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09-19-2005, 03:37 PM
More motorcycle deaths prompt push for training
By Jayne O'Donnell, USA TODAY
Ryan Carter takes off on a training course sponsored by Harley-Davidson/Buell of Annapolis, Md.
By Tim Dillon, USA TODAY

The unlikely assortment of participants around a meeting room table here last month were unified in their mission: to cut New Hampshire's fast-rising motorcycle death toll.

This emergency meeting of New Hampshire's motorcycle safely task force didn't touch the hot-button helmet issue helmets are required only until age 18 here but did agree that more riders need training. Only one of the 27 motorcyclists killed last year had taken motorcycle training. The 27 deaths were three times the number killed in 2003, and 29 motorcyclists have already been killed this year.


Just thought this was interesting and educational for some.

09-19-2005, 03:54 PM
More riders = more deaths from riding: not a very hard concept to grasp. Good thing they're spending thousands of tax dollars to come to that conclusion, owherwise it wouldn't be official. :rolleyes:

I think mandatory training is a great idea. I do think it would cut down on the number of riders, for a while at least.
The the 1 out of 27 deaths is a great stat. for those of us that have had training.

I find it hard to believe that states can't find spaces big enough to host the classes, any roped off corner of a mall parking lot would be sufficient.

Riding requires more skill than driving, and should be treated that way. Cagers could also use more training, much more! :horse: :chopper:

09-19-2005, 04:09 PM
Gryde -- the MSF course requires marked, very clean lots. A mall parking lot won't cut it; they need to be well maintained (no loose asphalt, no cracks, no oil slicks, no leftover antifreeze).

09-19-2005, 04:43 PM
You would not find me against mandatory training for M licenses.

I don't believe it would solve the problem though, as there would still
be a large number of people riding on a regular license, perhaps even
more as it is / would be hard to get into an already crowded class...

09-19-2005, 05:10 PM
You would not find me against mandatory training for M licenses.

I don't believe it would solve the problem though, as there would still
be a large number of people riding on a regular license, perhaps even
more as it is / would be hard to get into an already crowded class...

Most rider deaths are DUI and/or don't have a valid M class license, anyway. In AL, to get an M endorsement requires you to pass a 25 question multiple choice test. Passing is getting 20 out of those 25 right. Training? Ha! Mandatory training and graduated licences would be great, but you'd have change the culture to pull it off.

09-19-2005, 06:18 PM
I'm all for mandatory training for any street license. If I had to get trained to drive a car, then I have to get trained to ride a bike. Hell, make it more than just the 15 hours of MSF ... Getting your Car License is a lot of classroom and driving ... so make MC riding similar. Yes, people will bitch about it, but they can deal. If you want to ride, then take the classes.

Now, I'd want the classes to include what BB and BaB are all about ... ATGATT ... right size ... logistics ... riding ... I learned more on the old BB site and here on BB and BaB than in MSF or from the DOT training manual, ya know?

And I don't think that the lower number of riders it would cause would be a bad thing ...

09-19-2005, 08:50 PM
I'm torn on this issue. And I think I'm going to get torn into on this.

Alot of motorcycle accidents - most of, imho - isn't from inexperience. From what I see, most of it is from being a *cuss here* moron.

Most of the accidents (that are really really bad) I see happen when said cyclist is pulling a wheelie, driving drunk, riding on the wrong side of the road at the wrong time of day, passing in no passing, ectra ectra ectra. They generally contain one consistantly: Every time someone crashes it's from a stupid mistake, or a stupid action.

That being said, training is meant to "remove" those stupid mistakes from our instincts. So we don't freeze/panic, and mess up. (Ala, the military, anyone?)

I do belive that MSF is a great thing to take, and I do want to take it. But I must be truthful: I have yet to take it. I can make excuses: there's no time right now, classes are full, or I just bought my to-be-fiancee a ring. But... I don't really have any excuse. I guess I could be termed "Squid". (IDK what that means, but it seems the term does apply. Anyone care to give a definition?)

Now, there are accidents that happen from inexperience. I'm not going to rule this out. But the above is just my opinion, and nothing more.

Edit: Opinion on madatory classes (Added Below)

I belive they would be great. I would LOVE to be forced (honestly) to take a class. Why? Because that means everyone else would also have taken this class. That would make me feel safer in the long run. However, I also belive that cage drivers, for their driver training, should also have to be taught SOMETHING about riding a cycle. Why? Because I feel way too many of them do not understand what is going on with a cyclist. Atleast, I feel they don't know what's going on when they tailgate, or do various other things that are dangerous to us.

Again, another HOWEVER:
I don't feel - dare they be made mandatory - the classes should cost nearly $300. Here in Michigan (I checked last Thursday), they charge $290 in my county to take a class. I belive it has 3h nights, 4x, and 2 days on the weekend. I cannot remember the specific hours, but... That's alot of money for something that would be made mandatory. (IE: to do drivers training, it was free through school, or $75 through private trainer)

09-19-2005, 09:03 PM
Getting your Car License is a lot of classroom and driving ...

Not where I got my first Driver's License (Georgia)...quick paper test to get a learner's permit, drive for a year on that, then a quick test of my efficiency navigating cones in the DMV parking lot to get a full license at 16.

