Talk:Motorcycle safety

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"Crash bars (...) are designed to protect a rider's legs (and the motor) from injury in a rollover."

AFAIK, crash bars are only designed to protect the motorcycle, not the rider

Comment: Regarding crash bar safety what current R and D is being done on rider protecting crash bars and crash cages? What is the in-use record of the airbag jackets? Where are the best forums for developing crash safety technology?

"A skilled rider can stop a motorcycle without ABS in a shorter distance under ideal conditions. However, ABS provides a substantial measure of safety in the less-than-ideal conditions experienced in the real world."

This has been shown untrue in manufacturer tests. I've removed it.

The "controversy" section[edit]

Reading this article, this section sits very awkwardly. I am sure there is lots of controversy about Bike safety and causative factors in accidents. To single out one report seems ill-balanced. That topic could be moved to an article of its own right, or cut down to about 1 sentance. I get the impression that it is something the writer feels strongly about, but its really very 'off topic'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:03, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Dedicating an entire section in an attempt to debunk a single IIHS report seems a bit excessive as it pertains to the bulk of the article. There are inherent risks associated with riding a motorcycle, and the "controversy" section attempts to minimize a report stating such, claiming bias.... then immediately refers to a source that is, without question, biased. It would be akin to asking the NRA about risks associated with firearms, or the petrochemical industry about global warming. IRCPhoeniX (talk) 20:53, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Causes of accidents[edit]

The Causes Section doesn't mention at all the possibility that the accidents may be caused by the rider. The "In Depth Study" cited in the sources section show that about 40% of accidents are the primary fault of the rider. The section should be amended to include information about these types of accident. The main cause of rider-fault accidents is loosing control on a bend. If others agree I'm happy to write an additional paragraph for the article citing some of the figures from the "In Depth Study" ? Tonywoodhouse 17:55, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

The paragraph beginning "In the UK, road accident investigators discovered that up to 70% of motorcycle accidents were rider error", that conclusion is the opposite of the Hurt report, the UK's Think! Road Safety program figures, and Honda's ASV (Advanced Safety Vehicle) research, probably others. The 70% rider error figure doesn't seem to be supported any references, so where does it come from? AndroidCat 17:20, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

This paragraph still hasn't been cited, and the 70% figure and "The majority of these accidents happened on left hand bends" seem to be pulled from someone's hat. From the UK Department of Transport, In Depth Study of Motorcycle Accidents (2004), p.41 and nearby, that's just not so. (Some figures are from a questionaire about what riders think, others are from the actual accident database, so check the captions.)
It needs to be changed, cited or removed. AndroidCat 17:49, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

In the UK, road accident investigators discovered that up to 70% of motorcycle accidents were rider error{{fact}}, and didn't initially involve another vehicle. The majority of these accidents happened on left hand bends. Riders were found to be travelling beyond their ability going into the corner, and lost their confidence half way through the corner. The result was that they panicked, grabbed the front brake, and this would force the bike to alter course, causing an accident. In the majority of these accidents, it was found that had they not panicked, the bike would have negotiated the corner successfully.

I removed the text until it can be changed and/or cited. AndroidCat 16:46, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

The quote "The number one cause of motorcycle crashes is the failure of riders to countersteer." strikes me as a bit of a crock, taking something out of context and turning it into a headline of sorts. The simple fact is that the physics of riding is going to have the front end countersteering into a corner whether the rider is conscious of it or not. Motorcycle training classes will teach the rider to do it consciously, but "failure to countersteer" is just plain BS. The real cause pointed to in that quote from the Hurt report is lack of training - not one specific technique. Poor breaking is at least as serious here as any lack of conscious countersteering.

Perhaps worse, there's a paragraph later in the same section which uses the Superbike school example to show that it's impossible to turn the bike without countersteering. While the section is quite informative on how to steer a bike, what does it have to do with "the cause of accidents"? (Side note: I'm quite familiar with how motorcycles handle and the fine art of countersteering (and "counter-countersteering," for that matter) with a lot of miles in the saddle, and a couple of spectacular crashes - none of which involved a failure to countersteer...)

A later quote in the same section calls the failure to see motorcyles the predominant cause, (contradicting the long - and weak - countersteer section) then goes on to talk about headlights and bright clothing. I saw no reference to debris, road conditions (potholes and the like), poor maintenance, etc. Overall, the whole section's kind of rubish.

Personally, I think the entire section needs a bit more research to find some good and (and recent!) statistics so it can get a complete rewrite. A simple description of "Rider error", "Road conditions", "Second vehicle", etc., with appropriate statistics is going to be a lot more effective and accurate than what's there now.


