Motorcycle Related Deaths Down 16%

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). has released the 2009 yearly traffic fatality numbers, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). Overall (all motor vehicles), the report shows that traffic fatalities are at the lowest in this country since 1950.  Motorcycle-related deaths were down 16 percent, the first drop in the past 11 years, from 5,312 in 2008 to 4,462 in 2009.

“Of course a one year drop is encouraging but can hardly be called a trend,” said Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. “We in the motorcycling community need to continue to push for proper rider education and motorist awareness campaigns in order to establish a true trend.”  Motorcycle related injuries were also down 6.3 percent from ’08 to ’09, more encouraging news.

Pinning the fall in deaths to a single source is difficult. Some will say that the economic slowdown reduced vehicle travel, but that’s just not true. The vehicle miles traveled for 2009 is slightly higher than it was in 2008, about 0.2 percent.  Some can point to manufacturer-based safety solutions such anti lock brakes. However, motorcycles have very limited widespread use of such technologies, leaving safer riding and better motorist awareness of motorcycles as more plausible explanations.

25 Responses to “Motorcycle Related Deaths Down 16%”

  1. 1 burnout Sep 10th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Lost a customer to a deer last night. It appears that every Hardees Restaurant (in my state anyway) is trying to raise awareness to motorcycles. Signs are posted at the entrance and exits stating “Watch for Motorcycles”. And while in Sturgis the city police said they average 40 D U I arrest per night during the rally………………………….. E N T I R E L Y too many! peace

  2. 2 Rogue Sep 10th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Nowhere did I see any mention of how schooling, training or testing led to any of these reductions. Though I am not against Motorcycle Rider Training For Those Who Want and or Need It, I am against it being Mandatory. With that being said there are already motorcyclist and organizations claiming that these programs are responsible for the motorcycle death rate going down. I might note that those making these statements usually have something to gain by promoting their cause.

    Though I have no facts to argue this neither is there facts to support their statements. There are many factors responsible for things that are happening and some logical ones are due to the economy. The price of fuel may mean less miles traveled and of course consuming alcohol at home as oppose to in bars would reduce impaired motorcyclist riding as well as keeping other drivers off the road. Educating drivers of other vehicles to look out for motorcycles is a definite help.

    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says heavy focusing on curtailing of distracted driving especially due to cell phone and hand held device use is a factor. All in all I am happy to see all the traffic deaths go down no matter why! Rogue. Sturgis Freedom Fighters, Motorcycle Hall Of Fame

  3. 3 Lyle Sep 10th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Here in Minnesota and North Dakota, there are programs where you can get your MC safety training and your MC license simultaneously without ever leaving a parking lot. In my opinion learing to operate a MC in a parking lot and going around a few cones does not prepare anyone for real riding in the street.

  4. 4 Todd8080 Sep 11th, 2010 at 12:03 am

    My theory is that with the recession and the Harley fad winding down, many low-mileage, unskilled trailer queens are selling their bikes to people who actually know how to ride, resulting in fewer dimwits causing their own deaths & injuries through inexperience.

    If you type “Harley-Davidson” into any news search engine you’ll see that the single biggest cause of motorcycle deaths isn’t left-turning cagers (as it once was), it’s people just riding off the road. The common recurring phrase in all these news articles is “lost control.”

    Whereas in the past the overwhelming majority of bike wrecks were caused by cars, almost exactly half of all motorcycle wrecks today are self-inflicted, usually not even involving another vehicle, according to NHTSA figures.

    Moral of story: You’ll never become an accomplished rider if your bike travels most of its miles on a trailer.

  5. 5 Mike Greenwald Sep 11th, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I think that government reporting of crashes has changed.

    Probability of causation is different than proof of causation and takes much less effort, time and money.

    Upon in depth study of this hypotheses, you will find that in addition to the initial false facts and figures provided by the government, this current manipulation has been thrown up as a smoke screen to cover up squandered taxes purposely spent to reduce rights to privacy and freedom of movement.

    The government has been taking victory laps on this issue and many more while operating nefarious and despicable programs.

    If you believe anything that the government says at face value, you have bought into “Hope and Change”, lock, stock and barrel.

