Why Wearing Jeans On A Motorcycle Is A Really Bad Idea



Wes Siler crash photo

That work is so substantial that now, a little over a week later, I write this with two hands, wearing no cast. I’ve been given the go-ahead to start working the left arm out. Thank God for a surgeon that knows what he’s doing.

Wes Siler Crash Photo
Wes Siler Crash Photo

Added bonus: I get to sport these stitches out in the open. In combination with a pretty significant limp, I’ve got a solid Halloween costume ready.

The Aftermath

Wes Siler Crash Photo
Wes Siler Crash Photo

Imagine being greeted by this sight. That’s my butt, incredibly swollen, bruised and raw. The girl that cleaned me up and changed my bandages every day for a week is an angel. I’ll fight anyone that suggests otherwise.

Now, that rash is mostly healed and the hole in my leg is mostly filled in. My ribs are mostly healed (so long as I can keep from coughing) and I’m using my left arm mostly like normal. That’s in 10 days. It pays to be in shape and eat healthy.

That first week was tough though. It hurt to sit, it hurt to lie down, it hurt to stand and it hurt to walk. With the ribs, any movement, and I do mean any, was absolute torture.

The Percocet was making me act like a jerk to the people I love, so I stopped taking it after three days and just dealt with the pain. Painkillers have a way of really destroying your mind, it’s crazy how freely our healthcare system hands them out. I replaced mine with some strong Indica. Same effect, no craziness. Yay, California.

Now, it’s all just a mild ache. I’m trying to get as much easy exercise as I can, am eating super healthy and as much as possible and my body is telling me to sleep about 10-12 hours a day. I probably have about 80 percent movement in my left arm and about 60 percent strength, both of which are getting better every day. This won’t be a long lasting injury and, hopefully, with new, better metal, I’ll actually be stronger when it’s all over.

Jeans and Bikes

I’ll break down how each item of gear performed in separate articles. Aside from those Levis, I was wearing all of it, including a separate, strap-on back protector.

If I’d been wearing proper motorcycle pants or my new Aerostich Roadcrafter, which I should have been, I’d have avoided most of the above. Will I in the future? Well, sometimes.

My safety gear philosophy has always been to wear as much and as best as possible when doing anything fast, dangerous or enthusiastic. That means full motocross gear (including a neck brace) off-road. Race leathers on sportsbikes and stuff like a two-piece or that Roadcrafter while touring. The big exception comes in town, where my admittedly vain self needs to balance style and safety.

Riding in the city involves a huge amount of risk. Drivers are crazy and there’s lots of them. The roads are shredded by high use, earthquakes and weather, but there’s no time and no money to close them for repair. There’s pedestrians, cops, crazy people and tourists. As my crash highlights, there’s debris all over the roads. But, riding in the city also saves you time, money and hassle. A couple weeks in bed every now and then is better than a a couple hours a day spent sitting in traffic. At least I think so.

Will I keep riding in jeans? Sometimes. Though often, they will now be woven with Kevlar. If I’m going to live life on a bike, I’m going to live that life. Will I ride in full gear a more often? Yes.

Photo: Clement Pascal

I am choosing to use bikes as my primary mode of transportation. Am I compromising safety? Absolutely, but I do so aware of the risks, aware of the consequences and am prepared to accept and deal with them. This is just a part of the life I’ve chosen to lead; a life on a bike. I do something that’s risky, but that risk is part of the point. With proper gear, the risks are minimized.

Jeans are a bad idea, hopefully my experience helps you understand and appreciate that. Hopefully it helps you make an informed choice about what you wear. But there is a choice, and I’ll still be choosing jeans some of the time, though now they are often woven with Kevlar.

Update 2013: 10 Things I’ve Learned From 10 Motorcycle Crashes >>

  • dan

    Whoa, heal fast Wes.

  • moshaholic2

    Fuck man. Brutal. Glad you’re semi-ok. I wonder how those Kevlar reinforced jeans fair in these type of “low speed” incidents? Obviously puncture wounds may still happen (along w/ broken bones) But, it may save the skin loss, which is the worst and most painful healing process.

    -I have metal holding my feet bones together… I too swear that shit isn’t as strong as real solid bone. I think screws act as a point for new cracks to form around.

    • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith


      About that good. I didn’t have any road rash at all, but I did have a fractured fibula and the end of my femur got crunched a lil bit. By the time I was off the bike and sliding, I was only going 5-10mph or so though, so this is definitely apples to oranges.

      • Mark D

        I’ve never crashed in my A*s, but they are comfy for walking around, even with armour in the knees. I wouldn’t wear them to a first date, but they’re fine for lunch with a friend.

        • BMW11GS

          Same with the A stars here. Most people don’t notice even if I do.

          • Gregory

            Same as Bohn under-armour. It’s like Spandex underwear, with thick padded foam armour covering the pointy bits. I can wear it out, wear it to school, wear it to the office (with demin).

            Crashing sucks.

            Seoul, KR
            Yamaha YBR 125 Custom

  • Michael

    Holy hell, either you guys have had some bad luck this year or I never really hear about bad crashes on other moto-journo websites. Get well soon Wes, your arm is looking pretty badass. You could tell everyone you fought a shark? Good to hear you made it out with everything attached.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I do all my miles on motorcycles. Everyone crashes, very few people are willing to admit it.

      • NitroPye

        This is an absolute bullshit stance to take.

        One of the paths to making something safer is cultural attitude changes. If the culture accepts that something is dangerous, they accept that X injuries per year is okay, safer changes don’t get made and everything stays status quo.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          When you choose to accept risk into your life, you choose to accept the consequences. I’ve gone 10 years without a single crash and I’ve gone three years with a crash (or two) each one.

          It’s not skill or attention or care, it’s just what happens sometimes.

          • http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305107 stickfigure

            You’d be a lot more convincing if you allowed the helmetless play-pirates to exercise the same sense of self-determination. How would you feel about mandatory riding suit laws?

            That said: Maybe it’s time for a comprehensive review of riding pants that can pass for normal clothes. Doesn’t seem like there’s all that many options.

          • NitroPye

            Not arguing you accept consequences, just arguing that acceptance is not a good attitude to take. “It just happens” is bullshit and every incident should be a learning experience.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

              Oh, clearly we should all learn from our mistakes, but it’s also important to recognize that accidents, injury and even death are something we’ve welcomed into our lives.

              • Mr.Paynter

                I agree with Wes, at the end of the day if you wanted to be THAT safe, you wouldnt even ride motorcycles which is what I am picking up from the article.

                Yes, your experience increases, yes you get safer (I rode around in t-shirts, hoodies at best and shorts for the first 3 or 4 years I owned motorcycles and I still cringe thinking about it now) but shit happens and we are riding freedom machines without crumple-zones so you have to accept that.

                Thems the breaks.

