Ducati Diavel Motorcycles Forum banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Aspiring to grace and serenity
Joined
·
6,726 Posts
It both irritates and saddens me when I come across a motorcycle crash scene and can instantly see that it was a minor accident turned tragic by the utterly stupid clothing choices of the participants.

Such was the case yesterday on a ride of my usual rural roads. The accident participants and their wives/girlfriends were all wearing jeans, tank tops, bandanas, and jewelry.

I knew there was a wreck ahead when the sheriff and state patrol cars started passing me with their lights and sirens on. The sheriff wasn't driving very fast at all, and I figured that was because he really didn't relish ariving too far in advance of the ambulance. Screaming people can be off-putting when there are no professionals to attend to them. Unconsciouls or dead people are less trouble, though their uninjured friends can be a bother.

Anyway, the crash occurred on a straight section of road, exactly in front "Rust N Peace" of where I took this photo a couple months ago:

The road surface offers excellent traction and also can do a fine job of wearing out diavel tires or removing skin and facial features. This is very obvious to anyone who takes more than 1.5 seconds to think about it. This photo highlights the road surface.

The accident report hasn't been published yet (the nearest newspaper is a weekly), but I could tell instantly from the evidence the basics of what had happened: 4 or 5 Harleys were cruising in their usual leisurely manner, several MPH below the speed limit. Enjoying the scenery, the warm weather, and the start of a massive rally weekend called Thunder in the Texas Hill Country. They were cruising in formation. Someone spotted the Rust N Peace display. They all looked at it as they rolled by. One of the lead bikes slowed. The pilot of one of the following bikes was also gawking at the display and did not slow in unison. When he saw he was closing fast on the lead bike, he did what so many riders do in a panic: He locked the rear brake. Then his bike got sideways. So he released the rear brake. That choice predictably resulted in a high-side crash, wherein he and his lady companion were flung abruptly off the bike, through the air, and onto the pavement.

If they'd been wearing proper gear, they would be nursing bruises. She would be simmering mad about his inattentive driving. He would be thinking about the cost of repairs to his fuel tank and his chrome, and that broken billet Screamin Eagle brake lever.

Instead, they are at least critically injured. One or both may be dead. I don't know. I couldn't get close enough to assess the injuries. Because the cops closed the road. They only do that for the most serious situations, because the detour is more than 90 miles. So I figure one or both of them died. At least one was still alive when I got there because several medics were clustered closely next to one of the participants.

It was just too flipping senseless. The crash, though completely avoidable, is understandable. People make mistakes. The total lack of preparedness is what is so infuriating. This damned cruiser "lifestyle" should be called a deathstyle. There is no good reason to ride without at least basic gear. Their fashion rules say they should wear heavy boots (the ladies who aren't piloting usually are excepted). Great! At least they won't be crippled when they drop their 800-poound beast on their ankle. But then their stupid rules say to wear a do-rag instead of a helmet, and a muscle shirt or spaghetti-stap top instead of a jacket. I saw a LOT of chicks with seriously sunburned shoulders and backs yesterday as I patiently awaited my opportunity to pass their slow pirate parades.

OK, this has been a long rant. I've surely offended some of you. Sorry. Not really. Maybe after you're finished being righteously outraged at my judgementalism you'll allocate a quarter of your bling budget to some functional riding gear... and then actually wear it.

Your loved ones (and maybe even you) will appreciate it some day when you are all upset about your wrecked bike, but you're upset at home and not in hospital or the morgue.

I've no doubt that the participants in yesterday's crash in the beautiful, wildflower-infused Texas Hill Country would give anything for a helmet, gloves, and jacket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Great post. So true.

Are you on ADV rider? You seem to echo a lot of the pirate culture, lack of gear sentiment on there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,389 Posts
Reid,
A few moments ago I was on a local forum where a member posted a link to motorcycle safety and deaths. I was going to create a new post about this topic but I think it will fit in with your post. It was truly a sobering look at motorcycle deaths in the US. I hope you don't mind me including it with your post.
http://www.iihs.org/research/fatality.aspx?topicName=Motorcycles
 

·
Aspiring to grace and serenity
Joined
·
6,726 Posts
Do you really think its a fashion statement??
Yes. And an expression of "freedom" to choose not to wear a helmet, since "the man" wants you to wear one.