Bagheera (talk) 19:10, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

While I agree with nearly all your points above about contradictions and emphasis, I strongly disagree with your assertion that "the simple fact is that the physics of riding is going to have the front end countersteering into a corner whether the rider is conscious of it or not." There is simply no published evidence to support this. Instead, it is quite easy for a rider to apply enough torque to turn the handlebars as he or she would the steering wheel of a car and thus have no hope of negotiating a turn. I suspect an inexperienced rider will have difficulty especially with a decreasing radius once already in a turn. This requires momentarily turning the bars away from the direction of the turn when instinct may suggest turning them further into the turn. -AndrewDressel (talk) 19:41, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
No published evidence? Good lord, where have you been? Try Evangelou, S, 2004, "The Control and Stability Analysis of Two-Wheeled Road Vehicles". Look for the bit that says the primary control is rider torque. Go back to Zellner and Weir in the late 70s if that's no good to you. I just can't believe that people still debate this. As for the self-stabilisation of bicycles, good god man - read David Jones' paper from Physics Today in 1970 and stop wittering. If that fails, do some sums for yourself. You can add up, can't you? Black bird blue (talk) 10:43, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps I should have been more clear and said "to successfully negotiate a turn" at the start of that. If a rider tries to steer a bike the way they steer a car, they simply won't be able to make the turn. While I haven't looked for published evidence on it, the Superbike School example mentioned in the article shows the effect pretty well. In fact, if you happen to have a bicycle handy, you can prove it to yourself. Grab the seat, walk forward, and lean the bike into a turn. If you watch the handlebars closely you'll see that they countersteer momentarily before the bike settles over into the lean. Even if a rider's not consciously aware of it, they're still doing it - if only passively by letting the front end do what it needs to do - whenever they enter a corner. The exception is at very low speeds where you are actually caster-steering the bike. That only works at a walking pace. Any faster, and you need to lean. You may well be right on an inexperienced rider mishandling a decreasing radius turn, but that points back to the root cause being 'rider training' rather than 'didn't countersteer'.
Bagheera (talk) 15:42, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
The effect you describe, of a bike momentarily steering opposite the direction of lean, depends on the lean being caused rapidly enough, and the steering mechanism having a center of mass forward of the steering axis enough, so that its angular momentum about the steering axis can momentarily overcome the combined torques, due to trail, gyroscopic effects of the rotating front wheel, and gravity, that eventually steer it in the direction of the lean. The math depends on a particular bike, rider, and their forward speed, of course, but I would be surprised to learn that many bikes countersteer on their own at all by simply leaning them in the direction of the turn. I haven't read this anywhere yet. With a rider on the bike, the effect also depends on the rider holding the bars loosely enough to let the bars momentarily countersteer. -AndrewDressel (talk) 19:05, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, in response to "I would be surprised to learn that many bikes countersteer on their own" I have to ask - do you ride? I'm sure if we dug into it enough we could find some study somewhere of how motorcycles actually turn. But I think we may be drifting away from the ultimate problem with the article - namely, how it's written.
The way I see it, aside from the bad focus on countersteering, the section talks about all sorts of things that aren't really related to the actual causes of motorcycle accidents. The root causes are really (and probably not in order) Rider Error (Lack of experience, training, or bad judgement), Environmental Causes (debris, oil, gravel, potholes, etc.), Third Party (Another motorist, rider, or pedestrian directly causes the incident), mechanical Fialure (Arguably an environmental factor) or a Combination of the above (for example an inexperienced rider crashing on gravel a more experienced rider could have negotiated.) Even as explained in the Hunt report, the "failure to countersteer" is the mechanism, while the cause is the rider's lack of experience. It as much as says that in the quote used in the article.
I would honestly like to see the whole section re-written, focusing on the actual root causes, and moving the stuff like "wear bright clothing" and "learn to countersteer" into a section on Improving Rider Safety. All of that stuff is -correcting- the cause, not the cause itself. Obviously, it'll take some research to find proper citations to the causes, but I'm fairly sure it's out there. The root cause for pretty much all vehicular accidents are the same, regardless of the type of vehicle. The details vary, but the main four: User error, environment, mechanical failure, third party, remain the same.
Bagheera 20:22, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I certainly do ride. I've had a few bikes and currently am enjoying a Moto Guzzi California Special. In any case, I agree with or have no opinion about most of the points you make about how the article is written. I only take issue with one point. I've read quite a bit about how bikes turn, and I do not believe that I have yet come across the claim that you appear to be making: that motorcycles countersteer on their own. -AndrewDressel 23:55, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm . . . Guzzi California Special . . . Nice ride. And perhaps I misphrased that. It's not so much that the bike does it on its own, but that the physical effect of the bars momentarily countersteering happens whether the rider is consciously aware of it or not. Whether the rider initiates it by leaning, with a relaxed enough grip on the bars that they're allowed to shift (as demonstrated at the Superbike school), or whether the rider consciously does it to initiate a fast lean - something I'm sure you do yourself. Ultimately though, my comments on countersteering aren't for the article. They were just pointing out problems with the article as it's written. So, now, I guess it's a matter of getting a bit of research into this and some more consensus on rewriting it.
Bagheera 19:16, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

(undent) Sticking to what can actually be cited would be best, and weighting in the article given to what can be shown by statistics from studies as the main causes of accidents. I have a hard time with lack of countersteering as the main cause of accidents when studies have consistently shown that most accidents involve another vehicle and most of those are the other driver's fault. AndroidCat 03:09, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I would agree. I am going to try and track down a copy of the Hurt report itself and see what other statistics I can gather before doing any writing on this. If you've got any other sources we could use, that would be great. I'm sure the NTSB or some other related organization publishes data - though I'm not sure whether they break it out into a format we can use to support conclusions about accident causes.
Bagheera (talk) 01:11, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Examples of motorcycle deaths involving experienced riders[edit]

Re this section. I feel this is a vanity article, as it simply points out a few non-notable people who have died while riding motorcycles. It seems heavily weighted towards police officers, so the "experienced" title is innaccurate, and in any case has no hope of being a comprehensive list, given that a much greater number of "experienced riders" have had and will continue to have fatal accidents.

However, I'm open to discussion on this topic. If there are no other objections or concerns, I'm planning to remove the section again. -Tejastheory 19:59, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The intention of the section is to demonstrate with accurate and well-documented real-life examples that motorcycles are lethal when operated exactly the way intended by the manufactures. The list of deaths of experienced riders, including the president of a motorcycle club and numerous police offiecers, sheds an accurate light on the limitation of "motorcycle safety" which is an oxymoron when 80% of motorcycle accidents result in death or serious injury.

Look at the Wiki definition of vanity and you will see that such definition does not apply since I do not have any association with the deceased individuals. I believe the real motive for removing the section is to downplay the extent of serious well-documented danger of this consumer product. There is a pattern of downplaying the deadliness of motorcycles by the motorcycle fans who generally contribute to these wiki pages, which has been demonstrated by the redaction of mortality statistics from both the Harley-Davidson and the Motorcycle articles. Such censorship has no wiki basis and such activity gives the strong appearance of nothing more than product-support based censorship. As one writer in the Harley-Davidson discussion page noted, that article is little more than a Harley-Davidson company portal. If you would like to continue this discussion, let's copy our comments over to the Motorcycle safety page and continue it there. Then when I put a neutrality disputed tag on the page, it will make sense to all concerned.

David F. Traver 00:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Note: the below is taken from the each users' respective talk pages. I felt it more clearly explains the thought behind this section, so included it here.

Sorry, forgot to mention that I already placed this into Talk:Motorcycle_safety. I realize your concerns, and under that basis, I'd completely agree with you. But I believe there are already plenty of mentions of the dangers of motorcycles. My main point of removing the section wasn't about minimizing the dangers, but simply because it seemed, as I read the article the first time, extremely unproffesional and specific. Specifically, what is so special about these people who are listed, and why not list the millions of other motorcycle deaths?

-Tejastheory 00:15, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

As an initial matter, what makes those deceased individuals "special" is that their motorcycle-related deaths are well-documented on the web, as was their experience as motorcycle operators. So it was possible to provide supporting links.

