Scooter safety and ATGATT guilt

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by emt8q5, May 31, 2011.

  1. emt8q5

    emt8q5 Been here awhile

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    Hey folks...

    ok, I've got a question here, and would love some input. A bit tongue in cheek, but still legitimate:

    I live in sub-urban area (Clayton, MO for those of you familiar with St. Louis) which is pretty compact. During the summer, I swim laps most week nights at my community pool which is maybe 2 miles from my apartment. I see all these folks zipping around on scooters in shorts, tshirt and sandals with open face helmets on and I'm jealous. Why can't I ride my G650gs to the pool in my swimsuit and tshirt with boat shoes on? If I stay below 30mph, isn't my G650gs just as safe (if not safer) than these scooters?

    I'm 100% ATGATT, however I'm considering making an exception for the 2 mile commute assuming I stay under 30mph (speed limit of 20mph on my route to the pool)...What do you guys think?
    #1
  2. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    Who ever said that you couldn't?!

    Do what you want, it's your own skin.

    If you think that an accident is less likely to occur during a short trip at low speed. To me, it's like saying that you can CHOOSE when you'll agree to have an accident or not but each his own.
    #2
  3. CZP01

    CZP01 Been here awhile

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    You can't pick and choose when it is "safe" and when it is "not safe". People sometimes die in low-speed crashes (remember the motor cop that just died in a funeral procession?) and people sometimes walk away from high-speed crashes.

    I used to be 90% ATGATT but since it's warming up I've started taking the 3-mile ride to work wearing just my work uniform (khakis and a polo), a helmet, gloves, and boots. Is it slightly more dangerous? Yes. Is it much more convenient, comfortable, and most of all liberating? YES.
    #3
  4. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    ^^^ :stupid ^^^
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  5. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    :freaky
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  6. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Dirt Road Cowboy Sometimes I'm A Jerk

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    Why do you care what we think?

    It's your life, live it the way you want! :nod

    BTW, I'm not ATGATT, but I spare the world from having to be blinded by the brightness of my legs! :rofl
    #6
  7. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I have seen some nasty stuff happen to people at 10 mph when the bike slid out on sand. Shorts and flip flops (down the shore).
    If I was you, I would buy a bicycle.

    I used to ride my Triumph to work every day till I got enough tickets and lost my licence, then I rode a bicycle 10 miles one way for 6 months, while working at the factory (actual WORK).
    I was never in better shape.
    #7
  8. Rusty the Scoob

    Rusty the Scoob Commuter

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    Personally I don't see a big difference in the danger level between going 20 mph on a bicycle or 30 mph on a motorcycle. Yet NOTGATT is looked at as no big deal on a pedal bike.

    About the cop who died in a funeral procession - I'm guessing he didn't die of road rash...
    #8
  9. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    Exactly.

    The problem with ATGATT is the time and effort it takes, not to mention the heat (95 here today), to change into long pants, boots, gloves, textile jacket, full face helmet...just to make a 5 mintue (2 mile round trip) ride to the grocery store to pick up an item or 2 when I'm lounging around the house in shorts and flip-flops.

    I'm not ATGATT. I'm a former HD, no helmet, no jacket, no gloves rider, although I am converting and have been wearing a half helmet on the HD for the last 7 years and now a full face helmet with more gear on the Tiger 1050.

    But putting on all the stuff just for a short ride makes me question if I even want to take the bike....it's a lot easier to just hop in the car or ride with no gear.

    I've thought of posting a poll....asking who is really 100% ATGATT with emphasis on ALL the gear and ALL the time.

    I'm guessing very few of us are truly 100% ATGATT and more likely MTGMTT.
    #9
  10. Autocracy

    Autocracy KLR = Trials bike?

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    Every now and then I cheat it on local rides. 2 miles to work? Cheated today for the first time this season. I spent the whole weekend riding in hot weather down to DC and back up with my Aerostich. I needed a bit of a break... gloves, helmet, boots today. Sometimes I'll take a riding jacket with no pants instead of the 'stich. Tomorrow I'll be wearing the 'stich again (I always visualize somebody not paying attention since most of my trip is 4 lane road).

    I'm still ATGATT when I leave town, but sometimes you just don't want to feel like you spend more time suiting up and down than riding. Risk / reward, and I do it. I spent the day feeling guilty about it. Sometime next month, I'll do it again anyway.
    #10
  11. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Buy a bicycle and ride it the two miles. You can't use the usual argument about stinking when you get there because you're about to jump in a fucking pool.
    #11
  12. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    I don't see how it's OK to ride a bicycle to the pool without gear and it's some kind of major violation of safety-nazi mandates to ride your motorcycle the same way...

    [​IMG]

    The motor cop who got killed last week collided with another motor (at speed) and was launched into the hood of an oncoming car.

    Don't tell anybody, but sometimes I like to ride slowly around my neighborhood on my sidecar rig wearing only shorts, tennies, and a t-shirt!

