University research into increasing motorcycle safety

Bedifferent

Old man on a bike
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
1,685
Location
Coldwater, MI
Ride
2015 Rocket 3 Touring
A difficult topic to discuss because there are 100s of factors involved. I have had bikes since of was 16 years old and yet I don't consider myself to be a great rider. I do, however. consider myself to be a very experienced rider. I have never had a rider safety course, but I have learned all the pitfalls and things to be aware of when riding. That is the only edge I have at 71.

I think lack of riding experience, lack of awareness when riding, many young rider on fast bikes doing some of the risky things I use to do and a the new world of dealing with distracted and uncaring drivers have push the numbers up dramatically.

Riding is like working with power tools. If you violate the rules, sooner or later it is going to catch up to you.
 

sonny

Living Legend
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
7,610
Location
Henryetta Oklahoma
Ride
rocket three x
Here in Oklahoma most of the accidents on motorcycles are not kids. Mid forty's and up. When i purchased my Harley in 2010 another guy had bought a road king pretty much at the same time. We were both waiting for the final check overs prior to delivery. He talked as if he had experience riding. We went out to the parking lot and both salesman were standing next to the bikes. My salesman was busy going over the location and function of such things as lights,turn signals, etc. His was doing the same. Then we started the bikes. The guy on the road king looked scared. Salesman caught on to this quickly. Offered to deliver the bike to his house and followed up with offer of free motorcycle safety course. The guy refused. About two weeks later saw a news report on the six o'clock news of a fatal motorcycle accident. Guess who?
 

Navigator

Living Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,849
Location
Banner, WA
Ride
2009 Rocket Touring
Here in Oklahoma most of the accidents on motorcycles are not kids. Mid forty's and up. When i purchased my Harley in 2010 another guy had bought a road king pretty much at the same time. We were both waiting for the final check overs prior to delivery. He talked as if he had experience riding. We went out to the parking lot and both salesman were standing next to the bikes. My salesman was busy going over the location and function of such things as lights,turn signals, etc. His was doing the same. Then we started the bikes. The guy on the road king looked scared. Salesman caught on to this quickly. Offered to deliver the bike to his house and followed up with offer of free motorcycle safety course. The guy refused. About two weeks later saw a news report on the six o'clock news of a fatal motorcycle accident. Guess who?
That's a tragic story. The guy obviously had no common sense.

I used to be surprised by the number of middle aged men and women who purchase Harley FLHs as their first bike but am no longer. Back in the 60s, most of us started on smaller bikes while a few went straight to a 650 Bonnie, the latter which for me was the largest bike I'd ridden for many years. In the "big bike" category, first came a KZ900 and then a 1200 Gold Wing which seemed like a monster bike when I first bought it.

A couple of years ago I had just departed my house and saw a brand new Electra Glide Ultra on it's side just off the road. There were two guys alternating between staring at it and trying pick it up without success. Turns out it was a father & son. The dad had just purchased the Harley, his first ever bike, and had no idea how to ride. I lifted the bike upright for them while he told me the story. I was so flabbergasted that I didn't even know what to say. I did recommend he take a rider course before he rode it again. An on that issue, there area a surprising number of riders in this state who don't have MC endorsements. I just found out that four of my rider friends don't.

And as Bedifferent suggests, the bikes of today are incredibly fast. A 650 Bonnie was way cool but compared to a 600cc bike of today is a slug. Young folks buy one of these 600cc Class racers and off they go at high speed with no experience at all.
 
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rash_powder

Supercharged
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
248
Location
Larimore, ND
Ride
2008 Triumph Rocket III Touring
I'm thinking a heads up display in my helmet while I am trying to track everything going on around me is going to be a distraction.

Every day I have a 35 mile ride one way to work through Eastern North Dakota. There are fields the whole way. Its deer o'clock when I leave at 6:15 AM, and sometimes again in the evening if I have to work late. There are deer, jack rabbits, coyotes, hawks, birds, bugs (big bees and june bugs and such) that I have to be watching for, plus the other traffic on the road. Most of the lane is a 4 lane highway so its not a full-on game of dodge-car, but some days it seems there are more people on the road than normal. Lately I have been riding into the sun on the way home and that presents its own challenges.

A Rocket is not small. Neither are most Harley's, Indians, and Goldwings. How they get hit I can't fathom. I would like to mount as many LED lights as possible to put as much light forward, rearward, and also to the sides to make me visible. Not sure how much it would help, but there wouldn't be an "I didn't see him" excuse.
 

Joesmoe

IMOKUR2
Staff member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
4,858
Location
Fairfax, Virginia
Ride
Triumph: 2014 Rocket III Touring
@rash_powder -- Au contraire, mon ami -- with cell phones and everything else offering head-down attention, the "I didn't see him" excuse will long be around -- until the Government mandates automatic brakes.
 

FE_rex

Bob Wills is still the King
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
844
Location
TEXAS
Ride
2006 Rocket III
I stared to ride a few years ago at 50ish. I had pit bikes etc from car racing. I got a used FLHP with 39k miles. It was intimidating and I was respectful to the point of being scared, but I am a big guy (6'4" and a not an insignificant % of the bike weight.) Next bike was a vrod which was a LOT easier to ride and I pretty much only opened it up in a straight line and it took me a LOOONG time before i would open it up to redline. Next was an R3, when I first rode it I REALLY had to pay attention when stopping. There were several times my height and strength were the only reason it didn't go down at a stop. Latest bike is a K1300S - it is a scary bike. It can write checks no way in H*LL will I EVER be able to cash.

Long story short. Only reason I survived so far is I am past having to prove anything to myself or other people. I keep my ego in check and am careful in improving my skills (AKA pushing abilities)
30 years ago I would have been dead.

Best way to improve motorcycle safety is to improve tech between the rider's ears, get them to pay attention to what is around them, and convince them not to measure their d$ck with their motorcycle. After all - it doesn't get longer if its DEAD
 

Maelstrom

Supercharged
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
362
Location
Fort Worth
Ride
2007 Rocket III Classic Tourer
I have rode bikes for over 30 years or so, but I didn’t take a rider safety course until about 6 years ago...didn’t think I needed it, but I did in fact learn a lot.

A few years ago I had a friend go on a bike trip with me through some pretty moderate twisties, he had ridden bikes for most of his life...however it had been some time since he had spent much time on a bike, plus his riding experience did not include advanced roads, but mostly straight ones. Something else I did not know at the time was that he had recently been experiencing balance issues. He had a wreck during our trip, cracking 5 ribs and puncturing a lung. After about half a year, he recoverred and eventually got back on the horse.

Being in good health and being fit to ride is very important. If you are suffering from physical ailments, if you are operating on very little sleep or under the influence of medications, alcohol or anything else that could affect your ability to process your surroundings and execute appropriate maneuvers under any given situation, YOU SHOULD NOT GET ON YOUR BIKE.

Experience is great, but experience alone doesn’t make one a safer rider. It doesn’t matter if you’ve ridden bikes for years if you have been doing things wrong the entire time. You are never too old or experienced to learn something new or discover a better way to do things.

It should be a forgone conclusion that bikers should have a heightened awareness and alertness at all times. Unfortunately a biker can take every precaution, use every safety device and piece of protective gear at his disposal, obey all traffic laws and still get hit by some jackass on their **** cellphone.

Improvements in safety technology are great, but still, the best advice for anyone who rides?...


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