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My 0.002$ worth:

Mr Easterbrook,

Your artical blasting the Hyabusa is opinioned at best and factually lax. I'll concide, I don't agree with riding without a helmet. However, you said nothing of the fact the accident to Mr Rothberger was caused by the car driver. And the size, speed, power of the bike had nothing to do with this. BTW, you didn't mention the Hyabusa speed is limited to 186 mph and the zero to 100 mph is optimistic by about 2-2.5 seconds. Anyway, there are other areas to be outraged at--how about head injuries to horseback riders? How about the fatigued driver (ie, lack of sleep)? How about the availability of hand guns? etc, etc. The Hyabusa is an expert-only motorcycle. Why not go after those who allow the sale of this type of machine without ever having to offer any proof or demonstration he/she has command of the requisite skill set.

Next time, do a little research.
 

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I'm with you there killer. The Feds surfit of unconstitutional laws stem from a twisted reading of the "general welfare" and "inter-state commerce" clauses that the framers of the constitution warned us about.
 

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Re: Kill Ratio

Sure, but kill ratios of SUV’s do not invalidate the arguments set forth in the article. Many motorcyclists have not got the presence of mind to realize they are engaging in irresponsible behavior that is going to cost all motorcyclists. In fact many feel incensed by the fact that their puerile behavior is rightly coined as such.

I have read a few posters responses to the article. You do the same as I rest my case.
 

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I disagree with this Mr. Easterbrook, but don't simply dismiss him as a moron (though he may be). He is a perfect example of how much of the non-riding public views motorcyclists.



Dozens are killed/murdered/maimed in auto accidents every single day, but driving is seen as a necessary, perfectly normal thing to do. Almost a god-given right. Riding a motorcycle? That's the realm of suicidal idiots.



Nobody remembers the majority who ride reasonably. They remember the jrekoff doing the wheelie down the interstate. They remember the guy with drag pipes that woke them at 2am. They remember the article about some 18 y.o. kid who bought a crotch rocket and creamed himself 10 minutes off the lot. And at some point they're gonna get fed up with our perceived nonsense and do something about it.



It's a perception that we as a community need to turn around. It's not going to correct itself.

 

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Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a Winner!

Finally somebody hit the nail on the head! Ben, while riding a bike capable of ridiculous speeds, WAS NOT SPEEDING when the accident occurred. If you send this a$$ hat a email, be sure to point that out. The accident report indicates that speed was not a factor. Period. An older lady failed to yield the right of way and TURNED LEFT IN FRONT OF HIM. I can't remember her age, but it doesn't matter anyway--she (or he) could have been 16, 26, 38, whatever, and done the same thing. Maybe his article should be "Sayonara, Grandmama" and argue for no driver's licenses for people over the age of 60. Riding helmetless is yet another matter, but Ben made his choice and has to deal with the consequences. Personally I prefer to have the choice, but I always choose a helmet.
 

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Re: Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a Winner!

And by the way...what would the result have been if Ben had been riding one of his Harley Davidsons instead? Exactly the same--a painful face plant into an immovable object.
 

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"Nobody remembers the majority who ride reasonably."



True, and added to that, nobody forgets the irresponsible asshat.



"It's a perception that we as a community need to turn around."



That can only be done by eliminating the riders who ride irresponsibly. No amount of responsible riding can eliminate the perception caused by even a single asshat that rides irresponsibly.



"but don't simply dismiss him as a moron"



Nope, he is going to make bus riders out of all of us. Unfortunately the majority on this board has dismissed (and underestimated) him already.

 

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"The courts seem to think otherwise."



Well, uh, gee, what do you think a federal court (often with a judge who has a lifetime appointment from the executive branch) is going to say. The Constitution is clear; the courts are confused and unaccountable.



"Sure thing, but then many motorcycles invade folk’s lives by creating hazardous situations on public roads. I pay taxes and I vote. Why should I allow my child’s life to be put in danger each time she crosses the street to go to the store?"



Your whole argument is classic straw man stuff. This kind of hysteria created the Hollister biker stereotype; for every time I feel my life is endangered by a motorcycle, I must see 10,000 bonehead moves by people in cars on cellphones, but I'm not calling for banning cellphones or cars. (Actually, I can't remember ever feeling endangered by someone on a motorcycle, although I have seen lots of stupid riding that endangered the rider.)

Your child is statistically much more endangered by thousands of other things besides sportbikes. If someone is endangering someone else, we have laws and remedies for it, but Easterbrook's column is about banning things as a kneejerk reaction based on emotion. Not only is it stupid (and ineffectual), it's unconstitutional. This is the same idiotic argument that guns, not people, are responsible for killing people.



