Aussie journalist proposes restrictions on Big Bikes

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Tom Forde, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

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  3. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    To Jeff Corbett I say: "Get a life!"
     
  4. AJS

    AJS Member

    It's a shame Australia seems to have this totalitarian streak.

    This part of the world? If you bother with a licence at all, you go and ride around some cones, come to a stop and you pass your test. As far as I can tell, that means you can ride away from the test centre on any lunatic machine you like...

    It's a nice change.
     
  5. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I suppose that put's Us in the "Sad Older Fellows" Class Tom? Most so called "Developed" Countries are all going the Same Way, Police States Choked up with Laws and Regulations!!! Anything Deemed as Enjoyment is quickly Shifted to Dangerous and Banned!!! Unless of Course they can Put a Large Tax on it then it suddenly becomes acceptable? That's why we are living here Mate!!!
    For those who can't be bother clicking the Link here it is:

    Big motorbikes clipped
    I find few things more alarming on the roads that a young fellow, someone's son, perhaps a father of a young family, on a powerful motorbike roaring off into the distance. I shudder. In the wee hours on weekend nights I hear the motorbikes roaring in the distance and I steel myself for the WHOOMPH. Such a waste of life, such unnecessary grief.

    The problem is young fellows on rocket-like bikes, and not far behind them in terms of alarm are older fellows on Harley-Davidsons, lookalikes and the armchair varieties that somehow manage to carry Ulysseans from one point to another.

    And so to a letter in the Herald this week from a father, Garry Sullivan of Warners Bay, protesting against a NSW rule change that bars his 42-year-old son from riding his Kawasaki Z1000 until he comes off his red P plates. Dreadful! But not dreadful enough, because Mr Sullivan's son will be excused the two-year green P-plates and will thus be allowed onto his Kawasaki monster two years earlier than a young man.

    Were motorbikes invented today they would not be allowed on the road, and I can't see why the fact that they were not invented today makes a difference. The toll is terrible - the RTA tells me that a motorcyclist is 20 times more likely to be killed per kilometre than a person in a vehicle, and the best efforts so far have barely dinted the toll nationally.

    Big motorbikes, as opposed to small bikes used for transport, are almost entirely about masquerading, caressing ego, and so they are recreational. I believe we should impose the same restrictions on big motorbikes that we impose on that other inherently unsafe recreational vehicle, historic cars. So, big motorbikes should be allowed on the road only for official club functions. The reckless young fellows and the sad older fellows can have their day swanning about in the sun, perhaps with a police escort. And a day in the sun it should be, because under my proposal no motorbikes will be allowed on wet roads. What say you?
     
  6. Deano747

    Deano747 Ol'Timer

    Jeff Corbett's name keeps popping up regarding motorcyclists. Doesn't like us at all it would seem. He proclaims himself to be " the Hunter's most provocative columnist", but to keep it in perspective, the Hunter is a little region north of Sydney that is known for it's fine wine, steel production, some nice bits of road and nothing else. It is a starting point for a lot of print and media journalists, and the fact that Mr. Corbett is still there speaks for itself. A little man writing in a little paper in a little corner of OZ.
     
  7. Captain Wally

    Captain Wally Ol'Timer

    If you reckon Jeff Corbet's bad, try Googling Harold Scruby. Self-appointed chairman of the Australian Pedestrian Council. He's a total nut-job.

    To55ers the lot of them. I hope to get out of the Nanny State within a couple of years and join you sad old gits in Thailand. In the meantime I'll have to make do with a couple of trips a year.
     
