THE family of a teenager killed in a motorcycle crash in North Albury want learners banned from riding powerful bikes they cannot safely control.
Daniel Hardiman, 18, died in hospital after he lost control of his Yamaha and hit a tree on Friday night.
Police have not been able to determine the cause of the crash, which occurred in Burrows Road, but have ruled out speed as a contributing factor.
Mr Hardiman’s mother, Sharon Doran, and her husband, Tony, have blamed a lack of experience.
Mr Hardiman had been riding for less than three months and was restricted to a 250cc motorcycle and 80kmh speed limit as part of his learner’s permit conditions.
But Mrs Doran, an Irish migrant, said 250cc was “too powerful” for anyone still learning to ride a motorbike.
“In the UK you were allowed only a 100cc bike until you passed your test,” she said.
“But over here it’s 250cc and it’s stupid.
“They’re way too fast for somebody who hasn’t got any riding experience.”
The couple was also critical of the minimal requirements needed to obtain a learner’s permit in NSW.
Mr Hardiman had completed a pre-learner course over two days in Wagga prior to applying for his license.
But Mr Doran said a multiple-choice test, undertaken on the computer, was the only real assessment undertaken of his stepson’s riding abilities.
He called for practical riding tests to be introduced in line with Victoria.
“A 17-year-old kid can go out and ride a motorbike, as long as they pass that (written) test,” Mr Doran said.
“Daniel was a safe rider but he lacked that motorbike experience.
“When he had the accident, he just didn’t have the experience to fall back on.”
Mr Hardiman immigrated from Northern Ireland with his mother and 13-year-old brother, Mathew, in March, 2008.
He lived with his family in North Albury and now has another brother, Riley, six months.
After finishing year 11 at Murray High School last year, Mr Hardiman commenced a boiler-maker apprenticeship at Old Bull and Box Engineering, in Albury, just two weeks before his death.
Mr Doran said his stepson, who was given money to purchase the motorbike for his 18th birthday, was a “typical kid” who yearned for independence.
“He was a rascal but his heart was in the right place,” he said.
“Everyone who knew him, really loved him and thought highly of him.
“He didn’t have a bad bone in his body.”
The cause of Mr Hardiman’s death is still not clear with a report to be prepared for the coroner.
A funeral for Mr Hardiman will be held at Evergreen Chapel, on the corner of Mate and Wantigong streets, North Albury, commencing at 10am on Monday.