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Old 09-18-2007, 12:20 PM   #1
NoFear
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The New Motorcycles: Bigger, Faster, Deadlier

I saw this in the WSJ makes me wonder if the industry will limit the top speed of bikes soon

Trend Toward Outsize Power
And Lighter Weight Coincides
With Increase in Fatalities
By JONATHAN WELSH
September 18, 2007

Bigger, faster, more-powerful machines are helping to make 2007 the deadliest year yet for motorcycle riders, say safety officials and a new insurance-industry study.......


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1190...RelatedStories

In the past few years a horsepower battle in the cycle industry has produced bikes that have the power of a car but often weigh less than ever. Sophisticated suspension and braking systems and other electronics make them easy for inexperienced riders to handle -- up to a point. But the bikes' potential speed and violent acceleration can quickly overwhelm all but the most skilled riders.


The new Ducati 1098's 160-horsepower engine makes it the Italian company's most powerful regular production model.
These high-performance machines, often called "superbikes" or "supersports," accounted for less than 10% of motorcycle registrations in 2005 but accounted for more than 25% of rider fatalities, according to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analyzed in a study released last week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The total number of rider deaths has more than doubled since 1997. At the current rate, some safety experts say, fatalities in 2007 could surpass the previous peak of 4,955 set in 1980.

Superbike riders suffer much higher death rates than riders of other kinds of bikes. And while superbikes still aren't as popular as the larger, more laid-back cruiser-style bikes made by Harley-Davidson Motor Co., such bikes have been one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry. They represented 9% of the market in 2005, compared with 47% for cruisers. But superbike registrations jumped 83% between 2000 and 2005.

In addition to more-powerful machines, an influx of inexperienced riders is also helping to drive accident rates higher. And as more middle-age consumers return to motorcycling -- often after not having ridden for 20 years or more -- more older riders are being killed in crashes. Another contributing factor: a trend toward more-liberal helmet laws.

"These guys start riding again in their 50s and don't realize that they aren't the same physical specimens they were in their 20s," says David Livingston, director of the New Jersey Trauma Center at University Hospital in Newark, N.J., who has recently seen an increase in motorcycle-related injuries. "During June, July and August, about one in four patients hurt in traffic accidents have been motorcycle riders," he says.

See three types of these new motorcycles.Motorcycles, much like cars, have gradually become more powerful and nimble over time. But the more-rapid run-up in engine size and performance has occurred in only the past few years, as overall sales of motorcycles have boomed. New construction techniques and the widening availability of lightweight materials like carbon fiber and titanium "have made it easier to reduce weight and increase power cost-effectively," says Ted Miller, director of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, a research group. "The stoked sport bike," he says, is a fairly new development.

Bike makers across the industry are conspicuously boosting power. Italian manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding earlier this year began selling the 1098, a superbike with 160 horsepower -- a big jump from the 112 horsepower the company's racy 996 model put out 10 years ago. The bike has about as much power as a Honda Accord EX sedan. BMW AG's motorcycle unit had a reputation for building sedate bikes with less than 100 horsepower until it rolled out the 167-horsepower K1200S about three years ago. Even Harley-Davidson, long known for its slow cruising and touring models, recently released the Night Rod Special, a fast, low-slung bike with a 125-horsepower engine developed with sports-car maker Porsche AG.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s -- the last time motorcycle fatalities were this high -- the hottest bikes included machines like Kawasaki Motors Corp.'s Z1000. A fearsome bike at the time, its 90-or-so horsepower and total weight approaching 600 pounds seem benign compared with the nearly 200 horsepower generated by the company's new ZX-14 or rival bike maker Suzuki Motor Corp.'s GSX-R1000.

The Suzuki weighs barely 400 pounds with a full fuel tank, and can accelerate to 60 mph in about 2.5 seconds. It even comes with a switch so the rider can select low, medium or high power settings. Other bikes have adopted electronically controlled brakes, transmissions and traction control to keep the rear wheel from spinning out of control under acceleration.

Many supersport bikes are actually built for racing. In popular racing events like the American Motorcyclist Association superbike series, riders use bikes that are modified versions of those available to the public at dealerships. In order to compete in the races, cycle manufacturers have to build hundreds of the bikes for sale to consumers.

