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Discussion Starter #1
I was trying to figure out how I could enhance my rider safety today. I think there is some risk out there that I have not addressed or properly mitigated. One of the first areas I thought I could improve on was rider gear.

I decided to buy a full-face DOT and SNELL rated helmet. I was going to buy a half-helmet, but a full face is clearly better, right?

Next, I considered my riding clothes. A mesh jacket simply isn’t enough any more. I needed a one-piece, so my jacket can’t ride up. I decided on full leather – because it is the best abrasion resistant fabric. I ordered extra CE armor inserts for all the key places too. A one-piece with extra CE is clearly safer.

I ordered the full gauntlet leather gloves and knee-high leather boots too, of course.

I got to thinking about all that black leather, and it occurred to me that no one would see me in low-light conditions, so I cancelled the order for the leather suit and ordered a CORDURA orange hi-vis one. No one could possibly argue that black is better than hi-vis. And CORDURA is nearly as good as leather in abrasion tests.

While I was online, I also changed my helmet order to hi-vis too.

I scooted down to Lowes and bought a roll of two-inch wide Scotchlite cloth to have sewn into key areas of the suit. Reflectivity is better than not, of course!

Passive reflectivity is not nearly enough, so I ordered an LED strip for the back of my helmet that comes on when I brake too.

I got to thinking about how my riding suit only protects against abrasions and not impact, so I ordered an airbag vest to wear over my suit. Now, I will be protected from those pesky impacts too!



But wait a minute: the airbag vest only protects my upper torso and neck. What about my lower torso and legs! WTF? After a quick search, I found this awesome airbag suit:



Now we’re talking! CANCEL the vest and buy the full navel orange suit!

Now that I’m spending a small fortune on rider gear, I thought about my bike. I definitely need a new one. This time, I need one with ABS, traction control, linked braking, modulating head lights, modulating tail lights and extra reflectors all over. In fact, the bike needs to be yellow hi-vis as well. If I can’t find one with factory paint, I’ll go to a paint shop and have it done. I should probably order some extra lighting all around, and a super loud horn too.

But there is one big problem: I've read a lot of peer-reviewed insurance institute safety bulletins that have conclusively proven that motorcycles can tip over! Can you believe that? They can just fall over! Maybe it’s time for a trike.



And, in addition to all the aforementioned safety features I wanted; this bike has a built in airbag too!

Wait a minute; I forgot something about conventional trikes They aren't they best geometry for cornering. They are far too unstable plowing through turns. What I really need is something like this:



Oh, yeah, now we are talking!

Uh-oh. There’s still a huge problem. I’m exposed. Exposed to impact and weather. Or, I could just fall off - for crying out LOUD! I got it! I can cancel all the orders for expensive safety gear and a Can-Am spider and have money enough to buy two of these:



That way, I can be exposed if I want to, but still have of the safety features of modern automobiles like FOUR tires, government-mandated side impact beams and roll-over resistant electronic stability control. Plus, this baby can really rip in the cor....... Hold on a sec. I’ve made a huge oversight. That car is FAR too sporty - and therefore dangerous. Unsafe. I definitely need this:



There. All better. Safe now.

The point is; we all draw the line at how much risk we are willing to assume. Some assume more risk than others. Show me the most well trained, ATGATTed rider on the safest bike with the most hi-vis and you've shown me a rider that my brother-in-law would still call crazy. Yep, my brother-in-law rode MX for years but says there is NO WAY he'd be on the street with all those car drivers like me. It's far too unsafe. He actually scoffs at me for riding street bikes. Many racers feel the same way. I've heard many racers state they are safer on the track than on their street bike.

You could argue from any rung on the safety spectrum presented above that the rung below you is "unsafe" and be absolutely correct - but what's the point? We are all swimming with sharks. Whether you are simply snorkeling or in the boring shark cage, the only place truly safer is in the boat. :lol:

I ride with many other riders who chose what's right for them. I never look down my nose at my friends in half helmets and wife-beaters. We all chose what is right for us.

ATGATT elitism is tiresome. :roll:

PS: All that being said, I ride with all the gear. I do wear mesh and light gear in summer, and also allow jeans mostly because I'm tall and I refuse to order online - I've returned too many pairs of mesh riding pants. When my son was born, I briefly considered giving up riding altogether. It IS a risky endeavor. But, if you mitigate all the risk, you end up in a cage.
 

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Yup - made me grin and I'm off the Burgman at the moment so it ain't that this time.

I've been moving to comfie under gear and has my kid.

There is some good stuff you can hardly feel on - the motocross guys have some and it's migrating.

I can wear armoured shorts and knee protectors under my regular riding pants ( nothing special - good pockets and fast dry ) - if I'm riding in twisties etc.

I like the mesh jacket - it's light and sufficient. Kid got some sort of armoured shirt and better knee protectors than mine - and rides with shorts on. :roll:

No ATGATT for him or me....just ATGTA - all the gear that's appropriate. :thumbup:
 

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OMG...............!!!!!!!!!!!! Very interesting posting and quite enjoyable reading and viewing as well...!! BUT I think that you could have gone just one step further to assure full safety........................
 

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Electricity is dangerous too - probably best all around if you unplug your computer completely :thumbup:

I am genuinely confused though, if reading about safety and/or mitigating risk is tiresome/elitist/annoying for you, is it wise to spend so much time reading and posting in a forum titled "safety tips and ideas"?

The content can't be much of a suprise given the title of the forum. Isn't the answer to stay away?
I avoid clicking on "Chihuahua breeding for beginners" and it works a treat for me, I hardly ever see stuff about Chihuahuas.
 

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Rustynail, Thanks for the disertation, it was entertaining. I think there are folks who would actually use that thought process, and they end up cowering in the house and never come out because something may fall on them and squash them like a bug!

Y'all ride safe! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys.

I'm not against gear - I wear it. I just don't have any illusions about what it will do. The gear I do wear is for the slow speed stuff. Thumping an elbow on the ground after falling over, or sliding a short distance.

The common argument for over-the-top gear that annoys the hell out of me looks something like this:



So, we have a whole lot of guys riding around in leathers on the street on their sport bikes thinking they are some MotoGP racer. The track a MotoGP racer rides on, however, is designed like this:



With nice wide areas to slide out and decelerate before hitting a shock-absorption engineered barrier. I've ridden at track days and a low-side there doesn't scare me at all. Just a slide. Maybe a sore hip or shoulder.

What a street rider environment looks like is radically different:



I don't think leathers and CE are going to do a whole lot when something like this happens:



Leather and CE is designed for sliding down the track and the small bumps you may get from inconsistencies in the track surface - not to protect you from a sudden stop. I'm sorry, but that is just a misconception.

It is not designed to protect you from this:



But there are all kinds of folks out there who ride around feeling like they have made all the right choices and have all the latest, safest gear. I have no illusions about what my gear can or can't do in a street collision with another car or a low side into the woods that ends at the base of a large oak.

Another argument that annoys the hell out of me is the Brittany Morrow story. You know, the pretty girl who has road rash all over her body. A real tear-jerker for the ATGATT vehement. It is supposed to be a powerful story used to convince people to ride with all the gear. The truth is, wind RIPPED that idiot off the back of a sport bike that was doing more than 120 miles an hour. Here's a more powerful tip - Don't go 120. She was lucky, in my eyes. She got to slide 522 feet. The alternatives; a guard-rail, tree or oncoming vehicle, would have been much less forgiving. At those speeds, gear does very little.

Which gets me thinking about these **** things:



Are these popping up all over the US? They are here in the Mid-Atlantic. They look like motorcyclist-killers to me. Test your one piece leather against that.

MacDoc, I like what you said; "all the gear that is appropriate." That seems like a more reasonable and adult approach.

For me, I'm on 55mph or under roads most of the time - I despise the big cheese grater AKA interslab. The corners I like to take at a spirited pace are marked 45mph or under. I highly doubt I'm going to slide down the road going 120mph. EVER.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bluebottle said:
I am genuinely confused though, if reading about safety and/or mitigating risk is tiresome/elitist/annoying for you, is it wise to spend so much time reading and posting in a forum titled "safety tips and ideas"?

The content can't be much of a suprise given the title of the forum. Isn't the answer to stay away?
I avoid clicking on "Chihuahua breeding for beginners" and it works a treat for me, I hardly ever see stuff about Chihuahuas.
Uh... My post doesn't target BUSA or this forum. Safety and safety tips are great. :thumbup: I use them all the time. But, I take some things and I leave others. That is what managing your own risk and own risk tolerance is about. My post is about NOT RESPECTING OTHERS CHOICES TO DETERMINE THEIR OWN RISK TOLERANCE. Something that was lost on you. Elitism is what annoys me. You know, the; "I'm better or smarter than you because of my idea of safety" stance. Some people can choose to assume greater risk - or make their own determination on what risk is out there.

