The wrong way to start riding a motorcycle

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcVRTkdjNMD

I feel bad for this girl because she got hurt, but she’s lucky it wasn’t worse. I don’t know these people so I don’t know their motivations, but I’d like to point out some troubling things about this.

  • It’s obvious she’s a new rider.
  • She was not ready for this ride in terms of her ability.
  • Her bike is a Yamaha R6, a race bike with some of the worst ergonomics for a beginner. It’s tall and you’re leaned very far forward.
  • She can barely get her toes on the ground when sitting on the bike.
  • She had plenty of road and the bike could have made that turn without breaking a sweat, but she panicked. I can only guess, but this is typically due to target fixation; i.e. she was staring at the guard rail instead of looking ahead through the turn and freaked out when she saw it getting closer.
  • Her Instagram account is full of photos of her wearing inadequate gear. Tennis shoes, tight jeans and an Icon armor vest are not going to do much in a crash. You need a leather jacket with elbow armor. Real riding pants with knee armor. Boots that will actually protect your feet and ankles.

Folks, don’t start out riding this way. Get the real gear, and get a more beginner friendly bike.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb2KsIKjVM5/

 




Beginner Crash Caught on Video

This poor person was completely unprepared to try riding a motorcycle for the first time; the end results are painful and costly. Granted I don’t know anything past what’s here in the video, but there are some important things to point out for beginners:

  • As humans, our tendency is to freeze when things go wrong in this type of situation. She could have just let go of the throttle or pulled in the clutch lever, but froze instead due to a lack of experience. Keep in mind this is a Yamaha R3 with only a 321cc engine. Now imagine an R6 with a 600cc engine and how much worse it could have been. This is mostly why I never endorse getting a 600cc sportbike for a starter bike.
  • She obviously has no experience and was given poor or little instruction at all. Riding a motorcycle is hard for beginners, especially if they’ve never operated a vehicle with a manual transmission and clutch. Good training such as the MSF course can literally save someone’s life.
  • Don’t let someone ride your bike if they haven’t had any training. Even if they’re a friend, you may find yourself liable for their injuries or damages they’ve caused, or worse. Don’t do it.

I don’t know the true source of this video, but found it on Reddit here:

https://redd.it/780gbm




Video: Beginner Motorcycle Rider Crashes on Canyon Road; He’s Okay Though

A new rider crashes on highway 33 near Ojai, CA
This beginner rider crashed on highway 33 near Ojai, CA. He was not hurt and the bike’s okay.

It was a beautiful Saturday as seven of us rode out to Ojai, CA. My brother and I stayed in Ojai for lunch while the other five rode up Highway 33, one of the best motorcycle roads in all of southern California. To my surprise one of the riders was still a beginner; he had only been riding for four months or so and was brought along by a more experienced friend.  Continue reading “Video: Beginner Motorcycle Rider Crashes on Canyon Road; He’s Okay Though”




Riding Canyon Roads Safely

canyon road
One of the endless turns on Angeles Crest Highway

Twisty roads are something many sportbike riders look forward to every weekend, myself included. Here in Los Angeles we have an iconic mountain road right in our backyard called Angeles Crest Highway (aka ACH or The Crest), endless canyon roads in the hills surrounding the Malibu coast and various other excellent mountain roads within an hour’s ride. Perhaps you’ve heard of Deal’s Gap and The Snake, an infamous stretch of curvy forest road in the Smoky Mountains along the North Carolina / Tennessee border. These roads attract motorcycle riders of all kinds; some looking for fresh air and scenery, others looking for the thrill of running turn after turn at speed. These roads can also be dangerous, so it’s important to enjoy them safely by following a few simple guidelines. Continue reading “Riding Canyon Roads Safely”

Wear a Real Helmet… Please

It’s really sad to see something like this accident happen. The passenger was wearing a “novelty helmet” which according to the California Highway Patrol, “…failed in the collision and significantly contributed to her death.” Sometimes called skid lids, novelty helmets are not DOT approved and are technically illegal in California and other states with similar helmet laws. They don’t offer any real impact protection and shouldn’t be worn in lieu of a real helmet.

If you’re new to motorcycling, a good helmet should be your first priority when it comes to safety gear. Make sure to get one that’s DOT and/or Snell M2010 approved because it means the helmet has gone through rigorous standardized testing to ensure the rider has a chance to withstand an impact.

Source article: The Press-Enterprise
http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/hemet/hemet-headlines-index/20120507-san-jacinto-woman-killed-in-hwy-79-crash.ece

California Motorcycle Accident Statistics 2008

2008 wasn’t a great year for motorcyclists in California, continuing an increasing trend in accidents and fatalities coupled with a large increase in registered motorcycles over the past several years. Fortunately the first half of 2009 has broken the trend and saw a greatly reduced number of fatalities vs. the same period in 2008, so let’s hope the trend continues.  Here are some interesting statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety’s California Traffic Safety Report Card for 2008.

Continue reading “California Motorcycle Accident Statistics 2008”

Southern California Police Tackling Motorcycle Safety

A few days ago I noticed that many of the freeway condition signs in Los Angeles were displaying the message “SHARE THE ROAD LOOK TWICE FOR MOTORCYCLISTS.” I was encouraged to see this happening especially since it seems every time I turn on the radio and hear a traffic report, there’s a motorcycle accident mentioned.

Continue reading “Southern California Police Tackling Motorcycle Safety”

Harry Hurt, Author of the Hurt Report, Dies at 81

It’s been almost 30 years since Hurt’s research report on motorcycle accidents was published.  Sadly, it’s the only definitive study of its kind.  To say Hurt’s work benefitted us all is an understatement.  You can read more about him and his report here:

LA Times article:
http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-harry-hurt2-2009dec02,0,1034954.story

The Hurt Report itself:
http://www.clarity.net/~adam/hurt-report.html