"Except that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate"
The courts seem to think otherwise.
"Lots of things cause far more harm than sport bikes"
Sure, but thats hardly a reason not to ban sports bikes. Legislation will follow what folks demand. A lot of motorcyclists out there are doing their best to have bikes banned, and theyre going to succeed.
"regulatory fascists need to stay (the f**k) out of peoples' lives"
Sure thing, but then many motorcycles invade folks lives by creating hazardous situations on public roads. I pay taxes and I vote. Why should I allow my childs life to be put in danger each time she crosses the street to go to the store?
I wouldn't worry to much about this idiot. According to his logic we should outlaw Corvettes too...Ain't going to happen.... I am sure Honda, Harley, Ducati, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki etc could band together and buy few Congress members ooops I mean Lobbyists to make sure Hayabusas, ZX14s, R1s, VRods, 999s, stay legal...Too much money involved.....Like JB said he is a stick and ball idiot..
Your column entry titled "Sayonara, Hayabusa" was very interesting. Interesting and very wrong. There are too many points in your opinion that are misguided, but let's start from the beginning.
1. "Acceleration of max-performance motorcycles is wildly disproportionate to driving needs. The only real use of the acceleration ability is road rage -- to drag-race from stoplights, cut others off in traffic, speed like mad."
- This is flat wrong. These motorcycles are built to showcase a manufacturer's engineering capability, much like your mentioned Corvette. Do you also wish for any car with such power/performance to be banned? To my knowledge, there have been at least 5 Ferrari Enzos (about $500K apiece) destroyed by their owners in high speed accidents, in the United States ALONE. Should we send Ferrari out of business? How about Porsche? Mercedes? How about ALL car manufacturers who make cars that have the POTENTIAL to exceed posted speed limits? Shall we regulate the maximum performance capability of all private vehicles?
Yes the acceleration is breathtaking, but in the hands of responsible riders (which comprise the majority of motorcycle owners) this power and speed is easily managed. To simply assert that this performance capability is simply for lawbreaking is flat wrong.
2. "High-performance street motorcycles are socially irresponsible, and designed without regard for the safety of riders. Roethlisberger and others who buy high-performance bikes don't wish anyone harm, they're just looking for an ego rocket."
- This point is fails the "laugh" test. By your reasoning, ANY vehicle which has a higher performance potential would be deemed "socially irresponsible." Where would you draw the line? A Honda Civic Si has tremendous performance potential..FOR ITS CLASS, but it is economical and somewhat practical. But compare it care to a Chevrolet Aveo, and it moves into the realm of "socially irresponsible," since its performance is definitely beyond what an Aveo can achieve.
"Ego rocket" - all vehicles are bought with one thing in mind: APPEARANCE. Things like roominess, fuel economy and feature set are all secondary to the most elementary factor in vehicle purchases; IMAGE. It influences all purchases, and especially in vehicles, since we have used cars to identify or express our own self image. An SUV is an "ego tank", signifying ruggedness, and individualism. A BMW is an "ego sedan," signifying your affluence and success. And a Corvette is an "ego rocket," signifying your racy nature and competitive spirit. Motorcycles are the same. A Hayabusa can signify that you are "fast and daring." This point of your article is, unfortunately, pointless.
3. Our nation's laws do not confer any "right" to operate on public roads a high-horsepower bike.."
- And neither do those same laws confer any right to NOT own such vehicles. What a smart person should look at is not only what a law prohibits, but what it DOES NOT PROHIBIT. THe law confers no right for people to own fuel guzzling SUVs of questionable practicality and it enormous consumption of resources, but you are allowed to have them. SUVs are more dangerous to vehicles which consist of substantially less mass, but there is no call to regulate their ownership. If safety is truly your goal, elimination of vehicles above a certain weight/mass rating should be the target.
Did you know happen to forget or gloss over the fact that Big Ben was not speeding, but was in fact taken out by an INATTENTIVE DRIVER? Horsepower had nothing to do with Ben's accident. It was all the fault of a CAR DRIVER who failed to maintain situational awareness. Ben could have been riding a scooter and the result would have been the same.
But, let's drill this down to the basic point: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. As you said later, Ben made the decision to NOT where the "Revolution" helmet, even knowing the risks of not wearing one. Ben also made the choice (albeit a very dumb one) to not wear a helmet, again, knowing the risks. But it is his responsibility, and that of the nation, to encourage and promote the safe operation of motorcycles, and the fitment of proper attire. It is also our responsibility to promote better driving habits and education, so incidents like Ben's will be kept to a minimum. The banning of motorcycles will do nothing more than to put many people out of work, deny many the passionate pursuit of their hobby, and put more people in cars, which would further burden our already overburdened road/highway infrastructure and even more consumption of precious resources.
LOL Good one... I tired to reason with the idiot...
