The Choice Is Yours: Sweat Or Bleed

Gear, HFL -

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The Choice Is Yours: Sweat Or Bleed

It was over 100 degrees out that day, so a friend who’d just started riding decided it would be a good idea to ride to work without his jacket. Long story short, it wasn’t. Especially when he t-boned a car at 35mph. Here’s grizzly proof that getting a little hot in full gear isn’t such a bad idea.

We’d been in the middle of a heat wave here in LA, with the usual 72-and-sunny replaced with humidity and temps in the high 90s and low 100s. In conditions like that, riding around in a leather or textile jacket may seem like an insane thing to do. But to me, it’s the most sane. I’m not here to preach or sound like an elitist to new or inexperienced riders, I only want to share with you the consequences of some of these choices. Maybe they’ll even scare you into making smarter decisions.

During this friend’s short commute to work — the one in which he thought it was smart to leave his newly-purchased Alpinestars jacket at home for — he was caught off guard for whatever reason and missed a woman making a right-hand turn into him. Travelling at about 35mph, he had no time to grab his brakes, T-boning the car and flying right through the woman’s passenger window. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of that story…

The Choice Is Yours: Sweat Or Bleed

Had he been wearing his jacket, he would have just brushed himself off and waited for a friend to give him a ride home. Instead, he got a ride in an ambulance and a whole bunch of stitches.

Now, I know what it’s like to kiss Tarmac. That’s why, even when it’s seriously hot out, you’ll find me in my Dainese G. Speed Naked Pelle jacket, Steel Core Carbon gloves, Axial Pro In Boots and AGV Grid helmet. Yeah, I get the occasional puzzled look and “Aren’t you hot in that?” I’m actually quite cool because I know if anything happens on my ride, I’m well prepared for it.

The Choice Is Yours: Sweat Or Bleed

Luck for me, that jacket is so thin, light and ventilated that I didn’t need to pick up a textile mesh item when summer finally hit us. I can sit at a traffic light and not totally overheat. Unlike my R1…

Dress for the slide (or for flying through a car window), not the ride.

  • Konstantin Chachanidze

    dude, that jacket costs just about as much as my old yamaha virago xv 535!!!! how am I supposed to ride with gear? :D :D :D

    • Trevor Stepan

      Where do you live? There’s a consignment shop in Long Beach called Yellow Devil Gear Exchange. I got an Astars jacket and AGV pants for $200.

      • Konstantin Chachanidze

        thanks, but i´m not a US resident :D :D :D

    • Tuscan Foodie

      You don’t need to spend 1000$ to protect yourself. If you live in warm climates, a good meshed jacket can be found for 100$. It won’t protect you like leather (and it may have not worked in the accident described in this article, as the glass may have cut through the mesh, I don’t know), but it gives you a far greater peace of mind.

    • Ducky

      I assume you’re being sarcastic, but JUST IN CASE: Remember that budgeting 20% of the cost of a new bike towards gear leaves you with something over $1000 to spend. You don’t need the nice stuff the author has, you just need gear… websites like Revzilla and especially motorcyclegear dot com helps.

      • Konstantin Chachanidze

        no, I´m not sarcastic, sarcasm has some connotation of bad or evil in it. all I ment is, If I could afford to buy that beautiful gear, I definitely would… well maybe not, co´s still sounds too expensive :D :D :D with 600$ I would rather buy another bike or spend it for some good cause. thanks for your advices, I will definitely buy gear, when I can afford it and if you know any shops, who sell used gear for less money, I would be mighty grateful

        • roma258

          Motorcyclegear.com usually has some really nice sales. I try to get my gear from Revzilla, since they’re local, but they tend to be a bit pricier. You can usually get a very nice textile jacket for $200. Leather too, though you’d have to wait for a sale. Don’t forget, Dainese is the cream of the crop when it comes to moto gear. Plenty of good brands below their price point: Rev’IT, Alpinestars, even Icon is coming out with some nice stuff.

          • Konstantin Chachanidze

            thanks, will definitely look into it :D

          • Keri Nyx

            I love Revzilla! I get 99% of my gear from them. They have very good customer service and I like the points that can be earned. ^_^

  • edpereira

    Good points, however no amount of gear will save you from an oncoming train while you’re posing on the tracks….

    • Patrick Flynn

      Haha, nice one. Good article too! I choose to sweat every day!!

