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Discussion Starter #1
Found some articles on motorcycle.com (great site, if you don't know about it...it's worth the $12/year subscription...they have great journalists and writers, post all the pictures and press releases at the same time as all the other internet sites, get all the bikes for testing, and are invited to all the release journo tests, and you can interact with the writers and staff and ask them specific questions about the bikes they test way before they hit the showrooms and stuff...good shit...oh, and they get lots of video of the new bikes on their dyno, full lap videos of the bikes, usually around Willow Springs, and some canyon vids and stuff, all before these bikes hit the floors) ... ANYWAY... A couple interesting articles, one on statistics of motorcycle fatalities versus other fatalities (like pedestrian and equestrian fatalities)...and the other about the black boxes they're putting in cars, and the future of them...good reads.

http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcrau/06_Paranoid_Motorcyclist/index.motml

http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcrau/06_Black_Boxes/index.motml
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And just because I love you...

The Paranoid Motorcyclist


By Fred Rau, September, 2006

"They are the scourge on our highways."

"They are an epidemic."

"They continue to clog the trauma centers of America."

Those are quotes from Dr. Jeffery W. Runge, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while speaking at the Lifesavers Convention, Charlotte, NC, on March 14, 2005. And just in case you hadn't figured it out yet, the "they" being referred to is you and me - motorcyclists.

Dr. Runge and other "authorities" making these statements always back up their comments with hard scientific evidence like, "motorcycle fatalities have increased 12% in the past two years." Of course, what they never include in such statements are modifying facts, like maybe, "the number of people riding motorcycles has increased by 18% in the past two years." We wouldn't want to confuse people with too many facts, so we'll just give them the ones that support the conclusions we've already jumped to.

The plain and simple truth is that you can manipulate statistics to support just about any theory you'd care to propose. One of my old college professors proved that to me beyond any shadow of a doubt. And at the risk of sounding even more paranoid than I already am, I'm pretty sure that our government has an entire cadre of experts in its employ whose only job it is to do just that very thing. But even they can't hold a candle to the greatest statistical "spin doctors" I've ever encountered: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Read one of their annual reports, and unless you're a totally gullible moron, you'll see exactly what I mean.

One of the IIHS' favorite stats to report is that, "per mile traveled, motorcycle rider fatalities are 27 times greater than those in automobiles." Well, golly, since they bothered to factor in "per mile traveled," that sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? I suppose it does, but it leaves out a few mitigating factors. For example, a motorcycle will be carrying a single rider about 90% of the time. When you ride one mile without an accident on your bike, you are counted as one safe mile traveled. But the stats for automobiles includes not only cars with two or more passengers, but also vans, trucks and even buses. A bus with 40 passengers goes one mile without an accident, and it is counted as 40 safe miles traveled, compared to your one mile. Then, add in the fact that motorcycles simply aren't ridden the number of miles in a year that a car is used. In fact, we average only about 30% of automobile usage. Oh, and they count dirt bike miles, too, and ATVs, which obviously results in a lot more accidents "per mile traveled." Ever see someone go off-roading in the family sedan, or better yet, a fully-loaded school bus?

Are you beginning to see how this works? If not, I'll make it even simpler: Per mile traveled, a pedestrian is 18 times more likely to be injured or killed in an accident than a motorcyclist. We need to get those crazed, daredevil walkers and joggers off our sidewalks! But wait --there's something worse: Per mile traveled, equestrians (horseback riders) are 25 times more likely to be killed or injured in an accident than a motorcyclist! Sure, I'll admit that motorcycle riding can be dangerous --as riders we need to never forget that-- but I don't hear anyone talking about how dangerous it is to ride a horse, or about regulating them more, or even banning them outright.