 

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Re: Kill Ratio

I don't disagree with the fact that a lot of riders don't have a lot sense. But this guy is calling for a ban of a motorcycle based on some percieved huge danger to the public. While there is certainly a danger, it's relatively small, probably very small, compared to the danger posed by SUVs. (Or probably even drivers using cell phones.)Yet, because of flawed perceptions, no one is calling for a ban on SUVs (nor would I advocate one) and many states don't have cell phone & driving laws.

I have been reading the responses, and in fact, have sent my own to Mr. Easterbrook.
 

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Did you see the latest one? The Feds are saying they have the right interfere with local law enforcement any time they wish because they give out Homeland Security money.
 

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Re: Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a Winner!

Dude, this guy edits for the New Republic. You are wasting your time pointing out logic to him.

Make a senseless emotional argument incorporating false statistics instead. He might respond to that.
 

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Yes, I need an editor

I usually don't bother responding to this kind of stuff, but it's a little slow at work. Yeah, it's really long. If he actually reads it, I hope his eyes bleed.

Mr. Easterbrook,

No doubt, soon you’ll be flooded with e-mails from angry members of the motorcycling community stemming from your item in TMQ, "Sayonara Hayabusa," that is, if you haven’t been already.

You may have expected some negative response to your piece, but I’m not sure you’re prepared for the magnitude of outrage. Why? Because motorcyclists are forced to read and hear the same kind of sensationalist, inaccurate drivel almost every day.

Your kind of nonsense threatens an activity that brings joy to millions of responsible motorcyclists. To call for a ban on any motorcycle based on your prejudices, flawed conclusions and outright incorrect reporting is the height of arrogance and irresponsibility. I only take comfort in the fact that anyone with any influence probably won’t take you seriously.

As evidence of your tenuous grasp of the subject, let me point out a couple of, eh, problems with your piece. You stated that a Suzuki Hayabusa can accelerate from 0-100 mph in three seconds. Actually, you seemed to be drooling over that "fact." Where did you get this fairy tale? It’s closer to 5.3 seconds, which is still quite fast, but nowhere near your claim. How you could put so much emphasis on that point and get it totally wrong is, frankly, mind-boggling.

You have also made an inference, which you seem to assume is fact, that somehow because the bike is capable of such acceleration and speed that it’s responsible for a high, or at least significant, number of second-party deaths. How did you come to this (wrong) conclusion? Motorcycles of any type rarely hurt anyone except their riders and passengers. We can’t say the same about SUVs, the worst kind of ego-machine. SUVs kill many times more people per accident than any passenger vehicle. There are also many more on the road. Should we expect an item calling for the ban of SUVs in TMQ next week? I wonder how all of those NFL players will get to the games this year?

You also imply that most of the blame for Ben Roethlisberger’s accident should be placed on the motorcycle itself. Huh? While Ben showed exceptionally poor judgment in choosing to wear no protective gear and was likely riding a bike that was beyond his limited riding skills, the driver of the car in the accident was deemed totally at fault, which by the way, the vast majority of car drivers in car-bike accidents are. The motorcycle was not traveling at a speed unattainable by any passenger vehicle. This is either a hare-brained deduction or willful deception.

You should also know that a large number of motorcyclists take riding skills and training very seriously (since it is somewhat more difficult skill in which to become proficient, than say, driving a passenger car). What kind of training or skill-building activity, aside from 11th grade drivers’ education, have you participated in to improve your driving skills?

And, incidentally, there’s at least one very good reason why motorcycles are quicker to accelerate than cars. One of the only things you managed to get right is that motorcycles have no real passive safety features. However, we use acceleration and agility as part of an active safety system to avoid all sorts of moving and stationary hazards, not the least of which is the inattentive, food munching, stereo fiddling, cell phone yapping droid in the 5000 lb. SUV. You may think that a motorcycle such as the Hayabusa is still overkill, and some of us may agree, but frankly, you’re obviously not qualified to make that assessment.

Few serious motorcyclists condone reckless riding, stunting or outrageous speeds on public roads, In fact, many of us are active in reducing this behavior, but the danger that this type of minority behavior poses to the public is relatively small compared to, say, the small and often overlooked act of using a cell phone while driving a car.

I won’t even address your Constitutional insight as it is totally laughable. I’m sure others will, though.

Leave the motorcycles to the experts and brush up on your "journalism." You need some practice.

Regards,
 
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