Protective Clothing


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Protective Clothing

Postby minimac » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:50 pm



One of my pet peeves is why riders don't wear any protective clothing. I'm talking about tee shirts, shorts, sneakers....and the assumption of risk argument, just doesn't cut it. I'm not talking ATGATT, but at a minimum, kevlar jeans-if not real riding pants, padded shirts, similar to what motocross racers wear, a good over the ankle boot, and good padded reinforced gloves. We make sure all off our lights are working, our tires are pressured up and in good condition, our oil is filled and bikes are maintained- and then wear only the barest minimum required when it comes to the most important part of the riding experience-ourselves. I just don't get it. Decent clothing isn't expensive, but there is a cost. Maybe as part of licensing we should be made to see the results of not wearing any gear gear when something happens. I'm not advocating gear laws- just how about some common sense? Or am way out of line? In my defense, I'm old and cranky and have seen way too many horrible injuries that could have been avoided.



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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby Maz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:23 am

I share your outlook!
As a member of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, here in the UK, I undertake many ride-outs every year, on various bikes. Whichever bike I'm riding, I dress for personal protection. My bare minimum would be Kevlar jeans, short bike boots and summer Goretex jacket with armoured panels and that's in the summer. Yes it can get a bit warm and sticky but nothing like the life-changing discomfort from a few skin grafts or titanium screws required if I should be unlucky enough to have an "off" wearing T shirt and shorts etc.
Most of the (old) lads in the club think the same, but those that don't just can't see the danger. If they want to shout me down, that's fine, but they will have to put up with the 'told you so' smile on my face when they are moaning about ugly scars and painful joints etc!

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby themainviking » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:40 am

I have had accidents, when hit by cars, while wearing all the gear, and I still suffered damages. Tore the gear up pretty good, which saved having a LOT of damages. I agree with your concern, and see it in my increasing insurance rates for the accident benefits portion of the policy. Common Sense just is not common.
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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby Dusty Boots » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:53 pm

If you've ever seen a case of 'road rash', you'll understand. Yes ... it can happen to you!!

Me? .... After surviving a bad wreck at the age of 19 while wearing some protective gear (leather jacket/gloves, boots and helmet) I prefer to ride with protective gear





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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby OldZX11Rider » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:14 pm

I agree with you about riders I've seen wearing nothing more than a t-shirt, shorts and either tennis shoes or flip flops. To me, they're just asking for trouble.
I also can't see going all out ATGATT especially in 100°F weather. I suppose everyone has to find their happy medium.
I recall a couple I saw years ago riding a BMW. It was hot! They were dressed from head to toe in black. Black helmets, black leather jackets, gloves, pants and boots.
I didn't know how they could breathe inside all that. I remember thinking if I was wearing all that, I'd be afraid of passing out riding down the road.
I'll always wear my helmet and I like my leather jacket, until it gets too hot. I wear my leather boots and blue jeans. I don't have any motorcycle specific jeans. And I've got leather gloves, fingerless for summertime. :lol:
I will wear my protective gear but I still want to be comfortable and enjoy the ride. Now that I'm in my 60's I don't "attack" the road like before. Now I just enjoy the ride. :D
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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby made2care » Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:39 am

Freedom of choice is a crucial part of our human nature. One can suggest that this freedom applies to many aspects of our lives and of course, when it comes to this topic, most are not wearing protective gear due to the fact that they have not encountered an accident at any level. Once they do, most would then protect themselves. Its the least we can do, since most cagers believe we are insane to get on a motorcycle, let alone get on one unprotected.
A neighbor down the street saved for years to have his dream Harley custom built. The oil field was doing great and he moved to a ranch, built his dream home and rode his Harley whenever he could. Each night he put time aside for his two kids and wife by telling stories and asking how their day went.
One evening as he returned home from a ride, while turning into his ranch driveway , a truck hit him and killing him instantly.
Whats my point? Basically, there is none or maybe one could argue that everything in life is relative and with that being said, lets all be careful !

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby blackomen » Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:31 pm

I'm not ATGATT but I am actually fairly close. Helmet, always. Jacket, 99% of the time. Boots, always. Gloves, always. Motorcycle pants, 50% of the time. I know I could be in an accident where no amount of gear would help. But the same is true when I'm in a four wheel vehicle. But if for some reason I get put off the bike I would prefer to remain as intact as possible. And I've been so used to wearing my gear that it feels strange to not have it on when I'm on the bike. Except the motorcycle pants… that's more of a cooler weather thing.