  • Ducky

    Wearing a t-shirt doesn’t really guarantee a more comfortable ride in extreme heat either. Sure, it feels better for the first while… then you arrive sunburnt and dehydrated. Doesn’t seem worth it to me especially with perforated gear that does a good job cooling you down on those days.

    Also, you’re missing one more piece of gear (admittedly the hardest one to find): pants with hip/knee armor.

    • FiveG

      Actually there’s lots of mesh pants with knee, hip and rump armor. I’ve got a couple of RevIt pairs.

      • Ducky

        Yes… if the author is doing an ATGATT post it would be better if pants were included

        • imprezive

          Agreed, it’s tough to find good looking riding pants but there are plenty of options. I’d appreciate an article comparing riding jeans though. Can be tough to see fit by piecing together random photos from the net. Some companies barely have photos on their site. Try finding some good fit photos of Deth Killer Jeans for example.

    • Mitchel Durnell

      I found in Florida, riding in a T left me much hotter than wearing a well engineered jacket; a good jacket will absorb or reflect much of the sun and not transfer that heat onto you. Believe it or not I found ICON’s mesh to be pretty good at that.

    • Mike Hubbard

      I picked up a pair of BMW City Pants that are very nice and very low key. They have excellent hip and knee protection, you should check them out. Also, they dont scream BMW logos or other brand badging.

  • Sid Widmer

    Sweat please. A month ago I totaled my SuperDuke. I did a stoppie into a car at about 40 mph after the driver signaled right then hooked it left as I went to pass. I smashed in the window/door frame with my shoulder and sliced my leather Fieldsheer jacket to shreds but I didn’t have a scratch or bruise on me save for my knees after ricochetting off the car & hitting the ground knees first in basic jeans. Time to invest in better leg protection. I have enough scars. Any suggestions there? By the way Gutermann leather glue works really well at repairing cuts in leather.

    • Ferret

      I assume you are in USA? I followed this link from an Australian forum. We have 2 suppliers in Oz who have jeans and cargo pants with hip armour and removable knee armour. Resolute Jeans and RHOK (Resurgence cargo’s). I think both supply to USA. Both have good quality stuff.

      • Sid Widmer

        Yes. Thanks of that. I kind of dig those Resolute cargos. I can’t stand baggy flapping jeans when I am riding. Why can’t someone make a slimmer riding jean? Icon?

  • Jeremy Alvarado

    I just ordered a tour master coaster 3 leather jacket. Now only if my dealer could order my bike things would be much better.

  • JP

    “I’m not here to preach or sound like an elitist to new or inexperienced riders, I only want to share with you the consequences of some of these choices. ”

    Next sentence:

    “Maybe they’ll even scare you into making smarter decisions.”

    I also t boned a car that did an illegal u turn in front of me that was parked on the right side of the road. I didn’t feel the need to spread the agatt gospel afterwards. I’m sorry your buddy got hurt but your aren’t trying to tell us what we don’t know. You are trying to convince us to be smarter about what we know. That’s preachy.

    • adeysworld

      You think everyone shares the same riding knowledge/experience you possess? You didn’t care to spread the gospel then…don’t start now.

    • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

      Providing me with a link, story and pictures to show friends or new riders who DON’T know better isn’t preachy. Being able to highlight this happened at relatively low speed speed is actually very valuable.

      • JP

        I was a little harsh and didn’t communicate when I was really thinking very well. My apologies.

        But at the same time, this isn’t really a new rider issue. I think it’s insulting to call out new riders and say, “be smarter”.

        This is a rider who makes bad decisions issue. New riders might make more bad decisions than seasoned riders on average but what about the guys with a lot of saddle time riding around in tank tops and brain buckets?

        Do they know better?

        Yes, but they made their decision, and will have to live with the consequences if they bail. The person who crashed in the article had a jacket, but just decided against wearing it because it was hot outside.

        This isn’t about motorcycles. It’s not like he grabbed a fistful of brake while leaned over because he didn’t give himself enough room to see around the corner.

        That said, articles like this are a really good reminder to everyone about the dangers of riding motorcycles and I’m sorry if I was being a jackass about it.

  • Nick Gnaime

    Shared this on the nosquidding.com facebook page. Thank you for sharing this. This type of message coming from someone like yourself is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be shared around. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either envious of your spotlight or apathetic towards other riders, period.

  • kentaro

    Great article. Wish there was a *graphic* warning in the title though.

    • Dalton Rich

      If this is too graphic for you, then you really don’t even need to be out in the real world.

