BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 12:08 pm Thread Starter
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BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Thought this was interesting, but it doesn't give any detail on how it was collected. For example, how many miles ridden for each brand? From bar to bar, or long rides? How many of each brand were wearing helmets and gear? The death rate for unhelmeted riders is higher than helmeted riders, regardless of brand. Nevertheless, the death rate for Harley rides was 2.3 times higher than BMW riders, while admitting the survey details are absent.

"All others" were so listed because data on other brands was said to be unavailable.


2012 Motorcyclist Deaths Per 1000 Units

BMW -- 0.24
Harley Davidson -- 0.55
All others -- 0.46

Source: Motorcycle Consumer News, May 2014

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post #2 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 12:53 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdean View Post
Thought this was interesting, but it doesn't give any detail on how it was collected. For example, how many miles ridden for each brand? From bar to bar, or long rides? How many of each brand were wearing helmets and gear? The death rate for unhelmeted riders is higher than helmeted riders, regardless of brand. Nevertheless, the death rate for Harley rides was 2.3 times higher than BMW riders, while admitting the survey details are absent.

"All others" were so listed because data on other brands was said to be unavailable.


2012 Motorcyclist Deaths Per 1000 Units

BMW -- 0.24
Harley Davidson -- 0.55
All others -- 0.46

Source: Motorcycle Consumer News, May 2004
Yes, it is interesting! I am sure that, based on my observations, safety gears worn (or not worn) is the major factor.

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post #3 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 12:54 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Unfortunately you touch on a couple good points, some that helped me in my decision to move to BMW from HD. I've got some good friends I ride with, and there is a LOT of bar to bar riding that they do, many times consuming in my opinion to much at those locations, and then riding at excessive speeds to the next location. One friend made a remark "I don't like riding behind Tommy" which I overheard, and replied then go around me, because God forbid the guy in the front has a deer jump in front of him, or something else, you guys are going to be like dominoes going down. I always kept a distance that I could safely come to a stop. I'm not grouping all HD riders in this observation by any means, only what I've personally witnessed. And yes, I got into the bad habit of not wearing a helmet, another thing I'll be correcting on my new
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post #4 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 1:53 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Im just guessing here, but I think if they had done it per 1,000 miles ridden vs. Units it would have been a harley blowout. I work with a bunch o harley guys and some of them ride a lot, but most just have a pretty garage decoration. When I ride anywhere with them, it is easy to differentiate the regular riders from the guys who pull it out for a bar hop a couple times a month, it's clear that they could benefit from some basic skills practice. Most of the Bmw guys I know ride a whole lot more frequently, the difference boils down to focus, infrquent riders are focused on riding the bike, more regular riders are focused on their surroundings.

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post #5 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 2:08 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Alcohol, novelty helmets, and low skill levels. Simple math.

What is interesting is that, at least based on some data I saw related to fatal accidents out here in California, the two most overrepresented demographics in the data were young people (largely dying on sport bikes) and boomers (largely dying on Harleys). The former obviously due to the over exuberance of youth, the latter obviously due, at least in part, to the aging boomer's 'ooh, I think it would be cool to buy a bike at 48 even though I've never ridden in my life' syndrome.

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post #6 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 3:05 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdean View Post
[i]

2012 Motorcyclist Deaths Per 1000 Units

BMW -- 0.24
Harley Davidson -- 0.55
All others -- 0.46

Source: Motorcycle Consumer News, May 2004
Here's something to consider. I think that a whole lot of BMW riders ride more miles than riders of many other brands. So the BMW numbers might actually be lower if you factored in how many total miles are ridden on each brand. Is that a possibility?

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post #7 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 3:55 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdean View Post
Thought this was interesting, but it doesn't give any detail on how it was collected. For example, how many miles ridden for each brand? From bar to bar, or long rides? How many of each brand were wearing helmets and gear? The death rate for unhelmeted riders is higher than helmeted riders, regardless of brand. Nevertheless, the death rate for Harley rides was 2.3 times higher than BMW riders, while admitting the survey details are absent.

"All others" were so listed because data on other brands was said to be unavailable.


2012 Motorcyclist Deaths Per 1000 Units

BMW -- 0.24
Harley Davidson -- 0.55
All others -- 0.46

Source: Motorcycle Consumer News, May 2004

Jeff,
Can you please confirm your data posting? 2012 data from 2004 edition. I guessing this is a typo of 2004 = 2014.

