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Safety Gear – It WILL Save Your Life.

Posted in General, Motorcycle, Safety by MrAngry | March 21st, 2010 | 9 Responses |

Safety Gear

Anyone who has ridden a motorcycle knows that it’s not the fall that hurts, it’s the sudden stop at the end. If you ride a bike, understand that eventually, you will fall off. For those of you who think it will never happen to you then you’re kidding yourselves. I’ve got loads of seat time on both the road and racetrack and I can tell you from experience that crashing on the street is much, much worse than a track crash. Odds are if you go down on the street, you and your bike have been hit or you have made a miscalculation and are going to hit something… it’s just the way it is.

Safety Gear

Going down on the track however, while looking more spectacular, generally results in less injuries due to the amount of run off that you have when you go down. Yes the speeds are higher and lean angles are more severe but you are also in an environment that was constructed to be as safe as possible. On the street there are simply too many variables that one needs to account for to be truly safe. There are those of you who will read this and think I’m some kind of safety weenie. Keep in mind though that I’ve been riding motorcycles for 20 years and it’s because of my safety equipment that I’m still here to write about them today.

Safety Gear

You may also be one of those guys who cries like a little girl when it’s hot outside. If that’s the case, then get over it and start to use that little monkey brain God gave you. Here in Queens, NY I see these jerk-off’s on a daily basis. You probably recognize them as well. Generally they’re riding some type of Gixxeryamasaki wearing nothing but a wife beater t-shirt, a helmet that’s unfastened, work boots and a pair of ripped jeans. They just bought the most powerful bike on the market, put no money down and financed it for 72 months so they’d look cool in front of their friends. They’ll also most likely be dead in a week.

I get passionate about this because I’ve seen too many young kids get killed because they were stupid, didn’t listen to the advice of more experienced riders or just wanted to show off. Guys, if you’re reading this PLEASE, do your research, take a safety course and be careful. While riding is still one of the best adventures on the open road, it can be very dangerous if you’re not properly prepared.

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9 Responses

  1. DaveMofo says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I’m 28 and I ride an R6. I understand that while those two facts make me look like a squid on paper, it’s far from the truth. I take the safety precautions described above, I’ve taken numerous safety courses and will again in the future.

    Thank you, Mr. Angry! The difference between an arm ripped off and a broken arm is an armored jacket. The difference between a dead biker and an alive and happy biker is a bit of forethought.

  2. Kurt says:

    Seconded – I can’t preach the “dress for the crash, not for the ride” gospel enough. Down here in FL, the Harley guys who opt for no helmet and no protective gear die at the rate of about one per week. My guess is that most of their crashes would have been survivable with the proper gear.

    I’d been riding for about 15 years before I had my first bad crash (on the street, of course). I’d washed the front end hundreds of times before, and had backed into corners sliding the rear with an ear-to-ear grin too many times to count. I was cocky, absolutely certain that I’d be able to correct anything that went wrong on a motorcycle. Imagine my surprise when a missed shift locked my rear wheel and spat me onto the pavement at about 60 mph. I hit on my knee (already rebuilt once), my shoulder and my face. My hand was trapped underneath me as I slid across the pavement; despite wearing two layers of gloves (since it was a cold day), I still managed a second degree burn down the length of my right hand. It was a nice accompanyment to my broken thumb; the good news is that I walked away with no other injuries, thanks to an Aerostitch suit and an Arai full face helmet.

    Mr. Angry is right – chances are damn good that you’re going to crash sooner or later. The longer you ride, the better your chances of finding out what pavement feels like. The only real question is what you’re going to do to minimize the risk and damage.

  3. Ray says:

    I’m with you 100% on this, but as bad as some of the sport bike crowd can be, when I was out driving over the weekend, it was the guys on cruisers that were most often without ANY safety gear at all. 20k for brand new bike and $0 for protection.

    Of course they’re never going to fall off their bike, right? They’re never going to have a cab pull out from the curb, cross two lanes of traffic and smash into them while sitting waiting for a light.

    They’re never going to have a deer come bounding out of the woods leap up and kick them square in the face, knocking them unconscious and sending their brand new FLHTCUI sprilaing into the woods.

    They’re never going to have a neighbor run a stop sign, stop right in their path and then, when they try to avoid hitting him, hit the gas and run them down.

    That will never happen to any of these ‘insta-bikers’.

    I’m not sure sure, because it all happened to me in the space of about 20 months. After 30 years of riding without a problem.

    I can state with 100% certainty that I would be dead if not for my safety gear. Something like 80% of deer/bike collisions are fatal anyway. Try it without a lid and the fatality rate is closer to 100%.

  4. DaveMofo says:

    Glad you’re ok, Ray! Deer scare the hell out of me…and that’s not a sarcastic comment, they really do!

  5. Ray says:

    I am OK now but I was sufficiently concussed that I didn’t remember the accident, or even picking up the new bike (at first). I really do hate deer.

    The sick part is, I kept riding for about two years, until I realized I was not really enjoying is so much as I was doing it out of habit.

    And now I find myself stopping in the motorcycle store way too often. It really is like an addiction.

  6. Harri says:

    About about those novelty airbag jacket recently? Are they any good?

  7. MrAngry says:

    Hey guys –

    I was hit in NYC when I was commuting to work – a woman made an illegal left in front of me. Needless to say I was wearing a fully armored Vanson leather jacket, a pair of Dragon Jeans (Kevlar Reinforced), my Arai helment, gloves and riding boots. I hit her broadside at over 45 mph on my old KLR 650.

    Now, I did get hurt. I broke my collar bone, cracked my sternum, rotator cuff, labrum tear, 4 ribs and my scapular. So yea, I was pretty fucked up… BUT and this huge – I’d be DEAD if I wasn’t wearing my gear. It truly did save my life. Also… go out and buy the BEST gear you can. If you can’t afford the gear then save up until you can. I can’t tell you how passionate I about this.

  8. MrAngry says:

    Ray, I cant’ comment on the airbag jacket because I simply don’t know enough about them and don’t want to give you false information. Sorry man…

  9. Kurt says:

    One word: Aerostitch. In my opinion, it’s the best suit on the market and it’s the only reason I didn’t shatter my kneecap and break my clavicle in my crash. They aren’t cheap but they’re far less expensive than a trip to the emergency room.

    Ray, right on about the cruiser crowd. Harley’s make up about 95% of the bikes in FL, and you rarely see these guys in anything more than a brain bucket. Usually, it’s jeans, a Harley dealer t-shirt and sunglasses.

    It also amazes me how many you see parked in front of bars. I’ll toss back a beer or two if I’m driving, but not if I’m riding. It’s just not worth the risk.