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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, well heres a question that I have never seen asked before.. It will work your brain a lil bit hopefully..

On my way home from work (bout a 30 minute drive) I got to thinkin. I started thinkin about riding and my mind got to wandering. I saw a tire in the middle of the road that looked like it was from an 18 wheeler and I thought to myself what would have happened if I was on the bike, and didnt see that tire until it was too late and I was on top of it. This morbid hypothetical thought led to a few scenarios, the majority of which led to my demise or something of the sort. With this in mind, I started thinking about the consequenses of my death. Immediately my thoughts went to my family and girlfriend.. Both of which would be absolutely destroyed if I were to die on a bike. The heartache that my death would cause my parents and everyone that loved me would be unimaginable and I couldnt imagine going through it myself. After that thought, intense feelings of guilt overcame me for two reasons. I ignore their wishes to not participate in my sport of choice, or one of them at least. The second reason I felt guilty was b/c I felt incredibly selfish. If I was to die, the consequence for me would be just that, I would be no more.. Big deal.. The consequences for everyone else would be MUCH greater. My parents would have to live with the fact they had to bury their only child, and my girlfriend, the person whom helped me purchase the very thing that kills me would have to live with the guilt of participating in the death of the person she loves. As I assimilated to these feelings of guilt and thought about them a little bit more, I wondered.. Does everyone have these thoughts? Why is my picture of motorcycles such a morbid one sometimes?

This led me to answer that very question..Sometimes, depending on the scene, my impression of sportbikes is AMAZING. I picture riding and I say to myself, things happen, but usually because someone is being stupid, or lax. That straightens me up, and I picture my visor open, the sun shining, the hot road and the exhaust of my bike screaming as I cruise the highway or whip through some twisties.. On the other hand, sometimes my view is more like the above scenario, filled with death and guilt..I realised that these thoughts of death and guilt ONLY come to me when imagining SPORTBIKES.. Never on cruisers do I think of dismemberment, or death. Cruisers, in my head are very heavy, steel reclining chairs that dont pose a threat at all..

So part one of my three part question is..

1. Do you share the same initial feelings when contemplating motorcycles and do you differentiate btwn sportbikes and cruisers the same way i do?

With that in mind, answer question 2..

2. If you share my feelings, do you think its b/c we have been programmed to think that sportbikes are more dangerous, or do you think the reality is sport bike ARE more dangerous? My entire life, as soon as I bring up sportbikes, the first thing out of a non riders mouth is "omg, they are so dangerous, I know so many people that have died on those, be careful.."


With those two answered, answer 3..

3. What do you attribute SPORTBIKE deaths to? Break it down to percentages including all the factors you think affect sportbikers.. ie.. 30% Stupidity on rider half, 25% cage driver error, 40%Uncontrollable circumstances, etc....


It got me thinkin, hopefully it did the same for you.. I would never give up riding, but thoughts like this put my riding in check thats for sure.. Share your thoughts on the matter.. :beer
 

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I know all to well that every time I throw a leg over the bike that I might not come back home.I know that it makes no difference wich of my bikes I'm on that I will ride it hard.

There's that chance no matter what I'm on and I'm willing to take it.I've bought life insurance on myself that is just for my kids if I don't come home.

I had a heart attack and 3 brain anurissums(SP) at the same time when I was 29 and I learned right then that we can go at any time so why not be happy while I'm here.With that said,I think the people in my life that care about me would rather me be happy than crumpy.I've been on bikes since I was 5 and it's part of who I am.
 

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Stop riding with your visor up. Something will fly into your eye, you'll run off the road, burst into flames, and become an unrecognizable corpse.

Sometimes you just have to make a decision and do the best you can.

1. I used to "fantasize" about my front wheel coming off while riding down the road. I haven't had that thought in a long time. You get over it. In general, cruisers don't go all that fast. I think that gives you a false sense of security about them. Lots of cruiser riders die as well. I think mainly because of inadequate gear.

2. See 1 above.

3. I believe that the vast majority of m/c accidents are due to rider error, but don't have the data to back it up.

I'm assuming that since you feel as vulnerable as you describe, you wear full gear every time you get on the bike, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yea usually.. and when I'm riding I rarely feel that vulnerable.. just thoughts that pop in and say hello every once in a while.. I'm not a newb and feel confident behind those bars.. I wear gear 99% of the time.. just b/c I like my skin wear it is..Everyonce in a blue I'll go with just jeans, boots and a t-shirt.. but its usually geared up..I would never give it up for the thoughts, it has also always been my moto that when I go, it will be doing something I enjoy..
 

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There are so many ways to die in this world, if you feared them all, you wouldn't be able to enjoy anything.

Riding is just another thing added to that list. The only way to think about it is to control what you can control. Wear your gear, learn your bike, and know your limits.
 

