The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), just released a study of insurance losses among the various classes of motorcycles and it’s not good. Of special note is the death rate among what the IIHS calls “supersport motorcycles” or what we might term racer replicas, which was pegged at 22.5 deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles. The next nearest rate was 10.7 among “Sport/unclad sport” all the way down to 5.7 for cruisers and 6.5 for touring motorcycles.
It’s the young guys on sportbikes not boomers on Harleys …
For some time we’ve been hearing about the rising rate of motorcycle accidents and it seemed everyone was attributing this to baby boomers buying their Harleys and driving off the road because they lacked the skills and reflexes of the younger riders, at least that was the common theme. But a funny thing happened when they looked closer. It was instead the young riders on the Gixxers and Ninjas who were crashing and killing themselves. On top of the deaths, the collision and theft losses were far higher in the supersport category, leading the pack for those numbers was the Kawasaki ZX-10R.
The riders who will protest the most when laws are written to restrict their riding are the same ones who encourage non riders to demand a crack down when they practice their wheelies in traffic or on the interstates, lane splitting at high speed and then wondering why everyone doesn’t understand bikers. The skills to safely pilot a literbike don’t happen by magic and a little maturity and common sense go a long way. We have to work a lot harder than drivers to display good judgment because there are far more drivers than riders and it’s easy to restrict the minority.
C’mon guys, if you have to race, check out a track day. Do it safely, get the right gear and wear a helmet. Owning a GSX-R1000 doesn’t make you a Mladin or a Spies, it makes you dangerous to yourself and others unless you use your head and learn to ride it right. If riders don’t police themselves, non riders are more than willing to write laws no rider wants.
Link: IIHS Study