Take me for instance:
I'm licensed.
I don't drink.
I have had beginner, intermediate and advanced rider training.
I avoid riding at night.
I plan my routes around heavy, dangerous intersections.
I practice panic stops and avoidance maneuvers regularly.
I ride dirt bikes.

Well, guess what, that knocks out a HUGE chunk of statistically risky behavior. Maybe I can ride naked? :lol:

Not really. Like I said, I wear gear. But, I wear gear I feel appropriate to the level of risk.
 

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rustynail said:
My post is about NOT RESPECTING OTHERS CHOICES TO DETERMINE THEIR OWN RISK TOLERANCE. Something that was lost on you.
Calm down - that last bit doesn't read much like respect or tolerance.

I couldn't see your point, said I genuinely didn't understand and asked a question.

Now I get it.

As it turns out I haven't come across this "ATGATT elitism" and "no respect..." business so I had no idea what you were talking about - other than the surface humour.
Maybe we just see less of that kind of thing here than you do in the US?
 

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Personal risk assessment is generally difficult. It is especially so with respect to high-severity/low probability events. Ironically, preoccupation with such events discourages planning for less severe but more likely mishaps.
 

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We have those metal stakes and wire cable in the median here on I26. I believe the intention was to stop vehicles from crossing the median strip going the wrong direction when someone lost control and would cross over ususally killing some unsuspecting driver on the opposite side of the hiway. They would certainly do ugly things to a motorcycle and rider should you hit one. I do not ride on that road, there are plenty of other roads to ride to get around this area.
 

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I'm not sure which is worse...the guard rails and wire posts...or nothing at all with a 100-200 foot drop. If you go over the side, no one will know you're down there. I guess the plan is what we did last Saturday, and that's to stay on your bike with the rubber side down.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, we can't go ripping up guardrails. I'd rather take a 5-15 foot drop than a guardrail though. The majority of guardrails don't fence off yawning chasms.

Jersey barriers are a bit better. There's a greater chance a motorcyclist will bounce off those if struck at the right angle. A traditional metal guard rail has too many catch points to get hung up on.

Forget about them cable barriers. :shock: I don't think the guy who designed the cable barriers has motorcyclists in mind. There's no chance of escaping a glancing blow with one of those. They really scare me.

There are a few things on the road that were designed with only car safety in mind.
 

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I've heard those cable barriers called slice and dice barriers. They were popular with the highway departments around here for a while until they saw the damage they could do. Now they are slowly starting to be replaced with concrete barriers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In many countries of the European Union these cable barriers are not allowed to be used along highways since they have been shown to be especially hazardous for motorcyclists.
I found that quote on Wikipedia, but there's no footnote. Most of the American studies claimed there was no extra hazard to motorcyclists. I find that hard to believe.
 

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rustynail said:
In many countries of the European Union these cable barriers are not allowed to be used along highways since they have been shown to be especially hazardous for motorcyclists.
I found that quote on Wikipedia, but there's no footnote. Most of the American studies claimed there was no extra hazard to motorcyclists. I find that hard to believe.
I doubt that the cable barriers are anything short of disaster for bikers. But I don't find it hard to believe that American studies have been funded to make outlandish claims.

Hehe, a funny thread, thanks rustynail! I knew when I saw the subject line, something was up, because you cannot mitigate ALL the risk, ever.
 

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If you want an interesting discussion on cable barriers, check out Rounders.com http://www.yearroundriders.com/forum/in ... 9&hl=cable

One part of me wants to see something different. The other part of me says if I die, I know where I'm going. Paul put my philosophy on it very well in Philipians 1:21. My only concern is the family I leave behind. I don't think you'll last long if you hit either guardrails or the cable barriers at 50-60 mph.

Chris
 

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"ATGATT elitism is tiresome. " Holy Crap.!!!!! Doesn't anyone on BUSA have a sense of humor.???? Responders took the OP so **** serious.... I happened to get a big kick out of it and all the work that went into the composition of the posting......! So many people feel compelled to DEFEND their decision for ATGATT..!! WHY?

And then - to boot! The thread gets highjacked into a diatribe on the merits or lack thereof of wire barriers.????? :brave: :brave: :argue:
 

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v8eyedoc said:
Holy Crap.!!!!! Doesn't anyone on BUSA have a sense of humor.????
+1 :roll:
 

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Scooter_Maniac said:
v8eyedoc said:
Holy Crap.!!!!! Doesn't anyone on BUSA have a sense of humor.????
+1 :roll:
THANK YOU DR. SCOOTER MANIAC...... +5 :lol: :thumbup: :thumbup:
 
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