Fifty-one serial admissions to the orthopedic services at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento, for motorcycle accident trauma with open fractures were reviewed. Fifty-five percent of those tested were alcohol intoxicated at the time of admission. Seventy-five percent carried no insurance of any kind, and for the total group, 72% of the cost of acute hospitalization ($17,704 per patient) was paid by the state of California, with an additional 10% paid by other tax-based sources. Care of motorcycle trauma consumes a substantial portion of public health care funds in California. This could be reduced by legislative action concerning helmet use, licensing, and rigid enforcement of compulsory insurance.