A question for Harley riders, no disrespect.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by 390beretta, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,382
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    No one mentioned hi-viz, and 100% agree that a lot of stuff sold is totally useless. But that's not because the idea doesn't have merit, just how people apply it. The point you are making regarding accidents at the front of the motorcycle is the very reason to make the bike and rider as obvious as you can from this angle. Do we really need a scientific study to conclude that the more obvious a motorcycle is from head on, the safer the rider will be all other things being equal. I don't, as to me it's just plain obvious common sense. But for those wanting evidence, the Hart report found bikes with farings were less likely to be innvolved in a head-on accident, as a faring increased the head-on visability of the motorcycle.

    So what makes a motorcyle more obvious from head-on? A coloured faring, yes. But is black an effective colour so think about the colour of you next bike if you buy a bike with a faring (just like you should for a car). If it is a naked, colour makes zero difference because you can't see the colour from head on. The rider and what they are wearing is about the only thing you actually see from head-on on a naked.

    Does wearing a white or other bright coloured helmet make you more visable than a black one from front on? Common sense and my own two eyes tell me absolutely yes. Even with a fairing on most bikes your arms and upper body are highly visable from front on. So wear a jacket with brightly coloured arms and upper front. Orange, yellow, white, take you pick. I've seen some really stylish black jackets with orange sleeves, you don't have to look like a dag (Australian only expression perhaps). Have your headlight on.

    Do you really need evidence to conclude that say a white coloured motorcycle with a white faring being riden by a rider wearing a white helmet wearing a jacket with bright sleeves and upper front chest and headlight turned on, is going to be much more obvious from front on than an all black rider riding a naked with no headlight? I'm completely happy to use my own real world observations on the road.
    #41
  2. r60man

    r60man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    779
    Location:
    Robesonia PA
    I have had the opportunity to speak with Chris Carr (National flattrack champion and Motorcycle Hall of Famer) several times. He lives local to me and he insists that he will never ride on the street. This is the man that held the World Speed Record at well over 300 mph on the salt flats. Just too many variables out of control. I guess if I had the outlets for fun that he has I may feel the same way, but alas I do not. How does this relate? He was a factory H-D rider of course.
    #42
  3. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard I have no soul

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,674
    Location:
    Sunny Northern Cuba (aka: South Florida)

    you know I see statements Like this in a lot of these types of threads and I always wonder why it is believed that people engaging in riskier behavior than what is considered to be the acceptable norm are perceived to be less fit for survival or less intelligent. history tells a much different story ...
    #43
  4. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,085
    Location:
    Kent, Washington State
    I rode without a helmet before Washington made it mandatory. It was kinda nice in perfect weather for short, slow rides.
    Freeway speeds, cold weather, snow, rain, bugs, rocks, dust, mud, noise......even not considering the protection factor, I quickly learned for most of my riding, a helmet is more comfortable.

    I wear a Nolen N43E trilogy, even with the chin bar in place, the field of view is almost as good as a half helmet.
    #44
  5. InvertedB

    InvertedB Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Being a current Harley rider that subscribes to the ATGATT principle I can at least weigh in with my personal experience. I have an Ultra Classic (the huge full dresser with fairing and radio) that I got following riding a Triumph Thruxton. I have always rode with a modular or full-face helmet, riding jacket/pants/boots/gloves. The first ride of any distance I did on the Harley I found myself sweating profusely and burning up inside my helmet thanks to that huge fairing. I went out and bought a half-helmet to help with airflow and buffeting I was experiencing with my modular. I rode with this for about six months before talking with a friend who mentioned a simple thought about how he could live without an arm or a leg, but not a head. While I do not wish to live without any of the above, I could not argue with that point and went back to wearing the modular.

    My personal experience is that the airflow behind the fairing is atrocious (which can be corrected) and can lead to the decision to wear less protective gear. I think the vast majority though do not wear significant ATGATT because of the "Harley biker look" rather than any consideration or intentional disregard for personal safety. There is also a certain group that has an opinion that no amount of gear truly makes a difference so they'll don none at all. I think a good cure for that could be reading the face plant forum.
    #45
  6. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,942
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    Riding without a helmet is as amazing as going from a cage to a bike in the first place.
    Absolutely amazing and should at least be experienced once before passing judgment.

