A question for Harley riders, no disrespect.

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

  1. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Yes, I have ridden with no gear. Yes, I would ride differently without it, but saying that makes you safer, requiring less gear is a red herring argument. You may be less likely to have an accident, but its more likely your injuries will be more severe

    My last get-off about 10 years ago was a freak low speed high side on a straight.section of road where antifreeze had been spilled on a fresh tar strip while riding a V-Star 650 classic. Besides the ff helmet, I was only wearing work gloves, hiking boots, and an insulated rain suit over work clothes.
    I landed head first and was knocked unconscious, being low speed I didn't slide, so no roadrash or other injuries.
    Judging by the dent and cracks in the shell of my helmet, I have no doubt it would have been a fatal blow to the forehead if I had not been wearing helmet.

    It was so unexpected and conditions so benign I can honestly say I wouldn't have done anything differently if I hadn't been wearing any gear.

    IMO, the only honest justification for wearing no gear is you accept the increased risk of injury in a crash.
  2. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    Maybe not the only honest justification. Could also be that you honestly do not believe that the risk exists for you at all. (or believe that the prescribed gear will protect you from all possible risks.)

    Is there anything dishonest about ignoring an uncomfortable truth that lies between those two extremes?

    Is ignorance considered dishonesty?
  3. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    It's OK, chicks dig the cool guys sitting in wheelchairs drooling.
  4. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    I think you may have a fundamental flaw in your question/comment. That is your assuming the only risk to the rider is a mistake in the twisties from going faster.

    Anyone with half a brain will ride slower only dressed in shorts. But in the real-world this person dressed only in shorts going slower in the twisties on a public road with other traffic is actually engaging in significantly increased risk-taking behaviour. I've never put my bike down in the twisties in my life, but someone tries to kill me just about ever day in peak hour traffic.

    I select and wear protective gear principally to protect me from others mistakes. That it allows me to enjoy my sport more and protect me if I make a mistake is a bonus.
  5. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    The most interesting statistic to me would be how many riders who have suffered a significant injury while wearing no gear return to biking and now go ATGATT.

    I remember very well the weeks of discomfort from a pretty small patch of road rash on my backside. I wear gear now because I don't want to go through that again.

    It's pretty easy to believe "it won't happen to me"
  6. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    On my way to South America I happened to pass through Daytona Beach during Bike Week, seemed like a great big fashion show to me.
    The HD riders I did talk to rode in from places like Maine and Michigan, so there were some riders and not just self absorbed fashion players. They were mostly dumbstruck at the idea of riding from Alaska to Ushuaia.
    A lot of bikes there probably never killed a bug in their lives, the amount of chrome dazzling, amazing paint jobs and art work on many bikes which probably arrived in enclosed trailers.
    I think my bug encrusted KLR and Alaska mud saturated Motoport kevlar(Dalton hwy mud doesn't washout) was a little off-putting for many, I was definitely kinda out of place. I felt much more at home in a seedy motel down in Homestead surrounded by all sorts of ethnic minorities, where Spanish and Haitian French was mostly spoken rather than English.
  7. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    My mistake,
    Assuming its an educated choice by an intelligent person.

    Only an ignorant or foolish person would think gear has no value, or will protect you from all possible risk, and I didn't even give them consideration.
  8. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    This is the crux of the matter.

    Ignorance (no first-hand experience with the potential consequences) and bravado/machismo/ego (foolishness) are the primary reasons for not choosing more appropriately to increase skills and wear protective gear (i.e.: take PREcautions).

    This in no way changes the fact that the odds are still (slightly) in favor of someone without gear riding for a lifetime and never actually needing the gear. The longer they ride and develop skills (even if by osmosis) the better their odds.

    In the end it is a philosophical matter. It is still each person's choice and I support that. I also discount all the "burden on society" arguments for requiring others to conform. It is more of a burden on humanity to circumvent natural selection.

    This in no way changes the fact that I am an ATGATT rider, though I see no reason to be evangelistic about it. If a no gear rider poo-poos my choices, that too is their right. Just as long as they don't try to regulate my right to this choice.
  9. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    If wearing more protective gear makes a rider take increased risk (so not a good idea), to be consistent you'd also have to believe that car seat belts make drivers take increased risks, for exactly the same reason.

