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HoustonPress: "Every kid wants an ultra-fast sport bike -- until the day he dies"

http://www.houstonpress.com/Issues/2005-10-20/news/feature.html

hey all,

those who know me know that i rarely ever post, however, this article sent to me by one of my instructors, warranted some pretty sobering thoughts and is a pretty good read overall.
draw your own conclusions.
...and have a safe ride in '06 everyone.

Jose
 

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Posing with conviction
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It's a good read.

Worth noting yet another reason to securely lock down a bike... your kid or a neighbour's kid might hop on it and kill themselves if they managed to get ahold of the keys.
 

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Sex Appeal
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long read

but well worth it, A real eye opener to me. Im going to definatlly take the safty course now lol.
 
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damn was a good read bikes should be locked up around kids (not that im an old fart or anything) but everyones gotta be safe and pay attention to wut your doing...
 

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That is just sad.

The kid wasn't doing anything we don't do on a regular basis but it all just went wrong in a flash. Well, that and the lack of gear that just may have saved his life. No theft, no wild excesses and no stunting. Just a guy (albeit under age) trying to get home on time and perhaps not paying that little bit of extra attention.

I only read the first page but that one laid it all out. I'm sure the other 9 were just an embellishment.

I don't see this as anyone to blame other than the kid. And even then only for not wearing his gear like he should have done. Sure he took his dad's bike without his permission and was underage but I don't see that he did anything else wrong other than being in a hurry.

My condolences to Gus for his loss. Such a waste of a young life.....
 

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Generally a good read, but the usual factual errors made by people that don't know what they're talking about.

1. Since when is a wheelie the same as a "12 o'clock"? Yes, a 12 is a wheelie, but a wheelie is not a 12.

2. "With sport bikes it's different. Accidents and deaths are nearly always the result of a rider's loss of control, either at high speeds or in turns." Do they have any data to back this statement up?

3. "Going into a turn, Arredondo realized he was starting to lose control and made an amateur mistake: He tapped on the brakes. A more experienced rider would have known to push the bike into the turn, even accelerating to regain control. Instead, Arredondo lost it and pulled a high-side, going airborne off his Ninja."

He didn't tap the brakes. He panicked, hammered on the rear, locked it up, panicked some more and then let up on the rear brake while the rear wheel was sliding sideways. You don't highside by "tapping" the brakes. Racers wouldn't make it around corners if you highsided every time you tapped the brakes.

If there is one thing that BC Safety council taught me, its that you need to straighten up before trying to stop quickly in a corner.
 

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A very good read, let's face it one of the reasons and i would say the main reason for most of us would be that there is no other feeling that comes close to riding a sport-bike, but there should also be the responsibilty that comes along with that action. The kid was not wearing any safety equipment (which is the first thing that is hammered into us at a safety course is never RIDE without it).The countless number of times in 05 that i have watched some guy whiz down the other side wearing shorts and a t-shirt always made me shake my head ....once i even saw one with sandals on. A bike is piece of machinery, handle it well and it won't let you down, abuse it, make a small mistake and it's game over very very very quickly! To put this in a different perspective would you carry a firearm with a round chambered and its safety off in your waistband and then go running ? To all the new riders who surf this forum and will be riding in 06 , obey the rules ride safe, be safe, if you do wanna cut loose, then do it in a controlled enviorement :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Let's not be too cryptic here and as i mentioned in my original post - draw your own conclusions.

Comet said:
Generally a good read, but the usual factual errors made by people that don't know what they're talking about.

1. Since when is a wheelie the same as a "12 o'clock"? Yes, a 12 is a wheelie, but a wheelie is not a 12.
HUH??? Is this a riddle of sorts? Regardless of angle or degree of lift, a wheelie is a DANGEROUS ACTION - no matter what you call it.

Comet said:
2. "With sport bikes it's different. Accidents and deaths are nearly always the result of a rider's loss of control, either at high speeds or in turns." Do they have any data to back this statement up?
Have a look at this link: http://www.icbc.com/library/research_papers/traffic/pdf/traffic_collision_statistics_2003.pdf
Each year ICBC publishes findings from it's Traffic Accident System or TAS, a detailed information recording system that utilizes data from all reported collisions in the Province; motorcycles inclusive. Yes, it's available to the public and yes... sadly there is PLENTY of data to back up rider/driver error.