      • Michael Howard

        Some people might not want to open this page with a child looking over their shoulder.

        • Mitchel Durnell

          Kid knows to wear gear now!

          • imprezive

            Gotta teach ‘me young!

        • Robotribe

          I totally sympathize, but this is exactly the kind of thing I want my 9 y.o. to see. Yeah, maybe I run the risk of not receiving dad-of-the-year award for it, but I’d rather he be informed of the realities of risks rather than pretend he doesn’t need to make good choices about this kind of thing should he decide to ride a motor bike one day.
          That’s my just my choice as a parent; it certainly isn’t everyone’s.

          • Michael Howard

            Which is why I said, “SOME people MIGHT not want…” I completely agree with what you said and personally share your belief that children (and anyone else) should be informed, educated and then allowed to make their own decisions.

  • LarryB

    One way to reduce injury without sweating (much) is to buy an armored mesh jacket. They can be had relatively cheaply and will help with impact injuries, but not so much with road rash. You can’t have everything.

  • Louis Tessier

    What about covering your legs, kevlar jeans or leather 2 piece is smarter than chinos, why do most people forget about they’re legs?

    • adeysworld

      I’ve never had any need for kevlar jeans for city riding. I slide beneath my bike for two car lengths in these japanese denim jeans seen in the pics above. If you’re traveling at city speed limits, the length of your slide should be short and sweet.

      I wore Kevlar jeans once for a MotoUsa 600 Supersport Street Shootout. The company is called “LeanAngle”. I liked the look of the dark denim, and they had stretch to them. Wasn’t a fan of the boot cut. Check’em out…
      I tried to post a pic of them but it didn’t work. Google…

      • perlhaqr

        If you’re traveling at city speed limits, the length of your slide should be short and sweet.

        The speed limit on the two freeways that intersect in Albuquerque (I-40 and I-25) and are the fastest way to get many many places in town is 65 mph. I assure you from personal experience that a slide to a halt from that speed is anything but “short and sweet”.

        • adeysworld

          I said city speed limits, not freeway. You do know the difference between the two. Around the city/town max speed is 35mph. I’ve had more crashes on the street than I can count. And not once have my denim jeans failed me.

          • CruisingTroll

            Around here, the city speed limits are often 45. That’s the speed limit, while actual traffic speeds will be 50, even 55 if the traffic is very light.

    • roma258

      It’s a funny thing, as I’m almost religious about helmet, glove and jacket. But I rarely make a point of wearing riding boots/pants. I guess it’s because it’s been next to impossible to find boots that work in the office and pants that aren’t a pain to discard. Been down a bunch of times on the street and never paid the price for it though. I wonder if the physics of a low speed fall play into it. Mostly just luck probably.

      • CruisingTroll

        Luck. As for “boots that work in the office”, just do what bicycle commuters have done for years. (You think your boots are problematic, just try wearing cleated cycling shoes around the office!). Leave a pair of useable work shoes under your desk at work, change into them when you get there. Easy peasy.

    • Robotribe

      I’ve been riding with these for maybe 5 years now:
      http://www.kushitani.com/kushitani-web/proexjmesh.htm

      They were $140 cheaper back then, but hey, they ventilate great, they’re leather, and I honestly haven’t had a reason to buy or wear anything else over the last 5 years. Under a $100/year for something better than denim isn’t so bad; and that ratio gets more favorable over time.

      Not cheap; not by far; but your legs are worth it.

  • FreeFrog

    I crashed on skateboards and bicycles enough to know what road rash is even going slow (having peeling the skin off both side of my body one or twice), so when I took to motorcycling it didn’t take long for me to realize full gear all the time is really a good mantra. I live in a hot area, but so long as I wear the right “breathable” gear it’s not too hot.

  • Rosenfeld8

    what if it rains? do you usually ride with any rain gear on a daily basis?

    • RT Moto

      Rain in Southern California is predicable and really really rare.

    • Mitchel Durnell

      In Florida where deluges would happen, I found Cortech textile jackets were great in the rain. My jeans, not so much, haha.

    • CruisingTroll

      Depends on how much it rains. Either ride with rain gear (carrying a set of Froggs Toggs is one option), or use “convertible” textile gear. That’s if it’s going to RAIN. If it’s set to sprinkle, so what, I ride in my mesh.

  • socalutilityrider

    I own over $2,000+ worth of gear for different conditions and every situation and just the weather protection alone has been worth every penny, as it has been in my recent offs.

