Dozens of motorcyclists died on New Zealand roads last year with the toll the worst in 25 years.
The death toll reached a total of 57 riders, including two passengers, who did not make it home to loved ones in 2020, according to the Ministry of Transport.
It comes after NZ Transport Agency data collated between 2015 and 2019 reveals motorcyclists were responsible for 63 per cent of all fatal and injury-causing crashes they were involved in.
Ministry data shows 260 motorcyclists died over the same five-year period.
Last year's death toll was equal to 1997 and is the highest since 1995 when 78 died.
Harley-Davidson fanatic and former All Black Josh Kronfeld says motorcyclists are always on alert for danger, with other road users often putting them at risk.
"Motorcyclists are so constantly having to be in that awareness that someone is going to do something wrong in a car. That's every time you go to ride.
"Unfortunately there's a lot of hazards that come with [motorcycling]. We as riders all know that and it's just part of the game."
The NZTA data, provided by the crash analysis system (CAS), found the rider was likely to have primary responsibility in 73 per cent of the deadly motorcycle crashes between 2015 and 2019. The comparable figure for minor injury crashes was 55 per cent and 39 per cent for multiple vehicle crashes. Figures for 2020 were not available.
Kronfeld wasn't sure what to make of the CAS figures and wondered if they factored in other issues such as the possibility of a pothole or shingle on the road, wandering livestock or even a dip hidden in the road's camber.
"They're factors that you assume the police put into it but how can you tell if they're 100 metres off the road off the bike?" Kronfeld said.
"It's only happened because of that initial issue and they've tried to save themselves."
One of the leading causes of crashes was as simple as other drivers not seeing them on the road, Kronfeld said.
"Every time I go for a ride there's an incident where someone pulls out from another lane, hasn't seen you, and you're not doing anything ridiculous," he said.
"People just haven't seen you when they look in their side mirror or they haven't looked over their shoulder to check their blind spot. That's such an easy moment to wipe you out."
Harley Owners Group Auckland chapter president John Cameron said it was often the obnoxiously loud motorcycles that kept riders safe.
"Loud bikes save lives because if you hear us at least you can be aware something is out there," he said.
"People complain the bikes are too noisy but I'd much rather you hear me coming because you're not looking at me."
Cameron said people using their phones behind the wheel was his biggest worry.
In 2019, ministry figures showed there were 15 fatal distracted driver crashes, resulting in the deaths of 17 people.
Cameron has been riding for 45 years, with only one serious crash under his belt - he was 16 and crashed into a car doing a U-turn in front of him.
He was not surprised to see motorcyclists blamed for crashes but thought the CAS numbers were not all they were chalked up to be.
"The entire crash needs to be investigated to include the timeframe before any crash as the lead-up is often more likely to show the cause," he said.
Kronfeld and Cameron both believe it's a small number of incidents involving motorcycles that give them a bad rap among other motorists.
"There's certainly motorcyclists who behave like lunatics who have accidents, as there are car drivers who do that - that's just human nature," Cameron said.
"Motorcyclists are by no means impeccable on the road, and we also have to up our game by riding smarter."
Kronfeld said: "Most of the media accidents reported are of someone doing something dumb.
"Someone travelling the country does a three-point turn on a corner [in front of you] or something - you're not expecting that. They're the ones that get highlighted."
Cameron wants to see the New Zealand driving test have a section added to involve motorcycles, in a bid to better educate people.
Meanwhile, Kronfeld urged road users - motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers alike - to be more alert when travelling.
"I think for everyone to be safe it's important to be constantly looking for a hazard, it doesn't matter if you're on a bike, in a car, on a pushbike or skateboard," he said.
"When you're out on the road, you [should be] looking for something to go wrong."