I like my motorcycles like i like my women fast and loose....It is sad but I support graduated licenses based on experience..I understand this is totally unamerican because we should have the right to kill ourselves without government involvement but I still think it isnt the worst Idea. The sad part is this problem is as rampant in the cruiser/hardley crowd and anyway why else would Hardley be making larger faster machines to replace the old slow ones if there wasnt a demand for such a product. The saw that the japs made a killing on the behemoth market and they want an equal slice of that pie.
I go back and forth on that too. Instinctually I embrace the Libertarian ideal on that, but I also wonder if it doesn't ignore a lot of practical realities.
I just got my first really powerful bike (for a cruiser guy anyway) And in a month I still haven't pegged the throttle or the rev limiter, or scraped a peg, and I've been riding for 7 years. I'm not going to do those things until I'm supremely confident in my skill set on THAT bike. And while I pity the dealers who have to balance the desire to do business with the obvious need to protect some idiots even from themselves, I remember last year when it seemed like every single day some idiot dumped his brand new R1 within a mile of the dealership because he didn't know how to ride it or understand about new tires.
(Nothing against the R1, but I have two riding buddies and one has an R1, and we all commented how every single video on the video web-sites, and every anecdote, and newspaper article last summer seemed to feature idiots wrecking on their new R1 often IN THE DEALER LOT.)
So I'm tempted to pack alunch and spend the day on the lawn across from our big dealership in Chicago with my buddies and a video camera and just watch people wad their new super-bikes.
Good point about the dealers shouldn't they have some responsiblity in this. If they sell a bike like an R1 to some 19 year old punk should they be responsible to make sure he can actually ride it. This is a slippery slope. The reality is that these decisions are made about money not responsibility and in a capitalist society money talks. At 19 if I had went to buy a bike and was told I couldnt because i didnt have the skill I would have gone mad. Instead at 19 I had to buy used and cheap do to money and it probably saved my life or at least some severe road rash. If you do get a good video I would like to see it I find those crash videos quite entertaining sad but funny to.
That's the problem with theoretical ideas vs practial application. In a perfect world the sellers of products might have a responsibility to be careful who they sell products to. However in the real world any attempt to hold dealers responsible for these things would simply result in the motorcycle industry being sued out of business altogether.
And if a dealer actually tried to hold out and NOT sell a bike to a licensed driver/rider, he would have a lawsuit slapped on him faster than a Hayabusa can hit 180. And the dealer would lose. Best he can do is try and talk them into buying a safer bike. After that it's up to the customer, not the dealer, what he rides away on.
"And if a dealer actually tried to hold out and NOT sell a bike to a licensed driver/rider, he would have a lawsuit slapped on him faster than a Hayabusa can hit 180. And the dealer would lose."
Absolutely untrue. They could sue him, but they won't win. Not a chance in hell. Any private business owner has the legal right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, they see fit. I don't know how things work up there in OZ, but the rest of the country has that right.
Should be a simple solution to this but no one agrees on any one idea or theory. If you come into a bike shop and do not hold a motorcycle endorsement then you should be allow to own high performance motorcycles. Propblem is, who gets to make the call on what is and isn't high-performance? Insurance companies can't even get together on this one. If we could set a benchmark on HP rating or weight or a combination of both it would help. But no matter what happens someone will be p*ssed and argue this. We are left in a situation were we can let Darwinism work this out or we proceed and let our Imperial Federal Gov't help. Either way it hurts the rest of us rational, level-headed, non-squid riders.
I agree it isnt that simple I got my first bike at 15 and didnt get a motorcycle endorsement till I was 28ish just due to lack of motivation. I had bought 3 bikes 2 at a stealership without an endorsment my insurance has never asked if I have an endorsement. Through all of this I totalled 2 of the bikes and got a couple of tickets and the cops never asked about an endorsement I still wonder if getting it meant anything at all because no one seems to care wether you have one or not.
In most states, although required, if you are subjected to Officer Pastry's blue light special odds are that Pastry won't issue a ticket for improper license if you don't act like a fool. So, if law enforcment doesn't enforce then what? If there is NO incentive to get a M class endorsement then why bother- I have to hear that at least 2 to 10 times a day for my agency. Sucks to be me. All I want is a simple M class customer. I don't get them and people crash then rates go up accross the board for everyone and I'm the bad guy. H*ll, I'm just an insurance agent. I have to play the game by the rules the insurance comapnies send and I have no choice. But I'm still the bad guy. Figure that. I don't agree with the way any of these insurance guys conduct buisness but My business is built on relying on those very companies. I'm just the agent, but I'm always the bad guy. Tell me- Would you rather deal with someone who cares less about you and your ride or me- a 25 year rider that understands ALL aspects of motorcycles and riders and ACTUALLY cares about the customer because most become friends not just clients.