    Motorcyclist death and injury rates are manipulated around their willingness to adapt their riding skills to rules and regulations that are designed for the interactions of cages with commercial vehicles and pedestrians. The adaptation is more survivorship than obedience or lawfully abiding to these cage driven laws.

    Education is never quantified or qualified as a skill set for motorcyclists or OV drivers. The operational test for skills assessment has little or nothing to do with surviving on the road. For the government to apply their logic of death reduction to any of their programs is fallacious.

    This report is bullshit tainted with a bureaucratic breath mint.

  6. 6 Mac Sep 11th, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I think the cause of fewer accidents is because more motorcyclists are wearing tightee whitee’s. Or maybe fewer RUB’s are riding. Sturgis was a trailer mecca this year. Maybe if the MSF went back to asking riders to make a stop during a tight turn, fewer would pass the test. Now where is that next “safety” check point…I do want be safer. Maybe if they came out with a bigger DOUBLE DOT helmet more would survive rear ends or ROW’s…in CA, motorcycles are considered inherently dangerous…in other words if a cager kills me…it is my own stupid fault. I forgot, it is the airbags on Honda Goldwings

  7. 7 Rogue Sep 11th, 2010 at 7:55 am

    While I believe everyone is happy to see that the death rate has gone down many are unhappy that specific groups are looking to take credit for it.
    There are many factors that contribute to these numbers and some of them are worked to the convieance of the goverment and those profiting from them.
    I personally know people that could not pass the test on the motorcycle they ride so they paid to take the local rider course on a smaller motorcycle and then took the certificate to the DMV and with out being tested recieved a motorcycle edorcement. Some of them will admit they still do not feel they could pass the test at the DMV if it was still offered.
    YES I SAID: If it was still offered. In the State of Florida it is now Mandatory for Everyone applying for a Motorcycle Endorsement to attend a Motorcycle Safety Course.
    I checked two courses in Brevard County and found the one at the Florida Safety Council (Not A State Agency) cost $225.00 and the one at Space Coast Harley Davidson $275.00. Both have motorcycles they supply for the course and on completion participants recieve a piece of paper to bring to the Depart of Motor Vehicles where they turn it in along with $7.00 per year fee it is then added to their regular auto license which is $48.00 for 4 years.
    I many cases the people recieving these new licenses are purchasing and riding larger cc motorcycles. To address this issue there are those who want to introduce tiered licensing similiar to what they have in many European countries. Of course if that is to happen everyone would have to attend the school for the cc size motorcycle they want to ride. SO BE CAREFUL BEFORE ASKING FOR THIS.
    The current Mandatory Schooling does not take into consideration those that have had a operators license in the past or those who grow up in motorcycling with off road experience.
    The State of Florida Has Closed All Testing Sites and No One no matter how qualified can go to the DMV to be tested. The State is saving and making a lot of money with this and not giving back to the motorcycling community. Property that in the past that was used for motorcycle testing can now be used for other things. The time administering the test is eliminated along with pay to those who would be doing the testing.
    The people who lobbied to make this happen did the motorcycle riders of Florida a BIG INJUSTICE.
    I have No Problem with the schools as a matter of fact at one time I was a certified MSF instructor, But I am Against the Schools Being Mandatory and People wishing to taking them being forced to pay to do so.
    There is Money in Every License and Registeration being sold that includes a portion for Education. WHY IS THAT NOT BEING USED TO FUND THESE COURSES?
    There are many more issues pertaining to this and hopefully they will continue to come out.
    Thank You

  8. 8 Rogue Sep 11th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Here is what the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) has to say.

    Motorcycle fatalities drop 16 percent in 2009Publish date: Sep 9, 2010
    Email|Print|ShareDel.icio.usDiggRedditFacebook|Save|LicenseFederal officials this week reported that motorcycling deaths in the United States dropped by 16 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year.
    “The death of any motorcyclist is one too many, so this news that fatalities are down is encouraging,” said Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations. “While we are pleased that the number of motorcycling fatalities dropped dramatically in 2009, a one-year drop isn’t a trend. We need to determine why, and ensure that the decline continues.”

