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Old 12-23-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
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Why Should I Wear Protective Clothing On My Motorcycle?

Riding a motorcycle is thrilling, but it entails a certain degree of danger. Itís almost impossible to ignore the inherent perils, but unfortunately, some bikers do ignore it. Itís often the thrill that attracts us to riding, but best is to be prepared. If the professionals anticipate problems, who are we to ignore it? Professionals known whatís best, so letís not ignore what they have to say.

To reduce potential problems, there are a certain amount of steps we can undertake. Mind you, we can never eliminate them. Apart from learning properly how to control the bike under difficult circumstances, riding alert and pro-active, the only other thing we can do is wear a certain amount of protective clothing and gear. Ideally, weíd we wearing a protective bubble, but thatís not realistic.

Your Egg
Obviously the biggest protective gear we can purchase is the helmet. There are many debates about the use of helmets, many bikers want to have the freedom of not wearing one. But the same bikers have no problem wearing a helmet when playing football! Many see the helmet on a motorcycle as only good for when they have an accident, and since they are ďgreatĒ riders, they never see themselves having an accident. And itís not just protecting your head from accidents, but what do you think about your hearing. You may be deaf to those arguments, but thatís probably because of the wind and engine noise in your ears. Not to mention all those bugs hitting you in the face. Add to that sunstroke, and youíve got a recipe for disaster.

But numerous bikers have died from head injuries because when they arrived at their destination, or at a stop, their foot slipped from under them, and the bikes went down, taking the rider with it. All you need to do is hit your head on the pavement from your seated position, and you can injure yourself badly, or worse.

Many bikers believe if they ride safely, and donít speed, they will be fine. The European Constructors Association (ACEM) have spent a long time researching motorcycle accidents in Europe, and they have issued a very detailed report on accidents involving motorcycles. The majority of accidents happened at relatively low speeds, typically lower than 30 mph.

60% of accident involved a car, while 9% involved the biker hitting the pavement by himself, i.e., falling from the motorcycle, often at a low or no speed. As an indication, more than half (54.3%) of all accidents happened at an intersection.

Itís not that the biker was not able to ride properly, since 50.5% of all accidents are caused by a car driver (37.4% are biker error and the remainder are blamed on the environment, like road problems or weather, or technical/mechanical problems). So no matter how good you ride, thereís always someone on the road who is not paying attention, and can cause a (fatal) accident.

So a good helmet, preferably full face, but if not, one that has a visor, and is properly soundproofed is a very first step.

The Emperorís Clothes
Clothing makes the man, but in our case, proper clothing saves our lives, or at the very least, prevents us from seeking plastic surgery. Usually going off your motorcycle while the bike is still moving is not recommended, but sometimes you just donít control it. An accident that does not involve another vehicle is usually survivable. The biggest physical risk is the journey you make from your saddle to the ground. After that, just sit down (or lie down) and enjoy the ride. If youíre thrown off from your bike while riding a road, youíll make an intimate acquaintance with asphalt. If youíre wearing good leathers, both a jacket and trousers, itís not going to be a big problem. Just hope thereís no traffic behind you and no obstacles to bump into. But if youíre wearing jeans, within a second, the jeans will have burned away and your body will be sliding over the pavement, leaving you with a nice asphalt tattoo.

Normal jeans will not stop road rash. Special motorcycle jeans, usually denim reinforced with Kevlar will prevent road rash, but no material is as resistant as leather. Just look at motorcycle races. A racer gets highsided at 120 mph, and slides along the track and gravel for 5 seconds, and the racer gets up and looks for the crashed motorcycle to get on and continue the race. Try that with motorcycle jeans or other motorcycle trousers. Of course weíre not racing on the roads, so special motorcycle clothes, though not leather, will help us remain beautiful and not scarred. Having armor on your knees is a good thing to have. Maybe not so comfortable to walk in, but if youíre going to go down, your knees will be one of the first points of impact. And knees are not as strong as you think, in fact, they are as fragile as eggs.

