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Motorcycle Deaths High Among Super-Sport Riders

Posted September 18, 2007
Updated September 19, 2007

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— With trade names such as Ninja and Monster, the highly powered super-sport motorcycles are hot sellers these days.

Quick and nimble, the bikes are built on a racing frame but are modified for street use. Their lightweight, powerful engines put them in a dangerous category.

Super-sport motorcycles make up less than 10 percent of registered motorcycles but account for more than 25 percent of rider deaths – four times higher than all other types of motorcycles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

"It's really scary to think that there would be a vehicle out there traveling that fast, the way the traffic is in this area," said North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Everett Clendenin.

On May 30, a person was injured on Capital Boulevard near Spring Forest Road when, according to police, three super-sport bikes were racing and one of the motorcycle riders struck a sport utility vehicle.

Clendenin remembered a recent Interstate 40, anti-speeding sweep in which a super sport motorcyclist was clocked at more than 100 mph.

"Let me tell you, I've been to those scenes when those types of motorcycles are involved in crashes, and usually, the operator of that motorcycle is severely injured – and often times killed when they're traveling at these high speeds," he said.

Matison Motorsports in North Raleigh is one of the biggest motorcycle dealerships in the Triangle. It sells about 100 of the sport bikes each month, and employees there said it all comes down to driver responsibility.

"We have state-of-the art motorcycles that make a ton of horse power," said Bo Denbo with Matison Motorsports. "What we ask our customers here is: When they purchase the bike, definitely read your owner's manual and drive within the posted speeds and the guidelines that are set forth out there. And everybody's a winner."

49 Comments

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  • Slip Kid Sep 19, 2007

    psychobabble - also, make a public profile so you can take the heat or the compliment for your statements.

  • Slip Kid Sep 19, 2007

    psychobabble - just checking around on recent comments and had to say, great cheap Shot. You know, and I know, traffic laws only apply to those who choose to follow them or those that get caught breaking them. I won't take it personally, but, again, cheap shot...

  • Average Guy Sep 19, 2007

    One of the issues which is not known to the general public is that there are two types of riders who own these super-sport bikes. On the one hand, you have the serious performance rider who wears the proper gear and continually strives to be a better rider while enjoying the freedom, speed, and maneuverability that these machines provide. On the other hand, you have adrenaline junkies who want to go fast, pop wheelies, do burnouts, and commit general mayhem on public streets. Of course, most of us fall somewhere in between these two examples, but it is the adrenaline junkie types that give us all a bad name. Responsible riders get look upon like hoodlums because of stories like this one that make us all out to be street racers. And just a note to those who don't ride: Not all of us who are going a bit over the speed limit and weaving through traffic are doing so as a show of power. It is much safer for us to be out in front of you where we can see the road and other traffic hazards.

  • educatedbrotha03 Sep 19, 2007

    Yes, there are individuals who care about me immensely. Yet, for every isolated incident that occurs there are countless that do not occur. Motorcycle accidents will happen just like car accidents do. Do I believe that I am immortal? Definitely not the case. Death is a real thing to me. If I decide to exceed the speed limit occasionally I do so at my own risk. I've stated in a previous post that I have come to the realization of these dangers and generally respect the law. I occasionally venture out to capital blvd. on the weekends, and know a few guys out there. Those guys just don't decide to go do wheelies, they practice hours on end each week to be able to do that. Some can ride on one wheel just as good as two. I'm not as big as a risk taker as them, but if you actually talked to them you would realize they're just like you and me. Down to earth people who love to ride, thats their life. If you take that away from them, you're taking away their happiness.

  • haggis basher Sep 19, 2007

    "Yet, I am usually the only vehicle in the vicinity and only putting MYSELF in harms way."

    You have nobody who cares whether you live or die........never mind the poor Paramedics who have to go hunting for your various bodys. Some folk never get past the immortal teenage feeling until too late and they are in a box (if they are lucky) or stuck in a wheelchair for life.

  • colliedave Sep 19, 2007

    On May 30, a person was injured on Capital Boulevard near Spring Forest Road when, according to police, three super-sport bikes were racing and one of the motorcycle riders struck a sport utility vehicle.

    There is a group of crotch-rocket riders that race-up and down Capital Blvd on weekends. It isn't unusal to see them weave in and out of traffic, ride side-by-side in a single lane, and pop wheelies when a light turns green.

    One of these guys was killed when he lost control on Corporation Parkway going more than 100 mph. If anyone wants to go that fast on a MC one is asking for enshrinement in the Darwin Awards.

  • jimmycrackcorn Sep 19, 2007

    What is really interesting is that every single day on my ride to work, there is some hyped up, cell phone using yahoo, male and female that wants to take off from the stop light, pedal to the floor trying to leave me in their dust. A minivan or SUV racing a SS Bike is not only absurd, it is embarrassing. Then when they pull up next to me at the next light 5 minutes after I have come to a stop, they want to give me that evil eye. Poor, pathetic, frustrated people. Leave the bikers alone, make way so they can pass and get on their way. Stop being haters at the freedom they have gained while you stew in your DVD machine with wheels.

  • educatedbrotha03 Sep 19, 2007

    68_polara, you are correct. There are very few tracks. The closest to North Carolina are in South Carolina and Virginia. Liability is a very big issue and as in most cases not always solved by a simple waiver. With the advances in rider safety equipment many wrecks that would significantly injure riders, now allow them to get up and finish the race or see the next saturday. So there has been a decrease in fatalities and major injuries. There is a high demand for race tracks. To Aaron, I'm glad you lived to tell your tale. I have yet to experience a major accident and hope that I never will have to. But there have been several close calls. I've said it before and will say it again, more emphasis needs to be placed on driver education. Not just looking for us but simply changing how we are perceived by the public. Many see us in our safety gear and find us intimidating. We're people with families, careers, and normal lives too. Keep the two wheel side down my bros and ride on

  • Aaron Sep 19, 2007

    someone should have told the driver of the car that hit me when the lady "didn't" see me and merged into me on my bike. i guess it was because i have a cbr 954rr that she somehow forgot about me between looking at me at the stop light till when she turned into me at triangle town center. thanks for the other motorists that stopped though to help, if it weren't for them i'm sure another cager would have run me over for being on a supersport bike.

  • 68_polara Sep 19, 2007

    "I have learned that the streets are not the best place to do this activity" Yep, it's just not a controlled environment, as you have already mentioned. People will play and/or learn the limitations of their selves and machines. The question is whether there is a place for them to do it so that they maybe less like likely to do it on streets and highways. Here lies the problem, the reason there are so few tracks is because of liability. If we could get the layers out of it they would have a place to go.

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