Last August, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), a non-profit sponsored by Harley-Davidson and other motorcycle manufacturers, teamed up with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to conduct a large-scale, naturalistic motorcycle riding study. The study, the MSF Naturalistic Study of Motorcyclists, was modeled after a 100-car study conducted by VTTI in 2005.

About the Study

As part of the study, electronic devices — including color video recorders, GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, machine vision lane trackers, brake levers, pedal input sensors, and forward radar — were mounted on 100 motorcycles. The motorcycles belonged to volunteers who were chosen based on age and motorcycle model owned.

Two groups were tracked:

  1. Riders age 21-to-34
  2. Riders age 45-to-64

Seven motorcycle models were included in the study:

  1. Harley-Davidson Sportster
  2. Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic
  3. Honda Gold Wing
  4. Honda Rebel
  5. Kawasaki Ninja
  6. Suzuki GSX-R
  7. Yamaha V-Star

The motorcyclists were not given any instructions and traveled a combined 500,000 miles during the study.

The instruments allowed the researchers to collect continuous real-time data from the motorcyclists without interfering with their everyday activities. They collected information about the normal riding experience and critical conditions. When a near-crash or accident occurred, the researchers were able to collect near crash, pre-crash, and actual crash data including the cause of the accident or near-accident, conditions on the road, the events that led to the crash and how the motorcyclist responded to the accident or near-accident.

Results Yielding as of August 2012

The study is over and the MSF and VTTI are beginning to analyze the data that was collected. This data will allow researchers to create better rider training programs and safer motorcycles. It may help to prevent motorcycle crashes in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and across the country.

Learn more about bike collisions in our free guide, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims. If you would like to discuss your own Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois motorcycle accident injury, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation, toll-free at 800.800.5678.

Jason F. Abraham
Connect with me
Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.