Scooter safety and ATGATT guilt

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

  1. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    That is exactly what I was doing when I got rear ended by a drunk woman. :deal










    Of course I was also wearing jeans and a tee shirt at the time. No fears of road rash from sliding across a Camry hood though. :lol3
    #41
  2. Ultravoyageant

    Ultravoyageant Been here awhile

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    Its just as stupid on a scoot as it is on a motorcycle to ride in flip flops and shorts.

    And it is for quite the same reason many feel safer in their cage than on a plane, although the probability of dying in a car are much greater than on a commercial flight; Because many people are shortsighted, and even more are just plain dumb.

    I hope to pick up a scooter sometime soon. And when I do I'll be wearing no less than I do on my motorcycle.
    #42
  3. Fire44

    Fire44 Old, Slow and Tired

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    We rented two scooter at the beach last year and spent 3 hours riding without any problems. My wife decided that she wanted a scooter to ride at home. I picked up a 50cc two stroke Buddy scooter and brought it home. Went for a short ride and about 1 mile from the house she was making a right turn at about 5 mph. Lost her balance and dropped the scooter on its right side. Dislocated ankle, shattered elbow, and a broken leg. 4 months out of work, 2 of them in a wheelchair. She wanted to go out that day in shorts and no helmet. I forced her to were jeans, a jacket, and the helmet. I don't think that what she was wearing made any large difference in how she was injured, but it didn't hurt.

    I ride just about everyday. Surface streets and highway. The past week we have been in the mid 90's and I have ridden in just boots and helmet.

    We are all adults, I take my chances and will except what happens.

    Now, anyone looking for a 50 cc two stoke scooter with only 40 miles on it????
    #43
  4. gplutt

    gplutt Been here awhile

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    There was an accident across the street from my house about a month ago. I was sitting in my living room (probably surfing advrider....)and I heard a "thump". I looked out the window and saw a bike lying in the road.

    I uttered a couple expletives as I ran out the door (yelling for my girlfriend to call 911).

    A car had done what cars do; left turn across the lane in front of two guys on a bike.

    When I got out there they were both (thank whatever deity you answer too) okay, walking around. I made the rider sit down and relax till the ambulance got there.

    One of them was wearing a full face helmet, no gloves (he forgot to put them on), a pair of thin khaki pants, a windbreaker, and tennis shoes. The other guy was wearing similar gear, except the helmet. He had on a half helmet instead of a full face.

    Ambulance got there checked them out and asked if they wanted a ride to the hospital..they declined.

    One guy had sustained minimal road rash on his knee (we bandaided it), it didn't even wear through the fabric, the other guy was totally fine. You could see where they hit the road on their clothes, otherwise there was basically no damage to them.

    I say they got lucky; I wear all my gear most of the time, and most of it all the time. I don't think it will protect you from everything, or even most things, but its better than nothing and I don't want to depend on luck.
    #44
  5. La Machine

    La Machine 2>4

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    I used to go ATGATT on the Vespa, but in hindsight, for slower local trips it was probably overkill. Flipflops would be just plain dumb, as you still need to hold the scoot up predictably at lights, but sneakers would've done the trick just as well as boots. There's a quantifiable difference between holding up a 450 lb. G650 and a 250 lb. Vespa.

    If I were the original poster, I'd still wear the boots at least, but for local trips, ditch the armored gear. Yeah, road rash will suck if you hit the deck, but it's not the end of the world. And if you do get into a tussle with a car, the injuries you're worried about aren't really preventable by CE armor anyway. As much as I ride ATGATT today, it's because when I ride I'm always hitting 50mph+ for at least some of my route. If ATGATT is taken to it's logical extreme, we should be debating whether walking out of your house w/o armor and a full-face is safe, rather than trying to figure out what makes a scooter different than a motorcycle. Figure out how fast you'll be going, and figure out what your personal line is between ATGATT and ATGSomeofTT.
    #45
  6. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

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    It is also true to say there is no quantifiable difference between the road rash sustained when scraping bare skin along the bitumen at equivalent speeds no matter what you ride.

    The guy I nursed who lost his leg due to a severe infection secondary to roadrash may agree that it wasn't the end of the world ... or maybe he liked his leg? Who knows. But then he just happened to fall off in a spill from a sewerage truck so was probably just unlucky :1drink
    #46
  7. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    How about all the deaths from heat stoke from riding in full gear, loosing the edge, and crashing, or just dieing on the spot?

    Or, the people who think they are protected and take higher risks because they have all the gear on?
    I don't wear gear except a helmet and that makes me very cautious as I do not want to go down. I actually stay on my side of the road, read the road surface, read the signs, don't over ride my sight lines, don't ride some roads in heavy traffic, don't push the edge (much), don't own a big powerful bike.

    Now, if you are doing high risk, gear up to the max, for my riding, I don't.
    #47
  8. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    I don't care what people ride in. But then I also don't agree with any of how you just defined "high risk". My experience says the riding you consider low risk is actually the most likely to bite you on the ass.