    And just between you and me, I took the tags off my pillow and sometimes eat a little raw hamburger meat! :eek1

    "What is it you're rebelling against Johnny?"
    "Whatta ya got?"
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  13. emt8q5

    emt8q5 Been here awhile

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    So maybe a didn't phase my question correctly. I guess I was really just trying to figure out why shorts/tshirt/sandals/jimmy buffett look is fine on a scooter but a no-no on a motorcycle? Assuming speed is similar am I more at risk dropping a motorcycle (i.e. leg injuries?) than a scooter?
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  14. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I knew exactly what you meant, and I don't have a good answer for you. I've wondered the same thing for years. It's all a stigma thing, best I can figure. Scooters are the "safe" choice and motorcycles are "dangerous." As far as I'm concerned, it's the other way around. I think you're a lot more likely to get creamed on a scooter (much harder to see, tiny wheels, often poor handling and accelerating, etc).

    As for not wearing ATGATT on a bicycle, well, the way I see it is you're not actively participating in traffic (unless you're an idiot) so most likely the crash you might have will not be against a cage. I will not a ride my bicycles without a helmet, full fingered and padded gloves and sturdy shoes. I went down on rough rocky pavement on a bicycle at about 15 MPH once and got bruised up but didn't break anything. My gloves saved my hands since that is what hit first. Gloves got torn up but my hands did not. At the speeds most people bicycle (some exceptions) a fall will not have you sliding far enough to get nearly as rashed as even a scooter crash can. Big difference between 10 and 30 MPH.
    #14
  15. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    The weight is the big difference.
    400 to 500 pounds VS 20 pounds.
    You can hop off and/or stop the bike with your feet, not so a 500 pound motorcycle.



    #15
  16. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

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    I'd say you would be tempting Murphy's Law ... the moment you make an exception is the time some weirdarse thing happens and you will be posting in 'Faceplant'. I've read somewhere that most prangs happen within a couple of miles of home.

    But it's your skin and your decision.

    If you are going to the pool for exercise then a bicycle would be a good idea? It would increase the benefits of the exercise? Think how buff you would get ... and then post the pics :evil

    I think scooter riders see themselves as only marginally more at risk than bicycle riders ... just be thankful they don't ride around in Lycra too :rofl
    #16
  17. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    The only things I ever require is long pants and a helmet.
    Jacket only if its cold out.
    90% of the time I can just hop on the bike.
    When its HOT out, I have to put jeans on instead of shorts, i never ride in shorts.
    On long rides I add sunblock.
    30 years and I have not been down on the street, all that wearing the gear would have got old a long time ago.

    On my last ride, I was enjoying a cold one at Fran's pub when a couple rolled up with 50 pounds of gear on, 90F 90% humidity, I felt sorry for them.

    Guys who push it, new guys, rides on bad roads should all wear the gear I suppose.


    #17
  18. Esker01420

    Esker01420 Ich will einen taco.

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    Is the scooter guy's brain going to get less splashed when he hits the pavement? Just cause cute girls go putt putting around with no gear doesn't mean they don't get seriously hurt on occasion.

    My neighbor had a scooter. He got "hit and run" by an Escalade while wearing a POS open face helmet. He would've done better to wear a batting helmet. He looked like Mr Potato Head while they reconstructed his face for about a year. Lucky he survived. Lucky he can speak sorta clearly or walk or wipe his own ass everyday. Final bill was somewhere in the $450,000 range I think. Glad to help subsidize his bad choice ( not really.)

    Yes, real men I was once a real man too. F' it I was young, dumb and invincible. No helmet laws in Delaware and Maryland at the time. Shorts, flops, lime green muscle tee and a mullet. And it was my choice not to wear gear. Just like it's your choice right now. Some kinda minimum might be smart.

    (Even at a dead stop, standing still, falling from about 5 feet onto your head bone is gonna ruin your whole day.)

    Good luck brother. And it doesn't matter whose fault it is if you're all fucked up for life. Be smart, watch out and ride the wheels off it.
    #18
  19. Nevada

    Nevada Been here awhile

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    Convenience. Scooters are all about convenience, and ATGATT isn't convenient. The lower speed also implies lower risk, because, face it, we're hard wired to equate speed with risk. Lower apparent risk, lower need for ATGATT, both to the rider and to onlookers.

    Not asked, but implied, is why don't bicyclists go ATGATT. Easy.

    If they did, they'd die.

    You'll see motorcyclists out there in 45 degree weather with electrics, passing the bicyclist wearing just shorts, maybe a long sleeve jersey, gloves, helmet and shoes. Maybe it's 25 degrees, and the cyclist has long riding pants and a light jacket, and there's steam coming off their head. Bicyclists generate a great deal of heat.

    Okay, so maybe they wouldn't die, but the fact is ATGATT isn't flexible enough, weighs too much, and doesn't breathe nearly well enough to be practical for cyclists.
    #19
  20. FinlandThumper

    FinlandThumper Has Cake/Eats it Too Super Moderator

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    In the end it is your skin...I don't push the ATGATT agenda on anyone. But before you do it, consider that hitting the pavement at 20mph is going to result in NASTY scrapes...at a minimum. Put it this way: would you want to take your chosen shorts/t-shirt/boat shoes, get up a good hard run, and then dive onto the asphalt? If the answer is no, you should probably pick better clothing.

    I tend to cheat on ATGATT with the short rides, but I never ride in shorts and a t-shirt. I have had too many wipe-outs even at slow speed on gravel to want the kind of road rash that would result...and I already do know the road rash that results, having been there. Picking stones and gravel out of your arm is no fun. So basically, for me, cheating means jeans and lighter boots still covering the ankle, and a decent quality jacket (like a carhartt). Never helmet-less.
    #20