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To answer your first question, I do think of alot things that could happen when I am on my bike. My parents do not like motorcycles, my fathers best friend was killed on one when he was growing up and he is afraid of that happening to me also. I am also their only son and I know if I died riding it would be very hard on them and I would never want them to go through that. On the other hand I am married and my wife also helped/supported me getting my bike. I also have a 2 yr old daughter and the thought of not being here for her and my wife really gets to me sometimes and I also ask myself if I am being selfish by putting my life in danger everytime I get on the bike. I know myself that when I do get on the bike I am a totally different person and constantly aware of everything around me and dont attempt anything that would increase my chances of something bad happening.
I personally dont think cruisers are any less dangerous than sportbikes. I think in a emergency situation that a sportbike is more manuverable than a big cruiser bike and the size comfort aspect gives a false sense of security.

Question number two, I think the general consenses on sportbikes is that they are dangerous. They are fast, they look fast, so they must be dangerous right? Anything made for speed is always considered dangerous and gets that label, it just seems to stick out more with sportbikes which in turn is what people are programmed to believe.

Question three, I would say that 60% of sportbike deaths are from rider error, lack of experience, training, stupidity, speeding. 30% cage driver error and 10% uncontrollable circumstances. Just a guess I have no idea on percentages but I do believe most is from lack of experience and not knowing what to do in emergency situations.

I just enjoy the ride and leave the guilt and selfishness thoughts behind when I get on the bike. There are so many other things that could happen any given day with other things you do on a daily basis. You might as well enjoy the time you are here.
 

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Answers:

1. No. They are equally dangerous. In fact...

More road rash = lowside riding a scooter
Broken bones = lowside riding a bycicle (broken leg) and another on a mountain bike when the chain came lose (broken rib).

2. Your body vs. some solid inmovile object will have the same damage, no matter if you were riding a scooter, sportbike, cruiser or an extremely fast bycicle.

3. I think most accidents could have been avoided by the rider himself. You are not to trust the others around you nor your enviroment, I learned that pretty well.

For example, when I lowsided the scooter, it was in a road I'm extremely familiar with. I know where potholes are and manhole covers. But early that day they were covering the potholes and left lose gravel. That hurted, but it was my fault. I was over confident about how much I knew the road and outrode the headlamp.

I would only atribute 20% to inevitable causes, and I'm think I'm stretching that one, as if the situation does not look very good for riding, you should not be there.
 

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Cruizers are just as dangerous.

The worst thing, as Thorough says, would be to arrive at death's door and realize that you had not lived.
 

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Im a cop and have worked quite a few different accidents involving many different types of vehicles

ive seen cruisers are just as dangerous as sportbikes. All accidents get worse with speed.

Most accidents ive seen from sportbikes are from them going too fast, and someone around them making a move in front of them. Sportbikes are very agile, but not when youre going 20+mph greater than everyone around you. When youre going much faster than everyone around you, its easy for someone to turn their head and look, see nothing there, then when a lane is changed, all of a sudden a sportbike is there. Often thats how sportbikes "appear" out of no where. Speed.

Most cruiser accidents ive seen are due to simple accidents at regular speeds but the rider was seriously hurt or injured due to lack of gear... One was a drunk driver accident in the middle of the night (on a holiday) where the rider died. That accident all the gear in the world wouldnt have saved him, and was to blame solely on the drunk driver in the pickup truck.

ride with gear, slow down, and stay alert, and dont ride around in the middle of the night, especially on nights like new years eve, halloween, 4th of july etc. Speaking of.. holidays, this past halloween which i worked was the most deadly night of car accidents ive ever heard. accident after accident, all involving alcohol, all night long.
 

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In addition to the cruisers and lack of gear:

Cruisers are MORE dangerous. More INERTIA due to more weight, less advanced braking and less advanced suspension.

Its like comparing a C6 vette to a '78 Crown Vic... the vette will emergency stop better, and perform emergency 'maneuvers' better, providing they are traveling at the same speed ;)

Sane speeds give sportbikes the advantage. Sportbikes probably still have an advantage up to 15mph over when compared to a cruiser.
 

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Alot of people will tell you they get nervous before they ride each time. Not because they cant ride but because they know they are going to test the limits. I think about my death and how it would affect the people around me, which is why i'm going to down grade to a 600 track bike after this riding season and probably move somewhere warm where i can ride a track 2X a month. Those of you that know how to utilize these bikes properly can agree we have no business on the street, way to many variables.....with that being said, i'm not a very religious person but as i ride out each time i say a prayer with paris (my bike). Usually something pertaining to keeping me safe and keeping the 5.0 away. ( 2 cents )
 

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I watched a Harely doing about 70 get broadsided by a truck that ran a stop sign.

