reply to post by RuneSpider
I rode motorbikes for many years, and it's definitely something I enjoyed most of the time. What I didn't enjoy was aggressive motorists who would try
to run me off the road -- just because they either had a pathological dislike of bikers, or because it made them feel superior. But even worse than
that, what I disliked the most was motorists who literally do not see bikes. We just don't seem to exist to them. They're the ones who will suddenly
slam on the brakes then pull a U-turn right in front of you as you're coming from the other way, or simply drive straight out of a parking lot into
the lane you're using...
Providing you treat every motorist as a completely idiotic, half-blind, murdering psychopath who's high on various substances and who has lost his/her
job, had a huge row with someone and is suffering the mother of all hangovers, you ought to be okay.
However, having said that, make sure you spend good money to buy the best possible protective clothing, boots, gloves and helmet that you can possibly
afford. As a friend of mine said years ago, "If you've got a ten-dollar head, then buy a ten-dollar helmet. But if your head's worth a bit more to you
than that, well..."
Now, I could well be preaching to the converted here, but please bear with me as there may be other members who the following might apply to.
One of the scariest things I see on warm days is people cruising along on their motorcycles (or even motor scooters) wearing an open-faced helmet with
the chin strap flapping in the breeze, no gloves at all, sneakers on their feet (or even flip flops!), shorts and a T-shirt. Because they feel hot and
uncomfortable wearing all that protective clothing stuff. Or perhaps they just don't think they really "need" it.
They need it. And so do you.
You know those angle grinders that welders and other metal workers use to grind away metal? Well, if you come off a bike at even fairly low speeds
even just through hitting a slick white line, the moment you hit the road it's pretty much like taking to your hands, arms, elbows, knees, feet and
with an angle grinder. If you don't wear the right gear, what would otherwise be maybe just a few bruises and possibly a fracture or two
will become a mass of pain, shock and burned, shredded skin or even bone. If you survive all that then it can mean months in hospital for the skin
I've seen the results of poorly-outfitted riders coming off and it's never pretty. The fact of the matter is, that if you do a fair amount of riding
you'll probably find yourself going "down the road" sooner or later. It doesn't matter if it wasn't your fault. What matters is giving yourself the
best chance of minimzing potential injury.
Here's a real event from my own experience...
One bright sunny morning I had to drop my 750 Yamaha at around 55 kph (35 mph or so) to avoid rear-ending a delivery van that pulled straight out in
front of me from a parking space into my lane -- and then stopped! I was wearing a bright orange one-piece rainproof riding suit made of "tear-proof"
material over my leather jacket and heavy denim jeans, as well as long boots, cow-hide leather gloves and an Arai full-face helmet, visor down to stop
bugs hitting me in the face and eyes (always a danger by the way).
I finished up lying on the road under back of that delivery van. A couple of seconds later the driver floored it and took off. (This is not unusual it
seems.) Well, at least that saved me the job of crawling out from under his darned van... Lucky I wasn't hooked up on anything there, though.
After going over and standing my bike up and wheeling it off the road I did a checkover. Of me. I felt more-or-less okay. Adrenaline is helpful in
Here's a list of the damage:
-- My "tear-proof" suit had holes at the elbows and was ripped across the back and both knees. There were even black scuffs of bitumen on that
material. In addition, the chromed pop buttons down the front of it had most of the chrome scraped off down to the brass underneath.
-- Both my cow-hide gloves had their palms deeply slashed and they were also badly scraped on the backs as well.
-- My boots had deep gouges over where my ankles were, along with one toe where the leather was ripped clean off and the steel toecap was gleaming
with the sctratches on it.
-- My helmet's visor was so badly scratched it was hard to see though most of it. And the back of the helmet looked like Freddy from Nightmare on
had used it for slashing practice.
All that -- at not even 40 mph. The problem is that at lower speeds, we don't tend to skip and bounce across the tarmac as we might at higher speeds.
I once came off during a road race (at a track) at over 120 mph and walked away with less harm that that. At low speeds, we basically slide, flip,
flop, roll and tumble all the way.
As for me, I got a ton of bruises, one small scratch on one knee, and a mildly sprained wrist. That's all. If I'd not been wearing all my "good gear"
on that warm, sunny day, I don't think I would have been going home to my wife and daughter a couple of hours later. They would have been visiting me
Best regards and stay safe,
edit on 27/11/10 by JustMike because: typos and minor grammatical changes