GI's and motorcycle crashes...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by dolomoto, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,923
    Location:
    Pacific NorthWet, Napa Valley North
    Not the same, eh?

    In any case, I think Klaviator's point was that if you tell people they don't get to have any fun while in the military- they won't join.

    My daughter in law is trying to tell her husband (my step-son, just back from Camp Leatherneck) he can't have a motorcycle. She's not getting much traction with that, either, and she's holding onto some enticements that the government just can't match. :deal

    (For the record, he's a pretty good rider...)
  2. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,923
    Location:
    Pacific NorthWet, Napa Valley North
    It is precisely the same problem as with civilians, multiplied by soldiers being young, healthy, risk takers and potentially having a skewed sense of risk. If we could reach into people's heads and flip the switch that makes them recognize the consequences of certain risks, we wouldn't have this conversation.
  3. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,229
    Location:
    Nippon

    Possibly skewed :lol3

    I came back from Iraq a complete madman, going 90 to nothing in the middle of no-where ...and I mean grossly, disgustingly, crazy fast.....for HOURS, was about the only thing that kept me sane.

    After 18 months of stupid shit and getting shot at, anytime it got quite, I'd go apeshit. So it was off to the races.

    Took about a year and a half to calm down really.
  4. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,687
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    I don't believe advanced training will result in a military member going faster (than without training). Rather, it will enable them to go "fast" with more skill and better judgement.

    Part of going "fast" is to de-mystify the illusion of speed. Take the average squid who rides a 4 cylinder, 600cc sportbike and give them some track time (we can create a "track" on most base runways) and let them see that they run out of ability long before they run out of road and you will have fewer mishaps.

    Encourage GI's to take their bikes to the dragstrip. Time slips don't lie.

    IMO, part of the military's problem is that the leadership is unwilling to accept any off-duty mishaps. Their "zero-tolerance" policy results in diminishing returns. Some GI's are gonna do dumb shit no matter what. Others, only do dumb shit 'cause they don't know any better (I used to be "that guy").

    The military should encourage motorcycling. Eliminate most "restrictions" on motorcycling (ex. "the orange vest myth", "bright, contrasting colors")...rather, encourage (pay for) advanced rider training, subsidize rider gear purchases, and use the GI's who have mishaps as national spokespersons. (it hits closer to home when that 20yo GI hears the lecture from another 20yo GI).

    I was recently admonished by a 20-something E4/Spec that my crashed-twice, 200k mile Aerostich was "not safe" and I would not be allowed on base. When asked, he admitted that if I was wearing just a black and orange T-shirt and blue jeans then I would be allowed on the base. In his mind, it's really easy to check for "bright/contrasting colors" vs. real protective gear.

    Part of the problem for GI's is the attitude and resources of LE...but, most of the problem is GI's continued practice of "shadow" motorcycling...IOW, riding off-base without complying with the "mandatory" requirements.

    :norton
  5. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,687
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    The 3d ID (Ft Benning, Ft Stewart, HAAF) recently amended their moto policy specifying a reflective vest or jacket.

    It is both disappointing and perplexing. Disappointing that the USA leadership thinks their Soldiers will continue to wear their vest other than their commute. Perplexing in that the policy includes folks like me who wear hi viz gear anyway.

    I'm still waiting to see the study that says a reflective vest keeps GI's safer. The light beam of a headlight/taillight goes on to infinity and is not dependent on the light producing vehicle for visibility.

    I see that the USMC has cut their Advanced Riding Clinics.

    Cape Fox (who has the local contract for MSF courses on base) relegates non USA folks to Space A.

    ?

