog Robert C. Barth

            Again, it only says the victim was lane splitting, it doesn’t say it was the cause. It is equally likely the person could have been in an accident if they WEREN’T lane-splitting, in which case the lane-splitting data point is completely moot, much as if they reported what color their bike was or the style hair the rider wore that day.

          • Scott

            Here’s a fact from a recent NHTSA study: 22% of riders involved in fatal crashes in 2011 did not have a valid motorcycle license

            I don’ have a link, just pulled that from an article. Just assume it is true for the sake of discussion.

            Now, do you suspect a correlation? If not, why do you think the NHTSA did? It’s not proof of anything is it? Should we ignore it? No, lets not just ignore it. Let’s dig until we discover some meaningless gem like the guys without licences were 1% less likely to break their right fibula, so riding without a license is relatively safe. That is effectively what the Berkeley study did.

          • Tinwoods

            Fuck your ONE stupid study. I would listen to actual longtime riders in Southern California–the capitol of motorcycling in the US.

          • Tinwoods

            Amen, brother!

        • Tinwoods

          Tried actually riding a bike in California for more than the minute you apparently did. There is your “date.”

      • john burns

        well Hello, Dick, why are you lane splitting in a non-lane splitting state? (Not that I wouldn’t.) I think that’s my point…

        • Old MOron

          Hello? Civil disobedience.

          • john burns

            and the point of civil disobedience is to change the law.

          • Old MOron

            Reverend, meet the choir. Choir, Reverend.

        • DickRuble

          I was riding in my lane (the right most one) when she invited herself into it, riding in parallel with me for a long while, getting closer than comfortable, forcing me to slow down and let her have it to herself. What was your point?

          • john burns

            no point Dick, I just enjoy circular arguments with you.

    • john burns

      nice work twisting the facts there, Scott. Here’s what the report says: http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/05/29/motorcycle-lanesplitting-report/

      • Scott

        No, that is just another synopsis, albeit a better one than most moto magazines published. I’m surprised you wrote this article, now defend it, and still are apparently unaware of the actual study:

        http://www.ots.ca.gov/pdf/Publications/Motorcycle-Lane-Splitting-and-Safety-2015.pdf

        Look, no hard feelings, okay? You got suckered like the rest of us. I remember reading the articles when the study was published, and they ALL made it sound like lane-splitting was safe. I just dug a little deeper.

        I did not misrepresent it all. I was typing on a tablet at the time so I may wish I could have gone into greater detail, but the gist of what I said is absolutely in agreement with the study.

        Here’s a good quote from the ACTAUL STUDY (in other words, they didn’t even compare lane-splitting to not lane-splitting):

        “This study is not without limitations. The primary limitation is our lack of exposure data. To estimate how the risk of being involved in a collision changes when motorcyclists chose to lanesplit, we would require information on both the lane-splitting and non-lane-splitting riding that is done by some identifiable sample of motorcyclists. The collection of these data is fraught with problems, and the current study did not attempt to collect such data. The current data set cannot be used to compare the collision risks for lane-splitting or non-lane-splitting riders. The data that we do have enables us only to examine the collision, personal, and injury characteristics of the riders who were involved in traffic collisions and whose collisions occurred in the study jurisdictions.”
        You seriously need to read the actual study, not biased interpretations of it, before you make an endorsement based on it.

        • fastfreddie

          Good luck with your crusade;)

          • Scott

            lol. I love riding, but I really am kind of embarrassed how dumb a lot of motorcyclists are…thinking someone is taking rights they never had, that they have a right to do whatever they want and drive up everyone else’s taxes, insurance, etc. when it goes bad for them.

          • mu_liki_liki

            What about the commuters that don’t really care if it is more/neutral/less safe but live in areas that get over 100 degrees and they just don’t want to sit in traffic when there is plenty of space to move to the front of the line and continue moving at the earliest possible moment?

            I want lane splitting to be legalized because if a cager decides to be a douche nozzle and open their door or swerve into me when I am travelling less than 10 mph in an otherwise open area I am not legally in the wrong.

            Laws are only useful when people follow them. Let’s take speed limits as an example. I regularly travel on interstate highways. I am usually unable to safely stay under the posted speed limit because 90% of other traffic is moving 10+ mph over it and I am concerned with somebody rear ending me. The other side is if I am keeping pace with traffic then I am safer but there is the risk of having to donate to the state police because we are all over the limit but only a few get picked for willy wonka’s golden tickets.

