Your gunna kill yourself on that.

Good Hell… If I had a dollar for every time I heard that.  Sport Bikes and Sport Touring Bikes are no less safe than any other motorcycle. 
I humbly submit though, that the fact of the matter is that the opposite is true.  Sport type bikes are more agile and stable at speed.  Sport Bike Riders wear more protective gear.  Sport Bike Riders are more attentive and strive for continual riding improvement.
As evidence of this theory, look at the news reports of the fatal accidents in Utah this year.  Following the reports on, I believe damn near all of them were on Cruisers. Loud Saves Lives, they say.  Maybe… But the lack of gear kills.  I thought about this because the other day I saw a guy on a Harley… and he was actually wearing a helmet.  This stood out in my mind, because it was the first one I had seen all year. 
Now, my buddy Fenris wears a lid… But he’s been the only cruiser jockey that I know that will wear one regularly.  No one else does.  Actual motorcycle jackets are few and far between.  The uniform for cruising is a Dew Rag and a Vest.  I’m not aware of any dew rags earning a Snell 2010 rating.  And that vest might look cool… But where is the CE rated Armor?
No. I’m not going to kill myself on my machine… I’m not suicidal.  Which is why I wear my gear and ride a bike that has better technology for avoiding danger.
You Harley guys… You gentlemen, are going to kill yourselves.

38 thoughts on “Your gunna kill yourself on that.”

  1. I ride an assortment of bikes. I have a wide variety of riding gear. I put about 10-20,000 miles on my bikes a year. I meet cruiser guys, that have spent 20,000 dollars on their bike, and no money on riding gear. I sometimes am wearing well over 1000 dollars of gear. The better and larger variety of riding gear, the more comfortable you will be. With my gear, I can ride in the heat the cold and the rain. That’s one of the reasons I can put on so many miles. Good gear makes the ride more enjoyable. Blaine

  2. Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic with full face, gloves and jacket if I’m just going to get a haircut. Yeah, I get some looks at stoplights. I don’t care. Road tripping up to Missouri yesterday and actually saw a guy in shorts, flip flops, no lid and no SHIRT! Each to his own but some folks are just too stupid to live.

  3. Ogre, I think part of the reason people think this way is the few idiots who pull stupid stunts while on sport bikes. These are the guys who have shut down highways in Dallas to perform their stunts. The ones who will weave between cars that are already doing 70. Just like the idiots pulling stupid stunts with firearms on Youtube, these cyclist give the rest of the sport bike riders a bad name.

      1. In California, we’ve had a lid law for some time (which I oppose – if you figure your brains aren’t worth protecting, I’m willing to go along with your self evaluation). But a lot – most? – of the Harley riders I see wear a little “helmet” that wouldn’t provide as much protection as the typical bicycle helmet with what looks like a fake “DOT” sticker. The cops pretty much leave them alone.

        I remember when I was young and stupid; riding without a helmet is fun. But I also remember a crash where I ended up sliding down the road face-down. Trashed my leather jacket, trashed my gloves, and trashed my full-face helmet (skid marks all down the front). But I walked away with a sprained shoulder and a little road rash where the jacket wore through. Without the gear, I might not have lived. And if I had I’d have needed extensive plastic surgery.

        Just last night I saw a guy on a sport bike with a full face helmet, bike jacket,a and gloves (all good quality). Wearing shorts and sandals. It takes all kinds, I guess. But I figure my own personal hide is worth full protective gear.

  4. As Tim stated, a lot has to do with an image burned into peoples minds by the squids on sport bikes. That’s not to say that there aren’t idiots on cruisers either. No bike is safe when you get T-boned by a soccer mom, on the phone, driving a 5000lb suv. Yeah, the sport bikes stop and handle WAY better, but no matter what you are completely exposed on any bike.

    I’ve ridden Harley’s, crotch rocket, standards, power cruisers(love the V-max though the rocket3 I took for a spin was just too big) and will always have a soft spot for old British twins. They all have their place. Unfortunately far too few riders ever do more than get their license and ride. I know very few cruiser riders(and I used to work in a “biker” bar”) who ever took a safety course or an advanced rider course. On the same note, Ive met no more sport bike riders who have either. Seemingly more of them(sport bike riders) think they are racers simply because they have all the gear yet have never once even attended a track day.

