Rising Motorcycle Fatalities & How We Can Help Friends Starting Out - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 23 Old 09-02-2010, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Rising Motorcycle Fatalities & How We Can Help Friends Starting Out

In the comments section of an online local (Lehigh Valley, PA) news article about a motorcycle accident one of the posters asked "are there more motorcycle accidents than usual this year, because it certainly seems like it". And then I saw this article this morning in the Rochester, NY news: Motorcycle deaths climb this year in Rochester area | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle

It got me thinking about a friend and how I'm going to push him to take a training course - and also send him the article above to reinforce the importance of it. He just bought his first street bike and he doesn't even have a permit yet. He's been riding a friend's dirtbike to get the feel of the clutch, gears, brakes - and the bike he got is a little Yamaha V-Star 250cc so I think he's making the right first steps, but the whole idea of formal training never really came up before... It will now!

I also though it was interesting that there is a very large increase fatalities of older guys on very large bikes. Not sure what is driving that...

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post #2 of 23 Old 09-02-2010, 06:21 AM
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It doesn't really surprise me. The number of cars on the roads increase every year and it seems like the number of bikes on the road increase every year. Add in the fact that it seems like most people are really bad drivers/riders and motorcycle deaths will increase. I'm sure the invention of the cell phone and texting hasn't really helped either.

Someone from my church just died in a motorcycle accident. It really affected my wife because I just got into motorcycles. I read the news report and apparently he ran into a truck while passing people on the highway on the right shoulder. I don't know why he was passing people on the right shoulder, but I can determine that doing that does add more risk. The number one rule when taking an MSF class seems to be "reduce the amount of risk when riding".

It's good that your friend bought a 250cc bike. It'd be better if he took an MSF class. Anyone can learn how to ride a bike. The class helps you learn how to do it safely. I took the class, had a blast, learned a ton and made some friends. I'd recommend it to everyone, even people who have been riding for years.

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post #3 of 23 Old 09-02-2010, 06:38 AM
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I'm from Rochester and just read the morning paper. The number of bike crashes and fatalities this year has been staggering. It seems that most of them were due to speed, alcohol, or inexperienced riders. Although statistically we should expect a rise in accidents with the rise in bike registrations.

My wife and I have both taken Ron's MSF beginner class, and I take the experienced class every few years to brush up and make sure I haven't adopted any bad technique habits. The last time I took it, I was on the 919 and it was the best bike I've ever used for that class for maneuverability and braking. These classes are really well done and, with most companies, knock 10% off your liability insurance. Highly recommended!

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post #4 of 23 Old 09-02-2010, 07:20 AM
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I don't think it's all riders making the rate of biker accidents and fataties rise. any one notice that it seems every month that goes by the cages get worse and worse at driving? Texting and all the media access on phones isn't helping these people either.

I agree that riders need more expereince/training and a beginner taking an MSF coarse is a good start.

They need to make texting and driving or web surfing and driving as heavily punished as drinking and driving at least the drunks are looking at the road.

Common sense. So rare it's a god damn super power.
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post #5 of 23 Old 09-02-2010, 08:39 AM
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I think it is a combination of things. There are a lot of middle age people that are buying a bike for the first time. Many of us started on bicycles, mini bikes, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, etc... and had a natural evolution into street bikes.
Young male adults on high powered machines (just about any motorcyle) are always going to be in a high risk category. The older crowd (which I am part of), that are riding for the first time are at higher risk as well. Slower reflexes and lack of experience.

I like to hammer the bike...but I pick my spots. I ride a lot in the city, am constantly aware of all drivers and "having an escape route and plan"
Last week I rode to Gettysburg, Pa. and was amazed to see all the helmetless riders. Not just on Harley's but on Sportbikes. Additionally there are many riders that don't ride often enough to keep there skills current. Motorcycling and DRIVING is a skill. To increase that skill it takes practice and constant evaluation.

My 2 cents.

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post #6 of 23 Old 09-02-2010, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimdog View Post
I think it is a combination of things. There are a lot of middle age people that are buying a bike for the first time. Many of us started on bicycles, mini bikes, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, etc... and had a natural evolution into street bikes.
Young male adults on high powered machines (just about any motorcyle) are always going to be in a high risk category. The older crowd (which I am part of), that are riding for the first time are at higher risk as well. Slower reflexes and lack of experience.

