Does ATGATT have a downside?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by moron, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Strombow

    Strombow Adventurer

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    Have been riding here in my leathers when it's been 47 deg C and suffering the heat but just bought some textile gear with removable panels in the jacket and the pants for ventilation, wish I had done this ages ago,what a difference,now my ride is cooler.
    I read up on all the different kinds of protection,leather ,nylon,cordura and kevlar etc and found many conflicting arguments for each that I decided that impact protection was most important followed by good abrasion protection and comfort so I have gone for a medium priced textile suit with ventilation which I will upgrade to the best impact protection.
    I also changed from a flip front helmet to a solid full face.
    I feel more uncomfortable riding without my gear on ( tried cruising down the sea front, shorts,T shirt and trainers ) did about half a mile and went back home for a walk instead. Yes, I am a complete wimp, with the emphasis on complete.
    Cheers
    Ian
    #41
  2. Thraan

    Thraan Long timer

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    I'm ATG if I ride the superslab. If I'm going to the corner store, I'll wear only the helmet. Depends on where I'm going and how fast I'll be travelling. Wearing minimal gear causes me to ride slower, and be more cautious, but sometimes that tradeoff (caution/gear) is okay.

    I wear DocMartens on the street, and MX boots when dual sport riding. Are my docs not considered good enough to be part of ATG?
    #42
  3. SAWBONES

    SAWBONES Chicken Rider

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    If I rode my bike to go everywhere day-in, day-out, and in 110 degree heat, you can bet all my ATGATT stuff would be textile and easy on/easy off, with "do-it-all" type boots which were appropriate for street casual wear as well as riding.
    Obviously some compromises would have to be made, with sacrifices of fashion for safety and vice-versa.
    #43
  4. J. Clarke

    J. Clarke Been here awhile

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    Do you wear street clothes under your suit and take the whole thing off at every stop? If so, I can see where that would be a problem. I just wear the riding suit--it's my clothes. No PITA there, because I just walk into wherever and do whatever and walk out.

    If you're only wearing a wicking layer and the suit then it's going to be a lot more comfortable in the heat than if you're wearing ordinary clothes under it.

    Nobody's ever said anything unfavorable about it even in five-star restaurants. Mostly it's a conversation starter.
    #44
  5. SloNEZ

    SloNEZ Guano Loco

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    This is an important issue!
    I either buy bikes with plenty of storage already or rig up something once I get it (by adding storage, racks, whatever).
    Cable locks can help, too, if your storage is full of other items (like when out shopping/running errands, or on a trip).
    Sometimes I'll carry a light duffel along and stuff whatever I can't stow on the bike in there and lug it into wherever I'm going ... it's a pretty easy way to keep it all together and out of the way.
    If you actually USE your bike for everyday transportation, on-board stowage room is essential, IMHO.
    #45
  6. thmpa

    thmpa Carpe Diem

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    I always wear a full-face helmet, armored jacket, gloves, jeans, and steel toe Red Wings. Most of the time I wear Stich AD1 pants. I can lock the helmet on the bike and carry the jacket with me. The pants are more of a problem; if I'm not going far and will have to take them off, I don't wear them (i.e. soccer game). If I'm running erands, I'll put 'em on.

    What's this about taking so much time to put ATGATT on? I can be ready in two minutes - but then, I'm almost always wearing jeans and boots anyway.
    #46
  7. cevquit

    cevquit maphead

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    A full face helmet has saved my face so many time that i will not ride with out one. When I'm on the LC4 out for a real ride its everthing. Full face,neck protction now, pressure suit shin/knee guards and boots. And its not because I want to look "cool", but because I have had my palms ground, and have seen the bones of my shins and elbows and have spent a week scrubbing gravel out of a wound, before they could sew it up, and it sucks.
    I fact it all did its job last night. Mt buddy and I were exploreing some backwoods logging rds and I went down in I rut in a corner. The rut was filled in with silt from all of the logging equpment going up and down the road. The corner was a nice sweeping left up a hill, were clipping along at bout 35mph . My friend had the inside, the good line, and I was on the outside trying to stay clear of his dust, and the whole road was covered in a couple inches of silt.You could even see the rut in the corner, and my front wheel stepped out and down into it and SLAP, I went down and hard. I tweaked my knee a little, but other than that, no damage, there are some hellacious grooves in my left elbow guard and I ground throught the left knee of my Oneal pants to the knee cups, but I was up and rollign along in a couple of minutes, a whole lot dustier.
    If im on the street bike on a ride its ATGATT. If Im on the ktm or the fz1 running around town i wear helmet and gloves and usually a jacket.
    A lot of time in can be a pain in the butt, but its not real pain.
    #47
  8. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb

