Yes, I have seen groups and individuals recklessly splitting lanes, gunning their engines with their loud pipes howling/blasting, splitting at speeds no sane person would attempt. And I have seen the same sour look on drivers faces. BUT...I have been stuck in traffic jams and seen the same sour look when I split lanes at a mere crawl, carefully as can be with an eye to keep myself and the car drivers out of harms way. (Either on my old GL1100, my Road King, or my FJ1200, doesn't matter) It a mixture of jealousy and fear of someone either having fun or taking "unfair" advantage of the situation. Got news for you...if every motorcyclist in the country toed the line, the non-understanding cagers would still want to stifle us. It's the curse of the human condition: if you don't understand it, or personally take part in it, it is evil and must be stamped out.
90% of the MOrons posting here know for sure that it's only the arm-fringe wearing cruiser riders who give us bikers a bad name with thier contemptuously slow and loud bikes and thier laughable lack of riding skills.
I feel sure that what you mistakenly took for sportbikes where in fact nothing more than brightly painted Harleys and assorted cruisers.
No rider seems to want more enforcement if it will infringe on his ability to ride as he would like. Everyone seems to want something done about overly aggressive users of motorways. Seems like someone is destined to be unhappy. We all like to jump from band-wagon to band-wagon. A sport rider engages a motorist who, in turn, runs the bike over with his cage. I believe I've been on both sides of this fence before. I have felt sorry for both and wanted to have both given a death sentence from the courts. Clamp down, ease up, give up freedoms, protect freedoms. I give up.
This seems like the same problem as street racing that was all the rage in the media, but of course cars were the focus. Anything over about 50 hp in the hands of youth is likely to result in alot of risk, for them and those of us who ride/drive around them. That said I certainly don't advocate legal limits on HP, seems like the police had some success getting street racers to the track, perhaps the same effort needs to happen here.
So the next a$$hole driving while putting on makeup or reading the paper should inspire a public movement against irresponsible drivers of that kind, if one act is enough to do that as you say it is for motorcycles. Nonsense.
On the subject of lane splitting: I used to live on the East Coast where such behavior is for some unknown reason considered dangerous. Let me tell you that after moving to California, I just can't see why this is the only state where you won't get in trouble for splitting lanes if you do it reasonably. It just doesn't make any sense at all to crawl along with gas-guzzlers (who have a/c) when you can easily and safely move between them at low speeds.
I left ny and moved to vegas,where motorcycles don,t matter to the cops because the cagers drive cars like they were on two wheels!We have as of yesterday 150 deaths related to cagers and that does not include the horrendous amounts of accidents we have here every day. The cops here I must say are really cool to us bikers.In my 15 yrs of living here ,I have never seen a motorcylist pulled over.Our chief sheriff,Bill Young a really nice guy went before city hall and asked for a 26% pay hike so that he could hire more police to go after the cagers,and of course in this town where money flows like cheap wine they turned him down.
I left ny and moved to vegas,where motorcycles don,t matter to the cops because the cagers drive cars like they were on two wheels!We have as of yesterday 150 deaths related to cagers and that does not include the horrendous amounts of accidents we have here every day. The cops hereI must say are really cool to us bikers.In my 15 yrs of living here ,I have never seen a motorcylist pulled over.Our chief sheriff,Bill Young a really nice guy went before city hall and asked for a 26% pay hike so that he could hire more police to go after the cagers,and of course in this town where money flows like cheap wine they turned him down.
For crying out loud, buying a cruiser is like buying a 4X4 and lowering it. If you wanna go slow on two wheels fine. Let the rest that dont need to creep through life old, scared and "proud" enjoy our fun. You should drive in Paris man thats lane splitting-and the scooters and bikes have the right too. Or Prague, but wait I am talking to an overpriced Harley owner American who has never left the states. Deaf ears
Both the cruiser and sport bike world have those "Look at me" types. We all know that the "Loud pipes save lives" thing is wrong due to the Doppler effect. Some sport riders do stupid things on bikes and then we all get lumped together as a nuisance.
Most of those riders have had no formal training let alone a track day. All they do is trick out their bikes with chrome rims, ride with novelty helmets, a tank top and running shoes. Then they act like clowns to look cool. This type of rider will have chicken strips about two inches wide on the rear tire. They also have some of the most powerful bikes on the planet because all they know how to do is wrench the throttle while in a straight line and float the front wheel on the interstate.
I feel that mandated training for all motorcyclists should be required during the licensing process by attending the Basic MSF course at the trainees expense (must pay to play). This will reduce incidents by educating riders in proper, safe and courteous riding habits. If they are stopped by the police for stupid actions, there will no excuses.
Another thing that I feel would reduce fatalities and other acts of immaturity is tiered licensing. There is no reason that a 16 year old kid or a new rider of any age should be on a modern liter bike. Injuries and fatalities occur because they cant control the bike safely. They just don't have the experience or wisdom to handle a bike with 150+ horses. For the first two years, nothing bigger than a 600 or 883 twin. If caught on a larger bike, a one year suspension of all driving privileges and a hefty fine. Don't like it? Don't ride.
Some riders don't think its cool to wear safety gear. I am required, by military law, to wear a certain amount of protective gear. I'm an adult and I do what I'm told because its smart. Look up motorcycle injuries on the net, safety gear will save your hide! Looking cool is for those in still high school.
Many fools complain about the helmet issue. Some say they don't work, they're too heavy or useless over 30 MPH or some other lame excuse. Why do all the pros wear them? Grow up, get a real DOT/SNELL helmet and wear it.
Set firms laws governing safety equipment and enforce them. The MSF recommends, in every state DOT riders handbook, what to wear. Proper safety gear says you are not only educated about riding, you also present a positive image. Lack of safety gear is one of reasons our insurance rates to go up.
You've touched on a number of complex issues here IMHO. The one that is a no-brainer for me is lane-splitting. I was splitting traffic in 1975 at 15 in So. Cal. It is natural for me to do this and must be resisted the 99% of the time I'm not in Cal these days. Is this a topic Motorcyclists can unite on? Are there any Riders that would have a problem with another Rider splitting traffic if it was "legal" (plenty of Cop wannabes out there I know).
I was implying that the act of wearing safety gear is required and also smart.
The adult reference is because we also are required to wear bright, contrasting colors by day and reflective materials at night. This is on and off the base. Many riders wear dark jackets because it looks fashionable and a blaze orange construction worker vest is a fashion catastrophe.
If a military member chooses not to wear the required Personal Protective Equipment and is involved in an accident, the military can refuse to pay for the medical care and will prosecute for a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for failure to obey a lawful order.
Most military riders simple refuse to wear the orange vest because its uncool. I say grow up, be an adult, follow orders and do as you are told.
The military has had too many accident in the last few months involving motorcycles.