            There will always be people that take “lane splitting” as holding a wheelie at 105 while you weave through highway traffic just like there will always be people that take speed limits as more of a suggestion. I want to lane split at low speeds through stopped or barely moving traffic

            MAKE LANE SPLITTING LEGAL!

        • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

          17 percent of accidents happened while the rider was lane splitting. Lane splitting did not cause the accident. To imply that because the riders were lane splitting when they crashed was the cause of the crash is a fallacy, though I’m not enough of a scholar to tell you which one.

          What you’re leaving out is the reality of commuting in a place with heavy gridlock, like LA or the SF Bay area, where a rider may be lane-splitting more than 1/2 the time–therefore, if you’re lane-splitting 1/2 the time but 17% of the crashes happen during lane-splitting, well, then, you can argue that it’s actually safer to lane split, not more dangerous.

          And when you quote the study detailing the difficulties of calculating risks with inadequate data, I would say, yes, exactly. You can’t prove it’s more dangerous, just as I can’t prove it’s safer. So how about government leaving us alone and letting us make our own safety-related decisions?

          • Scott

            I did not say it caused the accidents. I don’t believe they looked at causes. I’m guessing the cause in the lane-splitting was overwhelmingly the fault of the other driver, just like it probably was in most of the accidents. That doesn’t help, though. It is an activity associated with 17% of accidents, which should give us pause or at the very least keep us from proclaiming it safe.

            For your second paragraph to be true then all riders would have had to lane-split 50% of the time. Otherwise we can’t relate it to the study, which did not look at rates of participation, iirc.

            I’m not trying to prove it is anything. I suppose I would be happy if it were safe since many people want to do it. I’m just saying what little evidence we have does not look promising (and has repeatedly been misreprented).

          • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

            As to the 50% of the time lane-splitting thing, what percentage of all motorcycle VMT in California were lane-splitting? If they are 10% of all Moto-VMT, then lane-splitting is more dangerous, but if they are 18% or more, than it’s less dangerous. You see what I’m saying?

            You’re assuming the UC Berkeley study is the only study on lane-splitting, but many other studies have looked at it, and they are all inconclusive.

            ” I’m just saying what little evidence we have does not look promising (and has repeatedly been misrepresented).”

            That is not true. The evidence we have (and there is a lot) is inconclusive but leans towards lane-splitting having little or no effect on safety. I don’t know where it’s been “misrepresented,” as I’ve never said it’s safe–just that it’s as safe or slightly safer than not lane-splitting, and I’ve never read anyone else writing that either.

          • Scott

            I do see what you are saying, but we don’t know those numbers.

            I’d be interested in reading those other studies you mentioned. Do you have links or remember the orgs or names?

            As far as misrepresented… I don’t know that MO ever did, but you can find plenty with a simple search. Here are a couple whoppers:

            AMA: Study Finds Lane-Splitting Increases Rider Safety

            http://www.cycleworld.com/2015/06/02/ama-study-finds-lane-splitting-increases-rider-saftey/

            Lane-splitting for motorcycles is safe, says landmark Berkeley study
            http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-lanesplitting-safe-uc-berkeley-study-20150529-story.html

            I mean, seriously, several of you are on here arguing with me about it. The study never said it was safe and the authors acknowledged they didn’t even try to determine if it was safe…yet here you all are arguing about this study… Where did you all get the idea that the study said it was safe if it wasn’t from some misrepresentation?

            I’m sure you will all be glad to hear this is my last post on this subject today. The streets have dried and I am going riding!

          • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

            MAIDS: http://www.maids-study.eu/

            UK MOT Study http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110509101621/http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme5/indepthstudyofmotorcycleacc.pdf

            Writing sensationalist headlines is not the same as misrepresenting. Editors do that to get people to click. The articles themselves don’t really say it’s safe–they just mirror the report, which says it may increase safety in some areas.

            NOBODY except for you is saying lanesplitting is safe. We’re just saying it’s no more or less safe than not lanesplitting. I know it from personal experience doing it for almost 30 years and hundreds of thousands of miles of commuting and from looking at plenty of moto-safety studies.