  8. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Clearly this guy is out there - seeing a big bike and waiting for the 'crash' sound means he's looking at things from a very strange angle. All he does is stir up people and divide them, for and against big bikes, but things are not that easy. Big bikes are dangerous, antique cars are not safe, what's next?
    But he may have one small point where I could agree with him - often things are not 100% wrong. If I look at the development of sport bikes, and see the horsepower figures, I can't help but think: is a bike with 170 or 180 hp really a good thing in the hands of Joe Average? A race bike for the track, sure, but a street legal bike? That's more power than most european cars make!
    I remember when the V-Max came out, an unbelievable monster with 120 horses. It's lame today, now we get the 1700cc version with 190 horses; we got 'busas, ZX1400s, even BMW builds a 180hp bike. I ask myself: is that really a good idea that practically anybody with the money can buy a bike like that, and ride it if he has the right license? Is that really necessary or are we being sold on 'faster, stronger, better'? Like digital cameras which went from 2 megapixels to 3, to 4, to 5, there's no end to it! Now a simple camera has 10 megapixels - who needs that? Does it mean you can take better photos?
    I remember (quite a few) years ago when in Europe there was talk about a voluntary 100hp limit.
    Ten years ago I had a ZX9R which was supposed to have 130 horses, I revved it to 9000rpm and shat my pants. I put 1000 miles on it, then sold it. I'm not the guy who's really happy on a bike like that, I admit that. Once I was stopped at a red light, my mind was wandering a bit, then a car honked behind me and I realized the light had turned green. I gave a bit too much throttle, let the clutch out a bit too quickly, and shot over the intersection like a rocket. Whoa! You always got to be there 100%, and who is?
    Doesn't owning a 180hp bike say "I can handle raw power" about the rider? Isn't there a bit of 'american megalomania' and macho bravado involved? Not just a little bit? On the motorcycle-usa website you can read this about the 2011 V-Max: "The VMAX carries a unique style that will appeal to those looking for a bike that will stand out from a crowd and lay down the power to draw that crowd to you."
    Maybe I stepped on a few toes here, I'd like to hear your responses.
    I'm NOT agreeing to any limitations of any kind by the government, I'm only raising the question if maybe we, the riders, should limit ourselves in some ways.
     
  9. brian66

    brian66 Ol'Timer

    I can't see the connection between horsepower and dangerous. Why does more horsepower mean more dangerous?
    Does Horsepower mean more speed therefore more accidents because more horsepower means less control?
    What speed is considered a safe speed where it is no longer dangerous?

    A 200 HP sports bike can do 300 kilometers per hour.
    A 30 HP sports bike can do 150 + kilometers per hour which is half the speed of the above. Does that lower speed make the bike safer?

    The 200 HP bike can accelerate from stand still to 100 kilometers per hour in 2.4 seconds. The 30 HP bike can do it in around 7 to 8 seconds. Is it that +/- 4-second difference in acceleration that makes them dangerous?

    In my opinion the answer is no, in both cases above, it is the rider who controls the speed. Not the HP controlling the rider. People who can't control a high-powered bike don't usually buy them.
    If they legislated that all bikes must be no more than 30 HP would bikes really then be considered safe. Once the safety committees were informed that these 30HP bikes were being modified and now too fast they would then begin to legislate and make laws such as restrict the top speed of bikes.
    What speed would that be?

    What criteria do these people who sit on committees and submit these suggestions to a government to make it a law use?

    Forget about being on a motor cycle and imagine if you simply run on foot into a solid object at 15 kilometers per hour, you would bounce off it, surely with some injury. If you ran into another person at that speed there is potential for injury to both of you also. So is above 15 KPH too dangerous?

    So at what point in the horsepower specifications of a bike does the word dangerous no longer apply? How far do these people go who are supposedly making laws to protect people?
    If you study statistics of accidents in a range of countries, there are completely different reasons and a huge range of bikes and rider ages for fatalities and accidents involving two vehicles and single vehicles.

    Asian countries, namely Vietnam and Thailand, each have a death toll of up to 40 per day. The vast majority of those 40 fatalities are motor cycle accidents. In both these countries, the overwhelming majority of bikes are the 120cc +/-15 HP. Seems that 15 HP is also too much so those bikes are dangerous also.
    In Australia it is the baby boomer generation who are up amongst the highest in the accident statistics, joined by the ever-increasing scooter users who have no riding skills at all.

    Most of the baby boomers who are killing themselves or have accidents and adding to the statistics are riding 80 HP Harleys so again the 200 HP is not at fault.

    Every time I get on one of my bikes, I know it is dangerous, whether it’s my 8 HP electric bike or my fully worked 180 HP Liter bike.

