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Motorcycle safety: Sometimes how you look at the issue is key

Some people like change and embrace it with an enthusiasm that is sometimes hard to swallow. On the other extreme are those who dread change as if each slight shift is a 180-degree turn that spells the end of the world. Somewhere in the middle are the pragmatic majority who look at change as something that just happens. They take it in stride and do what's needed to deal with it.

A recent article on the Motorcyclist website related to a product safety recall by motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson is what sparks this musing. This is not the first recall that we have reported about on this Texas law blog. And it will not be the last.

In the article, the author bemoans what he sees as the death of motorcycling breed. It used to be, he wails, that motorcycling was something of an art -- imbued with an aura that was brought to it by the rugged individuals who dared to climb aboard their mechanized horses. He describes how rider and bike used to be a team that carried no warranty.

The apparent burr under his saddle is that motorcycling has gotten so complicated that recalls are now required when design faults are discovered. He seemed particularly irked by the fact that the fix in this particular recall may involve the installation of what he says is a zip tie or two by a dealer to prevent a brake line hose from kinking.

He suggests, perhaps satirically, that this is something that self-respecting motorcyclists should be able to fix on their own. Never mind that if the line is damaged it could result in the front wheel of the motorcycle locking up while it's being ridden.

The fact is, technology has advanced in motorcycling as much as it has in the making of every other vehicle on the road. With that comes an obligation on the part of manufacturers to be sure unsafe products get fixed before disaster strikes.

We suspect the pragmatic majority can identify with that.

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