The process, called "homologation," is meant to guarantee that the bikes found on the track are roughly the same as those widely available to the public. The bikes sold this way are sometimes touted as "race replicas" or "homologation specials."

Although a tripling of motorcycle sales over the past decade accounts for some of the rising death rate, fatal motorcycle accidents have also risen proportionally.

Over the time period of the IIHS study, from 2000 to 2005, the death rate for motorcyclists rose to 7.5 deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles from 7.1. In the same period, the percentage of motorcycle deaths among all highway fatalities rose to 10% from 7%. Superbike riders had a death rate of 22.5 for every 10,000 registered motorcycles.

In 2005, riders 40 or older accounted for 47% of motorcycle fatalities, compared with 24% 10 years earlier. In the same period, the fatality percentage for riders younger than 30 years of age fell to 32% from 41%. Safety officials attribute this in part to a tendency of "returning" riders to overestimate their ability to handle the latest powerful bikes.

"You have a lot of people saying, 'I'm in my 40s and I want to start riding motorcycles again,'" says Daniel Lonsdorf, director of the Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation Safety. "But these aren't the same motorcycles they remember from 20 years ago."

Write to Jonathan Welsh at jonathan.welsh@wsj.com
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Busa club. why did you not mention that? that makes things all nice and peachy
Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength-
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:22 PM   #2
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You should have to take an "Idiot" test before being allowed to buy a high powered bike... if you fail and buy one anyway. you should have to wear a helmet painted bright orange. so everyone knows your an idiot.and stay out of your way... that is all.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:24 PM   #3
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just like a gun

a MAJORITY of incidents are rider inexperience
or an outside force.


9 mm or 50 cal

doesnt matter
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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just like a gun

a MAJORITY of incidents are rider inexperience
or an outside force.


9 mm or 50 cal

doesnt matter
may the force be with you..
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
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may the force be with you..


dont bring yoda into this, you know he rides a gixxer600
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoFear View Post

In 2005, riders 40 or older accounted for 47% of motorcycle fatalities, compared with 24% 10 years earlier. In the same period, the fatality percentage for riders younger than 30 years of age fell to 32% from 41%. Safety officials attribute this in part to a tendency of "returning" riders to overestimate their ability to handle the latest powerful bikes.

"You have a lot of people saying, 'I'm in my 40s and I want to start riding motorcycles again,'" says Daniel Lonsdorf, director of the Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation Safety. "But these aren't the same motorcycles they remember from 20 years ago."

Write to Jonathan Welsh at jonathan.welsh@wsj.com
they talk about superbikes/supersports being in more fatalities then they have this fact in there. so does this mean, older riders are buying superbikes/supersports and younger riders are being less squidly???
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:53 PM   #7
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nope there are more sheer #'s of older riders, younger one's die at a higher %.

so for the same 100 riders , more youngins will die
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wever411 View Post
they talk about superbikes/supersports being in more fatalities then they have this fact in there. so does this mean, older riders are buying superbikes/supersports and younger riders are being less squidly???
I think they mean people like me who have come back to riding and noticed that the new Gixxer is nothing like my '91 CBR 750 Hurricane from all those years ago. I have to be careful cause when I used to ride I was 20 years old and I don't think that the bike had 85HP.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
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nope there are more sheer #'s of older riders, younger one's die at a higher %.

so for the same 100 riders , more youngins will die
i was just pointing out that the percentages he wrote made it look like younger riders were being safer.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:36 PM   #10
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Does the article take into consideration the increased number of riders each year?
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I saw this in the WSJ makes me wonder if the industry will limit the top speed of bikes soon
Do you think it's sheer coincidence that litre bikes top out at 186?

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Originally Posted by RACER X View Post
nope there are more sheer #'s of older riders, younger one's die at a higher %.

so for the same 100 riders , more youngins will die
Where the are you reading that???

