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Lessee...



1) Stay off of Alchoholic beverages while riding,



b) Complete some sort of Motorcycle skills course,



Lastly) Maintain your bike in proper working order.



End of conference! Bring on the babes, beast and brew!
 

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Good grief, are there any adults posting here today! Safety should be a top concern when riding your bike, if you want to live to be old. And alcohol and riding, that's just stupid. You guys need to read David Hough's book, "Proficient Motorcycling", it just might save your life.
 

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What if I don't want to live to be old? Do I have to read the book anyway? If safety was my 'top concern', then why would I ride a motorcycle in the first place? And if safety WAS my 'top concern', then I am assured to live a long and happy life? I really need to know the answers to these questions before I die.
 

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I assume, since the conference is in Long Beach, that someone from MO will be present and will post a report (and maybe ask questions at the conference). I think the most interesting part is the idea of including some bike-centered safety training for cagers. At least put that on their radar screen.

BTW, I ride everyday and no, I don't think I am doing something inherently unsafe. I could make it very unsafe, or so-so, depending on my action, whether I ride defensively, drink and ride, ride inappropriately for road and traffic conditions, etc.

Just be smart out there.
 

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I think all we can do is to try and be better than the cage drivers.



In my own experience, expecting cagers to be both stupid and dangerous is the best way to look at riding. Also, think of yourself as invisible. Plan for the fact that they "don't see you".



Be the best you can be at breaking, avoidance and know when to just hold it straight and run over what has run out in front of you. (dog or cat, but not bull moose) Practice your needed skills. New rotors and pads are much less expensive than an ER visit! So wear'm out practicing!!



Lastly, wear all the gear all the time! Sorry folks, but the bad boy costume and arm chaps won't do the job. Neither will the weightlifter pants and flip flops.
 

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I've been riding for 41 years (one serious accident in 1966 - hit by a left turning cage), and am a daily commuter (except in the snow)but I have to disagree with the idea that riding is not inherently unsafe.



The fact is, the vehicle we love is unstable and susceptible to sand/dirt/oil etc. on pavement, small and easy to overlook, narrow and difficult for others to estimate closing rate, and completely without protection in the event of a collision. We share the road with vehicles that are much larger, driven in the main by inattentive and unskilled drivers. Our main protection is hyper-vigilance, a properly set-up bike, adequate reflexes and high-level riding skill.



In short, I LOVE riding, enjoy the challenges, but don't kid myself that what I do isn't inherently dangerous. Indeed, maybe some of my enjoyment and satisfaction comes from recognizing the inherent risk . . . .
 

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The longer I live the longer I can enjoy the ride. Knowing how to avoid accidents and having safe riding strategies helps to increase our odds, but there are no guarantees. Being prepared for that guy that makes a left hand turn in front of you just seems smart to me.



Would Indian Larry be alive if he had worn a helmet?
 

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I hope the MSF pays attention. Having recently been in attendance at part of an MSF Basic Rider Course I noticed that the curriculum hasn't changed much. The big hole in their training is street strategies. It's partly touched on in the classroom. In the few hours of range classes a student only has the minimum riding skills. Building on those skills and staying within your limit is sufficient for riding on the street. But, no effort is made to take students out into traffic and experience and practice the strategies they will need to survive. They do it in Great Britain and also include tiered licensing. A riders strategy for dealing with traffic is more important than having good riding skills. Our BRC students are on their own in learning the skills they need to manage risk in traffic.
 

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Here's Why Not

If you want safety, ride a Volvo. I’ll bet that just about everybody in this forum can describe a situation when they were doing everything right – safely – and some yahoo ran into them or cut them off, resulting in some sort of personal injury. Cripes, it happened to me once in a parking lot, where some bonehead backed over me when I was standing still!

Since a "not-my-fault" motorcycle accident is a foreseeable event, it is not "safe" to mount a motorcycle that has absolutely no occupant protection. If you want to be safe, don’t ride a motorcycle. (And while you’re at it, you will be much safer if you avoid all "unnecessary" travel, like pleasure riding or vacations or going down the quickie-mart for a six pack of unsafe alcoholic beverages.)

Risk reduction? I’m all for it! Riding schools, track days, developing good "scan" practices, protective equipment, preventative maintenance, etc., etc., etc. I do and recommend all of these things. But frankly, you’re safer in a ’73 Pinto than you are on a brand new Gixxer. So ride for the pure joy of it, do what you can to reduce the risk to your personal comfort level, and have fun. But don’t think that there’s any thing "safe" about a motorcycle.

Just ask your mother!
 

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Re: Here's Why Not

You seem to be under the impression that I'm wanting to have the government regulate away all the risk and make motorcycling like, well, driving Volvos (which isn't 100% safe either, but lots closer).

NO.

I accept that motorcycle safety really means risk reduction and mitigation, not the (impossible attempt at) total elimination of all unsafe factors. Your third paragraph is exactly what safety means to me.

So we're arguing semantics. I consider "safety" a very relative thing.

So when I saw you say let's not use "safety" and "motorcycles" in the same sentence, I believed you were denigrating what you later so eloquently espoused.

I think it's great that some careful research is being applied to expand our knowledge of what influences the RELATIVE safety of motorcycling, but if that info is used in a series of heavy-handed government regulation, I'll be as unhappy as anyone here. I'm not even a proponent of helmet laws, I think each rider should be able to make their own informed decisions. That being said, I never ever ride without a helmet, and decent gear. Honda's airbag first struck me as ridiculous, but if a rider who chose to puchase that option is saved because of it, more power to him/her.
 
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