    When I was rear ended by a drunk it was riding to the convenience store on a 350. So that was a low speed, local road on a low power bike on my side of the road, etc. Low risk by that definition and I was very nearly killed.

    When I was run over by a pickup truck I was stopped at a gas station. Being stopped in a parking lot getting gas should be about as low risk as it gets. I wasn't even moving but got scraped and bruised up and had my bike trashed.

    My highest speed fall on asphalt was ridng a 200 on a country road with no traffic. Which is probably why I got nailed by wildlife. I hit hard and slid for a long, long time. That one might have killed me without gear.

    Another face plant on asphalt was from a front blowout. Nice country road within sight of my driveway and as usual not a car in sight. That is except the rural transit bus waiting at a stop sign that I ended up sliding underneath.

    Then I also ride on some of the highest speed, most insane, most congested highways in the country here in the DC metro area. And I have never even had a really close call on expressways. None of my crashes were on powerful bikes and they were all on local roads usually close to home.
    #48
  9. sonascope

    sonascope ursine scootician

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    People laugh at me for the amount of gear I wear on my Vespa PX. It's a cute little thing, just a 150cc two-stroke single that weighs about what I weigh, and my gear is a mixed-up collection of what I could afford at any given time, so seeing me in a leather jacket and gloves and boots and all gets a chuckle out of people in cars around me, but I honestly just don't feel comfortable or enjoy riding as much when I wear less than my usual.

    I had my one drop in March of '10, when I was trying to catch a light at a turn. There was gravel residue in the tire dips at the light, I went down in a scootery sort of way (i.e. very fast) from grabbing too much front brake slowing before the turn, and I pretty much ended up under my scooter for a bit of the slide (good, as it turns out, as I did less damage to the scoot). Burned straight through my jeans, but my boots, jacket, and gloves, all did their work. The jacket's an old-school "Brando" type, so there was no armor, which would have helped, and hitting the ground at about thirty is still a hell of a hit.

    Scooters are in a weird middle ground. They were designed to be sort of anti-motorcycles for stylish Italian shoppers, and I love that about them. You don't get grimy, you don't get your balls baked by hot engine, and they're nimble as hell. They're still motorcycles, though, in that they're a flavor of motorcycles, rather than some magical other thing. You hit the ground just as hard lowsiding at thirty on a scoot as you do on a bigger bike, and possibly harder, since you sit higher up. You take the same risks on the road with a scooter, face the same legions of idiot drivers, and have the same issues with weather, deer, gravel, etc.

    I worked an event last month where I rode around Baltimore in a nun's outfit all day. Wore my helmet, boots, and gloves, because those protect the parts that are most easily busted, but otherwise was just a big rangy flappity bat in black, criss-crossing the city streets as an escort to a giant road race of kinetic sculptures (that's me in those pictures). The ventilation was nice, loved the attention, but every turn, every bump, every sort of in-between moment made me think of skidding along the pavement in that get-up, and how it would hurt like hell. I think people love the breezy thing of being on a scoot basically nekkid, and there's a fun in that, but I think it also keeps scooters relegated to the "toy" category, when they're actually more utilitarian than conventional motorcycles.

    Still, my gear is a pain in the ass, and I keep working at coming up with a sort of lighter-duty set (my Vanson mesh jacket with armor doesn't fold or store easily, just sort of turning in a big screen ball that's bigger than my helmet) for basic riding around town, that's tailored to that sort of riding, with my more clunky gear reserved for my 120 mile trips to my cabin in WV.

    There will always be big boots, though. Back in my moped warrior days, twenty years ago, I once skidded into a fenced garden area in a too-quick approach, and I was just wearing canvas Vans. My foot dug into the ground, the shoe ripped open, and huge chunks of wood chip mulch went right under all five toenails on that foot. It was, suffice it to say, an unpleasant sensation.
    #49
  10. Ultravoyageant

    Ultravoyageant Been here awhile

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    Honestly, I find riding in street clothing orders of magnitude hotter and less comfortable in the heat when compared to my warm weather gear and wicking long sleeve baselayers. And at least for me, the lack of armor and abrasion protection takes my head out of the game, which makes me lose my edge, blah blah blah.

    I think it is a misnomer to attach protection so readily to carelessness; Just because my truck has air bags does not mean that I go looking for things to hit. The reading of road surface, thoughtful selection of roads to ride and what line to take while on them, these are traits of a good rider. They do not magically disappear when riding pants and jacket are put on.

    You should know that even if you personally are not "doing high risk" the person who just drifted into your lane or backed out of their driveway without looking is. I would rather be prepared for the bullshit high risk antics of all the fools out here than not.
    #50
  11. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Over 35 years on the street, 9000 mile round the US trips, riding to work, and none of that stuff has happened to me.
    I have not had an issue with a car or truck, although I have had people try to change lanes into me (saw it coming).
    Had a deer get close on the BRP once.