            Nothing about motorcycles is safe. Allowing motorcycles to share lanes will not increase motorcycle fatalities, but do you know what will? Encouraging non-riders to buy and ride motorcycles and tell them that all they have to do to be “safe” is to follow the law and take an easy-to-pass licensing course, which has been a massive failure.

            So if you think lane splitting should be banned in all 50 states, you should think about maybe banning motorcycles in general. Because motorcycles are not, cannot and never will be “safe.”

          • Tinwoods

            Neither are cars, trains, or anything else that moves. Your point is irrelevant.

          • Tinwoods

            There is a god.

          • Scott

            Ah, nothing like getting tanked and shotgun ranting to a conversation 3 MONTHS DEAD, is there? I count at least 4 responses. Oops! LOL.
            Let’s see… ad hominem, check, bias, check, childlike logic, check, zero facts, check. That whistling sound you hear is not some leftover New Years fireworks shooting into the sky. It’s your credibility 😉
            Bravo! Well done. Next time do try to be satisfied with just pissing yourself in the passenger seat of some fat chick’s car, and leave the damn computer turned off until morning.

          • Jim Greer

            Your too smart to defend this any longer, he dont get it.

        • Tinwoods

          Blather on, you still have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re like a nerd blathering on about space travel, without so much as ever stepping into an airplane.

    • David Stromberg

      You are comparing apples to oranges here. Distracted driving is driving while doing other activities, lowering your attention to detail on the road. Lane splitting does not lower your attention to the road at all. A better comparison would be to compare the lane splitting accident percentage (17%) to the percentage of accidents that take place in, say, the far right lane. Or even the fearsome far LEFT lane.

      • Scott

        Fair point. It was not about apples to apples, though. It was about noting that if you are studying something–anything–and you notice something else is happening simultaneously 17% of the time, then it is safe to suspect a correlation. (And, of course, I don’t mean something else which is naturally associated, like studying sunburn and noticing that sunshine is present.) Notice I said “suspect”. For me it is pretty damning, but I understand it is not technically scientific proof.

        • http://norimek.com/blog Robert C. Barth

          It was mentioned the study only said that 17% of accidents victims were lane-splitting. On its own, that doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s like saying 100% of people who died were living when they were killed (living is what killed them! — don’t live, and you’ll never die, all true statements); it’s a coincidental fact until the cause of the accident is known.

          • Scott

            Well, I mentioned the sunburn example and then you used a version of it….lol. I don’t know why this concept is so difficult. We evaluate things like this all the time. This is associated with that, therefore we can suspsect they are related. Yes, we still need proof. But what we don’t need is to gloss over this correlation and claim the data actually says the opposite!

            At some point someone noticed that lots of folks with lung cancer were smokers, lots of heart attack victims eat fatty foods and lots are couch potatoes, lots of boys with no father wind up in jail, etc. When they first noticed the correlation they did not have proof. But they sure as hell didn’t proclaim that smoking was safe! (Oh wait, some of them did because they WANTED it to be true…hint hint)

      • Tinwoods

        Please stop arguing with this moron. He writes well enough, but knows virtually nothing about real world riding.

    • Tinwoods

      You don’t have a clue, Scott. There have been more than one studies (in Europe) that have determined lane-sharing/splitting to be safe. I have been riding in Los Angeles everyday for nearly thirty years and have never had a problem lane-splitting. It is safe when you are doing it properly. And the same goes for all my daily moto commuting friends–none have ever been in an accident while lane-splitting. You really shouldn’t speak about things you know nothing about and have even less experience doing.

  • Michael Howard

    Motorcycle air conditioning? Check out:
    http://entrosys.com/

    • fastfreddie

      Excellent!

  • John B.

    The notion that the law reflects a coherent code of principles (moral, pragmatic or otherwise) is laughable. Simply put, the law reflects the desires of those with access to lawmakers, and we all know what it takes to gain access…. hint, it’s green.

    I live in Texas, and if 20 years ago you would have told me I would have the right to marry a man before I had the right to play online poker I would have laughed myself silly. In Texas, a man can marry another man, but not a man who is his first cousin, brother, father, grandfather, or uncle! Laugh if you will, but the ability to marry one’s grandfather would be a great estate planning tool to avoid the death tax, and neither love nor an agreement to have a sexual relationship is a prerequisite to get a marriage license. Although the Supreme Court effectively held that “Love is Love,” Texans may not marry more than one person at a time, nor may I marry a Bombay Sapphire Martini with or without a twist.

