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 Post subject: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 23:13 
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Question.
Modern sports bikes are now manufactured with greater power levels,shorter wheel base and smaller wheels, they have performance levels today comparable to race bikes. There has sadly been an increase in bike crashes on this type of machine where in the past size and power had no significant effect on crash cause stats. So is it just popularity of the modern sports bike that is swinging the stats towards big sports bikes or the bikes themselves becoming beyond the capability of even some seasoned riders as manufacturers create more agressive race bikes for the road?

My opinion is in reserve Im just asking what you think for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 00:35 
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I think we'll possibly notice a downturn in the number of accidents on new plastic bikes soon as the recession takes hold.Tarquin and Jocasta won't be able to afford to buy them new for a while.

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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:45 
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I believe the stats are heavily weighted towards the "born again" bikers, men who havn't ridden for years buying a superbike with capabilities that far exceed anything they knew before compounded by modern traffic conditions. Perhaps there is scope for compulsory re-training for those that haven't ridden in years - of course it'd rely on honesty more than the ability to detect those that avoid it, but a "non-fail" style assessment (that could grade a rider and recommend further training) would at least be a step in the right direction, especially if you made all bike dealers point this out to purchasers.

In this age of "this is the letter of the law" style enforcement many people consider their entitlements before their abilities.

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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 16:52 
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Nos4r2 wrote:
I think we'll possibly notice a downturn in the number of accidents on new plastic bikes soon as the recession takes hold.Tarquin and Jocasta won't be able to afford to buy them new for a while.


I know its terrible, Tarquin and his mates are good for creating spare parts for newer bikes and also good for buying a slightly accident damaged new bike cheap because the owner only driven it once or twice lobbed it and now scared of it :)


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:12 
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hairyben wrote:
I believe the stats are heavily weighted towards the "born again" bikers,

Yup, it's definately the "born again's" closely followed by Tarquin & co.

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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:44 
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Bikes are just the latest 'must have' toy. Those of us who've worked our way up through the ranks as it were, started out on old, small bikes and actually learned to ride properly aren't the ones having the accidents. It is, as Nos and Gixxer point out, the rich kids who go out and pass a DAS course and think that qualifies them to ride a 'blade off the rims that are coming a cropper. Darwininsm I say.

(Besides, it's quite possible to be aggressive on a GPZ500...see thread 'odd behaviour' :D )

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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 20:38 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
Bikes are just the latest 'must have' toy. Those of us who've worked our way up through the ranks as it were, started out on old, small bikes and actually learned to ride properly aren't the ones having the accidents. It is, as Nos and Gixxer point out, the rich kids who go out and pass a DAS course and think that qualifies them to ride a 'blade off the rims that are coming a cropper. Darwininsm I say.

(Besides, it's quite possible to be aggressive on a GPZ500...see thread 'odd behaviour' :D )


I agree with you, fashion and trend is a cause, but I also believe its a lot of things and one of the things I feel is that some of the new models whilst easy and smooth to ride are less forgiving and as I said earlier, even seasoned riders are getting astride these bikes and getting a bit of a shock when it matters most, more power and better handling is only really of use to someone who has the skill and concentration to cope, though many sunny funday riders may feel competent touring about with their mates on something designed to corner, crushing your pelvis through G force alone. When they do try to play, these bikes are so good that only the capable know when its gonna let go.
:o


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:39 
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sports bikes are over represented in casualty stats for a number of reasons:
- they are popular typically the top 3 bikes are sports bikes
- they are popular with those who represent a high risk group. (i.e. low mileage, leisure riders pursuing thrills, on a sunday afternoon - roughly 10x the per mile risk of your all year round commuter.)

They certainly aren't harder to ride. A modern litre class sports bike is actually quite easy to ride because they don't have power bands like the older bikes. Fuel injection and variable exhaust valves make them much smoother. Plus tryes and brakes are also vastly superior. However it would be nice to see abs as an option on more bikes

The old mid 80s and early 90s sports bikes are much harder to ride.

The reason the geometry is getting squashed is because suspension is getting better tyres wider and dampeners more intelligent.

As said cas stats will be down this year because people wont have the cash to blow tanks worth of fuel on a sunday blat.

