Texas seeks sport bike discrimination

Dailies -



A bill just passed by the Texas state house of representatives seeks to give “sport bikes” a definition separate from all other motorcycles and impose unique restrictions on them. The legislation comes in response to the death of Texas A&M student Malorie Bullock, who was killed while riding pillion. So just how does the Lone Star State define a sport bike?

HB No. 2470 reads:
“Sport bike” means a motorcycle:
A) that is optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and maneuverability on paved roads;
B) that has a lightweight frame;
C) on which the operator leans forward over the gas tank during operation; and
D) that is not a touring, cruising, standard, or dual-sport motorcycle.”

As you can see, that’s not only extremely vague, but it also casts a wide net. Will it include popular and practical learner fodder like the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and Honda CBR250R? The Motorcycle Industry Council thinks so.

In response, the MIC stated, “There are small displacement (250 cc) motorcycles that, because of the vague and subjective criteria proposed, would be included in the definition of “sport bike” that are as appropriate, or more so, for novice riders than certain other larger displacement motorcycles that create much more horsepower yet would not fall under the “sport bike” definition and therefore not have restrictions placed on them.”

The point of all this seems to be the assumption that riding pillion on a “sport bike” is more dangerous than doing so on any other type of motorcycle. Whether that’s because of their performance, the demographics of their riders and their predilection to dangerous behaviour, or all three, is unclear.

If the state Senate passes “Malorie’s Law,” it will become more difficult for sport bikes to carry passengers. In fact, riders of sport bikes will only be able to carry passengers if they’re over 18, have held their license for more than two years or are carrying a passenger who’s over 18 and has a motorcycle license.

Initially, this sort of thing seems like common sense. Laws are already in place in many states regulating the ability of learner and new car drivers to carry passengers and even the times of day in which they can do so. It seems a reasonable precaution to require new riders to gain some experience before carrying passengers. The problems here are the vague definition of “sport bike” and the separation of that class of motorcycle into a separate legal category.

As the MIC notes, the vagueness of the definition will include a huge number of bikes, many of which probably aren’t the sort the knee-jerk legislation intends to regulate. You lean over the tank of a Triumph Bonneville, does that make it a “sport bike?” The Yamaha WR250X has a lightweight frame, does that make it a “sport bike?”

But even while it inadvertently sweeps up many bikes, the law doesn’t necessarily accomplish its presumed purpose of separating high performance motorcycles. The BMW K1600GT is a “touring” motorcycle, yet has 160bhp and can easily exceed 150mph. A Ducati Diavel would likely be categorized under “touring” or “cruising,” yet it’s one of the fastest accelerating bikes currently on sale.

Added to those two problems, the legislation singles out “sport bikes” as the sole source of danger to pillions. I’ve hurt myself as effectively on 250cc dual sports as I have on 1,200cc superbikes. Physics don’t seem to care how many tribal graphics your motorcycle has when it runs into a tree.

There’s also the question of setting a legal precedent for discrimination against “sport bikes” and their riders. If the senate passes this law, “sport bikes” will have a separate definition under Texas law to other motorcycles, opening them up to further regulation. Could the minimum age for their riders be increased? Could the period in which you must hold a license before you can operate one be set? Could they be banned all together? See above for the reasons why doing this for motorcycles vaguely defined as a “sport bike” could be a problem. Could riding a “sport bike” become probable cause for a stop and search?

Having said all that, we understand the thinking behind this law and sympathize with it. There’s a bunch of jackasses out there doing stupid shit on motorcycles and exposing their passengers to undue risk as a result. But the solution to that problem isn’t necessarily different from the solution to motorcycle safety in general: training, training, training. Riding a motorcycle is hard. New riders don’t necessarily understand how hard it is. Currently our fine country only pays a passing nod to formalized training. Even the non-mandatory MSF classes aren’t enough to equip a rider with the skills to operate a motorcycle in modern traffic. What we need is a formalized, regulated, comprehensive training program. One that doesn’t just equip riders with skills, but also the fundamental knowledge to make the right decisions. Anecdotally, any rider I’ve spoken to who’s not equipped with decent safety gear has cited a lack of knowledge as to its benefits as the reason they don’t wear it. Why aren’t we teaching them the reasons?

