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Old 07-22-2013, 10:23 AM   #1
FirstPath OP
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Baby Boomers and Motorcycle Accidents/Deaths in MN

Here is an article in today Mpls. Star Tribune newspaper.

http://www.startribune.com/local/216...tml?page=1&c=y
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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I'm not surprised that taking the MSF course doesn't really reduce fatalities. I took it back in '99 when I was living in Dallas mainly to get the insurance deduction. I was shocked at how badly some of the people that actually passed the course rode. A lot of them had a hard time handling little 250 cc bikes and when you think that a lot of them were gonna go out and get heavy ass cruisers that weigh 3 times as much and then riding in a major metro area with an enormous amount of head up the ass drivers is obviously a recipe for disaster.

Most people refuse to buy a small bike to really learn how to ride competently, so they end up paying the price because of their stupid ego. Goes for idiots getting Liter sport bikes as their first bike as well.

Want to really see a reduction in fatalities, have a tiered licensing system.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:00 AM   #3
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FTFA: "The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducts and compiles research on road safety, argues that “there is no evidence that safety training for motorcyclists reduces crashes,” said Russ Rader, the nonprofit’s spokesman.
The group also has found little difference in insurance claims between states that require all new riders to take courses and those that do not."

That is because what is called "safety training" and "courses" for motorcyclists in this country is a sad-ass excuse for wasting gasoline.
Holy crap people! Running tentative ovals on a parking lot for a weekend does NOT prepare you for being a motorcycle rider in traffic in the real world. The large amount of riders killing themselves by not being able to even take a turn is living/dying proof of that.


"Two-thirds of motorcyclists who have died this year in Minnesota were not wearing helmets."
Yeah, there's that too...

pretbek screwed with this post 07-22-2013 at 11:01 AM Reason: speling
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by pretbek View Post
FTFA: "The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducts and compiles research on road safety, argues that “there is no evidence that safety training for motorcyclists reduces crashes,” said Russ Rader, the nonprofit’s spokesman.
The group also has found little difference in insurance claims between states that require all new riders to take courses and those that do not."

That is because what is called "safety training" and "courses" for motorcyclists in this country is a sad-ass excuse for wasting gasoline.
Holy crap people! Running tentative ovals on a parking lot for a weekend does NOT prepare you for being a motorcycle rider in traffic in the real world. The large amount of riders killing themselves by not being able to even take a turn is living/dying proof of that.


"Two-thirds of motorcyclists who have died this year in Minnesota were not wearing helmets."
Yeah, there's that too...
+1 The MSF course is nowhere near as rigorous as it used to be, and the class that HD (used to? still does?) offer(s) is a joke (though I'm sure that the quality of instruction varies quite a bit). Since MSF went corporate the main goal seems to have become helping dealerships get more customers, whether they are qualified to ride or not.

Anyone know the status of the Team Oregon rider training course? I took it back in '93 and thought there was a great deal of emphasis on learning both control and observation skills.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:13 PM   #5
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OP, the dramatic increase of fatalities, especially the baby boomers is not surprising. I see soooo many more bikes on the road now then just a few years ago, and 90% of them are of the cruiser variety, 75% of those are middle aged tools riding around in shorts and sandals OR fully decked out in pirate costumes, sporting a doo rag or leather bandanas in stead of a helmet (only required for riders under age 18 in my state of Idaho). Watching some of these riders is down right scary. I can tell by the way many of them ride that the huge displacement mega cruiser they are on is likely their first bike ( I have also seen a few idiots on liter class sport bikes that were obviously clueless). Idaho does require a STAR course and a skills test to get an "M" endorsement, but the bikes people train on in the course and take the skills test on are 250cc street bikes. They then promptly go out and buy a huge displacement, heavy cruiser, and have no idea how to ride it competently (if that's even possible, those huge bikes handle like ass)

I've also noticed a huge increase in the number of female riders, 99% of those are overweight/middle aged women on some sort of cruiser. I think the "biker wannabe" mentality has taken over the middle class.

All sorts of people seem to be putting on costumes to make them look "badass" instead of putting on gear that will protect them in a crash. And too many buy bikes that look "badass" instead of buying a bike that actually corners a brakes decently. Far too many people ride like dipshits thinking "it wont happen to me" instead of learning basic accident avoidance skills.

It's natural selection at work
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FloorPoor screwed with this post 07-22-2013 at 08:18 PM
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-moe View Post
+1 The MSF course is nowhere near as rigorous as it used to be, and the class that HD (used to? still does?) offer(s) is a joke (though I'm sure that the quality of instruction varies quite a bit). Since MSF went corporate the main goal seems to have become helping dealerships get more customers, whether they are qualified to ride or not.

