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When skilled riders fear ‘dangerous bikes’

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Marx, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. A common opinion expressed on this forum as well as out there in the real world by, what would be regarded as, experienced riders, is that small displacement &/or ‘underpowered’ motorcycles are a danger to their riders & a liability out on the roads. This opinion generally covers bikes & scooters under 250cc, broadly speaking.

    Thing is, I always thought that as the legal speed limits in metro & rural areas throughout Australia are effectively attainable by a majority of these ‘underpowered’ bikes, in the hands of an experienced rider, the comparative shortcomings these bikes can be ‘ridden around’ and so wouldn’t be a problem.

    Ironically it is mostly riders new to motorbikes or those which may still be developing their skill-set on bikes who own & ride bikes in this category. Perhaps this has reflected badly on the net ability of these ‘underpowered’ bikes & their suitability in a real-world application, creating a poor opinion of these bikes generally.

    It seems that experienced riders do tend to gravitate towards high performance motorcycles where power, speed, braking & handing has been developed (in some cases) to beyond that of any other vehicle on the road. Together with technological developments at the sharp end of the motorcycle fleet like slipper clutches, traction control, ABS, variable power modes & ‘fly-by-wire’, all help make these performance bikes effectively easier to ride than bikes in other categories.
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  2. I would say ego and peer pressure are the biggest reasons for riding a performance bike. Not always of course, and not that any of them would admit it.
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  3. Any Motorbike is faster than my Peugeot 306 & i'm not getting myself into situations all the time. I'm of the mind set that you need to master what you have & start from the bottom.

    Currently as stated, I rock a Peugeot 306 (80kw) 1.1 tonne car and i can drive that little thing "spiritedly". I have mates who drive very large cars with anywhere from 200-500kw and i'm sure i would give them a run through the tight streets. This is due to a couple of things
    • Cheap car, $2500 - Not too worried if i damage it
    • Repairs are fair to okay, compared to a brand new SS Commodore
    • Performance doesn't exacerbate my mistakes
    • You learn the performance characteristics quickly, because they are sane limits (top speed, breaking distance, max cornering ability) - Try doing that in a Bike/Car that would challenge professional drivers skills.
    All this may sound like "hooning", but this kind of "play" has made me a more confident driver and this has saved my bacon, also saving others when they make mistakes. I can drive in a very defensive way to avoid things because i know the limit of my cars. I'm taking the same attitude with my bike.
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  4. The problem smaller bikes have that bigger bikes don't is the inability to power out of a problem.
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  5. And are generally woefully inadequate when doing anything other than riding through tight, slow, congested streets.

    The reason most people buy powerful bikes is because they tour, track, pillion etc., etc.
  6. scooter riders , well i see a few and the way

    they ride is dangerous .

    in general of course , the issue is they dont take
    control of the lane and space , riding like a push bike
    scenario and this means cages will pasd them in the
    same lane with little room for error , too many scooters
    ridets out there without a clue.
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  7. My gt250r weighed the same as the gt650r. In my opinion the gt250r should be banned for sale. Dangerous, too heavy, no hope of getting out of a tight situation.
    I think if the power to weight ratio is properly balanced then this topic would be less discussed.
    Unfortunately, it's more expensive to attain this balance in some cases with manufacturers opting for cheaper, less technological bikes.

    Kinda ironic given the vast size of the learner market - a little more effort from manufacturers would see more people continue riding thus increasing sales in the open market. Bit of a vicious circle really..

  8. I snigger in your general direction!

    If you are in a problem, then it's probably something you did wrong.

    Typically, if the problem is serious enough, you get a good shot of adrenaline into you.

    So, with a powerful bike, you can power out of trouble..... except, of course, you have already got something wrong, you've given yourself a shot of adrenaline, and now you are going much faster......

    Oh, aye, that sounds like a good plan.[DOUBLEPOST=1356751957][/DOUBLEPOST]
    Is that like commuting?

    Wee bikes are really good at that.

    Damn, and I thought blokes bought big powerful motorcycles to make their whatsits grow bigger.
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  9. I don't get what you are saying????

    I never said that a big bike will stop you from getting into a problem just that it provides you the option to power out where generally small bikes don't give you that option.

