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#1 Gear Nazi
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been in Italy now for about 5 months, and I must say, I LOVE their motorcycle regulations. Under 21? Can't ride above 350cc. I've heard countless kids get over here and say "AW MAN! Now I can't get that 04 R1 as my first bike because I'm not 21, this is crap!" Call me a dickhead, but I love seeing these squids and squids of the future get put in their place. I know a similar regulation would never pass in the US where "b***** is better" but I really hope someday it does. People here are much better riders (in general) than in the US and their are alot more out here. Maybe there is something to this whole thing with Europeans dominating MotoGP. They are better riders because they were forced to start small, and actually learn how to RIDE. Let me say it now, you are NOT a good rider because you can do a 75mph wheelie or a stoppie (not to say good riders can't do that stuff). I dunno, it's just one of those things that's always kinda bugged me, maybe with the recent changes in driving laws for under 18 drivers they might finally update the laws for young motorcycle riders too.

Don't flame me for no reason, if you are gonna argue with me present an argument (a valid argument does not include the phrase "you're a stupidhead" either). All I know is statistics prove that motorcycle riders on this side of the pond have alot less motorcycle accidents because of the laws regulating motorcycles.

I do value your opinions, I could actually see myself one day lobbying this to become a regulation, even though it would probably be a wasted effort.

Jason
 

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Yea it would be a great idea in the states but you have to take into consideration some things. What if someone has been riding for 2-3 years since they were 16 and they have an R1. Now all of a sudden the law comes and he has to move down to a lower class bike, what doed he have to do? Sell his bike and buy a new one and feel extremely restricted?

Just some things i was thinking over while readin your thread. Good idea tho, would help alot of those squids.
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, well I was thinking this could be for new riders. Someone who already has a license can ride what they want. So it would take a few years to take full effect, but it would do alot of good I think. Some countries even have regular bikes that are restricted to 33bhp max, and are only legally allowed to be derestricted when the rider gets a certain age/license. Don't know how well that would work in the US, but it seems to work in Great Britain. I hate to have a defeatist attitude, but I think you and I might be in the vast minority when it comes to thinking this is a good idea.
 

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Yeah didnt think about the lisence idea, but yeah its a great idea. The only people who wouldnt like this idea would be the squids.
 

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I'm 20 just so you know where this is coming from. Personally, the 350cc restriction is a load as a turbo and some changes would easily get around the restriction (not by much, and not intelligently, but it will happen). The hp restriction is a little better because it's more accurate, but still a little low. I commute to work (95% of my riding) on the freeway and having a bike without the power for longer gears would not only be annoying, it'd be dangerous. A friend of mine rides a Ninja 250 to work and has serious problems because in order to keep up with traffic, she is at about 10krpms in 6th gear. On the other hand, I have a Ninja 500 and easily cruise at 8k in 4th but usually 6k in 6th. Difference? I have room to accelerate if the situation requires.

I would completely understand a 50hp limit for under 21. Would also understand 30hp for under 18 (most 16-17 year olds won't have a job far away from home). Having learned on the 500 and knowing what it can do with its 53hp, I'd suggest it to any newbie. Mind you, speed and/or rev limiters would be a GREAT idea to keep the squids at bay as long as they were within reason and have the bikes still be useful to those who use them appropriately.
 

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land of the free, dont tell me what i can ride. if i want to buy a bike, ill buy it. and for the record, i started on an ex500 before moving up to my 954. call me a squid, i dont care, i call myself a squid. i wear jacket/helmet/gloves/boots 90% of the time and i ride wheelies everytime i get on my bike.
 

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Age has little to do with how well you can handle your bike. Obviously maturity plays a role in motorcycle saftey, but saying a kid who has been riding for years can't have a larger bike because of his age, while someone a whopping year older than him can pick and choose what bike he wants even if he has zero experience is a little stupid..

Personally I think everybody should be restricted too under 90hp. for their first bike. The 90hp limit will allow people to get bikes powerfull enough to commute on the highway, but keep them away from modern SS bikes and liter bikes. It'd probably open up a market for 400cc sportbikes too, which seem like tons of fun.
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I rode an FZR400 on the track the other day and it was an awesome bike. I do think one reason this will not work in America is because of attitudes towards motorcycles. Here people have the utmost respect, you come up behind them and even if you don't wanna pass, they move, 100% of the time (unless it's an American). They give the scooters riding to the extreme right of the lane plenty of cushion space as they pass them. Motorcyles in America, crotch rocket or not, have that "outlaw" image. Over here kids start riding scooters at 7 or 8 years old, if not younger, they ride all of their lives, and then get a big motorcycle when they know they are ready for it, and the law says they can have it. With America's "you can't tell me what to do" attitude this will never work. Squids will keep buying powerful big bikes that they have no business being on and squids will keep dying. The last motorcycle rider we had die in the general area (100 mile radius) was an Italian, he was killed by an American driver who wasn't paying attention, think about it. That was the first motorcyclist killed since I've been here, and the ratio of motorcycles/scooters to cages is MUCH higher here.