Sadly, we know the answer to that question: training is hard. Much harder than writing a crappy definition of “sport bike” and passing a half-assed law that will have no impact on safety, instead simply creating more red tape and hassle that will prevent new riders from taking up motorcycling. Why isn’t someone making that argument to lawmakers on our behalf? Why don’t we have a voluntary training program worthy of the name? Why wasn’t Malorie’s boyfriend equipped with the skills to operate his motorcycle safely? If he had been, would this legislation have been written?

HB2470 via AMA

  • Gregory

    Nice picture.

    You can’t define “sport bike”, can you? It would be like trying to define “scooter” (automatic transmission motorcycle, with engine on rear wheel) or “motorcycle” (two-wheeled, engined vehicle).

    And… FIRST!

    Portland, OR
    2008 Kawasaki KLR 650

    • James

      Scooter: two or three wheeled manual or automatic transmission motorcycle with a step-through design, with floor boards for foot placement and unaided by pedals.

      Those with pedals are mopeds.

      NB: Older vintage scooters have a manual transmission.

      • Miles Prower

        There are plenty of scooters would foot brakes. I’m sure some lawyer out there would argue that the term “pedal” could refer to a foot brake. Lawyers are paid big bucks to turn vague language into big money.

      • Kurt

        So the new Honda PCX125 is or is not a scooter under this definition. It’s not a step-through.

    • Mr.Paynter

      Did you take off the milkcrate?

      • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

        haha i wondered the same thing

  • Restless Lip Syndrome

    “If you can read this, the bitch fell off.”

    I don’t see a lot of people on sport bikes rocking these types of shirts (just a thought). Nice idea in theory, but not a well thought-out bill.

    • http://www.kenta.ro Kentaro rides a NRS and a GSA

      I have this shirt and I love it

  • Myles

    Those restrictions should be in place for all motorcycles.

    Heaven forbid a motorcycle is optimized for braking on paved roads.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Danger, Danger! Competent Braking.

      • Tony

        That’s the part that nearly made my head explode. In the name of ‘safety’ they want to encourage motorcycles that don’t respond quickly to rider imputs and they want to discourage bikes that do what the rider wants or needs it to do.


        • dux

          You will be safer on a Harley….because you won’t wanna ride it

        • Kevlar

          I thought the same thing when I first read that, but I think the crux of the statement is “on paved roads.” A dual-sport/dirtbike/adventure bike is optimized to do those things on unpaved roads, so I think that statement is to exclude such bikes. At least, that’s the only way I can rationalize such a seemingly ridiculous statement…

    • eric

      dual rotors, or even single ones, totally hide the chrome on a dope set of spokes!

  • a hipster

    wouldnt it be easier to classify them as bikes with obnoxious graphics?

    or maybe that only those people who ride in shorts and flip-flops have to abide by the additional restrictions?

    • Sean Smith

      You’d miss the Ducatis; tribal flames haven’t made it to Bologna yet.

      And I take offense to that second comment.

      • a hipster

        im ok with that.

        • John

          Im also ok with that. lol

  • Endless Mike

    “As the MIC notes, the vagueness of the definition will include a huge number of bikes, many of which probably aren’t the sort the knee-jerk legislation intends to regulate. You lean over the tank of a Triumph Bonneville, does that make it a “sport bike?” The Yamaha WR250X has a lightweight frame, does that make it a “sport bike?””

    Well, no. See, the law uses an “and” so to be considered a sport bike, it has to meet A, B, C, AND D, not just one or two or even three.

    Not to say it’s acceptable, but it’s not *quite* as vague as you’re making it out to be.

  • stephen

    Why do we need a law named after a person ever time some one dies? I agree that we need more training and awareness but this is not the right way to do it. Personally I would be for a CC level type of system in England (I don’t know all the details of theirs so I can’t say I would want it to be the same).

    If they are going to restrict carrying passengers, it needs to be for all bikes and scooters. starting at age 18 and includes people over 18 that just got their license.

    Also the DMV needs to have better training programs for car drivers to be aware of motorcyclists. 8 years ago when i was 16 I don’t remember them talking about motorcycles at all in drivers ed.

    I guess Indian will be making some money off of Texas if no one can ride sport bikes.