Who cares? Let them all rush out to buy busas and then allow them to wollow in their stupidity when they '07 ZX14 killer hits the road. Who cares if its not safe? Natural selection is a good thing and far from new...
It still troubles me that it always comes back to the type of bike that BR was riding. While it would appear that because he was helmetless, he was being reckless, the facts prove that not to be the case. He was not exceeding the speed limit. And since there is no requirement for him to have been wearing a helmet, he was doing nothing at all illegal or technically reckless (not that I agree with his choice to go helmetless). Therefor, it wouldn't have mattered if he were riding his 'busa or a 250cc mini-cruiser, the result would likely have been the same. In fact, the superior performance capabilities of his superbike should - if anything - have actually helped in that situation if there would have been any chance for him to have escaped.
This is not to say that any squidiot should jump on a high powered superbike - or even a 600cc sportbike as their first ride. I also don't think the goverment should legislate common sense if it doesn't affect others. I do like the idea of variable insurance rates based on experience in addition to the bike. Some companies take training into account, but I've never seen the number of years as a licensed rider apply to a discount. And while simple years riding doesn't correlate to ability, it does provide some insight to experience. I would have no problem with excessive rates for a newby on a liter bike if it meant more reasonable rates for that same newby later on, once he's racked up some time in the saddle. That might just be enough to disuade a potentially dangerous purchase.
I'm so sick of hearing about BR but this article is fairly balanced and makes sense I guess.
This story is not even news.. it never was except for he throws an ovoid pigskin around in a game for a living, which apparently makes him important. Inattentive driver and unskilled rider have a left-turn accident.. wow that is news?
I think there is nothing that can be done about people riding bikes they shouldn't be riding. It's just not worth the effort to try to stop it.. just let it go at education. The longer I ride motorcycles and the more motorcyclists I meet, I come to one conclusion., We motorcylists as a group are just stupid. Too stupid to grasp most of the concepts in the basic MSF class, too stupid to wear gear, too stupid to maintain our bikes in safe working order, too stupid to choose an appropriate bike, too stupid to ride legally and sanely, and too stupid to admit we have a problem. There is a tiny minority that is not stupid and understands all this.. but it's a tiny minority.
There is no way you are going to do anything to stop the typical punk kid from getting that Hayabusa... if you make it illegal for the dealer to sell it, he'll just buy a used one. If you make it illegal based on licensing, he'll just ride it illegally.. witness so many unregistered sportbikes being ridden by unlicensened punks.. what is the point of having a license when you're just going to go triple digits everywhere and run from the police on a semi-regular basis?
Just like you will never succeed in stopping the cruiser crowd from drinking and riding. (Or the sportbike crowd) It's just not going to happen.. drinking/riding/partying/pretending to be a badass are too intertwined in the minds of riders.
As an aside it's pretty funny to hear about a Honda dealer named after a Suzuki model who constantly has to tell customers he doesn't have a *different* Suzuki model. Since Honda and Suzuki are too stupid to value their brands enough to stop it, he should just pick up a Suzuki franchise and pocket the cash on those Busas, and then maybe Burgman can sell some Burgmans.
First and foremost, BR was unlicensed. Secondly, any rider in PA that has not a) passed the safety exam or b) had two years riding experience, must wear a helmet. It is PA state law, most people just don't know about it and it isn't enforced very much.
Tiered licenses work for aorplanes why not for land bound high performance vehicles that punish mistakes swiftly and surely. We have all crashed (well, I know I have). A tiered license scheme would stop some of the carnage.
In al likelihood, the denied buyer would go to another dealer who would gladly sell him a turbo, stretched, lowered Busa if he has the $$$. (cue Randy Newman "It's money that matters.")
The perceived invincibility of young males that allowed our species to conquer the planet (no editorial judgment, just fact) is also the same thing that causes young men to hurt or kill themsleves with a motorcycle that is too much bike for them. (It probably also caused the deaths of more than a few of our ancestors who pused the envelope a bit too much.)
As Nick Ienatsch says "The throttle is the most misused control on the motorcycle" and "The more powerful the bike, the slower you move your hands." Maybe we just need to have a braking test from 60 mph. If they can't stop the beast they can't buy it.
Is a cool guy. I met him at the Buell 2007 intro and he is pretty interesting and erudite. How interesting and erudite? We were at dinner with Erik Buell and everybody was listening to Mike and asking him questions!
Bookmark his column and check him out regularly.
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