I generally consider myself a motorcycling safety nut, so I watch stuff like this with interest. We read in the newspapers, see it on TV and especially on the internet on these forums, about motorcycle accidents. Let me first state, that, coming from my 30 odd years in law enforcement, that most crashes are not accidents. By definition, an accident is an occurence in which there was no prior warning of its happening, nor could anything have been done to prevent it. IOW, something unexpected and unavoidable. What I am saying is, these things, could have, for the vast majority of them, been avoided somehow. So the term "motor vehicle accident" is a misnomer. Most law enforcement agencies refer to them as "crashes" or collisions.
In examining motorcycle mishaps over the years, I constantly read that that the most common crash in an urban setting is the one in which a cage turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle. (or other vehicle for that matter) I submit that most of these could be avoided if the rider would look well ahead of him/her i order to keep a (mostly) clear picture of their traffic environment. It is essential to "read" what other vehicles are doing or about to do. One needs to be vigilant and very defensive, and be ready to take evasive action if necessary. Statements such as, "I had to lay it down" suggest to me that the rider wasn't paying adequate attention to traffic and was looking too close in front of him/her and when things unfolded, there wasn't enough time to react properly. Or they just didn't possess the proper motorcycling skills to deal with such situations. It's called situational awareness.
Out on the road, I believe that a large majority of accidents involve a bike going off the road due to inexperience. Too many new riders get on more bike than they are capable of safely riding, and then succomb to peer pressure and ride way beyond their capability. The bike isn't to blame, it's the rider doing something they shouldn't be doing. Big bikes and new riders are a poor mix.
The last thing is the mixture of motorcycles and alcohol. I'd guess that most of us enjoy a drink or a beer or a glass of wine. But it's bad news to mix alcohol with riding. A very large number of motorcycle crashes, especially those involving fatalities, are alcohol (and sometimes drug) related. Guys, I know a cold beer on a hot day tastes good, but even one beer/drink/glass of wine can impair your ability to safely ride. Trust me, it's true. Please don't take that kind of chance, particulaly with a passenger onboard.
Keep your head up and look where you want to go instead of where you are. It's true, you go where you look on a motorcycle. Know your motorcycle thoroughly before attacking the twisties so you know how it reacts and steers in the curves. And lastly, do wear proper riding safety gear. Some of the riding gear does lack "cool," especially when riding a cruiser, but it sure beats lying in a hospital being treated for serious road rash, head injuries, etc. Ride as though something bad is about to happen and do everything you can to avoid it. Ride as if everyone but you is crazy and about to do something incredibly stupid, involving you are the only safe and sane one on the road.
"Don't sweat the small stuff---it's all small stuff"
'09 650 VStrom