Perhaps there is a middle ground which will be satisfying to you and to other readers of the motorcycle-related pages. I suggest we collaborate to create a new article titled something like "Motorcycle social costs and mortality rates." We could move information from the "safety" page to the new page. The notion of discussing "motorcycle safety" is an oxymoron to me, since there is nothing a rider can do to make the machine safe for operation on a highway. It is somewhat like having safe Russian roulette. Social costs and mortality rates could explore the death rate, lost earnings, costs to Medicaid, welfare, Supplemental Security Income, and Social Security Disability due to uninsured and unemployable motorcycle accident victims, etc. We could document and show the social costs in miles traveled to differentiate motorcycles from modes of transportation that have substantially fewer social costs, such as airplanes, automobiles, trains, and buses. It would be a pleasure to have someone to work with on the project. David F. Traver 00:42, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I think you have some good ideas, Traverlaw. I don't even think a new article is necessary; that kind of informatin is certainly relevant to even the main motorcycle article, or this could be changed to something more general such as "Risks/Dangers of Motorcycle riding". For the present, however, I'm going to remove the information on these specific deaths, reasons being that they seem much too specific and "highlight" non-notable deaths, and don't illustrate the dangers of motorcycle better than the actual facts and statistics in this article. -Tejastheory 03:42, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I note that your rationale for removing this section changed with every discussion. You originally tagged it as a "vanity" edit. Not all readers can understand or internalize raw statistics. It does not take any math background to understand that when motorcycle club presidents and police are being killed on their Harleys, there is a severe limitation to the popular myth that experience riders are "safe" when riding on a highway. However, I think you have shown several ways in which the section can be improved. Since "motorcycle safety" is a deceptive oxymoron, I will go ahead and create the new article soon, moving much of the information about mortality and social costs into a new article that is not predicated on the notion that the product could be safe on highways. A new article on point will be a good place to discuss other high social costs, such as the new study on the way from and Australian medical society quantifying the social cost of motorcycle crash-related hospital expenses in comparison to non-motorcyclists, which is not related to safety, but describes only costs and burdens on society caused by this inherently dangerous consumer product. David F. Traver 11:42, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Braindead motorcyclers are important source or not?[edit]

How important are motorcyclists to the organ transplant programme (cadaveric donors)? I read the claim in a tabloid that organ transplant programmes would become simply impossible to maintain without the steady supply of head-crushed motorcyclists. Is that true?

It was written in order to oppose the idea that new traffic law would ban motorcycles from carrying more than one person. That is, the tabloid editors think it is a positive idea that rich, reckless young adults can save the lives of six or seven other people via self-extermination.


Most cleanup is needed on the lead section (better tone, less detail, etc). Green caterpillar 20:40, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I have removed the sentence "It is HIGHLY dangerous!!" from the introduction until anybody can tell me where "HIGHLY" starts and what is considered "minor" dangerous - The only conclusion we can get out of the figures presented in the first part is that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than operating a car, which is no statement about the risk of motorcycling itself.

(Millions of people die in bed, beds are dangerous)

Indeed, in terms of emergency room visits, riding a horse is far more dangerous than riding a motorcycle.
I though that edit was out of line and probably inserted by an anti-motorcyclist. Thanks for fixing it.
Jeff dean 18:29, 19 December 2006 (UTC)


I agree that both of these should be merged into motorcycle safety. However, both are commonly used phrases and should be retained and clearly visible within the body of the page - ideally as subsections of the section on Personal protective equipment. --Cheesy Mike 17:19, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

So who does this? Can you do it, Cheeseman? If so, I say, DO IT! Jeff dean 18:54, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Happy to do it, would like to see a couple more opinions first though. :-) --Cheesy Mike 19:35, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Understandable I suppose. But the ATGATT and MOTGMOTT acronyms are pretty useless as shown and would not be found by someone interested in motorcycle safety — where the information would be more useful. Hell, I am an MSF[23] Chief Instructor and RiderCoach Trainer, and I have never heard of those acronyms So, I suggest you seize the bull by the horns and MERGE! Jeff dean 00:23, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Scooter fashion blog[edit]

It's an interesting blog, and I might add it to my bookmarks beside Scooter Scoop, but (a) it's a blog, (b) its focus is on fashion rather than safety (although the two can overlap). It seems to be covered under WP:EL, Links normally to be avoided, 11. Links to blogs and personal web pages, except those written by a recognized authority.

Now, WP:EL is a guideline rather than a policy, so there can be some leeway if there's enough of a consensus by editors. My own feeling is that it doesn't have enough relevance to safety to worry about making an exception. AndroidCat 21:37, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. It should not be there. Jeff dean 23:19, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to have that good of a blog about such a narrow topic. And scooter racing?? Do many people really race with scooters? Anyway, on-topic, it does talk about safety almost as much as it talks about fashion, though I still think I agree with the above that it's not focused enough on safety, and not authoritative enough. --Interiot 23:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
They race in Japan and it looks like fun.[24][25] AndroidCat 01:13, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Wright Brothers[edit]

"Wilbur Wright, The Wright Brothers, F.C. Kelly, Ballentine, 1966"

I've just read through this and could not find the material quoted in this article. Does anyone know if it is from a particular edition or what page it is on? -AndrewDressel 17:58, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

The material obviously comes from this website, which doesn't provide a source for the text. It could not have come from the purported original source, because the website author says he deliberately changed "bicycle" to "bike", and our version uses "bike". If you read "The Wright Brothers" and didn't see it, I'm betting it's not there. Having an incorrect source like this, in my opinion, is dubious enough that we should not simply remove the source, but we should remove the material as well. --Allen 20:36, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I finally found a published source in The Bishop's Boys by Tom D. Crouch. You can read it online with Google Books. Since the role of countersteering isn't clear in this article, I've put the information directly in the countersteering article instead. -AndrewDressel (talk) 13:18, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Great! Now, what was Crouch's source? Motorrad-67 (talk) 14:09, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
He puts a footnote after it (#16), which is encouraging, and the table of contents says the notes start on page 531, but Google doesn't have page 531 online. I guess it's time to visit the library again. Dang, just when I thought I could do everything from the comfort of my kitchen table. -AndrewDressel (talk) 16:29, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

deceptive language and diagrams?[edit]

We call the following language "deceptive": "To turn, the motorcycle must lean. To lean the motorcycle, press on the handgrip in the direction of the turn. Press left-lean left-go left. Press right-lean right-go right. Higher speeds and or tighter turns require the motorcycle to lean more.[7]"

How is this deceptive? It's just a description of countersteering that doesn't use the word itself. Unless someone can find a reliable source calling this language deceptive, we should take it out. Same goes for the claim about "deceptive" images, which doesn't even make clear what images it's talking about.