    In Texas, we can legally gamble on fantasy sports at FanDuel, gamble on horse races, buy lottery tickets, and trade oil futures, but we can’t legally play poker or other casino table games without riding to Oklahoma or Louisiana. Americans love to gamble, but senseless prohibitions persist due to special interest influence peddlers.

    In short, in a system where money buys access, and access drives legislation, common sense laws and The People’s will get lost in the shuffle. As such, lane splitting is not legal in 49 states, ethanol subsidies persist solely to benefit those in the ethanol industry, and I must criss-cross Indian reservations across the western U.S. to pursue concurrently my hobbies of poker, motorcycling, and photography. Okay, so that part works pretty well for me, but that’s an unintended consequence not government beneficence.

    In one well-drafted Federal Statute, Congress and the President could legalize in all 50 states concealed carry, lane splitting, poker, and marijuana (something for everyone); and, end senseless prohibitions that spoil the fun. Like that could ever happen….

    • DickRuble

      Nicely written! Just enlighten me, do they prohibit motorcycling or photography in Texas, or just doing both at the same time?

  • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

    Can you play eight-tracks on your Walkman, John?

    • John B.

      I may, but I cannot.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Warning, this post is positively cranky in its DickRublesqueness…

    1) The superbike race. It has finally reached ridiculous levels and the bikes are not affordable or even all that usable. I don’t see the point anymore.

    2) V-Twin cruisers with straight pipes. Potato potato, blah blah blah. Sorry Do-Rag set, you are all “Me Too” morons, and you are setting the sport back 100 years.

    3) Squids splatting themselves and doing wheelies on sport bikes on public roads. Even more moronic than #2, above, and that takes some doing.

    4) Japan not making a truly interesting dual sport bike. Come on, wake up already.

    5) Agree lane splitting should be legal. Did it while living in CA and really miss it now. It is safer to split and than to sit in jammed traffic.

    6) Helmet law in all 50 states. Common sense should not have to be legislated, but evidently it does. To not wear a helmet is moronic. Make it a law if people are too stupid to do it voluntarily. There is a societal cost here, why give our enemies the ammo they need.

    7) Environmental wingnuts who file suit and use other harassment tactics to close off road trails. Kill them with fire…

    8) Idiot off road riders who go in areas where they shouldn’t, giving #7 more ammo. Many of these are on quads by the way.

    9) KTM produces such interesting bikes, but they need to make a reliable bike too. Figure it out.

    10) Nut smasher seats that slope toward the gas tank. Stop making them. My man parts have suffered enough.

    • DickRuble

      You got 8 right out of 10. That’s enough to warrant an up vote from Dick Ruble or an answering voice message from Carl Kasell.

      • Craig Hoffman

        Will add 1 bonus:

        11) Motorcyclists that bitch too much. (Might as well take a shot at myself too!)

        • Old MOron

          Okay, you got me. Now where’s that up-vote button?

    • fastfreddie

      Are you his alter ego?

  • JMDonald

    I miss lane splitting legally here in Texas.
    If someone does not want to wear a helmet they should not be forced to wear one. I would not ride without one.
    I have not owned a real sport bike for over 25 years. I still like them and curiously like an altoid mint still want one.
    I find it hard to appreciate a cruiser or the cruiser mindset but see them as brother motorcyclists that should be pitied not punished.
    Ass holes that do wheelies on the street in traffic should be punished not pitied.
    Dykes on bikes bother me.
    ABS and traction control are the greatest things since heated grips.
    Modern tyres, abs brakes, cruise control, GPS, tcs, electronic suspension, modern Bluetooth systems along with the many choices of manufacturers and motorcycle types confirms to me we live in the best of times.
    I wish the bastards at Honda would make a VFR that has a liter sized engine withe all the bells and whistles that weighs under 500 lbs.
    Triumph would sell the Tiger Sport here is n the US.
    I am not sure how this rant came to be but there it is.

  • dbwindhorst

    And please: more lightweight, simple, reliable, low-maintenance bikes.