Am I really paranoid, or am I detecting some kind of bias here? Do you remember, as I do, when Gary Busey fell off his bike and suffered severe head trauma? The newspaper articles weren't very sympathetic. In fact, most seemed to lean toward the take that if he hadn't been doing something so stupid and dangerous as riding a motorcycle, this never would have happened, so he really had only himself to blame. Granted, Gary is a kind of belligerent, in-your-face sort of guy, so I can see how he elicited some of these reactions, but the fact remains that he was given little in the way of public sympathy. And yet, not too long after that incident, Superman himself, Christopher Reeve, fell off his horse and also suffered severe head trauma. Now, I felt as sorry for Chris as anyone, but the fact is, the media almost immediately anointed him as a saint. Magazines and TV shows devoted entire issues and shows to extolling this brave, valiant hero who was fighting for his life after an unfortunate accident. Okay, so maybe Chris was a nicer guy than Gary --but does that really explain why Gary was portrayed as an idiot for falling off a motorcycle, but Chris was lauded as a hero for falling off a horse?

I forget who said it, but the quote goes something like this: "You're not paranoid if they really are out to get you."
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And Big Brother:


Big Brother & Your Bike

Story by: Fred Rau, Guest Editor - May 2006

Not too long ago, a panel of transportation experts convened in Michigan to discuss the emerging controversy involving vehicle data recorders (VDRs). The panel's focus was on yet another "little black box" being installed on most new vehicles made by Ford and General Motors. It's a fairly innocuous thing, about the size of a cigarette pack, that digitally records about five seconds of data when the vehicle's airbag is activated. Information recorded involves recent speed changes, throttle position, braking application and seat belt use.

Sounds fairly sensible, and quite probably it's even a very useful device for determining the cause of an accident. But stop and think for a moment. Who owns that information? And what about our constitutional protection against self-incrimination? Does the state, or perhaps your insurance company, have the right to use that information against you to raise your insurance rates, or to prosecute you and perhaps even send you to jail? The consensus among the panel was that, legally, the information belongs to the owner of the vehicle and can't be used without his permission, but... read on.

First of all, if you're wondering what this has to do with motorcycling, I couldn't find a single expert in the industry who doesn't believe that VDRs will soon be mandatory on every motor vehicle sold in the US, which, of course, will include our motorcycles. Secondly, it is also worth noting that these devices are capable of recording tons more information than what they currently capture. And, I am told that it would be a simple matter for the NHTSA to require the collection of any data from these devices that they might deem useful to them. The Michigan panel also noted that under some new laws passed recently, the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General's office can also access that data. So, what about your right to privacy or freedom from self-incrimination? According to the National Motorists Association (NMA), even if Homeland Security or the AG isn't interested in your "private" information, you have probably already waived your right to privacy by way of a clause in your insurance policy, promising that you will "cooperate" with your insurance company by granting access to any information that could conceivably help settle a claim. You might be able to secure a court order to stop them, but don't bother, because I'm also told that virtually any state agency could still access your data, under the "implied consent" clause that is standard in most states as part of your being issued a driver's license.

You might be thinking at this point that at least you're safe from this invasion unless and until you break the law, or get involved in an accident. Wrong again. Already, certain models of cars with on-board GPS systems can transmit your data to anyone with a receiver and an access code -- hopefully, that would be a legally-recognized law enforcement agency. But who knows? You won't even know when it's being done. And even if your vehicle isn't equipped with GPS, don't worry, they've got that covered, too. Soon, all the VDRs will be equipped with wireless Internet capability, so that State Trooper following you can simply tap your license plate number into his keyboard, and download your every move for the past several weeks. Not to mention he won't need radar anymore to clock your speed -- your car or bike will do it for him, and even tell him if you were speeding last Tuesday.

If all this sounds futuristic to you -- hang onto your helmets. In Europe, they're working on a similar system, with GPS, to be used for charging road tolls. The tolls vary by the road used and the time of day, and are calculated by a computer that attaches a per-mile fee. Toll meters at gas stops then automatically charge your credit card or bank account for your road-use tolls when you stop for gas. The computer also knows the speed limit on each road you took, and whether or not you exceeded it, and will automatically add your speeding fines onto your tolls. Isn't technology wonderful?