I also think DAS is slightly to blame too, because people 'learn' on a 500cc learner bike. They want at least as 600cc bike as their first bike and progress to bigger bikes in under 2 years


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 17:01 
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diy wrote:
sports bikes are over represented in casualty stats for a number of reasons:
- they are popular typically the top 3 bikes are sports bikes
- they are popular with those who represent a high risk group. (i.e. low mileage, leisure riders pursuing thrills, on a sunday afternoon - roughly 10x the per mile risk of your all year round commuter.)

They certainly aren't harder to ride. A modern litre class sports bike is actually quite easy to ride because they don't have power bands like the older bikes. Fuel injection and variable exhaust valves make them much smoother. Plus tryes and brakes are also vastly superior. However it would be nice to see abs as an option on more bikes

The old mid 80s and early 90s sports bikes are much harder to ride.

The reason the geometry is getting squashed is because suspension is getting better tyres wider and dampeners more intelligent.

As said cas stats will be down this year because people wont have the cash to blow tanks worth of fuel on a sunday blat.

I also think DAS is slightly to blame too, because people 'learn' on a 500cc learner bike. They want at least as 600cc bike as their first bike and progress to bigger bikes in under 2 years


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 17:52 
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diy wrote:
sports bikes are over represented in casualty stats for a number of reasons:
- they are popular typically the top 3 bikes are sports bikes
- they are popular with those who represent a high risk group. (i.e. low mileage, leisure riders pursuing thrills, on a sunday afternoon - roughly 10x the per mile risk of your all year round commuter.)

They certainly aren't harder to ride. A modern litre class sports bike is actually quite easy to ride because they don't have power bands like the older bikes. Fuel injection and variable exhaust valves make them much smoother. Plus tryes and brakes are also vastly superior. However it would be nice to see abs as an option on more bikes

The old mid 80s and early 90s sports bikes are much harder to ride.

The reason the geometry is getting squashed is because suspension is getting better tyres wider and dampeners more intelligent.

As said cas stats will be down this year because people wont have the cash to blow tanks worth of fuel on a sunday blat.

I also think DAS is slightly to blame too, because people 'learn' on a 500cc learner bike. They want at least as 600cc bike as their first bike and progress to bigger bikes in under 2 years

Quote:

I cannot argue with most of what you put here but having a lot of experience with bikes I know just how EASY the new stuff is to ride, but I also know just how little warning you get when they are gonna let go, they are so close to that of race bikes that they need experience to ride them safely in the way we often see them being ridden by many a sunday red mist hero. getting to the point they let go on a race track can be corrected or have little or no damage due to space to play with if you have to run off, same thing happens on the road and you could easily be scuppered and I have seen it happen more in recent years than ever before. The reason they are being squashed as you put it is to make them handle as sharply and efficiently as race bikes and do in fact have comparable performances. Why does a road bike need to be so extreme? I had a ZX9R 98 amongst others capable of around 170 and handled very very well indeed, but compared to the latest stuff or a race bike of the day was a slow coach round corners and on acceleration ( Ive ridden both), give people more power doesnt always mean crashes, give them something thats desined to corner really really fast and you are then asking for trouble with the average rider as corners and power dont work with the inexperienced.Modern bikes give the false sense of experience and skill because they are so EASY to ride. Peoples perceptions are clouded by biker BS and bravado, I have yet to meet a biker who doesnt know everything about bikes, Ive forgotten how many Ive met who go out to buy expensive tyres of a particular type when they havent got the skill to exceed the performance capabilities of the original manufacturer tyres fitted and its that same misguided belief that makes them believe they can go round corners on a particular bike really fast cos it says so in the leaflet and if you put a set of super sticky chenshingditchfinder tyres on it will go round 5 times as quick.Give someone a toy and tell them it can tun really fast and there will be enough muppets who will expect it with or without their effort to make it turn.A friend of mine came off his new gsxr recently on his first outing and complained about the brakes locking up and throwing him off at 40mph, I took his bike for a ride and stopped from twice the speed finished with a little stoppie in the WET! He still couldnt understand why I could do that and he fell off stopping from 40, he simply doesnt have much of a capacity for feel of a bike or its brakes and certainly didnt expect the brakes on his new bike, to him its just 'pull the lever on and it stops. :roll: The unrealistic confidence people get from these new sports bikes I believe encourages riding beyond that which they would normally do. I think agressive yet superb bikes are part of the problem today, after all how many born again bikers are out there on other stuff as well as sports bikes and NOT crashing, I recon if you gave enough money to teenagers or those in their 20s and a trendy reason to have a sports bike those stats would change again as they always do.Economics and trends have a lot to do with the type of owners, its the causes that should be looked at in greater detail and it nearly always comes back to errors due to over confidence/lack of experience combined with excess speed beyond capability of rider ( not always speeding) in various situations. Over confident and excess speed can be generated by a bikes data with some people along with Mr biker mate saying 'youll get round so and so bend at 90 on that thing , you try it mate'.