I am every bit as free as they are, and I choose to wear gear that will (and has) save me in many moderate crash scenarios.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Very sad in deed. I heard this saying and live by it; "Dress for the Ride". I don't care if its 100 degrees out in the middle of summer, I'm wearing protective gear.
 

·
Aspiring to grace and serenity
Joined
·
6,726 Posts
It's always good to read through the actual stats, so thanks for posting them, ODG. Even just reading the one-liners that precede each table can yield memorable insights.

One thing that the analysis drives home to me is that helmets are not magical. Smashing into somthing at a very high speed will kill you, no matter what you're wearing. That's shown in the figure for helmet use by sport-touring versus cruiser fatalities. Sport-touring riders have higher helmet usage, but the helmets don't always save them.

I hear (and read) riders say, "When your number's up, it's up." That fatalistic view is ridiculous, I think, as evidenced by the many fatal crashes that were fatal only because of the stupid choice of gear. Otherwise the riders would have walked away.

Thanks again, ODG, for totally relevant content.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
Hmm, more deaths with helmets... Now I'm not going to say you shouldn't wear gear, but I'm also not going to say you should. Just like seat belts, if you are an adult it should be your choice. I have plenty of miles without a helmet, even more without a jacket, and even some in shorts. Typically I'm in a jacket, jeans, riding boots, gloves, and a helmet. But there are rare times, in certain situations, that I don't wear them. Laughlin River Run, going down the strip at a walking pace, I'm not going to be in leathers or a full faced helmet. The ride over there at about 45 mph from Bull Head City, I won't even have my skid lid on. I don't believe this is a fashion statement; in fact I think having all matching gear in the colors of your bike is more of one; and yes, it is a more protective fashion statement, but still one none the less. Ride the way you are comfortable and don't worry about everyone else!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
Interesting topic Reid!
I did a post on another forum (more a census really),
Called;
Armour or no?..which I believe would be called ;
"Armor or no" in American English.

If the weather is such that you could fry an egg on the pavement - you will still find me armoured to the hilt....with thick layers of high abrasion clothing - my gloves are a mix of Kangaroo, Sting ray, cow hide and Kevlar.
I dont Skimp when it comes to bike gear - boots cost me £300 and my gloves cost almost £200..

How could I drive my AUDI with no fingers!!! (lol)

The main "offenders" over here (UK) tend to be the "Biker - Bikers"...read as Harley riders, patched or informally patched - colours, whatever.
And although it is not mandatory to wear leathers/armour etc.. if you went past a Police biker in shorts and little else, or even jeans, vest, gloves & full face - they would most definitely pull you to inform you of the errors of your ways..
Personally if I see a big Burly "Biker" coming towards me hanging off some apes, with a vest and liitle else I can't help but think;
"*&^%^&* IDIOT!
You might look "Hard", but you wont look so hard if the road skins you like a Rabbit!

May be judgemental of me, but I've known enough who've come a cropper to know that I will never ride without - taking the possibilities of an accident & the effect of extreme friction on the body into account AT ALL TIMES....

As for the pics of that road surface - going head to head against that, in shorts and a vest, would be like doing the Tango with a rather large and ferocious Angle grinder.

Doesn't bear thinking about.

Let's hope the outcome wasn't as fatal as it looked to you.
And as a sideline, when I did my advanced rider you were actually awarded a Gold/Silver/Bronze for the attire you turned up in....needless to say I was awarded a Gold.

But as RichardC says - sometimes even the best gear in the world wont save you - human body is incredibly fragile, especially when going up against the laws of Physics.

Ride safe Y'all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
I love freedom as much as the next guy but it Florida we have no helmet law and because of the heat I see shorts and flip flops all the time. I don't see it as freedom to choose when it affects me. When you go into the Hospital in critical condition because you look cool without a helmet and a tank top, it is I who has to pick up the tab for your freedom. Because there is a good chance Mr. badass has no health insurance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
ATGATT - All the gear, all the time.

Frankly, I'm more blunt about it. This is called Natural Selection.