"It'll never happen!" you say? Surprise! The toll-meter boxes are already a reality in Swiss and German commercial trucks, and Deutsche-Telekom, together with Daimler-Chrysler, have a government contract in hand to install them in all trucks in Germany very soon. How much longer before they make their way into private vehicles? In answer to my own question, Australia seems to think it can't come soon enough. In New South Wales, the Road and Traffic Authority has looked at our VDRs, and Germany's GPS-enabled toll meters, and decided that not only are they a good idea, but they should be taken one step further. The plan being considered there would include another wrinkle -- mandatory engine governors that would make sure that your vehicle could never exceed the posted speed limit of wherever you're driving at the time. The RTA General Manager is promoting this plan, and has the backing of a powerful organization called "Staysafe," which claims the system could reduce traffic accidents by as much as 50%.

Now, I don't believe that Americans will ever stand still for the speed governors, but then again, I don't believe anyone in the US is even considering that option. What they're pushing for here, instead, is the automated fine system, so you can basically speed all you want, so long as you're prepared to pay for it. After all, that is the American Way, isn't it? But don't think you might get away without paying, because our government, though not interested in making the system capable of physically slowing us down, is in favor of adding a "start inhibitor," that would simply immobilize your vehicle if you have unpaid traffic fines. A neat solution, and one that clearly points out that though the proponents of these systems will beat their collective breasts and cry "safety" when extolling the plan, they are not quite so interested in public safety as they are in "revenue generation." The Federal, State and local governments, and especially the insurance companies, will win big. And we, the motoring public, will lose. They will console us with their mantra that it makes the world a safer place.

Maybe I sound like a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist, but when in our history has our government ever opted for less regulation on our motoring? And the systems I describe here aren't science-fiction, they're already here, and in use in several places. And quite frankly, I doubt that there is a damn thing we can do about it.
 

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ratherberiding
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The first one is genius. I've always known that about statistics. My fav though is when people are like "Oh, you better be careful...bikes are dangerous!!" I reply with "Do you ever go one mile per hour faster than the speed limit?" Before they finish I go into a rant about how they endanger my life everytime they change CD's or talk on their cell while driving. Cars endabger my life more than I do. So, in reality, people believe what is simple to believe, what is fed to them...and Bikers will prob always be though of as outlaws and no-goods and menaces...so we might as well act the part, right?? jk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by joonyaboy
The first one is genius. I've always known that about statistics. My fav though is when people are like "Oh, you better be careful...bikes are dangerous!!" I reply with "Do you ever go one mile per hour faster than the speed limit?" Before they finish I go into a rant about how they endanger my life everytime they change CD's or talk on their cell while driving. Cars endabger my life more than I do. So, in reality, people believe what is simple to believe, what is fed to them...and Bikers will prob always be though of as outlaws and no-goods and menaces...so we might as well act the part, right?? jk
Yeah...the only downside to the first one is when he makes the assumption that no one goes off-roading in a family sedan. When I was younger, I did it on several occasions, and wound up digging my ghetto Corolla out of assorted piles of sand/dirt/mud enough times to get pretty damn good at it. Then again, I was a lot more reckless back then. hehehe
 

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DEATH TO THE ISA!!!
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No, I am not surprised by the second one. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts because Big Brother really isn't that far away.

The first one gave me some useful info for my next debate on the safey of motorcycles, which, if the past is any indicator of the future, will happen in a few hours :D
 

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Originally posted by FightingFalcon
No, I am not surprised by the second one. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts because Big Brother really isn't that far away.

The first one gave me some useful info for my next debate on the safey of motorcycles, which, if the past is any indicator of the future, will happen in a few hours :D


You must be going to mommy's house...[}:)]
 

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DEATH TO THE ISA!!!
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Originally posted by trig





You must be going to mommy's house...[}:)]
I wish.....STILL NO BIKE!!! :(:(:(:(

It's gonna be fucking freezing outside before I get it back...
 

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screw that black box stuff, I'll make sure to take it all off if they ever mandate it, if not then I'll just have to ride old bikes.
 

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Take the box out, then voila, no more problems! You guys have to remember, there is a way around EVERYTHING.. Just look at OJ. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Originally posted by Chicagois2
do they have any footage of men who eat polish sausage on the back of Ducati's?
Wow, bringing back old wounds from October, huh? lol I hope that ass monkey had someone eat a polish sausage over his wife's naked body. lol
 
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