I like to hammer the bike...but I pick my spots. I ride a lot in the city, am constantly aware of all drivers and "having an escape route and plan"
Last week I rode to Gettysburg, Pa. and was amazed to see all the helmetless riders. Not just on Harley's but on Sportbikes. Additionally there are many riders that don't ride often enough to keep there skills current. Motorcycling and DRIVING is a skill. To increase that skill it takes practice and constant evaluation.

My 2 cents.
Just riding or driving will not increase that skill though it require s a mental mind set of wanting to increase said skill. And putting into action a routine or plan to do so.

Common sense. So rare it's a god damn super power.
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-02-2010, 08:57 AM
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This thread reminds me of why I wear my gear. Also reminds me of something I saw this week.

Earlier this week I saw a couple older riders at a gas station 'coaching' a guy who looked to be a few years older than me. The older guys (I say older, not old because they were older than me) were both riding identical Ducati bikes. I think they were 851s. They were wearing full gear. The guy my age was on a 600F3 wearing sunglasses, t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes.

I was pumping gas in my truck so just sat back and listened. Those guys were discussing the importance of chain maintenance with the F3 rider, but shortly went into the 'You haven't crashed yet...have you?' discussion. The gear-less rider showed no desire to wear gear. He kept asking questions like 'don't you get hot?'.

After thinking about their conversation, I realized that's all we can do. Plant the idea of wearing gear, it's benefits, and where to get it. Past that, it's up to the individual to make their own choice.

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post #8 of 23 Old 09-02-2010, 09:23 AM
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Don't you get hot?

Yeah, but it's better than a skin graft


I took the MSF experienced class in May. Happy to report I didn't have too many bad habits and did very well. Ken, you're right, the 919 made that class a cake walk. Especially compared to all the road sofa Harley's that couldn't do the tight maneuvering. I should say, the rider's of said Harley's that couldn't do the tight stuff, since the instructor was on a newer Wing and embarrassed me with what he was able to do. A worthwhile class all in all.

Something it made apparent to me....I would wager less than 10% of riders actually know anything about riding. At 36, I was certainly the youngest guy there and one of 2 that actually knew what countersteering was. The other was a FJR1300 rider. Everything else there(7 bikes) was a Harley and not one knew the concept, or any other safe riding concept for that matter. The 2 woman were especially clueless. It seems these days, all you need to be safe is the endorsement on your license. It's shocking how little effort people put into learning HOW to ride.

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post #9 of 23 Old 09-03-2010, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyCatcher View Post
Don't you get hot?

Yeah, but it's better than a skin graft


I took the MSF experienced class in May. Happy to report I didn't have too many bad habits and did very well. Ken, you're right, the 919 made that class a cake walk. Especially compared to all the road sofa Harley's that couldn't do the tight maneuvering. I should say, the rider's of said Harley's that couldn't do the tight stuff, since the instructor was on a newer Wing and embarrassed me with what he was able to do. A worthwhile class all in all.

Something it made apparent to me....I would wager less than 10% of riders actually know anything about riding. At 36, I was certainly the youngest guy there and one of 2 that actually knew what countersteering was. The other was a FJR1300 rider. Everything else there(7 bikes) was a Harley and not one knew the concept, or any other safe riding concept for that matter. The 2 woman were especially clueless. It seems these days, all you need to be safe is the endorsement on your license. It's shocking how little effort people put into learning HOW to ride.
I used to be a MSF Instructor, and we would have Harley guys, Sport Bike guys and they would say the same thing. This bike is not made to do this, which I would get on their bikes and show them it would.
Also another instructor who has many more years instructing than I did said Do not slice and dice traffic (we lived in Okinawa at the time and were teaching military folks, same standards as any MSF) He then said to me, unless you can go through the offset cone weave with only one hand on the handlebars, and only one foot on the foot peg. I rode my Homebuilt Softail Springer with 16" Apes at the time, and decided to try after all the students had left, I made ot through the offset cone weave and the other instructor said, You just had to prove me wrong didn't you.

I learned ALOT fron going through the training to be an instructor, and of course applying them everytime we demonstrate to the students how the next exercise is conducted, Practice makes anyone better, and I still find myself Messing up sometimes with simple stuff, we are only huuman~!