John
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post #8 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 4:00 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster 2.0 View Post
Unfortunately you touch on a couple good points, some that helped me in my decision to move to BMW from HD. I've got some good friends I ride with, and there is a LOT of bar to bar riding that they do, many times consuming in my opinion to much at those locations, and then riding at excessive speeds to the next location. One friend made a remark "I don't like riding behind Tommy" which I overheard, and replied then go around me, because God forbid the guy in the front has a deer jump in front of him, or something else, you guys are going to be like dominoes going down. I always kept a distance that I could safely come to a stop. I'm not grouping all HD riders in this observation by any means, only what I've personally witnessed. And yes, I got into the bad habit of not wearing a helmet, another thing I'll be correcting on my new
Why I like riding alone (or with just my pillion).
I don't like having to predict the actions of a rider ahead of me.
I don't like having a rider behind me being pissed because I choose a line that is the safest and most fun for me.

John
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2012 R1200RT w/ Russell Day Long Seat, Grip Buddies, Garmin GPS Nav IV, Top case, GS mirrors, Valentine 1

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post #9 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 4:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

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Originally Posted by purcellj View Post
Jeff,
Can you please confirm your data posting? 2012 data from 2004 edition. I guessing this is a typo of 2004 = 2014.
Good grief. Yes, 2014.

Jeff Dean
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post #10 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 6:20 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Those stats are staggering. That's a huge difference.

Ponch


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post #11 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 8:35 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

This data does not surprise me at all. I occasionally ride along with groups of riders and like to have them all in front of me so I can watch how they ride. Many consider a 5000 mile bike "high mileage".

The last group ride I participated in involved about 80 bikes of mostly cruisers and baggers, mostly Harley's and included four trikes. We were escorted by LEO riders up to a veterans home just before Christmas in order to bring needed presents and cheer to the residents.

Throughout the ride, the severe lack of skill on many of the riders was sorely evident in poor cornering (on the interstate curves of all things!) inability to maintain a line or stagger position, abrupt throttle changes, etc. Through several sweepers that are easily handled at the speed limit of 60mph, several of the riders on Ultra's would slow to 40mph to make the curves, causing the whole line to collapse into an accordion situation for a mile or two. Forget rolling on the throttle. Those that did that went wide, and at least one bike managed to change lanes inadvertently in front of a large truck and not get killed.

After a mostly uneventful ride about 2/3 of the way up to the destination and in a country two-lane road, one of the trike guys managed to forget the right wheel and dropped it off the pavement causing an immediate off-road excursion through a wood fence, down and out a ditch and into the woods. His angel was present and guided him between a power pole and its guy wire (about a seven foot wide target) and into some heavy brush that stopped the bike without killing him. Damage: broken hand, severe laceration on one leg etc. and one totaled HD Trike. Happily his buddy did not have target fixation and follow him into the pile.

I basically decided that I will not participate in this run again, and will go directly up the the Veterans home. Much safer and I don't have to provide first aid gear for triage.

We had several cruiser folks take an advanced MSF class. They were riding cruisers and the reason they were taking the class was that one weekend ride, the lead bike took a curve a little hot for his skill level and did an off road cross country excursion. The three following bikes were target fixated, and predictably played follow the leader into the dirt. No injury other than pride and damaged bikes, and a realization they might need some training.

I have to say that most of the BMW riders I know have had a lot of training classes of all descriptions, and are very good riders, ATGATT and know when to call it a day if necessary. I have a few HD friends that have come to the conclusion that good riding gear makes a lot of sense and results in a more comfortable ride than skid lids, jeans, tennis shoes and T-shirts in most any condition. Some even have gone to Hi-Vis gear, to the chagrin of the black T-shirt brigades.

All that said, I know a lot of really good riders on HD bikes. They ride all the time, including some daily riders, and I have no problem riding with them, because they know what they are doing. I do tend to ride in front of them a ways, mostly to stay away from the noise (loud pipes, etc)

The other bike statistics (probably a lot of sport bikes) are not surprising either. The lack of skill seen by most of those street riders is stunning, and the real surprise is that the fatalities are not much worse than they actually are.

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Last edited by ka5ysy; Apr 25th, 2014 at 8:43 pm.
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post #12 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 8:36 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

There are some big difference with the raw numbers, but don't get too complacent or cocky! That's when it happens....

Dano
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post #13 of 14 Old Apr 25th, 2014, 10:40 pm
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Just got back from Tampa and it's amazing how many riders take advantage of the Florida no-mandatory helmet option. Including a GTL rider with no helmet. Seems like any of those folks would be at greater risk if they had an unplanned get off.

It made me think about this concept that behavior - good or bad, is contageous like a biological virus. I wonder how many are riding sans helmet just because so many others are.


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post #14 of 14 Old Apr 26th, 2014, 10:29 am
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Re: BMW vs. Harley deaths -- 2012

Just happened here yesterday afternoon, 49 yr old man on HD full dresser, going down a 35mph four lane road, 42 yr old woman came left of center struck him from the side, car went on to run into a building.

He's expected to fully recover, was in surgery didn't list if he was wearing a helmet, but he was able to respond to officers at the scene.

Sometimes now matter how careful you are, you can't avoid idiots.
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