Comet said:
3. "Going into a turn, Arredondo realized he was starting to lose control and made an amateur mistake: He tapped on the brakes. A more experienced rider would have known to push the bike into the turn, even accelerating to regain control. Instead, Arredondo lost it and pulled a high-side, going airborne off his Ninja."
He didn't tap the brakes. He panicked, hammered on the rear, locked it up, panicked some more and then let up on the rear brake while the rear wheel was sliding sideways. You don't highside by "tapping" the brakes. Racers wouldn't make it around corners if you highsided every time you tapped the brakes.
I'm sorry but your generalization is almost as bad as theirs. Without the virtue of physically investigating the accident yourself, this is only speculation and opinion - of which you are most welcome to. However, the bottom line is that a NOVICE rider lost control because of a lack of skill and experience while operating a high-powered machine. THAT IS THE SAD FACT.

At any rate, don't take this as a rebuttal or a flame war of sorts.
As a veteran rider of over 20+ years I too have lost good friends needlessly to motorcycles - some unfortunately because of their own fatal errors and decisions. My approach is to do something about it through teaching, knowledge and awareness.
If an article like this can make a novice rider step back for a moment and do something about it - like speak to their parents, or research the costs of formal training - then the job is already partly done.
I can't teach common sense or respect for machienery that not only deserves it but DEMANDS IT.
That is strictly up to the RIDER - whatever level they may be.

I'm getting off my soapbox now.
Wow... two posts in two days.
What's going on here...

Later all.
 

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I try to feel bad for these kids who die riding bikes beyond their abilities, but I can barely muster any feeling for them. It's the parents for whom my heart breaks.
Late teens or early 20s, you still know what's smart and what's not.
 
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Really good read. A little long but eye opening. I'm with Spiderider on this case, I'm sympathetic towards the people who have to cope with the loss after an accident that was caused due to stupidity or inexperience
 

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Interesting, but what confused me was the Gixxer with the caption: "The Suzuki GSX-R's high centre of gravity gives it superior cornering capability". Huh? Did the laws of physics just get reinvented?
 

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VTwinVince said:
Interesting, but what confused me was the Gixxer with the caption: "The Suzuki GSX-R's high centre of gravity gives it superior cornering capability". Huh? Did the laws of physics just get reinvented?
yeah I noticed that one to, good read. Some really sobering thoughts in there.
 

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VTwinVince said:
Interesting, but what confused me was the Gixxer with the caption: "The Suzuki GSX-R's high centre of gravity gives it superior cornering capability". Huh? Did the laws of physics just get reinvented?
The relatively higher centre of gravity of a sportbike (as compared to a cruiser, for instance) helps it transition from side to side more easily. I've read many articles where manufacturers raised the centre of gravity in a particular model year in an effort to improve handling.
 

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2. "With sport bikes it's different. Accidents and deaths are nearly always the result of a rider's loss of control, either at high speeds or in turns." Do they have any data to back this statement up?
The Hurt Report, aka
The Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures.

While it doesn't get as specific as defining "sport bikes," it does comment on causation quite clearly. Helmets too, if you want to start a helmet thread....
 

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The article is sad, it points blame towards the bikes. WRONG. Human stupidity is the cause of ALL accidents with the exception of mechanical failure.

Kid takes his dads bike out without gear, loses it and dies: Shouldn't have been out on his dads bike, especially without gear - STUPID

Kid hits his brakes in a corner and highsides (must have harshly jammed the front to bring the rear around, or hit hte rear so hard it locked and caught): Should have taken a riding course to know that he shouldn't have doen what he did - STUPID

People riding around without safety gear @ bike meets and running from cops: No explanation needed - STUPID

Sportbike's aren't to blame. An idiot could do all those things on a Harley cruiser or even a scooter. Just because sportbikes are popular doesn't mean they're the root of the problem. Stupidity is the problem, and the author of that article is too stupid himself to realize that.

*Sad stories though, I feel especially terrible for the dad losing his 14 year old son. That's just not right.
 

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You can't trust a 14 year old boy to NOT take something as tantalizing and deadly as a sportbike out for a joy ride. Father's fault 100% for not having it locked up. Same with guns.

I did the same thing with my father's bike when I was in grade 7. He told me numerous times STAY AWAY FROM THE BIKE. Still I had to sit on it and pretend to ride it. It was stored in the basement of our house :eek

Well it fell over, gas spilled out, the furnace's pilot light ignited the fumes and BOOM. Third degree burns on my leg, skin grafts and 3 months in isolation in hospital recovering. House nearly burned down but we lived accross the street from the fire department.

Kids will be kids. Its the parents responsibility to protect them from themselves as much as is reasonably possible.
 
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