I really think rider competecy does come into play to a certain degree. Most of the time I am one with the machine and have a great time. And then some mornings I wake up and just know I shouldn't ride that day. I just have to trust myself. Be safe, but don't stress too much over gear or anything else… enjoy your ride.
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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby hondageorge » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:37 am

Another ATGATT rider. From some other posts who ask how a rider doesn't pass out in hot weather riding in black leathers to competency in your riding skills. Of course your going to sweat to death or pass out in leathers at 100 degrees, anyone would. You got the wrong gear on if that's what your wearing in 100d.F temps! Being competent is always a good thing, but that value is "zero" if a speeding truck rounds the corner at a high rate and is in your lane. You may have a fleeting chance of ditching the bike off the shoulder into whatever is there, maybe.
And if its my only choice, my only saving grace might be my gear I'm wearing. How about the country ride in summer and mama deer and her two yearlings bound across the road in front of you? She causes (slams into you) to lay it down and slide down the road..you got a chance with gear and gloves on. Another poster wrote that many people dismiss protective gear until they were in a motorcycle accident themselves. I totally agree. In my case, On a long isolated forested highway road on late night on the way to another soldiers funeral, I watched the red tail light of my soldier friends bike turn into a shower of sparks ahead as he went down and slid in the darkness. By the time I realized what was happening, I braked while peering left and right for a deer I thought he must have hit. His overturned bike in the road came up so quick, I hit it and also went down. for me, I was slowed substantially when I contacted his overturned bike. He slid over 120 ft. The asphalt road ripped through his summer protective jacket ballistic mesh outer cloth, ground through the CE armor shoulder pad, and ground away half the styrofoam shell under that. It had done its job well.
Next layer was his shoulder skin which remained untouched and protected. The military combat boots he wore scraped the pavement and the eyelets either disintegrated or melted the nylon laces. We both stood up and walked away with out any cuts or broken bones, but sore as hell. All thanks to our full face helmets, our protective gloves & gear and the fact that we were pleasurably riding along that hot summer night within the posted speed limit. We, nor the police who investigated (as the bikes were towed and subsequently considered total wrecks) never did find the suspected armadillo that ran out from the shoulder darkness and caused the upset. Our summer mesh jackets are so light to wear that you could hold them up and see sunlight through them. Yet they are "CE armored" for summer riding and purchased for less then $95 at a national m/c store. We all make personal choices on what our body is worth. It's a motorcycle for Pete's sake! For me, that particular ride reinforced my belief, it's Atgatt for me, no excuses. Besides, at 67, it hurts too much if I fall.
As a side note to the topic, this past summer I rode out west from Georgia. I rode through the Mohave Desert with all my protective mesh gear on, at temps of 112d.F. (yep, even full fingered mesh gloves) Sun or shade, it didn't matter, Gees,was it hot..it's a motorcycle! (they have a 4th of July sidewalk egg cooking contest!!!) But I was NOT wearing leather gear,,,or any BLACK colored gear or BLACK helmet... and I wasn't miserable or about to pass out..And when I'm back home in Hotlanta in summer, and the temps are in the high 90's and the humidity numbers are catching them, I can elect to fight mother nature ( I mean.."ride") another day with my mesh summer gear, or jump in the car with the a/c on full. Winter or Summer, every one has their limits, and that's a good thing.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:02 pm

hondageorge wrote:As a side note to the topic, this past summer I rode out west from Georgia. I rode through the Mohave Desert with all my protective mesh gear on, at temps of 112d.F. (yep, even full fingered mesh gloves) Sun or shade, it didn't matter, Gees,was it hot..it's a motorcycle! (they have a 4th of July sidewalk egg cooking contest!!!) But I was NOT wearing leather gear,,,or any BLACK colored gear or BLACK helmet... and I wasn't miserable or about to pass out..And when I'm back home in Hotlanta in summer, and the temps are in the high 90's and the humidity numbers are catching them, I can elect to fight mother nature ( I mean.."ride") another day with my mesh summer gear, or jump in the car with the a/c on full. Winter or Summer, every one has their limits, and that's a good thing.


Another quick note about hot-weather gear: If the ambient temperature is higher than your body temperature (i.e. > 98.6 F), you can get heatstroke from the wind. The wind on your bike is fast/strong enough to evaporate your perspiration without it giving you any cooling benefit. The wind, being higher than your body temperature, will actually make you hotter, rather than cooler. With your body's main cooling mechanism (perspiration) non-functionaly, you can quickly get heatstroke. The higher the temperature, the faster it happens.

In these situations, it's critical to wear gear - the gear keeps the wind from stripping away your perspiration, and allows it to evaporate slowly, cooling your body.

