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Regardless of a motorcyclist’s skill set or how cocooned he is with safety gear, any on-road motorcycle trip can end at heaven’s pearly gates instead of a home garage. In its sobering Traffic Safety Facts/Motorcycles (2007) report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that motorcyclists are about 35 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in an accident and eight times more likely to be injured per vehicle mile traveled. Even more astonishing is the fatalism of career motorcyclists who accept that they are seconds away from disaster anytime they crank the throttle.

At least they stack the odds in their favor with motorcycle licensing and training, wearing helmets and leather, and purchasing insurance coverage. Others who are unlicensed, untrained and, unfortunately, underinsured burden society with the price of their wild-riding ways, often saddling taxpayers with the cost of hospitalizations and rehabilitation. The margin separating them from catastrophe is even slimmer.

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