Scooter safety and ATGATT guilt

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

  1. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

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    What people tend to ignore is that we don't always ride the same way, and our risk profile changes accordingly.

    For me there are times when ATGATT is the go, mainly when I'm on a racetrack or out pushing through the twisties - a situation where there is much greater likelihood of crashing and losing some skin.

    If it is a short commute, however, and you are only wearing lightweight gear (for instance, on a hot summer evening I am happy to wear shorts, teeshirt, sandals and mandatory helmet (open face)) then you ride to the conditions; i.e. more defensively - you know it's going to hurt more if you come off so you go slower, you don't lane split, you slow more for intersections, watch out even more than usual for vehicles pulling out from driveways or side roads, etc. in order to reduce the chances of coming off.

    Of course, there is always the off chance that no matter what you do some other road user will mess up your day - you can never obviate all risks but there is a hell of a lot you can do to reduce the likelihood of an incident and make sure that on this ride the ATTGATT equipment (that's sitting in your wardrobe instead of on your back) is not required to serve its original purpose.

    Everything we do in life has some risk associated with it - even getting out of bed is never 100% risk free. Forget about what your peers on this site tell you - it's up to you personally to educate yourself in order to decide what risk profile you are prepared to live with in return for the enjoyment you get from being bareback on that particular ride.
    #21
  2. Terrytori

    Terrytori Namaste

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    Life is nothing if not a big Craps table.
    We choose if and when we toss the dice or perhaps
    we elect not to throw them at all.

    It is my opinion that those who never pick up those cubes
    are often, as Henry David Thoreau described, leading lives
    of quiet desperation.

    If you're going to back off the gear by degree, enjoy thoroughly
    the experience of doing so. Be conscious of the joy of feeling
    the warm breezes and the general lightness of being as you move
    from place to place.

    Otherwise... why bother.
    #22
  3. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    I wrecked pretty good on a scooter...

    So I don't care, I wear all of my gear even on a scooter.
    #23
  4. greybeard146

    greybeard146 Been here awhile

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    Good thread...it got me thinking that if I was going to get a scooter--and I have thought about it--would I go through the whole rigamorole of ATGATT or MOTGMOTT?

    I concluded that I would at least wear a decent looking leather jacket with suitable builit-in / removable protection that would work both on/off bike and would definitely not be of the space cadet variety; a good pair of hard-knuckle gloves - but not the gauntlet type; kevlar (Hood) jeans - I have some already and they're great both on and off the bike - especially in the cooler seasons; and a sturdy pair of boots that would easily fit underneath my jeans and not look out of place (Diadora ankle boots); and a buff, of course; and my (Shoei / Arai) lid would be a flip-up variant or a full-face job in silver / white / or other reasonably bright colour; and I would wear a back protector plus arm/elbow/knee protection.

    The thinking behind the a/m is that once on the scooter, I should be well sorted, and once I reach my destination, I can easily remove / divest myself of gear as desired, and stuff it away in the copious compartments of my scooter with large wheels and bags of oomf!

    But, if I was getting on my motorbike, then it would definitely be ATGATT. Period.
    #24
  5. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

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    That's funny!
    F.W.I.W. I've had concussions, a broken toe, and pretty severe road-rash while riding a BMX 24inch Hutch Cruiser as a kid and absolutely NOTHING as severe has ever happend to me on a motorcycle.

    We Humans have this marvelous thing called "Free Will". :freaky
    #25
  6. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    It's perfectly fine and even encouraged for cute girls to ride scooters with no gear. Sundress and sandals, maybe a cute pink 1/2 helmet and goggles.:evil I think we can all agree on that right?

    For the record I left my riding pants at home today, too hot. Rode home from work yesterday with them in my topcase as well. But I always wear my boots, jacket, gloves and helmet. The pants are on 90% of the time and always on out of town trips.

    Attached Files:

    #26
  7. Zachsv

    Zachsv SVhaver

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    Yeah when I come home from the gym I'm your usual squid...work out shorts, sneakers, but almost always my jacket.

    Don't tell anybody, but this weekend I even rode around my friends neighborhood in sandals, t-shirt, and no helmet b/c I was giving my friends wife a first ride so she had the helmet. I know, i know, I'm a bad bad man. haha
    #27
  8. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Paraphrasing parents all over the world- "and if the scooter riders rode off a cliff, would you ride off the cliff, too?"

    The problem is a failure on teh scooter rider's part to recognize the risks they're taking because "it's just a scooter" and "I'm just going a short way". Most collisions are close to home (possibly because most trips are short and stay close to home, but still) and the asphalt isn't any more forgiving on a scooter than it is on your Tiger.

