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Road rage suspected in biker death

8964 Views 50 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  teknoman
At the risk of poking a guy when he is down, I have one question. Front brake?
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Read the whole column. In this case it took two to tango, and bike versus SUV, bike loses.
Anger and motorcycles just don't mix. And why do many cage drivers get SO PISSED when you pass them?
Remember the old George Carlin bit about drivers? If they are driving slower than you, they are road hogs. If they are driving faster and pass you, they are d*mn fools. Either way, in some people's minds they don't deserve to live. Or at least, they need to be taught "a lesson."

Another aspect is that some people like to be in front. In their minds, being in front means they are 'winning.'
Takes two to tango?

Takes two to tango? Are you on medication or what?

"He also conceded passing Stern because he was angry and hitting his brakes "to teach him a little bit of a lesson," according to court records."

The biker is dead because of an angry assh0le wanting to teach him a lesson! You do not teach people lessons on the road (or anywhere else for that matter)
The SUV driver appears to be angry because the motorcyclist passed him on a double yellow. In my experiance this really pisses people off, that's why I never do it. Being passed in a legal passing zone doesn't have the same psychlogical effect as passing on a double yellow because that's "cheating"..

SUV driver shouts out the window -through his anger- "have a nice day"

bike rider flips him off..

SUV driver passes him again then slams on the brakes, end of story.

Driver then leaves the scene, but returns when the police pass him, lies to the investigating officer, then his own sister and her husband call bullshyt and tell what really happened.

Pretty cut and dried case, the guys guilty of road rage and causing the motorcyclists death, he has a history of anger management issues and this time getting passed on a double yellow was all it took to set him off to the point of killing someone. Save the tax payers some money and hang him. he'll do it again as soon as he's out of jail.

The lesson for us as mototrcylists is don't pass on the double yellow. it really sets people off, more than you can imagine.
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Thoughts from Gabe

1. Clearly this is premeditated murder. Involuntary manslaughter my a$$. If he had ran after the guy with a hammer and hit him in the back of the head with it, that would be first-degree murder. I fail to see the difference, other than the fact that Stern was on a motorcycle and was somehow "asking for it".

At common law, murder is the intentional killing of a human being with "malice aforethought". That just means you had bad thoughts that made you do something known by most people to result in serious injury or death: like swooping in front of a 60 mph motorcycle and slamming on your brakes. If he was on a sportbike, you could argue that wouldn't result in certain death, but a 111-foot skidmark at 60 mph? That's absurd.

2. Harleys kill. No SUV on earth can stop fast enough in front of my Triumph to cause me to dump my bike. I've had this same situation happen to me twice that I know of. Both times -- once in the rain, no less -- I was able to just laugh at the attempted murderer and ride away, because I had the sense to ride a motorcycle that could out-accelerate, brake and handle any car I'd be likely to meet. I try not to provoke people in Porsches or Ferraris.

3. Provoking cagers intentionally is dumb, but what's even dumber is letting them pass you after you've pissed them off. Even a Harley can do 98 mph, which is faster than an Exploder. If you think the guy's mad at you and wants to play, haul ass like your life depended on it. People in cars can kill you and get away with it. I've lost one riding buddy that way.

Is the AMA pushing "Hate Crime"-esque legislation that would increase penalties for intentional killings of motorcyclists with cars? I doubt it!
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Re: Thoughts from Gabe

Why imply criticism toward the AMA for not pushing "hate crime" legislation for crimes against motorcyclists? Murder is murder, isn't it? Why should penalties be worse for killing motorcyclists than for anybody else? "Hate crime" legislation is bad public policy, no matter who it supposedly "benefits."
Re: Thoughts from Gabe

I think the guy stomped on the rear brake and hung on, that's the only way to generate those kinds of numbers. Granted the brakes on my Dyna aren't as good as any of the other bikes I've owned but properly using the front and rear brake can haul them down pretty quick.

What's interesting is how much effect the rear brake has on the Dyna. on most of the sportier bikes I've owned the rear brakes wasn't terribly effective because of chassis dynamics and weight distribution under hard braking. On the Dyna the rearward weight bias and long and low chassis makes the back brake considerably more effective.

While I was re-acclimating myself to Harley riding I spent alot of time practicing brakeing from different speeds and once it dawned on me to use the rear brake as aggessively as the front I got pretty comfortable with it.

