Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wifely Wisdom and Motorcycles

Hmmm considering Amy is pretty much the only thing keeping me from buying a motorcycle maybe Joe Carter has it right.

Oh and on that topic it seems that scooters have gotten really popular with oil prices skyrocketing. It concerns me a little. It's true that the smaller displacement scooters don't really have the performance of motorcycles. I don't think you will find a 250cc scooter that could keep up with a Kawasaki EX250 in acceleration (0-60 in less than 6 seconds), top speed (100+ mph), cornering, or price ($3300 new) even though they have the same displacement. But even if they can't keep up, they are still going more than fast enough for someone to get hurt.

To date there has only been one real study of motorcycle accidents, the Hurt Report. Harry Hurt of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published his study in 1981, so it is a bit old. But most of the conclusions have to do with people instead of vehicles, so they're probably still valid.

Why am I bringing up the Hurt Report? Because the Hurt Report shows that typical motorcycle accidents occur a low speeds (<30 mph), on short trips near the home, and involved another vehicle. A car steers into the motorcycle's path because the driver doesn't see the motorcyclist. The accident is not the bikers fault although with training and experience, the biker may be able to avoid the accident.

Now when put all these together, you'll notice that these situations are just as applicable for scooter riders. We aren't talking high speed antics on the highway. We're talking moderate speeds on local roads with automobile traffic. Thankfully a bright colored scooter is more visible than a typical black cruiser. Unfortunately while lots of bikers wear their leather jackets, boots, and helmets whenever they ride (and most at least know they should), I can't remember seeing a scooter rider wearing a leather jacket, boots, or a full helmet. And that concerns me. I hope scooter riders don't turn into bikers without the vehicle performance or the responsibility.

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