Friday, February 7, 2014

Here's Another Surprise...

The media knows about as much about motorcycles as they do firearms.

Dangerous new breed of biker gang seeks Internet glory, taunting police
A new and dangerous breed of motorcycle gang is popping up around the country, say authorities, as packs of young bikers on high-speed “crotch rockets” barrel down crowded highways performing stunts, weaving through traffic and taunting police, all for a few minutes of Internet glory.

These “crotch rocket” gangs film their exploits, which can include altercations with motorists and the law, and then post videos on YouTube. Police in New York City have arrested several men after video surfaced on the Web of a Sunday incident in which bikers surrounded and beat an SUV driver in Manhattan. The bikers had been taking part in an underground event called Hollywood Stuntz, in which bikers assembled en masse on city streets to perform wheelies and other stunts.

It gets better. The article then goes on to describe the new and powerful motorcycles that these men are using. You know, the same kinds of motorcycles that have been around for more than 40 years. Even the "crotch rockets" that they lament in the article have been available for more than 30 years. Motorcycles are, by nature of their size and weight, more maneuverable and generally faster than cars, period.

This is what really got me about this pathetic article, though:
And police say they have trouble stopping the bikers, because their machines are so fast and maneuverable that it’s unsafe to chase them through traffic.

Sgt. Brian Brophy of the New York State Police said that officers will stop pursuits of fast bikes when it’s judged too dangerous. “As a trooper you end up terminating these pursuits a lot yourself, for the safety of the public, yourself and the biker,” he said.

Last time I checked, there were no motorcycles in existence that could outrun a radio. And I have a hard time buying that the cops are afraid to chase bikers because of the danger to the biker. It's much harder for a motorcycle to cause injury to bystanders in other automobiles than it is for another automobile, yet police engage in high speed pursuits of cars.

So, yeah, I have a hard time believing that the police are deliberately avoiding pursuing motorcyclists that put people in danger with their stunts. I suspect there are other reasons, like, say, a common physical trait of the participants. The last thing the NYPD wants is to chase one of these stunt riders, have them get killed in a spectacular crash, and then have all kinds of outsiders cause trouble.

No, this sounds to me like they're looking for another round of "let's blame the inanimate object."

That is all.


Dave H said...

Since when are squids new?

The papers must be running out of things for people to panic over.

Anonymous said...

Yes I'm old enough to remember the problems caused by café racers.
I think they spawned nuclear winter or something.


Anonymous said...

Will there be motorcycle control legislation?

Who needs several thousand CCs of power? And we will need 7 gallon tank maximum legislation. No more of these high capacity, assault motorcycles.


I've nearly squished two of these guys in the past 5 years. One was weaving in and out of traffic and went horizon to horizon in about 5 seconds. Almost got him because I was changing lanes.

The other was some moron who was weaving in and out of traffic and cut me off. I'm one of those assholes who believe that if it's far enough away for you to have taken the lane, then it is far enough away for me to follow you by.

As we know, the vast majority of motorcycle riders are safe and sane folks we are happy to share the road with. I feel that I must treat these folks with the same amount of respect I treat any other vehicle.

These crotch rocket idgits who are in a great hurry to be in their own fatal accident, not so much.

Joseph in IL

Hafnhaf said...

one gallon gas maximum. no automatic transmissions. semi-auto trannys will be banned next year. fluid steering damper required to stop the quick lane changes. acceleration limited to 0-60 greater than 15 seconds.

that ought to do it.

Anonymous said...

Jay, hate to tell you, but it's for liability reasons with regards to the rider.

Assuming the cop can read the plate at the bike zooms past (and a lawyer WILL assume this), the question will inevitably be asked, should the biker wreck during the pursuit, "Would he/she have wrecked and gotten hurt or dead if the cops HADN'T pursued? Why didn't the cop just run the tag and catch him later at his house?"

This quite neatly removes the responsibility for safe riding from the operator of the motor vehicle, and places the blame for a "wrongful death" on the cop.

Some jurisdictions (with sane jury pools and/or sane trial law and precedent and/or small enough budgets to make it not worth a lawyer's time) ignore this "liability" and pursue any way. Others with larger budgets making for larger dollar signs in civil lawyers' eye, take the "Get the plate and we'll catch him later" attitude that we often see today.

AndyN said...

Perhaps the real reason that cops show no interest in cracking down on these motorcyclists is because, as in the assault on the driver of the Range Rover driver that's mentioned in the linked article, off duty cops are among the motorcyclists disregarding the law. Odd that the article failed to mention that minor detail.

Paul, Dammit! said...

In the 90's, I had a crotch rocket when I was working on Cape Cod. My father had a major heart attack one night, and I did 140-150 most of the way up towards Boston. Scariest ride of my life, in terms of how much of a buffeting I took from the wind, even hunched down. I did get pulled over, and the Statie escorted me at 100 for part of the way.
I sold the bike not long after. Just seemed too unsafe, like it was time to buy a 3-ton 4x4.

dustydog said...

Ban the evil foot thingy that goes down.

They deserve to be banned, with evil names like Ninja and Katana and Blade (wait, those are phone names. Why do companies name bikes after phones?)

Old NFO said...

Heh... I 'know' cops that ride BMWs for their Motors that have NO compunction about chasing down bikes... And a ticket at 130+ is a guaranteed ride to teh pokey and confiscation of the bike!!!

Veeshir said...

The media knows about as much about X as they do firearms.

Where X=Everything.

I'm so old, I remember when the Ninja 750R was GONNA KILL US ALL!!!!!!

The 80s called, they want their hysteria back.

Anonymous said...

15 years ago my partner and I chased and caught a biker doing 105 mph in a 35 mph. We used our radios and clever driving tactics to encourage him to dump the bike. Even back then, the biker would intentially run red lights and taunt officers to chase him. He taped a video camera to his helmet to capture it on tape. Nothing new here.

Will said...

I'm reminded of the time an officer came into the dealership, looking for a rider of a new R100RS BMW, in '77. Seems one of their units tried chasing one of these on a mountain crossing back road.
This was the era of the Dodge Diplomat cop car, with a top speed of 96mph, after a several miles long run (I heard it took 6 miles!)

I later read in the newspaper that the cop car hit a husband/wife riding a bike the other way, and that they each lost a leg, minimum.

I tried to point out that it was entirely possible that the BMW rider was unaware that he/she was being chased. I asked how long the bike was in sight. More than a few miles, it turns out. That bike had a top end of 125 mph, and ran the quarter in 13 sec flat at 100+. I told him the corners are 1/4 mile apart on that road, and the officer would have seen it disappear around the first one, and would have never laid eyes on it again. He didn't believe me. That's the trouble with cops that don't ride, they have little comprehension of motorcycle capabilities. They never found the rider, it seems.

There are bikes out now that run the quarter mile in the 8 second range, off the dealer floor. The only vehicle they should be trying to follow them with, is a helicopter. And don't get me started on the stupidity of justifying the cost of traffic cops with aircraft.

RollsCanardly said...

Here in NY, a police officer was killed while driving a SUV and pursuing a motorcycle. That kind of thing may explain why they're not anxious for a chase.