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 20:55 
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Excellent thread. Rather pertinant to myself, as I am coming to the end of a rebuild of my FJ1200. It's been off the road about 10 years and the only riding I've done in that time has been on Honda Cub derivatives. I have toured europe on the FJ, but that was pre rebuild of course.
Now I am somewhat older and although the FJ does not rank amongst the R1's, Fireplaces and Hiya Boozers, it is still as far as I am concerned, a large and powerful machine that I am returning to.
Thankfully, unlike many born agains, I am aware of the potential dangers and intend to invest in a little training after some initial pottering around to get used to the bulk of the thing.
I believe that many local bike cops can point us in the direction of courses aimed especially at those coming back to motorcycling after a break of some years. In fact many are run by bike cops and who better to go to than a Class 1 rider?


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:54 
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I trained two people last year one through bikesafe and the other via the IAM.

The first was riding a 748S, which was his first bike. Unfortunately he dropped it within about six weeks of owning it. Subsequently was very nervous and slow to pull away (talking 20-30s to get to 40mph), because the clutch was snatchy and he didn't want to stall or drop it. The bike steering damper also made slow speed hard. We went back to CBT car park work. He could have bought a bike for half the money and would have got much more out.

Second guy had a full modded ZX10R, was paired with a guy on a fazer 6 and struggled to keep up. He was so rigid on the bike that he felt every bump and therefore couldn't lean, counter steer or manage the bike on technical roads. He was using about 10% of the bikes capability.

The sad fact is that most would rather spend 400 quid on a race can than 200 quid on some extra training. But one might help them more than the other


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 13:12 
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Or like me, spend your £600 on a bike (including insurance) and actually go out and learn to ride... :roll:

I feel like I've actually sussed it this year - I've been riding the GPZ off it's rims... :D

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Last edited by Sixy_the_red on Tue Jul 08, 2008 13:13, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 13:12 
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Maaarrghk! wrote:
In fact many are run by bike cops and who better to go to than a Class 1 rider?


Class 1 instructor, Special Escort Group rider, Surveillance rider - all trained and capable of riding to a higher standard than a class 1 ;)

Also Class 1 doesn't exist any more, so "class 1s" are starting to get quite thin on the ground. Second, the class 1 (and the modern equiv.) doesn't include any teaching or diagnosis capability, so you are not actually certain of getting someone who can diagnose your faults and help you correct them. Thirdly, they're knowledge is based on road craft and pursuit.

A class 1 will be able do a good commentary and demo.


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 13:35 
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I don't think you can price the born again biker out of the market. I believe thier numbers are more closly linked to the divorce rate. Lets face it, when you compare the cost of a nice sports bike to a nice sports car
you get a lot more bike for £7k than car.

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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 19:17 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
Or like me, spend your £600 on a bike (including insurance) and actually go out and learn to ride... :roll:

I feel like I've actually sussed it this year - I've been riding the GPZ off it's rims... :D


I like your style Sixy, but remember pride comes before a fall. Every and I mean everytime I think I have "it" sussed, disaster is just around the corner...

("it" can be anything)


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 20:33 
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great replies, I can only support further training/refreshers or advanced training and have a lot of respect for someone who is willing to do it. I still do it today. Gonna give you some waffle but bear with me to the end....
Ive been a qualified driving and maintainance instructor on every licence group (except road roller) in the past.taught advanced on two licence groups,done VIP driving course and been operational in that role,Im a lapsed member of IAM and ROSPA, Ive trained people off road, Ive dabbled in racing/rallying and stunting, My main civilian job was trucking also instructing and some crash assesment and reporting(for others! :lol: )in work and out of main job part time instructing accumulating over 100,00 miles pa using 3 veh types and Driven in 10 countries and Rode in 5. Ive entered driving comps and bike comps and been successful in both (one bike comp with over thousand entering multi disciplines over 6 month period involving IAM,POLICE,M/Cross,Race track,Theory where I finished joint 2nd overall 3rd on count back) Ive assisted on track days, Ive given free further training after test to some, I hold a CPC and I also hold an up to date instructors cert(bike) I have also spent a lot of time burried in the theory of all things over many years.