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported Sept. 9 that motorcycling fatalities in 2009 decreased for the first time in more than a decade, dropping to 4,462 in 2009 from 5,312 in 2008.

    Federal officials said traffic deaths involving all vehicles nationwide fell 9.7 percent in 2009, from 37,423 in 2008 to 33,808. The figure is the lowest since 1950. Traffic safety officials said that the decrease may be due to increased seat belt use, tougher enforcement of drunk driving laws and improved vehicle safety features.

    According to NHTSA figures, motorcycling fatalities have decreased in the past — from 1980 to 1997 — but then fatalities increased steadily for 11 years; 2,294 motorcyclists were killed in 1998, and the number of fatalities rose each subsequent year, reaching 5,312 in 2008.

    Moreland cautioned that there will be speculation about why motorcycling fatalities are down so significantly in 2009, and noted that there aren’t any solid answers.

    “The motorcycling community looks forward to receiving some real answers about motorcycle crashes and what causes them from the new federal crash causation study that is under way at Oklahoma State University (OSU) through the Oklahoma Transportation Center in Stillwater,” Moreland said. “Then we can put our heads together to find solutions, reduce crashes and save more lives.”

    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is overseeing the four-year, $3 million OSU study, which is the first major research on the subject in 30 years. The last major study into the causes of motorcycle crashes was issued in January 1981.

    Called “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures Volume I: Technical Report,” the study became known as the “Hurt Report,” named after lead researcher Hugh “Harry” Hurt of the University of Southern California.

    Source: AMA

  9. 9 ROGUE Sep 11th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    A Short History Lesson

    Back in the late 70s the AMA held a meeting called the Meeting Of The Minds in Lake Of The Ozarks.
    They invited 50 people with various backgrounds in motorcycling to attend. The subject was what these riders though had contributed to their amount of miles and riding without serious injury.
    I am proud to say I was one of those who attended this meeting.
    What came out of this and other sources was what led to the forming of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).
    The organization was funded by the major motorcycle manufactures. The import motorcycle companies had a program where they supplied 250-350 cc motorcycles to schools on a loaner program. Harley provided financial support.
    People were buying more motorcycles and many did not know how to operate them. The companies were looking to have someone supply this training. And MSF became it.
    Originally those interested in promoting these programs went to an instructor school to become certified, myself being one of these people. We donated our time to promote the program and as it grew some one came up with the idea that Money Could Be Made From It.
    That is not what I signed up for and though I continued to support the idea of schools for those who wished to attend I did not teach.
    Over the years the schools continued to expand and the price to attend continued to increase. Those involved began making a lot of money and started to tell everyone how well they were doing in preventing collisions, crashes, injury and deaths.. There are many that dispute this and even document deaths while people were taking the courses.
    To guarantee making these large amounts of money MSF started to lobby to make the courses Mandatory. They were successful in doing this in the State of Florida and are trying to do so in other areas of the country.
    There is now discussions on making a course mandatory for those who already have a motorcycle endorsement. Promoters of this are trying to convince others that many of those operating motorcycles for years do not know what they are doing and or have developed bad habits. They want people to believe they have the answer to this. They are willing to teach experienced riders the error of their ways, For A Fee Of Course.
    To me this sounds like a form of extortion where riders would have to pay them to continue to ride.
    It is suggested that all pay attention to this

  10. 10 sly Sep 11th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    First, let me say this… motorcycling is an expensive hobby!!! When I started it I didn’t realize this.
    The bike, maintenance, safety clothes, chrome parts, insurance, gas, and the lunches when you arrive at your destination all add up!!
    I did pay $250 for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class. But I feel it is the best class I ever took.
    The knowledge and confidence it gave me were priceless.
    And I saw lots of young people in my class who were clueless as to what they were getting into.
    So my point is: being forced to take a MSF class to get one’s license, and paying the money for it, should be mandatory.
    After all, this is a rich man’s sport, and if you can’t afford it, you can’t be in it.

  11. 11 Miami Chopper Shop Sep 11th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Todd put it beautifully – but I still haven’t been sold on WHY, though Todd is probably also right about wannabees now getting rid of their scoots. Who knows? Who cares how the other guy rides, just take care of yourself; there’s really nothing you can do for others who don’t think about consequences.