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    There is a psychological phenomenon known as risk compensation which other posters have mentioned. The idea is people will attempt to maintain a constant level of risk in their lives. It may be one reason people in SUVs pay no attention to driving because they have been sold the idea that the SUV makes them safer. I have read that people in SUVs end up no safer than in regular sedans because of this (and the fact that people can more easily lose control and run off the road and roll them over). It is also the reason that ABS in cars did not seem to improve safety significantly, people with ABS apprently took more risks driving that people without ABS. The whole issue is whether the PERCEIVED improvement in safety is greater or less than the ACTUAL improvement in safety. If the perceived improvement is greater than the actual improvement, then the device can increase the risk to the user. I have never read any studies indicating whether ATGATT is actually increases or decreases risk. I have read that helmets do decrease risk, but I have not seen anything about armored jackets or other gear.

    My personal practice is ATGATT and hope that it doesn't give me a false sense of security.
    #48
  9. eap

    eap El Adventurero Solitario

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    +1 - I carry a PACSAF steel cable bag http://www.pacsafe.com/www/index.php [​IMG]

    The pacsafe stows compact, yet expands to fit riding gear for two, including one helmet (the other is on the rack).

    The downside of ATGAT is HEAT (dangerous in it's own right) and walking with boots - I'm still hunting for the best combo, but for now settle for Olympia zip off pants and carry a pair of sandles, a hat, sunscreen etc for dealing with 100 degree weather....

    At the office - when we remodeled the office cubbies, i insisted on wardrobe/lockers so I have a place to stow my gear and change into 'civies'....and we have showers in the restrooms.
    #49
  10. InsuredDisaster

    InsuredDisaster Sam's Summer Camp

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    Great topic I think. Right now, I'm wearing Olympia Hi-viz AST, MC over pants (also made by Olympia) boots, gloves, helmet, and one of those back protectors. To be honest, I've always ridden ATTGAT when I got on a motorcycle. My gear has gotten more expensive (better?) And I won't ride without my gear. So I don't have any "before/after" experiences to compare. However, I do know that when I was on a scooter, I must have thought of the thing as some how "safer" or more "toy like" as I rode the little 50cc scooter and did some incredibly foolish things, even destroying an MC helmet in one crash. However, when on a real motorcycle, I keep everything reigned in.


    I wonder if the idea that MC's are a sort of "seasonal toy" might cause some people to kill/hurt themselves, rather than feeling invincible due to gear.
    #50
  11. rich_mc

    rich_mc Full Fledged MEM-Ber

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    A tip for going to the store:

    Where I live, the general public are a bunch of lazy bastards. Therefore, there are always shopping carts strewn all over the parking lot at the local Walmart/Kroger's, etc. I usually just park in a spot with a cart in it. Shed the stich and put it, my helmet, and my tank bag in the cart and roll it into the store with me.....

    That way, I don't have to carry all my stuff, and I'll need a cart to carry my purchases anyway....
    #51
  12. Bumblebee-TGL

    Bumblebee-TGL Nomad

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    It could give a false sense of security. It all depends on your mindset and how you want to treat it. I certainly feel like I can take a tumble off with less injury all geared up than if I wasn't...however that's based on the concept that padding dissipates energy and a helmet keeps rocks out of your brains.

    From the stupid motorcycle tricks education department:
    A few days ago I was in a state park that was essentially abandoned after the holiday rush was over. (The population density was something like 1 camper per 1.5 miles of road with about 10 campers total) After an ATGATT run through to check road conditions, people threats and hazards, I decided any risk was going to be 99% self inflicted. I then rode around slowly (20mph tops) without the gear.