                • Gregory

                  If you wanted to be THAT safe, you’d never drive a car, rarely travel outdoors, marry a virgin, live in Canada, never invest in equity, only buy life insurance or bonds, never visit northern Mexico… and _certainly_ never ride a motorcycle.

                  I would never give up my daily motorcycle ride. It’s the single most fun thing I do… even better than playing music… or chatting with my parents… or sex, perhaps, though that’s debateable… it’s the one thing I look forward to every day.

                  Happiness is: the gear-shift downward, as the bike is leaned over, zapping through a corner, revving it up, accelerating through the leaned-over curve, suspension bumping up and down over the asphalt divots… and I only ride a 125cc these days.

                  My girlfriend allows me two bikes in my stable.

                  Why would you ever travel by four-wheels?

                  Seoul, KR
                  Yamaha YBR 125 Custom

  • Aaron

    Pretty sure Deth killers jeans would have faired a bit better.

    I had a similar crash 2 weeks ago, I was wearing a Alpinestars 360R drystar suit, hardly a mark on it, picked the bike up and rode home.

    • will

      Has anyone crashed in deth killers jeans? I wear mine everyday I go to uni. I am always concerned how good they will be in a crash

      • Mr.Paynter

        If someone had some sort of accident review in them it might help me justify the price (Including exhorbitant shipping to Africa)

  • Austin

    I experienced a near identical amount of damage, broken left arm and road rash rear end, in a 70 mph crash. Wearing full upper gear and… jeans. The road rash was so horribly painful I know how you feel, completely immobilizing, broken arm was nothing in comparison.

    Heal fast Wes and here’s a lifesaver tip that helped me heal way faster and get back to walking, go to your pharmacy and ask for DuoDerm bandages. They are like new skin to cover the road rash, most amazing product I’ve ever come across. Leave them on for a couple days at a time, works almost like magic. No joke.

    • Holden and Annette

      We had never heard of DuoDerm until Annette got road rash in March. An amazing, astonishing, superlative product. The price varied greatly from pharmacy to pharmacy. Even when the pharm overcharges, DuoDerms are worth it.

  • John

    Okay, that is disturbing on many levels.

    But I guess they don’t make Levis as good as they did years ago because I wrecked my VT Ascot hitting a patch of rocks on the road at 70mph and was able to get nothing but a tiny mark. Of course, I put my weight on one side, then flipped halfway through the slide.

    • John

      I forgot hat I actually started sliding on my right side and swapped over to put my weight on the one piece of leather I had on me – my wallet.

  • John

    Also, one of my 10 rules of riding is……..

    Never ride at night.

    • Mr.Paynter

      That’s kinda sad.

      Night is admittedly nerve-wracking at times but it’s a whole new animal and a I find it super peaceful.

      • John

        That’s what I thought, until I hit an object that is laying in the road. It also is the perfect way to get taken out by a deer. Or a rock. Or a branch. Or sand. Or glass. Or………

        Stuff that you don’t even ponder when driving a car.

        • BMW11GS

          I agree, While I like the dazzling light displays and sense of speed moving through the inky darkness with my little head light splashing some light up ahead, it is really disconcerting feeling totally unprepared for stuff in the road and not being seen. I wear lighter colored clothing, yet cars are always moving into my lane. I expect it, but still I could be distracted one night and not get out of the way.

          • http://www.DriveTheWheelsOff.com Drive The Wheels Off

            Agree about the different thrills of night riding. But, I try to avoid it because the % of drunk driving goes up.

            My Field Sheer Kevlar jeans did not tear the Kevlar at a 40-60 mph slide. Minor brush burns on the knee caps due to the friction. Full face helmet saved my nose and chin (maybe my life) since it was a face down slide

            Heal well

  • Scott

    Glad you turned out OK! Gotta ask though, how is the bike?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Better than me, just a little lowside.

  • Steven

    The metal is stronger and stiffer than bone. the bones break at the ends of plates and screws because the metal isn’t flexing at all while the bone is.

    I learned that when they explained to little 14-year-old Steve why they were taking the plates back out after a year-and-a-half.

  • Coreyvwc

    The HFL readers and us Instagramers finally meet up in the middle with the same story haha. I’m Kinda bummed (but not shocked) to hear that the 511′s I wear every day held up so poorly. Perhaps some $200 death killers aren’t such a bad idea after all…

    I totally applaud your statement on accepted risk though. Minimize when possible but always accept and expect, this is the life we live.

  • M

    fuckin’ a, man! sucks. get well soon. i need to invest in some fancy ridin’ pants.

    • http://somethingjustgotreal.com x

      I never understood censoring the “a” part of “fucking a”

      • Scott-jay

        Affirmative is a very long word, Xavier.

  • http://www.diginow.it Electric Cowboy

    I had a similar incident recently where thankfully no bones were broken, but id did have some road rash under my American Eagles which held up nearly perfectly.

    I have since realized that I have a pair of leathers from before I lost a lot of weight which I can fit over my clothes, and may start wearing for my hour long commute through the canyons.

    Get well soon, and don’t be too vain, at least get a reinforced ass section in your jeans.

  • RSassi

    I often wear jeans, but I’m always armored unless I’m doing the very short easy run to the grocery store that is almost entirely below 30mph. Dianese armored shorts over underwear and Dianese lower leg/knee armor, both under jeans or pants and in the fall-early spring over Pearl Izumi and UnderArmor cold weather leggings. These both go on fast and add on average about 1:30, maybe 2:00, to the time it takes me to get dressed. Not a big deal.

    Would these items have helped you out in this low-side? I did the very same thing on sand-on-concrete that was left after a rain storm in Omaha and afterward stood up the bike, dusted it off with a minor adjustment to the front wheel, and walked away with scraped up jeans, boots, and the shoulder of my armored jacket.

    Glad you’re okay!

    (my right forearm is also largely titanium, from the upper tip of my ulna halfway down to my wrist and so I often wonder how my elbow strike has been augmented)

  • http://www.BrewSmith.com.au dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

    Yow. I’ve done that before (in Levis), but with better results.
    I’ve found that even cheap kevlar jeans (with knee pads) make all the difference.

    Heal fast, Wes!

  • Jesse

    Wow! You sure are dense! After all that, you still ride with jeans? Hahahahaha…

    Dammit, dude. Revzilla sells fashionable gear. AEROStich sells nice over-pants. Fer crissakes, get some gear so nobody has to ever pick gravel out of your bloody ass again.

    • Bronson

      +1. I was very surprised to see who wrote this article. At first glance I assumed it was from a squid contributor.

    • cdeforrest

      Seriously, how hard is it to unzip some overpants & stick it in a bag? My Aerostich pants get folded & tossed into a tailbag along with other junk, and we’re done. The jacket & helmet have to go somewhere too, so I don’t understand the explanation that a full suit or pants take up too much space.

