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Motorcycle safety - how to convince others?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by glutinous, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Firstly, hi to everyone, I am a new Netrider forum member. :)

    A bit about myself: I made the decision to learn to ride about a month or so ago. I plan to sit for the written Learner's test sometime this week, and have my first few lessons with a professional instructor booked (www.smartrider.com.au), beginning the week after Easter. I haven't got a bike yet, but I plan to get one after a few lessons, so I can practice by myself, outside of real training. I am thinking of settling for a Kawasaki GPX250; even though I think they look a bit small, but everyone says I will probably want a new bike once I am off the 250cc probation period anyway. (BTW, anyone know a good place to look for second-hand bikes in Perth? I only know autotrader.com.au for now, and there is not much choice there.)

    Anyway, the one thing that has been concerning me lately is safety (actually, more to do with what my friends are telling me). I have been driving cars for well over six years now, and I like to think I am a relatively safe driver (to the point where some of my friends call me a grandpa :p). From what I have read about motorcycles, I am convinced that if I stay safe (i.e. drive within my own skill limits and also my bike's, wearing the right gear, etc.) and do the best to avoid other (dangerous) car drivers and situations (i.e. keeping myself conspicuous, allowing space between myself and cars, etc.), then the risk of injury is reduced to a safe level. Is this the right attitude to have, or am I deluding myself here?

    More to the point, how can I persuade others of the same thing? Anyone have some good statistical references or something I can just show them. :) I am just getting tired of the CONSTANT disapproval I am getting from everyone around me for wanting to ride. :( From my closer circle of friends, I am the only one who wants to ride, so there is quite a lot of opposition. (But I'm going to do it anyway - I'm stubborn :p)
  2. Hi there!

    Answer is simple, find new friends :grin:

    Smart one's................................... who like bikes!
  3. welcome to the forum!!

    I have never been to Perth but I do know there is a caffee where alot of bikers hang out... apparently some where close to where "my restaurant rules" was shot for the first time... So there are some potential new friends :) No more nagging anout Danger...

    But if you still want to convince your friends that motorcycling is not that dangerous... tell them that riding a horse is about twice as dangerous... More people get hurt and killed riding horses every year than in total people riding motorbikes, scooters, push bikes and monocycles!! I had read statistics (oddly printed in a Horse riding mag) regarding safty... You are twice as likely to get killed riding a horse than a motorcycle!!
  4. welcome mate :) good on you for going for your learners and licence :) dont worry about your friends, they will change their tune once they see you have a ball while they are sitting in their shoebox on wheels ;)
  5. Screw em, if you're enjoying it and, like you say, riding within you and your bikes limits, who cares what they say.

    Enjoy the riding. Ignore the ribbing you get from your 'friends'.

    Oh, and stay away from horses riding motorcycles!
  6. www.bikepoint.com.au

    Why would you bother trying? If they've made up their minds, they're not going to listen. Besides, you'll have more fun things to do than listen to people winging at you about your bike. Riding it, for example. :grin:
  7. The safest place to ride road bikes is on the track, you've got even surface, blokes with flags to wave if there's any danger ahead, an ambulance on duty incase someone crashes and best of all no cars or trucks.

    The public road has so many variables that at one point or another if you do a lot of riding you'll either stack or come very close to stacking. Do a poll asking people who've ridden on the road twenty years or more and I doubt you'd get many could say they've never had a stack.

    A car can drop some oil or a truck can drop some gravel and you can be cruising along at a safe speed but not notice the hazard and whammo, down you go. Then there's the relying on other motorists not to cause an accident you're involved in.

    If you ride safely for the conditions you're in you can minimise the risk of an accident that's your fault but don't think there isn't stuff that can go wrong.
  8. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the replies. The horse one is interesting indeed. :p My girlfriend did horse-riding before (only once though), so maybe that will sway her... even if it is only a little bit! As for my friends... they are good people! I think I have mis-expressed myself there - sorry. :p They aren't trying to all-out stop me, they just think motorcycling is unsafe. And this outlook seems to be *really* popular. Like everytime I tell someone I am learning, the response is always: "motorcycling in dangerous". I was just wondering how everyone would usually respond with that.

    As for HOnd@'s response. That is why I mention being aware of my surroundings. I know that there are factors outside of my own control (i.e. other drivers'), but I am hoping that keeping a look-out for tell-tale signs and approaching them with caution should minimise them. Motorcycling is inherently riskier, but would doing (mostly) everything practically possible to minimise it make it "safe enough"?
  9. East Victoria Park (behind Skippers) has about 5 bike shops all joined together!
    There is a Honda dealer in Ozzie' Park (off Scarb' Beach Rd) which has just had one or two other manufacturers buy premises next door (similar setup to Vic' Park).

