Copied from a Trials mailing list....
The famous (or was it infamous?) Hurt Study of 1981 on motorcycle crashes had some conclusions that are relevant.
"28. Motorcycle riders in these accidents showed significant collision
avoidance problems. Most riders would overbrake and skid the rear wheel,
and underbrake the front wheel greatly reducing collision avoidance
deceleration. The ability to countersteer and swerve was essentially absent. "
"25. More than half of the accident-involved motorcycle riders had less
than 5 months experience on the accident motorcycle, although the total
street riding experience was almost 3 years. Motorcycle riders with dirt
bike experience are significantly underrepresented in the accident data. "
I couldn't find the full text of the Hurt report. But I remember reading
they thought experienced dirt bikers, especially those with the kind of
competition experience that required considerable front brake usage, faired
better because they weren't afraid to clamp down hard on the front brake
when road riding... and they had a reflexive use of the front brake.
So competition in dirt bike sports like trials, MX, and enduro do indeed
prepare you better for road riding.
NHTSA's website on the research (and updates since) is at: