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Finally, An Excuse to Buy a Leather Jacket

October 5th, 2005 Posted in Personal

Ok, as Dailey was nice enough to point out, I seem to have hit another blogging hump. But that’s ok, because I have recently acquired new skills with which to surmount said hump. No, not bo-staff skills, or even computer-hacking skills (which, by the way, I already posess); I’m talking about motorcycle-riding skills.

Quick backstory: Lawrence was selling his scooter, and I was interested in snatching it up. I hopped on for a quick ride and immediately ran the thing into a parked car. My sore shoulder and leg healed quickly, but my sore pride was not as easily sated.

One of the many lessons I’ve learned during my short time on this earth is: “Don’t get angry. Then you’re no better than the machine.” I signed up for a CHP motorcycle course soon after my little incident and I have since conquered the two-wheeled beast.

So I plan on buying a bike now, because the course was just so damn fun. But I’m interested to hear what you guys have to say about motorcycles and safety. Do you think motorcycles are too dangerous? Just for purposes of clarity, let me preface the discussion with a few things:

  • At this point, I have absolutely no plans to ride on the freeway. But statistically, intersections are more dangerous anyways.
  • I plan on getting a 250-400cc bike, nothing too powerful.
  • I’m a responsible guy and as such I will ride responsibly; absolutely no drinking, no crazy speeding, and only the occasional wheelie.
  • I’ll always wear my helmet and the right gear.

Anyone have any opinions?

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  • Yes, that is what everyone says; you will conquer the 250 and want to move up. If that is the case, which it very well might be, I'll sell this bad-boy and move up; the resale on the little bikes is actually decent. Also, I am actually riding every day, to work and back.

  • Landis

    I have a co-worker who thought the same thing as you: buy a starter bike, good equipment, ride sparingly. He bought his starter two months ago and already wants a new one with more power. Just an fyi.

  • I took the course in Santa Clara, offered by a company called S.C.O.R.E., but any course endorsed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation will get you a license. California locations are here.

  • Giz

    Hey, which course did you take?

  • Giz

    A motorcycle is cool. I'm planning to take that safety course as well, then get a cool looking beginner bike. Just remember to assume that you are invisible to other drivers...NOT intangable, but invisible.

    Daniel D., you can ride with me on my bike. We can both be topless if you want.

    David S. has the Piaggio? Awesome.

    Someone convince Thos to get a "hog, or whatever you kids are calling it these days", to match his new leather jacket.

  • wu

    rosenberg overdrive is no good, i was already thinking of naming the band that.

  • Daniel D: only if you're the dude.

    Wu: We've already formed our gang. He's going to be rolling on his 500cc, 110mph piaggio. Any suggestions for a gang name? Right now I'm leaning towards "Rosenberg Overdrive".

  • wu

    you and david s. should start a gang. that would be the smoothest gang ever.

  • daniel d

    please tell me that you're planning to ride topless with another dude hanging onto you.

  • This summary of a report on CA motorcycle accidents makes for useful reading.

    Some highlights:

    Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.


    In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slideout and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.

    So, the lesson appears to be "don't speed, don't brake too hard, and corner properly." All of which I think you're sensible enough to stick to. As for the other 75% of accidents, well that's those pesky car-drivers...

    In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.


    The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.

    So... look out for yourself, basically. I know you ride a human-powered bike around the South Bay, so you should have had plenty of practice at assuming you're completely invisible to car drivers everywhere.

    There's a load of other interesting stuff in there which provides useful advice in how to cut down on the risks.

    This last one surprised me the most, given the number of accidents that seem to spring up as soon as it rains in CA:

    Weather is not a factor in 98% of motorcycle accidents.

    So yeah, you're a sensible guy. Be careful, and I don't see any problem with it. And let's face it, chicks dig leather jackets, so it's all good ;)

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