      You have, quite literally, become a fashion victim.

      For someone that preaches so much about good gear, this is a perplexing attitude to take & sets a poor example.

      • anony

        Complacency. When you ride every every EVERY single day, especially short distances, the extra weight/bulk/hassle/time-spent-undressing in public just wears on you. Suddenly you are defined not as the guy who rides a bike, but as the guy who spends an inordinate amount of time with the inconveniences of riding a bike. And where do you you keep this clothing on a sportsbike with no saddle bags?

        I work next to a machine shop, everyday I walk through it, rarely do I wear safety glasses. No brainer, not hard, simple to do, but it’s just easier to make the 15 second trip without turning around to grab them. Risk versus reward, the chances of something injuring my eyes is so minimal I just get complacent with it. Thems the breaks.

        • Gene

          What he said, +1000. I’ve been recently not wearing my jacket, and I’m going to stop that now. I’ve never worn overpants because in Florida they’re impossibly hot, and “where do you you keep this clothing on a sportbike with no saddle bags?” It’s rough enough having to drag my helmet & gloves around.

          Plus yeah, “shit does just happen” – I was riding the SV to work one damp morning. I did a 5mph left turn and when I touched the intersection white line, I found myself on my left shoulder. I broke the collarbone and messed the shoulder up pretty badly.

          I hit a left-turning car at 50mph once, and the 5mph crash messed me up worse.

        • Gene

          The other problem is (for me) it’s very hard to find regular jeans that fit, much less riding pants. I was VERY lucky to find Firstgear pants that fit for a couple years before I got even fatter.

          Now NOBODY stocks pants, boots, or even a good selection of gloves, even in a major city like Orlando.

        • Gregory

          When I gear up every day, leaving campus, there are always the same two other dudes getting onto their motorbikes after class.

          I put on my Bohn upper-body armour, under a jacket, yellow-obnoxious reflective vest and a full-face helmet.

          They each, separately, just toss on a half-face helmet.

          I sometimes feel awkward: I’m the gear nerd who takes more time (let’s say, two minutes, as opposed to thirty seconds) to get on his bike.

          But I would never change my attitude toward gear.

          First, it helps my girlfriend and mother sleep better at night, knowing that I usually wear full-gear.

          Second, the rewards are immeasurable.

          Third, the costs (in terms of time and some such) are negligible.

          Therefore, I always wear gear. I might not be as fast gearing up as those half-helmet dudes, but the cost of wearing gear (minimal) heavily outweighs the potential benefits (huge). Hence, ATGATT.

          Seoul, KR
          Yamaha YBR 125 Custom

          • Mr.Paynter

            I couldnt agree more Gregory!
            Also, I really want to see your YBR Custom!

            Never seen anyone here do anything with them!
            A friend of mine is looking for an ultra-cheap commuter and he doesn’t like the look of the YBR as is!
            Could you send me photos?


  • DoctorNine

    Dang, Wes. Your tendency to engage in body mods needs to be indulged a bit less often. Like people have been saying, get some overpants and/or Kevlar. And get well soon.

  • Patrick from Astoria

    Aaaaand off to look for a good two-piece suit in non-ridiculous colors again. Plus setting up a couple trips to the gym to look tolerable in same.

    Get better soon, Wes; I promise not to tell anyone at Jalopnik about this. Or your ass pics. Especially those.

  • Devin Stone

    Ok this does it. Anyone know where I can get a pair of those Kushitani Country Jeans here in LA that HFL profiled a while back?

    • Frosty_spl

      Other Japanese companies make them too, but I doubt you can get them in the states.

      You might ask Kushitani usa if they have any.

    • Pete

      Yeah, at the Kushitani store on PCH. Google is your friend, friend.

      • BMW11GS

        Well Lincoln Blvd.

  • Denzel

    It’s HFL meatwagon around here lately…

    Heal fast..

  • Supermoto Alex

    that’s insane how badly those jeans held up!

    when i went down i gave all my good gear to my passenger (yay me) but was left with an unarmored leather jacket and jeans as my armor. We broadsided a car that turned in front of us at about 60 and my jeans surprisingly held up and i still wear em to this day.

    what im wondering is how the hell mine survived a 60mph slide and yours didnt do half that?

    • http://www.BrewSmith.com.au dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

      Sounds like you didn’t slide on your ass. What kind of jeans, might I ask?

    • Bronson

      It all depends on the material, how you fall on them and what the surface is like you go down on. A few years back before switching to full leathers my buddy and I used to ride in kevlar jeans. We each went down in separate lowsides on two different roads at about the same speeds. My jeans had a small tear in one leg but his were absolutely shredded from top to bottom (neither of us got rash though). The main difference? The road surface he was on was of a much courser aggregate, mine was smoother.

  • http://pinkyracer.com Pinkyracer

    I really wish this had happened in your Deth Killers jeans. The story would be quite different, though we can’t know just how much. I’m dying to get some more appropriate city gear. Even if it means I have to start a goddamn clothing company to do it. At least I actually know what I’m doing. The ass rash is the scariest. I’d never get another date if my ass got ground off.

    • Jon Crowe

      Do it. The goddamn clothing company thing.

    • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

      Perhaps we should talk.

      • fred vg

        Why don’t we ever see any collaborations between specialized motorcycle companies and the people who actually have a sense of fashion? Icon 1000 is a step in the right direction, but still too heavy on the cyberpunk aesthetic for my taste. Vans, Levis, Redwing, and many other hipster brands do collaborations all the time (VansXCarhartt, LevisXFilson, …).

  • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

    Wow. You need to get out of LA. Have you lived anywhere besides LA and NYC? You should move to Minnesota or something. Some place where people show up to restaurants in leather chaps and nobody cares. And they aren’t wearing chaps because it looks cool on their cruiser, but because they’ve been cutting wood all day and are too tired to change. If you really need to look so perfect when you get somewhere, take a taxi.

    • Devin

      LOL. It’s a city boy thing, we’ll never understand. I didn’t even last a whole summer in Toronto.

  • Justin

    122mph (per the timeslip) when I was bracket racing. Quarter sized rash on the knee, quarter sized rash on my elbow from inside the leather jacket. Helmet saved my head, gloves saved my hands, A* boots my lower legs… it did rip my wallet from my jeans, which my opponent handed to me as I walked the other 450ft to my bike.

    I’m shocked that this was a 40mph slide.

  • Charlie

    This is a sobering public service announcement. I live 1/2 mile from my small town and ride without any gear for errands. It’s my favorite diversion, from kick start to burning the gas out of the carbs. Will I continue to do it? Saturday morning and every other weekend it’s not snowing. Heal fast

    • Mr.Paynter

      Living the dreram.

