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I agree as well. Tiered licensing for motorcycles would be unfare with out tiered licensing for 8000lb Hummer H2's first - which I find threatening my way of life far more often than a motorcycle.
 

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Re: The Horror!

The first major casualty of a tiered-licensing program is that Harley-Davidson would go out of business. No way would all those middle-aged newbie RUBs start riding motorcycles if they had to start on a little bike.
 

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Honestly, it probably would reduce fatalities somewhat. Just like seatbelt laws etc.. But I'm not for those either.



I believe in the slippery slope. We're already sliding but maybe it's not too late to dig our heels in.
 

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No Way. At least until they start testing/ restricting soccer moms driving Excursions for their ability to 1. actually drive in their lane and not in the parking or right hand bicycle lanes, 2. turn a right hand corner while keeping the right rear wheel off the curb, 3 normalize the accident curves for the total increase in automobile miles driven (miles per vehicle, not miles per person traveled, ie 50 people on a bus = 50 safe miles/mile driven), 4. consider restricting automobile drivers by a similar horsepower scheme......



 

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Based on my half century of human experience I can only say that this article makes me sad. I think your view is correct, I think you cast pears before swine. Not us of course, I've just bathed. Our culture is full of instant gratification. People complain that their microwave or PC is slow. We chose our leaders based on unsubstantiated 15 second sound bites and visuals created by the best minds in the nation. Our spending habit have given our greatest trading rival a hand around our own neck. Wait, who are we kidding? I have no great room to brag, 30 years ago I was sliding down the road and learning about debridement. Sorry to be so negative. I think I hear the turbines winding up, I'm going to get my hearing protection.
 

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I live (and ride) in a Victoria, Australia, where you are a "learner" for minimum 3 months, then "restricted" for 12 months after that. While a learner or restricted, you are limited to 250cc or less. You have to do a test to get your learner permit, and another to get your licence. Both tests (in most cases) are preceded by full day training courses.



While I found the cc limit frustrating after a few months, I believe on balance it is a good thing - frankly, I was not capable of dealing with a high performance bike in those first few months, and some of the mistakes I made could have been much messier on a more powerful bike.



That said, the training was probably more useful (IMHO) than the cc limit in terms of my safety level. Regardless, newbies will always make mistakes. Making them at lower speeds can't be a bad thing.



My only real criticism of what we have here is that bigger guys who do longer rides should be allowed more suitable bikes. eg, in NSW (also Austalia), learners can ride bikes up to 650cc, provided they fall within the power-weight limits. For example, a F650GS is learner legal in NSW, whereas an RS250 is not. In Victoria, it is the other way around. I know which bike I'd rather my sons were riding when they start to ride...
 

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I'm sorry to be a spoil sport, but I would suggest that Gabe spend some time on the roads in North Georgia and look at the accident statistics. A 16 year old with a testosterone addled brain does not need a GSXR-1000. Or hang out in the emergency room of Dahlonega and check out the level of injury. I have spent enough time in the mountains to see that young kids on sportbikes are a large percent of the fatalities. (I would agree that he does not need a 400 HP car, either.)



Speed is an important component of an accident's severity. I think we should enact laws that prevent teenagers from riding bikes with over 50 horsepower or cars with over 100 horsepower. Give these poor suckers a chance to learn how to ride/drive before they die or lose a limb. In case #2 they will spend the rest of their life as a walking, talking billboard for the inherent danger of motorcycles.



"Yeah, lost it in a motorcycle accident. Damn things ought to be illegal. I was going down the road my first weekend out. (Doing 130 in a 45 zone). This car pulled out in front of me and I slammed right into her. Wasn't a thing I could do."



About once a month I get asked by a kid to "stand it up."

When I was a kid, I probably would have tried. Fortunately I did it once by accident and was so scared when I almost lost it that I didn't try it again. They take the same attitude when they are buying or riding one. "How fast will it go?" is the main question they ask when they are looking at a bike. And I just know they are going to try.



Gabe, you need to get some real statistics. Find out the insurance rate for a teenager with no experience versus the rate for some old fart with ten years riding experience and a clean record. They don't just make these things up.



Guys, we spend a bunch of time protecting our rights while children try to take them away. The tiered licensing system that other countries have in place is effective. We are letting our young riders kill themselves at a staggering rate.



Frankly, I am embarrassed that someone who is supposed to be a "motorcycle expert" would have such a lame opinion. How many kids who you've told that it is OK to buy a pocket rocket are now pushing up daisies? Do you even care?



Francis



 

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Your report is exactly on the nose, size isn't the big issue, it's the rider who buy's not knowing how to even ride. Scooters are the new craze for the youth here in PR and the dealers have to repair dozens because they wreck at the first turn or intersection by the dealer. Imagine mister cool on his brand new Busa who has never ridden a bike in his life. Reading, learning and training make all the difference in the world. How many people still can't even adjust the time on the dashboard of their car or VCR? This issue applies to all vehicles, hell it was the SUV's fault for being tall and heavy that rollovers occur. (My CR 250 rides just like a Busa in the whoops too!)I'm willing to bet if you switched all the Automatic cars in America to Stick more than half of the population wouldn't be able to drive to work the next day because they never learned!
 