Also, we have too much quoted text in the article. Not as big a deal as the unsourced claims, though. --Allen 20:25, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Undue weight for countersteering[edit]

"The number one cause of motorcycle crashes is the failure of riders to countersteer." There doesn't seem to be anything to support that conclusion or the rest of the section in the summary of the Hurt Report. What it does say is "The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents." AndroidCat 21:09, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I fully agree. Most of the countersteering content on the page should be removed and reduced to a single paragraph at most - and the content transferred, if appropriate, to the countersteering article. The content that is here smacks a bit of grandstanding. --Cheesy Mike 21:43, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
There's a thread on this above under "causes of accidents." Certainly welcome more input before completely redoing the section. I'm going to try and get a copy of the Hurt report itself to see the full context.
Bagheera 00:04, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Starting a rewrite[edit]

For those interested, I have (finally) started a rewrite of the Causes of Accidents section in my Sandbox area. We had quite a bit of discussion on the subject, and I figure it's about time to get rid of that terrible "Not countersteering causes accidents!" section.


Bagheera (talk) 20:16, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Bagheera - I've read your sandbox, it's an infinite improvement over the current content - please remove all the countersteering stuff and put your content in it's place. Counter steering is a very interesting topic, but all this information should be in the counter-steering article. It has no place in this discussion other than a single sentence stating the number of accidents the Hurt report claims are caused by inability to consciously use countersteering to perform fast evasive manouveurs. This sentence should appear in your "Operator Error" section. My only criticism of your sandbox is the splitting of environment from operator error. It's a tricky issue to get right, but there is a lot of strength to the argument that all environmental causes are actually operator error - skid on ice (shouldn't go so fast round icy corner) - skid on diesel spill (shouldn't ride quickly on traffic junction next to filling station) - lost control after hitting pothole or dead animal (should watch where you are riding) etc. etc. This section is currently awful with very little actual supported fact about causes of accidents at all. Tonywoodhouse (talk) 01:22, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I support getting rid of the countersteering stuff. Very much POV IMHO. I'll chip in with some contributions once you put your stuff into the main article. --TimTay (talk) 08:43, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I've just read the Hurt report summary - it absolutely does not say that lack of countersteering is the primary cause of accidents - whoever wrote that stuff had clearly never read it. This whole section is wrong, wrong wrong. At the risk of upsetting a few people, I will re-write the whole section on causes based on Bagheera's sandbox shortly unless anyone objects. I'll cite both the Hurt Summary and the more recent british study. It's worth mentioning that the Hurt study is largely unreliable when looking at the causes of modern UK accidents. It talks about only 10% riders having a licence, insurance, and the vast majority of riders not wearing a helmet. All of these factors are totally different in the UK where helmet, insurance and licence are compulsory. Tonywoodhouse (talk) 21:38, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

"Questions Wright brothers and countersteering. I've looked for a source for this, but have been unable to find one."[edit]

  1. Try page 131 of Motorcycling Excellence, published by MSF.
  2. Also ... try this

I have not seen an original copy of Wilbur's text, quoted above. I would like to.

Motorrad-67 (talk) 14:13, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

The second just appears to refer to the first, and I can't tell if either is original. At one point, someone cited a biography of the Wright brothers that was based on actual interviews. Unfortunately, when I checked a copy out of the library and read it, I found no mention of countersteering. I'll have to look for a copy of this to see if it cites an original. I'd like to see the original text as well. -AndrewDressel (talk) 14:28, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
If we do find an original source, it'll make a nice addition to the countersteering article and the history section of the Bicycle and motorcycle dynamics article. -AndrewDressel (talk) 14:37, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Press down or forward?[edit]

I get a kick out of this. Students frequently ask me, "when you say 'press' do you mean press forward or down?"

head angle

You press on the handlebars in the only way they go because they pivot around the axis of the steering head. So, actually, you are pressing a little north of forward because of the head angle or rake of the bike.

So I show the students how the handlebars turn.

Andrew Dressel has it right: press down all you want, but only pressing forward turns the front wheel and causes countersteering.

That is the best way to put it. Motorrad-67 (talk) 12:20, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Not sure where to put this, please move to correct area of the page: This statement "In the United States, the primary overseer of motorcycle safety training is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. MSF operates over 1,500 "RiderCourse" sites in USA." is misleading to say the least. If any one body is the motorcycle safety "overseer", it is the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators SMSA ( It is the individual states' decision what safety training programs to use, be it MSF's or someone else's. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 6 January 2009 (UTC)


As part of the process of cleaning up one of the oldest articles marked for cleanup I have removed some of the long quotations I was unable to incorporate into the article. Instead of deleting them entirely I have moved them off of the main article per WP:NOT (WP:NOTDIR, WP:INDISCRIMINATE) as well as WP:QUOTEFARM and have instead commented them out here in this talk page section. If you can reincorporate them, feel free to add them back into the article in accordance to policy and guidelins as well as WP:MOS, or consider adding them to Wikiquote. Barkeep Chat | $ 20:25, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Airbag devices[edit]

The whole section is a mess and generally reads like advertising for Honda, Dainese and Hit Air (even quoting prices, which is quite ridiculous for an encyclopedia). Also, many statements are unsourced. Needs a complete do-over, which I am not qualified to provide. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Countersteering, again.[edit]

  • First made an edit and commented that he/she corrected the obvious omission that counter-steering is only done during the first moments of the turn. The words 'initially and momentarily' clarify this point. I agree.
  • Then Dbratland reverted the edit with No. If you need to lean deeper during a turn, you countersteer more. When you need to stand the bike up when you're done, you countersteer back. You're always countersteering. I don't agree completely.

One problem is that, as Tonywoodhouse explains above, counter steering is a very interesting topic, but all this information should be in the counter-steering article. It has no place in this discussion other than a single sentence stating the number of accidents the Hurt report claims are caused by inability to consciously use countersteering to perform fast evasive manouveurs. So I don't mind leaving out the words that added.