  • Luc emalle

    for the Spaniards….just get it on with the minimum weight bike AND rider thing…..settled!

  • Max Wellian

    My number one change would be eliminate catalytic converters from bikes and put them on lawn equipment instead. They would do immensely more good on those and not cause anyone permanent scars from burning.

    As to shouting commentators, I say leave them alone. My wife only watches to hear the funny phrases the foreigners use and I know if I need to get back in the room and rewind if I hear enough yelling going on.

  • VForce

    John i agree with your list in pretty much its entirity, however you could probably just put “climate control” on the heated grips, heated seat, air conditioning, etc etc. once you have had a bike with heated grips, its hard NOT to have them. Same with good hard bags. Why can’t we find even a place for our wallet and phone anymore? You have to buy a sport tourer/ touring sport to get any kind of storage, or a scooter. Pass on that option.

    You did forget about adjustable ergos. There is no reason why every bike should not have some adjustment in the footpegs, seat, and bars. You can adjust your car’s seat and mirrors in a limitless number of positions…with memory at the touch of a button. And we can’t even get the manual adjustment? They have the technology, why don’t they do it? It’s Discriminatory!

    To me though, the biggest issue that needs to change NOW is the quality of the fuel that we have to buy and how badly our bikes run right out of the crate. We have to fill them with crappy E10 (and now the threat of heaven forbid… E15), and they run so poorly and lean when you take delivery that you need to purchase an aftermarket pipe and PowerCommander AND tune it to run right. Yes, thank you EPA/ CARB for watching out for our health, but you are really putting us in some dangerous situations with how badly our bikes run until we take off all of the crap that you forced the manufacturers to install. Which also raised the price of the bike by the way, so thanks for that also. It’s pretty sad when you spend $20k on your new Ducati 1199 and you have to install an exotic exhaust and tune it to run the way that it was designed to run. Why am I now part of the R&D? I don’t have to do this with my cars!

    Follow the money, its obvious that the EPA / CARB is a joke. They are more worried about lining their pockets than our safety.

    Good rant though John. I sure enjoy a good rant myself. You do a better job at it though for sure!

  • Wayne Ivy

    Heated this, heated that. Lane splitting. I am smart enough that I own a few vehicles I may choose if the weather is bad. I don’t HAVE to ride when it’s cold. I am also smart enough to leave early enough to get to my destination. People in cars don’t see us half the time anyhow, I don’t feel the need to increase my chances of being ran over by lane splitting. I own a VTX for when the wife wants to go and a ZRX for when she doesn’t. I don’t discriminate, if your riding and having fun I don’t care what your on.

  • michael franklin

    You mean other than all these overdone top ten lists?

  • Douglas

    Well, the heated grips, seats and a/c don’t strike me as essential. What would I like to see mandated, at least on road bikes? Self-canxl turn signals and centerstands. (And while we’re at it, standardize turn signal placement to the left handlebar, as was done with shifters on bikes and auto trans patterns on cars. The dinosaurs at H-D cling tenaciously to their silly switches-on-both-grips and insistence on SAE dimensions.

    Now the lane-spitting? Seems to me the entire question of safety comes down to the attitudes of cagers. In CA, where it’s been done for a good while, it’s probably largely accepted. But with today’s seemingly-prevalent “me first”, or what’s now morphed into “ONLY me first”, resentment would likely build in some who’re stuck in the gridlock. That can lead to a door opening (ostensibly for a “good reason”, should there be reportable contact), or as mentioned above, “easing over” to prevent a bike passing. If you want to see this in action, get on Youtube and type in “Driving in Russia”, You will be stunned at what goes on over there, where so many traffic incidents are taken personally, to the point of middle of the road brawls, windows being smashed w/tire irons, bats, even guys coming out of their cars with gun drawn. Don’t know if it’d get that bad here, but running into the edge of a cardoor at 25mph is not good. To top the attitude thing off, not many drivers use their outside mirrors (many don’t know how),

    I guess the best thing is to not make it ILLEGAL, left to choice. Same w/helmets. Oh, another thing to make mandatory…..linked brakes. Most cruiser riders, esp H-D, are loathe to use the front brake, (Not manly or somesuch…)….really dumb. Linked, they could still use their beloved foot pedal only, but be able to stop safe & quick.

