| ATTENTION: SPORT BIKERS !!
UNCLE SAM IS COMING FOR YOU !!!
ABATE, in all it's various forms across America, has always been labeled as the
"helmet" lobby and that's as true here in Ohio as anywhere else. We don't lobby
"against" helmet usage but rather for the right of adult riders to make a choice
concerning helmet usage. The difference seems small but it is NOT. Still, when talking to
the brethren that ride sport bikes that is the perception they have of us and it's that
perception that keeps them from joining. They have been wearing helmets since they started
riding, plain and simple. They wear helmets and nothing we can say to them about
"choice" will excite them into joining our organization.
What about the fact that the Federal government is seriously looking at European Union
type clothing standards with an eye toward putting something similar in place here in the
good 01' U S of A? Now, your average ABATE member, he/she get all kinds of worked up when
told that the Federal government is considering legislation that would decide for US what
type of garments we should be wearing when we are riding our motorcycles. I don't want to
ride my bike wearing so much reflective clothing that I look like a street sign! This is
America! ABATE of Ohio actively advocates against such un-American types of legislation.
Why? The answer is simple; we believe and support the idea of "adult choice".
Now, helmet use and clothing issues are not real big interest items to sport bike riders
or so it has seemed to me. Sport bikers just don't seem to see them as a real big deal. I
pondered this problem, trying to find an answer as to what information ABATE could bring
to our young Ohio riders that would make our case and persuade them that they needed to
join ABATE and get involved in the fight to protect motorcycling. What information might
ABATE provide that would make our case and prove that ABATE of Ohio IS relevant to them?
What would stoke their interest in joining?
The answer to that question was provided to the entire motorcycling world at the National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) seminar that took place in Washington DC in September.
At this conference serious discussions and panel presentations took place concerning
renewing the effort, on a national basis, to put a universal mandatory helmet law in
place. Yes, this was also the conference were attendees from various governmental agencies
not particularly friendly to ANY type of motorcycle rider discussed and supported the idea
of universal mandatory clothing laws. So, given that the sport riders do not seem to care
about mandatory helmet or clothing laws, what did the seminar presenters bring before
those of us who attended that WOULD be of interest to them? What proposed regulation would
they find hateful enough to make them want to join an organization like ABATE? Have you
ever heard of, Graduated licensing, "End of Life" and Anti-tampering
Graduated licensing has been, and still is, VERY popular in the European (and other)
regions of the world for year"s. It is touted as an effective way to train a
motorcyclist because it limits his/her access to the larger cc type motorcycles until
he/she has acquired the skills, the training and the MONEY needed to move up to the next
level of riding. Why, you may ask, do I emphasize the word "Money"? Because
that's the real bite in graduated licensing systems. It requires some serious cash outlays
to get the training needed to move up to a larger bike. Simply put, the bigger a bike you
want to ride, the more cold hard cash it will require up front to be able to ride it.
Take your typical 18-year-old. Under our current system to ride a 1000cc-sport bike all
he/she needs is an easily obtainable operator's license with a motorcycle endorsement and
a good job. Under a graduated system, as a novice rider, he/she would only be able to
purchase up to a 200cc motorcycle and he/she would be required to remain at this level
till at least his/her 21 st birthday, three years later. Now, let's not forget that he/she
would .be required to take training to receive his/her endorsement before he/she can even
purchase a 200cc bike! Let us also not forget that, as a novice motorcyclist, his/her
insurance bill is.gonna be a serious chunk of cash. I have heard discussions and read
articles that state, using a very similar scenario to the one I just laid out, that it
would cost that budding young motorcyclist between 3 and 4 THOUSAND dollars to start
riding! It doesn't end there, either. Under the graduated system you wouldn't even move up
to a 400 or 500cc machine until you'd been riding at least 506 years and you'd be spending
between 6 and 7 thousand dollars between training, licensing and insurance costs to get
there. Want to ride a big liter machine? A Haybusa or whatever is the most current~
serious big stud bike? I'm sure you won't mind waiting at least a dozen years and laying
out 10 or 12 thousand dollars (and, again, that's just the cost of training and
licensing)! Oh, and for those of you that say, "Hey, I'm not gonna buy a NEW bike,
I'll be able to find something used or, something that I can rebuild", Ahhh, don't
hold yer breathe~ Brother, cause they got that angle figured in as well. It's a couple of
little things they like to call "end of life" and "anti-tampering".
The "End of Life" proposal sets a date when a vehicle is no longer considered
road worthy and it must be destroyed. I've seen it speculated that this figure could be as
low as 5 YEARS for motorcycles! Anti-tampering means that the only person who can work on
your motorcycle would be the company that sold the bike in the first place. Have you
checked up on what an hour in the local dealer shop costs lately?
So, think about it, won't you? ABATE just isn't about "helmets" anymore, not
that it ever REALLY was. We're about protecting your right, as and honest to god American
citizen, to determine what the best choices are for YOU! Do you want to be able to
continue to have the right, the "freedom", to make those choices? Contact ABATE
of Ohio, Inc. today a get involved in protecting YOUR freedoms!
handout produced by: ABATE of Ohio, Incorporated
PO Box 1658
Hilliard OH 43026
Copyrighted material may be reproduced with permission of ABATE of Ohio, Incorporated