    Bikes are dangerous, all of them. We who ride all know this. Just as all your readers know guns are as well. It is our responsibility to seek out TRAINING that matches our needs.

    Stay safe and enjoy the ride(though I would have kept the SuperHawk).

    1. Unless you don’t maintain the equipment, neither a bike nor a firearm is dangerous. The only dangerous tool is one that malfunctions.

      Any danger from the use of an otherwise-functional tool comes from the operator, or those around him. Training is important, as it reduces or eliminates the operator as a source of danger.

      1. Maybe I should have said there are risks involved with their use. I understand that both guns and motorcycles are inanimate objects with no inherent danger in their being, but there is risk involved while operating both. That is why we have gun safety rules, safety gear and safety training courses for both. Not knowing how to correctly operate a bike, as well as knowing it’s and your limits is no different than handing an untrained child a loaded 1911.

        1. Indeed. There are no dangerous tools; only dangerous operators. That goes for any tool… guns, bikes, cars, etc. included.

          The most dangerous safety risk you’ll ever find in a car or truck is a loose nut behind the wheel.

          Similarly, there is no bad weather, just poor clothing choice. Obviously, some weather poses more risks of various things happening, so it’s up to you to dress appropriately.

    2. Add me to the cruiser riders who have had the motorcycle safety course. But, Texas gives a great incentive to take the course. If you pass the course, you only have to take the written test to get your license. This means you do not have to arrange transport of a motorcycle to the testing office for you to use on the driving test.

      But, I stopped riding until I can move out of the Dallas area. I got tired of dodging yuppy mobiles. The second time I got hit by a Lexus driver not paying attention, I decided that was enough.

      1. Yeah, NJ is similar. You can take the written test for your permit and then passing the safety course counts as your road test. You simply bring your stamped permit back to the DMV to upgrade your license. Took mine on a little 250 cruiser, rebel I think. Most of the people around here who take the road test at the DMV use a rented scooter(if it has gears or is over 50cc it is considered a motorcycle here), then go home and jump on their shiny new big twin or R1 with some fantastic results.

        As to riding, I’m in a similar situation as you. I’m just waiting to move somewhere with less traffic before buying another bike. I may pick up a small dual-sport to take to work as it is only 2 miles and I can zip through all side streets to get there. I wont pick up another real bike at this time though.

  5. I wouldn’t go so far4 to say that sport bike riders are safer because they are the ones who actually wear safety gear because I know that just isn’t true. I’ve seen my fair share of sport bikers wearing nothing but a t-shirt & flip flops while wearing a full face helmet. There will always be irresponsibility among all groups of riders just like there will be ones who will wear all the proper safety gear.

  6. Harley Rider here…Ogre your points are well stated. It’s the blue hair, texting teenager, phone yaking soccer mom, that have zero situational awareness that tells the cop …Oh I never saw that poor motorcycle rider before I ran over him.

    1. The biker must be paranoid of every other vehicle out there to ensure his/her own safety. Complacency kills the moto rider, not the cage driver.

  7. Motorcycle Deaths with helmets or without are almost Identical stats wise, head trama without helmet, or broken Kneck with helmet look it up, I think you will be pretty surprised. I have benn riding for almost 30 years and worked in motorcycle shops, also I always wear a helmet. One Last note ,I have seen two motorcycle Deaths one While I was standing on the street waiting to cross when a car came through and hit a motorcycle waitng for the light from behind killed the rider instantly, what was amazing was the riders protective boots were in the road rihgt where the rider stood at the moment of impact. The other accident was an impatient pickup truck driver going around traffic jam and runnning a full dresser completely over trapping biker underneath, so sometimes it does’nt natter the gear it’s the a holes in cars that don’t respect others not in cars

    1. Ron: they just don’t see them.

      These idiots drive in condition White, and are in full daydream mode.

