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Discussion Starter #1
As most of you know who’ve read my columns, I can be a bit of an ass. I’m loud, boisterous, obnoxious, slightly smelly and full of witticisms. One thing I am not is someone who takes riding lightly. I believe that I’m part of a community, a group of people who share a passion and want to see it grow and have fun growing it.

One thing that scares me lately is the amount of people who don’t think their actions reflect on or affect everyone. It’s a selfish view and can have some consequences, when it grows out of control. There was a period of time when it almost brought sportbikes to the brink of being banned.

I remember that period of time. It was a time when thin ties and mullets were cool. When cocaine was king and Reagan was slightly coherent. Of course, I’m referring to the 80’s. This was a period of time when the sportbike was born. No longer were riders forced to trick out their UJMs to come close to touching a knee down. This was the time when Uber-Wacko, Tom Cruise, rode a Ninja and all was good, sorta.

Along with the good time generation came the after effects of ignorance. Riders not used to having this much power in a lightweight package, were killing themselves with the frequency of Paris Hilton showing up in a “home video”. The public was outraged. There were reports on the news of these killing machines and that their power was unmanageable. Something had to be done, thought the public.

One man in government stood up and proposed a bill to ban these killer machines, that man was J. Danforth, a senator from some Missouri. His bill could have outlawed sportbikes.

Bill S.1536, to quote from the Library of Congress “A bill to require the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate rules regarding the safe operation of certain rapid acceleration motorcycles, and for other purposes.”

Just think of it, no sportbikes. No 916, no GSXR750, no RC30, no CBR600/900, no R1, none of these bikes who have made it to the US. We would be stuck riding cruisers, which were deemed safe.

This, of course was a case of people blaming the machine and not the uneducated rider, doing things on public roads that are unsafe. The bill was fought by the manufacturers and the AMA, who, rightly, protested that education was the key. For many years after this debacle, deaths tolls went down and a period of prosperous growth was occurring, until 1998. The sales growth was still there, the death tolls started to climb again.

The statistics are mind boggling. For instance, 46% of accidents are single vehicle and of those 52% are alcohol related*. Most motorcycle fatalities occur in the 20-29 age group and yet, the older guys, 40-49 are making a big push to be number one!*

B***** motors are making themselves felt in crash statistics also. Liter plus bikes account for about 39% of fatalities now.*

Not to mention all of the media sportbikes get. We just love to watch people doing insane things on public roads, just look at video sales. This trend has done nothing to improve the image of the sport. Now, I get to see some kid blamed for running an SUV off of the road on the news. The “crew” in Dallas, who thought that stunting for the CBS’s cameras, was a good thing. We don’t get the best press in the first place, adding this kind of attitude.

My personal favorite was the guy who got killed filming the pants-less stunter in Maryland. Not a good way to go.

Any of the stunting or canyon strafing you do, can be done on a closed course. It’s safer for you and allows you to get better at what you do. You don’t have to worry about the family trickster popping out and nailing you. Not to mention, it’s better for our image

The gist of it is that every time you ride, you represent a community. What you may think is cool, could take what you like away from you forever. It almost happened and don’t think that it can’t happen now.

*NHTSA
 

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this is a great point and not far off the real truth.....

the big four are looking at good old dollars and cents. They make twice the money on a cruiser than they do on a sport bike. As a result more than one big supplier has cut their sport bike alotment for the usa. As the insurance lobbies push for cuts in sport bike production to curb their skyrocketing losses in this market we are all heading for trouble.
Great article fargin, and I agree you are a dick :eek:nfloor :eek:nfloor :cheers
 

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The sportbike market is booming but I agree 100% that in 5 years the cost of insurance, the bikes themselves, and people being scared off by the death rates will bend the trend more toward tricked out 600s choppers. Just like the cars, few people go buy $60,000 cars and pay outragous insurance rates. They buy $18,000 Hondas and make them look fast sitting in parking lots. The kids buying these bikes stunt around to look cool for the girls, when the death rates become more public and they see friends getting hurt or killed they will more and more decide toits easier to look cool with custom paint and wheels. Unfortunatlly, it will get worse before it gets better, and we all need to face the fact that it is naturally a dangerous sport we choose and I have seen older more experinced riders than myself go down. Every year I think of getting a sport tourer because the stats are scaring me. I for sure agree with you about careless stunters, but they acount for only a portion of the injuries. And I don't think your an A$$. Just like me, you feel the need to speak your mind. Could you post some numbers from your research about the sportbikes vs touring bikes/cruisers?
 

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Good read, people need to get off that mindset "it won't happen to me". True that stunters apply only to a portion of the injuries, still those are the easiest to see to the public eye. Sussie soccer mom in her dodge caravan with her 5 kids sees a guy blasting by her door at 90 mph on one wheel, later down the road she sees a pack of choppers just cruising at the speed limit and chilling. She will generalize that everyone on sportsbikes are careless rebels with a death wish.

