Tiered Motorcycle Licensing Suggested as Method for Reducing SuperSport Motorcycle Fatalities

Trusted Content

Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. November 08, 2013
tiered motorcycle licenses

In addition to the allure of the open road and the camaraderie of fellow riders, making the roads safer for motorcyclists is one of the most important concerns for most bikers because many motorcycle injuries happen in Florida.

Much has been done in the past to make automobile motorists more aware of motorcycles and to enforce existing safety regulations. However, adopting a tiered licensing system in the United States may go a long way toward further reduction in injuries and deaths.

What is a SuperSport Motorcycle?

A SuperSport motorcycle is a bike that is extremely high-powered for its size. For example, one current model weighs less than 400 pounds, but has roughly the same horsepower as a 2012 Ram 1500 Regular Cab 4X2 pickup truck, which has a curb weight of more than two tons. The motorcycle sprints to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and blasts through the quarter-mile in 9.9.

Why Are They Dangerous?

Obviously, a rider must be extremely skilled to handle a bike at that speed and acceleration, but these bikes appeal to riders of all skill levels. According to 2005 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety statistics, SuperSport riders suffer fatal crashes four times as often as other bikers. Inexperienced riders often succumb to the pull of speed-based excitement and wind up having disastrous accidents.

What Can We Do About it?

Japan has created a tiered licensing program for its motorcyclists with the following four categories:

  • Mopeds: up to 50 cc

  • Small bikes: up to 125 cc

  • Medium bikes: up to 400 cc

  • Large bikes: 400 cc and up

In order to qualify for each tier, riders must complete the necessary training and testing. For example, the medium-bike license requires the rider to cross a balance beam, negotiate a tight slalom, navigate through a series of sharp right and left turns, brake as if he or she were in an emergency situation, and start the bike facing uphill. Each class of bike is limited in speed up to the large bikes, which are unlimited.

Such a system here in the United States would not only weed out unskilled and inexperienced riders, but it also would not discriminate against younger riders who have the necessary qualifications and skills.

Put Our 100+ Years of Combined Experience to Work for You

If you or someone you know has been injured or involved in an accident resulting in a death with a SuperSport motorcycle, a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer might be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free consultation.