Episode 181: Harley Gone, Fun is On!

Episode 181 - Harley gone, fun is on!

Recorded August 24, 2014

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  • Michael Montiel
  • Tom McGoldrick
  • Mike Evans
  • Quentin Lewis

Theme music composed and performed by Raoul Lowe

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One thought on “Episode 181: Harley Gone, Fun is On!

  1. Hi Guys,

    I was very interested in hearing your discussion where you basically “support” the concept of teared licensing. I can appreciate your intent to “do good” and perhaps “protect people from themselves”, but my experience is that this is far from a simple thing.

    As you noted, the way it is all being discussed currently, people seem to be focused on the displacement of the engine, and as you noted, that is at times totally unrelated to the actual power output of the engine, and or the power-to-weight ratio which might be more of the issue.

    But this implies that power is the problem. There are many reasons that some bikes might be more of a handful for some people than other bikes, and that can often be simply related to size and weight…..or even at times seat height or some other characteristic that makes it difficult to control.

    Worst that all of this is that these sorts rules and regulations are often used as a way to “shape” the market, and so I am sure there would be some bike makers who would attempt to “grab the ear” of the regulators in order to craft the regulations in a way to better control the market, or at least raise the barrier of entry for some one or more new or current competitors.

    I come from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where I can point at two “lists” created by experts in an attempt to control two different and unrelated things, but BOTH in the name of safety. The first is the list of state approved handguns, and the second the list of state approved mopeds. I will focus on the latter since this a motorcycle podcast. Mopeds in Massachusetts do have to meet certain engine size and maximum speed requirements, but nothing can be registered as a moped unless the state department of motor vehicles places it on their list. (which at times changes monthly) It is not clear how mopeds are chosen for consideration as their is no submission request process. I suppose a local dealer probably approaches the DMV and somehow submits a request. The result is a list based not so much on the performance characteristics of the bikes, but rather those that people in the know submit for consideration. Now you might not think there is any value to having a moped, but in Massachusetts it is a wonderful vehicle because it costs only $40 for a two year sticker and it does NOT require insurance, inspection or even a motorcycle license to ride. It basically follows the rules of a bicycle, and so the difference between riding a 50cc Metropolitan vs say a 50cc Yamaha C3 is considerable just from an insurance, inspection and registration perspective.

    Also, my libertarian streak also tells me that people really need to make safety a priority, and sometimes these nanny laws make people think that someone has the responsibility to protect them, so they don’t need to sweat it themselves. Well, you and I know that people can be just as irresponsible and reckless on a 250cc motorcycle, and no matter the engine size, dead is dead. Perhaps dealers need to come up with some sort of “path” that allow people to start out say on a used 250 cc bike, and then “trade-up” at some point for low money. Maybe even create a sort of “step-up” program over time with a sort of “plan” that has bikes coming available to them over time so long as they get into the program at a certain “monthly payment plan”. Whatever the idea, I think it best is people take responsibility for their own safety and growth. Once size does NOT fit all, and laws rarely fit across the population any better.

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