What is it with mid-life crisis and two wheels?

Mid-Lifecrisis mcc

If they don’t don the Lycra Force Field, they think that a few millimetres of cow hide will keep them safe.

Motorcycling’s million-dollar men have been revealed by ACC, and they’re not the young bikies you might expect.

The top five most expensive crash claims all involve middle-aged male riders, racking up a combined bill of around $5.6 million.

Fifty-three motorcyclists died on our roads last year — the highest number since 1998.

But for those bikers who survive a serious crash, the older you are, the more expensive you become.

“The largest volume of claims we get are, in fact, [from] your 15- to 24-year-olds,” according to ACC’s Senior Injury Prevention Programme manager (motorcycles), Carey Griffiths.

“But the most costly claims are for the older riders because they’re on the open road, they’re going faster, they earn more so their compensation claims are higher.”

Figures released exclusively to Newshub reveal hospital treatment costs for the top five most expensive claimants cost an average of $18,000, but that’s just the start. More than $863,000 is spent on ongoing rehabilitation, housing and vehicle modifications, nursing and household help for each of them.

Throw in other lump sums and regular compensation payments and the average total cost is more than $1.2 million.

Wow. We pay on average $1.2m every time some guy with a small penis and a receding hair line comes off his bike.

The Ulysses Club caters for riders older than 40. Its national president, Mike Dew, doesn’t believe older bikers are lax about safety.

“Like all groups, there’s always a risk-taker…and it’s very difficult to rein them in. We’re all individuals and you have to take your own responsibilities for your actions,” Mr Dew said.

ACC has a special safety campaign targeting middle-aged bikers called Ride Forever.

“The message I really want to get across is to wear all of the gear, all of the time,” Mr Griffiths said.

“In warmer weather, sometimes people ride without gloves or without decent jackets, ride in t-shirts. You never know when your next crash will be. You always want to be well-prepared.”

Because if it does happen, there’s always a chance you could end up paying the ultimate price.

It is well known that even wearing full leathers won’t help you much. All it does is allow emergency services to find you all in one place rather than being distributed all over the road.

Drive to survive. Just because you’re older doesn’t make you wiser, and any two-wheeled transport is quite unforgiving.


– Newshub


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  • Woody

    I know a few older aged motorcyclists and they all seem to have death wishes when they get their bikes between their legs, going by the stories they tell anyway. Good sense seems to vacate their otherwise intelligent heads.

    • Legallysane

      Have to agree. I’ve run a motorcycle shop for many years and during that time I’ve become increasingly fed up with customers bragging about racing their mates over a fairly treacherous local road to a pub and back with no apparent regard for the well being of other road users. Unfortunately, in my view, (some) motorcyclists are their own worst enemy.

  • 10cents

    I ride a bike. Love it, and it makes my teeny little pecker seem not such such a big deal :-D I sure don’t have a deathwish, but there are times when you just make a little error of judgement that creates an issue on 2 wheels, whereas on 4 it wouldn’t be worth mentioning. Go into a corner in the wrong gear, or a little too fast and it can be exciting for a moment. But really, is this such a big deal? How much money do we spend on medication and surgery for fat lard-arses that self inflicted themselves with years of indulgent excess, and then hand the rest of us the bill? Lets not pick on a small section of the motorcycle fraternity when it is a minuscule sliver of a gigantic health and social support pie…

  • waldopepper

    seriously. we are bashing the riders now ?

  • metalnwood

    The fact they cost us is more to do with our free healthcare.

    If we had to insure ourselves then like anything else we would say go and do what you like to do as far as other people are concerned.

    It’s not their fault the govt picks up the bill and there is nothing they can do about it other than voluntarily removing their own rights and we dont want that.

    • biscuit barrel

      Incorrect. The ACC funds the hospital care of accident victims- its not on a per case but a bulk sum.

      “The health system’s funding comes mainly from Vote Health, totalling just over $14.655 billion in 2013/14. Other significant funding sources include other government agencies (most notably Accident Compensation Corporation – ACC), local government, and private sources such as insurance and out-of-pocket payments.”
      same goes for ambulance calls to accidents, ACC pays. need a helicopter ACC pays

  • Be interested to see some of the individual costs resulting from drunk drivers, would expect there would be quite a few that exceed these guys.

  • cows4me

    You’ll take heart the Harley is staying in the shed today and it’s the shotgun’s turn. The clay birds are already trembling with fear.

    • rantykiwi

      If it wasn’t raining I’d be out helping clay birds meet their maker too.