  12. 12 TigerLily Sep 11th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I’m from Nevada – home of the highest foreclosure rate in the nation (

    The national news of fewer fatalities is good. What might not be so good is why?

    In their golden years, I recall my dad yelling at my subservient mom for breaking a glass. My dad was a chain-smoking, beer guzzling, non-moving retired old fart (that I loved dearly). My mom feeling, frustrated, overworked, and annoyed – uncharacteristically yelled right back at my father and said, “Well of course I am going to break something. That’s because I actually move!”

    Whoa! After 30 years of marriage, my mom actually stuck up for herself!

    I can’t help but think that this lower fatality rate has more to do with fewer people “moving” than anything else. I am not convinced that government-sanctioned parking lot motorcycle training is the key to reducing fatalities. About three years ago, my own Las Vegas MSF instructor, the famous “Double D” – a major proponent of safety training and helmets – was killed by a stupid driver that swerved into my late instructor’s lane to avoid road debris. About two years later, another local MSN instructor – DEAD – DOT helmet and all. Likely there isn’t a governmental study to see how many MSF instructors are killed because it might negate the need for these government-sanctioned training courses, and thus eliminate someone’s “bread and butter.” (Follow the $.)

    I think if we really want to reduce death rates, let’s just stop “living” altogether. The economy is so shitty, fewer people can afford to “get moving.” The local municipalities must also be hurting economically which is why I believe Las Vegas LEOs are extra aggressive against citizens in efforts to give bullshit citations to collect revenue for their jurisdictions. With no money and such a high chance of being extorted by “crime-stoppers,” what law-abiding, hard-working individual would want to “get moving?”

    I’m no historian, but if you look at the graph of fatalities that supports the research article, there appears to be an interesting correlation. The higher the death toll, the better the economy, and the more liberties we Americans may have experienced. Restricting liberty and pursuit of happiness (money) appears to decrease fatalities. Is it really worth it?

    See the “Fatality Rate Per Vehicle Miles Traveled” graph and note that fatalities flat-line (pardon the pun) right about nine years ago, coincidentally after 9-11.

    So the question I ask myself is this: Is the avoidance of dying also an avoidance of living? How much more governmental intrusions are we “Americans” willing to tolerate in name of avoiding the definite destiny for every human on earth – that ultimate insult to our ego called, DEATH?

    Call me macabre, twisted, or psycho, but I’d rather be a fatality because I lived fully, than live long enough to drool in a cup because government forced me to “stay alive.”

  13. 13 Mike Greenwald Sep 12th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I wonder about two things in comment. The government sanctioned monopoly, MSF, provided the best class you ever took? You don’t mind ranking all the other classes you ever took for us, do you?

    For some, motorcycling is not a hobby. The government should not gouge all of us for a personal embellishment of your class elitism. Your dollar valuation of motorcycling and how schooling should be mandatory borders upon moronic. It is my firm belief that anyone that adapts your viewpoint about motorcycling is actively trying to eliminate motorcycles or relegate them to the status of parade of wealth vehicles.

    Kindly, sell your bike and get off the road. You’re acting as if you are a parking lot trained fool with no grasp of the reality of motorcycling. Your thirty plus thousand dollar investment and three thousand miles has not made you a motorcyclist.


  14. 14 ROGUE Sep 12th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    You may consider motorcycling a hobby while many of us consider it a life style.
    Because you are so quick to mention that it is expensive I have to ask is that why your involved? Are you trying to impress some one with how much money you have or would like people to think you have?
    I was recently at a local bike night and a guy pulled in on one of the custom bikes that were built at Harley Davidson. He was really proud of his new toy and commenced to tell everyone how much he spent for it. When he got to me I had to tell him he paid to much and got screwed. He had also paid more than what the motorcycle was selling for at most dealerships.
    Maintentance need not be expensive, there are plenty of options as far as safety clothers, did you get suckered into some of the designer stuff?
    Oh if your interested I think I can get you some Ocean front Property in Arizona.