Everyone is susceptable. 2 wheels or 4
 

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Qwikk said:
Alot of people will tell you they get nervous before they ride each time. Not because they cant ride but because they know they are going to test the limits. I think about my death and how it would affect the people around me, which is why i'm going to down grade to a 600 track bike after this riding season and probably move somewhere warm where i can ride a track 2X a month. Those of you that know how to utilize these bikes properly can agree we have no business on the street, way to many variables.....with that being said, i'm not a very religious person but as i ride out each time i say a prayer with paris (my bike). Usually something pertaining to keeping me safe and keeping the 5.0 away. ( 2 cents )
This is the truth, but we both know that sometimes you want to get a little practice in, or whatever, and you go to "the roads" that are your track. You feel the tires bite, knee on the ground, gently rolling the throttle on - there's just nothing like it.

Then, you see the car backing out of it's driveway - hope your brakes don't fade!

BTW, I don't think a semi tire shred would make you crash!
 

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I feel similar, but I don't run through the consequences of death via bike, probably because it will put in me in a sour mood for the day. Everything you do has risk associated it. As motorcycle riders, you're exposing yourself to additional risk that you wouldn't otherwise have in a four-wheeled vehicle. I always make sure I do the following:

1. Don't drink, smoke, or take any prescription or OTC drugs that would effect my riding ability before riding.

2. Don't be overconfident when riding, even on roads you know well.

3. Buy the best gear you can, and wear your gear every single time your swing a leg over the machine.

4. Keep the machine in tip-top condition to ensure a safe and fun ride whenever you push the start button.

5. Ride within your limit, keep your head up, not at the controls.

6. Assume that everybody on the road WILL cut you off.

Motorcycling has its risks. You can mitigate risk taking these and other measures to ensure you have a great and safe experience.
 

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513speed said:
BTW, I don't think a semi tire shred would make you crash!
Well you might not, but you have a pretty good chance. He didn't say tire shred he said tire and if you hit a tire from a semi, you are more than likely going to crash. I hit a small turtle in a curve this weekend and found myself coming back from the other lane. Lucky for me the mustang coming straight at me was a ways back and not speeding. Any little thing in the road if hit could send these things into a tank slapper or throw you a little off course, thats why we gotta be ready. But a semi tire, thats not little by no means.
 

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I honestly never get on my bike and think that I'm not gonna come home. If I thought that, I wouldn't be riding. I expect to come back.

Probably the most common visual I get is of me looping a wheelie. I have had flashes of myself not being able to make this corner or that corner, and it usually slows me down. With both of these though, I've actually seen it happen. It's not a stretch to imagine myself in their shoes. It's a strange relationship, confidence/fear and speed/skill. If I'm fearful, I won't be able to take the turn that I am capable of. Yet if I'm over-confident, I will try to take a turn faster than I can. I've done both.

I firmly believe that if I think I'm going to die on a motorcycle, I'll eventually find a way to make it happen.

I think most BAD sportbike accidents are caused by a series of things in collusion. Not necessarily due to irresponsible behavior, but certainly made worse by it. IE - the car that happened to be in the lane when you happened to run wide or swerve to avoid a deer; You happened to screw up or push to hard and the environment at that moment was such that it bit you. Dirt in the right place, grease, or oil in a certain part of a turn. There is a chance something can doom you even if your not riding hard and don't make a mistake, so actually riding hard only improves the odds of something bad happening and the likelihood of mistakes.

The most common accident IMO is caused by lapse of attention. Not paying attention and rear ending the car in front of you. Or drifting and hitting the curb or other obstacle and losing control. Not being seen by a cager and being wiped out when they change lanes. Rearended at a stop light.

I don't know how I feel about stunts. I feel that they aren't as dangerous as some think, but at the same time despite my feelings on this matter, the vast majority of accidents I've seen where due to someone stunting: looping a wheelie, crashing into someone who unexpectedly stopped, tipping over doing a stoppie, or just plain losing control trying something new. Even though I feel like things like inattention are more to blame for accidents, in my experience, 80+% of the wrecks are stunt related.

That's just what I've seen. I've only actually seen two incidents where it was the cagers fault.
 

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Qwikk said:
Alot of people will tell you they get nervous before they ride each time.
I got nervous nearly just before everytime I went riding when I first started. I guess it was something that just went away. But it would always pop into my head when I walked out the door to ride the bike and my wife says "be careful, love you". I would always reply "I will (depending on your definition of careful right?), love you too", but I always had the thought 'is this the last time I say that?'. Or as I'm gearing up, I would vaguely ponder wrecking, usually not specifics but nervousness none-the-less.

Never happens anymore. Don't know when it stopped. I suppose it was just some kind of 'getting comfortable with riding' stage when I first started riding.
 
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