07-06-2005, 04:58 PM
Kansas City Star
Old newbies/returners crash and die, boost accident rate, yada yada.
Some good pro-MSF stuff. Note story about a senior who bought a 1300, then crashes his Rebel in MSF...
“After 10 years, you pretty much forget everything you ever knew about riding a motorcycle,” [instructor Clarence] Wildes said. “But some of these people aren’t willing to admit that.”
..."They’re not used to the power of today’s motorcycles,” Meyers [another instructor] said. “They probably rode a smaller bike if they had one before. Their reflexes aren’t the same as back then and their eyesight is probably not as good.”
07-06-2005, 05:00 PM
I don't want to register to read an article. Wahhhhhhhhhh! LOL
07-06-2005, 05:36 PM
Just got this sign in from bugmenot.com: user ID email@example.com, password bob6bob
07-06-2005, 05:43 PM
It let me into whole story through Google, but demanded registration to do anything else.
Huh. Silly thing.
07-06-2005, 07:03 PM
Posted on Wed, Jul. 06, 2005
Heeding the life cycle
Safety push on with many motorcycle riders over 40
By DONALD BRADLEY
The Kansas City Star
He hadn’t owned a motorcycle in years, but at age 44, Dale Tinberg wanted to buy one.
With two of his three children grown, the auto mechanic from Overland Park purchased a Harley-Davidson Road King that weighed 720 pounds and could go more than 100 mph.
Six months later, he was dead.
Tinberg was killed Oct. 16, 2003, when he hit a median and was thrown from his motorcycle and it landed on top of him. Officials say Tinberg fits a profile that is adding to a national surge in motorcycle deaths: Men in their 40s and 50s who rode when they were younger and think they can climb right back on.
A government spokesman puts it succinctly:
“Baby boomers with disposable income and spare time,” said Rae Tyson of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Riding a motorcycle seems deceptively easy.”
U.S. motorcycle deaths jumped for the seventh straight year in 2004, according to new statistics from the federal traffic safety agency. The increase, from 2,294 in 1998 to 3,927 in 2004, was pushed by riders over age 40.
Some safety officials talk about diminished reaction time and poor vision, but the big reason could be sheer demographic bulk.
For the first time, the majority of motorcycle owners are over 40 years old. A fourth, in fact, are past 50.
Nobody is saying that older folks should not ride. But safety officials are puzzled by the mounting deaths, because research shows that older riders are less likely to speed or drink alcohol, the two leading causes of motorcycle accidents.
They fear, too, that with some states repealing helmet laws and motorcycle engines getting bigger, the death rate could climb higher.
Safety experts and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation — a group sponsored by Harley-Davidson, Honda, Suzuki and other manufacturers — are pushing for a government study to research the problem.
In the meantime, riders are being encouraged to take courses that teach basics such as balance, braking, turning and defensive riding.
Dale Tinberg’s former wife, Marianne Tinberg, tried to talk him out of buying his Harley. He had adopted her two older children and the couple had one child of their own.
“Even though we were divorced, we were still really good friends and I drove him to the dealer when he picked it up,” she said recently at her home in Overland Park.
“He told me the Road King was an old man’s bike so I shouldn’t worry about him.”
In 1994, about 306,000 people bought motorcycles.
Last year: nearly 1.05 million.
The number is up in Kansas and way up in Missouri where registration is now more than 101,000 — nearly double from five years ago.
Women, business executives, lawyers, teachers — everybody, it seems, is heeding the call to “get your motor running, head out on the highway.” But while Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” enticed a younger audience, Harley-Davidson’s biggest customer base today is ages 37-45.
Cherie Darling, operations manager at Blue Springs Harley-Davidson, sees those older shoppers every day.
A generation ago, they scraped together $500 or so to buy that 350 Honda. Now, they’re looking at Fat Boys and Road Kings that cost as much as a new car.
The Blue Springs dealership is glad to sell them what they want. The advice to take a basic rider safety course is free.
