Saturday, May 10, 2014

Motorcycle safety

South Carolina State Police Trooper Cannaday gave a great motorcycle safety talk and demo ride at Carolina Honda in Columbia today. He didn't bore the crowd with too many statistics, but the ones he gave were important:

In 2013, there were 125 motorcycle fatalities. Of those, 94 were not wearing helmets.

Year-to-date in 2014? 19 fatalities, of which 15 were riding with helmets.

Surviving a motorcycle crash is not guaranteed if you are wearing a helmet, but ...

The State Police in South Carolina currently have only 13 motorcycles for the entire state. (No comment.)

He demonstrated slow riding in tight (full wheel-lock) circles. Who can do that? I want to learn! He never scraped the undercarriage or his feet. His eyes seemed to be fixed on the centerpoint of the circle he was making. Amazing! Then he rode at a slow-walk speed - barely moving. He explained the use of some power to the engine plus use of the rear brake to accomplish that without a wobble or putting feet down.

South Carolina's "red light" law allows a motorcyclist who has waited two minutes at the red to proceed safely. As I recall, Illinois has a law, but it doesn't specify a minimum waiting period. It seems to me that the law leaves it up to the cyclist to decide when he has waited too long. Anyone know the law?

Trooper Cannaday answered questions about concealed carry. If you are licensed to carry concealed and your holster peeks out from under your jacket when you raise your arms while riding, that would not be a big concern to him.

When asked about wearing a exposed holster that completely conceals a firearm, he said this is no problem, since the firearm itself is concealed.

In South Carolina a motorcycle trike rider needs only a regular driver's license - no motorcycle "M" endorsement. However, a motorcycle rider operating with a sidecar must have the "M" on his license.

Several Goldwing riders here will head to Madison, Wisc. for the national Goldwing riders' convention. When they learned I was from Illinois, they expressed concern about transporting their firearms in Illinois and through Chicago. They don't understand the law and think they must place their handguns in a locked box while in Illinois. Not so. I recommended they read the law. Carefully!

I topped the day off with test rides on a Honda Goldwing and a Honda (Goldwing) F6B, which is a little lower and lighter. The Goldwing, weighing in at 900 lbs., was surprisingly easy to balance and ride.


Jim Jones said...

You would consider loosing a Harley for a Wing? Shame on you. I went from an 1981 Wing to a 2007 Harley. NO comparison. Harley hands down.

Nick C said...

I believe one must wait at least one full light 'cycle' without the light changing, then proceed.