    OK, that’s all I have. You may now react. Tango Yankee

  • TheMarvelous1310 .

    How about cruisers not handling? Harley-Davidson Vrods are raked out to Jupiter and feel long as boats, and The Motor Company needs to add two more inches of suspension travel and better brakes to literally every single motorcycle they make, except the Street series which is so softly sprung it equals out to be the same. Even the new Scout is way too low, and Indians are supposed to be riders!

    And why do Softails exist? A Road King sans bags can do everything a Softail does just better, and they make actual hardtail frames with more rear travel in the seat mount than that awful rear spring. The only one I ever thought about was the Rocker with the cool rear end, and that had more travel left and right than it had up and down.

    I say this as a 27 year old cruiser fan, who wants a Harley-Davidson but will probably end up with a Victory because I want to do some actual riding, immediately after buying, and can’t find a Harley that just works.

  • a b

    heated grips and seats? pussy

  • Milliardo007

    “Federally mandated Cruise Control and Heated Grips”

    While I would like to have those things, that’s ridiculous. What about the people in places like Southern California or Florida? Why should those people have to pay for things they may never even use. And all of the people who just put their bikes away the moment weather isn’t perfect.
    And really, heated grips are not particularly expensive. If you’re one of the people who want them you can go get them installed, and then those of us who don’t need them can save that money.

  • Lisa Glover

    The number one thing I would change (listen up Japan) would be to manufacture bikes that accepted accessories easily and quickly. Let the dealer quickly modify your bike with “factory accessories” like heated grips and aux lights and hard bags. The current setups take too long and cost way too much. It might add a little weight and a little cost but I believe they would make it up in aftermarket sales for both the manufacturer and the dealer. I’m getting old… I resent adding a fuze block and running my crappy Autozone wiring throughout the bike to get what I want. Heck, I can see heated grips like DRLs… want aux lights? pay $47) to turn on the software and $xxx depending on how fancy you want the lights. Same thing with heated grips (all bikes have them… secret sauce to turn them on and pay $50).

  • James Stewart

    JB – are you sure that you aren’t promoting Electric MX just so the gas saved can be diverted to Flat Track racing some Two Cylinder Monstrosity that gets 3 gallons per mile? And are you sure that you..really…want all those Flat Brimmer Supercross fans at your Flat Track races? At least the roundy-round promoter would sell more Monster and Red Bull.

  • John Sterling

    I was surprised not to see listed ABS available on more bikes. There were a couple of bikes I would have gladly chosen if I could have had ABS for $500 more.

  • Donald J Loughran

    Flew to Paris last month…you think lane splitting is rampant in CA…you should see the thousands of scooters and bikes that weave in and out over there! Only saw two splats!

  • UncagedChipmunk

    One I personally read about quite often on forums is the damage that comes from strangers tipping over bikes because they wanted to sit on them.

    Honestly it should be made illegal (arrestable misdimenor) for anyone to straddle a bike that doesn’t have the owners permission.

    Some might see that as over the top but if you or a person in general had a convertible car or roadster parked and came back to it with a stranger sitting in the driver’s sit what would you think? He was just trying out the interior or attempting to steal it?

    Sure cars and bikes are apples to oranges but this is the best way to compare the two since both are open to the environment in this case

  • Mad4TheCrest

    #8 is right on the money. Watching the Qatar finale of WSBK of BeIN made me think the commentators were after a words per lap record. They me long for Jonathan Green and Steve Martin – at least with those guys you caught a break when the slower – speaking Martin broke in to point out how stupid Green was being about something.

  • pcontiman

    Lane Splitting – yes yes yes yes yes and yes. How can you fight helmet laws and not advocate for lane splitting (yes a gross generalization I know). Make lane splitting legal now and everywhere.

  • pcontiman

    and now that I’ve read the whole article….you get my vote. Looking forward to that heated seat while I lane split my way to the cruise control lane on my way to the urban electric flatcross…..Wahoooooo.

  • Alf Torp

    “Federally mandated Cruise Control and Heated Grips” Really? REALLY? You want the government to dictate what comfort you have on your motorcycle? Why not just fit it to yours and let others decide for themselves? To me, a motorcycle is about freedom, and letting the government dictate shit like this is NOT freedom.