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Good info....

...one thing that may and I stress this is my opinion only based on a ride I took - that maybe some of the higher numbers of riders over 40 in the U.S. crashing has to do with their bike.

I'll explain, obviously many riders are returning to bikes after long absences (like me), and our reflexes aren't as good as when we were 25. But, one thing I noticed is the huge numbers of returning riders buying cruisers. I rode a friend's metric cruiser in June and I felt unsafe on the thing. Where my wee is very agile, his 1300 cc monster was a lumbering beast that I felt I'd be toast on if a cager pulled out in front of me or other emergency. I considered this during the ride and felt that I'd have a better chance on the wee. Not to mention, you are taller and more visible on the VStrom (something noted with importance in the study).

Just an observation but it may account for some of the statistical differences between this European study (where cruisers are not the norm) and the U.S.
 

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Good link... thanks for the info!
 

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I agree witht the agility factor. But I also feel that the wee or any other bike's agility will prompt/provoke the rider into greater risk exposure.
As far as cruisers, when you get you get used to it, you learn the bike's limitations and what you can do with them.
 

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Interesting! Does anyone know of a similar study for the US?
Just read in American Motorcyclist (AMA Magazine) this month that they are FINALLY paving the way in Congress for a comprehensive motorcycle study in the US, which hasn't been done since the Hurt Report in the early 80s (referenced in this article).

Couple of things I thought were interesting.
1. I took an intermediate motorcycle safety class over the weekend and they say that in 50% of motorcycle fatalities the rider had been drinking. This article mentions that number but said their finding was only 5%. I'm wondering if there should be more of a clear line between fatalities and crashes, since all crashes don't result in fatalities. Still, I always shake my head every time I ride past a pub and there are a bunch of bikes in front.

2. "Engine size also didn't show up as a risk factor..." which confirms everyone's suspicion that insurance is a necessary and regulated scam.
 

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"As other research has concluded, drivers with motorcycling experience are more likely to see and avoid motorcyclists." Right after I took my training course when I started riding I said this very thing.
It's incredible how much a weekend of training and a couple hours on the road changes your awareness. It's unfortunate that it's not a required training for all motorists, even if they never ride a bike again,
it would make them aware of how vulnerable one is on a bike.
...of course it's not foolproof, since there are still self involved or clued out asshats who don't care about anyone else on the road, and riders out there that think they're invincible.
 

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Webfoot
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"As other research has concluded, drivers with motorcycling experience are more likely to see and avoid motorcyclists." Right after I took my training course when I started riding I said this very thing.
It's incredible how much a weekend of training and a couple hours on the road changes your awareness. It's unfortunate that it's not a required training for all motorists, even if they never ride a bike again,
it would make them aware of how vulnerable one is on a bike.
...of course it's not foolproof, since there are still self involved or clued out asshats who don't care about anyone else on the road, and riders out there that think they're invincible.
Heh, somewhere in my readings on this forum someone had the opinon that EVERYONE that got a driver's license would be limited to only a motorcycle for their first 2 years. I think that's a great idea!
 

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I haven't heard of a European "baby boom" like the US. Thus, there may not be as many Boomer-aged riders over there.

When I tried a cruiser, I felt the same awkwardness. I have highway pegs on my Wee and my Wing, but I'm not forced to have my feet so far out front all the time. There have been times I've needed to lift my butt off the seat and I don't think I could do that on most cruisers, or crotch rockets for that matter. IMHO, standard bikes are safer.

I've ridden with some heavy drinkers, but it's always after the bikes are put away for the day. However, I've also seen many bikes in front of bars, too.

As a Strommer, I don't feel the peer pressure to "look biker-ish" in the dark colors, leather vest/t-shirt and marginal helmets. If anything, there is more pressure to do ATGATT and do things to improve your visability to others.
 

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That's a fantastic article. They should include a list of do's and don'ts:

1. Don't ride under the influence (including anger at your spouse/kid/dog).
2. Assume you're invisible, have an escape plan.
3. Head, eyes, and brain forward. Stop, then gawk at her/him/it.
4. Learn to use the front brake as your primary (on pavement).
5. Practice countersteering and changing lines when leaned over.
6. Practice evasive maneuvers.
7. Don't panic. Look through the curve, not at the guardrail/tree/ditch.
8. All The Gear, All The Time (ATGATT).
 

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Hunting Vest

From the study:

In half of the collision accidents, the driver of the other vehicle was judged to have made the primary error that caused the crash, and that driver failed to "perceive" the motorcyclist in 70 percent of the two-vehicle collisions.
Perhaps a motorcycle registers in their mind as bicycler, or they're on the cell phone, or they're an elderly person, etc., but for whatever the reason, automobiles will sometimes just pull right out in front of you.