    I ride by the range every day and in the last three months they have not had 12 riders (2 RC's), yet my guy's (ANG) were turned away. Weird.
  6. MotoErik

    MotoErik like a kid in a candyshop

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    The great white north
    Physics is not your friend: http://www.badastronomy.com/mad/1998/light_forever.html

    I'm very glad I'm retired, and don't have to deal with that crap any more. Sorry that you do.
  7. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,687
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    Thanks for the fact check. What I meant was that a headlight/taillight will be seen at a greater distance than a vest which is dependent on the angle of light hitting it.
  8. MotoErik

    MotoErik like a kid in a candyshop

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    The great white north
    That's where we get the"retro" in retroreflective. The reflection bounces back to the source of light. ...in theory. If it works, & if the cager has their lights on,
    You shou ld light up like the 4th o July.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
  9. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,205
    Location:
    Detroit mostly
    Regarding vests, the EU is working on a requirement for all motorized two-wheeler operators to wear the things. I do anyway. It will affect insurance, as the vests are right now considered to remove the "I didn't see you" defense - if a rider is wearing a vest, then he is visible. End of discussion.

    It's interesting. Mostly, it allows me to wear a nicer-looking grey/black jacket underneath. I can stow the vest when I'm not riding.
  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,810
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I'm sure that the safety Nazis at the EU will eventually take away all your liberties in the name of safety. They are just a bunch of beurocrats who need to justify their existence and feel important by controlling other peoples lives.

    As for the US military, I once rode on base at Redstone Arsenal wearing a bright yellow jacket and high vis yellowfull face helmet and was told I needed to wear a vest or reflective belt:huh

    If I had been wearing a matte black half helmet, camos and a 1 inch wide reflective belt I would have been OK. The stupidity of this should be obvious to the most casual observer but this is what happens when people who don't have a clue make the rules.
  11. Stinky151

    Stinky151 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    Montana
    The DODI (which all branches takes their guidance from) reads a rider must wear a brightly colored upper garment during the day, and reflective at night. It used to be the way described above, which is nonsense.

    The high viz yellow is the most visible color in the human spectrum, and will appear to "glow" when hit by any light source.

    While I understand the point behind the reg, It does get a bit silly and over zealous, and is often times written and enforced by non riders.

    The focus needs to shift. Two years ago, almost all Air Force fatalities were single vehicle accidents, involving sport bikes. I haven't checked last years stats, but one of my own riders was killed in a single vehicle accident. Some way, some how, the thought process needs to change with military riders. We are out own worst enemy.

    Just this past week I taught a BRC to some folks on base. One girl, whom I wish I could have failed (let's not get hung up on that, I teach by the objectives and keep my personal feelings out of it) proceeded to tell me, as I handed her the card, that she planned to buy and R1 as her first bike. A 125cc Eliminator was almost more than she could handle... WTF?!

    I took my rider coach hat off and put my NCO stripes on and told her EXACTLY what I thought of that idea, and just how far from being able to handle that she was. I also called her unit safety rep and squadron chief to talk to them. Do I think it will make a difference? Nope.

    These people seem driven to get themselves killed, and no amount to talking or regulations is going to change it.

    One of my own firemen, who took MY MSF class, decided to get on a sport bike before he got licensed. He was drunk, in shorts, water shoes, and nothing else. Tried to wheelie at 60+ (his official story was he hit a rock and went into a wobble) dropped the bike down, lost control, and took out two mailboxes (4x4 posts) with his face. While waiting for his court martial, this dumb SOB had the nerve to ask me if I would be upset if he kept riding. My testimony put him in jail....

    Some people will just never get it. While a large contingent of us in the military play by the rules and ride smart and safe, there seems to be a group who is determined to get themselves killed. These idiots are the ones who drive the regulations.


    ****rant off, sorry****
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,810
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Some base commanders require more than the above. Redstone arsenal aparently doesn't care if you are wearing a high vis jacket with reflective material. You still have to add a vest or reflective belt.
  13. Stinky151

    Stinky151 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    Montana
    True. They can always add to the reg, just not take away.