      Their subconscious will only respond to things that are dangerous, like other cars, or unusual, like a bicyclist using an entire lane.

      Motorcycles are not unusual, and are not dangerous, so the idiot’s subconscious, which is doing all the driving, will happily run them down, and only flag the driver to wake the fuck up when the motorcyclist damages the car by being run over.

  8. I’ve seen gear do a good job of protecting people when they had to put the bike down but I never seen it protect someone from an impact with a vehicle, that is probably asking for to much. Still one day I would like to get a bike, maybe with my next promotion or reenlistment bonus.

  9. orge my uncle has ben riding sentce 15 and he is now 75 on a harly ben wareing ahelmet the hole time

  10. I have to disagree with the two out of three basic premises stated.
    A: Sport type bikes are more agile and stable at speed.
    Agree. 100% Have ridden both and prefer/love my cruisers but the racers handle better, hands down.

    B: Sport Bike Riders wear more protective gear.
    C: Sport Bike Riders are more attentive and strive for continual riding improvement.

    Good riders, regardless of scoot, do this. We have plenty of Ninja riders here in shorts, flip-flops, and tank-tops. As far as I’ve seen, they’re the norm here for Sport bikes…or maybe it’s just Ninjas.

    FWIW: I wear a helmet, always. Jeans, always. Boots, mostly. Vest, nearly always. Full jacket and chaps, not so much, unless I’m going over 10 – 20 miles (note: I have 3 mile commute to work).

    Whatever you ride, be attentive and safe. That asphalt/concrete/gravel hurts at walking speed…do the math. 😉

  11. Live and let live. Wear gear if you want, and don’t if you don’t. All I ask is that you wave back if I wave to you (yes even to scooters).

    Just don’t tell me HOW to ride or tell me that I am going to get killed like your friend that wrote checks that he or his bike couldn’t cash. I understand the risks. I am an adult. I don’t give a crap about your oppinion of how I ride. PERIOD.

    1. I agree with that. I personally wear gear if I ride. Just as I aways wear a seat belt in my care. But I figure it’s your life and your decision, not mine.

      California passed a helmet law years ago (very narrow margin) by pushing “it will save the state money” due to the cost of long-term care for brain injuries. After the fact, it proved to be totally false (and the proponents mostly knew that & lied about it). Head injuries without a helmet are more likely to kill you. You’re more likely to survive head injuries with a helmet on – but you’ve also got a much higher chance brain injuries that require long term care. Note I didn’t say that all, or most, motorcycle head injuries result in brain damage. Just that among those who wouldn’t have survived but now do some small percentage have severe brain damage, and overall costs went up as a result.

      I, nasty sort that I am, would like a law that says that anyone killed in a bike accident who *wasn’t* wearing a helmet is automatically an organ donor. And a program to convince as many squids as possible that helmets aren’t cool. Win-win!

      1. It’s not just about the rider killing himself, though. A dumbass doing dumbass things on a bike, and wrecking, summons Emergency Services and Police. Usually, at lights and siren emergency runs, creating another dangerous situation. Yes, LE and Fire and EMS lights and siren runs are EXTREMELY hazardous, and many citizens and public safety personnel are injured or lost as a result of collisions.

        Actually, people need to learn to drive defensively, that is, looking ahead and all around, anticipating and planning on what other drivers are about to do, or, what hazards are approaching, and having exit routes, etc.

        1. Didn’t you notice that big lump of tongue-in-cheek? 😉

          Seriously, though, folks who act like idiots will get into accidents, full ES response, etc even if wearing the best protective gear out there. As will, sometimes, the careful rider who did everything right . . . but was unfortunate enough to be on the road with an idiot (car or motorcycle division). All too often, “dresses like an idiot” maps to “rides like an idiot”. Not to say that there aren’t some racer wannabees in full gear. But if you see someone splitting through traffic wearing a wife beater, shorts, thong sandals, and no/fake “DOT” helmet – well, that guy’s a poster child for Darwinian selection.