    May I ask how long ago did you get involved in riding?
    I have no problem with people taking motorcycle classes especially those that do not know what end of the motorcycle is suppose to go down the highway first.
    Have you ever been to a motorcycle event where skill games like slow races or riding on a oiled plank are held?
    These games promote riding skills and we teach them to our children as they are growing up. Many have learned to ride off road and could probably teach some of the current school instructors a thing or two.
    Are there any things in life that you do not think should be mandatory schooling for? If the answere is yes then who are you to suggest that the MSF course be.
    There are so many people that can pass that course and the test at the Department of Motor Vehicles, where it is still available that they should be given the opportunity to do so.
    Do you think Auto Driving Courses Should Be Mandatory?
    Do you know that every license and registeration includes a portion for education?
    Why are these courses not being paid for out of that money?

  15. 15 TigerLily Sep 12th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue here, especially the short history provided by Rogue. It got me to do a little research and I have to ask Rogue, are you the Rogue that appeared before the Federal Transportation Sub-committee in our Nations Capitol in the 1970’s?


    I took the MSF course 6 years ago when I was 43 and also paid something like $250 at the Las Vegas HD. I had never even placed a key into the ignition of a motorcycle nor even ridden a scooter. I do NOT feel the class was the most valuable class I have ever taken though it was a good course for me because I was one of those that Rogue describes as not knowing “what end of the motorcycle is suppose to go down the highway first.” That class gave me some very basic training and the information was too much for a novice like me to fully assimilate.

    My real “training” came afterward from riding about 100,000 miles from coast-to-coast in all sorts of weather and road conditions. The more I ride the better I get – but no matter how experienced or “trained,” I will never consider myself invincibly safe.

    While motorcycling started out as a fun hobby for me, unlike you, it evolved into a new life passion for me. This whole new lifestyle has opened my eyes to some very serious issues that I had otherwise ignored. For example, I’ve learned how the government, through slanted statistics – comes to extremely biased conclusions to convince “We the People” to hand over more power to them. And for every single compromise we make through more laws, we meekly give away our rights.

    In Nevada, for example, only motorcyclists are required to pay an extra fee of $6 each time we register or renew our motorcycle registrations. This fee goes into a “safety fund.” Never mind the statistics about how many cars are killing us – we the riders – are charged the extra fee to keep us safe. The latest accounting #’s indicate there is more than half a million in the budget for the Nevada Rider Program. It includes an $88K federal grant.

    I’ve been doing a little digging and surprise, surprise – I discovered that:

    1. This year, $126,000 was taken from the Motorcycle Safety Program to balance the Nevada State Budget. A little more digging and I discovered that the federal grants given to us were conditional. ALL of our motorcycle safety money is supposed to be used for motorcycle safety! I wonder what would happen if the feds found out that Nevada stole money from the fund? Would the feds take back their $88K? They should and I’d like nothing better. Next thing coming to Nevada, I predict, will be motorcycle only checkpoints funded by the feds – like is happening in other parts of the country. We don’t need the feds subsidizing more tyranny – as was done this holiday weekend with an unprecedented 6 DUI checkpoints in Las Vegas. While I have nothing against finding drunk drivers, it’s far more productive to find them the old fashioned way – by patrolling. Experiencing DUI checkpoint feels totalitarian, and I can only imagine I’d have a real problem with motorcycle only checkpoints. Are they REALLY wanting to keep motorcyclists and others safe? Or are they using checkpoints as a pretext to find other “citable” infractions to beef up the government’s revenue? Hmmmm? Pretty soon those government statisticians are gonna be convincing the public that it was those motorcycle checkpoints that reduced fatalities.

    2. There appears to be no attempt to find out if our half-million dollar Riding Program is at all effective in reducing risk to motorcyclists compared to private sector training options. I can’t wait to go to the next quarterly advisory board meeting to find out if this bogus program is going to dare take credit for any reduced fatalities. I’d like nothing better than to pounce all over that one like a hungry gorilla on a banana bunch!