And I was a dipshit at 16. With a Camaro! What were they thinking!! I'm glad my parents were smart enough to forbid a sport bike at that age (had to settle for my Honda 50 scooter). I'm all for much more stringent requirements in terms of training, testing and recurrent testing for getting and maintaining licenses for cars and MC's. Of course there will still be people who ride without licenses or even with training and stricter licensing still are menaces, but I'd like to think that it'd help a bit.

At least, a graduated MC licensing system would give us access to all those neat little bikes that Europe and Asia get...

But making it harder to get a license might mean less revenue in license dues and speeding tickets for the state...so it'll never happen...

09-19-2005, 09:56 PM
Ha, the license system here in Georgia is a joke. To get a drivers license now one must provide written proof of so many hours of driving...written out by the parents (like that really works). So many hours with a percent at night. Then the wonderful teen is on a restricted (class d) license that says no more then like 1 pass. other then family. ONce again...no enforcement unless you really piss the cop off. When you turn 18 you get the full class c for driving....ohhhh so tough! As for motorcycle licensing....either get a learners (written test) for 6 months at a time that you can keep renewing and never take the riding test. No passangers, no night time driving, no limited access highways. I broke the last two all the time. the no passangers was a great excuse to keep my friends off the back of the bike! OR... you can go take the riding test demonstrating your skillage as a rider to get the unrestriced endorcement...with out getting the learners....or you can go to a state sponsered MSF ($250+) and pass...getting your paper saying you can get an unrestricted license.

I dont get it. At the age of 19 I started the process of learning to convert my mtn bike skills to a ST1300. At the age of 20 with maybe 1000 miles of experiance i bought a VFR800Fi. Now i have 5 thousand on the vfr in under 5 months. I still think i learned more about riding from my mtn bike down at blankets creek then i did in the msf...just the msf converted in my head what i already new from the mtn bike. Granted my dad also helped me with smoothing out the shifting and learning how to stop a 750lb monster from decent speeds. Makes the vfr feel down right small. Truthfully i think the MSF range should be larger. Cant really get the feel of counter steering at 20 mph. And the excersize with down shifting from third to second while entering a turn really can be tought at that speed either...not even on the little 250's. Not enough rpms to feel the bike engine braking (which is what i guess they where trying to teach). Just a personal opinion. IDK i guess i was expecting it to be more difficult. Dont get me wrong, i think its a great program, i like how it was set up and how during the class room section we could bounce ideas and opinions off the instructors and class mates. AND BEFORE SOMEONE SAYS IT, no im not the greatest rider in the world, my dad is far more experianced and less tense then i am on two wheels. I dont think i am the greatest...otherwise id be on the local squid site.

POINT: If we where to have a graduated license system, the training should be mandatory and be a little harder to pass, or at least make a perfect score. (I made a 98 in the rain on the msf test). Like someone said on some board...make it mandatory for everyone to ride a motorcycle for the next two years....that would take care of all the idiots on the road, and give the ones that nearly kill themselves a wake up call to get the newspaper off the steering wheel, coffee out of there mouth, cell phone out of the ear, and shaver off the face!

09-20-2005, 12:14 AM
Minor point...

Accident infers that something was unavoidable, that nothing could have been done to prevent it. Like, "yep, I was just sitting there when that chunk of blue ice landed right in the middle of the roof, crashed through it and took out my TV set."

Crash, OTOH, is a more apt description of the vast majority of traffic incidents. Most are avoidable if one or more of the contributing factors can be eliminated. It's our job as safe riders to take responsbility for keeping the number of those contributing factors as low as possible.

Using the term 'accident' seems to take some of the respnsibility from the participants or victims. Unless we want things to keep spiraling downward, we need people to begin to embrace the cocept of personal responsibility again.

09-20-2005, 01:03 AM
As for myself, I was not able to get into the MSF classess locally. I had ridden in my youth. Last spring, received a hand me down 500 Shadow, went to the DMV and took the written test. One wrong, got y temps no problem. I was super cautious. Rode around my block until the neighbors couldn't stand it anymore. Read BB religiously, twist of the wrist, proficient motorcycling. Took three weeks before I rode even a mile away to my parents on side streets. A couple more before I ventured onto a 35 mph street. I took my time.

Took the road test because the MSF classes were full locally and my temps were about to expire. Passed smoothly; still taking it slowly even a year later and on a larger, although not quicker, bike.

A friend bought a Ninja 600. Has ridden probably 5x my mileage and had two accidents in about the same timeframe. He has ridden atv's for years, so he figures himself an expert. No license yet (no time), don't know if the bike is even insured.

I have told many interested future bikers about this site. I always recommend the MSF, especially when they have little to no experience with a bike. My wife took it this spring and dropped out. Not her thing. A cheap, safer, and easy way for her to find out.

Is there any merit to the thought of making long-term ownership of a bike without a license illegal? Requiring the owner to hold a valid M license before they can license any bike for the street? Wouldn't rule out riding someone else's licensed bike, but accountability keeps many seasoned riders from loaning a bike, even more so when a new rider asks.

Any thoughts?

Bob in WI