Another problem is that, as explained in the Countersteering article, countersteering is not precisely defined in the literature. Even Cossalter uses the term to mean something entirely different than the sense at issue here. In fact, I prefer's definition because, as Cossalter describes and as the countersteering article tries to explain, the initial, momentary steer torque and angle are both opposite the desired turn direction. The sustained steer angle is in the same direction as the turn. The sustained steer torque required to maintain that steer angle is either with or opposite the turn direction depending on forward speed, bike geometry, and combined bike and rider mass distribution.

I propose that we keep the description as brief as it is here, or make it even briefer, and continue any discussion on how motorcycles are actually turned on the countersteering article talk page. -AndrewDressel (talk) 04:14, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Fully agree. The topic is given undue weight here. --Biker Biker (talk) 08:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Me too. It's a pointless controversy to have on this page, nor should there be any how-to here or on the page Countersteer. It might also be helpful to start a how-to on countersteering over at Wikibooks. Not as a dumping ground, but as an outlet for quality writing on countersteering technique.

Also, if we had a good how-=to article on countersteering over at Wikibooks to point to, it would be much easier to delete non-encyclopedic content without feeling like we were gutting the article. --Dbratland (talk) 17:28, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

I think...[edit]

...this [26] is the "missing source" for death statistics in the UK. I have no tiem now to check it. Cheers. Randroide (talk) 18:46, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Expand coverage of safety to include multiple points of view[edit]

This article needs to be expanded to include points of view other than the official ATGATT approach, because this article should not be "how to be safe" but rather be a neutral article that includes a full range of common approaches to safety, including those who have a disregard for safety. I believe this adds to the credibility of the article, which increases the persuasiveness of the gear+training approach by demonstrating an even handed approach. Probably tagging it with {{POV}} would help raise the profile of the issue.

I added photos File:Harley riders on I4.jpg and File:Half helmet Harley-Davidson rider.jpg to begin to illustrate that not everyone thinks alike on this. Specific sources that I think should be used to expand the coverage are Packer's Motoring Without Mayhem , ISBN 0822339633  Missing or empty |title= (help), Bourne's Philosophical Ridings , ISBN 1851685200  Missing or empty |title= (help) and Bernard Rollin's essay It's my own damn head , ISBN 081269595X  Missing or empty |title= (help). Gabrielle Giffords, a strong advocate for motorcycle safety, is also an opponent of mandatory helmets and is reported to ride without a helmet.[27] The majority of US states have repealed helmet laws since the US congress stopped mandating them in order to receive highway funding, emphasizing that these (effing idiots IMHO) are not a fringe group (unfortunately). --Dbratland (talk) 18:51, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Disupted accident rates section[edit]

I deleted some rather blatant editorializing and original research from the Accident rates section but it still needs more cleanup. There are some conclusions drawn about comparisons between the US and Japan that are based mostly on an editors opinions about what the comparative rates per registered vehicle means, ans some data about road length and road type (as a proxy for speed). That's fine as far as it goes, but without comparing accidents per mile, it can be misleading, particularly when the US is involved. Americans have a habit of filling their garages with motorcycles that they don't ride. Consumer Reports reported the average American only puts 1,000 miles per year on each bike they own; drastically fewer miles than other parts of the world. This helps explain why the US fatality rate per registered motorcycle is similar to Europe, but Europe has fewer accidents per mile traveled.

In any case, you still aren't free to insert your opinions about what the data means. See WP:SYNTH and WP:NOR. You can cite the data, and you can cite what the experts -- not what a Wikipedia editor -- thinks the data tells us. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 23:02, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Personally I am not comfortable with anything added today and therefore using the principle of WP:BRD I have reverted their bold additions back to this revision. I feel that incorrect summaries have been drawn from the wealth data that is presented in the Japanese report and would therefore like to request that any summary of the data is discussed here before adding to the article. --Biker Biker (talk) 23:14, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

New section: Attitudes about risk[edit]

I've created a workpage to work on some revision of this article. I'm thinking the Conroversey section belongs either on Sport bike or Types of motorcycles, since it's more to do with classification schemes and how insurance works in the USA. It doesn't have a lot of broad importance. The main thing I'm working on is a new section, Attitudes about risk. I need to fill in some areas and tweak the wording, but it's coming along. The difficulty is getting the wording right so that it is neutral enough. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 05:20, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Dennis, I think we're done with this workpage -- Attitudes about risk is now incorporated in the article. Can the workpage be blanked? — Brianhe (talk) 02:42, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't need the workpage for the Attitudes about risk section any more. I still think the Controversy section should be merged into either Sport bike or Types of motorcycles, since the real controversy between the AMA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is over classifying some bikes as sport and others as touring. The Air bags section should be merged into either Motorcycle personal protective equipment or Air bag. But I guess we don't need the workpage to have that discussion, so delete away. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 02:51, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Stacey Axemaker of the Idaho Star motorcycle safety training program: [28] "You can make the argument that other drivers are also responsible for preventing crashes, and while there may be some truth to that, there is precious little you can do to make someone ELSE take responsibility (just ask anyone who has ever been married or has kids!) So, since it is the rider who stands to lose, it is the rider who is responsible for both preventing and surviving crashes."

    Another example of the 'hyperreflexive self-disciplinary' school of thought, in contrast to the ABATE school which says you can make drivers take responsibility, by driver education, and greater enforcement and greater penalties against car drivers for DUI, cell phone use, and bad driving in general.

    Bernt Speigel also wrote that riders who want to ride at the highest levels need to hold certain fictional beliefs in order to discipline themselves, while casual recreational riders may take a more realistic approach. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:58, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

  • David Hough [29] saying that riders who wear no helmets, gear or even sunblock are "like aliens, unaware of how the earth’s environment can kill you slowly—or quickly. It just seems like a 'no brainer' to protect my body from hostile environmental conditions. I’m mostly associated with BMW riders, and almost all BMW riders wear all the gear all the time (ATGATT)."

