2011-12-16 11:13:52+0000

I just ran across this article: http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-news-bizarre/us-biker-sues-harley-in-abs-light-case/19709.html

I'm not sure what to make of it. One the one hand, I can entirely believe a dealer misled him. I can even understand he may have believed the ABS light only came on when the ABS did (though that would be completely useless, of course)

But on the other hand, he must have had a bill of sale that listed the bikes specs? And didn't he read the manual that came with it? Didn't he test the ABS under safer conditions first? I know I do? Did he not look at his brakes and realize the ABS sensor rotor was not there? And doesn't he realize that the dash is made in such small quantities they can't possibly have a production run for each and every combination?

I guess the crucial factor is HOW was he riding, which tellingly isn't mentioned. It does say highway 99, so it's hard to believe he needed to brake that hard if he was paying good attention. And even if he wasn't, he clearly lacked the skill to brake in a progressive manner, which is still safer than relying on ABS (OK, there's irony there given that I went down a week or two ago). And what about safety gear? Were they wearing any?

Mind you, Harley's defence clearly isn't up to much either. The "everyone knows" argument is pretty touch to prove.

I feel sorry for this man and his loss, but I can't help feel this is just another example of people who won't take responsibility for their own actions and decisions.

3 Comments
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Though tragic that the woman is damaged for life, I can see why this case went in HD's favour. The riders' story is too absurdly far-fetched to be believed. Already imagining the 2000-word warning sticker HD's lawyers make them put on every new bike sold.

 
  • Max
  • 2011-12-16T08:20:21-05:00

Pure speculation on my part as I was not there, do not know the guy or his gear choice, but I would have to guess that his pillion was not wearing a quality full faced helmet. I understand that a full faced helmet is not a guarantee that you will get up and walk away from a crash, but I have not heard of someone that was wearing one needing a prosthetic skull piece. Am I a gear snob? Maybe. California has a helmet law, but what passes for an approved D.O.T Approved helmet out here is sometimes nothing more than a poly-carbonate Yakima. Depending on what part of 99 he was on might help explain why he needed an ABS assisted stop that was not there. I have been in traffic traveling at the limit and had an accident happen three cars ahead that required emergency braking (my rear wheel stayed on the ground) followed by a swerve under acceleration to avoid the car behind me that did not see the action going down. Maybe it is because I believe that trust is something that is earned and not just accepted, but unless you are my wife, parents, or one of about 5 of my friends, I will not believe anything anyone tells me that might be a life or death situation.