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Thread: Fatality Statistics

  1. #1
    James suttie's Avatar
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    Fatality Statistics

    I hope the title is not too grim for you.

    I recall reading in ON about 18 months ago about some fatality statistics, by MC brand for Wisconsin. Does anyone remember the article and what issue it was from? The reason I ask is that a very good friend is considering buying a Harley (and one for his wife). They are both brand new riders, and so I want to get them into a safe and comfortable bike (BMW preferred). My recollection was that HD's accounted for more than 50% of fatalities in WI in the year studied, whereas BMW was 0. I know there would be a higher % of HD sold in WI, but the numbers were pretty gripping.

    Look forward to your help.

    Thank you.
    James
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    I'd expect Harley to account for well over 50% of motorcycle sales in Wisconsin, so I'd expect the numbers to reflect that.

    I feel that modern Harleys have certainly narrowed the safety edge BMW has historically held, and the fatalities are due to less riding experience due to the average Harley has much less miles put on it yearly; and the riding style- ride to the bar and (hopefully) back home.

    My local classifieds are chock full of 4-5 year old Harleys with like 2,500 to 3,500 miles on the ODO. Just try to find a similar age Beemer with such low miles.

  3. #3
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    I do not believe that a Harley is less or more "safe" than a BMW.
    I do not believe you can call a BMW a "safe" motorcycle.
    I think it kinda sorta depends on the rider. Like about 98% and about 2% blind luck.
    I do suppose you can make all kinds of argument that BMW riders are less accident prone, certainly if you compare them to the average bar hopper Harley rider.
    But experienced long distance Harley rider? Probably nearly the same as BMW rider.
    dc

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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    But experienced long distance Harley rider? Probably nearly the same as BMW rider.
    +1
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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Agree on the MOA - HOG comparison.

    In any risky activity experience goes a long way towards reducing risk, however it is not an absolute protection. At one time I did a great deal of sky diving and would read the yearly fatality report put out by the United States Parachute Association. The deaths were overwhelmingly among the most inexperienced jumpers or intermediate jumpers attempting something new and beyond their skill level. Every so often, however, the death of a highly experienced jumper would be reported, someone with thousands of jumps and the highest training qualifications. Sometimes it was circumstances one could not predict or prevent, but sometimes it was the result of making a mistake in the fundamentals. The same thing goes for motorcycling. Experience, training, attitude and focus certainly improves one's chances, but nothing is assured.
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    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Ohio is not a helmet state, and 90% of the many Harley riders here are bareheaded. Often shorts and t shirts. The Harley mentality does nothing to discourage this, so maybe the bike and it's subculture are partly to blame for a (possibly) disproportionate number of fatalities. Of course, there are atgatt crotch rocket pilots pushing the limits of their machines and BMW riders trying to rack up 1000 mile days. Different bikes encourage different forms of stupidity.
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  7. #7
    James suttie's Avatar
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    Fatality Stats

    Thanks for your good comments, folks. Appreciate that. Does anymore know the date of the original article that was published in ON? I think it was about 18 months ago.
    James
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    Everyone knows that Loud Pipes Saves Lives so the Harleys have got to be at least 5 or 10 times safer than a BMW.

    I'd also say it depends on the year of the motorcycle. BMW has had not just anti lock brakes longer than Harley has, but better anti lock brakes even when Harley first introduced them. Maybe they are on a par now, but the past 10-15 years it's been advantage BMW.

  9. #9
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    But on a harley the rear brake is the "control" brake, and did you know their ABS shuts off when going around corners!

    It has to be true, I heard it from a harley riding instructor, at the campfire at the BR Motorcycle campground last year, so it MUST be true!


    It is not the brand, it is the stupidity of more of the HOG/ABATE type of rider that makes them more dangerous.
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    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    Motorcycle Consumer News May 2014 has an article on page 30 about this. The statistics reported are very interesting.