    For arguments sake, if I was riding in the blind spot of a car and it decided to merge on me all while a truck is right on my arse I would much prefer a >600cc bike to get out of the situation instead of a <250cc. (Not arguing that you shouldn't ride in the blind spot etc).

    At the end of the day it is a double edged sword, a bigger bike generally will get you out of trouble quicker/better then a smaller bike but on the other hand it will get you into trouble quicker/more easily.

    I see the OP as 'why are smaller bikes regarded as dangerous compared to bigger bikes', where I am of the opinion of that it is more dangerous because it has slower acceleration.
  10. Just for background information, I bought a Honda Z50-J in 1985, registered it for road use and kept it in full rego until 2011, when I switched it to Historic Rego.

    One has to ride within the limitations of the bike one is riding.

    I didn't ride down the Freeway on the Z50, that's not what its good at or built for.

    The Z50 is the only LAMS approved motorcycle that I own, but, since I have done a fair amount of fiddling with it over the years, I wouldn't, in a pink fit, let a learner loose on it.
  11. As they say, 'throttle works both ways' and with the possible exception of being chased by a maniac intent on running you over, just about any problem that can be solved by powering out of it can also be solved by slowing down instead. But most of the time the real problem is not power or lack of it, but the attitude of 'I must overtake everything in my path!'. The solution is not more power but adjusting the attitude.
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  12. Can you give an example of when "powering out" of a problem is the safest option? (Bar in a controlled Race environment)
  13. Sorry, the auto-editing of bad words snuck up on me, it hadn't occured to me that the pejorative word for a person with very dark skin colour, prefixed with an S would get the chop.

    I meant to express a degree of shall we call it cynical laughter.
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  14. I think you will find most experienced riders like to get back on a twofity. Wouldn't own one of course but their a lot of fun to ride....when u don't have too.
    The GT250R was a heap of crap to ride, so top heavy. Getting off a GS500 onto one of those was like going back fifteen years....off a GS500 ??? hahaha
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  15. I feel like I'm VC arguing with everyone here but when in Rome I say...

    The answer to your question is in post 9

  16. If you're daft enough to ride in blind spots with any regularity, the last thing you should be doing is riding anything with an engine.

    Small bikes are not inherently dangerous (and, for the record, I don't consider a 250 to be particularly small) but do need to be ridden with regard to their limitations (hence not taking a Z50 on the freeway), and they require particular attention to owning your road space. But then, I do have a lot of practice at this, having toured most of the UK on a Honda Step-Thru ((7.5 bhp on a good day), graduating to a CZ250 with a neck snapping 12 bhp at the rear wheel. The Step-Thru was unpleasant on fast roads, overtaking drivers tending to leave very little room, and so I avoided them where possible. The CZ, though, did shitloads of motorway miles and never caused me a bad moment due to its lack of performance. It was a bit dull butcertainly not dangerous.

    Where larger bikes tendto score is in quality. There are very few small bikes which are not either budget commuters or learner tackle and so most are built down to a very tight budget and cranked out in huge numbers to show any kind of profit for the manufacturers. In the Australian market I can only think of a very few small race reps which don't fit this description. Aprila RS125/250, Cagiva Mito, not much else since the demise of the RGV.

    As a result, bigger bikes are certainly nicer to ride but not, IMHO, inherently safer.
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  17. I have to admit that there is a class of bike which I would rather not ride, as I believe they are dangerous, but that's at the opposite end of the performance spectrum.

    The newest, whizz bang boy racer machines with all the fancy electronics controlling stuff, rather the the rider using the controls, they scare me.

    But wee motorbikes, if ridden to their capabilities, are just as safe, possibly even safer, than bigger, more powerful machines.
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  18. Yep,

    Traffic all around me, I'm in the left lane
    A bus pulls out of its park into my lane, no indicator

    Braking would have had me run over
    I accelerated into the right lane in front of the Toyota which was all but next to me when the bus pulled out.
    Braking was not an option, it was bus or a quick manoeuvre
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  19. Solid example
  20. I'm thinking that unless the bus then collided with the car that was following him, saying that braking was not an option might be a bit of a poetic licence. Also, it sounds like a city traffic situation - how do we know that a 250cc bike couldn't do the same thing?