    Squids will be squids.

    ****Also, the bill says you have to have hand holds for passengers, don’t know if you have noticed but most bikes don’t have hand holds, what is a handhold defined as.

    • Ryan

      Why do we need a law named after a person ever time some one dies?


      Legislation named after a person is a warning sign that it is bad (knee-jerk/reactionary)legislation.

      • Corey

        Unless you think lynching gay people (Matthew Shepard Act) or abducting and murdering little girls (Amber’s Law/Alert) are a problem…

        • Archer

          Why do you need separate laws to cover those completely illegal and immoral acts when existing laws more than adequately cover crimes like these? Marketing.

        • runrun

          wow corey, that’s a world-class leap.

    • Ryan

      “Why do we need a law named after a person ever time some one dies?”


      • Archer

        This. It’s a lot harder to oppose a stupid law if it has the name of a sympathetic victim attached.

  • tomwito

    Isn’t Texas opposed to “BIG” Government telling people what they can and cannot do?

    • Gregory

      I think that woman in the picture is for BIG government.

      • http://www.anotherdamndj.com evilbahumut


    • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

      I came here to say this.

      Get yur gubment off my sportsbikes!

      • tomwito


  • Ryan

    A good point about how carving out “sport bikes” using a legislatively arbitrary definition will allow for more regulation against that sector of the industry. Also sets a precedent for carving out other ‘categories’ requiring special legislation, rules, licensing etc.

    This is exactly the strategy in attacking gun rights. The anti-rights crowd makes up ‘categories’ based on arbitrary features (“high-capacity” or “assault rifle” or “high-power sniper rifle”) and then pushes for legislation against each, arguing each is a special case, until there are none left. It’s been pretty effective.

    • slowtire

      +1…effective and very dangerous.

    • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

      Note that this strategy is also being effectively employed to erode Roe vs. Wade. If you can’t get the support for sweeping legislation, nibble at the edges until you get to the middle and voila, there’s nothing left.

  • HammSammich

    So, not that I would support such legislation, but it would at least be more credible if they were attempting to place restrictions on all motorcyclists carrying a passenger. As it is, the law is far too vague, and fortunately, I doubt it would survive a court challenge.

    • Devin

      In Ontario you can’t two-up on a learners permit. (Which is effectively your first season.)

      I’m usualy against extra restrictions but I am indifferent on this one.

  • Dumptruckfoxtrot

    People die when hurtling down asphalt at unsafe speeds. Sport bikes, especially 600 cc sportbikes, do have more fatalities than cruisers but when it comes down to it, most accidents are caused by people in cars. So obviously, Texas needs to start restricting cars more. Or maybe we just don’t need many special restrictions in the first place.

    • Brian

      There is a study that shows that cruisers have more fatalities than all other categories of motorcycles.

      And think about it, sportbike riders tend to wear more gear than your typical cruiser rider. I never see a Harley / Metric cruiser rider wearing a full-face helmet. NEVER. And the Hurt Report showed that 45% of all head-impacts occur upon the jaw area, a disproportionate percentage.

      Following the studies’ logic and the typical culture, cruisers deserve more than sportbikes to be the focus of such a dumb law.

      • Dumptruckfoxtrot

        Is that cruisers have more fatalities when they get into wrecks or that they have more fatalities overall? That is, do sportbikes or cruisers wreck more often and which of the two has more fatalities that result from those wrecks? I would theorize cruisers wreck less but have a higher percentage of fatalities, but that sports bikes wreck more and while have a lower percentage of fatalities, still have a higher number of them. Can you please link that study to me?

        I’ve seen both cruisers and sportbike riders wearing little or considerable gear but usually on the west side of Washington there is a high amount of people wearing full-face helmets because it rains quite a bit. On the dry eastern side that I spent my formative years there are far more novelty helmets but by and large the cruiser segment favors better body gear, leather, over the Redneck Squids zipping around with full face helmets, cargo shorts and wife-beaters.

        I’m sure that all of this differs considerably based on location but I’m always receptive to reading different national studies.

  • tomwito

    You know whats safer than riding on the back of a sport bike? One of them suction cup seat that sticks on the fender of a chopper. Ridgid frame, one brake, chicks ass 1/2 an inch from a 300mm tire.

