Article from todays The Province :
Nearly twice as many motorcyclists have died on B.C. roads this year than in 2003, according to a B.C. Coroners' report released yesterday.
Deputy chief coroner Norm Leibel said 21 riders lost their lives between January and June 2004, compared with 11 over the same period last year.
According to the statistics, male riders between the ages of 20 and 29 are most likely to die. Of the 24 total motorcyclist deaths so far this year, 22 were men and two were women. Ten riders died in June alone. Langley and Surrey roads have proven to be the most dangerous this year with three deaths each.
Leibel said speed and loss of control while cornering appear to be contributing factors in many of the fatalities. The majority of the accidents also involved another vehicle.
The numbers are no surprise to eight-year motorcycling veteran Mark Gryski of Victoria, who at 28 fits the demographic profile of motorcyclists most likely to die. Gryski rides a Honda CBR 954RR, a 130- horsepower machine that can go from zero to 60 kilometres in 2.8 seconds.
It's a lot of power and it doesn't take much, just an ill-timed twist of the throttle, to find yourself in trouble, he said.
Motorcycles are more powerful and lighter than they've ever been, Gryski said, and rookie riders on the huge bikes have a dangerous tendency of not being able to judge the power of their machines when they head into corners. Some panic and grab the brakes, others go straight off the road with disastrous consequences.
But, Gryski stressed, it's not a problem with licensing or the bravado of youth.
"It's the number of idiots who have enough money to buy themselves a $15,000 or $20,000 motorcycle," he said.
Indeed, in 2002, the majority of riders killed were between ages 40 and 49. In 2001, it was 30- to 39-year-olds who were more likely to die. Four of the 24 people killed this year were between 50 and 59.
Leibel is urging motorcyclists to stay visible by wearing bright clothing, keeping their headlights on and riding in a position where they are easily seen, as well as to wear a helmet and protective clothing.
The part about idiots having enough money to buy a powerful bike for their first machine is so true. I think it would be an idea to restrict new riders to a bike thats 500cc or less for 1 year minimum. There are too many new riders who die because they cannot handle such big bikes. Either way, be safe out there guys and keep visable. Trust noone and ride with caution!!!!