I'm also a big fan of phase-change cooling vests. They turn a nasty, uncomfortably hot ride into a pleasant one.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby hondageorge » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:12 pm

Just read your excellent review on phase change vests. I think you convinced me to bite the price bullet and try one out (Phase Change vest) for my next South West desert adventure. An informative forum review on cooling gear with lots of others inputting ideas and suggestions.
I did wear a "Bilt" brand water saturation vest which worked real well under my protective gear to slow the evaporation process...to my surprise. Mojave desert humidity was about 13%. They just didn't stay wet long..about 40 minutes (or less) while at speed. Those type cooling vests work somewhat less efficient back home in Atlanta in high humid summer conditions. Your spot-on about wind literally sucking the moisture out of you unless you wear riding gear in high summer heat. Protective gear, it's just not for crashes anymore!

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby Subhunter76 » Fri May 20, 2016 8:28 am

I had a accident back in 06 ,some dope t-boned me in a parking lot before I could get off the bike. Broke both bones in my leg. Didn't know it till I tried to walk and confront him. Foot went one way leg the other. So needless to say I wear head to toe 98% of the time. I was riding at a rally in PA it was 109 out. I have since found a remarkable cooling best that works well with my mesh gear. You put one bottle of water in and slosh it around, it helps keep me relatively cool for hours in 80+ as long as your moving. That being said I don't generally ride unless at a rally if it's over 85.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby hondageorge » Fri May 20, 2016 10:51 am

Need to share who makes it and where it's available to purchase. Can't see the brand on the vest too well.
Looks like a great option to explore.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby hondageorge » Fri May 20, 2016 11:32 am

I could zoom the picture....it's a MACNA cooling vest. I started looking at reviews in places like Adventure Rider to see what some other long distance riders thought. Seemed to me, overall, most complaints was the entry price, not the fact that it works or not. I consider it high dollar at $195 from Twisted Throttle. Some liked the Rev-it cooling vest. "Ergodyne chill-its" #6685 also makes a similar one for $135 on Amazon. For economy pricing, Bilt makes one that performed very well.and much longer in the desert heat then another brand we used. (Tag with brand is gone for that one..darn) Seems like the high priced ones incorperate a "weeping" material so evap cooling is controlled better...you gotta pay more for that technology..
Everyone just needs to consider that reviews from the Northeast or Southeastern states are not going to be as favorable as the vests will be much LESS effective because of the humidity. HUMIDITY HOLDS HEAT. plain & simple.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby Subhunter76 » Fri May 20, 2016 12:15 pm

I got mine some time ago from twisted throttle when they first came out and they were under $100. $89 if memory serves.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby FM-USA » Fri May 20, 2016 2:27 pm

Until there's a protective suit that isn't dangerously cumbersome and/or too hot to wear, we will wear what is appropriate for OUR ride. No one needs to be telling us ATGATT, otherwise you're opening the door for probable double rebuttal.

. . . . JUST SAY'n.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby flogger » Sun May 22, 2016 2:37 pm

blackomen wrote:I'm not ATGATT but I am actually fairly close. Helmet, always. Jacket, 99% of the time. Boots, always. Gloves, always. Motorcycle pants, 50% of the time.


Ditto for me: Helmet always, boots always, riding pants (long, jeans, something else layered) always, gloves always, jacket varies with temperature and I occasionally will wear a short sleeve shirt... My main concern is the brain bucket, never leave home without it... The other items are protectants, the brain bucket is a life savor...
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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby OldZX11Rider » Mon May 23, 2016 8:39 am

Does where you live and where you ride have an impact on what you decide to wear on your ride?
Would you wear the same gear if you lived in, say Deerfield, Kansas that you would wear in St.Louis, Missouri?
You would still be riding a motorcycle. Both places have traffic. You are still the same person.
I think if I lived in St.Louis I'd be ATGATT and also wear a bullet proof vest. Not so much though in rural Kansas. :D
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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby flogger » Mon May 23, 2016 9:24 am

Was military... now retired. Wore same in Texas, California, South Carolina, Georgia, DC, and Indiana... in rural and large metropolitan areas... north and south... that's probably why I am not worried about a coat... but as I said before, a helmet is a life saving item... the rest are just protecting, injury minimizing items...
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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby OldZX11Rider » Mon May 23, 2016 12:41 pm

Can't, and wouldn't, argue with that. :D

There's all different kinds of people in the world. Someone said they just can't understand why anyone, that rides a motorcycle, doesn't wear all the protective gear they can, (or something like that.) ;)
Well, some people look at trees, others look at the forest, and still others can't see the forest because of all the darn trees in the way! :lol:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby Harp » Mon May 23, 2016 4:43 pm

After many years working the ICU and caring for some of the survivors, I lean more towards the ATGATT philosophy. When I see a guy riding in shorts, a beater and flip flops without a helmet, I tend to think of it as natural selection.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby flogger » Mon May 23, 2016 6:10 pm

Harp wrote:After many years working the ICU and caring for some of the survivors, I lean more towards the ATGATT philosophy. When I see a guy riding in shorts, a beater and flip flops without a helmet, I tend to think of it as natural selection.