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The question is how do we turn around an ever increasing number of MC fatalities. I wish the statictics listed type of bike (brand/style) age of rider, and experience level. I firmly belive that the large majority of the increase is due to unexperienced, middle aged clueless rebels that can now afford the Harley ( or metric crusier) of their dreams. Once they have it which due to the lack of legally mandated training ( unlike a pilots license) they aren't truly capable of riding they then due to the herd mentality go off to be rebels for the weekend which of course means worthless beanie helmet, and worthless leather fringe leather vests with matching assless chaps, oh and of course fingerless gloves ( big help they are) They then of course go to silly rallys drink and ride, crash and die. Amazing how pear pressure still affects grown ups! Would a tiered licensing system help? Bet your butt it would. How many would be rebels would still ride if they had to ride a "chicks" bike for a few months before getting their hog-o-matic.. (or racer replica) It would for sure seperate the posers from the folks that really wanted to learn to ride. How many of us are still around because when we started riding, the bikes available weren't sub 11 sec quarter milers, or 800lbs monsters.. We learned to ride small dirt bikes and 350's when we crashed it was at slower speeds... Is the Answer a tiered licensing system No, but since it seems an american god given right to whine about ones personal liberties being infringed upon at the drop of a hat, it may be the least intrusive way of helping new riders stay breathing riders.
 

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Stick..............? Isn't that the think KPaul hit in the middle of the road here awhile back?
 

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You jackapes are so caught up in your ideology that you are missing the point.



Gabe repeatedly states his opinion that displacement does not affect the likelihood of an accident, but do any of us truly believe that is true? It is common sense that a ZX-10R gives a testosterone-rush beginner far greater ability to get into trouble than a Rebel 250. Heck, get on the throttle too hard, and you're upside down! The Rebel maxes out at 70 mph, the ZX-10R will do over 100 mph in first gear!



Still, let's assume for the sake of argument that Gabe's statement is true, that displacement does not effect the likelihood of an accident. We can all agree that displacement affects the fatality rate of those accidents. Young men all over the nation kill themselves on GSXR's during the first 6 months that they own them. Are all the tearful mothers, young widows and shattered lives worth it? Is it such a big deal that raw beginner be allowed to ride away from a dealership on a literbike?



Look past your knee-jerk reaction. It is not an unreasonable burden to make beginners start off on low-displacement bikes.

 

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My only real criticism of what we have here is that bigger guys who do longer rides should be allowed more suitable bikes. eg, in NSW (also Austalia), learners can ride bikes up to 650cc, provided they fall within the power-weight limits. For example, a F650GS is learner legal in NSW, whereas an RS250 is not. In Victoria, it is the other way around. I know which bike I'd rather my sons were riding when they start to ride...

This is one of the (few) things the NSW Government gets mostly right (they don't take into account the weight of the rider is my only gripe - while I didn't learn in NSW, I can sympathise with other 6'2, 110+kg people who have to tootle around on tiny bikes).

Personally, were I in charge, I'd go a step farther and institute an additional licence class to capture the really high powered racers like GSXR1000s and R1s - to be licenced for one should require further compulsory, certified rider training (although not another test).

(I have the same feelings about SUVs - there should be additional licensing requirements to be able to drive one. It'd also be nice if you could get an additional licence endorsement that allowed you to legally exceed the posted speed limit on the highway by a given amount as well, but I digress...)

The "problem" with litre-class weapons is not so much the ultimate top speed, but how frighteningly quickly you get there. I borrowed a mate's '05 GSXR1000 for a few weeks a while back and decided shortly thereafter that I'd never buy one for day to day riding. I can certainly see the pleasure in track days and twisties (which was all he used it for), but riding one around town - especially in the wet - requires so much concentration it just takes the pleasure out of it. After a couple of days I just started putting it into second or third and treating it like a scooter for general riding around (although that couldn't stop it from being f*cking uncomfortable).

IMHO, the rationale behind tiered licensing is hard to disagree with in the real world and doesn't meaningfully disadvantage anyone (eg: paying an extra, say AU$500 for a "superbike" licence certification pales into insignificance compared to the money that would subsequently be spent on the bike itself, insurance and all the other stuff someone who really, really wanted one would end up springing for). It strikes a fair and reasonable balance between banning the things outright and stopping people who just need their egos caressing, from being a danger to themselves and - more importantly - others.
 

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...Man, am I the only one who likes the idea of a 10% flat tax (or a 0% flat tax)? Who's yer tax accountant? ...I wish I could find fault in paying 10%... But that analogy aside, I won't quibble about whether a zx10 is more dangerous than a rebel 250... It's the principle that is important here, as not riding a motorcycle is certainly less dangerous than riding one... Yet I enjoy having that choice...
 

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"Young men all over the nation kill themselves on GSXR's during the first 6 months that they own them."



Data?



"Look past your knee-jerk reaction. "



Good advice. And rather ironic. So, let's see that data.
 

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"...Man, am I the only one who likes the idea of a 10% flat tax"



Nope, although the similar Fair Tax is much, much better. And calling the flat tax "unblinking lunacy" is tiresomely familiar hyperbole.



"It's the principle that is important here, as not riding a motorcycle is certainly less dangerous than riding one... Yet I enjoy having that choice... "



Exactly. Every "there outta be a law" safety argument for motorcycles is always logically reducable to "ban motorcycles."
 

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Sorry Gabe and Co , but you are wrong.

How can you argue with plain physics? If an object is faster or heavier, it is more difficult to control , and there is a learning curve on a motorcycle, like it or not.

Your argument is akin to loud pipes save lives or motorcycle riders don't need helmets. It's plain non-sense. I was wondering if anybody had the number of fatalities per bike in the US versus a country like Germany?
 
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