Regarding your Hayabusa comment: I ride a motorcycle that is not quite as fast as the Hayabusa. You are misguided about why people buy bikes like the Hayabusa. The attraction to sport motorcycles like the Haybusa is not stratight line speed or sheer horspower. Rather it is their agility i.e. ability to handle a winding road.******A sport motorcycle if ridden within the traffic laws is the safest motorcycle on the market.**** It has superior brakes, cornering ability, and yes amazing acceleration. One could argue the best way to survive an accident is to avoid one (like an old BMW commercial used to proclaim). Just like a Corvette is very safe if driven within the laws. By your logic if we outlaw Hayabusas should we outlaw Corvettes?
I think I should have used your approach instead. except I would wear my helmet
If the standards for the discussion are a) impracticality and b) safety, then I really think you picked the wrong vehicle to castigate. It isn't the Hayabusa we need to ban, it is the Hummer and all vehicles like it.
What is more impractical, a 200 mph crotch rocket or a 5500 lb. military grade sport ute? No one on America's roadways needs either one, to be honest, so why do you choose to pick on the 'busa instead of the Hummer?
Safety? Hardly. The 'busa is more dangerous for the rider, but far less dangerous for other drivers on the roadway, for the simple reason that there is only so much damage a 600 lb. motorcycle can do, even at ludicrous speeds. Riders of any motorcycle make the conscious choise to increase their risk, but with a socially responsible silver lining - they make everyone else a bit safer when they choose that bike instead of a car.
The Hummer, on the other hand, is about as socially irresponsible as you can get. The driver greatly increases his or her personal safety, at the expense of everyone else's safety on the road. You are far more likely to survive an accident when you are hit by a Honda Civic than when you are hit by a Hummer. It is simple physics. Mass matters far more than velocity in a world where virtually all accidents happen at less than 70 mph.
I won't even go so far as to point out the drastic difference in resources to build, mileage, emissions, etc. We live in a world of diminishing resources and the Hummer is a gigantic F*** You to the rest of the world, on a lot of levels. If you are going to talk about banning, let's at least work from the worst on down.
I am assuming you meant to say there are more SUVs than motorcycles? Yes, that is very true. Not sure what your point is though.
I have not seen an SUV travel at 100mph on a road kids have to cross. I see motorcycles do that often. Get my drift?
I have no hassle with the bikers (helmeted or not) that keep within speed limits and not endanger others. I strongly suspect the vast majority of (voting) Americans feel the same. Sadly a minority of people is acting in a way that is going to cause the majority to force them to comply.
No need to wonder, the government (either state or federal) will make a unilateral decision on what is sensible and what is not sensible. Unfortunately we cannot look to either the motorcycling community or manufacturers to impose a mutually agreed upon limit to prevent this. Legislation will be forced upon us because of imbeciles that do not have the presence of mind to moderate their behavior.
"Laws don't prevent accidents, people do."
So how will you have a motorcycle accident if you cannot ride one? Best youll be able to do is go out make a motorcar accident, which I believe is a lot safer. A lot of folks out there are eager to help you be safe.
According to statistics, SUVs, especially the larger truck-based ones, are actually more dangerous to their drivers, too. 8% more deadly for truck-based SUVs and 6% more deadly for the smaller models according to the numbers I've seen.
And, as you mentioned, their "kill ratio" (meaning the number of people they kill in other vehicles) is many times higher than cars like a Honda Accord.
"if he were as concerned about public welfare as he claims, he would have called for the ban of Corvettes in that column"
Well he wont because he probably owns one himself. Most people are to small to see the error of their own actions; which is why the majority of posters here do not consider exceeding speed limits as wrong, nor do they think owning a 200mph motorcycle for road use as irresponsible.
"And he mostly skirts the real point, which is stupid behavior"
No, I believe he is saying owning and operating a 200mph motor vehicle on public roads is stupid behavior. I think he is quite right.
What do you care if people go zooming by you on high performance bikes? Bikes weigh nothing in comparison to cars and SUVs, and speed though they may, their drivers are PAYING attention, unlike the hordes of soccer moms piloting 5000 pound SUVs. Rather than make issue of performance motorcycles' disproportionate accelerative potential, why not take issue with the disproportionate weight of cars and SUVs relative to their function--transport a person. I use the accelerative potential of my performance motorcycle to reach legal speeds or flow of traffic speeds, quick enough to hopefully put a small cushion between myself and the soccer mom on her cellphone bearing down on my rear end while applying makeup and chowing down on a Cinnabun.
The kill ratio for (the number of second-party deaths in accidents with SUVs) compared to other passenger vehicles is huge. Many times higher than the average sedan. It has nothing to do with total numbers, although when you look at the total number of SUVs and the kill ratio together, you should be appalled.
And I have seen SUVs traveling at very high rates of speed often. Although speed isn't even the biggest threat. It's pretty well known in the auto and insurance industries that SUVs promote agressive and inattentive driving behavior. (Remember the ESUVEE ad campaign?), whether speed is involved or not.
I don't condone excessive speed for given conditions, either. But speed is not the only problem by a longshot.
Everything in this comment and the others above it is very true and well said.
But I'm not sure if the ESPN article isn't just a joke. The section after the one about motorcycles describes in details which scenes in "Mission Impossible 3" don't make sense . Like if someone thinks the whole movie makes sense...
If this is not a joke, the author seems to be a serious nut.