  • T Diver

    That picture is awesome! Admit it. That’s the real reason we all ride!!

    • slowtire

      There must be a Twinkie sale going on down the road.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Motherfuckers can’t deny.

    • je

      I don’t know about the reason I ride but definitely the reason I subscribe to this site.

      • dux

        Hahahaha! I hope it’s photoshopped. Well, it’s Texas, probably took the photo outside Houston somewhere.

  • http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305107 stickfigure

    I think any legislation named “Malorie’s Law” should only apply to people named Malorie.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    The knee-jerk legislation reminds me of this article from Malcolm Gladwell: http://www.gladwell.com/2006/2006_02_06_a_pitbull.html

    As an aside, the way the legislation is worded is hilarious. “Optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and maneuverability on paved roads” – who would want something like that?

    Training is essential, but it’s easier to blow a lot of hot air and pass useless legislation. Would the law have protected Malorie from her tragic crash? Probably not.

  • Devin

    Hmmm, would a Street Triple get caught by this?

    Terrible law, and very surprising coming from Texas.

    • Kirill

      Why is terrible legislation in Texas surprising?

  • Paul

    After looking up the accident and finding out the rider and passenger were both 19. It is in the realm of possibility (if he had a MC license for 2 years which I can’t verify) that this bill would not have prevented this accident. What exactly is the purpose of this bill then?

    • tomwito

      Income for the state through traffic citations. Just like red light cameras.

    • AJ

      I like the way you think…
      I’ve stretched my detective skills (and Google) a bit and I can’t find out how long he had a licence either.

  • ontheroad

    Ugh. Can we just give that miserable state back to Mexico?

  • wwalkersd

    Do we think it’s a coincidence that are no bikes meeting this definition of “sport bike” currently mass-produced in the USA?

    No, we do not.

    I don’t actually have a problem with the passenger restriction, but it should be applied to all bikes or none. Enforcement, of course, would be non-existent except after some other citation-worthy offense. Or maybe it would give the cops the excuse they need to pull over squids. “I just need to see your license to see if you’re carrying that passenger legally.”

    • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

      Nor is it a coincidence that riders of motorcycles mass-produced in the USA are also older and thus more likely to vote and less likely to support a bill that would apply to them. Which is a shame because it sounds like a decent restriction that should apply to all bikes capable of XX mph.

    • Steven

      this. it’s just the harley davidson tariff part two.

      yeah, baby boomers tore around on kawasaki triples with drum brakes, shit suspension, and no helmet laws, BUT THAT WAS DIFFERENT.


  • Tony

    I call BS on that pic. The sparks will be flying inward, not outward. Unless, of course the fat chick is farting.

    • Gregory

      Or the sparks could be coming out of a muffler.

      Or out of the car on the far side of the bike.

      But, yes, you’re right: sparks would be flying inward, onto the suspension.

      Fat people are funny.

      But no armour/ only shorts/ no helmet people are just sad.

    • nick2ny

      First thing I thought.

    • http://www.anotherdamndj.com evilbahumut

      Yeah, the pic is old and it’s known to be photochopped. The sparks, in particular.

  • http://sportbikechic.com Heather (aka Sportbikechic)

    The written bill looks like pretty tame, albeit characteristically half-assed in that it singles out sportbikes…where’s the evidence to support that in any way? If my work performance were this sloppy, I’d never have a job.


    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You saw that we linked to the bill in the article, right?

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Those MotoGP boys better take note: Texas will regulate the shit out of you.

    • Archer

      You mean… as opposed to Kalifornia? At least I can carry my pistol at the Austin GP.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    So, are they going to set up bills for “sports cars?” They essential have the same qualifications for this bullshit. Some time (really, most of the time), I do not like this state. Seriously, for a state that is all about less gubment, it is doing the complete opposite.

    • AJ

      Generally, the survivability of a car crash at almost any given speed is higher than that of a bike at the same speed so there’s probably no data to come close to supporting regulation of usage.
      In the absence of actual data, there’s a perception that bikes are generally dangerous and that speed kills and perception will win any old day of the week, especially when they tag a victim’s name onto the legislation.