“We want them to be as safe as possible when they get out on the road,” Darling said. “We’re not required to push the course, but we think it’s in their best interest.”
But only three or four out of 10 bother, she said.
The number seems high to Clarence Wildes, owner of Rolling Wheels Training Center in Independence. His school teaches new riders the basics — and refreshes the re-entry riders.
“After 10 years, you pretty much forget everything you ever knew about riding a motorcycle,” Wildes said. “But some of these people aren’t willing to admit that.”
Federal statistics show that older riders account for an increasing percentage of deaths on motorcycles.
■ In 1985, only 9 percent of 4,594 motorcycle deaths — 431 — occurred among riders over age 40. The percentage was far below the 21 percent of owners who were over 40 that year.
■ By 1998, 33 percent of the 2,294 persons killed on motorcycles — 760 — were over 40. That same year, 47 percent of the 5.7 million owners of on- and off-road motorcycles were that old, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.
■ In 2003, the latest year for which an age breakdown is available, 46 percent of the 3,661 fatalities — 1,674 — were among riders over 40. That year, 53 percent of the 6.6 million motorcycle owners were over 40.
The increases in deaths and ridership appear to be in step with an aging population. The 1980 U.S. census reported that 36 percent of Americans were over 40; in 2000 the age group had grown to more than 42 percent.
The American Motorcyclist Association, a riders group, has lobbied for $2 million to go toward a study.
“There’s a difference between data and research,” said Tom Lindsay of the association. “We have the numbers … but we don’t know why these crashes are occurring.”
Neil Meyers, state coordinator for the Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program based at Central Missouri State University, thinks he has a good idea about the older riders, the ones seemingly most able to shell out $15,000 or so for a big road bike.
“They’re not used to the power of today’s motorcycles,” Meyers said. “They probably rode a smaller bike if they had one before. Their reflexes aren’t the same as back then and their eyesight is probably not as good.”
The asphalt was hot, his forehead bloody and Ron Cornelison was explaining what made him spill the Honda Rebel he was riding on Day Two of the Rolling Wheels rider course in Independence.
He had turned too sharp in a curve. Lesson learned. He smiled and brushed off his pants.
Five minutes later, he was down again. He had lost his balance during a braking test and toppled over.
Cornelison is 65, a retired software executive who just bought his first motorcycle — a 1300 cc Yamaha Venture Royale, a large touring bike he found on eBay for $4,500.
It arrived two weeks ago, and he hasn’t been on it, except when the bike was on its stand in his south Kansas City garage.
“I started it,” he said. “Runs great.”
He said he won’t take it out on the street until he masters the Rolling Wheels rider course. He knows, too, that the school’s little Honda 250 Rebel is nothing like riding his big touring bike.
“Thirty years ago, I probably would have jumped on and taken off,” Cornelison said. “Now, at my age, you tend to be a little more cautious.”
Classmate Tony Westbrook feels the same way at his age, 47.
Westbrook works with people who ride motorcycles, and now he has the bug. He’d never owned one before, so he didn’t know much about them.
But he knew enough to enroll in a rider course.
“I’m at an age where I respect what this means. … I’m not thrill-seeking.”
The Rolling Wheels Training Center course, which costs $200 and takes 12 to 15 hours, uses the curriculum from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Wildes, the owner, is a believer. If you don’t take the course from him, take it somewhere else.
“If you don’t,” he said, “you stand a very good chance of hurting yourself within 90 days.”
07-06-2005, 07:39 PM
As the article stated there are more riders in their 40-50s so their accident rate will increase. More riders correlates to more accidents. When the geezers stop riding/die the accident rate will correspondingly go down. There is no correlation between age and having an accident.
A new rider at any age jumping on a 1300cc 700lb ride as their first MC is crazy. There is a dearth of small MCs in the N.A. market. Maybe scooters will pave the way for an increase in more responsible, safe, long-term riders.
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