The reason for all this BS is...
I STILL DONT THINK IM ANYTHING SPECIAL! And the only reason I can achieve/maintain or exceed standards I have achieved in the past is because in the last 30 yrs Ive been on countless Observed rides with Police or others, Done countless track days,re-taken instructors courses by choice to hone and update, regularily self test my own personal capabilities, re-taken bike test by choice,Done well above average mileage pos on bike alone, Drive and Ride deliberately in wet/cold/icy conditions to hone those skills ( not simply getting caught out in it)
Its because I recognise that if you allow the 'Think you know' virus to overwhelm you , thats when you run the risk of inviting error into your life in a big way. Practice makes perfect as they say, how much practice does the average road user do? Apart from habitual memory use the majority from the moment they pass their test do very very little if any, but they 'Think they know' an awful lot.Which is why Im doing another track day next week and going on observed ride with a pal of mine who is well qualified, and Im doing this because of a couple of minor errors I recognised creeping in to my usual behavior, so Im going to sharpen up.

So this is why Im impressed when someone makes the effort when they dont have to.marrk


Last edited by Herbie J on Sat Jul 12, 2008 15:01, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 13:20 
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adam.L wrote:
Sixy_the_red wrote:
Or like me, spend your £600 on a bike (including insurance) and actually go out and learn to ride... :roll:

I feel like I've actually sussed it this year - I've been riding the GPZ off it's rims... :D


I like your style Sixy, but remember pride comes before a fall. Every and I mean everytime I think I have "it" sussed, disaster is just around the corner...

("it" can be anything)


I know what you're saying adam. I've been purposely pushing that little bit harder and faster until I actually did find the point at which the back end let go (intentionally on a very quiet road with lots of room to escape). The thinking was that now I've found it I don't need to go anywhere near it again... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 13:37 
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Sixty,

The problem with 'just going out and practicing' by yourself is you may not have the theory to go with it. This why I consistently see New ex-DAS riders riding to a much higher standard than those who've been riding 20 years. Not saying this is you btw, I couldn't possibly know.

Secondly you don't need to push yourself to the limits to develop the 'advanced' skills. You need to concentrate on being 100% accurate, getting your braking points perfect, your bike exactly where you want, reading the bend correctly knowing when to get on the power, where you want to be in the road, what hazards exists.

i.e the priority is:
Riding planning - Planning positioning, reading the road, setting hazard priority and not getting taken by suprise
Machine Control - Machine control skills, accuracy, getting braking points right, not having to correct lines etc.

then you can apply the speed.

The safest place for you test the limits of you and your bike is a race track.


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 Post subject: Re: Agressive bikes...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 14:56 
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diy wrote:
Sixty,

The problem with 'just going out and practicing' by yourself is you may not have the theory to go with it. This why I consistently see New ex-DAS riders riding to a much higher standard than those who've been riding 20 years. Not saying this is you btw, I couldn't possibly know.

Secondly you don't need to push yourself to the limits to develop the 'advanced' skills. You need to concentrate on being 100% accurate, getting your braking points perfect, your bike exactly where you want, reading the bend correctly knowing when to get on the power, where you want to be in the road, what hazards exists.

i.e the priority is:
Riding planning - Planning positioning, reading the road, setting hazard priority and not getting taken by suprise
Machine Control - Machine control skills, accuracy, getting braking points right, not having to correct lines etc.

then you can apply the speed.

The safest place for you test the limits of you and your bike is a race track.


Good point but I dont entirely agree that practice without theory is a problem other than maybe extreme riding levels, all practice to me is valuable, theory can be confusing to some.For example, practicing stopping from various speeds as if in an emergency should be within the capability of even a learner whos passed a cbt without extra theory knowledge.In my view people should be encouraged to practice by themselves but only normal riding skills, anything beyond that I agree should be out of the way of others, preferably on the track.


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