    Several things occured to me while I was toodling along:
    1. Riding without gear is just bad wrong and I do not like being unprotected.
    2. I ride the same way with or without gear. My observable behavior and technique does not change.
    3. My mindset is different: Without gear, I'm riding carefully to avoid getting hurt because I'm afraid of the ground. With the gear, while I'm still afraid of the ground and getting hurt, I'm riding properly to avoid going down. IOW, I can concentrate better on what I'm doing than being afraid of the ground and trying to avoid it.
    4. Puttering around in nearly abandoned state park kind of situations might be marginally acceptable for minimal gear if the conditions are exactly right. Well, maybe anyway, and I'm still not sure about that. Anywhere else, it's unconditional ATGATT.


    As for a downside to the gear: Nothing when it comes to the real world. It takes 2 minutes to gear up however that, just like preflighting the motorcycle every time, is just part of how riding is done. It's almost overkill for a 5 minute store run but that's just how it is. Sometimes people in the stores will give me grief about the gear in front of others as a pathetic attempt at public humiliation (I've even had a few laugh at me) but that's their problem, not mine.
    #52
  13. J. Clarke

    J. Clarke Been here awhile

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    Try a pair of TCX (used to be Oxtar, company just changed names) Infinity or BMW Santiago boots (the Santiagos are made by TCX, they're pretty much the same boot). They're as comfortable for walking as any of the various pairs of combat, work, dress, and hiking boots I've owned and better than most. Only downside for walking is that they're relatively heavy. Being GoreTex they're probably hot as well, I've never worn 'em with it over 95 but they were OK then.
    #53
  14. JoMoThumper

    JoMoThumper Los Bombero Caliente

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    Hell no! I spent too damn much $$$ on all my gear to mess it up doing something stoopid. What can I say, I'm a KLR owner (some would say cheap, I prefer economically practical). :D

    #54
  15. InsuredDisaster

    InsuredDisaster Sam's Summer Camp

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    +1
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  16. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    Right on!:thumb It's an interesting phenomenon. Another term for it is "risk homeostasis" coined by Gerald Wilde in his book "Target Risk", the 1st ed. of which is available for free as a .pdf here.

    The latest data to support the observation that safety benefits are not maximized because some of the safety it "consumed" by increased risk-taking is a little disturbing: A UK study showed that cars passed closer to bicyclists wearing helmets when overtaking them. What that means is that not only is ATGATT less effective because it's human nature to ride more aggressively, but others are consuming some of your additional safety by driving more aggressively around you. The nerve!

    I look at it like this: if the (arbitrary for the sake of illustration) safety scale goes from 1 (least safe) to 10 (most safe), wearing no gear is a 1... wearing full gear brings you up to a 10, all else equal, and then the differences in driving attitude from yourself (somewhat controllable with a lot of mental effort) may bring that down to an 8, and that of other drivers brings it down to a 7, and you still end up WAY ahead.

    Another way of looking at it is this: if your practice is not to ever ride unless ATGATT, then no gear at all ironically represents the safest you'll be... because you won't be riding. That's the Chicago beach lifeguard method of safety. They pride themselves in their safety record, but they hardly let anyone in water, certainly never deeper than their knees, and nobody drowns. :dunno
    #56
  17. bostonsr

    bostonsr Just weight

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    well put:freaky

    abe
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  18. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb

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    That Target Risk book is real food for thought, I may have to buy the later edition.
    #58
  19. JoMoThumper

    JoMoThumper Los Bombero Caliente

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    OMG! I had a flashback to college sociology on that one.
    "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences."
    --W. I. Thomas
    In our discussion, I think this means that if you wear ATGATT this can lead to two different realizations for the individual.
    One: I am safer now, the risk to me from riding my bike is not as great with all of this protective gear and subsequently I can assume greater risks than before (faster, further, harder, etc...)
    or Two: I am safer now from the possible consequences if something goes wrong. However serious risks still exist therefore I must continue to excercise the same level ofdue caution.
    Dr. Seger would be proud of me. :D

    #59
  20. bostonsr

    bostonsr Just weight

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    riding without gear feels great.

    it's the guiltiest of motorcycling pleasures.

    if i could be guaranteed to never crash, i'd never wear a lick of moto gear. it'd be gym shorts and t shirt all the time...unless it was cold out.

    abe
    #60