    It could be these people are all in fact, idiots. Or it could be that they are actually riding motorcycles because of the risk, not in spite of it, as Packer describes. Articles like these do show that the hyperreflexive self-disciplinary camp isn't on speaking terms with the other schools, and finds them incomprehensible. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 01:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Hazards other than crashing are missing from this article[edit]

Suzy Perry is preaching about long term hearing loss, and it brings to mind hazards other than crashing. Others I can think of are hypothermia, heat illness, dehydration, and wind and particle damage to the eyes. By the same token, Motorcycle personal protective equipment exclusively discusses crash protection and fails to cover the role that clothing plays in preventing these issues. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 16:25, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

  • David Hough [30] again; the point of this article is that helmets, face shields, and safety clothing are not just for crashes. They prevent crashes (because "noise fatigue, mental distraction, temperature, and age each add about 10% to reaction time"), and they prevent other illness like sunburn, dehydration, heat stroke, etc. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 01:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Motorcycle deaths and veterans[edit]

The section on veterans is fine as far as it goes, but there's a couple issues. The first is that Motorcycle_training#Armed_forces_off-duty_riding covers the issue in greater detail, with multiple sources. It might make sense to decide whether Motorcycle safety or Motorcycle training is the main article to cover veteran deaths, and the military's response to it, rather than have duplication at cross purposes.

The second issue is that the source makes some invalid arguments: "Data suggests that the faster the bike, the greater the death rate: More than 70 percent of motorcycle rider fatalities in 2006 occurred either on a bike with an engine between 501 and 1,000 cubic centimeters in size, or an engine between 1,001 and 1,500 cc’s." The NHTSA data do not say this. They say that the increase in deaths, nationally, not just among young veterans, since the 1990s, is mostly attributable to more and more riders over age 40 buying large-displacement Harley-Davidsons and similar cruisers, which do not have speed and power consummate with their displacement. Younger rider deaths on faster, but smaller displacement, sport bikes haven't been up dramatically. Except among veterans. In other words, the picture is complicated and it demands more intelligent reasoning than the article provides. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 00:15, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Airbag section is a mess[edit]

This section Motorcycle safety#Airbag devices is self-contradictory and badly promotional. I've cleaned up some of the promotional tone but it still says the devices were invented in either 1973, 1976 or 1995, by inventors in Hungary or Japan, and testing shows 83% improvement in crash or there has been no testing. The Goldwing price cited at $23,099 contradicts the published 2013 price of $29,550 [31] and probably contradicts WP:NOPRICES anyway. Please help clean up. Brianhe (talk) 15:44, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

High beam during daytime[edit]

I know that the Hurt report mentions something about using high beam in day time increases visibility of motorcycles. Does anybody know about any newer publications about this? Lights on motorcycles has improved a lot since then. Atlesn (talk) 16:58, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

David L. Hough, in More Proficient Motorcycling (2003), p. 143, says "there haven't been enough research projects to give us solid answers" as to what conspicuity techniques really work, after mentioning using high-viz gear, running daytime headlights, daytime high beam, and headlight modulators. I think his newer book, The Good Rider had more on this but had to return my copy to the library; maybe Dennis has some more from his personal library? — Brianhe (talk) 18:21, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
The MAIDS Report says yeah, it seems like headlights should help but their data didn't show strong evidence in their exposure and accident data. The Hurt Report was enthusiastic about the importance of healights being on, because they were on in 60% of the exposure data but only 30% of the accident data. But they mention that this might be an effect of the rider's attitude about safety. They also mention that 6% of the population had disabled the automatic-on headlights found on 1978 and later bikes. "Also, it is possible that the voluntary use of the headlamp on in the daylight is an indication of the more knowledgeable or cautious motorcycle rider, who would be less accident-involved. However, the overall effect shown in these data is a great potential of reduced accident involvement by headlamp use in daylight." About high-beams, Hurt said "The data shown in Table 11.4.1 provide a powerful argument for the use of the headlamp on during all times of motorcycle operation. Recall from previous vehicle factors data that more than 90% of the accident-involved motorcycles with headlamp on had low beam selected. This argument in favor of the headlamp-on during all times of motorcycle operation is sure to be more powerful for high beam selected, especially in daylight where the contrast conspicuity need is great." So Hurt is saying if low beams on is good, high beams must be better -- but he doesn't have the data to back up his speculation about high beams. The NHTSA and MSF have various comments on the idea at They seem to be in favor of anything that might make you more visible, but they don't point to clear evidence. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 18:38, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
  • This has me thinking we should expand this article to cover the role of rider behavior more; these sources mention it prominently, as Hurt does above. This points out some groups choose black leather because it's fashionable, so if a Harley rider wears hi-viz yellow, doesn't that say he's a guy who is highly motivated to take action in favor of safety, in spite of strong peer pressure? Which means his low accident rate might be due to his behavior, not his clothing. The anti-helmet lobby essentially makes this argument when to explain increases in rider deaths when helmet laws are repealed: that foolhardy riders were refusing to ride at all when helmets were mandatory, but after a state repealed the law they all ran out and bought a bike and then crashed it. Of course, if that is an effective way to keep those guys off the road, it saves society money. I can cite one article I just read somewhere that said each traffic death costs about $6 million, only a fraction of which is paid by insurance; the rest absorbed ultimately by taxpayers.

    The only way to know for sure is with a randomized trial, such as giving placebo helmets or placebo headlights to half the riders without their knowledge! --Dennis Bratland (talk) 18:45, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

There is a test of motorcycle headlight high beam and wether usage of it can disturb the vision of other road users during day time. Report summary PDF Report summary web page The conclusions are roughly as following:
  • Usage in day time makes the motorcycle more visible.
  • Does not disturb the vision of other road users or their ability to detect objects.
  • Can be annoying or disturbing (*isn't that the opposite of the 2nd point??*)
  • In rain conditions it can produce glare effects
  • May reduce the visibility of the motorcycle itself and the driver, which is close to the light (*isn't this disturbing other road users?*).
I've ordered the full report so I can see what these tests really are. I suspect that many factors hasn't been ruled out or tested, like speed, different angles etc. There is also no description of the headlight used in the test, maybe it's easier to understand if I've got the whole thing. Atlesn (talk) 19:19, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
A recently published report says "yes", headlights are effective. Brianhe (talk) 19:21, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
So two reports say that the motorcycle becomes more visible. Does it address the issue with disturbing other drivers? Atlesn (talk) 19:26, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Again from memory, some writers have talked about the counter-intuitive hazard of target fixation due to various conspicuity measures; I think this is in the latest Hough book. Some have recommended widely spaced headlights to mitigate driver mis-estimation of distance which is thought to be a factor in some late left turns in front of motorcyclists, which are extremely hazardous. — Brianhe (talk) 19:31, 29 June 2015 (UTC) Another paper here, uses the term "moth effect" to describe motorists' tendency to steer toward interesting things. — Brianhe (talk) 19:35, 29 June 2015 (UTC) NHTSA 2011 study [32] also says on p. 38 that auxiliary headlights and modulated headlights are effective in increasing safety margins. — Brianhe (talk) 19:43, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
For what it's worth I remember reading an article, most likely in MCN about riding with high beams on. Although there always seems to be discussions online, especially in the forums, the general consensus seemed to be that it is illegal to ride with high beams on and considered bad practice. The article I read noted these points and added that insurers could claim that the use of high beams could of contributed to an accident and refuse to pay out. Wish I could find it now. MAbbey (talk) 21:35, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Pretty sure that's a local rule. The rider's guide I was handed for my first course (the MSF RiderCourse, 20th printing, 2002, p. 24) says to use high beams during daytime. Note that this program is recognized by my U.S. state as an alternative to a Department of Licensing skills test, and is partly funded by the state. — Brianhe (talk) 22:11, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry I forgot to say my comments were UK specific. It is a bit vague but point 115 of the Highway Code mentions not dazzling other road users with high beams. This blog from what looks like a driving school clarifies this. Some new cars come with "Highbeam assist" which relies on a camera to switch off high beam when it senses oncoming traffic. Can't see this system appearing on motorcycles soon though. MAbbey (talk) 05:32, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
In Washington you have to dim your high beams to oncoming traffic 500 ft away, and within 300 ft from the rear, RCW 46.37.230. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 05:56, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
This site has a para on threat perception and mentions that daytime running lights can make the bike appear wider. MAbbey (talk) 12:47, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

