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Cruisers 'safer' than sportsbikes?

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by philmydang, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. I've seen and heard bits and pieces about cruisers being 'safer' than sportsbikes; twice as big, twice as loud, twice as slow etc etc And it makes sense to me. I ride a cruiser and I really don't take it around for city commuting or such, I'm not keen on getting taken out by some princess in her toyota echo. It's more of a toy to take on the open country roads.

    So my question is to all you cruiser riders out there - have you ever been in an accident? If so - what happened? Was it your error, was it someone elses etc etc. It'd be interesting to see what our experiences are.

  2. Cruisers are possibly safer because they are generally such poor-handling machines that riders instinctively know not to push them.

    Factors that make them potentially less safe include:
    - they tend to have shit front brakes
    - they tend to have poor ground clearance, meaning that there's less scope to tighten up a corner in an emergency
    - riders tend to look at themselves and their skull bandana reflection in shop windows a lot, which leads to a higher possibility of rear-end collisions

    Like any bike, they can be ridden safely - but the envelope of safe things you can do on a cruiser is significantly narrower than what you can do safely on a standard or sportsbike.
  3. I reckon less nobheads ride them, which means less accidents.

    Just a theory anyway.
  4. That would mean that the riders are safer not the bikes themselves...

    It would be interesting to see the stats though, I wonder whether the "nobheads" outweigh the "old farts". I'd probably say that tourer riders are probably safest (Just a guess) because they possibly cover more K's???
  5. Could well be true.
  6. Would also be interesting to see if there are any statistics on accidents/type of motorcycle. All the accidents my friends and people i know have had - have been on sportsbikes (but i also don't know many cruiser riders)

    And yes i understand that the bikes themselves are not safer as the sum of their parts - perhaps I could've worded it better.

    ps I'm only 23 - hardly an old fart! Hope that doesn't make me a nobhead
  7. Well I'm 44 and wouldn't be seen dead on a cruiser, so that's the best thing about generalizations... They're almost always wrong... :)
  8. I have a mate who had 3 accidents in quick succession while riding various Bandits. He's a mature, returning, rider, so his wife suggested that he get something a little less "frantic". He's had a cruiser for about a year now and hasn't had an dramas at all. He still enjoys riding and he is aware of the limitations of the bike (especially compared to his old Bandits), but he's happy.

    Are they safer? Probably not, for all the reasons stated above. Does riding one make you less likely to crash? Possibly.

    Horses for courses and all down to how you ride, I guess.
  9. Cruisers aren't safer in terms of the bike, its down entirely to how you ride it. A standard or sporty has better brakes, handling, acceleration (to zip out of the way when necessary), so in theory you've got a better chance of avoiding a crash.

    But of course because of the flaws of cruisers, it forces you to ride at a much slower pace.. but then again the limitations are so much lower.. And theres the fact that cruiser riders dont really have the notion of always trying to improve, versus sportsportsbike riders where it seems ingrained.
  10. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's a fact. Perhaps a generalisation like 'old farts' and 'nobheads'

    But with regard to my first post - we either have no cruiser riders who have had any accidents - or (touch wood) they all didn't make it out alive to write about it.
  11. Well, in my opinion they are safer. Just because they generally far less agile then sportsbike, riders do not push envelop that much. Could be very true completely other way around - those riders who do not like pushing envelop that much more likely to choose a cruiser. Surely competent rider been putting in ugly and awkward situation more likely get away "for free" on agile sportsbike then on cruiser, but also very true that wise cruiser rider will think well ahead and will not put himself in such ugly and awkward situation. Sportsbikes more "involving" to do dangerous stuff like knee scraping cornering, so perhaps those riders who like to ride risky buying them. Anyway I do believe that more accident happens on sportsbikes comparing to cruisers.

    As for my own accident - I have only one so far. Late, dark and rain. Trying to change line and cross tram line at sharp angle. Thankfully speed was only 40-50, so nothing serious. Never believe that I could avoid accident if I would be on sportsbike.

  12. I've stacked a cruiser. Ran out of ground clearance on a decreasing radius corner on the GOR, I had nowhere to go with everything dragging, and hit an oncoming bus.
  13. Bikes don't kill people, people kill people.
  14. Was that on a virago, Loz?
  15. I think you must mix with a better class of sportsbike rider than I do. Most of the ones I know are knuckle dragging neandathals that are much more interested in scratching their rubbing their knee sliders out the car door than actually attending a riding school.
  16. philmydang, in answer to your real question: Yes, you're in danger of being killed or seriously injured, even on your VT cruiser.

    Go into a big wreckers and check out all the smashed up cruisers.

    People go on about cruisers in terms of what they don't do that a sports bike does. Go look at half the magazine and video reviews of cruisers, and the knobs are flamin' riding and discussing them in terms of power and the videos show burn-outs and nonsense. Many motorcyclists just don't get them, and hence the constant cruiser bashing BS. In my experience, a cruiser style bike makes me ride quite differently to a revvy sporty bike. That makes me safer. I've ridden many miles on 30 year old death-traps with bad suspension, brakes, head bearings etc plus high wobbly bars. Never had an accident. The Hornet makes me want to rev, and there you go: within first months of ownership my first accident, first speeding ticket, in a decade's riding. Again, this difference is not, as the petrol heads imagine, because of the riding position (though that might have an effect on some people). It's the sweet low revving funky engine that does it. My SR feels good cruising all day at 50kph. I hear HD riders say the same thing. The GR pulled from idle and so I rode right down low, easy-riding everywhere. And it feels so good to go round corners slowly and bodily upright, just taking in the scene, feeling every ignition. And if there's a hazard round that corner, you've got a lot more time to do a lot of things that save you.
  17. I like this reasoning... That's a bit in line with how I used to view motorcyclists. Hasn't changed much by the way. You can have the best bike in the world, with the best brakes in the world, put an idiot on it and he'll crash it.

    Most motorcycle accidents are single sided and happen with motorcyclists going straight through a bend or losing control in a bend. Why? Over-confidence? Trying to over-achieve? Bad brakes? Bad bike? Bad rider? Usually people don't live to tell...

    Personally, I think the only people that have it engrained make a living out of riding a bike, all others try to keep up (difference is they are on the public road system...).

    I ride a cruiser, love it and wouldn't change it for the world. Commute it to work as much as I can, no need to run corners at 40 km/hour or split traffic and somehow people see me a lot better on the cruiser than most sportsbikes that surround me. Keep my buffer and expect the worst to happen.

    Just my $0.02 - don't shoot me for having an opinion that doesn't suit most riders.
  18. It is funny reading these posts about what some people have said regarding safety of a sportsbike.
    How does this make the bike less safe? It is possibly an indictment on the riders but doesn’t actually point out anything about the machinery.
    The agility of a sportsbike is something that makes it safer, as are the better braking characteristics. But what I see a cruiser winning out on is its low Centre of Gravity. this is definitely in a cruisers favour in wet weather.
    I would say the best over all safety would be from an Ag Bike. They have a Low COG a fairly long wheelbase but better turning capacity than most cruisers. They probably lack in the braking department, but there geometry is a good compromise for safety (Agility Vs COG).
    An other element of the equation is what are you more likely to be thrown clear of, and what are you more likely to get tangled in? With a cruiser if you hit something your groin is headed straight for the headstem… That has got to hurt.
  19. A bike is just a bike, its the person riding it who makes it a safe trip or not.
  20. Exactly in the same way as knife is safer then grenade. Ultimately you can kill yourself with either, but it getting far simpler with grenade.