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post #10 of 23 Old 09-04-2010, 07:22 AM
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Last week I x-rayed a guy that low-sided his 650 when he decided to do some knee dragging on a local road. Sand in the corner got him.
Road rashed his left forearm , left hip and ankle.
What impressed me the most was the way he had scrubbed through his jeans, melted a hole in his shorts and had a burn mark the size of a dinner plate on his a$$ cheek. Week before that a driveway-drop cost the rider 4 hours in the E.R. digging a piece of gravel from his elbow.
Now I'm not preaching but even at 88 degrees, my mesh jacket dosen't seem too hot any more !!

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post #11 of 23 Old 09-04-2010, 07:58 AM
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you should've x-rayed his head instead: knew dragging in jeans???



First poster mentioned PA. Do you think no helmet laws have anything to do with it?
I cross river to PA quit ofter and see 50-60% of the riders without the helmet, 99.9% of their passengers have no helmet as well.




Quote:
Originally Posted by FXS View Post
Last week I x-rayed a guy that low-sided his 650 when he decided to do some knee dragging on a local road. Sand in the corner got him.
Road rashed his left forearm , left hip and ankle.
What impressed me the most was the way he had scrubbed through his jeans, melted a hole in his shorts and had a burn mark the size of a dinner plate on his a$$ cheek. Week before that a driveway-drop cost the rider 4 hours in the E.R. digging a piece of gravel from his elbow.
Now I'm not preaching but even at 88 degrees, my mesh jacket dosen't seem too hot any more !!

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post #12 of 23 Old 09-04-2010, 08:12 AM
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Horse sense is mostly limited to horses.

Never pick a fight with an old man..if he's too tired to fight, he'll just shoot you.
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post #13 of 23 Old 09-04-2010, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FXS View Post
...Now I'm not preaching but even at 88 degrees, my mesh jacket dosen't seem too hot any more !!
I have only worn my mesh jacket twice this year. I've been wearing my textile jacket. Even in the 100+ degree temperature. For some reason, it seems cooler than mesh above 95 degrees.

Should add that I always wear gear.

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post #14 of 23 Old 09-04-2010, 10:46 PM
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ATGATT

+1 on swimdog: gradually building the two wheel power improves safety.

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post #15 of 23 Old 09-04-2010, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream View Post
ATGATT

+1 on swimdog: gradually building the two wheel power improves safety.

I think I disagree somewhat.

I think that encouraging proper education and attgatt is the key. Teaching new riders to have a healthy respect for their machine (and their limited experience) is almost as important as stressing personal discipline and not overstepping the boundaries of a rider's ability. I think that gradually increasing the power limits the opportunity for abuse, but you can achieve dangerous speeds on virtually any motorcycle. As we know here, power corrupts, but it's overconfidence that kills.









.

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post #16 of 23 Old 09-05-2010, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimdog View Post
I think it is a combination of things. There are a lot of middle age people that are buying a bike for the first time. Many of us started on bicycles, mini bikes, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, etc... and had a natural evolution into street bikes.

My 2 cents.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by dream View Post
ATGATT

+1 on swimdog: gradually building the two wheel power improves safety.
+1 but only to a point,it also builds cockiness imho
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
I think I disagree somewhat.

I think that encouraging proper education and attgatt is the key. Teaching new riders to have a healthy respect for their machine (and their limited experience) is almost as important as stressing personal discipline and not overstepping the boundaries of a rider's ability. I think that gradually increasing the power limits the opportunity for abuse, but you can achieve dangerous speeds on virtually any motorcycle. As we know here, power corrupts, but it's overconfidence that kills.

.
ultimately, i think "the shadow knows" yea i said that.lol

plus,i would venture to but the odds go up drastically as the reg.#'s go up.
ex:1000 bikes=1 accident...10000 bikes=25 accidents.
but it's just my h.o.

solution= outlaw gsxr's 'cause we all know what they breed...lol

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post #17 of 23 Old 09-05-2010, 06:28 AM
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i live in western new york and you can bet there is one on the news every week. speed kills save it for the track. i should heed my own warnings .yeah right

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post #18 of 23 Old 09-05-2010, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaq123 View Post
First poster mentioned PA. Do you think no helmet laws have anything to do with it?
I cross river to PA quit ofter and see 50-60% of the riders without the helmet, 99.9% of their passengers have no helmet as well.
Most of the fatal accidents I've read about in PA don't seem like they were survivable whether they were wearing a helmet or not, and it doesn't seem that there are more helmet-less riders that are killed (the news always points out if they were wearing a helmet or not...). It seems odd, but most of what I've seen the guys were wearing helmets...