  • http://MotoJeans John in Santa Monica

    I’ve been wearing my 501s more often lately, but that pic of your knee will definitely get me back into the habit of wearing my Hood jeans or Rev’it Gear 2 pants.

    I’m curious to hear how the Vanson held up? Are there any good frontal pics of that jacket that show how it sits at the waist

  • http://Matt vespizzari@hotmail.com

    Man. Owww. Under armor is your friend. If you can stand the feeling that you’re sitting on something odd when you get the bar or whatever, then just get some abrasion resistant undies. Time to go back to only riding with over pants for me.

  • ktmmansam@gmail.com

    Wowee! That’s rough, man. I wear jeans way too much when riding, and this is more evidence reminding me how unsafe they can be. Good choice on the switchover of preferred pain meds! Keep it green! (or purple;))

  • dainese_luv_RR

    There’s always the option of wearing padded under-shorts and some kind of knee/shin guards (ie rs-taichi soft armour or dainese hard armour) underneath jeans and still look casual.

  • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

    I saw the dude from Drayko Jeans get dragged (drug?) across a parking lot behind a bike to show how his jeans held up. Better than your 511′s did, that’s for damn sure.

  • deeds

    you have a really cute butt. just sayin.

    • Kevin

      Note it is swollen.

      When I had my vasectomy, my balls swelled up. It was awesome. I wanted them to stay that way, felt like a boss.

  • Costa Mouzouris

    Holy fuck! Get well Wes. Think of the bright side: the scars this’ll leave should get you laid.

  • Mihovil Anic

    Wow, hope you get better soon. As for the scars they might get handy showing off to girls in bars…;-)
    As many here have suggested, is there a way to get comprehensive test of city riding gear? Particularly pants as this is the area where most just go with the jeans. While no amount of gear can protect you from all situations which can occur while riding a bike it would be good to know which decent looking bike pants (i.e. kevlar reinforced jeans) offer the best abrasion protection from falls like yours.

    • Coreyvwc

      If you’ve got DEEP pockets, it gets no better than this.


      • Mihovil Anic

        All sold out!!! How many of you went and bought a pair of this pants?
        Does any one have experience with Kushitani Edwin Zylon Jeans? They claim Zylon is 7 times stronger than Kevlar.

  • Wolfgang Romero

    Has anybody tried those Maple Motorcycle Jeans??http://www.maplejeans.com

    • Mike

      nope – went with Revzilla Dianese due to shipping cost + front cost.
      Great guy, just limited by economics for North America.

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    The Stich is sooooo easy though. It requires an extra 90 seconds to take off and lock to the bike before walking into the cafe. It really is a wonderful piece of kit.

    Heal up, nice ass.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

      The issue most people face isn’t the convenience – that’s just an excuse – it’s the vanity that Wes called out. Most everyone struggles with that to varying degrees. I wear my Power Shell every time, but there are always moments where I feel self conscious about it.

      Thankfully, I would sooner accept looking a little dorky than having obscene rash. But even that is only because of a one piece suit. When I wore separates, I skipped the overpants for most rides.

      I feel some responsibility, though. If I stick to it, maybe others will join in. If others do, it stops looking so unusual.

      We all have to make our own choices, though, whether it’s a pirate in chaps without a helmet, a power ranger all leathered up, or somewhere in between. My concern is making sure people are aware of the options available.

      Wes, good luck healing. I’m glad you’re mostly alright. For a short while, you have junk in the trunk.

    • http://somethingjustgotreal.com x

      i dont know how excited i would be to chain my aero to my bike outside some restaurant.

      • BMW11GS

        Most people don’t see aeros as having value. Especially the yellow and blue faded one I have ;)

  • Core

    Man… oh man, That knee… *Cringe*

    I’m just going to deal with the heat.. and wear full gear within reason for normal riding. I’d rather deal with that.. than my ass or some other part of my body burning like hell.

    What if it was some freak accident, and you like.. hit something in a weird way and tore your unit off.. *Cringe* ;A; I need to stop thinking now.

    • BMW11GS

      Yeah what if you slid on your front!

  • MV

    Many, many years ago (pre-Cali helmet law days) when I was a young indestructable Marine, I ended up with a large cheese-grated left shin and knee when, like Wes, I low-sided in apex gravel while leaned over going well beyond the posted speed limit. Donned in Levi’s and a non-armored leather bomber jacket –this was the Top Gun era afterall — I was dressed for the Co-ed rendevous I was eagerly riding to, and not the ride itself. After the Matrix-like slo-mo wore off I looked back at the asphalt to discover I had left a 10-15 foot denim streak which then turned flesh colored for another 50 or so feet.

    The post-slide wound clean-up and gravel removal by the 250lb man-hating/Marine-hating/motorcycle-hating Naval Corpsman and her jug of Iodine and hard-plastic scrubber from Hell was literally the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life, followed closely by the daily self-cleanings of the wound for the next couple of weeks.

    I now own and regularly wear three different sets of leather overpants with various levels of armor, including a custom pair from Vanson. I also just orderded and am waiting for a custom Kevlar pant and jacket from Motoport which I’m hoping will pass as street clothes.

    Wear riding gear. Including pants.

    Or don’t.

    But, if WE don’t think of riding pants as more than just an afterthought, we probably shouldn’t expect much in the way of stylish AND protective pants from gear manufacturers anytime soon.

  • Tony Wang

    Heal up soon!
    the only piece of gear that I wear that varies is the pants.. Sometimes I will wear kevlar jeans w/ build in CE klee armor. But if I’m riding long distances on the freeway to work, I’m always in full gear.

  • Little Monster

    I had a similar experience two springs back, but it was a pair of track pants that did me in. That synthetic cloth is very slippery, it seems… One minute I was upright, rolling through an intersection, the next I was on my shoulder, sliding with the bike.

    3rd degree separation of my shoulder, some minor scrapes, and a new ding in my Ducati’s tank.

    I’m glad I had my armored jacket and boots on and, soon after the crash, I added a good pair of Dainese jeans with armored knee inserts to my kit. Hopefully, I won’t have the chance to test them anytime soon.

  • Mike

    I’m pretty sure they make “skinny” Kevlar riding jeans. Kevlar ain’t leather but I have to think the Kevlar reinforcement in the KNEES AND ASS would have helped in this situation.

  • 10/10ths


    Thank you for sharing this.

    This kind of reporting is why I became a subscriber to your site.


    Get well soon, keep the faith, keep being a real motorcyclist.

    I hate to pile on (ALERT: Here comes the piling on) but you own a custom made one-piece Roadcrafter and you don’t wear it for EVERY ride? Come on, Man!!!

    Wes, I am an old, married guy in fly-over country, so I cannot begin to understand the need for a young, single guy, who lives in LA, to impress the ladies and look “cool” so badly, that he sacrifices his health and mobility and possibly life, in the name of fashion.