Anyone know the status of the Team Oregon rider training course? I took it back in '93 and thought there was a great deal of emphasis on learning both control and observation skills.
I took Team Oregon in 04. My wife took it in 08. I took it again to see about being an instructor in 12. They still put emphasis on learning both control and observation skills. Good building blocks to start from and recommend taking the course for all new riders. But it is still just a start and doesn't take you to the point of fully being ready.

Joke my instructor gave me when I passed was "Now you are ready to ride in a parking lot." More truth then a joke in that one.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:48 PM   #7
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It must be a global phenomenon, 50 + rider, single vehicle involved = too fast into a corner. Here, Finland, tiered licensing came into use in 1990, if you had your car license prior to 1990, you could by any size blaster on the shop floor. The fact that you just cannot buy anything smaller than 1000cc bike, what would your mates say, is killing these people. Training, I don't need it, I'll just take it easy for a bit...
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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10,000 baby boomers a day,
are retiring.
Per capita (rate per 100,000)
we should be dieing in accidents,
at a higher rate then any other group.

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Old 07-23-2013, 02:15 AM   #9
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You kind of expect the results, really. Most motorcyclists in the US ride as a seasonal fair weather hobby, so they're lucky if they retain any skills from season to season and I doubt many of the pure hobby riders actually practice skills. Toss in an aging demographic, minimal practice, little to no skills training, and zilch protective gear and you're going to see an increase in crashes and fatalities.

I do think the MSF and similar courses are beneficial. It might not train you to deal with traffic and the like, but it does serve to help outline basic fundamental skills that -- when practiced consciously and regularly -- help when it comes to actually putting yourself in day-to-day situations. Now whether or not a rider continues to actively develop skills post-"graduation" is another story.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:49 AM   #10
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I always enjoy the "slam the MSF" threads, as if the purpose of the MSF was to turn you into Rossi.

The MSF is designed to ensure that you don't drop a bike riding it out of your driveway and down your street. Beyond that, the utility of the MSF is only-- ONLY-- theoretical.

Meaning, if you've never ridden a motorcycle before, the MSF will teach you how to ride a motorcycle, and give you a few hours of practice in a safe environment. After that, you're on your own to safely practice until you develop competence.

Many people don't practice, and thus never develop competence. "Weee, I have my license, let's go joyriding!" Their fault.

Could the MSF be improved? Yes. Would "tiered training/licensing" help? Yes.

Would personal responsibility and respecting risk help most of all? Yeah, it would.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albie View Post
I'm not surprised that taking the MSF course doesn't really reduce fatalities. I took it back in '99 when I was living in Dallas mainly to get the insurance deduction. I was shocked at how badly some of the people that actually passed the course rode. A lot of them had a hard time handling little 250 cc bikes and when you think that a lot of them were gonna go out and get heavy ass cruisers that weigh 3 times as much and then riding in a major metro area with an enormous amount of head up the ass drivers is obviously a recipe for disaster.

Most people refuse to buy a small bike to really learn how to ride competently, so they end up paying the price because of their stupid ego. Goes for idiots getting Liter sport bikes as their first bike as well.

Want to really see a reduction in fatalities, have a tiered licensing system.
That is a very unpopular notion on here, and in the US in general. This is especially true because of cost and the fact that a significant portion of the riding population do not even have a MC endorsement.

That said, I am in favor of some sort of tiered licensing system designed to prove competancy for increasing HP bikes.