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post #19 of 23 Old 09-05-2010, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaq123 View Post
First poster mentioned PA. Do you think no helmet laws have anything to do with it?
I cross river to PA quit ofter and see 50-60% of the riders without the helmet, 99.9% of their passengers have no helmet as well.
I'd say there is a good chance this is the case, based on the stat quoted in the article:
  • Helmets saved an estimated 1,829 motorcyclists' lives in 2008.

I have many rider friends in PA (and have heard the same thing about other states that are helmet-optional) that know their insurance rates have increased since their helmet law changed. And that makes sense - deaths and head injuries are more likely.

The sidebar stats from that story are pretty scary - one quarter of riders killed had an invalid license (probably without a motorcycle endorsement), and the high percentage of alcohol contributing to accidents. Just plain stupid
  • One of four motorcycle riders in fatal crashes in 2008 had an invalid license.
  • Forty-three percent of the 2,291 motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2008 had blood alcohol levels at or over the legal limit, as did 64 percent of those killed in single-vehicle crashes on weekend nights.

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post #20 of 23 Old 09-05-2010, 08:13 AM
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My MC tiered development; bicycles, 50cc, 90cc, 250cc, 600cc, liter. The benefit was learning two-wheel instinct, at a much lower energy/risk. I regret not taking the professional MC training way before the 600cc, for it would have saved me a couple falls. Recall two years ago when 21yr hockey player, Luc Bourdon, rode his first bike GSXR1K into a tractor. He had taken a safety class, I bet if he had been on a 250cc he'd be alive now.

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post #21 of 23 Old 09-05-2010, 08:24 AM
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In case anyone is interested, here is the link for th MSF RiderCouse locations.

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post #22 of 23 Old 09-06-2010, 05:37 AM
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we went to njmp to watch the ama pros yesterday. i would venture to say there was at the very least 500 bikes(patrons not competitors) at the park. we parked by the back straight right next to the bike parking so i got to watch nearly every bike come and go.
of the 500 or so bikes i'd say 20% of them had what i'd consider atgatt. all had helmets(state law)most had long pants,30% had jackets.
it was 80 deg f and sunny so temp wasn't a real factor.Harley guys made up about 35% of the bikes but i didn't see 1 with atgatt.
as for the sportbikes,50% had jackets,35% had boots and gloves BUT most 75%-80% of their pillions were wearing shorts,sandals/flip-flops and tank tops!
now who had the atgatt?
90% of the 38-65 y.o. riders/pillions not on Harley's wore proper gear.
it seems that IF you don't ride a Harley and have made it to 40+ y.o. your wise enough to wear atgatt.(i'm good!)

so.....

Harley guys are crash proof.
sportbike guys under 30 are invincible(who don't no that) and don't give a shit about their girlfriends.
and i'm a genius

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post #23 of 23 Old 09-06-2010, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewvir View Post
we went to njmp to watch the ama pros yesterday. i would venture to say there was at the very least 500 bikes(patrons not competitors) at the park. we parked by the back straight right next to the bike parking so i got to watch nearly every bike come and go.
of the 500 or so bikes i'd say 20% of them had what i'd consider atgatt. all had helmets(state law)most had long pants,30% had jackets.
it was 80 deg f and sunny so temp wasn't a real factor.Harley guys made up about 35% of the bikes but i didn't see 1 with atgatt.
as for the sportbikes,50% had jackets,35% had boots and gloves BUT most 75%-80% of their pillions were wearing shorts,sandals/flip-flops and tank tops!
now who had the atgatt?
90% of the 38-65 y.o. riders/pillions not on Harley's wore proper gear.
it seems that IF you don't ride a Harley and have made it to 40+ y.o. your wise enough to wear atgatt.(i'm good!)

so.....

Harley guys are crash proof.
sportbike guys under 30 are invincible(who don't no that) and don't give a shit about their girlfriends.
and i'm a genius
Thank you for compiling those very interesting stats. It's truly pathetic more dumbasses aren't ATGATT.

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