    Also, the COST of hospital stays, drugs, lost work time, and having to be transported by others because your injuries prevent you from riding, is just too high to pay in the name of looking cool.

    I can understand the poor soul who can’t afford good gear and must ride a bike to keep costs down as they slave away at some minimum wage job in LA while they wait for their big break in Hollywood, but you appear to be an intelligent man with good business acumen. And you OWN a Roadcrafter!

    How do you not wear that Roadcrafter on every single ride? Too much trouble? Come on, Man! You, above most folks, KNOW that you can put that Roadcrafter on and take it off in less than a minute, roll it up, and lock it to your bike with a cable, and saunter in to your club looking cool in your 501s.

    I wear my Roadcrafter or a two-piece Dainese mesh combo, EVERY single ride. I live in Louisiana where it was 90 degrees yesterday with 80% humidity, so the whole “too hot to wear” argument is bunk.

    Additionally, (More piling on) you have written spectacularly great articles on riding gear that is stylish and functional. For you, of all people, to let this happen, is kinda sad to me.

    I wish you a speedy recovery, and seriously, MANY, MANY THANKS for sharing this with the world.

    Wes, these types of injuries get harder and harder as you age. Trust me, twenty years from now, this type of event would take much more out of you. Be grateful you don’t have a 9-5 job that you can’t miss, or a commission sales job that would leave you broke and unable to pay the bills after a month off due to this kind of injury. And this HAS to put a damper on moto fun.

    All the best.

    And suit up, dammit.

  • http://Silas nick.trefor@btinternet.com

    Bummer Wes (literally). Are you still on the AF1 Aprilia forum?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I keep an eye on most forums and talk in them irregularly.

  • aristurtle

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, Wes. Just wear the armored overpants into the restaurant. I do it all the time. They won’t kick you out, I promise. If anyone asks you what’s the deal with the pants, you tell them you ride a motorcycle, and they say “oh, cool!”

  • 10/10ths


    Right on!

  • randry

    Wes, Sorry to hear about your luck. I know you’ll heal up fast and be riding before you should be. Almost seems like a reprinted article.
    Things happen in cycles it seems(pun intended). Hopefully this will bring you back to the ten year no crash cycle.
    Hey let’s all send in our hardware and have Roland Sands build a tribute bike! We could call it the “WFO Reduction”!

  • gsx750f

    “…I laid down on the couch while they fed me shots of vodka.”
    I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea after any incident involving vehicles, but at that point it probably didn’t matter…
    Get well soon!

    • http://MotoJeans John in Santa Monica

      I agree. That seemed like a pretty dumb idea, especially if there was going to be any surgery necessary.

  • http://Insurance jim@mochamail.com

    Tell us about your health insurance, Wes. Surgery, hospital, ER … who is paying for all this, and on a moto-journalist’s salary?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Insurance is.

  • contender

    Cripes. Get better.

    I just got a powershell, but I don’t like wearing it. Putting it on strips almost all the cool out of motorcycling. I’ll rock it commuting and touring more of the time, but for hopping around Denver I will also be in jeans and a jacket.

  • Urban Rider

    If you insist on wearing jeans, then at least wear some Draggin Jeans. They look like regular jeans but have kevlar in them.

  • Holden and Annette

    Yesterday, I felt self-conscious while I donned my Roadcrafter in front of a bunch of twentysomethings sitting on a cafe patio. I mean, I put it on, anyway, but I felt self-conscious.

    Next time I feel that way, I’m gonna visualize Wes’s ass, then I’m gonna visualize his custom Roadcrafter hanging in his closet. And I’m gonna smile and zip down my Roadcrafter.

    Thanks, Wes, for this public service announcement and for being honest with yourself and with us: Sometimes you’ll gear up and sometimes you won’t. When I was your age I woulda done the same thing. (I wasn’t riding then.)

    And heal fast!

  • Silas

    Looks like I’m not the only one who isn’t seeing the titles for the ‘required fields’. Thought both entries were for email and the last one was name?!

  • Silas


  • http://Silas Silas

    Can’t imagine taking a dump is any fun.

  • AHA

    Wes. Your pants (both UK & US meanings) are shredded but your genuine journalist’s credentials are showing through. Courageous piece. Most embarrassing thing I’ve seen online since someone hacked my Amazon Wish List. (That’s when I realised I had to get out more.) Rest up & get well soon. I’ll send you some kevlar underwear for Xmas. (They’re on my Amazon Wish List.)

  • triman023@mac.com

    So I picked up my friend Bill yesterday for a meeting. I wheeled him out from the rehab clinic and helped him into my station wagon, his wheelchair goes in the back. Its been 91 days since he had a head on with and SUV on the way to my house. He was going 40 and the SUV was going 40, so it was like hitting a brick wall at 80. The SUV swerved to make a turn right in front of him, he had no time to react. He broke both arms and legs, pelvis, collarbone,wrist and ankle. In about a week he will be able to put weight on his left leg, this is the leg that had the femur broken in three places. His brain damage has healed to the point where he is himself again, but his mid-term memory is shot.
    He was wearing an open face jet helmet, non-armoured jacket, jeans and sneakers. Both knees were ripped open and his femur was sticking out of his leg.
    I used to think that riding at low speeds in town couldn’t be that bad, now I always wear over pants (olympia for summer, Stitch for winter) armored jacket and everything else.
    This has been a complete life changer for him and his wife. She sat with him 24/7 when he was in a coma for 9 days. They have an uncertain future, he was laid off a week before the accident.
    If anyone wants to give them a donation, his wife set up a web site. friendsofbillwheelock.com
    Sorry if I am breaking the rules here, but he and his wife are good people, and sometimes people really need all the help they can get. Thanks

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    get well soon Wes! Maybe there’ll be an article coming up on proper motorcycle jeans? My Deth Killers are decent, just inflexible due to the skinny jean cut-I like to wear my Icon underarmor which really bulges the midsection of my pants-I don’t need a belt, and it’s impossible to raise a leg to kickstart :(

  • http://cynic13th.livejournal.com/ cynic

    Get well soon!

    We need a stylish Moto Jean Company ASAP!

  • Scblack

    Hope you have a quick recovery man. Btw, does your RSV4 have TC, do you think in a situation like yours a TC would have helped saved the crash?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      TC only works on the rear wheel, it does so by cutting power to control slides, that no worky on the front so it can’t protect against lowsides.

      • Scblack

        Oic, that’s a bummer. Speedy recovery dude and live to ride another day

  • johnzero

    Note to self – order the Darien pants.


