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April 2010 Vol 10 - No 3 - Tech Talk: Safety Equipment PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 08 April 2010 21:19
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April 2010 Vol 10 - No 3
Star of the Month: 116 bhp in Purple
Motorcycle Diaries
Tech Talk: Is a bigger engine for you?
Globalizer: When promotion is a good notion
Tech Talk: Safety Equipment
Pic of the Month: World’s liveliest Indian
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Tech Talk: Safety Equipment
Individual Choice or Social Responsibility?

By Ben Harper,
Star Cruiser Co-Editor,
USA

One of the principle concerns for those of us who ride is the increasing dangers imposed by other drivers. Many riders experience dangerous situations in traffic, which often result in accidents. We all need to remain alert, but sometimes collisions and solo accidents are unavoidable.

One of the ways we can protect ourselves is through the use of safety equipment, primarily in the area of protective clothing. Whether you prefer traditional leather or modern synthetic clothing, such clothing will reduce the amount of bodily damage that you experience in an accident.

Leather jackets and leather chaps have been the standard in protective clothing, in America at least, for decades. Leather protects the wearer from most “road rash” in that it takes the majority of the damage from sliding on the pavement, while minimizing the damage to your skin. Leather also fits the “image” that many cruiser riders prefer, reminiscent of the “good ole’ days” in motorcycling history.
 

Modern materials such as Kevlar, Cordura, and others are the current alternative to leather, and have many advantages. Most synthetic riding gear has protective plates to protect elbows, shoulders, hips (in pants), and your spine. Many synthetic materials also are better at absorbing “road rash” than traditional leather garb. If you can live with the lack of the traditional look (and most Americans can’t), then you gain superior protections, adjustable temperature inside the clothing, and less weight than leather.

While most countries and U.S. states require the use of helmets, there are still some places where helmet use is optional. I live in Colorado, where the option still exists. Wearing a helmet in such areas is optional, but highly recommended.

Some advocates swear that helmets save lives; in some cases this is true. Some say that a helmet only makes the difference between an open casket and a closed casket; in many cases these people are also correct. Since in most cases this is a moot point, I address this only to those who live in those areas where helmet use is optional; if you ride, it is strongly recommended that you wear a helmet. Most urban accidents put you at risk of a head injury; striking the curb, hitting the other drivers vehicle with your head, and colliding with your motorcycle as you fall are only a few of the situations where a helmet might save your life.

It also amazes me when I see riders without gloves. Your hands are the most easily injured part of your body. It is instinctive to reach out when you fall, and that obviously means that your hands will be injured in a fall. The use of heavy, protective gloves is almost a no-brainer, in this writer’s opinion.

Most of this is common sense, and it makes sense to point out these facts to your friends and acquaintances as a gesture of concern. You may not change anyone’s habits, but as a friend and ISRA member, it is prudent to show concern for your fellow riders safety.

After all, we all want to get together some other time and ride, so we want to get home safely.



Last Updated on Friday, 09 April 2010 05:27
 
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