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Retired USAF (IYAAYAS)
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674 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I spend time in a handful of different forums. One is for Star Motorcycles since I also own a Virago. Just recently one of their site moderators presented the article that the link shown below will send you to. He lives in Texas and in Texas the month of May is Motorcycle Awareness month. Not all states do this. Washington state, where I live, doesn't.

The article is long and will take some time to go completely through but I assure you that you'll find things that will get your attention.

I have the blessing of good people there to spread this article around. By the end of the day it doesn't matter what the brand of your motorcycle is that you ride. (Even the evil HD drivers.) We're all brother or sister motorcyclists, safety is safety, and dead is dead.

So please allow yourself to spend a bit of time reading this.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.ghsa.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/ghsa_motorcyclists18.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjrxa-0t_vhAhXMo54KHc84AzQQFjAAegQIBRAC&usg=AOvVaw1IETzgG2AnSdPAlmTwVtmD&cshid=1556751633517
 

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Premium Member
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4,742 Posts
A lot of similarities with the findings of the 1981 Hurt Report (https://www.webbikeworld.com/the-hurt-study/). Riders that don't wear helmets, drink and ride, and indulge in other risky/stupid behaviors are more likely to be injured or die. After all these years, riders are still telling themselves "It won't happen to me" even though the statistics say it can.
 

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Retired USAF (IYAAYAS)
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674 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I had a friend's ex-wife get killed about 10 years back on a bike. She was trying to catch up to her new husband who was up ahead of her (as I understand it as told to me) when she departed the road and hit something solid. Sounded like a case of trying to ride beyond her ability/skill level.

Damned shame as she was a nice person.
 

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Premium Member
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4,742 Posts
Can't remember how many times I've seen articles about untrained, new riders who buy their "dream" bike (usually a big one) and die on the way home with it.
 

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NewB to Vulcans
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220 Posts
The report talks about Graduated Licensees. That's how it was in the UK when I started.

16 years old = 50cc moped on a one year provisional license and required to have a "Learner" plate on the bike, a big red L on a white background about 6x6 inches. With L plate can't be on freeway.
17 years old, can ride up to 250cc on provisional license with L plate. Must pass test to ride something bigger/get rid of the L plate.
Bear in mind the UK is a much smaller place than here, roads and cars are smaller so the engine restrictions made some sense.

Maybe a Graduated License would work here too? Start with a 250 on surface streets only and graduate to 400cc and up?
 

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Premium Member
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Doesn't the UK also require rider training? Unfortunately, in most of the U.S., all one needs to do to be legal on a bike is pass a written test. Too many go that route, thinking that riding a motorcycle isn't much different than a bicycle. And they usually don't start out with a smaller bike either. No wonder the accident rates are higher here.
 

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NewB to Vulcans
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220 Posts
When i was learning (1970's) they required a written test and an observed road test, no instruction required. The RAC/MCU offered courses and I volunteered as an instructor for a while.

Certainly we could do a lot worse than make the 2 day MSA course mandatory.
 

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My state requires a written test and a skills test on a closed course.

The leader of two or more bikes on the road has an unspoken obligation to lead the others at a safe pace. If the other riders have to ride over their heads in order to follow you, you're doing it wrong.
 

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My skills test was to ride around the block. Most of the time, I was out of sight of the observer. If you made the block without crashing, you passed the test. Fortunately for me, I took the MSF basic course shortly after getting my motorcycle endorsement, and discovered the bad habits I'd developed.
 

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Super Moderator
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11,820 Posts
Missouri test is written and observed on a closed course. You have to show you can start off, stop on a line (smoothly) , know all the controls and run series of figure 8's through traffic cones without taking your foot off the pegs.
Back when I took it you weren't allowed to make any mistakes.

I took an advanced rider course offered at a racetrack a few years after that.

I always suggest no matter what your states licensing requirements are, everyone should take the MSF course or some equivalent. ;)
 

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Premium Member
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51 Posts
In PA, they let us score our own written. Everyone but one short girl who kept falling off of her 250cc was issued a license at the end of the driving portion of the class. My hope was that most of the people in my class wouldn't have the tenacity to actually buy a bike. In my estimation only about 60% should've gotten a license.
 

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I hear that, MMM. I took the PA course, and completely bombed "the box" part of the test but still got licensed. Never got to practice the maneuver before or after the test. Still passed. An additional 10 minutes or so of slow maneuvering practice and I (and everyone else) would have been much safer riders. Some day I'm going to set up some cones in a parking lot.
 

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Premium Member
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In PA, they let us score our own written. Everyone but one short girl who kept falling off of her 250cc was issued a license at the end of the driving portion of the class. My hope was that most of the people in my class wouldn't have the tenacity to actually buy a bike. In my estimation only about 60% should've gotten a license.
I hear that, MMM. I took the PA course, and completely bombed "the box" part of the test but still got licensed. Never got to practice the maneuver before or after the test. Still passed. An additional 10 minutes or so of slow maneuvering practice and I (and everyone else) would have been much safer riders. Some day I'm going to set up some cones in a parking lot.
I took the PA course last Sept, I had ridden scooters before that but didn’t want to ride someone else’s bike until I got the license. There was about 14 people in the class and only 6 of us passed the riding portion. The instructors were cool guys but unforgiving. And to your point MMM, some folks shouldn’t have been on a bike. One woman would hit the horn every time she tried to start the bike, and another almost ran the instructor over twice. As far as I’m concerned I really learned by riding solo in the Philly Navy base for a couple hours a night until I starting feeling confident
 

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The Naval base is great for that. I've ridden all over that area. I used to love to drive up Kelly and just keep going. Some beautiful country out there.
 
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