    Your friends will be envious when you bring the new bike over to show them!
    Rub salt into the wound and refuse them a ride if they ask for one! :p
    Daz. :wink:
  10. Glutinous,

    Welcome to the world of m/cycles. Not easy to justify to non-riders; I come from a non-m/cycle family, my wife has never been pillion and we have been married for 12 years (although I have only had a bike for about 7). None of my 'normal' ring of close friends ride so I'm on my lonesome.

    Truth is, m/cycles are dangerous. Having said that, you can minimise your risks. I do about 15,000 km a year (mainly commuting as I also have 2 kids who keep me busy on w/ends) and despite some close calls, I have remained stack-free. But don't kid yourself - it can happen. BUT, I also want to increase the good stats - people who ride and don't kill/hurt themselves (if that makes sense). Hopefully I will succeed. Why do I keep riding? Cause I love it and I can't stop.

    The moral of the story - riding can be dangerous but I doubt you will find anything more pleasurable in life. That is of course, if you want to live it!

    Safe riding
  11. Why do you feel you need to convince anyone? If they are real friends they should respect the choices you make. You can do a lot to reduce the risk, but it is still going be more dangerous than driving. The rest is just personal choice; do you feel that the level of risk is acceptable given the enjoyment and convenience bikes provide.
  12. I agree with your friends in that as a mode of transport, motorcycling is inherently more dangerous than driving a car.

    I guess it really comes down to how your friends come across when they tell you its dangerous, whether its constructive or not. In addition to the attitude you have towards their comments.

    I have a friend thats a journalist and she makes it a point to tell me each time she comes across a story of a riding accident. However she understands that I love it, respects that fact and she actually loves the fact that I ride. The reason she tells me is that she cares and to remind me that riding is inherently dangerous. Despite the fact that i've told her I don't want to know because i read about it all here, she still insists on telling me. And when I told her shes not allowed to tell me anymore, she just ends up telling my guy mates and gets them to tell me. Shes a cheeky one. Shes actually told me shes gonna tell me whether I like it or not and the only way I will stop hearing it from her is if I don't see her. But thats not likely to happen.

    As much as I hate it, I hear her out now and use the information constructively rather than taking a negative view of it all.
  13. One thing you can do to decrease your chances of ever having an accident is don't ride at night, and try to ride early in the morning.

    When I feel like going for a ride I usually set my alarm for 5am. The drunks have all gotten home by then and few people are going to work yet. And by the time morning rush hour is starting...I'm heading home.
    Plus your chi is at it's highest when the sun rises ;) .

    I also watch bike crash videos on a regular basis. Helps me to keep one foot on the ground. I watch them all...This one is a good example of why not to speed in a residential area: http://media.mediafetcher.com/content/cycle_crash.wmv

    You'll see that legally it's the cars fault....but if the bike wasn't speeding...the accident probably wouldn't have happened.
  14. you're delusional. I consider myself an ultra safe super awesome some kind of wonder rider, and I still think riding in the CBD is suicide. Too many little things that can kill you that are not in your control.

    That said..
    I still think it's worth it. :)
  15. By the way...I've been riding for about 11 years....and I've "stacked" (new word to me) about 11 times....never broken a bone....never gotten much road rash. Crashing ain't so bad.
  16. Everything animate and inamimate, seen and unseen is trying to knock you off your bike.....thats that attitude you need.

    This isn't going to change unless they become riders themselves, you've eventually develop defense mechanisms for it and it won't be as much of an issue.

    For a rough guide to the rest of the things you should think about when starting out, have a read of this.
  17. Years ago when I started riding I lost a few friends cause I was out riding not visiting but I gained a whole lot more! Don't believe me then come for a ride to the motogp with me and oh around about 12,000 of my closest friends!
  18. Good general info on horseriding and motorcycle safety jackets :idea: at http://www.hitairaustralia.com and good statistical info at Motorcycle Council of NSW - see RTA NSW site at http://www.roadsafety.mccofnsw.org.au. Lots of other good info there too. Seems that I'm on a "safety kick" myself at the moment.

    There's really nothing like going on a nice country ride to really feel the joy of motorcycling!
  19. A big factor I believe that contributes to your safety is having quite few years experience on the roads in the tin top before getting on the bike. When your driving becomes just a means of getting from A to B then is a good time to get on a bike and discover the joy of riding from A to B (via 100kms of twisties!!).

    Seriously, the right attitude, good observation skills and a realistic appreciation of the risks you are taking will keep you safer than most by taking out a large percentage of the self induced errors.

    Good luck with the courses and training. Try it, if you don't like it no drama, better still, convince a couple of your mates to join you!
  20. here you go ladyamaha.. this should be the right thread???