Inexperience a factor in 17-year-old motorcyclist’s death

A TEENAGE motorcyclist died when he lost control of his bike and crashed just three days after passing his test, an inquest heard.

A TEENAGE motorcyclist died when he lost control of his bike and crashed just three days after passing his test, an inquest heard.

Matthew Elliott, 17, came off his 600cc motorbike on the B1043 in Offord D’Arcy and hit an oncoming car at around 55mph.

The Hinchingbrooke School student’s inexperience in handling such a powerful bike could have contributed to the accident, and after the hearing his mother Alison Staff expressed her concerns at allowing young riders on such fast bikes.

“My concern is that riders are able to go from 50cc to 600cc so quickly. It is a huge jump,” she said.


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Mrs Staff said: “Matthew was obviously considered to be competent because he had passed his test, but the acceleration, the manoeuvrability and the braking are so different on the big bikes.

“I think it’s absolutely suicidal that a 17-year-old can ride such a powerful bike.”

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For two years after passing their tests, motorcyclists must ride bikes which are limited to 33 brake horsepower. However, that restriction has no effect on the accelerating power of the machines, which can still reach top speeds of more than 100mph.

The court heard that Matthew, of Brecon Way, Huntingdon, had gone out for a ride on his new Honda Hornet at around 4.30pm, and had been riding for an hour when he arrived on the B1043 coming out of Great Paxton.

Eyewitness Samuel Black told the court that he had seen a motorcycle in his rear-view mirror as he was travelling at around 65mph, and noticed that it was gaining on him.

When another vehicle passed him in the opposite direction, Mr Black was concerned that the two vehicles would pass each other on a bend in the road.

He said: “I believe he was travelling too fast for the corner and I saw the bike slide out from under him.”

Matthew and his bike slid across the road and into the path of the oncoming Volvo, colliding with the car which was travelling at around 45mph.

Matthew was thrown to the side of the road, where Mr Black and the driver of the Volvo, Claire Szreider, attempted to revive him.

PC Pete Bimson calculated that Matthew was travelling at a speed of at least 55mph as he negotiated the bend, but added that it was not an unsafe speed for a motorbike.

He added: “He was an inexperienced rider and that may well be a factor.”

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