Jim
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:10 PM   #12
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I can bash the MSF program too, ....as an insider and 20 year MSF Coach, having taught thousands of riders, newbies and expereinced. That said, there are multitudes of reasons not to bash the MSF program for what it is, given the US bike market. Consider:
1. There is no US market for smaller bikes, no market strength to support a 500cc and smaller market. So there is next to no acceptance to start small and work your way up. Althought ALL cycle safety experts report this is the way to start. But I'd guess a lot of us long term rider/survivors stated on much smaller bikes.
2. There is no program with the bike makers to promote starting small and working your way up, such as a 75 to 100% trade-up value program similar to what HD had with the old 883. Riders don't want to burden the cost of starting small and working their way up. THEY WANT IT ALL NOW.
3. COST: the current BRC in Wisconsin is $218 for the 16 hour course and we are constantly CANCELLING classes for lack of students. A real rider training program would cost far more, and people would complain the effective training is only available to people with extra cash to burn.
4. TIME: sure we argue it here, but VERY few riders would be willing to invest 20 hours, 40 hours, 100 hours+ that it would REALLY take to be able to adequately teach a new/returning rider ALL the skills/strategies required to really survive traffic today. In England you have to spend the cash and time with a mentor rider before being allowed to test for a tiered licensing system. Similar in Germany and Japan. Here in the US we can't fill classes for a pissin 16 hours to give riders a decent basic rider course start to learn from.
5. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY; WAY too many people these days want to blame a system, government, someone else, for their lack of skill, lack of ability, lack of awareness. Few riders want to bear the burden of wearing a helmet and riding gear (spare me the "its my right" arguement as its all about convenience and looking cool). Once the BASIC training of a BRC is done VERY few riders will ever admit they need more training or followup training. WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLES is one of the most lame PSA programs. We need programs that put the risk reduction/control on the riders first.
6. EASE/COMFORT: "Its just riding a bike dude!" Rider's don't want to be told that bike riding is as dangerous/difficult as something obviously dangerous like scuba diving or parachuting or helicopter flying. Although cycle riding really does require as much mental capability as flying a helicopter, and as much training/gear/testing/certification/skill/knowledge as scuba diving. Riding, scuba, parachuting, helicopter piloting will all easily kill you.
7. LICENSING: WAY too friggin easy. If there were more requirements to getting AND maintaining a license (like mandatory, tough, every five year skills tests) the market would be crying about how difficult and unfair it is to get a license, like everyone should have a RIGHT to it. How about if the licensing test included proving you can ride like a motorcop? Think the general public would put up with that? No way.
8. LIABILITY: Probably the biggest one in the US market. Sure we could develop a bigger, more inclusive, tougher MSF program that includes highway speed training, cornering skills training ( I would LOVE to do that), REAL braking skills training. But,...people could and WOULD get hurt, and the SUE happy US market would kill it. Also relates back to cost, time, responsibility, etc.

Given all that the instant gratification that the younger than 60 year old demographic wants, AND the multitude of other activities that demand less effort up front to get into, its little wonder the market still exists.

I could go on, but the fact remains we complain about how iimited and ineffectual the MSF BRC is, but who will take on the much bigger burden of this? I am one of the lucky ones. I learned on a 100cc bike back in 73 when traffic loads weren't as bad as now, when driver's weren't distracted and isolated from driving as now, when a new bike only cost $1500 to buy (but I was only making $4/hr) so I could trade up in size/weight reasonably as I learned and got more miles. The MSF program COULD be so much more, and I wish it was. I for one would gladly give a lot MORE of my time than I already do as a MSF Coach if it could effectively help a lot more riders survive.

The MSF has no pretentions (from within) of training Rossis, we're jsut trying to help riders survive the first season of riding with the expectation the RIDER will take on the rest of learning/training on themselves to improve and survive.
Don't bash the MSF too harsh until you consider all this, or become part of the training community and do something about it. It looks a lot different from within.

I read that news link in the OP's post. Riders loosing control, running off the road, crashing in traffic, can all be addressed with more extensive/effective training and MUCH tougher requirements, but VERY few in the US bike market will stand for it, or pay for it. 40+% of cycle crashes are single vehicle crashes where the rider looses control. Yet, is the cycle market going to do anything to correct it. On this site we have over 52 pages of discussion on countersteering in one thread, and we're involved! How about the 52 year old biker wanna be that toddles along a 20 mile weekend ride. Think he is really interested to learn what the hell he doesn't know about saving his inept ass? Rant over from the inside.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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Andy,

If there was a federal requirement for tiered licensing, most of the very valid reasons you presented would be addressed! It would force the need for smaller bikes, cost would just be a fact of life for new rider, as would the time to get qualified, and the other issues as well.

This system works in many places around the world, and it is nearly undisputed that it increases rider ability and safety.

Jim
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:24 PM   #14
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Nicely stated Andy. I started on 3 wheels (sidecars) and moved to two wheels. Yep, they are different animals in handling but the physical part of shifting, braking and approach to riding defensively all correlates. Then jumped to an old CB900 which I didn't like that much. When I got me '79 GS550 I found it the perfect fit for me at that skill level. Rode it 3 years until now getting the DR650. Power and ergonomics are ideal now at my current skill level.

I keep telling my brother-in-law who has been riding now for about 6 weeks on my old GS550 to take it slow. He's already eyeing a DL1000. Enthusiasm is great but it can also get you in a whole bunch of trouble.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
Andy,

If there was a federal requirement for tiered licensing, most of the very valid reasons you presented would be addressed! It would force the need for smaller bikes, cost would just be a fact of life for new rider, as would the time to get qualified, and the other issues as well.

This system works in many places around the world, and it is nearly undisputed that it increases rider ability and safety.

Jim
good luck getting that past the manufacturers, who probably like the influx of new sales from lazy, wealthy boomers who want the badass bike and image without paying the dues. also, aren't the margins on big bikes MUCH higher?
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