  • T Diver

    I own the non-leather Kushitani jeans. They look pretty mellow. (like normal jeans.) They have an insert space for knee guards of your choice although they come with beehive foam ones. You cannot notice the knee pads. They look like normal jeans. I have not taken them for a slide although Mike at Kushatani said he knows someone who did and they held up great. Worth every cent. I had an off many months back in another type and they helped but they were regular denim with kevlar panels inside. They offered no built-in knee protection but they were loose enough to go over full knee guards (separate from the jeans). They got shreaded when I crashed but I got no rash due to the kevlar panels. That was the end of them though. Fashion-wise they were too baggy for my taste, but as I said, they fit over large knee guards and race boots. I ride with all sorts of people. I have never heard anyone comment on someone being overly geared up. Aerostich suits or anything similar. Anyone who rides knows that gear works. People who ride with no gear know the dangers. If they have something dumb to say, they either have not been riding long enough. Or they are in for a painful surprise. My buddy saw a chick completely loose both of here breasts from sliding on her chest in HB. Cheers.

    • BMW11GS

      ^yikes this!

  • http://www.DriveTheWheelsOff.com Drive The Wheels Off

    These look cool, but haven’t seen them in person


    • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

      Leather pants will always be leather pants no matter what they look like.

  • http://wiz netengwiz@yahoo.com

    I have two pairs of kevlar jeans, one is Sartso and the other is Drayko. I always wear them when I ride. Just throwing more options out there. Get well and take care!

    • BMW11GS

      Which do you like better?

  • Tommy

    To those people calling Wes vein or stupid for wearing jeans, get over it. Some of us are young, single dudes living in LA or NYC. We live in cities where you will always immediately be judged by how you look. We also live in cities where everywhere you go, and everyone you meet could be a potential job interview, especially if you do any kind of freelance work. Sometimes full gear just doesnt make sense, and this is the risk we take for living a certain kind of lifestyle. No one is telling you to live the lifestyle, so dont tell Wes what clothes to wear. He’s a big boy capable of making his own decisions and living with the consequences.

    • Tommy

      That said, maybe a pair of stylish deth killers next time. I should probably stop putting off buying a pair myself, and I have basically already decided that this years tax return will go towards a roadcrafter.

    • aristurtle

      I’m a young dude living in the DC area. Your attitude speaks to an enormous lack of self-confidence, and I assure you that the wimmenz find that far more unattractive than a pair of protective pants.

      • Tommy

        First of all, I’m not single. I have a gorgeous gf, and I am personally not that worried about impressing girls, I was more speaking to a business aspect. When you work freelance in LA, and your freelance has a small tie to the fashion industry at times, it does matter. Believe me, I choose safety first the good majority of the time, but sometimes it is important to look the part. Tonight I had to work at a wedding to help a friend out. People in LA pay $100′s of thousands of dollars for weddings. They do not want me showing up in a snow suit. Believe me I found out from experience. Now I show up in a nice leather jacket and some nice jeans and boots. That is just they way it is when you are trying to make a living in a city as judgemental as LA. Lack of self-confidence is not a problem. Possibly losing out on an opportunity because I show up in snow pants is. This is all coming from a dude who is way more ATGATT than all his buddies too.

  • Skank NYCFastest

    Wow, finally got a chance to read this. Dude, I hope youre not in to much pain and feel better real soon. You just reminded me why I wear a 1 piece.

  • MicMacinACT

    Geeze that’s a bad result for a low speed spill!

    Why you would wear normal jeans instead of something like Draggin when riding is beyond me:


    Cheers and heal well.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    Damn Wes, speedy healing!

  • markcrosby62@gmail.com

    That’s the reason we ride bikes. Freedom is fragile and can be taken at anytime. Good to see you up and about, stay upright, ride safe mate.

  • wwalkersd

    Heal fast, Wes!

    • wwalkersd

      …and please don’t post any more pictures of your ass! :)

  • http://YunMing xaznstylex@hotmail.com

    Why don’t you just get a pair of kevlar jeans. I ordered a pair called Rhok Kevlar jeans and they look good as well as offer the protection to the knees and hip.

  • dan

    Expensive but impressive


  • Philip

    Have you seen the motorbike jeans, hardened for bike riding but look like normal daywear, okay not 501s but a compromise…
    Keep safe.

  • Randy

    Years ago Cycle World (I believe) did a drag test of various types of protective clothing material. They attached various materials to the bottom of a weighted board dragged behind a car and saw how far they could drag it before it wore through. At the time, leather easily came out on top.

    Maybe it’s time for someone else, maybe HFL, to do a similar test on various types of jeans. I’d love to know if firehose/logger jeans, or heavy canvas jeans, are particularly protective from road rash, for instance. I’ve even heard that while Kevlar has great tensile strength, that it’s relatively worthless to prevent abrasion injuries.

    Someone needs to do testing to give us real answers.

    • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

      There is an inherent flaw in that type of test. That being that when a person is sliding down the road, they’re not always sliding on a large, flat surface that can evenly distribute their weight…

      A much more realistic test is in addition to the flat board, adding something that resembles a bent knee sliding along the ground on it’s sharpest point. That will really show just how long denim (and leather) lasts in a crash.

      80kg being supported by an area of 1 square meter Vs. 10 square centimeters, big difference.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Damn. That hole in your knee is gnarly…

    Well said about knowing the risks of riding in jeans. Big difference in knowing the risk, and doing it – and doing it all the while being completely oblivious to the risks. Makes me cringe when I see new riders wearing jeans and t-shirt when they have absolutely no idea of the potential damage they can suffer in a crash. But people who have been there before and still choose to ride in minimal safety gear – fair play is all I can say. At least they’re making an informed decision.

    But on the subject of the actual crash, I just have to say… that would have been completely avoidable if you had been paying more attention and riding to the conditions.

    What I mean is, if it was night and you had less visibility, you should have been riding a lot slower to account for that and allow yourself appropriate reaction time to identify and avoid the glass.

    Whether or not anyone wears the ultimate safety gear is almost beside the point when all crashes are avoidable. Better not to crash in the first place. But as the saying goes – plan for the worst, hope for the best…

  • Holden and Annette

    Hey, Wes, I feel so sorry for you and, frankly, I’m feeling judgmental. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that maybe you should get some Kevlar-reinforced jeans like Draggin or Death Killers or Kushitani, or logger pants or pants made from firehose material.

    Seriously, man, you should think about the risks you’re taking that you haven’t thought about, and you should get some Draggins or Death Killers or Kushitanis or logger pants or pants made from firehose material.

    Are you compromising safety? Absolutely. So why didn’t you consider that before you crashed? If you’re not prepared to accept the consequences of your decisions, why are you complaining to us?

    Jeans are a bad idea. Too bad you won’t admit it.

