Motorcycle myth or fact?
by Urska STS
We have all watched MythBusters at least once time. So let us play MythBusters in motorcycle world.
MYTH: If it looks like you are going to crash, you better lay the motorcycle down.
– Or conformed?
Not sure? …This myth is busted, since in many situations you can avoid crashing, if you do not lay your bike down. And in others, if you do lay your bike, you can be in danger of crashing into your bike after it stops or your bike crashing into you if you crashed it behind yourself.
We all know, there are a lot of myths around the world – like the all famous one, yawning causes other people to yawn. So, right now, you are like what is she talking about? Well yawning does not trigger other people’s yawning – it triggers their memory of sleep and that in response causes them to yawn.
But back to my point, there is a lot of myths. So let us look at some motorcycle ones and see if they are myth or fact.
One of the myths is loud pipes save lives. This myth is not true. I could not find any studies on topic of accidents that have been prevented because of noise from loud pipes. But logic dictates that the noise itself does not help. For one, you are leaving the noise behind you, since pipe is turned back. The cars behind you hear you normally, but you confuse car that are before you. For second, people do not hear loud noises sometimes, when they are in the cars. The good examples of this are sirens on police or emergency cars.
Third myth is that the most risky age group in motorcycle community is 18 – 25 year olds. This has been debunked again by NTHSA’s study. Study states that the most deaths have been in age group 40 – 55 years. This study actually disproves myth about which age group is most at risk. In US at least. But, European Commission has found that the most deaths happen in ages 20 – 25, following by age group 18 – 19 years. The reasons for higher fatality rates for young riders are both inexperience as a rider and a difference in age related factors. In conclusion, this myth is actually conformed in Europe but not in USA.
Next myth is motorcycle helmets break necks in it is better not to wear one. Well, here in Slovenia and EU it is not your right to not wear one. But if you are an American you get to choose. But it better not be because of this myth, since it will be busted in the next five seconds. MSF has done some research on this and found out that, and I quote: “There is no liability for neck injury by wearing a safety helmet; helmeted riders had fewer neck injuries than unhelmeted riders.” ¹
Tires need mold release myth. Supposedly, this myth causes riders to crash after they put new tire on their bikes. This myth has some substance to it, since in past tires really need to be sprayed, to be taken off the molds. However, this is no longer true. Mike Manning, director of Marketing for Dunlop stated: “We don’t spray the molds with anything. The tires come out of the mold just fine on their own.” ² The fact is that rider do crash after they put new tires on bikes. The reason for it is riders are not used to new tire and want to ride the bike the way they did, with old tire. It takes about 100 km done with new tire to get used to riding with them.
Myth never ride in the rain has several reasons to back them up: bike gets rusty, there is no way to stay dry, and the most important one – roads are slippery. For this myth, I also could not find any studies to back up or disprove it. Logically, bikes have been modified and do not rust any more. The same story is with protection gear – there is a lot of gear that is specially made to keep you dry. So, you can ride, just be extra careful; like you would be if you would be riding in snowy conditions. NHTSA advises when “… riding in the rain, riders find they get better traction by driving in the tracks of vehicles in front of them. But avoid following too closely, and riding on painted lines and metal surfaces such as manhole covers because they offer less traction … If possible, sit out the beginning of a rain shower.” ³
Last motorcycle myth on our list is helmets impair hearing ability and significantly restrict vision. The last one was also busted by NTSHA. They found out that there is no difference in hearing traffic between rider who wear helmets and those who do not. There also was not any difference between types of helmets. So, you should always wear you helmets, since it will not impair your hearing, not matter the speed, you are going.
STUDIES AND SOURCES: