So you want to ride a motorcycle or scooter? How you get started largely depends on your age and what you want to ride so here’s a rundown of the basics.
As far as who can ride what is concerned, once you are 16 you can ride a 50cc moped or motorcycle (Not all 50cc machines are twist’n’go mopeds, and as such you are not limited to just mopeds) that is not capable of more than 28mph, on a CBT. READ ON
Washington State law requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Regardless of what riders think of the law, it's pretty clear that wearing helmets can save lives. New research shows that bikes with anti-lock brake systems (ABS) can take that safety factor to a new level – and some groups are advocating for standardized ABS on all bikes. Will it join the ranks of mandatory helmet use?
ABS Braking Systems: How Do They Work?
Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) continually measure wheel speed. One of the most common ways they do this is by using a tone wheel, which is a small grooved ring located near the brake disc. The wheel speed sensor sends tone wheel readings to the ABS system, which can help determine whether the wheel is about to stop rotating. When that occurs, the pressure from the brake cylinder on the brake caliper is adjusted multiple times per second – reducing the bike from locking up. How these benefits translate into motorcycle injury and fatality rates may surprise you.
Studies Show Motorcycle Fatalities Drop By 31% When Bikes Are Equipped With ABS
Recent studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute show that motorcycle fatalities decreased by 31% when bikes were equipped with anti-lock brakes. According to the IIHS, motorcycle test track performance confirms that motorcycles with ABS systems can save lives and decrease insurance rates.
· Improved Brake Design. Newer ABS designs allow riders to brake fully without locking up so that they can automatically reduce the bike's brake pressure when they are about to lock up and then increase it after they have recovered traction. ABS used in conjunction with front and rear braking systems can reduce accidents even further.
· Better Test Track Performance. Test track performance showed that all riders were better able to stop quickly when their bikes were equipped with ABS and that their stopping distances improved on both dry and wet surfaces.
· Decreased Collision Insurance. Collision insurance claims decreased by 20% for bikes equipped with ABS and 31% for bikes equipped with combined controls.
Information published by the HDLI also found that bikes with ABS resulted in fewer insurance claims. In fact, riders were 30% less likely to file collision claims within the first three months of their policy and19% less likely to file after that. Anti-lock brakes reduced overall medical claims by 34%. While that sounds great, many bikers are reluctant to get on board.
Why Some Bikers Are Hesitant To Accept The Changes
Embracing the change to include ABS on all bikes would seem to be an easy choice. However, some riders – especially those with years of experience – are a bit reluctant. They feel that they know their bikes intimately and are better equipped to react in an emergency situation than leaving it up to a mechanical system to do it for them.
While that certainly may be the case, the surge in motorcycle accident deaths, which are approaching record levels, suggests more safety measures are needed. The number of motorcycle fatalities totaled 4,612 in 2011 and motorcycle crash fatalities are expected to increase to over 5,000, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Best Practices Put Into Action Or Just Another Government Intrusion?
Remember when you didn't have to wear a seat belt or a helmet – and how you felt when the government suddenly required you to? For some, the issue of requiring bikes to have ABS is simply putting best practices into action. For others, it falls into the never-ending continuum of government regulation and intrusion. Is having ABS safer? Yes. Should it be required? That question isn't as easy to answer.
In June, the IIHS and the HLDI petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require motorcycle manufacturers to add anti-lock brake systems to new motorcycles. However, for now, the NHTSA has agreed to:
· Study the overall effectiveness of ABS technologies and deploy them if they're proven to be valuable
· Use available research to implement other types of braking related measures
· Provide bikers with more education and training on braking issues, particularly the differences between routine braking and panic brakin
Only time will tell whether ABS will be required on all motorcycles. If, and until, that occurs, Washington State riders are reminded that helmet use is mandatory. Anyone who has been involved in a motorcycle accident should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to make sure that they obtain fair and adequate compensation in the form of medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
CAMERON Roberts is sick of seeing motorcycle parts strewn across the road. He does not want to have to speak to yet another driver who has to live with having killed a motorcyclist because of a moment’s inattention. READ ON