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Ok, so harleys are a different ride to sportsbikes, but I really doubt that is the reason for increased deaths. Ever harley I see is always going about 30mph slower than the other bikes on the road, myself included.



Helmet laws seem an easy target. I already knew that deaths had jumped in all the states where the helmet laws had been dropped.



On the other hand, as a foreigner living in the states, the level of training required for a bike license here, and the difficulty of the test is a complete joke. I have motorcycle licenses in Britain (I'm scottish), holland, greece, china, indonesia and california. And here in California the test consisted of someone saying.. "See that circle there? Ride round it.." Not even a gear change.



If we go back to the old Hurt report.. the clearest safety device was training. 3 to 1 improvement on deaths with trained riders over untrained riders. So now we have bloody fast bikes and untrained guys who often ride them once a week, fortnight or even a month. Ewwwwww.......
 

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Re: Point taken

I see it all the time in SoCal. Typical accident - up the canyon, not been on he bike in weeks, fast in/slow out riding styles, Mr 1000 miles a year goes to deep into the corner, panics, tried to break and SPLAT.

If you're gonna own an R1 or similar.. don't buy it before you've done at least 20,000 miles on a bike. Unfortunately, the amount a lot of people ride, that's their whole riding lifetime. That;s rather the problem really.

(I know 3 guys now in the last 4 years who wanted to buy R1's as a first bike... Oh..... my.... god....)
 

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It's a real shame that a whole boatload of really good 250-400cc motorcycles never make it to the states. The funny thing is, these bikes are frequently much better canyon carvers and will drop a 1000 bike for dead up a canyon.... seriously.
 

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Good point. Well I know that in Britain that although the numbers of deaths is up a similar amount, but he number of deaths per million miles is down significantly. The increased numbers are accounted for by a nearly doubling in the numbers of bike and scooter riders. It is is worth noting that britain introduced some very tough bike training laws about ten years ago. If you start at 17 and go through the whole lot it now takes you:



1. Certificate of basic training to get on the road AT ALL. (About a day of training)



2. 11hp test



3. written test - (which is not just 15 multiple choice questions)



4. 33hp test



5. Unlimited hp test



If you start at 21, the 11hp test can be missed - but the point is, very few people can pass these tests without going on a 3 or 5 day taining course. This is not were people learn to ride fast, but they do learn what they need to do to ride safely.



The biggest one of these is how to look around you properly as you ride. I'd got licenses in other countries before I did my british license and I still had trouble with the amount of looking around they want you to do, and you don't learn it unless you're forced to.



Here's a simple example. Turn left: Look over your right shoulder to check for people inside you. Indicate. Check over your left shoulder. Move to the middle of the road. 10-15 feet before you turn, look over your left shoulder again and turn. This last look is called the lifesaver and is there in case there is some nutcase trying to overtake you as turn. It's certaininly saved my bacon since I've been using it and is something I'm glad I do most of the time.



I tell you, this amount of observation takes learning and is uncomfortable until you practice it a lot. Most people without this training have a quick clance in the mirror before they turn.



 

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yea.. I know that one. I'm 39 and got acused of mid-life crap when I bought my 1150GS. But it's a damn site more sensible than some of the much smaller bikes I've owned (including a Suzuki Pepsi 250 in the eighties.. nutcase of a bike - how may engine rebuilds?)



There is a difference between someone who buys a liter class bike who has been riding constantly for 20 years and one who rode 20 years ago. We have adjusted to the fact that our bikes are faster and our reactions slower. (Well, mine are, and if you think yours aren't, you've ignoring facts - always dangerous on a bike) And the way we get round this is much increased experience, anticipating problems much better. But if you've not been on a bike in years, you ain't got that going for you either.
 
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