    By high risk I am talking about the road my work is on, 2 lanes each way, 45 mph limit, lots of businesses on both sides, so people making rights and lefts onto and off of the road, and changing lanes to dodge the turners.
    people can bolt out into any lane, right or left, heading each way.
    There is an accident on that road, on average, within 5 miles of work, of 1 every 2 days.
    That is high risk.






    #51
  12. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    It is cooler to ride in proper gear when it is real hot out (95+) than it is to wear a t-shirt or no shirt. :deal
    #52
  13. spibbie

    spibbie sportster barbarian

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    I am going to do an obnoxious , trolling , partial quote, beat down (in favor of attgat)

    If you boil while wearing full (mesh) gear in moving traffic then the temp is 95+ F. In this case you boil or hot air roast with wind chap one or the other, no matter what you are wearing.

    I'll wear the gear just in case I fall on the pavement.

    Avoiding heatstroke means fluid replacement and conditioning. Not skipping protective grear.
    #53
  14. samadams0824

    samadams0824 Been here awhile

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    I was riding down to the video rental place on my 10-speed last summer, and dumped the bike. I have one speed on a bicycle and that's flat out. I was wearing a tank top and jeans, I hit my head and roached my shoulder / forearm / hip / knee pretty badly, I was wearing a helmet (thank god) but my shoulder looked like bacon for a month. I estimate I was doing 20ish km/h.

    The guy that I bought my VFR from crashed his 50cc Vino in a parking lot at less than 30km/h, he caught the front wheel on a tar strip and ended up breaking his shoulder blade (dunno what he was wearing). It healed well but afterwards he found the riding position on the VFR to be prohibitive. -Lucky me.

    Point is: Bad shit can happen at low speeds.

    There is a sliding scale between convenience and risk mitigation.
    I tend to err on the side of caution.

    Does it really take alot of time out of your day to throw some riding jeans and a mesh jacket on over your swim trunks? It's got to be better than the alternative.

    Hope you stay safe, whichever way you decide to ride.

    -Sam
    #54
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I ride both motorcycles and scooters. I'm not an ATGATT guy myself and I don't believe there are too many true ATGATT riders out there. If you are not wearing racing leathers and top of the line boots and gloves, you are compromising protection to some extent. What I wear depends on the ride and the weather. I may ride around the nieghborhood after washing a bike on a hot day in helmet, gloves, shorts and T shirt. Going to the store I'll wear Helmet, jacket gloves and jeans.

    I was at Deals Gap last weekend. Most of the motorcycle riders there were not wearing much protective gear (mostly Harleys & touring bikes) I was riding with my wife on my scooter. We had on more gear than the Majority of the motorcycle riders.

    [​IMG]
    #55
  16. SteelB12

    SteelB12 Long timer

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    To the OP: do you have sufficient medical insurance to cover your hospital visit should you get injured?? IF so, do what the hell you want.



    Does anyone ride a motorcycle wearing just a business suit?? I see scooters here in London with the rider wearing just business attire (and helmet of some sort). To me, that looks more correct than the same attire on a motorcycle.

    Stupid observation, I know. Guess I need to go grab a pint. :1drink
    #56
  17. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    It is cooler to ride IN FULL GEAR!!! (if you know what you are doing)

    http://www.ironbutt.com/ibmagazine/IronButt_1002_62-66_Hot.pdf



    Read and learn young Skywalker. :lol3
    #57
  18. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    You play in traffic, right?

    It's not just your skill (or lack of) that you're gearing up for...
    #58
  19. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    If her head had hit the ground, it could have made quite a lot of difference.

    See Gary Busse for an example. It's possible to whack your head hard enough to cause brain damage just from falling off a chair. Sometimes makes me wonder what the world would be like if nobody had any brain damage, because I suspect almost everyone must have some...

    Myself included. I can think of two or three good thwacks, starting at age 8, that cuould have been hard enough to do some damage.

    I'm also amazed at how many people my age (45) and younger there are that can't seem to walk "normally", without some sort of limp or odd posture. Yikes.

    Things that keep me up at night...

    Anyway, pays yer money, makes your pick, and takes your chances. I like the cranky, walking in a straight line, SOB that I am now, so I'm trying to stay this way...
    #59
  20. La Machine

    La Machine 2>4

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    You're absolutely right, there's risk in pretty much everything. But I'm pretty convinced that the garbage man losing his leg to sepsis falls into the category of "infinitesimally low chance."

    The road rash you get would be the same, be it from a moto, scoot, llama, or slingshot. That's my point: it does suck (I have enough to know) but apart from a week of sticking to the sheets, the long-term effects are pretty minimal. (Ugly, itchy scars: check) Basically, my point is that if the OP is cool with accepting the low, but omnipresent risk of low-grade road rash, then he should lose the heavy gear. If he's trying to make it cradle-to-grave with the baby-soft skin the Lord gave him, by all means suit up.
    #60