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Social, political, technological and economical relations in motorcycle safety sector[edit]

Hello founders of this interesting page! Me and a friend are working on a draft for two new sections that we have found missing from this page:

  • Origin and disparities in technological advancements & infrastructure compared to automobile safety sector
  • Social, economical and political aspects of safety work done by motorcycling organizations

We are adopting a mostly social focus to try and explain the relations and incongruities between the riders, governments & regulators, motorcycle organisations, and transport infrastructure groups. We think that these can explain many of the safety disparities existing with cars and explain some recent misunderstandings in between these players resulting in uproars in the Uk and Sweden. We are very much open to feedback and will be continuously updating this section with our sections until they are deemed ready for the main page. We are both new to Wikipedia editing so if you have any tips or feel that our approach could be enhanced we are suckers for constructive criticism.

These are our current sources (sorry some are in Swedish and french):

  • Ulrich Beck, 2001: La société du risque, par. Coll. Alto, éd. Aubier, 521 p.
  • WHO, 2013: “India road safety country profile”, Violence and Injury Prevention
  • John Whitelegg and Gary Haq, 2006: Vision Zero: Adopting a Target of Zero for Road Traffic Fatalities and Serious Injuries, Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm
  • Jeremy Packer, 2008, “Motorcycle Madness; The Insane, Profane, and Newly Tame, Mobility without mayhem: safety, cars, and citizenship, Duke University Press
  • Sveriges MotorCyclister, 2015:Motorcyclists protest yields results,
  • Sveriges MotorCyclister, 2014:MC-Visionen 2.0, Borlänge
  • Domham M. , 1987: “Crash Barriers and Passive Safety for Motorcyclists”, Proceedings of the Stapp Car Crash Conference, SAE Paper No. 870242, p211-212

Hampton C. Gabler: “The risk of fatality in motorcycle crashes with roadside barriers”l, Virginia Tech, United States, Paper Number 07-0474

  • Maria Nordqvist, Göran Fredriksson, Jan Wenäll, 2015: “Definition of a safe barrier for motorcyclists”, Conference summary

These are some of the points we are tackling: Vision Zero incongruent with the individualistic philosophy of risk acceptance and valorization. Politicians legislative response to above problem. Motorcycle organizations response to politicians and social cooperation measures. Road infrastructure car safety bias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Overtoasted (talkcontribs) 13:52, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

It sounds like this could be an excellent addition to the article. It's possible some of it could go out of scope of motorcycle safety and need to be moved to another article, but that's easily done. If the section grows too long, it might need to spawn a new sub-article, also easily done.

My only concern is that this sounds very ambitious, involving many new sources, expanding the article in to several new areas and so could mean quite a bit of research and writing on your part. That's wonderful, but often new editors take some time to understand Wikipedia's core policies like WP:Verifiability, and WP:No original research, especially for writers from an academic background where original research is encouraged. If you create a large addition or a new article which is too far out of policy, someone else is bound to heavily revise or even delete large portions of it, maybe even all of it. This can be frustrating and discouraging, and often new editors quit because they don't understand why their edits seem unwelcome.

I think the best way for new editors to avoid this kind of difficult start is to work slowly at first, making small edits to lots of different articles, while reading the various help and policy pages, asking questions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Motorcycling, WP:Teahouse, and so on. As you gain experience, you will see much better how to plan and execute your larger project without running into road blocks and feeling discouraged.

The Wikipedia:WikiProject Motorcycling/to do list is a good place to start for ideas, and there are many other lists of tasks, such as Wikipedia:Community portal/Opentask.

There are many ways to get help, and so when you have questions, please ask! --Dennis Bratland (talk) 19:16, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Oops, sorry for the revert. Maybe I was too tired! ww2censor (talk) 21:21, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes ww2censor and Dennis Bratland you are correct about the "To do" page. I thought it was specific for the Motorcycle safety article. Thanks for the links very useful indeed! My intentions are not to stick with the above title but to create two separate subsections somewhere after the Attitudes about risk since they rely on it's definitions. I think I understand your points about the encyclopedia writing approach. I am not planning to use any statistical or personal research subject of my own, but only to categorize and summarize sources cited that I have found addressing the topics. I am looking forward to further feedback as the project progresses:

Motorcycle Safety and Society[edit]

requested move to workpage

In many countries, incompatibility issues exist between motorcyclers risk attitudes and nationwide road safety plans. Western democratic societies often rely upon fundamental utilitarian views to achieve its function, such as setting the limits to individual freedom to guarantee public safety. Vision Zero and other absolute political goals are fundamentally incongruent with the individualistic philosophy of risk acceptance and valorization. For years, in France, legislative measures have been taken to limit the output power of two wheeled vehicles [1]. Talks about mandatory speed limiting devices have surged uproar in the motorcycle communities in countries such as the UK [2] and Sweden. The arguments used against these devices are discrimination of a group road users, being contrary to national legal customs, and intrusive. [3] However, rallies and motorcycler’s right organizations have helped inform public officials about the negative impacts of such restrictions on their communities, with no reports of such devices being fitted having seen the day. Instead, collaboration with these groups are leading to increased focus on rider training and roadside safety measures. Moreover, focus is shifted towards the statistically largest percentage of accidents, which are due to alcohol & drug use, non street-legal motorcycles, and riders not having a valid motorcycle license. [4]