  • MrHippo

    But they do insure themselves – via the ACC premium they pay on their earnings, and via the motorcycle rego, a not insignificant sum, whereas a GenZero hipster type student riding his/her push bike pays…?

  • waldopepper

    registered my car the other day. $138 for the year. did same for my bike. $950 for the year. i think i pay my fair share frankly.

    • Skydog

      I would like to see a weekend/public holiday registration class for a motorcycle to bring down costs. You pay a reduced fee but are only registered on the aforementioned days.

      • biscuit barrel

        That would make the levy $948 for weekends only. Doesnt make sense as you might have a couple of days off work, what then?

  • Damon Mudgway

    Generally speaking, motorcyclists become ACC statistics because of moronic driving by retards in cars. I gave up the 2 wheel lifestyle choice before I even came out the other side of my teen years after seeing a friend killed by a ‘car’ that pulled out in front of him on the open road.

    Every time you strap on your helmet and venture onto a public road you’re that much closer to becoming the latest statistic.

  • rantykiwi

    I’d love to go out, buy a bike and join the MCC. I won’t though – I know I’m a crap bike rider and that my lifespan if I did so would be measured in weeks at best.

    The right way to approach this would be to get some figures from ACC showing the levy income from motorcycle registrations and compare it to the expenditure on said sector. I the numbers are roughly equal then the issue is only perceived, if not then ACC may need some adjustment to make them so.

    • Odd Ball

      The ACC levies went up dramatically a few years back, which made registering a bike an expensive process,
      The road bike riders are also paying for motocross & other off road accidents as well, because these riders were included in the ACC stats.
      If your serious about riding a bike again, you could simply get a track bike & ride it on track days on Saturdays at Pukekohe racetrack or similar. Its safer than riding on the road, as you are less likely to actually hit something.

      • johcar

        Or at least, less likely to hit something coming from the opposite direction…

  • Falcor

    I always thought my penis was average. Receding hairline I have always accepted, but now to find I may be below par elsewhere is a bit unsettling.

    • johcar

      I don’t care about the size of my penis, never had any complaints… I don’t have a receding hairline and my intention is to live forever. So far, so good.

  • Skydog

    Problem with so many crashes I guess is those returning to bikes. In their youth they may had the GN250 or CB600 but now they have the money to buy something more expensive. They want that BMW1000rr or Harley.

    But bikes have become so much more advanced, so much lighter and are so fast off the mark. There are super bikes that anyone can go and purchase and you get hell of a lot of performance, and that performance requires skill and experience from day one. These are not bikes to refresh your skill. A big bike will claim one of two things, your licence or your life.

    The changes to classification of learner bikes my contribute to the statistics. You can now ride some 650cc bikes on a learner licence. These bikes are fast, heavy and are not for learners.

    Happy and safe riding everyone. Actually it’s a lovely day in Canterbury for a ride.

    • johcar

      Exactly why I bought a 38kw 650cc single cylinder machine to get me back into the groove after 20-something years off the bike.

      9 months later, I feel comfortable enough with my skill level to get onto an 800cc, 98kw rocketship

  • Effluent

    I returned to biking in my early 50’s, in response to Auckland’s worsening congestion, about 10 years ago. I ride to work daily, in the CBD, and get out of Auckland on longer runs at weekends, when I can. In this time, I have 1 minor spill, on a gravel road. Thanks to wearing the correct gear, I had no permanent injuries.

    Most years, I go along for a refresher at the ACC’s excellent rider safety courses .

    The biggest problem on NZ’s roads, in my opinion, is the utter incompetence and lack of roadcraft on the part of a significant percentage of NZ motorists.

    Certain trends are evident – recent and not so recent arrivals who have obviously never leaned safe driving habits in the first place; middle aged SUV drivers who think they don’t need to bother, because they’re ok in their tanks, cellphone users, and so on. I very rarely see the police show any interest in dealing to any of these.

    As always, the rider’s best protection is to always assume that every other road user is out to kill you, and ride accordingly, using anticipation, planning, and intelligence to avoid situations one cannot get out of.

  • T Mardell

    I gave up a lifetime of riding a few years back.

    Reason 1: Inconsiderate drivers in cars.

    Reason 2: Road conditions … eg finding gravel on a corner while in full lean, lumps, holes etc where you least want the to be.

    Reason 3: Age, any bump scrape or worse takes so long to mend 50+.

    But can still get my fix from those headcam movies from Isle of Man track etc.

