Aug 12, 2017

Licensed Non-Riders

One of the many ridiculous facts pertaining to our idiotic motorcycle licensing system in the “freedumb” USA is that once you obtain a motorcycle endorsement you can keep the damn thing forever without even riding a motorcycle once you receive the endorsement. Apparently, 8 million non-riders in the USA are in that category. 8 million bozos are ready and barely-able to swing a leg over a 110 cubic-inch Hardly simply because they once passed (even if they barely managed that on a 125cc training bike). Holy crap.

Even worse, Hardly wants to capitalize on that by convincing that marginally-abled crowd of “sleeping license-holders” to jump in front of a moving train after getting a second mortgage on their homes to buy a chrome-laden suicide machine. According to an article titled, "Millions of people have a motorcycle license but don't own a bike," ”Harley has a goal of attracting 2 million new U.S. riders over the next 10 years, a tall order considering it would represent a 25% increase in the total number of motorcycles registered in the nation.” You know me, I’m all for population reduction any way it can happen (as long as no innocent cats, dogs, hawks, eagles, crocodiles, or elephants are harmed in the filming of this catastrophe), but this is downright hilarious.

Stuff like this is why I believe motorcycle training is totally back-asswards. It’s pretty obvious that training beginning riders is a pointless, stupid idea from the perspective of a society trying to reduce the $22.6B in medical costs due to motorcycle crashes. Society has absolutely no reason to want to train beginning motorcyclists, with the obvious idea that the more butts put on motorcycle seats the more money it will cost society. However, once someone has decided to get licensed and buy a donor-cycle, society has every motivation to be sure that person is as unlikely as possible to contribute to that $22.6B. Which means that every time a motorcycle license comes due it should NOT be renewed without some evidence of recent (3-6 months, for example) advanced rider training. Not that silly MSF Intermediate Rider bullshit, either. I mean some kind of skill-demanding, road-speed advanced training like the MMSC/MSF “advanced” or “expert” rider courses.

Couple that training with a serious helmet law (no DOT head-pot bullshit, but full face, Snell-approved or nothing) and we’re beginning to talk about an actual attempt to drag US motorcycling into the 20th Century. Once we’ve made it that far, we might even head toward an actual 21st Century system of tiered licensing and a real inital rider’s test.

8 comments:

  1. I'm afraid that you're dreaming. What you say makes a lot of sense but that is not a requirement for laws in this country...

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  2. At the age of 16 you get a automobile drivers license based on showing some very basic operating skills. This allows you to hurl a 2 ton vehicle through traffic with no more than an eye test every 8(?) years. Until that changes I don't see motorcyclists being held to a higher standard.

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    1. As we become an even more over-represented portion of highway fatalities, you can bet something is going to change. We can either hold ourselves to a higher standard in an attempt to cling to some public road rights, or become like horsey owners and ride the few obscure trails available to the rich and idle few who will own motorcycles.

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  3. Less people are riding and older riders are dying off. The stats will go down and nothing will be done about better training. That is unless they come up with something new that everyone will want. Maybe a lightweight electric bike with crazy long range and more power than anyone needs.

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    1. So far, the first two of your points are and have been happening for a good while, the "stats," on the other hand, are worse: particularly for miles traveled and the percentage of motorcycles as vehicles on public roads. The stats are going to get worse as cars continue to become safer (and smarter) and motorcyclists continue to be unskilled and untrained.

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  4. I'm surprised we have any sort of requirements other than cash for licensing drivers. If the country was serious about safety it would be far more difficult to get and keep a license.

    But we're all about liberty and freedom and being able to do dumb stuff regardless the outcome.

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