  • FiveG

    Not a fan of legislation at all, but how about equality between car licenses and motorcycle licenses as it relates to passengers and nighttime driving. Here in the Constipation State, under 18 you don’t drive with passenger for first six months, and then for a period after that, only family members over 21 can be passengers.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    I’ve never ridden bitch before, but do hand rails really help? I always figured the physics just don’t really work.

    Also: that picture up top? That’s why HFL is awesome.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Not really, so long as you’re comfortable reaching around the rider. I usually grip the tank and throw and throw an arm around the rider on the rare instance I need to brace against acceleration. I think the gist of all that language is to have passengers only on bikes designed to carry them. After all, that ubiquitous pillion seat strap is sort of a handle…

    • Devin

      Hand rails help hugely when your girl is a lot shorter than you, unless you happen to like her helmet cracking you in the back of the head. You learn to drive really smoothly, especially in a jerky first gear.

      Hand rails out to the back but off to the side and nicer than straight out back.

  • john

    Hormone level should be linked with horsepower restrictions.
    18 year olds get MoPeds, 70 year olds get Hayabusas.

  • Thom

    This is happening in Texas . Land of the big F U ?

    Fine . Lets also legislate against Hot Rods Sports Cars , Dual Purpose and Adventure M/C’s , modified or customized cruisers , choppers etc etc etc. After all some Idiot could get killed on any one of those .

    Or …. How about we do something smart like Mandate Driver/Rider Training with review training every 5 or ten years . Ticket the Hell out of Idiots that drive/ride like morons . Put the responsibility on the operator and not the machine assuming the machine meets all DOT requirements .

    Nah ! Makes to much sense .

    Lets just Outlaw FUN !

    ( and how much do you wanna bet the person this law is named after’s parents are $$$$$$$ and well connected )

    • Kevin

      Her dad is a firefighter.

      • Thom

        OK well connected . Skip the $$$$$ part


  • brutus

    but seriously is no one seeing the slippery slope here?

  • John

    Christ!…this is why reactionary laws are always questioned years after they’re enacted. They’re doing this poor girl a disservice by missing the core issues completely. It would be the exact same thing to enact a law stating that every car passenger must have a license first instead of just wearing seat belts. Whoever authored this bill probably hasn’t come within 100 feet of a bike. You can have the motorcycle license and all the MSF training you want but when riding pillion you’re at the complete mercy of the person up front and every other driver on the road. If someone decides to get tanked and jump the lane, there’s very little you can do. Accidents are just that, they will always occur, too many variables to be completely prepared for. What they should be doing is mandating an effective rider’s course before being given a license, proper gear and this ones a long shot,,,,GET RID OF LEFT TURN INTERSECTIONS….this is one of mankind’s worst engineering designs, Statistically, ,ore accidents happen on this one small square area than anywhere else. They should instead use these:
    I’ve been to a few countries where they’ve corrected this long ago, some states do have some form of it, but since it requires tons of infrastructure ca$h, no county is going to be willing to foot the bill for such an extensive redo. I also looked at the accident description that led to this bill and it looks like they both were at least somewhat responsible, they had helmets and were just making a left turn, they didn’t provide much detail. This new bill is useless and can hopefully be amended, otherwise it will just be ignored because it won’t prevent this same thing from happening many times over.

    P.S. Not entirely off subject but I have the terrible habit of grabbing whatever rear section there is of the bike whenever I ride pillion, I just can’t bring myself to back-hug another dude…don’t judge me!

    P.P.S. If I had to look at all the levels of wrong in the top pic, i wouldn’t blame them for banning bikes altogether, lol!….

    • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

      I’m a big fan of roundabouts and rotaries myself. But that’s just because I’m from Mass and know how to drive in them. The rest of the country can’t fucking figure them out.

      • John

        Another one of those “fancy european ideas” we can’t seem to handle…if you use any sort of intellect you’re in a minority in this country,,,we gave up on the metric system so it’s only downhill from there buddy…

  • RT Moto

    So… Riding two up is unsafe if you are inexperienced but riding without a HELMET no matter how long you have been riding isn’t? Wow, being from Texas makes me catch flak as is, now I feel like talking crap to myself.

    • stephen

      I know, I was born and raised in Texas, but today I had to say “Texas, I am disappoint”.

