I look at all the times I'd gotten away with stoopid high-speed shit on my sportbike in my teens/early 20's in the '80's and shudder to think at all the bad things that COULD have happened. I lost skin on occasion, but managed to get lucky with nothing serious. I ALWAYS wore a helmet, and gloves, and sometimes leather boots (with no armor), but back then, there really wasn't any good, readily available riding gear. Especially some that was affordable. We were too busy buying weed, beer, coke, and spending our money chasing pussy. All they had was basically racing leathers, and none of us could afford those, or the occasional leather jacket without any armor. Today, there's TONS of great riding gear with CE armor and everything at reasonable prices. In today's world, it doesn't make sense to not have at least the basics.