  • David

    The Kushitani Explorer jeans are leather, waterproof, look like denim, comfortable, can hold t-pro armor and hip pads, and are great for getting around town, going out, etc… They are pricy, but still cheaper than an ambulance ride or overnight in a hospital, and most importantly, will hold up in a get-off!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tyler.mcavoy Tyler McAvoy

    No comments yet? Dayum tho man that’s nuts. All that damage at only 35 mph. I might head to revzilla just to pick up a pair of armored motorcycle underleggings to at least prevent my skin from falling off. Still maintain the jeans and jacket look, but at least you don’t have to show up to the hospital all fucked

    • lisa gibson

      dont drop the soap

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Rodriguez/100000456677232 David Rodriguez

    l guess nobody was watching your ass

  • http://www.facebook.com/mlgrannell Matthew Grannell

    Good write-up and glad it wasn’t any worse. I went down at about 45~50mph (not completely sure. It was a 65 zone and I think I slowed down a fair amount before spilling) this spring and fared better than you… although my dress pants didn’t hold up to well. Every accident is different, but the bottom line is that we should ride as safely (in terms of gear) as possible and reasonable. Like you said, I’m not going to show up to a restaurant in full astronaut gear, but I’ll always wear a jacket, helmet, gloves and suitable footwear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greasy.j Joshua Francis DiMale

    I just bought the Spidi snug-knees. it’s a set of zip-on knee armor sleeves. they are very subtle and super convenient. get to the bar/restaurant zip em off. easy. but you have to order them from Italy…

  • http://www.facebook.com/greasy.j Joshua Francis DiMale

    also you can order kevlar from ebay. I added some to my favorite non-motorcycle jeans…

  • Leslie Sofarelli

    had to BLOG your honest article…sourced it back to you…

    advgrrls dot com

  • edvf1000r@aol.com Stewart

    In 24 years of riding, 6 track days and schools and 125,000+ motorcycle miles, every time i’ve dropped the bike or gotten hit has been within 2 miles of home, except for one fairly minor drop in the rain on the other side of the country. You need the most protection the most often when you’re close to home.

    • Chuckl8

      This thing about most accidents happening close to home is a mathematical misconception, being both wrong and right at the same time. Yes, most accidents do happen close to home, for the very simple reason that you spend most of your time near home, coming and going, on ANY trip you take. Simple math. The only variable is that since you’re most comfortable riding where you know the area, you become a bit less observant than you would be in an area new to you, or less travelled. In short, don’t turn off the brain until you turn off the ignition.

      • edvf1000r@aol.com Stewart

        Yeah, it’s obvious that virtually every motorcycle trip starts and ends at home. There’s nothing wrong about that statement… and I can’t speak for everyone but I live in a busy city where you have to be consistently very observant because there’s a lot going on, and multiple hazards every block. As noted by Wes, you can be as observant as possible and still crash on slippery debris you can’t see at night. I’m not sure what that point has to do with this story, which was that it’s worth wearing full protective gear since you can be seriously injured while just casually bopping around your neighborhood on city streets – just the sort of scenario where a lot of riders don’t use full protection because they (mistakenly) think riding around the neighborhood is less risky than taking a road trip on the interstate.

  • Me

    What jacket is that you have in the last pic? and does it have armor?

  • t anderson

    well as bruce springsteen says they are suicide machines. all is well as long as all is well..but when things start to come undone on a bike- it happens real quick- just like sky diving. and the pavement is hard an unforgiving.

    so at least your face was not scrubbed off-I have seen one of those. and thats why I quit riding.

    • edvf1000r@aol.com Stewart

      Springsteen was referring to cars in that song, not motorcycles. Did you quit driving cars too?

  • pete bloggs

    I don’t understand why you didn’t/don’t wear kevlar jeans? I’m the same as you, I don’t like wearing full gear for around town riding but I don’t want my ass red raw either.
    Forcefield under jeans knee guards and draggin jeans would have saved the bottom half of you from this and still look decent enough to walk in somewhere and eat

  • Qamar Amin

    http://www.dragonridr.com plz take a step for rider chose our top quality kevlar jeans pants

  • Bianca Emma Turvey

    I crashed my bike similar to your story on Sunday. Had all my protective gear on minus riding pants. Just had my jeans on. My knees look like your pictures except mine are female. I’m lucky to be alive. Half a meter from being under someone’s car.

    Cute but btw ;-)

  • Ryan Bray

    Going 35-40 MPH through a left turn at an intersection in the city at night isn’t “normal guy-riding-a-bike” stuff to me. Just sayin…

    • Mike Dixon

      I was wondering the same thing.What idiot goes that fast on a turn?

      • Versatile337

        lol, that is normal, you guys just don’t know how to ride. Or maybe you’re not thinking about it, left turn is generally wider than a right, because you know, geometry.

        • Jeff S

          Turning left on a city street at night going 35 to 40 is normal…. You are a serious dumb fuck.

        • kevinanderson62

          I’m going with everyone else here. Let’s be honest. What do you think would be the max speed for a 90 degree corner at that camber on a track?

          I’m willing to bet that it would be a higher, but not significantly higher number. So you’re talking about hitting a corner in a city at a track day speed.

          That’s just stupid.

  • Karen Lawrence

    least you weren’t in shorts and sandals

  • Master

    I am a seasoned rider, and I would never consider riding without the proper gear. Get some and live a better life that you want to live.

  • James Blake

    kevlar jeans, I don’t have any yet, about 100 dollars a pair.

    this is my most recent injury. The inside of my left heal. Thank God I had good boots and all my gear on. I was t-boned at 50mph or so.

    • Versatile337

      may I ask if you remember what actually impacted your heel? Was it a peg from your bike that made the hole or something else? I have Sidi boots which I have seen work wonders in one vehicle accidents but never really seen how effective they may be in a real world traffic accident involving a car.

  • Bobeyo

    Seriously, a decent pair of leather or heavy textile pants is no more uncomfortable than jeans most of the time, and it’s so much more protective. Riding with jeans is just stupid. It doesn’t make you look “good” – just lazy or careless. Leather pants look cooler anyway. The only downside is sweating a little. Would you rather sweat a little while looking better and being more protected, or wear your stupid jeans so you can get another gaping, bloody hole in your leg? Jeez, man…

  • p w

    Seriously, did it ever fucking occur to you the guy is trying to perform a public service by showing how bad those injuries can be? I bought a pair of Sartso’s and Alpinestars knee guards 90 seconds after I saw these photographs. And never, ever forget, ego is the enemy of enlightenment. Clearly, you have a long way to go.

  • Kay Webster

    You might have had a good ortho surgeon but he (or his intern assistant) did a crap job on the stitching. Glad you like scars.

    • Tim Ulmen

      Really? Hmm, last time i checked with a wound that big and bad it was supposed to be stitched loose to promote proper healing and prevent them from getting too tight when the wound swells (either tearing out or holding and killing the tissue because they are too tight and it can’t get blood).

  • Jean Marie Rienzo

    When you have a video of yourself riding a sportsbike,THEN you can talk about manhood. A little bit. As it it you’re modeling in your sunglasses. Yup… not manly.

