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Some things you just don't do on a motorcycle

Motorcycles have grown in popularity in recent years. Whether lured by the Harley-Davidson marketing mystique or the better fuel economy, motorcycle registrations increased between 1997 and 2007 by 75 percent.

Other examples include the recent 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that appears to have attracted nearly a million visitors. And while there are few experiences to match the excitement and enjoyment of driving a motorcycle on the open road, all that fun sometimes comes at a high cost.

While passenger vehicle fatalities have been trending down over the last decade or so, motorcycle deaths have increased. While nationwide, motorcycle fatalities declined slightly in 2013, they were double the 1997 totals. And the popularity of motorcycles among riders age 50 and older has meant that category also has experienced a significant increase in the number of older riders killed and injured.

This may be attributable to many older riders not having as much experience with their large and powerful bikes. But no matter how experienced you are, there are some behaviors that while inadvisable for a driver of a passenger vehicle, are absolutely deadly on a bike.

Drinking and riding is one, and another, is texting. With a motorcycle, your ability to control the bike is finely tuned, and taking a hand off the handlebars to facilitate texting is incredibly dangerous.

A rider from Indianapolis demonstrated that when he lost control of his motorcycle on I-65 and crashed in the median. Indiana State Police reported that he was texting, though they did not indicate how they discovered this information. Perhaps they found his phone still open to a text.

For riders, there are ample risks when on a motorcycle, from gravel on the road surface to cars turning in front of your cycle without recognizing your presence. Don't die for a text.

Indystar.com, "Texting motorcyclist dies after I-65 crash," Ron Wilkins, Journal & Courier, August 1, 2015

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