So to sum it up, yes I would like to see laws passed to make riding in the US similar to here in Europe, everyone would benefit from it. Will it ever happen? No, because people in America don't like to be restricted on anything, because it's the "land of the free."
 

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I think its a great idea, but I also do not think it will work.

I hate seeing people die because of their own mistakes, and I hate to say it, but if you don't ride within your limits and with your gear on you do deserve whatever comes your way. I know it is a rough opinion, but its true. If you can't make the right decisions regarding your own safety and your own life, then you have no sense being on the road and endangering other people as well. If you can't respect your life, how can you respect another person's right to live?

Me? I wear helmet, jacket, and gloves when I'm on the bike. If I know I will be riding hard I have leather pants and Alpinestars boots as well. I keep it toned down on the street as this isn't the place to mess around, I keep my full throttle escapades on a closed course or a protected road, NOT in traffic.
 

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A graduated license system makes all the sense in the world! The Swiss has had that system in place for years, and they have the lowest motorcycle fatality rate in the world. Because regardless of age, you must start off with a 125 CC bike, and ride that for a 2 years, then 250 CC for two years, then 500 CC for two years, then you can apply for an open class licensse, 500 CC plus. So by the time you get to the litre bikes, you have 6 years of riding experience and your chances of killing yourself on it drop dramaticaly. Now this system was in place when I was living in Europe, which was 1980 so I'm sure they have changed it a bit. But the concept is valid and I'm a firm believer in it.
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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Discussion Starter #12
A graduated license system would be awesome. And it would open up a whole new market for bike manufacturers. We could finally get some cool small displacement bikes out there, something a little more than the Ninja 250. Again, in America it won't work, because "b***** is better" here. It's sad, but it's a fact.
 

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THe UK now has a similar law.. If you are 16 you cant ride anything b***** than 50cc 30 mph..
From 17 you can ride up to a 125 and If you pass the bike test you are restricted to 33 BHP (which means you could ride the R1 but it needs to be restricted)
After 2 years you are free to ride whatever you like (so at 17 you coulr ride the R1)
If you are over 21 you can learn to ride a larger machine BUT only with the supervision of a qualified instructor WHO MUST be in direct radio contact...
If you are over 21 and passs on a 125 machine then you are in the same boat as the 17 year old.. If you pass your test on a big machine then you can ride what you want ... It's not the kids in the UK who are having the most accidents though,,, Its the guys who have had layoff for about 10- 15 years then because they had that Lc350 in the 80's they think they are OK to jump straight onto that Hayabusa...
 

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The age system is no good, need to have like we have in Oz, ie first licence is 250cc and under for 12 months - regardless of age

After you have held your restricted licence for 12 months you can sit for your open class licence
 

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If such a law came into effect, it would probably have to grandfather in most licensed riders... so it would only affect new riders... which it would be designed to help anyway...

There are a few problems with the tiered license system that I can see:

#1. Lack of instructors to teach proper riding... (sure there are MSF courses, but not enough to meet current demand...)

#2. no current inspection system in place in all 50 states that are standardized to ensure the bikes aren't tampered with and derestricted before the rider's ready...

#3. Educating and restricting riders in one thing... Cage drivers would need to be licensed more stringently as well... Primary reason would be to help raise awareness towards riders on the road...

Just a few things I see that would prevent interfere with that happening...
 

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Great idea! Just look at the UK. Then a new DOT agency can be set up. For funding all bikes would have a $100 a year user fee in addition to everything else. The each time someone wants to go up a class of bike another $100 test fee. Then they could also legislate what else is in biker's interests, like no smoke or mirror shields, no race pipes, full inspections. How about a 100hp limit, or a 100 mph limit. Keep gov out of your lives as much as possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody ever benefits from a loss of decision making power.
 

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If I'm old enough to fight in a war, why should I have age limitations of any kind placed on me? If I want to buy an R1 for a first bike I should be able to.
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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Discussion Starter #18
Well in that case lets just get rid of the 21 year old drinking age, and helmet laws. Don't give me crap about "if I'm old enough to fight in a war..." I've been there, done that, and will be doing it again. I've fought with many 18-20 year old guys who didn't belong in a combat situation and have no business riding an R1 as their first bike, or even a Ninja 500 for that matter.
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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Discussion Starter #19
f2benny said:
Great idea! Just look at the UK. Then a new DOT agency can be set up. For funding all bikes would have a $100 a year user fee in addition to everything else. The each time someone wants to go up a class of bike another $100 test fee. Then they could also legislate what else is in biker's interests, like no smoke or mirror shields, no race pipes, full inspections. How about a 100hp limit, or a 100 mph limit. Keep gov out of your lives as much as possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody ever benefits from a loss of decision making power.
Well they have limitations like that over here that limit the power of the bikes until you hit a certain age and amount of riding experience. Lets look at Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau, they both had these restrictions placed on them, and I'd say they turned out more than fine, they are better riders for it. The proof is in the pudding.
 

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It would also create a market here in the states for varying CC's on the low side which would work out to manufactures benefits selling more bikes in half the time. I think it's a good idea and I don't know if this was stated above cause I don't time to read all the posts right now....
 
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