    Some people will say that investing that much in gear is crazy; here’s why I did it:

    -Self employed. My insurance deductible is $4,000. $2K in gear looks cheap next to that.
    -I bought a nice used bike instead of a new one and saved over $5,000 which left $ for gear.
    -I ride everywhere, all the time. You need gear for commuting, dirt, and just showing up and hopping off the bike with minimal changing. I have all three.

  • cedrics

    Ha, I got that question just the other day. Gloves, Nolan, Fox Creek Vented Racer, and it was 96 (Nebraska) on pavement. 3 times on my way home in 6 miles I had people in cars or at crosswalks give me the ‘look’ like I was an alien, or ask me outright why I was wearing ‘all that stuff…..’. Ive been riding for about a year, and im married with 4 kids. I have no delusions about my immortality. Id rather wear it than wear pavement.

  • Keri Nyx

    Only the most foolish of squids hops on a motorcycle thinking no harm will ever come to them… the rest choose to wear no gear because (for reasons I can’t understand) they’re willing to accept that higher amount of risk. I’m personally ATGATT, I have textile and leather for different types of riding/weather… that is my choice but to each their own.

    • CruisingTroll

      No gear is definitely NOT restricted to squids. Heck, around here (a no helmet law state), cruiser riders wear less gear than anybody else.

  • roma258

    I love me a good Georgian red and a khachapuri :) Yeah, I’m guessing Dianese is outside the budget of most people there. Good luck and stay safe!

    • Konstantin Chachanidze

      wooow, coool , someone who´s acquainted with georgian cuisine!!! :D :D :D if you ever come to visit, look me up, we´ll arrange something :D :D :D

      • roma258

        Well, I’m originally from Ukraine, so I’m cheating :) Have actually been to Georgia on family holiday as a kid. Would love to go back.

        • Konstantin Chachanidze

          nice :D :D :D seriously, if you´ll get here someday again, let me know, maybe we could get on a bike trip, hopefully i will manage to get my bike going till then :D :D :D

  • Paul Amodio

    Agreed! I had a 10-15mph wreck coming out of a left turn through a line of cars where the last car I was going behind had a car in the opposite lane trying to flip a quick U turn around that very last car. I laid my Yamaha R6 down and was only wearing Nike Air Maxes, regular jeans, T-shirt and riding gloves (thank goodness for the gloves!). I laid it down rather than the T-Bone effect…and twisted my foot back, with what I believe was a break. But I wouldn’t go to the doctor and now my left foot has a slightly elevated bump vs my right foot! My gloves had a shred mark on the leather (thank God it wasn’t my hands!), and the jeans left me with some nasty little cuts (no stitches) on my legknee. This is in Las Vegas and the weather was around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I always thought, you gotta ride in comfort vs protection in that type of heat…well now you see maybe some sweat is better than blood and broken bones…
    ….I leave you with this, “Every day you ride your motorcycle, a good tip to remember is ride like everyone is out to kill you.” They actually are and don’t even know it…

  • Matthew Welsh

    WOW! I saw this guy at Trader Joes in line on Santa Monica probably the day after as he was wearing that same shirt and let me say it looked BAD up close.

    I recently had someone ask why I would wear my leathers when it is so hot out. My response was simple… I don’t want a skin graph. Here in LA we see people carelessly wearing tanks, flip flops, etc with full face race helmets. Thanks for the post and keep up the great work!

  • Hombre SinNombre

    I cannot agree more!!!! Wear it, or bear it…. those are your options!

    • Hombre SinNombre

      I have a two piece (nylon / leather) setup that I ride when it’s hot. It actually protects me from the heat a little bit. At about 130 mph, I get a little bit of windchill…

  • MotoMike65

    I personally think the stitches make you look cooler for the chicks!

  • Alfred Rodriguez

    Indeed… Full gear or fool’s gear…! Thanks for reiterating that, Adey!

  • sospeedy

    Good post. However quite hypocritical (and i see it all the time) to see someone wearing gear such as you, but then throwing on a pair of denim jeans. Some of the largest arteries are in the legs…

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      All of us are head-to-toe anytime we’re doing anything particularly fast or dangerous. But, around town, there’s simply no item of protective gear that’d allow you to step off the bike and immediately look normal. Not in our worlds at least. We both use bikes as our primary transportation.

