Crash Videos

Crash Videos

by George Tranos

Anyone active on social media has seen them. Motorcycle riders are shown crashing, sometimes into other objects but most often just by themselves. These crash videos are sometimes entertaining, many times sad and occasionally educational. Morbid curiosity makes you watch.

Some of the most interesting are those of new riders trying out a well-meaning friend’s larger, more powerful motorcycle. There are other videos of buyers just leaving a motorcycle dealership with a new motorcycle. Many of these show the would-be rider struggling with the throttle and clutch with sometimes disastrous results. Others show the bike running into a car or other obstacle when there was seemingly plenty of time to avoid the catastrophe. Experienced riders are not immune either, they do dumb things, make bad decisions and crash – and it’s all showed clearly on video.

There are some that show a helpful person trying to show the newbie how to get started. “Let go of the clutch and give it some throttle” are often said without any mention of how to stop or turn. Off they go with the front tire in the air on their friend’s 1000cc sportbike! Scared out of their mind, they panic and grab a fistful of front brake, skidding their front tire and throwing them to the ground! Ouch.

Seasoned riders and motorcycle safety professionals who view these videos sometime shake their heads at the actions of the riders and the consequences that occur. Seeing the results makes one think about what could be done differently.

Many prospective motorcyclists underestimate the skills needed to ride competently. They may not understand that starting, stopping and turning a motorcycle is much different than a car. Many do not realize the significant performance of today’s bikes and the abilities needed to master them.

Good riders make smooth riding look easy. Hey, if my friend is a good rider why can’t I just get on and go? Even if the friend has ridden for a dozen years and has tens of thousands of miles under their belt, there is sometime a disconnect with the time, effort, training and practice that is devoted to create that smooth, confident motorcyclist.

A combination and interaction of factors is the cause of most crashes. Training and sufficient practice in starting and stopping should be accomplished in a parking lot prior to venturing out onto the street. Anyone who skips this step should not expect a different result than what is seen in the crash videos. Once that step is achieved, the basics of shifting and turning should be attempted and practiced. All of this is much more easily achieved with the help of a professional motorcycle trainer.

Many students who complete motorcycle training courses such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Rider Course (BRC) mention that they learn much more than they expected. Most underestimate what it takes to become a proficient rider. Many of these same students say they then want even more training.

The general non-riding public is mostly ignorant of the skills, focus, practice and attitude to be a good motorcycle rider. Many are poor car drivers and would probably fail an auto driving test if administered to them today. Seeing them every day on the streets and highways shows that many are distracted, not looking far enough ahead and insulated from the world around them by more autonomous vehicle safety features. Taking that driver and putting them on a motorcycle without any training is like handing a loaded gun to a two-year old, and the results are sometimes not a pretty sight. These people are who we sometimes see in these crash videos, all live and in vivid color!

So if you’re a fan of these crash videos, by all means watch them. Enjoy their entertainment value but please try to learn something to keep from becoming the subject of one of them yourself!

Leave a Reply