If you're going to be reckless enough to not wear gear, then you better damn sure have super good reflexes, be paying constant attention and have a lot of riding skill. It's also an example of why tight pack riding is risky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,648 Posts
Reid,
A few moments ago I was on a local forum where a member posted a link to motorcycle safety and deaths. I was going to create a new post about this topic but I think it will fit in with your post. It was truly a sobering look at motorcycle deaths in the US. I hope you don't mind me including it with your post.
http://www.iihs.org/...ame=Motorcycles
Yes ODG, Lies, Dam Lies and Statistics.
Great thread Reid, it's a sobbering moment coming across such incidents.
The thing is, 99.9% of the time it will be ok.
but when that idiot thing happens you will be glad you have some protective gear on.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
i recently had to take my test in the in the states and i turned up to the test centre all armored up with Jacket/boot's trousers/ gloves etc it was a great day outside and i was ridiculously hot from having to wait some time for the instructor and then just having to go very slowly on the bike.

there was a group of about 10 of us and i was the only person wearing such apparel which i found amazing especially when they were taking the p***s telling me how ridicules i looked (which i agreed with giving the circumstances) but my point was if you crash at 30mph in a t-shirt you are pretty f***ked if you crash faster then that and the bike is sliding on your ankle well that bone won't grow back.

A lot of the people that day were brand new to biking and i thought it was a shame that the test centre did not take 30 mins out to go over some stats of what happens when you ride without good protective clothing and have an off, as i believe a little bit of education on these matters saves lives.

Anyway safe riding
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,389 Posts
I rode up to renew my license plates and that day they were doing the testing for motorcycles. The State Trooper who happened to be there stopped me and pointed out to the class that he wished more bikers would ride with appropriate gear. After seeing what a low speed (20mph) crash did to my brother years ago I wouldn't ride without gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Lumping boots/gloves/jackets (and the whole "attire"/"Dying for Fashion" rant) in with helmets isn't really fair; unlike helmets, those things are rarely the factor that made the difference between life and death.

Don't get me wrong - I don't ride without proper gear. People who choose not to wear helmets, unless they've just been dropped here from another planet, know that there's a greater risk in not wearing one. Whether or not you and I think that's a foolish decision, it's theirs to make. Just like people who smoke, people who eat crappy food all the time, and - for that matter - people who ride motorcycles even *with* the right gear. Worry about yourself and people close to you. Your lecturing tone could just as easily and logically be used against you, and everyone here.
 

·
Aspiring to grace and serenity
Joined
·
6,726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Lumping boots/gloves/jackets (and the whole "attire"/"Dying for Fashion" rant) in with helmets isn't really fair; unlike helmets, those things are rarely the factor that made the difference between life and death.
I disagree. For sure, a shredded face or crushed ankle alone are unlikely to kill you. But multiple injuries very often do make the difference. Here's a snippet on multiple trauma. This is why all the gear can make a big difference, especially in low-speed crashes. I'll also say that I think merely not dying is a poor aspiration. It's also desirable to avoid brain damage, disfigurement, and disability.

Multiple traumas may cause a potentially life-threatening systemic response that is much more than the addition of the systems injured. This systemic response begins with fluid shifts and hypovolemia, which potentially has cascading, effects on all body systems: cardiocirculatory, immunologic, respiratory, metabolic and renal.

Individuals who have sustained multiple traumas are at high risk for complications including sepsis, adult respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary embolus and multiple organ failure. Therefore, management of multiple traumas requires coordinated medical, surgical, nursing and rehabilitation management that addresses physiologic stability, treatment of infection, nutrition and comfort management in addition to appropriate treatment of specific injuries.
Diagnosis

Multiple trauma is defined as concurrent serious injuries to more than one body part or systems, including:
  • Head
  • Face
  • Spine
  • Extremities
  • Chest
  • Abdomen
  • Pelvis
  • Skin
    • Burns
    • Avulsions
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Head and face, and maybe part of the neck, are the helmet's job. None of those other areas - except for skin - would be much more protected by leather or other proper gear. The armor/padding definitely protects against the obvious - abrasion - and possibly broken bones.

If you can envision a typical crash scenario where a leather jacket instead of a tank top would prevent sepsis, embolism, or anything else you can cut-and-paste, by all means please do.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top