Although I have sometimes taken a ribbing for it, I wear a bright orange hunting vest whenever I ride because I've always noticed this phenomena of 4-wheelers not properly perceiving a motorcycler.

This study reinforces my belief that wearing that safety orange hunting vest has been the right thing to do. I've even seen people catch sight of me before they were almost going to pull out in front of me, but then stop themselves. My hunting vest also has elastic on the edges of the pockets in addition to flap covers which close with snaps, making it virtually impossible to lose things in the wind if the pockets are properly closed.

I think I'll keep wearing it, even if I do draw some strange looks occasionally. ;)
 

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It's my understanding that something like 40% of motorcycle deaths involve drugs/alcohol by the rider. So maybe only 5% of crashers were drinking, but they crash at higher speeds or without helmet, etc.
 

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Heh, somewhere in my readings on this forum someone had the opinon that EVERYONE that got a driver's license would be limited to only a motorcycle for their first 2 years. I think that's a great idea!
:confused: That would be ME!! and they would have to ride for 2 years safely to get the Unrestricted license :mrgreen:
 

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Just read in American Motorcyclist (AMA Magazine) this month that they are FINALLY paving the way in Congress for a comprehensive motorcycle study in the US, which hasn't been done since the Hurt Report in the early 80s


Ummmm....... when was the last time you ever heard of congress doing "the right thing"? Jeez, I cringe every time I hear about our politicos getting involved in darn near anything.





Nighthawk22 said:
As a Strommer, I don't feel the peer pressure to "look biker-ish" in the dark colors, leather vest/t-shirt and marginal helmets. If anything, there is more pressure to do ATGATT and do things to improve your visability to others.


+1
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Riders in their 40's or beyond - who have never rode or are returning after many years - without benefit of any training - feel peer pressure to buy the biggest HD or Harleyesque cruiser they can find. I believe that's a big contributing factor.

Some food for thought - most of us that started riding in the 60's or 70's began with small machines and worked our way up to larger ones. Today's new rider just signs on the dotted line and he's out the door with 800 lbs and 140 HP.

Seems like I read somewhere that in Europe they have graduated driver's licenses. Riders must begin on smaller displacement machines and earn their way to the big ones?
 

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From the study:



Perhaps a motorcycle registers in their mind as bicycler, or they're on the cell phone, or they're an elderly person, etc., but for whatever the reason, automobiles will sometimes just pull right out in front of you.

Although I have sometimes taken a ribbing for it, I wear a bright orange hunting vest whenever I ride because I've always noticed this phenomena of 4-wheelers not properly perceiving a motorcycler.

This study reinforces my belief that wearing that safety orange hunting vest has been the right thing to do. I've even seen people catch sight of me before they were almost going to pull out in front of me, but then stop themselves. My hunting vest also has elastic on the edges of the pockets in addition to flap covers which close with snaps, making it virtually impossible to lose things in the wind if the pockets are properly closed.

I think I'll keep wearing it, even if I do draw some strange looks occasionally. ;)
Agree wholeheartedly.
I was having about 2 "near misses" a week - people failing to give way, pulling out of driveways etc.

I added a $5 fluoro jacket to my riding gear and that's dropped to near zero, I also get more room in the commuter traffic.

I'd rate it as the #2 best protective gear next to a helmet.

The figures may be different in the US, but I'd guess the causes are close to the same around here (Australia) - so wearing the hi-vis gear takes a serious bite out of the biggest single cause of accidents.

Peter
 

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Riders in their 40's or beyond - who have never rode or are returning after many years - without benefit of any training - feel peer pressure to buy the biggest HD or Harleyesque cruiser they can find. I believe that's a big contributing factor.QUOTE]

That's the reason I went through the MSF beginner course prior to getting my bike. I also bought used so I could afford the proper gear. I came back with the attitude of being a noob and have since taken the MSF experienced class. But as you well know Capt that those of us in our profession tend to at least have a better idea of what we're getting into regarding motorcycles, even though I know (and I'm sure you do as well) brothers and sisters who choose to disregard and ride unprotected.

I'm dealing with this issue with my sister. Her new BF is an unlicensed (temps) Harley rider. They ride unprotected and after having a few beers. I finally sat her down and let her know that she's courting disaster. Hopefully I got through and she'll head over to the Iron Pony and get some gear and re-think the drinking and riding. I really believe that the Harley mentality exerts a social stigma to wearing gear. I realize that it's not universal but does seem to be the norm. I'm glad that's not the case with the Strommers I've come to know! Maybe the more we're seen, the more we can influence others to take care of themselves.
 
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