here is my email:
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.
Thank you for your time.