It's not the statistics, people rarely look at numbers, is what the public see with their own eyes that drives them to generalized statements.
 

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your liter bike statistics fail to mention that the faitalties was on cruzer type bikes of 1200cc's and up that is why the 40-49 year olds are making the big push. its the baby boomers getting the big bore cruisers they can finaly afford. when I get home from work I will try to find the study for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You're not taking into account the size of the market. Cruisers account for 57% of the motorcycle market. Sportbikes are much smaller.

We crash more often, adjusting for market share. This is why our insurance is higher. More claims and higher repair costs.
 

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Fargin_Bastige said:
. This is why our insurance is higher. More claims and higher repair costs.
its depending on which insurance you have. take for instance state farm goes by the cc's of the bike not what kind it is. in figuring up the cost of the insurance they look at the cc's,age of the rider,past accidents for that individual on bikes (cage accidents is omitted for some reason). other factors may include multi polices and good driving record. by they way I didn't do the study, so I didnt take in account for anything. I just repeated what I had read. but of course your always right so I shouldn't have posted anything. :rolleyes
 

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Discussion Starter #8
R6JUNKIE said:
your liter bike statistics fail to mention that the faitalties was on cruzer type bikes of 1200cc's and up that is why the 40-49 year olds are making the big push. its the baby boomers getting the big bore cruisers they can finaly afford. when I get home from work I will try to find the study for you.
It's everybody. I know since cruiser outsell sportbikes, the figure is going to be disproportionately higher. It numerically makes sense. The issue affects every group.

Thinking we're immune to this statistic is a fallacy. Statistically most likely to die are the 20-24 age group.

Motorcyclist deaths by age and gender, 2004
Male Female Total
Age Num % Num % Num
<16 33 82 7 18 40
16-19 168 92 15 8 183
20-24 523 92 47 8 570
25-29 423 93 33 7 457
30-34 388 91 38 9 426
35-39 373 89 48 11 421
40-44 402 85 71 15 473
45-49 411 87 61 13 473
50-54 344 88 49 12 393
55-59 211 90 24 10 235
60-69 156 89 20 11 176
≥70 38 95 2 5 40
Total* 3,471 89 415 11 3,888
 

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Discussion Starter #9
R6JUNKIE said:
its depending on which insurance you have. take for instance state farm goes by the cc's of the bike not what kind it is. in figuring up the cost of the insurance they look at the cc's,age of the rider,past accidents for that individual on bikes (cage accidents is omitted for some reason). other factors may include multi polices and good driving record. by they way I didn't do the study, so I didnt take in account for anything. I just repeated what I had read. but of course your always right so I shouldn't have posted anything. :rolleyes
You want to talk about this, start a thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's Progressive's study:
CRASHES

# Least Likely to be Crashed 1. Yamaha Virago Series
# 2. Honda Rebel Series
# 3. Suzuki Savage
# 4. Harley-Davidson FXR
# 5. BMW R1200C

# Most Likely to be Crashed 1. Suzuki GSX-R Series
# 2. Kawasaki Ninja Series
# 3. Suzuki TLR
# 4. Yamaha YZF Series
# 5. Honda CBR Series

Source: Motorcycle Cruiser
 

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Fargin_Bastige said:
I think I have bought enough bikes and sit down with my agent over the last 13 years. to know how they figure it by now. the way i have stated is they way they have figured it for years, it may not be the same for the other diffrent company's but that how my agent figures it. and I'm not saying they dont take this information in. but they dont even ask me what type of bike it is untill I buy it and the premiums always come out the same from his formula when he figures up by the cc's.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
R6JUNKIE said:
I think I have bought enough bikes and sit down with my agent over the last 13 years. to know how they figure it by now. the way i have stated is they way they have figured it for years, it may not be the same for the other diffrent company's but that how my agent figures it. and I'm not saying they dont take this information in. but they dont even ask me what type of bike it is untill I buy it and the premiums always come out the same from his formula when he figures up by the cc's.
State Farm is the only insurer I am aware of that does this. They also make you buy some other form of insurance in order to insure your bike. Correct?

Other insurers will insure bikes alone, but you will pay a premium. I am 35, a home owner, no tickets, no accidents and have been riding on the street since I was 17. I was quoted 3K on a GSXR750 from Geico and Progressive. State Farm was 400, only they have both of my cars and home with them.

EDIT: There are rumblings that they may change this too.
 

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I am a proponent of the intent of this article, but that proposed bill was from 1987. John Dansforth hasn't even been a Senator since 1994. It was read to the commerce committee, and no action was taken on it beyond that. The article needs more than an old proposed bill to back it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
jcaesar said:
I am a proponent of the intent of this article, but that proposed bill was from 1987. John Dansforth hasn't even been a Senator since 1984. It was read to the commerce committee, and no action was taken on it beyond that. The article needs more than an old proposed bill to back it up.
It's just a history lesson.
 
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