    Both are devices that really have no purpose when everything is going to plan. Both only have the function of reducing or eliminating injury in the event of an accident. So if more protective gear makes riders takes greater risks because they believe they will suffer less injury, then surely motorist will also take greater risks driving a car when wearing a seat belt, fitted with air bags, ABS, improved crumple zone design, anti-swerve control, etc. etc.

    We should therefore remove all the safety improvements to cars of the past 40+ years. This will then make everyone fell way more vulnerable driving these death traps, they'll drive slower, and we'll all be safer. :happay
  10. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Am I understanding your right, the odds are in your favor that you'll never need gear in a lifetime of riding?

    I must just know all the crap riders because all have come of at sometime or another.
  11. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    My point is not to say one rides or is safer without gear.

    The question I'm asking, because most bike accidents are a result of rider error, does wearing gear lead to false sense of security where one rides the twisties a little faster, pushes a little harder, is a little more aggressive with lane changes/positioning in traffic, etc., because he is fully geared.

    If we all agree that we change riding style without gear do we not do the same with gear?
  12. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    Yeah, odds are funny like that. There is some percentage of riders that will fall and have gear or wish they did. That percentage is going to be less than its inverse percentage.

    I'm not one of those riders who will go a lifetime, maybe neither are you, but plenty of examples do exist. Uber-careful, mitigate exposure to risks, ride often but fewer miles, etc.

    I guess that I was trying to say that it is possible to do so and there is no valid argument against that. Perhaps the overall odds might be against making it a lifetime, but on any given ride I would think that the odds are probably in their favor.
  13. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    Ipso facto, would a rider without gear who subscribes to this philosophy then also have a false sense of security that they are safer? Likewise, leading them to take chances like drinking heavily and riding, expecting other drivers to see them, not signaling their intentions when changing lanes or turning, installing lights that don't provide visibility to other traffic, dressing in dark clothes with no reflective properties, etc.?

    I don't think that statements like yours can be applied like a blanket over riderdom. Each rider will have their own reasons and reactions to their choices. Some like you indicate, some not. Just because it is possible is no reason to believe it is absolute.
  14. Kamloopsrider

    Kamloopsrider Been here awhile

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    " risk homeostasis " There was a study done on accident rates after ABS became standard on most cars. It found that initially accident rates dropped mainly due to better braking. After a few months, as drivers became accustomed to reduced braking distances, accident rates climbed back to previous levels.
    No matter what safety measures we employ people will strive to overcome them.
    I fall into the camp of improved riding skills save more hide than all the gear in the world.
  15. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I think this is likely the case, though the "non-conformist" part I am not so sure of. Many are actually conforming!

    Jim :brow
  16. Purch23

    Purch23 Dirtbiker

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    That's hilarious!
  17. MotoTex

    MotoTex Miles of Smiles

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    +1

    They strive to be unique, just like everyone else they hang out with. :confused

    Which reminds me,

    How do you catch a unique rabbit?






























    Unique up on it. :lol3
  18. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    "Most accidents are the result of rider error", sure about that? Even if its statistically the case it's being T boned or someone turning across in front of me that concerns me the most.

    Your assumption is that a slower largely unprotected rider is safer than a faster rider wearing full safety gear. I totally disagree with that assumption.

    I ride with a few different clubs. IMO, the most dangerous group comprises a lot of older returning riders who've bought cruiser style bikes, actually ride quite slowly, and dress more for image than safety. The safest group comprises guys who've been riding large sports/adventure bikes for years, dress appropriately, and really ride hard.
  19. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    How about the ones who where safed by a helmet from serious head injury and still like to ride without any gear from time to time for the fun of it.

    Well, in fact many cagers give a shit about crashing because "the insurance pays it". Very different to my approach on riding.
  20. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    I'm taking it you meant to say "don't give a shit about crashing because the insurance pays for it". Can't say I know to many people who think like that. Everyone I know doesn't really want the hassle of the accident itself, their car being off the road being repaired for possibly months, and their repaired car never being as good as it was before the accident.