    My bike, my body, my rules. Why do some feel the need to apologize for bike or gear choices?
    I wear jeans most of the time, even with my protective leather jacket, my full face helmet, my armored gloves, my armored boots... because its a pain in the ass to put on over pants and I'll just accept the risk.

    I like my feet, need my hands and head to do my job but I can handle some rash on my legs. I may change my mind if I ever get a severe case but I'm probably not going to die or lose a leg due to lack of leg protection. it could happen but then it probably would even with nice leather armored pants.

    So why don't we wear all the gear you want us to? Because we don't have to :D

    That's what's great about having freedom. So ride what you like, dress how you like and the only people who will ridicule you are those that preach attgatt as if they are the only ones that understand the risk. Just remember that it never ends... why not an air vest, air bags, leatt brace, knee braces, whale foreskin full body condoms, maybe 2 more wheels, some doors and a roof? Oh shit, 2 of my bikes don't have ABS! I'm gonna die!

    I ride every day, been all over and meet a lot of riders and never once have had these strange 'tough guy' and 'shit talker' experiences. Assholes abound but they are far outweighed by actual riders. :deal
    #46
  7. steelerider

    steelerider Southafricanamerican

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,034
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA.
    After a 35 mph incident within a deer, I've come to appreciate good quality gear. While I was lying in the ER with 6 broken bones (ribs, scapula, and clavicle) the nurse tells me "buddy whatever gear you were wearing paid for itself today - usually guys come in here with broken bones, AND blood everywhere. Then we have to clean their skin out"
    My Shoei Qwest helmet looked like it had an angle grinder taken to the front of it. Ask yourself this, how can you call for help in the middle of nowhere if your jaw is broken, and your face is smashed? How will your wife feel when she has to look at your disfigured face for the rest of your lives? Forunately my helmet saved my life, and my face. All my gear, saved my skin too. I got "lucky" with some broken bones and a collar bone that now has a steel plate. 4 weeks off work, and 7 weeks of physical therapy. Lots to think about in the chopper ride to the hospital as well.

    Harley, BMW, whatever. Freedoms are nice, health and a face are better.

    It can happen to you. It did to me.
    Dress for the slide, not the ride.

    Cheers.
    #47
  8. Kawasakirob

    Kawasakirob Feelin Good

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,923
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    My personal favorite, the skull mask:fpalm


    [​IMG]
    #48
  9. Nadgett

    Nadgett Obnoxious, dimwitted blowhard

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    849
    Location:
    Slovenia
    I started riding in 1969, when nobody even thought about protective gear, other than a Bell open-face helmet. I fell off a few times, and found that road rash hurts. Now I never ride anywhere, no matter how short a distance, without a full-face helmet, armoured jacket (mesh or leather), armoured riding pants, boots, and riding gloves. After dark or on long trips I wear a hi-viz backpack. I have heated grips and an electric vest, and ride my Sportster year-round, except when the roads are covered in snow. Around this time of year I like to ride over to the local Harley dealer. He says, "You're riding in this weather? You're nuts!" and I reply, "The roads are dry and you're not riding? You're the one who's nuts!"
    #49
  10. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,382
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    1969 also. Pretty much same deal, lived in a sunny coastal resort and wanting to be like my mates rode around in boards shorts, flip-flops and no shirts on Yamaha DT 250's (remember them, then you're showing your age).

    Regarding a previous comment about just maybe getting a bit of leg rash if you come off in jeans, had a mate in those days who spent 4 months in hospital from major infections from major road rash to his lower body. There was talk at one stage that they may have to amputate his leg to save his life because of the infection. He spent the next 2 years in and out of hospital having skin grafts, and was significantly disabled and disfigured for the rest of his life from the significant tissue, bone and muscle damage he'd incurred.