          I’d support allowing insurance companies to charge much less for riders who always wear protective gear, just as many do for MSF graduates. And to greatly reduce their maximum payout if said riders get in an accident without the full gear. Seems fair to me – protective gear is expensive, but 500-1000 dollars of protective gear can make the difference between limping away from an accident and spending time in the hospital.

    1. I agree with M. Live and let live.

      Not what I’d choose to do, but it’s your life.

      My only vitriol comes from you giving me the mental image of a dude in a thong and sunglasses (no taco hat, I hope) on a motorcycle. That’s just wrong, man

  12. I don’t ride. I won’t ever ride. Motorcycles scare the shit out of me. I’ve investigated too many traffic collisions where people were seriously fucked up even in a full size vehicle with seatbelts, much less getting launched off a 2 wheeler. I especially love seeing the crotch-rocket dudes in a tank top, shorts and flip-flops. I cringe just thinking about it…

    That said, the things about motorcycles that scare me the most are the crotch rocket douches that make the responsible riders look bad, and, the yuppie-trendy-Wild-Hogs type that are inexperienced, but buy a big fucking Harley to either look cool, or because they are having a mid-life crisis. My FIL did this a few years back, and promptly fucked himself up a bit in a stupid collision.

    Some people do not belong on the road , period, much less on a motor.

  13. I saw a squid yesterday almost dump his bike trying a long wheelie ( a 600 CBR I think) while wearing NO shirt and sandals. He did have his helmet on though. I was kind of disappointed when he saved it.

  14. I use to get commented on all the time for riding a cruiser and ALWAYS wearing a jacket of some sort (even in extreme heat) and my modular helmet. Now, if I’m riding in a parade, I’ll toss on my jean jacket and my American Legion Rider’s vest, but if I’m riding for pleasure, it’s a jacket or I don’t ride.

  15. There is nothing safe about any bike. There is nothing safe about life. No-one gets out alive. Want to know the single most important thing about not getting hurt?-luck.
    I would bet every single person commenting here can relate at least a couple of stories where a half second difference, or a change of plan, or stopping for a drink, or not stopping for a drink, or something was the difference between life or death. Some of us have dozens of those stories.
    Luck, or grace, or whatever you want to call it is the reason they can relate those stories. We try to rationalize it as skill or planning because that makes us feel more in control of our destiny.

  16. I just did about 1300 miles in three days on my Bandit. No muss, no fuss. I wore my gear, paid attention and kept the speed down to reasonable levels. The bandit is big, fast, stops and handles twisties with aplomb. We saw bunches of other riders. You know what? The guys on R1200RTs, Interceptors, Concours, FJRs and STs were all wearing their gear and riding sanely. The only cruiser helmets I saw were either in Nevada (where it’s the law and even then they were minimalist) or attached to a bedroll behind the rider. Yes, that’s certainly anecdotal and generalist but I’ve been riding for many decades and such is the rule, not the exception.

    No. Me and my Bandit are not the problem.

  17. Equipment saves lives and skin. I was riding home from work, a 30 mile highway commute, and in a tricky stretch of road an antelope bounded out of the ditch, and successfully stopped my bike. From 70-75 to zero in a matter of two seconds. I didn’t stop for 230 feet. I wasn’t wearing a jacket. Carhart work pants, steel toe boots and a brain bucket were on the menu that day though. A month and a half later, when I go to go home from the hospital, I found my helmet waiting on the front porch. It had a lot of flex in it after the hits I made on the highway. One of the lenses of the goggles I wore under the helmet had some serious asphalt grind, just like my arms, legs and back. My face did not though. And in spite of the massive head trauma, I didn’t become a brain damaged state-dependent. The bike was a cruiser. Sometimes I rode without the bucket. The luck of the draw had me put it on that morning. I don’t remember the accident, being covered in antelope guts and gore, or much of anything in the month following my wreck. I bought another bike, a cruiser again. I like them. I like to cruise. Hugging a gas-tank isn’t for me. 100 mph+ isn’t for me. I like the ride. “Sometimes the journey is the worthier part.” I know my bike and what she can and can’t do. Car, truck, bike, boat, plane, scooter, skateboard, whatever. People do dumb shit.

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