    • Phoenix Conrad

      Dude… Read that douchebags other posts… All are signs of a slightly, if not, hugely retarded ,adolescent skin flute player. Pathetic indeed.

  • STRfreak

    Great article Wes. We all know it should be ATGATT every time we ride but we don’t always do it, do we.. I’m guilty as well. Sometimes I wanna go for a quick cup of coffee and don’t feel like walking into Coffee Bean in the Alpinestars 1 piece.. So Kevlar jeans and leather jacket it is on those days.. but if i’m hitting up Angeles Crest later than I’ll wear the suit for sure and couldn’t care less what people think.

  • Manish Singh

    be carefull next time while turning

  • Rich Wentz

    I’ve crashed in jeans twice . Both with Levi 501s. I got ripped up pretty good but a lot of the Kevlar lined stuff out there isn’t really better. Jeans will protect to a point but don’t think it would like leather.

  • Tom

    was it just normal jeans or motorbike jeans?

  • racercbx

    Hey, I’m a little late to the party, but just have to chime in. Jeans are better than shorts, but when it comes to road rash, they don’t offer much protection. Sure, maybe on soft clay, sliding in on home plate, but nothing beats proper gear on asphalt.

    I spent several years working in an ambulance, and have treated plenty of crash injuries. Burns and road rash can be among the worst, at least the most painful. As a motorcyclist, I can assure you, the road rash injuries really hit home, as well as fractures.

    I can understand the logic of wearing jeans for the quick run around town, but don’t forget, there’s always a risk. If you can, wear those leathers.


    • vale1005

      Fyi the worst part of road rash is, the changing of the bandages… They stickand they’re changed often, oh and the meds do not help

  • Davidabl2

    Kevlar-backed denim or Cordura seems like a reasonable alternative to leather in terms of protection..and certainly in terms of the “stealth factor” which it seems can be important in the workplace, certain social situations, and last but certainly not least in terms of flying under the” Po-Po” radar. Or so it seems to me. I use Carhartt’s Cortech Kevlar backed canvas pants or Draggin’Jeans for the reasons listed above, Have just sprung for a pair of Draggin’ Jeans Kevlar long Johns to go w/ Carhartt’s, weather permitting. All of the above with MX knee protectors and above the ankle boots no matter how hot the weather gets. MOTGATT i.e.. “most of the gear all the time’ if not ATTGAT

  • Tom G

    Hey, you talk like a man – boy, I mean – with a paper asshole.

  • Keith

    This is my knee after 6 weeks of healing …. preheating ….. right out of walking dead….. i was doing about 40 kmh in Beijing on a Silver Wing 600 Scooter i got pushed by a car into the bike lane fence …i never crashed but …. my knee hit the shredder we call these fences and i lost a huge chunk of skin… 4 weeks in the hospital and 4 surgeries to repair muscle 1 torn ligament and lots of skin damage … i ride two scooters and a GS1200-R in China … i usually wear full gear year round…. this was the one time i decided to not put my Rev It pants on and my knee protectors. I had the Outback Jacket on and Nolan N44 … set up as full face as always … had my gloves on too… it was 23 C …. 5 km from home .. late at night… no cars holiday weekend so no one around. 23 years of riding around Canada, US and South East Asia …. let my guard down once … and ouch… never again … i guys on these little 125 scooters and 250 Suzuki’s racing around China…. i also saw many of them in the hospital in much worse shape then i was after accident. I got lucky and unlucky ….. lucky to not lose my leg …. unlucky to get hurt… very lucky to be reminded to not be lazy… wear my gear. Thanks for sharing. Ride safe everyone … rubber side down.


      Never man, NEVER without GEAR………Even if it’s to just go get a packet of Milk or BREAD…YOU NEVER KNOW………ALWAYS take 5 minutes to wear the entire kit before putting your leg over the motorcycle.
      Better than giving 6-7 months of Healing Time + PhysioTherapy + Strength Building and on top of that the Mental Seed of fear that once comes in never goes away.
      A little bit of time and effort towards NOT PROCRASTINATING goes a loooooooooooong way to keep one safe and without any accidental pain or thought.

      • Keith

        of course … learn the hard way… lucky it was not worse… my own fault .. first time in 24 years or so of riding i had any accident…. always cringe when i see people with out . i bought the Rev It pants big to be able to pop over jeans or pants so as to not procrastinate …… they were under the seat with my knee protection…..

  • Thomas Colton

    I would DAINESE gore tex protective gear can help protect you from abrasions and
    ‘road rash’. And don’t forget about your legs, always wear Dainese P. Talos GORE-TEX,
    preferably leather, with suede inserts on the inside knee, composite protectors on the knees and soft Pro Shape protectors on the sides, as well as reflex inserts, these pants have been designed to be combined with the Talos GORE TEX® jacket.

  • Rex

    Take a look at Resurgence Gear. Kevlar is for impacts. RG developed a new material for abrasion. Some 3-4 times stronger in abrasion than current Kevlar jeans

  • rudedog4

    ATGATT, because I’d rather sweat than bleed.

  • j pth

    @disqus_fP6enYEh2d:disqus maybe you meant “never downshift in a turn…” during the the turn process right? I always release the throttle, give it back a little bit juice while downshift BEFORE the turn so I use the downshift to slow the bike down more than brakes (front/rear very slightly touch if necessary while of course at 10mph or less) and in the turn process I never accelerate and or apply the brake (if I have to, will be very gently on the rear) – overall average speed as I always do in the curve is 10mph or less than that!

    I think downshift is safe but before the turn..not in the turn process/during the turn…downshift is another way to slow down the bike without using much force of brake…
    just my 2cents!

  • ToryII

    Biking has never been ‘completely’ safe. It and cars never will be completely safe. You think golfing is safe ? Only if you can ‘walk’ to the golf course (and thunderstorms are not coming). If you want total safety then stay home (inside your cocoon). Yes, good clothing or apparel can increase your safety. Biking apparel is a compromise or trade-off . To each his own.

  • Jerred Kincaid

    I just downed my bike today wearing jeans and have a similar home above my knee… Did you need skin grafts to heal the hole? There really isn’t anything to stitch shut so I am wondering how they treated it?

  • Branden

    I went down going about 30 in a pair of wrangler cowboy cut jeans and they were barely torn up at all. I can actually still wear them. This article definitely makes me want to rethink wearing jeans though haha

  • nik

    get better soon… thanks to this I am wearing my super heavy canvas pants on my way to work today. Made by TAD, they look pretty good too… they’re not specifically made for motorbikes but that material is so heavy and stiff it almost stands on its own – I think it’ll do really well in a low speed crash.

  • aristurtle

    Wes, you need to do something about the spammers; this is getting ridiculous.

  • filly-fuzz

    Yeah the pay wall really kept shit real