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Don't forget aging

Probably important to keep in mind that as riders get older and older, it takes less and less trauma to be fatal. Pretty well-established that the average age of riders is going up and up. Slower reflexes don't help either. Add in some alcohol consumption to make them slower yet.

The last three fatalities were all Harley's, all evidently the riders' fault. Ages in the 30's and 40's. Two failures to 'negotiate a curve' after midnight, one that ran into the back of a slower moving car on the Interstate, fell off, and got run over.

Certainly a part of it is the lack of any 'breakthrough' technology for bikes to enhance safety. ABS and traction control help reduce accidents, but perhaps not much in circumstances that prove fatal.

Locally seeing mostly middle-aged (30's, 40's) riders getting killed, not the youngsters.
 

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I lived outside of Durango Colorado for many years, home of the oldest motorcycle rally in the country The Iron Horse.
Over the years I lived there the number of inexperienced new riders on brand new Harley’s exploded and every year the deaths on the ride in and ride out increased dramatically. The last year Durango officially held the rally something like 14 people died, all inexperienced many women.
The rally was a true clown show and I’ve rarely seen so many poser badasses trying mad dog everyone they came into contact with.
One night I witnessed four full dressers pull nose into angled downhill parking spots on a steep hill with no way to get out. It was hilarious to watch them desperately try to push the bikes out the spaces, these people were obviously completely clueless and I’d say that was about 80% of the riders I witnessed . The rally became such a fiasco that the town shut it down and it morphed into the “Four Corners Iron Horse Rally” .
I think a lot of the fatalities have to do with this demographic and the other side of the coin is young ones with too much testosterone on bikes that have an insane amount of power.
Here in Florida I pay attention to the fatalities in the news which is numerous, many, many of these are young guys in fast bikes hitting left turners, seems epidemic.
Never forget to hit the invisible switch when you fire it up and KEEP IT RUBBERSIDE DOWN FRIENDS!
 

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Back then (in my area) kids grew up on farms, we all had mini-bikes, and learned to drive as soon as we could see over the dash. Now kids grow up in condo's and come of age with far fewer life-skills that we had and often take for granted.

I believe this to be true, I grew up riding dirt bikes in the woods (anyone remember Hodaka?) knowing how to deal with a two stroke power band and handle a bike on loose slippery surfaces has proved to be valuable.
 

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Amongst my friends and acquaintances that have been in wrecks over the years a high percentage have been from getting plowed into from behind by distracted drivers at intersections. Some of these have been fatal, all bad. One acquaintance was at a completely rural county road intersection with the state highway, a woman on her phone rammed him into the car in front of him whereupon his gas tank burst simultaneously with the taillights arcing and he died in the most horrendous way possible.
I always assume the guy behind me is going to ram me and never line up for the sandwich, keep your eyes on your mirrors and your hand on the clutch.
 

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One last thought, I have family in the Marine Corps and know that the number of guys coming back from combat tours and dying on bikes was so epidemic that they had to institute emergency measures at Camp Pendleton making safety courses mandatory and ordering all Marines to wear Helmets and orange safety vests.
 

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“Per the order, All (battalion/ squadron level and above) com- mands shall establish a Motorcy- cle Mentorship Program (MMP) that is structured as a club-type organization.
The purpose of the motorcycle mentor program is to identify and mentor inexperienced riders, foster respectful riding practices, and ensure continuing education opportunities are available for all riders throughout their riding career. It follows the philosophy of no man or woman left behind.”
 

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I think you all pretty well covered it. One thing that has contributed to dangerous conditions is the vast increase in excuses. Multitasking seems to be the most universal of excuses. Anything is OK if you were multitasking.

Yesterday a moron drove 30mph into the back of my sister's car at a light, forcing her car into the truck stopped in front of her. She told the trooper the light was green (as if it's OK to drive into a stopped car if the light is green). Witnesses said it was clearly red. She said sometimes when she's tired it's hard to tell if its red or green. The trooper said, "so what the hell color is it now?" Perfect.

There are excuses for everything. It isn't even necessary to voice them, just think them. I don't really need to stop. I can make it through that space. I'm more important than them. There is a huge lack of concern for others and personal responsibility.

