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“Crotch Rocket” Motorcycle Death Rates Continue to Rise in Michigan

September 30, 2008 by Steven M. Gursten

As lawyers who handle serious motorcycle accident cases in Michigan, we’re certainly asked our share of questions about motorcycle safety. One question we’re frequently asked is how we feel about the increasing popularity of “crotch rockets,” also known, perhaps more politely, as supersports.

The truth is, as Michigan personal injury lawyers who often have to deal with the devastating consequences after a serious injury or death has taken place on supersports, we don’t like them very much at all.

For starters, these smaller motorcycles are called crotch rockets for a reason.

They go fast. Make that very fast.

Crotch rockets are built on racing platforms. They are light weight but have large, powerful engines.

Crotch rockets are most popular with people under the age of 30. Unfortunately, we’ve seen from numerous cases that combining younger, less experienced motorcycle riders with faster, smaller bikes, equals a deadly combination.

The Real Danger of Crotch Rockets Driven by Young People

Just how dangerous are supersport motorcycles?

The bikes make up less than 10 percent of all registered motorcycles, but account for more than 25 percent of rider deaths. Insurance claims and payouts on supersports are also much higher than with the bigger, heavier motorcycles.

And it isn’t hard to see why. View the YouTube video below of someone speeding 300 kilometers per hour on a crotch rocket, weaving in between lanes on busy highways and pulling fearless wheelies.

If that isn’t enough, type “Crotch Rocket” in YouTube to see more videos of supersport bikes traveling in excess of 150 miles per hour while executing gut-wrenching stunts.

As seen in the videos, younger riders are more likely to make bad decisions. For example, statistics from the Michigan Auto Law Web site show that alcohol intoxication is responsible for 41 percent of all motorcycle deaths. Meanwhile, younger riders are less likely to wear helmets, pointing to 49 percent of all motorcyclists without helmets who are killed in motorcycle accidents.

In addition, speeding and driver error were bigger factors in fatal crashes of supersport/crotch rocket motorcycles compared with all other classes of motorcycles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Speed was cited in 57 percent of supersport deaths and alcohol was cited in 19 percent.

Michigan Auto Law Motorcycle Accident Resource Center

Given the startling, real-life dangers of motorcycle driving, the lawyers of Michigan Auto Law deeply care about motorcycle safety. We have developed a free online resource center called the Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Resource Center.

The resource center was designed to help Michigan motorcycle accident victims and their family members better understand motorcycle insurance laws and what happens after someone has been seriously injured or wrongfully killed in a motorcycle accident.

The motorcycle links and information throughout the resource center also provide information for Michigan lawyers handling motorcycle accident cases, and of course, tips on safe riding.

We welcome any additional comments or questions regarding motorcycle accident safety, so we can continue to make our resource center the most comprehensive and informative destination for concerned consumers.

This post was written by Steve Gursten, managing partner of Michigan Auto Law. Visit Steve Gursten’s LinkedIn profile.

Related information:

Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Law

Michigan Motorcycle Helmet Law

Motorcycle Fatal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases in Michigan

Required Insurance for Michigan Motorcyclists

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9 Replies to ““Crotch Rocket” Motorcycle Death Rates Continue to Rise in Michigan”

  1. The motorcycle shown in the video is not a stock bike. It’s a turbocharged, streetfightered Hayabusa that makes nearly 500 bhp. It was also being piloted at speeds faster than 300 kmh in certain parts of the video. Production superbikes and hypersports do not breach the 186 mph/300 kmh limit in stock trim. They are restricted electronically.

    The rider in the video is a highly skilled Swedish stunter/roadracer known as “Ghost Rider,” not a rank amateur.

    Also, ffs, stop calling them “crotch rockets.” They are called sportbikes.

  2. The Sunday New York Times also had an article about this a couple of months ago. They also cited the number of older riders with slower reflexes as a possible causative factor to the rise in motorcycle wounded. Bikes have been very popular with a lot of “boomers”. Though, I would think that group would go more for the cruiser-type machines.

  3. crotch rockets are not “bad” they just have potential to be. if you can handle going that fast then go for it and if you get the high off of doing stunts go for it. just do it at the right plce and time

  4. Bikes are like guns…. Just depends on the user… So therefore all men are NOT created equal other wise we wouldn’t be having this convo….. Be safe!!

  5. What does this country think is going to happen when they allow anyone of age who can pass a riding test buy any type of bike they want. Why would we allow a 16y/o be licensed to buy and ride a 200mph machine. We need to look at how the UK restricts riders to certain engine sizes depending on legal experience. The rate of motorcycle accidents are very low over there for that reason alone. The other problem is this rediculous “right to choose” helmet law. If you’re too stupid to realize that helmets save lives, then don’t ride a motorcycle. If you want to reduce the amount of accident/deaths of motorcyclist on the road then both the government as well as the riders need to take personal responsibility.

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