    3. A representative of this Rider Program testified against the repeal of the helmet law in the last legislative session. But get this, Sly, the administrator’s objection was not on the basis of eliminating helmet requirements; it was because the bill had a stipulation in it that would have MANDATED all new riders to get MSF training. The Program Administrator claimed he wasn’t set up to handle the influx of students. Oh really? With half a million in the bank they just couldn’t find extra instructors??? I’m actually glad that bill didn’t pass because I can’t think of any mandate against an adult motorcyclist as a good thing. How in the world did our species ever survive before all these government mandates???

    4. The Rider Program is undermining motorcycle tourism in the State of Nevada. Public highway messages created by members of a Board that oversees the Rider program were considered tourist unfriendly by some at last years Street Vibrations in Reno. The Board Chair (now retired) said it wasn’t their job to “be friendly.” The HP Lt. that sits on the Board said that it got the job done and he had no intention of changing the verbiage this year. To hell with tourism; to hell with our States’ motorcycling economy. Let’s make sure those pesky Californian’s know they’re gonna “get it” if they dare to split lanes in Nevada.

    5. The program is an extra layer of bureaucracy to stonewall motorcyclists seeking justice for violations of citizens’ rights. Motorcyclists seeking clarification of what determines a “legal” helmet are told to ask the Nevada Rider Program “experts” who pass the buck to law enforcers and/or the attorney general. Between the AG, the Program, and the LEO,s we’ve got a tight nit Ménage à trois of good ol’ boys’ bureaucracies.

    Sly, I don’t blame you for the thoughts you expressed. IMHO they come from a lack of serious attention to the core issues and from a naiveté that perpetuates mainstream America – especially those that do not understand the motorcycling culture. If you believe that the government has always had our best interest at heart – especially motorcyclists – and then you find out it’s not true…. well, let’s just say, I was just as disappointed to find out that Santa doesn’t exist.

  16. 16 ROGUE Sep 14th, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Tiger Lilly
    Sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. I have had some family emergencies.
    YES! I was one of the people that spoke at the Federal Transportation Hearings in the 70s, As a matter of fact I was the last one to speak.
    There were many people and motorcycle groups there and they did a very good job of adressing all the issues so by the time it was my turn just about every thing had been covered.
    I was there as Reverand John Herlihy, founder and pastor of Bikers Church in Bridgeport Connecticut.
    I told the committee chairman I only had one question and that was When Did The Federal Goverment Start Endorsing Extorsion? The room went quiet.
    The chairman told me I needed to explain my statement.
    I explained to the committee that the State of Connecticut had recently passed a Mandatory Helmet Law Repeal through the House and Senate and it was waiting the Governor’s signature. The Governor was willing to sign the repeal but said she was threatened by the Goverment the stste could lose Federal Highway Funds if she did.
    The chairman stated he found that hard to believe to which I answered that i had personally held and read the letter. He stated he would like to do so as well. I said I would have it the next day.
    Because of how much time it would take to tell the whole story about getting a copy of the letter to Washington I will get to the part that it was delivered and I did present it to the committee.
    I was speaking as they read the letter when the chairman said “Reverend You Can Quit Beating A Dead Horse” one of the bikers there hit me in the ribs and said “Rogue shut the fu-k up and lets get out of here before they change their mind.
    The Federal Brackmail Threat was no longer and Ella Grasso the Governor of Connecticut Signed a Full No Condition Mandatory Helmet Repeal.
    Many other stes followed her example.
    Since that time Senator Latenburg of New Jersey has tried to re-instate the Blackmail every year and so far has not been sucessfull.
    With people watching hopefully he never will

  17. 17 sly Sep 15th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Tigerlilly and Mike Greenwalk:
    Never have I encountered two people who assume so much about me, based on the small paragraph I wrote. And I am appalled at your hostility Mike. For your information I do not have a $30,000 motorcycle and 3 years experience – where the hell did you get that?
    I am a 57 year old woman with 10,000 miles on a HD Nightster.
    And you can shove your hostile elitist crap.
    For the record, I am an absolute NUT about motorcycles, it is my beloved “lifestyle” now, not considered a hobby. I just called it that because saying it was an expensive “lifestyle” sounded stupid.
    I am not putting down the way ANYBODY learned how to ride, be it experience or school.
    All education of any form is a good good thing and that was my point.
    As for paying for it, I think more people who seriously WANT to ride will be willing to fork out the bucks.
    Where the money actually goes and how it is used is a whole other topic.
    I think you should sell your $600 Honda Rebel, Mike, and take your road rage off the road.

