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I'm starting to be of agreement, after a dealer sold a 600 supersport to someone who had never ridden a bike before, and didn't bother to find out. This guy had to get someone else to ride the bike home for him...

I think there should be a hp limit on new riders, similar to some parts of Europe...
 

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I agree totally. I know a guy who was convinced by the local dealership that just because he weighs over 200 lbs, he should get a 1000cc bike. He bought a Kawi ZX 11 as his first bike and totally wrecked it within 3 hours of pick up.
 

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Part of me wants to say it's Darwinism at it's finest. However, this is the one case where I feel that the government should step in a protect us from ourselves. Either mandate real motorcycle training and tests (I don't know about you guys, but here in sunny Atlanta the test is a complete joke!) Alternatively, we must go to a gradual introduction to horsepower, notice I said horsepower and NOT displacement, we all know displacement is not an accurate predictor of power.



Something has to be done to stop the thousands of squids and 40-something grey-haired ponytail crowd from making a mess of the streets every year. It's only giving us as bikers even worse reputations than we already have.



Funny thing tho' I expect the most opposition to this would come from the guys in the power ranger suits and $900 helmets.
 

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I rode my brand-new GSXR600 home at the age of 21, having only spent 1/2 hour on actual motorcycles in my entire life prior to that point. 6 years later I own an R1 and I'm doing trackdays.



No matter how socialist some high-horse motorcylists get, a law like this will never be passed in America. Frankly it is our birthright to do that which is not good for us but harms no one else.



"The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire." -----Heinlein

 

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I own the power ranger suit, but my helmet only cost $200. You're right though, I do object to placing restrictions on motorcyclists to protect us from ourselves.



So long as I don't present an unreasonable threat to others when out on the road, let me ride whatever bike my wallet can support. You'll be hard pressed to show me that riding a Ninja 250 makes it safer for others to be around me than if I'm on a ZX-11.



For the record, I learned to ride on a '75 Honda CL360 which was never considered a power house.
 

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Finally. common sense is found to be uncommon

Let's face it motorcyclist aren't known for having good sense by most peoples accounts. After all we put ourselves at higher risk going down the road without a couple tons of steel around us. So you take this high risk group and turn them lose in a dealer show room and most of the time it will come down to $money$ that makes the decision as to what bike Jonny wants to ride. We have no common sense about risk.

Now I see a plan to restrict new riders to smaller bikes. Just like Japan and England and a lot of countries in Europe have.

I don't care about how much sense it makes. I just want to see the new smaller bikes that end up in this country. Let's face it if you are stuck buying a 400cc bike then you'll see really trick 400's and lightweight smaller bikes that aren't made out of tin show up in this country to satisfy the consumer that won't be seen on an EX500 but would love to have an RVF400R....

RVF400R Mmmmm tastey
 

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I've changed my view on this to one that allows motorcyclist to regulate themselves because I have very little faith that our government would have a clue about how to do it properly.



If they were to encourage and mandate rider training and real licensing requirements however I would have to agree with that. I would even support state sponsored training to come out of the state highway funds.

 

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What next, will we need special permits to buy pick-up trucks, SUV's, and any other vehicles that do not

get 30 miles to the gallon? All we really need is a more stringent training/licensing policy.
 

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We, experienced riders, can make a difference. If you work along with lobbying motorcycle organizations (AMA, ABATE and alike) we can get our state governments to change the licensing procedures for obtaining a m class. Dealers are only worried about bottom line and have not got a care in the world about the experience of the buyer. With the on going horsepower war that is happening in the industry the outcome will be more fatalities and that will make all of motorcycling look bad.

How do I know this? I sold bikes for years and now have an insurance agency that specializes in motorcycles. I work with over 25 bike shops around GA and other SE cities and spend the better part of my day rating inexperienced drivers and then have to explain to them that the rates are high because of experience level. Try getting a kid to stop looking at that GSXR and look at a Katana. It ain't easy. If licencing were set up like it is in England we'd all have safer motorcycleist on the roads.
 

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I don't wear the suit or the $900 helmet, and I would also object to this. When they get around to restricting Corvettes and turboed nitrous WRXs we'll use them as a test example first. I don't need the government to tell me what's best for my safety.



By the way, let's not let this turn into another helmet debate. That horse is 15 feet under from all the beatings.
 

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We'd also have far less motorcyclists on the roads. An unforeseen consequence of this would be less people (and less money for groups like the AMA) to lobby for our rights. Is this acceptable to you? It isn't to me.



And no, I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, just different from mine.
 

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This kinda thing is never easy, and I'd really hate for somebody to tell me that I couldn't ride my bike of choice, but I have a hard time rationalizing absolute freedom of choice for inexperienced riders.

I mean, if you're all keen to let newbies ride a GP machine off the lot using the "live n' learn" argument, ask yourself ... Why not let babies play with matches? Why not let teenagers swill 151? Why not let anybody fly a helicopter?

There are limits to freedom, and we have a lot of societal norms against letting people get into more than they can reasonably be expected to handle. All the "well, I did it w/o any problems" arguments are simply anecdotes similar to the "well, I know a 16 year old girl who rode a 'busa into a crowd of pregnant social workers" stories ... anecdotes don't determine the best / right path, averages do. And if you think the average first-year rider can safely handle a 150 rwhp superbike, then you're living in a different world (or at least a different country) than I am.
 

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What would you rather have- few experienced riders with lower insurance rates or dumbass kids with little to no respect for the people around them causing accidents that could have been avoided by simply starting out on small cc bikes with less hp? I choose the lower rates. The England exam isn't that difficult. It's time consuming but shows the examiner that you have the skills to operate a bike on any roadway.
 

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Newbie Aprilia Tuono Rider

Here I was on my new XB12S riding the twisting road out to Canyon lake here in Arizona and I rapidly close up on a guy on a brand new Aprilia Tuono with dealer tag. This guy is all over the lane, sometimes into the other lane, no countersteer in site. RV's and little old ladies towing boats behind their Ford Crown Vics start stacking up behind us. This one expereince taught me that we do need training of some type and maybe the idea of a smaller CC bike working up to the larger is a good idea. Then the local dealer told me how he sold a new GSX-R 750 to a guy who bragged how good he was and stalled the bike 10 times getting it out of the parking lot.
 

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Guess what? Darwinism works! It's not cool to mess with mother nature.

If one's friends, family or even a motorcycle dealership decides to intervene to prevent the sale of any bike to an unqualified rider then they've perhaps done a good deed - but it should be of little concern to anyone else and certainly not the government. The chance that you are going to injure anyone other than yourself (and maybe anyone dumb enough to get on your bike with you) is lower on a motorcycle than in other passenger vehicles. As long as you are primarily a danger to yourself you ought to be left alone by the powers that be.

I agree that most modern sportbikes are a handful and expect skilled input to stay planted on tarmac but not everyone with desire and a good enough FICO score has the requisite experience - and in most markets you are completely free to spend your money as you see fit thank goodness.

actuarially

sbp
 

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Excellent post! although I fear it will fall on deaf ears here.



A 17 year old on an R1 is a sure fire recipe for major medical bills (just as if he were driving a mustang), and since the American public has shown little interest in raising it's kids, maybe the licensing bureaus and DMV's should.



We can't let this carnage continue and since we don't have the willpower to police ourselves, and before the authorites take the matter into thier own hands and hand out some draconian BS rules we should ask for help.



Conversely tho' I don't believe in mandatory helmet laws...go figure!!
 
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