    2012 Motorcyclist Fatalities
    (FARS) Fatal Accident Reporting System

    Brands of Involved Motorcycles,
    Sold 2005 Through 2010

    BMW 17
    Harley-Davidson 692
    All Others 1330
    2012 Total 2039
    Walter

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  11. #11
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    BMW's are like Volvos. They are relatively safe machines, but another big part of their safety record is the type of people that buy them. Conservative drivers/riders and safety conscious for the most part.
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    Frieden mit uns allen drummer's Avatar
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    It is funny when I am driving with my wife, we always keep an eye out for MCs. Well over 95% of the bikes we see with hiviz gear are beemer riders. It has gotten to the point that when we see a bike coming with HiViz my wife says, "guess what kind that bike is." Like I said, most of the time she is correct: it is a beemer.

    Might account for some of the stats. I know I ride and wear my HiViz yellow green religiously. A number of times cars around me think I am a cop. I for one, am happy about that. They actually show some respect.
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    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    It is funny when I am driving with my wife, we always keep an eye out for MCs. Well over 95% of the bikes we see with hiviz gear are beemer riders. It has gotten to the point that when we see a bike coming with HiViz my wife says, "guess what kind that bike is." Like I said, most of the time she is correct: it is a beemer.
    I appreciate that our "tribe" of BMW riders considers safety an important part of motorcycling, and accepts and promotes ATGATT, hi-viz gear, real helmets, preferably full-face white or hi-viz colored helmets. If you are on a BMW bike, you are free to wear any safety equipment you deem appropriate, without getting any crap for your choices.

    While I harbor no animosity towards other riding tribes, a tribe that scoffs at safety, promotes a "lifestyle" that exerts strong peer pressure to wear only black, to not wear ATGATT or even legal helmets, to drink and ride, to ride without a valid license or proper training, well, add all that up and the results are predictable and often tragic. I've pointed out before the irony of a large group of rugged individualists who slavishly conform to an image of some mythical "lifestyle," and do so primarily due to peer pressure.

    Harry
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  14. #14
    James suttie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    I appreciate that our "tribe" of BMW riders considers safety an important part of motorcycling, and accepts and promotes ATGATT, hi-viz gear, real helmets, preferably full-face white or hi-viz colored helmets. If you are on a BMW bike, you are free to wear any safety equipment you deem appropriate, without getting any crap for your choices.

    While I harbor no animosity towards other riding tribes, a tribe that scoffs at safety, promotes a "lifestyle" that exerts strong peer pressure to wear only black, to not wear ATGATT or even legal helmets, to drink and ride, to ride without a valid license or proper training, well, add all that up and the results are predictable and often tragic. I've pointed out before the irony of a large group of rugged individualists who slavishly conform to an image of some mythical "lifestyle," and do so primarily due to peer pressure.

    Harry
    All too true, Harry.

    Yesterday and today, I did a short bike ride (on my RR) and today in my car. I saw over 40 Harley's. Not one was wearing gear that was remotely safe. Beanie helmets (not truly legal in BC), bare arms, shorts, sandals, tennis shoes. I truly don't understand.

    I am a fast, yet cautious rider, and would not go the the local convenience store dressed like that, let alone 60 KM on major highways!
    James
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    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    H-D riders

    When I out riding the majority of motorcycles I see are H-D's, an yes most riders are not wearing helmets (passengers 50/50). So I expect to see the accident statistics to be heavy with H-D's. I can not remember seeing a H-D rider wearing anything but a vest on warm weather, most wear sleeveless shirts, and jeans it seems.
    Just the other day a H-D riding couple where killed, they where wearing gear and a helmet: a car crossed into their lane and hit them both killed. The H-D had experienced couple, wearing good gear: but had no option to escape. I am sure the driver of the car will get a slap on the wrist as of course the motorcycle is dangerous and the accident will traumatize the poor car driver who was totally at fault.
    It is time to start and treat crashes less like accidents and more like a crime. In this case a the car was not paying attention, and drove in to the wrong lane because of pure carelessness.
    One thing I applauded ABATE is the group is starting to try and make sure the driver does not get off lightly. In this county we treat driving too lightly, in Europe drunk driving is a crime, not is the USA.
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