  18. 18 Mike Greenwald Sep 15th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Your first impression equals your knowledge of motorcycling. I suppose it is easy to confuse your attitude of many other men on motorcycles that act entitled, they don’t have any balls either.

  19. 19 TigerLily Sep 16th, 2010 at 12:15 pm


    You and those like you are my heros! Most don’t “get” that the helmet law is symbolic of the greater issue called, tyranny. That tyranny is especially pervasive in Las Vegas and it is being justified by media bias and slanted stats to trick the public into allowing the government to give them more and more power.

    Keep up the great work! And I’ll be staying in touch. (I have your email.)

  20. 20 TigerLily Sep 16th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Sly, I disagree that “all education is a good thing.” I can think of many bad educations that border on indoctrinations which are the basis for wars. Therefore, we must be ever-so vigilant about what education we get, our kids get, and how we respond to that education.

    The type of MSF education I received bordered on indoctrination. Yes, I got the basics, but I also got that if I didn’t wear a helmet I was a fool. So I “intelligently” wore one for the first three years and even wondered why some stupid people in Arizona would dare not wear a helmet? My views were based on the “indoctrination” I received at the government-sanctioned MSF course. The instructors would better serve motorcyclists if they stuck to how to safely ride a motorcycle rather than to dish out more propaganda that has served to grow government and pit motorcyclists against each other.

    The judgmentalism of your initial post reeks of koolaide. I am always delighted to run into a fellow girl-rider, but girl or boy, when I hear riders telling other riders that we MUST support the government in its ploy to control us, it motivates me to want to detoxify that person.

    You will notice I am “understanding” what you are saying and even acknowledging that there was a time when I might have even agreed with you. But after doing a bit of research and having had my own experiences with the consequences of helmet laws as it relates to tyranny, I have “seen the light.”

  21. 21 OldBiker Chick Sep 23rd, 2010 at 2:33 am

    TigerLily, Good luck on seeing the light if you go down without a helmet. Best of luck with that.

    Mike Greenwald, I am very surprised how ‘we’ bikers are suppose to be united, a family, yet you tell Sly to: ‘Kindly, sell your bike and get off the road. You’re acting as if you are a parking lot trained fool with no grasp of the reality of motorcycling. Your thirty plus thousand dollar investment and three thousand miles has not made you a motorcyclist. ”

    You should be ashamed of yourself, telling someone new to riding to sell your bike and get off the road. Who cares if she rides a $500 dollar bike or a $120k bike. She is right in saying biking is expensive or people should take the course. I don’t think the courses should be mandatory but also not everyone has someone to learn from.

    And for the record she did have someone to learn from…ME.
    SlY was new to the idea of riding and by taking the class she gained the confidence needed in order to become a better rider. Since then Sly has put a ton of miles on her bike and has developed into a very safe, aggressive biker chick.

    And before you decide to verbally attack me I will let you know my history ahead of time.
    NO! I am not a new woman rider. I have been riding for over 25 years. During a large part of that my bike was my only source of transportation, rain or shine. I come from a long line of motorcycle racers, so I am a very skilled rider with an very aggressive riding style. I take my Fat Bob fast and low in the corners just because I can. Besides any fool can drive 1000’s of miles without leaning.:-)

    Sly has become a very skilled biker because of all of her education and should be commended not condemned.

  22. 22 Mike Greenwald Sep 23rd, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Old Biker Chick,

    We agree on one major point that you made. The courses should not be mandatory.


  23. 23 OldBiker Chick Sep 23rd, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Figures you would only agree with one point.

  24. 24 Mike Greenwald Sep 23rd, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Old Biker Chick,
    Never had an argument about anyone improving their riding skills.
    Mandatory education is the issue.
    Yep, it figures.

  25. 25 Mike Greenwald Sep 23rd, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    OldBiker Chick,
    Riding skills improvement is an everyday thing.
    Mandatory anything is not.
    It figures.

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Cyril Huze