    I note that what people who comment about large HP bikes, really don’t like, is the image of those high HP sports bikes riders doing stunts such as wheelies and stopples and passing other road users at twice the speed limit. So they get labelled dangerous. Not so in my opinion. Definitely much less dangerous than the hundreds of red light runners on 110 cc bikes with no helmets on in Thailand.

    They call riders like the above “Hoons” in Australia and the police have an impound law so if those guys get caught they lose their bike. I have been a Hoon since the first day I rode my BSA 350, I still am today, and I love it. It is the only way for me to enjoy riding a bike, be it 200 HP of 50 HP.
    The HP makes no difference to me. Both can do everything I want from a bike and both are dangerous unless i use my right wrist sensibly for the conditions and location i am riding in.

    I always make sure I have more than one 200HP bike in my shed so if the police take one off me I can immediately get on my spare!!!
     
  10. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Australia has compulsary training and limited horse power ratings for learner riders and new riders.
    A loophole is that in certain states you can get a full riding licence if you are over a certain age and possess a driving licence.

    Per head of population Australia is way down on motorcycle deaths, and is relatively low compared with other western developed countries.
    However just one accident/death is one too many. (compare it with Thailand, all on scooters)

    This thing about big bikes is easy to understand from non biker people, unfortunately they are in the majority and therefore make the loudest noise.

    Slowly but surely, big sports bikes are being heavily taxed and with high insurance fees. Most people who buy them either sell them after a short period or use them on track days, if they are fortunate to live near one.

    Statistics show that motorcycle deaths and accidents in Australia are pretty even across the board, Big Bikes, trail bikes, scooters, cruisers and pillion riders.

    As brian66 said, you can be a hoon on any 2 wheels.

    Cheers
    Tom
     
  11. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    I propose that the truly big bikes are safer, at least initially. Simply because most newbs will toss it into a parked car or the scrub at relatively low speed before they can get going fast enough to do any real damage (other than to their egos and wallet). Seen it many times and those are the lucky ones. But the real danger comes several months later when a new rider begins to feel comfortable enough to really push it and ends up over the yellow and into an oncoming fender, or barrier, or over a cliff.

    I am certainly glad that I have 30 years of experience because all of my bikes cause me to run out of road before I run out of balls. But a newbs brain is just not calibrated to comprehend how fast he is really going because the acceleration curve is still off the charts. It's like a toddler taking its first steps and trying to run. Ain't going to end well. Newb's get so caught up in the rush that they forget that they may actually have to negotiate a curve or successfully execute emergency braking and meet a grisly end.

    I don't want to see any restrictions on what is available at all. Sky's the limit and it is what gets my blood pumping every day, but I do think that there should be some tiered licensing. Nothing draconian, but at least some training/certification on a closed circuit before allowing a kid to jump on a ZX14 and becoming red mist against a tree etc.
     
  12. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    Actually Tom, most of this has changed;

    If you were over 30, and held a licence for 5 years, you used to be able to do 2 days training, as little as 1 week as a learner on a small capacity/low power bike with 70km/h speed limit, do a 1 day course and riding test, then straight onto a full lincence and any bike you wanted, but no pillion for 1 year...

    Now if you are over 25, 5 years licenced, you do 2 days training, as little as 1 week learner on a small capacity/low power bike, 1 day course and riding test, then 1 year on a small capacity/low horsepower bike with 80km/h speed limit, then onto a full licence....

    So it is a little more restrictive, but starts earlier.

    As to the second statement, because all of the learners are on small capacity bikes, and the learners have more crashes, statistically, small bikes are more risky than big bikes... no one in Government could figure out the falicy of the arguement, so ALL small bike regos went up a lot, and most bike bike regos went down a little...

    My 84 XR250 went up 250%, my KLR650 went up 50%, and my FZ1-S went down 10%... so they are encouraging everyone onto big bikes for safety :D

    As above, Harold Scruby is a mental case...
    This guy is writting for the Nan Weekly, not any newspaper of concern.
    Australia is a Nanny State, no doubt about it...

    Cheers,
    Daewoo
     

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