Flip flops are a whole "nuther" lesson on stupidity. They are flexible, bending and catching the ground and drawing your feet INTO injuries that are nasty and serious without even having an accident... Flip flops and sandals, yes Darwinism... ATGATT gear does not CAUSE injuries or accidents...
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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby robb » Mon May 23, 2016 9:05 pm

Harp wrote:After many years working the ICU and caring for some of the survivors, I lean more towards the ATGATT philosophy. When I see a guy riding in shorts, a beater and flip flops without a helmet, I tend to think of it as natural selection.


I'm probably one of your natural selection. Not from lack of education, Mechanical, Electrical and Nuclear Engineering, but from being in an accident. Wearing all the armor gear, boots, pants, coat, gloves while taking out 150' of barbed wire fence at 60 mph. Took rescue squad over an hour to cut my armor away before moving me to ambulance. Nearly bleed to death, 601 stitches and 28 broke bones. After that I don't race anymore and for 40 years it's been tennis shoes, shorts and t-shirt. Helmet is not worn when permitted but I do wear glasses. I use a great deal of awareness when riding and will never go back to heavy clothing. My Goldwing does not need to make it's presence known and I have nothing to prove to others, least of all riding gear that encourages me to push the limits without fear of disabling injury. Before mounting up I'm prayed up and looking at life head on, no worry or regrets, assuming responsibility for my actions.

If it feels good do it. Put a coat on me and I can't move freely enough to ride. Thought I bought the safest ride so the rest was not needed.

In 2014 my van was t-boned by a 4 wheel drive truck, 5 seconds later front of van hit a brick wall setting off the air bag. Bag hurt more than initial impact and broke 6 ribs, the sternum, right shoulder and pushed a rib through my heart. For that reason the airbag in my Honda Del Sol was disabled. Yeah I could get hurt tomorrow but I'm remembering the pain of yesterday.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby FM-USA » Mon May 23, 2016 9:43 pm

No amount of protection will save you when it's your time, for you have no say so.
When its my time, my eyes will be open and I will have internal peace.
Those who know me knows I went doing something I loved.
All we can do is wish it to be quick and painless.
Cats seem to have 9 lives, we but one.
Get out there and LIVE IT.

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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue May 24, 2016 5:22 pm

I went back and read the original posters original post. :D. He wasn't advocating ATGATT, just reasonable protection when riding. Then he listed what is "reasonable" to him.
T-shirts, shorts and tennys or flip flops were not reasonable to him and I agree with him to a point. The exception being I always have a T-shirt on.
Depending on weather, my T-shirt may be buried under layers of other clothing or maybe not. :roll:
But the word "reasonable" is different to different people. So wearing or not wearing protective gear must be, in each individuals mind, "reasonable". :lol:
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Re: Protective Clothing

Postby flogger » Tue May 24, 2016 5:46 pm

FM-USA wrote:OH SO MANY TIMES does a thread make left turns one has to go back to the beginning of the thread to get back on track.

The thread is titled "Protective Clothing" and it looks like folks are discussing this- pro's, con's, views, related stories, what it means to them... answering questions about it... I don't see or have issues with where this is... While some topics are technical, exact or scientific, i.e. fix this with steps 1,2,3... others like this are opinions and pick up a flow...

FM-USA wrote:No amount of protection will save you when it's your time

I disagree with that too and I believe that is not very responsible. That is the old argument as to why NOT to wear a helmet, or why NOT to wear a seat belt, etc, etc, etc when it comes to protective gear or laws. Yes if you run a cycle into a brick wall at 100 MPH perpendicular and on purpose- you probably are not going to make it... but helmets and other protective gear have saved countless lives over the years. I am a retired fighter pilot... The gear I wore, the education and training I got- all of it factors into saving your life. "No amount of protection will save you?" To continue with my experiences in my career, what about ejection seats? Parachutes? A pilot's fire resistant flightsuit was to buy you time... and time was the difference between life and death in many situations. I am happily retired today due to the protective gear/clothing I wore instead of being buried many, many years ago... What about a police officer wearing or not wearing a bullet proof vest? I was an instructor in my career and teaching that 'no amount of protection' would save you was a contradiction to everything you were as a pilot. I know safety. I was a Safety Department head. I was a trained aircraft accident investigator. AND I HAVE lost friends and relatives in motorcycle and aircraft accidents. I know, the old answer will be, "well, it just wasn't your time." Furthermore, this IS all about protective clothing... Clothing and gear cross many lines... and I am not telling anyone what they have to wear or choose...


Last edited by flogger on Tue May 24, 2016 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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