The same applies to gloves. Many bikers think gloves arenít of any use. Apart from protecting your hands from bugs hitting them, and keeping our hands warm in the winter, the obvious one is when you hit the pavement. Going down while riding is going to require medical intervention if you donít have gloves, itís guaranteed, but even if you drop the bike while at standstill will involve your hands hitting the ground first. Itís a natural reflex, using your hands to soften the fall. Even then you can scrape your hands resulting in road rash. No matter how minor the road rash, itís not going to be pleasant.

Jackets, reinforced with armor at the elbows and back are equally important. Falling off your bike when riding usually means the first point of impact is your hands, followed by your elbows and/or back. Your elbows are very fragile, and an elbow fracture will be the least youíll have on an off.

Say What?
And finally, one area many ATGATT bikers donít think about, your ears. When traveling on your motorcycle at a speed of 60 mph, the very best helmets will let through 90 dB of noise. The noise is usually the wind turbulence mixed with engine and traffic sound. Imagine listening to 90 dB noise for hours on end. And thatís for high-end helmets, mediocre ones let through 100 to 110 dB, enough to make you deaf for the rest of your life. Having ear plugs is a good idea. They are small enough to carry in your pocket, and you can either buy generic foam one-size-fits-all, or custom-made ones. You can even buy ones with small loudspeakers in them so you can listen to music. For a few dollars, you can make sure when you get older, youíll still be able to hear things.




So you may think that riding in a t-shirt and sandals is cool, but the consequences if you go off your bike arenít. If you think you are too good to have an accident, Iíve got news for you: youíre a prime candidate for one. Better safe than sorry. Get yourself equipped. Read what the Center of Disease Control (CDC) have to say.

motorcycle injuries

non fatal injuries
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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used to ride the cruiser with only glasses and gloves, but since I've been riding the sportbike. I've learned to like the power ranger look.... When I ride at the track I have a full 26lbs of gear on. 13 of it is the leather suit alone.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:32 AM   #3
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2 thoughts...

While wearing shorts, walk out in the street and kneel down on one knee.
Now while applying only modest pressure, slide your knee back and forth a few times (ignore how much it hurts... This is science after all).
Now stand up and observe the damage to your knee. That would be the equivalent of sliding about 2 feet. Imagine what sliding 60 feet would do.

2nd thought...

If water feels like concrete at a hundred mph, what does concrete feel like?
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
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I like the feel of leather..
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
If water feels like concrete at a hundred mph, what does concrete feel like?
THIS RIGHT HERE!!!!!!

Mind blown!
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
If water feels like concrete at a hundred mph, what does concrete feel like?
Still concrete. At least for the first 0.01sec, it just feels like pain and numbness after that... lesson learned and the only reason I still have an it that I was wearing a backpack the first time I wrecked.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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I like the feel of leather..
You would
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyApe View Post
Still concrete. At least for the first 0.01sec, it just feels like pain and numbness after that... lesson learned and the only reason I still have an it that I was wearing a backpack the first time I wrecked.
Yep, but then the adrenaline wears off. Usually about the time the ER nurse is working on it with a nylon bristle brush. Then the pain sets back in pretty quick. Got a few multi-colored patches of skin myself.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:37 PM   #9
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Sometimes I don't gear up like I should in the hot weather. 100+ degrees with my leathers is brutal so i only wear a helmet and gloves with jeans and a T shirt. It's still a poor decision on my part (probably better to be really hot than be a red skidmark). I looped a dirtbike at about 45mph on the street wearing only a helmet jeans n T shirt and got messed up pretty bad. 100mph + would probably be like jumping in a wood chipper.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Sometimes I don't gear up like I should in the hot weather. 100+ degrees with my leathers is brutal so i only wear a helmet and gloves with jeans and a T shirt. It's still a poor decision on my part (probably better to be really hot than be a red skidmark). I looped a dirtbike at about 45mph on the street wearing only a helmet jeans n T shirt and got messed up pretty bad. 100mph + would probably be like jumping in a wood chipper.
I like to tell people that I can cool off faster than you can heal up
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