  • biscuit barrel

    “Wow. We pay on average $1.2m every time some guy with a small penis and a receding hair line comes off his bike.”

    No ‘we’ dont. ACC is funded from levies, whether you are an employer, wage earner.
    They have a separate fund for M/C riders who pay through the nose for bike rego which mostly goes to ACC.

    When will doctors mistakes be funded by a levy ? As its not at the moment, they dont pay a thing for ‘medical injury’ costs.

    • Vaughan


  • Clutch Cargo

    There is no such funnier comedy than that of the born again Harley rider. I see them everyday. These are the guys who have taken to motorcycling late in life and they have gone out and purchased an image. Their Harley purchase is done on the same basis as they would for a jet ski or Haines Hunter. These guys have not been continuous motorcyclist so have missed the evolution and skill development demanded by modern motorcycles. Cycling has MAMILS, Motorcycling has MAMOTHS….middle aged men on their Harleys. Many have never owned another motorcycle untill the Harley purchase. Large modern motorcycles are powerful and heavy. They are not the means for you to relive your youth or the mechanism to attempt to squeeze your middle aged wife into leather pants two sizes to small.
    The real comedy is seeing these mobile chicanes on the road. Approved Harley merchandise for Africa, silly little half cut helmets that make them look like high performance sperm and a total inability to wave to other motorcyclist as we have all done since……forever. Either too cool or too scared to take their hand of the bar. These are the guys who keep my insurance premiums up.
    Rant over…….nice day…….time to start up the BSA Firebird and hit the road….or shall I take the Trident……..hmmmm……decisions……decisions

    • Mark

      If you’re wearing Hi-Vis I won’t wave at ya,jus sayin.

      If you think motorcycling is that dangerous,for you it probably is,go buy that jet ski. :)

      • Clutch Cargo

        Nooo Nooo No, if I was wearing a hi viz vest, I wouldn’t wave to myself either!!!!!. Sorry, got 18 bikes in the shed…….no room for a jet ski :-)

        • Mark

          Well done that man,by the way I am sorry about the weather,my fault,I seriously considered washing my bike yesterday. :(

  • Mark

    There is going to be a lot of awkward in this missive & for those who have been here a while a fair bit of repetition.

    So for the second time this week I find myself alluding to my penis,so lets lay that to rest first ;)
    When they say “Who are you going to please with that? The answer is ME! Now rub my bald head & talk dirty to me.

    Motorcycles are the same,they are a participatory item,you must actively ride them,zone out & you die.

    So I’m not typical of the mid-life crisis rider I guess since I have never stopped riding,I have at a fair guess in excess of a Million miles of riding experience,probably similar as a professional driver.
    I have commuted to work all over NZ including the South in many winters & have ridden in over 33 US States,Canada & Australia.
    I have ridden at least 5000k’s without a helmet & occasionally even in a t-shirt.My Harley has over 145k’s on it,so far.
    I think it is fair to say I have been safe,competent & lucky.

    I have never been a group rider,or a hang out at the pub rider either so I guess apart from actually riding a motorcycle I make good choices.

    I have had a couple of minor offs some my own fault,I have never had an injury claim to ACC through motorcycling.
    Oh that’s awkward! By any factor I have contributed far more than my share.
    However even when Motorcyclists were up in arms about the ACC levy rising they did not want to open a discussion about scrapping ACC!

    I would be happy to be able to arrange Worldwide Insurance cover that dealt with issues of the type of bike I ride,where,how & reflect my safe record (So far).
    I would suggest the premium should also reflect that if I die the Insurance Co gets a cheap deal,& my estate should get a sweetener,awkward?
    ACC’s Carey Griffiths just wants to penalise success,typical Kiwi?

    I will also note that cyclists are having an awful lot of money spent on their recreational pursuits while contributing nothing,no I’m not even a little interested in you whining about paying your cage rego,go away.
    Scooter riders,the ultimate risk taking numpty’s have only just started to barely contribute.

    On a positive note I do think that car drivers have become more considerate & our roads are much improved.
    If a Police Road division was formed with the purpose of educating road users I would support that,ACC should be funding that instead of checkpoints.
    The new learner rules are great & a vast improvement & we are blessed with awesome handling bikes in all classes.
    There are still issues around gravel tidy up with road works & definite wandering stock issues.

    This is not the article I read recently but it discusses the same subject,motorcycling makes me a better road user & keeps me actively thinking & living,I’ll happily take that gamble every day.