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoFear View Post
In 2005, riders 40 or older accounted for 47% of motorcycle fatalities, compared with 24% 10 years earlier. In the same period, the fatality percentage for riders younger than 30 years of age fell to 32% from 41%. Safety officials attribute this in part to a tendency of "returning" riders to overestimate their ability to handle the latest powerful bikes.
Of ALL the motorcycle fatalities, 47% of them were 40 or older. 32% were 30 or younger. Good thing you don't teach reading comprehension.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:41 PM   #12
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It says deaths are rising proportionally, so that would be expected.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:42 PM   #13
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And why do they let people buy Superbikes without even having a Motorcycle Licence??!!!
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Of ALL the motorcycle fatalities, 47% of them were 40 or older. 32% were 30 or younger. Good thing you don't teach reading comprehension.
this article is a regurgitation of this

http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=36555

http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr091107.html


"In an Institute analysis of deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles, supersport drivers had a death rate of 22.6 in 2000 and 22.5 in 2005. Sport and unclad sport bikes, which are similar to supersports, had the next highest death rates at 10.8 for 2000 and 10.7 for 2005. Death rates for other types of motorcycles were much lower. Cruisers and standard motorcycles had a combined death rate of 5.6 in 2000 and 5.7 in 2005. The death rate for touring motorcycles was 5.3 in 2000, rising to 6.5 in 2005. Overall motorcycle driver deaths rose 59 percent between 2000 and 2005, and the overall death rate climbed to 7.5 driver deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles from 7.1."

but i guess you'll argue that the SS drivers are usually 40+
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACER X View Post
this article is a regurgitation of this

http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=36555

http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr091107.html


"In an Institute analysis of deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles, supersport drivers had a death rate of 22.6 in 2000 and 22.5 in 2005. Sport and unclad sport bikes, which are similar to supersports, had the next highest death rates at 10.8 for 2000 and 10.7 for 2005. Death rates for other types of motorcycles were much lower. Cruisers and standard motorcycles had a combined death rate of 5.6 in 2000 and 5.7 in 2005. The death rate for touring motorcycles was 5.3 in 2000, rising to 6.5 in 2005. Overall motorcycle driver deaths rose 59 percent between 2000 and 2005, and the overall death rate climbed to 7.5 driver deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles from 7.1."

but i guess you'll argue that the SS drivers are usually 40+
And yet nothing you just posted mentions age. Hmmm.... you sir are a jackass.

At least learn to debate worth a .
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RACER X View Post

but i guess you'll argue that the SS drivers are usually 40+


from MH age poll

Under 20 30.......... 8.40%
21 - 25 121........... 33.89%
26 - 30 82............. 22.97%
31 - 35 54 ............15.13%
36 - 40 36............ 10.08%
Over 40 34............ 9.52%

230 ?-30 y.o. vs 34 40+
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Last edited by RACER X; 09-18-2007 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer Geezer View Post
You should have to take an "Idiot" test before being allowed to buy a high powered bike... if you fail and buy one anyway. you should have to wear a helmet painted bright orange. so everyone knows your an idiot.and stay out of your way... that is all.
+1 Except make the helmet marroon instead of orange that we can tell who the aggies are too.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:51 PM   #18
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I see that the MEP urges 101mph limit there is also an article on page 10 of the Superbike Magazine

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6730051.stm

Do you think it's sheer coincidence that litre bikes top out at 186?

The agreement came about because created the Suzuki Hayabusa. This is why the’99 and 00are and forever will be the fastest production bike ever manufactured unless the agreement is broken. the ZX14 is limited to 186. the BUSA is still the fastest Production bike ever built.

Of ALL the motorcycle fatalities, 47% of them were 40 or older. 32% were 30 or younger. Good thing you don't teach reading comprehension.[/QUOTE]

what you talking about you need to talk to JONATHAN WELSH he wrote the article you can reach him at jonathan.welsh@wsj.com
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Busa club. why did you not mention that? that makes things all nice and peachy
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I see that the MEP urges 101mph limit there is also an article on page 10 of the Superbike Magazine see attached

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6730051.stm



what you talking about you need to talk to JONATHAN WELSH he wrote the article you can reach him at jonathan.welsh@wsj.com
No no no, sorry bud, I wasn't referring to you. My bad. I was referring to Mr. I-can't-debate-a--thing-to-save-my-life-but-I'm-always-right-because-I'm-older

And that 101mph limit...hmmmm, there'll be a way around it should it become official. (it's just a governor...not like no one's ever removed one before.)
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:56 PM   #20
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You can buy a car without a license you can buy a Gun in the State of Texas without a license what is your point?

Quote:
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And why do they let people buy Superbikes without even having a Motorcycle Licence??!!!
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Busa club. why did you not mention that? that makes things all nice and peachy
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