Like you said, provoking cagers, then letting them get anywhere near you is terminally stupid, as this poor fellow found out.
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Re: Thoughts from Gabe

I just dont get this whole "Hate Crime" [email protected], a crime is a crime. Its just our "Law Makers" trying to justify their jobs with a trendy catch phrase.
Some of you bros talk about crossing a dbl-yellow to pass as if it's a legal option, only to be avoided because it pisses-off cagers. Sorry, crossing a bdl-yellow is a moving violation in all 50 states. Objective dangers like an unforeseen oil slick or sand patch that result in a crash are generally not judgement-based. Conversely. embracing subjective danger by ignoring the law, which in the case of a bdl-yellow is clearly common-sense based, only maximizes the probability of a bad outcome, whether from anothers road rage or a less sinister source. There came a pivotal point early in the incident when Stern decided not to roll-off the throttle and enjoy the day, but to pass in violation of the law. To what extent did his poor judgement contribute to what followed? In fact, knowing the neurotic and sociopathic types that comprise our society and fill our roads, at what point does irresponsible behavior like this suggest an almost suicidal tendency? Clearly, for those of us who are reasonably stable and capable of comprehending the risks associated with riding a motorcycle on public roads, acceptance of the fact that no one out there is looking after your welfare but yourself, is fundamental.
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Re: Thoughts from Gabe

Its just our "Law Makers" trying to justify their jobs with a trendy catch phrase.
I think it's quite a bit worse than that actually. Crime is crime, but somehow a crime commited due to hate of a particular "protected group" is more severely punished. Essentially, it makes one's motivation as much a crime as one's actions. Who knows what motivations will be illegal next?
Re: Thoughts from Gabe

To answer your question about the AMA, they are, indeed, lobbying for enforcement of laws that prosecute killers of motorcyclists, and enactment of new laws if required.

If you were an AMA member, you would know that. Why aren't you a member? Is there some other organization out there that is better, that I should be a member of?
Double yellows are notoriously pervasive in the US. Go to Europe and ride. No-passing zones are rare. For some reason, we in the US are content to let the government tell us how competent we are.

On the road, the lowest common denominator rules. Motor vehicle codes are written for them.
OK, excess is an American tradition, but it's the law, nonetheless!
Re: Takes two to tango?

I'm not on medication and however eggregiously wrong the driver's actions were (VERY!), the biker seems to have had a chance to back down and walk away.

OF COURSE he didn't deserve to die for not doing so, but as it turns out that's exactly why he did die. We all know very, very well how many angry assh0les there are on the roads. So, avoid them. Dicing with them may feel good, but if you're not surrounded by a couple of tons of steel, you're going to lose in any real confrontation.

It's just a version of the old "don't bring a knife to a gunfight."

(Plus, as less and less of a hot head the older I get, I can report that it's remarkable how much less stressful and aggravating life is if you are prepared to stand down from time to time and after all, if you're getting your bloodpressure up for nothing, aren't the assh0les winning?)
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Around here they paint double yellow lines for the slightest excuse. They must be based on the passing acceleration of a '50 Buick. In 52 years of riding I've probably passed 10,000 cars by crossing double-yellow lines. If you're going to ride like you're in a car you might as well drive. Being passed illeaglly is no excuse for murder or any other retaliation - put the blame where it belongs.
Pissed off auto drivers are not the only ones who don`t like being passed. A few years ago I came up on 3 Sport bike riders going 25 or so in a 50 zone, well being a biker, I stayed behind them until it just became rediculous, so I passed them in my car in a legal passing zone. Well they didn`t like it much so they started riding around my car, left and right side, screaming, trying to kick at the side of it, but I din`t run them off the road, (beleive me, I thought of it!!) anyway one of them kicked my car at a stop sign. When 2 of them went down another road, The lone one made a big mistake by coming up next to my car again, no I didn`t run him over, but I DID get out of the car and pushed him backwards on his bike until he fell on his ass!!! Maybe he`ll think twice next time doing something stupid, while he pays a few bucks for his new side panels on the GSXR!!!!
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Hey I'm Joe Cool I pass on the double yellow.

The same thing happened to me when I passed a guy in a pickup on a double yellow. Like Sarnali said it pisses people off. In my case, my Ninja stopped easily. I backed off from the guy and made no threatening jestures figuring I was miles away from any where riding alone.. The next year I passed on the double when Bubba waved me on (with a smirk) bingo King Co Sheriff's finest in the gold helmet and green Kawasaki hiding behind a blackberry bush nailed me.. Now kpaul never passes on the double yellow.. "A man has to know his limitations" Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry.....No one deserved to die or get hurt here hope this guy goes away for a long time
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