Personally, I find the environments associated with much of that disposable music FAR more dangerous than going out for a putt. But if your assertion is correct that we can only ride our dangerous machines now because that mode of transportation has been "grandfathered in," how can you explain the gov't being okay with sky diving, bungee jumping, or the MMA cage matches (to say nothing of 300 million guns available to anyone at will, a perpetual state of war, and the introduction of Fiats to our highways)?
Skydiving- grandfathered similarly by history with military cache (at least more cache than motorcycles) to boot.
Bungee- they aren't OK with it. Try to open a bungee park. It can be done. So can opening a white likker distillery legally. The odds are about the same.
MMA- Two of those M's are media and money and the third is leverage. If it wasn't the millions ginned up by the sportotanment biz to get this shlock PPV'ed it would be, along with womens B ball and soccer on the same circuit as midget bowling. Pop is actually a boxing fan so I would appreciate it if you don't pour more salt on that wound.
Guns- there's an app for that.
War- bipedal anthropoids. Opposable thumbs for grasping the club and erect posture for chasing down the other guy to beat him about the head with the club and taking what he has, whatever it is.
Fiat- well, if a foreign motorcycle manufacturer owned 20 percent of Chrysler, I will grant you that the odds of them getting approval to put bikes on American roads would be significantly improved history notwithstanding.
Why are we having this point, counterpoint?
So anyone, even the big money in the beltway types comes to the NHTSA with a proposal to put a vehicle on the same roads that they remind us all are a privilege for us to pay for and use that
does not meet the intent of the implemented rules systematically put in place since Nader's Unsafe at any Speed gave them a mandate to punish three generations with
offers more horsepower and speed per pound than practically all motor vehicles
does not neatly conform to EPA guidelines
requires a steep learning curve often fraught with injury
offers zero onboard safety
operates well above legal speed limits not only easily but optimally
requires 100 percent operator concentration
requires operator physical strength
requires operator balance
is prized by teenagers for the least societally acceptable reasons
ejects the operator and passenger as a matter of course in practically any situation
invites modifications that enhance the least societally acceptable results
advertises it's value as a tool to defy the rules and regulations so zealously developed and enforced by the agencies that have to approve its use
with the exception of LE duties works to avoid being seen as a product of utility
and the beat goes on...
I sing the praises of all of the above but for every bungee park that gets approved there are a zillion that don't and a bazillion more fun yet lethal ideas that do not get a chance in the marketplace.
Bikes exist because they come from a time they filled a need and if a few citizens got snuffed in the deal that was the price. We were big boys and girls and it wasn't mommies job to protect us from ourselves. Today we are idiots and thank gawd mommy is looking out for us or we wouldn't be able to dress ourselves. No way that scoots jibe with that. Mommy loves little Johny and sometimes when she says no it is for his own good.
The fact that motorcycling is a multibillion dollar industry is what keeps it viable. But all that money would be being spent elsewhere in the absence of the machines.