  • ktaisa

    Man fuck old white people making rules

    • dux


  • Archer

    “There’s a bunch of jackasses out there doing stupid shit on motorcycles and”…

    …being glorified elsewhere on HFL.

    • dux

      Makes for great articles, though!

      • Dennis

        Yes, they ride like squids, but HFL’s writers usually start sentences with a capital letter, put a noun and a verb in there somewhere, and add a period at the end. AND they spellcheck before they hit post.

        See? They’re not squids.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I’m sorry if our definition of responsibly enjoying a motorcycle isn’t boring enough for you.

    • Dumptruckfoxtrot

      I always figured the main difference between an HFL squid and your normal garden variety shit stain was that most of the hooligany folks on HFL still give half a shit about their community, even if they don’t follow the community’s traffic laws sometimes.

      If you were primarily attracted to motorbikes because of their fuel economy and the ease at which you can find a parking space might I suggest this: http://www.smartusa.com/

      If you feel like doing some stupid shit on motorcycles too , well then surely you can understand the difference between quasi-legal road pranks and face melting stupidity on two wheels.

  • Dennis

    Mathias Schindler of the Wikimedia Foundation was quoted as saying, “Wikipedia is a good place to start research, but a terrible place to end research.” When you see any bill that has language copied and pasted straight out of Wikipedia — an increasingly common practice among politicians writing speeches, and worse, laws — it’s a red flag that their research ended there.

    The phrase “optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and maneuverability on paved roads” jumped out at me because it’s nearly identical to what I wrote back on June 6, 2010 for Wikipedia’s sport bike article. They changed the word “cornering” to “maneuverability”, but even so, Wikipedia’s terms of service say you’re welcome to copy and reuse the text, so long as you give credit to the source. Anyway, you’re welcome, Texas.

    It’s funny because at the time I discarded the word maneuverability since in my mind scooters are more maneuverable than sport bikes, in the sense that they can pick their way around obstacles and tight situations like crowded parking lots or racetrack pits. Or maybe trials bikes are the most maneuverable things out there, all things considered. But sport bikes corner better, meaning they can take corners in less time overall, factoring in the combination of pre-turn entry speed, braking as you approach the turn, available grip when leaned over and acceleration as you exit. But that’s all a technical and semantic quibble.

    It’s also ironic because the underlying point in the sport bike article as well as in Wikipedia’s Types of motorcycles is that there is no good definition of any type of motorcycle, just lots of contradictory opinions that change depending on who you ask and what their job is.

    The real question is whether this bill is a lot of hot air or if it stands a chance of getting out of committee and passing. Has anybody who watches the Texas legislature weighed in?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Dude, that’s fucking hilarious.

      It’s already passed the house, so this is for serious.

      email me on wes@hellforleathermagazine.com, I want to talk about this further.

    • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien


    • gt1

      My subscription pays for itself every day!

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    forget this law and just make the passengers wear a fucking helmet.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Melanie was wearing a helmet when they crashed.

      • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

        Malorie should have been the one wearing it. Doesn’t do much good on Melanie’s head :)

  • Johndo

    In Quebec Canada it’s already like that sports bike cost 1400$ a year just for the license plate, standard bikes cost 600$ a year.

    Funny thing is, a K1300R will cost you 600$, yet a k1300S will be classified as sport just cause of the fairings and cost you 1400$.

    All bikes under 400cc never get classified as sports bikes even if they look like it.

    So I had a Speed Triple and FZ8, both classified as standard bikes. An R6 and Daytona are classified as sports bike.

    • Mr.Paynter

      HEre any and all bikes cost us US$40 a year!
      I still feellike we’re being ripped off because cars pay the same!

    • AJ

      “Funny thing is, a K1300R will cost you 600$, yet a k1300S will be classified as sport just cause of the fairings and cost you 1400$.”
      Can you explain this in a bit more detail?
      Do the legislators rely on the manufacturers definitions?

      It could work, could create some interesting local special models to get around local legislations, like French and Italian cars sold locally with low capacity engines because of tax rules.

      • Mr.Paynter

        How jacked is your DMv or whatever you guys call it? Could you strip your fairings off for licensing?