    Given I'm sitting on the sofa barefoot, in cargo shorts and T-shirt, I can get into:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    And one of these on the helmet:

    [​IMG]

    Almost without breaking stride as I push the bike out of the garage.

    :dunno

    Mesh pants not much longer- an Aerostich even faster, though even I admit that's overkill for a ride to the pool.

    Weigh your risks and choose what to protect, or not. I might risk a little road rash on the legs because I sit at a desk all day, but I need my brain and hands functional...
    #28
  9. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    I've been that squid. Rarely enough that I pay a little more attention when I'm doing it. The hazard is when you do it so often it's commonplace and you start relaxing.

    The Utah Motorcycle Safety Program / Utah Highway Patrol had a booth at Miller WSBK last weekend- one of the sign boards said something like "Seatbelts- because you've seen how people drive." The same can be said for a helmet.
    #29
  10. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I have a long list of injuries mostly from dirt bike riding.
    Never had anything serious happen on a bicycle, despite doing a lot of riding on one, although never in the city. Fell plenty off road, never got hurt.

    Been down twice on the street in the rain and drunk, not hurt except a little road rash that did not stop me from working, etc.
    Both times on Triumphs.

    I have never owned gear except a helmet, cold weather garb not included.
    I have been thinking about some sort of light weight jacket, but the stores around me have a limited selection, big heavy stuff with goofy designs on it and so on.
    Maybe not wearing gear makes you cautious.
    I know what is waiting for me if I screw up, so I don't.




    #30
  11. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Clearly, you should stop riding Triumphs.
    #31
  12. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    At least when I am drunk....

    #32
  13. mr7q

    mr7q Stupid and Contagious

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    Took a slide off of a road bike at 30 mph. It was no joke, and ground most of the skin off of my right side and replaced it with asphalt. 20+ mph off of a mountain bike took a 3/8 of an inch of skin and meat out of a silver dollar sized patch of my left forearm. Additionally, the average bicyclist isn't going 30 mph. I'd estimate more like 10-15 mph sustained. 20+ mph only if they're in shape and pushing.

    No real point to this other than to point out that asphalt hurts, no matter the speed, but ultimately, wear what you want. :freaky
    #33
  14. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    its your body and your skin so if you dont gear up and go down and get bad road rash thats life
    #34
  15. greybeard rider

    greybeard rider Adventurer

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    I try and ride with a helmet,gloves and boots.
    looking for a lite weight leather jacket for summer and when I can afford them a pair of dragg'n jeans kevlar reinforced. Lots of my friends recommend full gear all the time ,but these fellas ride alot harder than I ever will.
    #35
  16. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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    My wife rides a scooter, and I am fairly insitent that she is ATGATT. I have been forcing myself to do the same, even when it's hot as Hades.

    She wasn't really convinced of the need until the other day when she stepped on a rock the wrong way and fell while we were walking. Skinned her knee up pretty good, right through the sweats she had on.

    I pointed out to her that she was barely moving compared to what she would be doing on her bike...

    She's not complaining about her gear as much now.
    #36
  17. Josh69

    Josh69 Uhhh

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    I think the risk of road rash in falling off at local street speed is small (see note below). Small enough that it may be acceptable to ride around with minimal gear. The people who get seriously injured at local street speeds have impact injuries or head injuries, not road rash.

    Comparing it to a bicycle though, bicycles may hit 30mph at some point, but they are a lot slower overall. A motorcycle spends all it's time at 30mph on local streets. It is still higher risk than a bicycle.

    (note): I used to live in Vietnam; I've seen plenty of people on scooters in shorts and flip-flops fall off at slow speeds.
    #37
  18. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Flamed out

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    Y'all just made me check to see if I am still carrying around the nasty looking road rash scar on my arm from 1975. Yep, still there. So is the one on my knee. Not so gruesome looking after 35 years, but still there and still ugly enough to remind me how bad it hurt to leave all that skin and meat behind. Losing several toe nails wasn't very pleasant either. But that didn't leave any scars.

    I got them from a 30 mph bicycle crash wearing shorts and a tee shirt. YRMV

    I am nobody's safety Nazi. I could care less what people wear. I'm just sayin' that 30 mph face down on the highway really, really hurt despite the relatively low speed and I have the scars to prove it. Riding a bicycle on the highway still gives me the willies to this day because of that crash. So the whole bicycle analogy thing doesn't work well for me.
    #38
  19. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

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    You wear boots WITHOUT socks? :eek1 :huh
    #39
  20. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Like, d00d. I'm just (hypothetically) goin' to the store for a sixer, right?
    #40