There is very little driver education going on. The guy riding in the car with your teen is probably not paying attention either. Even if he is, he doesn't have any qualifications for the job. Nobody wants to teach good habits, even if they know any. If you have read The Good Rider or Proficient Motorcycling you have more training than most new drivers will receive in their lifetime. Liberty Mutual used to be a force for driver safety training. Now they just have stupid little jingles.

Great point above regarding testosterone and alcohol. Just wait until we start seeing real numbers on the murderous effect of "legal" marijuana use on motorcyclists. Nobody gets smarter when they're high. Nobody has better reflexes. Nobody has better balance. Nobody is more focused. They just think they are. Dopers do make up great excuses, though.

Fact still remains that you're going to have to take responsibility to protect yourself. The two books mentioned above are a good start. Oh, and wear a helmet. Good grief.

Sorry for the rant, I'm a little angry at the state of our driving standards. Best, DD
 

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Dubldee17 , no need for apologies. It’s not just driving standards that have gone to hell, it is all standards in our culture, we live in the age of the know nothing techno barbarian, their brains and lives exist on their phones.
 

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Regarding the original question, I think it's probably hard to gather and analyze nationwide statistics for motorcycle crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The numbers from California are reflective of a state with a lot of bikes and year-round riding, but not of the Midwest.
We have a lot of bikes here, but a lot of them don't move much. Florida numbers include a lot of potentially dangerous older drivers in cars, but not many twisty roads contributing to single vehicle wrecks. Some areas certainly have great roads that contribute to a larger number of single vehicle crashes, but the population may be low. I don't know whose numbers are good right now, and I can only guess about rising or falling fatalities. I do know the most dangerous riding I ever see is associated with bike night at Quaker Steak. Organ donors of all ages and brands.

I do think this V-Strom community is the safest bunch I've been a part of. The Honda ST guys too. I don't read BMW or Adventure bike forums, but I'd think they are also pretty cautious. I'm sure most folks here are faster than me, but I get the feeling there are mostly observant, responsible, well prepared riders here. Which means you're likely to stick around a while, which is good. Best, DD
 

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I search on Coparts.com for motos that may be rebuild-able.
These units are mostly sales by Insurance companies.
You can search by manufacturer and sort by year or model.
It is not surprising to observe which models dominate the offerings.

For Suzuki it is GSXR by a landslide. Most have front end damage. Ouch...
Only two DL1000s offered today and one is flood damage. Go figure.

For Kawasaki it is the same story. For Honda as well.

The hot bikes may be the highest volume unit sales for these brands but I still draw conclusions.
 

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No, I think you're mostly right. It's mostly older dudes crashing mostly large cruisers, due to a combination of inexperience, poor riding skills, and alcohol. And younger dudes crashing sportbikes because they're riding like twats (with poor riding skills in many cases, and possibly alcohol involved, too). Those two groups are way over-represented. Sensible riders (like most here), who actually work on their skills and put a bit of thought into riding (meaning they're not riding drunk, or over their skill level, or at a race pace on the road), tend not to show up so often.

Watch motorcycle crash videos on YouTube, and see how many of them are at least partially the fault of the rider. I mean, you can only blame a car driver so much if they turn left in front of you when you're approaching at 2 1/2 times the speed limit. I'm a pretty cautious rider, which isn't too say that I don't sometimes ride somewhat incautiously, but I don't fool around with high speeds or aggressive riding on urban and suburban streets. I have been known to once in the very odd while have a beer with lunch while riding. Maybe even two, over a very long lunch. But very rarely. Generally I'm not a big drinker anyway, and not when I am, or will be, riding.

Anyway, I like to think I largely avoid the major high-risk factors for motorcycling. Could I be even more cautious, and safer? Sure, but only a little, and that would cramp my style. Sometimes I like to go fast, shred corners (as much as you can on a 600 lb bike, anyway), and generally be a bit of a hooligan. But there's a time and place for that, for me, and it's not most of the time.
 

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Motorcycle riding is relatively safe if done properly.
If you bore down through the crash stats:

1/2 of riders had been drinking.
2/3 of accidents were single vehicle
Speeding, no helmet, low visibility, etc.

Heck just having a motorcycle specific license reduces your risk.
Yea stuff happens but you sure can do a lot to not become a statistic.
 