 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Overtoasted (talkcontribs) 21:55, 10 May 2016 (UTC) 


  1. ^ Legifrance, (10 May 2016) "Article R169", Code de la Route
  2. ^ Farrel, Steve (19 September 2008). "Motorcycles to get speed limiters". MCN. 
  3. ^ "Motorcyclists protest yields results". Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "MC Vision 2.0" (PDF). September 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
@Overtoasted: May I ask that you move this text to Talk:Motorcycle safety/Workpage? - Brianhe (talk) 03:51, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Nick Ienatsch vs David Hough[edit]

Nick Ienatsch's recent Cycle World column, Two Paths to Motorcycle Safety from Two Experts is the latest salvo in a back-and-forth with David Hough over the issues outlined in Motorcycle safety#Attitudes about risk. Hough has been writing for the last year about his analysis of recent safety data, concluding that motorcycling is much more dangerous than riders generally believe. He is arguing (I'm making a rough summary here) that if the number of riders is increased the fatality rate will increase at a disproportionate rate, because real-world training of new riders is generally ineffective in reducing the number of crashes. Ienatsch makes what I think is a straw-man criticism of this, accusing Hough of advocating the "quit riding" option described in Attitudes about risk. Ienatsch goes on to make what I think could be almost a stereotyped example of the "hyperreflective self-disciplinary" point of view, saying track day instructors "are motivated to never crash again," and using military aviation as proof that this goal is attainable.

It makes me ask if military flying is safe enough to satisfy the public's current expectations for how many people should die on the roads. And whenever anyone uses the military to make a broader social point, I have to ask if they have considered that the military won't let just anybody in, and will not hesitate get rid of anybody that is more trouble than they're worth. Society at large doesn't have the option to simply boot out anybody whose behavior helping meet this quarter's mishap rate goal. More stringent licensing and training requirements is not consistent with the goal of increasing the number of riders above 2 percent of the population, the point where Hough thinks the fatality rate will become socially unacceptable.

That's only my rough summary; there's quite a number of published columns between the two writers going back over the last year to review, in Cycle World and Motorcycle Consumer News, respectively. We should do our best to accurately summarize their views. This debate is also remarkable for another reason, that it's one of the only instances I know of where a recognized figure has seriously questioned Hough's qualifications. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 06:20, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Haven't read the article yet but will just say for now that military aviation is hardly the paragon of safety and good judgment. The USAF Spokane B-52 airshow crash is a great example of what not to do. Naval reactors are a better paradigm. Brianhe (talk) 07:00, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I think he could be confusing relative with absolute data. Or touting the great magnitude of the improvement without considering the current level of risk. If your starting point is really, really bad, you can make great strides. And it's easy to make aviation seem safe if you amortize the number of incidents over trips covering hundreds of miles, and ignore the risk per trip or per hour. So yeah, I think there's a lot of handwaving from Ienatsch, while Hough is digging deep into hard data. But I speak as a Hough fanboy, so it will take some careful reading of the texts. Ienatsch isn't really wrong but I think he's seeing the problem through a very narrow scope, only looking at a certain type of rider and not society at large. His "don't ride with idiots" advice is great, but how does that jibe with the goal of dramatically increasing the number of riders? Hough is saying you have to let a lot of idiots into the tent if your tent is going to be that big. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 07:16, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Another thing relevant to risk, perceived risk, and regulation, and maybe this could/should be worked into the article. Motorcycling is not the most dangerous sport by a long shot, even in person-hours. Horseback riding is surprisingly dangerous, accounting for 50% of head injuries in America [33]. And the level of legislated safety accoutrements is nil in that sport. This Nature study for instance concludes that horseback riding is 20x more dangerous. An interesting angle, if this doesn't get too OR-ish, is that maybe motorcycling is perceived as needing regulation because of the "bad boy" image from non-skill-related elements like biker gangs.
P.s. if this isn't coming across in writing, thanks for bringing up these questions about the debate. I think it's fascinating and worth discussion. Just don't want to sound like I'm trying to refute anything you said. - Brianhe (talk) 09:22, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Brake Lights - Turn Signal Indicators - Rear View Mirrors[edit]

I added two short paragraphs on Blinkers and Rear View Mirrors. I saved it. Now I realize that also Brake Lights should as well be a part of the section. Brake light switches were not installed on motorcycles in the early days of motorcycle models. Hand signals were used to show turn directions, slow down, or stop. There is no section on hand signals. Also headlights. At one time, incandescent lights were the safest, to be replaced by Halogen lamps, which are now being replaced by superbright LEDs. Incandescents originally replaced Acetylene lamps or kerosene lamps. Also, this section could use some references and documentation. B'H. MichaelAngelo7777 (talk) 03:03, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

I like the idea of adding information about the historical chronology, but it needs to make sense to the reader.

This entire article is focused on the present, with the purpose of explaining the modern circumstances. It goes back to the Hurt Report of the 70s with the purpose of laying a foundation to explain the present. So sticking in this random stuff about dirt bikes and lights that didn't used to be around doesn't make very much sense. Do we need to mention every single thing that bikes didn't have until it was invented? Windscreens? Gears? License plates? Do we need to mention every single thing that off-road bikes don't have?

It is confusing to have this stuff pop up out of nowhere like that. It needs to be moved to a separate section that takes a historical view, where you can tick off chronologically each of the things that were invented and later became standard on most bikes in most jurisdictions today. It might even make more sense to go over to History of the motorcycle and add safety innovations like lights and horns and so on in the overall chronology, and then when that's more or less complete, add a summary of the safety history to this article. Off road bikes don't belong in this article at all. If you're going to do that, you're going to have to mention each of the things that racing bikes don't have. Then somebody will object that trials bikes have this but MotoGP bikes have that and flat track bikes have something else. It's out of scope. It's very clear this is an article about road traffic safety. Street legal bikes that you need a license to ride on public roads. And no, that does not mean we need to change the title to some thing long and clumsy like Street legal production road motorcycle safety in modern times. The scope of Wikipedia articles is not required to be defined in the title. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 03:24, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

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