    I'd happily incur a broken arm or leg rather than major road rash. I'm terrified of it having seen what it can do to someone. But then perhaps I'm just a total wuss. If its hot I wear textile riding pants with Kevlar lined jeans underneath. If its mild weather I wear race grade leather pants. Hot weather.....I live in Australia.
    #50
  11. omeoxlv

    omeoxlv Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    Omeo Region
    I hope it doesnt happen to you, really I do, but you are just another "thinker" who doesnt.
    #51
  12. Dexter!

    Dexter! Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    919
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, ARG.
    Your body, your rules... that's ok. But think about this, riding w/o a helmet you get struck by a little rock in your sunglasses, wich breaks and causes wind to rush into your eye (even worse, you're driving w/o glasses either and the rock hits your naked eye) this will take out your vision and your attention, you'll probably start to swerve putting everyone else sharing the road in danger. Think about that family of four in the SUV coming the other way in the 2 lane going over the shoulder and upside down while avoiding hitting you when you are all over the place not seeing and stunned.

    I've got my rear wheel blown up once, at 65mph and the bike threw me from the high side, I was wearing a cordura jacket eith ce approved protection on elbows and shoulders and an eva backplate, leather gloves, touring boots, full face and jeans. I ended with a broken collar bone and shoulder, 3 broken toes, several leg rash and a sprained ankle. But more curious than that was the rash I had in my back (4 inches wide, 3 inches height) near my shoulder, the concusion and the bruise in my sien. Think about that crash without protective gear and then tell me how nice is to ride without helmet.

    Oh, btw I've ridden without helmet once mine was stoled and I didn't enjoyed at all...


    Sent from my LG-E610 using Tapatalk
    #52
  13. steelerider

    steelerider Southafricanamerican

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,034
    Location:
    Lancaster, PA.
    It's interesting. Talk to someone who has had a crash, and generally the answer is that they would never ride without gear again. It seems that experience is the best teacher.
    There seems to be a perception around here (certainly where I live) that because you ride a cruiser, you ride slower, and an accident is less likely, therefore any protective gear is not necessary.
    I reminded a friend of mine (Harley guy) that my crash happened at the speed of.....35mph.
    He wears a full face helmet now after he saw the pics of my Shoei.
    Perhaps it's a lack of imagination? Because honestly, if you haven't ever crashed, you likely can't imagine how much it sucks - so you wear no gear.
    Dunno.
    #53
  14. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,322
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    I've seen a couple mentions of Kevlar jeans in this thread and wanted to share something that turned up when I was researching gear a few years ago for those reading this thread who are considering an upgrade.

    Kevlar, alone, may not be "all that," as a choice for MC gear. Be aware that Kevlar's impact resistance is high (bulletproof), but abrasion resistance isn't all that great.

    Granted, it is better than cotton alone, but will wear through faster than Cordura Nylon in a slide. Cordura's downfall is that it will melt in an extended slide, so a natural fiber layer is required between it and the skin to keep the melted plastic from bonding with the skin, making for a painful cleanup. Many premium gear manufacturers offer Cordura products.

    Kevlar is also very sensitive to UV. Most manufacturers who use it properly in motorcycle clothing will utilize a weave including other fabrics so it is not exposed to sunlight. Kevlar jeans that have the Kevlar exposed are examples of where the manufacturer probably doesn't understand the fabric and included it only as a sales gimmick.

    For riders looking to upgrade to something more durable than jeans, riding gear made of a fabric like Shoeller-Keprotec which includes Kevlar in the weave is stronger and more abrasion resistant than new race leather (race leather ages and deteriorates from exposure to sweat, water, etc. and should be replaced every year or two).

    Keprotec was designed to be a substitute for race leather and racing gear made with it has been approved for use in racing applications. It can be found in a variety of weaves, including mesh, and it dissipates heat very well so won't require a natural layer underneath. It also doesn't absorb heat, so dark colors like a black pant or jacket remains at ambient temps in direct sun.

    Motoport is one manufacturer who offers a variety of styles in pants and jackets using Keprotec. Including a jean cut pant for those looking for that style in a more durable material.

    Works fine, lasts a long time.