    That's were a strong riding community is really important. I have seen it work wonders.
  14. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,687
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    The current 3d ID (Benning, Stewart, HAAF, Holly Hill) reg specifies that a reflective, hi-viz vest or jacket will suffice. I am paraphrasing the 6 page policy letter.
  15. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,229
    Location:
    Nippon
    The guards usually don't have a clue. They know, vest, belt, vest belt duhhhhh vest belt. The instruction actually allows for reflective piping and such most have never actually read it.

    I used to carry the frigging regs in my back pack to prove it.
  16. Stinky151

    Stinky151 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    Montana
    I still carry, and ask all those in my unit to carry, the wing policy letter with them. I also run the 911 center and work directly with the cops, and I am very vocal in helping to train the gate guards what it required and what to look for.

    I also won't hesitate to stop an airman, on base or off, who is not complying with the rules.

    While I may not like them, failure to follow them puts my rights as a rider in the military at risk.
  17. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,687
    Location:
    Gen. Oglethorpe's 1733 folly
    Last year, I was refused entry to HAAF on account of the guard (Wackenhut...since replaced/hired by DoD) interpreting the rules.

    I refused to relent. They refused me entry. I asked (demanded?) an MP/DoD cop. 45m later he showed up. Asked me to comply with the made up requirement. I refused and had the current base policy letter on me (always a good idea). Blah, blah, blah. They "let" me on the base (I work there FT) but cautioned me that I should do what the guards say.

    :deal

    IMO, most gate guards are conditioned to see an orange vest...I've been refused entry with a full 'stich RC, FF helmet, full gloves but a non "highly visible" upper garment while a cruiser rider with an orange/black LS shirt, jeans, engineer boots gets waved through.

    Perception is key.

    :norton
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,810
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I used to ride on to Benning without a vest and the gate guards never said anything. At Redstone I usuelly wear a reflective belt. When I don't, I have it with me. The instruction there is worded in a confusing manner. One time I was wearing the belt and a backpack. I was told there needed to be a belt around the back pack but they didn't stop me from riding on the base.
  19. killianm

    killianm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Central PA
    I had a mishap (Cager ran over me) when I was in and of course my CO thought it was my fault (even after JAG visit and police report etc etc) and thus put a page 13 entry (they can write whatever they want) into my record.:deal It said that if I was in another accident I would be discharged. That was in '95 when they were just starting with all this crap! I see it has only been increasing. Thanks for serving!! Life is better on the outside.:clap I say this as my current employer forced me to work on Fathers Day. They told me Friday morning and I had a nice weekend away planned with the Family. The BS is everywhere. At least now they pay me a bunch of money when the stick it to me.:wink: My advice is do the stupid rules they say while you are serving, knowing that you are preserving freedom for when you get out!
  20. RidingDonkeys

    RidingDonkeys Purveyor of Awesome

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,246
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    Bragg recently killed the reflective belt/vest requirement. This makes me happy. I was getting really sick of catching shit at the gate for not having a reflective belt on while I was wearing a hi-viz suit with a 8" wide reflective stripe around it. :lol3

    In all honesty though, the reflective belt was a distraction while riding. Sure, it may help other riders see you in low light conditions, but I was always fiddling with it while riding. That can't be good.

    I think the military is doing it all wrong. We spend a lot of time making rules to try to keep Soldiers out of accidents; however, we're not doing anything to help them stay safe in an accident. Sorry, but "long sleeve shirt, pants, and gloves" really doesn't define protection in my book. Accidents are going to happen. I'm more concerned about my Soldiers wearing REAL gear than I am about them being reflective.

    I'm a living testament to this. I had a get-off in 2011 on my Ural. It was a low-speed single vehicle accident caused by me catching a wicked pothole in a right turn. It sent me flying off the bike. I landed on the vertical upright of a guard rail. The corner of the i-beam slit my suit from pectoral to kidney, around the ribs. It went through the nylon, kevlar, ACU's, and left a small scratch across my ribs. I walked away, and was at work the next day. The gear worked. The command didn't hassle me. It was a realization that I not only need to worry about being seen, but I need to worry about surviving an accident. For some strange reason, my command gets this concept.