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Yep - you can eliminate about 95% of the risk with good riding habits. I see riders nearly everyday that scare me because I know that are at high risk from their obvious risky behavior on the bike. We used to have the crazy young stunt riders on one of the nearby interstates but they have all weeded themselves out - Darwin.
 

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. The move to large daily drivers is a bane on my existence. Used to be that I could sit on my bike and see over all the cars ahead clear to the traffic light. Then came " you know I had to get this GIANT SUV because it makes my wife and kids safer and it seems I hardly see a regular ol car any more.

Not only cant I see ahead as far as I used to but people cant see me.

... Always ride like they are trying to kill you.

Very good point, that is definitely something that's changed over the past couple decades. And that's good advice too!

.
 

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I look at statistics and try to take them with a grain of salt (statistical analysis shows 50% of all statistics are wrong...JK!)
As I get older(50s) I have to say I have considered the possibility that the pure joy I derive from riding might not be worth the potential for injury or death given the shear idiocy I see on the roads every day.
Whenever I get to thinking this way though I think about the old motor heads whom I consider mentors.
These guys, lifelong riders in their 70s are still more hardcore than I’ll ever be, rack up huge miles(4000 miles in a month?) ride hard and fast ( BMW K1200 , 1200 Bandit, 1400 FJR) and have rarely been down. Granted they are ex military, pilots and lifelong adventure junkies and have a vastly different mindset from the general public. A couple have passed recently but from cancer, and they rode right till they couldn’t any more.
These guys just reinforce my belief that mindset, training and experience are everything. They come from a world where being sloppy and inattentive is simply not allowed, never. I try my best to emulate and respect.
 

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I look at statistics and try to take them with a grain of salt (statistical analysis shows 50% of all statistics are wrong...JK!)
As I get older(50s) I have to say I have considered the possibility that the pure joy I derive from riding might not be worth the potential for injury or death given the shear idiocy I see on the roads every day.
When my daughter was born I sold the bike I owned at the time thinking I was doing the responsible thing. I had ridden in NYC from the time I was 16 and for the first 5 years or so it was all I could afford to get me where I needed to go so I rode all 4 seasons. In the winter I would wait for the cars to make tire tracks through the snow and ride to long island from Queens in the tire tracks and when I arrived to work my hands would be frozen.

Giving up Motorcycling lasted exactly 4 months. I have never tried nor have I wanted to ever again.

I was miserable. Cant explain it.

I just got off my bike 5 minutes ago. Was in a crappy mood just from general life stuff. I no sooner put my helmet on and pulled out of my driveway and it all washed away.

There are two things that can take me from the doldrums to grinning in minutes. Shooting and riding motorcycles (though I never do the two simultaneously.)

I hope to die before I have to give up either one.

By the by .. I am up to 850 miles on the new V650 .... I fall more in love with it every day. What a simple fun bike!!
 

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Ok for the record I have two more things on that list and one is obvious. :smile2:

When my daughter was born I sold the bike I owned at the time thinking I was doing the responsible thing. I had ridden in NYC from the time I was 16 and for the first 5 years or so it was all I could afford to get me where I needed to go so I rode all 4 seasons. In the winter I would wait for the cars to make tire tracks through the snow and ride to long island from Queens in the tire tracks and when I arrived to work my hands would be frozen.

Giving up Motorcycling lasted exactly 4 months. I have never tried nor have I wanted to ever again.

I was miserable. Cant explain it.

I just got off my bike 5 minutes ago. Was in a crappy mode just from general life stuff. I no sooner put my helmet on and pulled out of my driveway and it all washed away.

There are two things that can take me from the doldrums to grinning in minutes. Shooting and riding motorcycles (though I never do the two simultaneously.)

I hope to die before I have to give up either one.

By the by .. I am up to 850 miles on the new V650 .... I fall more in love with it every day. What a simple fun bike!!
 

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Ok for the record I have two more things on that list and one is obvious. :smile2:
LOL ... well one of the things I am assuming you have on your list ..

My wife is 62 and we have been together about 24 years. Um .. hippidity bippidy happens about as often as rain in Arizona. :furious:

GOod thing I got a bike!
 

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Boriqua, I share a similiar experience. For years my only transportation in Colorado was my motorcycle and bicycle.
Some of my favorite rides were full moon night time mid winter rides with snow on the ground, just spectacularly beautiful.
I can’t imagine not riding!
 
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