    FYI
    #54
  15. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard I have no soul

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,674
    Location:
    Sunny Northern Cuba (aka: South Florida)

    I have known quite a few people that have had severe crashes with and without gear (a couple of them race bikes either for a living or at the am level) that still go for street rides without gear. Isn't it possible that some people simply choose a different approach to life all the while completely understanding the possible outcome of the risk that they are taking ? Isn't it possible that some very intelligent people are simply less fear driven/motivated ? Why is it that there seems to be some ridiculous assumption that Gear = Smart and No Gear = Dumb ? Seems a tad arrogant and very narrow in scope. :dunno Me? I'm kind of a pussy and don't even like to ride around my neighborhood without at least basic gear. :lol3 By the way steelrider, that last part is not directed at you but I see that undertone in just about every gear thread.
    #55
  16. Red9

    Red9 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    604
    +1
    Been hit twice by cars. Once from behind while waiting to turn left and once by a car running a red light (they had been stopped at the light to let a passenger out and then proceeded through without looking). I was doing 50 and buried my bike in their back seat. Walked away both times.
    I sometimes wear a full-face, usually a leather jacket, always jeans, sometimes gloves and often runners. It is my choice, not yours.

    It just amazes me how so many people think they are so fricking smart and have the right to tell others what to do... especially in the land of the "free and home of the brave.":norton

    Seems to me, based on their pontifipussification, they shouldn't even be on two wheels. After all, isn't a car with airbags, seatbelt and safety frame much safer?

    And as to Darwinism taking care of the non-atgatters (stupid by the attgatters definition) who live life as they choose and perhaps take the greatest risks...
    History certainly proves otherwise. Christ we wouldn't be riding motorcycles today if the safety preaching nazi's had been in force around the old motorcycle shops in the early 1900's. "Damn beretta! (thread starter) You post about guns you own and you must hate the people who wish to outlaw personal ownership and yet you criticize and wish to push your point of view over on people who enjoy riding a motorcycle. And you ride one too!! Are you fucking retarded!:norton:huh:huh:huh

    And oh yeah....
    Amazing how this thread once again turned into a Harley bashing fest, by the original poster making sure to explain how he wasn't "bashing or criticizing" at the same time he also criticizing the poor handling of a Harley bagger and how a police officer who could ride one well must be the exception. (just after he stated he had never owned one....)

    Some of you folks are so fucking see-through and predictable it makes me want to puke. Talk about Darwinism...
    #56
  17. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,085
    Location:
    Kent, Washington State
    Seriously?
    If this thread comes across as a "bashing fest", maybe your too sensitive for forums not dedicated to HD.


    I often ride at the lower end of the gear spectrum, modular helmet, touring gloves, work boots, wax cotton riding jacket, work pants.
    Its because I'm cheap, lazy, and because I'm comfortable with the risk level for what, where, and how I typically ride on a daily basis as a full time rider. I make no excuses, I've been hit by cars twice, and been down a couple of times in minimal gear with only very minor injury. I consider that luck, not something to be counted on.
    God protects children and fools.

    The arguments from the ATGATT crowd, sound intelligent and logical with a little bit of denial. The arguments from the no gear crowd sound like nonsensical adolescent chest thumping, and mindless bravado.


    I've never heard a rider say they wish they had less gear on when they went down................
    #57
  18. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,324
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    I wish I had kept all of my broken helmets.
    #58
  19. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,322
    Location:
    Tool Shed
    I'm still looking for the posts telling anyone else what to do, or "bashing" Harleys.

    I've seen folks relating their personal experiences, but how anyone would take that to the next level and presume that this means they (the reader) is considered stupid or Darwin-bait is beyond me.

    I think someone's feelers are just a little sensitive.

    Kinda reminds me of members of religious cults who can't embrace that just because others might see things differently doesn't mean someone is forcing them to change their religious belief. Anyone remember the religious cult in the movie Galaxina?
    #59
  20. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard I have no soul

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,674
    Location:
    Sunny Northern Cuba (aka: South Florida)


    :augie
    #60