        I know it sounds like a stretch but I’m pretty sure it’d work out here in Africa with our generally-poorly-educated, garden variety cops!

        • Devin

          Quebec plates are also your insurance. I bought a bike in Quebec and the owner almost accidently let us cart it away with them on – and that’s what she told me.

          Also, I don’t know if the manufacturer’s websites are like this, but in Canada you can often buy a fairing or fairing free version of many non-supersports. It sometimes make’s a difference in the rest of Canada if your insurance co. is based in Quebec.

      • Paul

        The Québec government used various criteria such as the displacement, handlebar height, presence of fairings, presence of a centerstand… As such, the only aspect of my SV650s keeping it from being classified as “sport” is that its handlebars are above the triples. Obviously, these guidelines were put in place by clueless bureaucrats…

        • Ben

          Still a better way to define sport bike than “The fast ones” which is basically what texas is trying to say.

          • Paul

            True. The Texas legislation looks ridiculous in comparison. It would be less harmful for them to target the demographic instead of the vehicle…

      • Johndo

        It’s really the provincial government that determine the criterias. Except for the R1, CBR and ZX’s most bikes that are considered “sport” is questionable.

        And yes the 600$ or 1400$ we pay for the license plate also includes insurance (and it’s not optional, you have to pay it) that coveres you for example if you have an accident, they pay for new motorcycle gear, if you lose revenus cause you can’t work for a while, they’ll cover that as well. But keep in mind that we do need to also have personal insurance (to cover damage to your bike or other vehicules or other property you might damage in an accident). And for personal insurance it’s a bit the same thing but this time it’s the insurance companies that determine if your bike is “sport” or “standard” so at one place your bike can be “sport”, and you shop at another company and it’s “standard”, A speed Triple for example can go either way depending on where you insure it, but for the license plates, it’s “standard”.

        So on top of the 600-1400$/year license plate, you need to add 300-2000$/year for personal insurance.

  • Ken D

    This isn’t safety legislation you fools, it’s import regulation.

  • Steven

    Does anyone who is good at writing have a sample letter we can send to Texas senators? I would write one, but I am too fucking livid to even start, and it would just turn into a tirade about the ageism of the privileged generation and calling them out for imposing this idiotic definition of “sportbike” while slamming California’s idiotic definition of “assualt rife.”

    • Alex

      THANK YOU. This connection needs to be made. This is some of the most ass backwards piece of legislation to ever be considered. I seriously question the competence of anyone incapable of seeing how defining anything based on vague and arbitrary descriptions is dangerous and steps on the toes of anyone who enjoys their freedom.

      • Lawrences

        Speaking of ass backwards the sparks in the photo suggests that “sport bike” has reverse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

    Texas, making me proud as ever. Ugh.

    If this goes all the way to law, maybe I can rip the plastics off my Z and throw on a round headlight to avoid sportbike status. What garbage.

  • vegetablecookie

    The govt will never eliminate all the risks in life, no matter how hard they try.

  • Brook

    I hope other states don’t follow Texas’ lead.

    On a side note, it would be more beneficial if new riders (of all motorcycle types) were required to pass a skills test with 75 lbs. of bird seed strapped to the pillion.

  • runrun

    this month’s reason magazine (reason.com) has a great article “dead kids make bad laws”.

    from the article, “As legislators gradually express regret for almost unanimously assenting to an ill-considered deal …[Kyleigh's Law] may well be repealed. But the underlying impulse is still firmly entrenched…that the government must express its sympathy with victims of tragedy by cobbling together commemorative legislation.”

  • spektre76@gmail.com

    That poor bike! I don’t think it was made for the Cloverfield Monster to ride on back?

  • gt1

    Good article and excellent comments, however I find the funny picture disrespectful to the victim. http://media.graytvinc.com/images/04-09-2010+malorie+elise+bullock.jpg

  • Archer

    Wearing a helmet, check. Ran too hot into curve, check.

    What makes this a sportbike specific incident in the first place?

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      Obviously, other two-wheeled vehicles never run too hot into curves. It’s just those damn kids and their damn sportbikes. Take away some of that maneuverability and they’ll have to be safe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

    The people over at Two Wheeled Texans claim the bill is dead (for now).


    • Brian