      Adey and I rode to a Vivienne Westwood party together a while back, which is a fairly typical social situation for us. We parked the bikes right out front and walked right in wearing our leather jackets. We looked good, even for that environment. The same couldn’t be said if we’d had on some awful Draggin Jeans or similar.

      • Piglet2010

        You could wear motocross armor under regular pants.

        • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

          If one upsized the pants to account for it, sure. Motocross armor is great for impact protection, unsure about abrasion. Still, better than nothing.

      • HoldenL

        Dude! You gotta wear your Roadcrafter to the next fancy party you attend! Tell people you just returned from space. I dare you! Pix or we won’t believe it.

        • Mitchel Durnell

          Roadcrafter – the absolute best way to look like a trash guy on the Enterprise. (Mind you, it’s an excellent product)

          • Piglet2010

            That is one reason why I got a Hi-Viz yellow ‘Stich instead of blue – the blue does make you look like a high-tech garbage collector.

      • Michael Howard

        Riding in traffic is one of the most dangerous things you can do on a bike. Some racers refuse to ride on the streets because of this. If being stylish was more important to me than being protected, I’d leave the bike at home.

      • George Eddie

        solution: get nice kevlar jeans or have some slips on and change there

      • CruisingTroll

        The choice is yours….

        unstylin’ or bleed.

        At least sweat or bleed is about personal comfort, not trying to impress other people with how NOT uncool you are.

        Go ahead, ask your significant other “do these riding pants make me look fat?” Because THAT’S basically your decision point.

    • JP

      I kind of agree, but once you put on the pants, you just look super dorky.

      I think the writer of the article had some heavy Japanese denim which is probably high quality. Not sure if the stitching would hold up but raw denim pants are usually made to last.

      I had some pretty bad road rash on my knees, but my jeans never even ripped. It might have been the initial rubbing or just the road acting through the jeans.

      Maybe some good quality leg armor under the jeans would work.

  • JEOFF

    HOLY MOLY!!!!! IF YOU NEED SOME PROLOTHERAPY HIT UP PROLOTHERAPY INSTITUE .

  • Brains

    The same argument could be made by showing motorcycle injuries while wearing gear and telling people why they should drive cars. I personally wear full leather but I never understood why the vigilante gear police get so self-righteous about this stuff. If you’re more comfortable in a t-shirt and flipflops I’m not going to puff out my chest and call you a squid. Riding a motorcycle in the first place is a result of a risk/reward decision making process…why do people get so high-and-mighty toward those who draw the line in a different place? And if you have an answer, how could that logic not be applied to driving a car instead of riding?

    • Mitchel Durnell

      While a proper answer to this is very philosophical and very, very long, I’ll try a small summation – basically, we’re all in this together and no one is truly an island. The welfare of my fellow citizens affects myself in sometimes subtle, sometimes overt ways, and the healthier and happier I can help others be, the greater potential I have for my own health and happiness (and less time dealing with the opposite.) Every man is a variation of myself and no man apart; if I spread good knowledge around and good things come of that, then all the better.

      • Brains

        That certainly goes against the philosophy of personal choice and freedom (a foundation of cycling). Imagine two things: 1) You are not a motorcyclist. 2) You are in a position of legislative power. I would expect motorcycles be banned because they are far more dangerous than automobiles. And that’s my original point. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, but I have no interest in having others impose their will on me, regardless of their intentions.

        • Shawn

          Agreed. What someone chooses is their business. I don’t care what you do. We are all individuals. If I’m not part of the rider community then that’s fine as that wasn’t my goal nor do I care. I ride because I enjoy my ride. Simple as that.

    • enzomedici

      There is risk and then there is sheer stupidity. Should firemen just rush into a house with their flip flops and a t-shirt? Should soldiers go into battle with no flak jacket, flip flops & a t-shirt? Would you ride a motorcycle with a t-shirt, flip flops, no helmet, on the highway where idiot drivers on cellphones and texting are trying to kill you? We are all free to chose our risk and prepare accordingly. People the don’t wear gear don’t bother me. The more morons we can weed out of the gene pool, the better.

      • Brains

        The exact same argument is made against motorcycles in general. No seatbelt. No airbags. No doors!? Idiot drivers are on cellphones texting and trying to kill you!

        Who are you to determine where we draw the moron line?

        • Bargle

          There are concrete benefits to riding a motorcycle that outweigh the risks involved (at least in the minds of riders) – operating/fuel costs, parking, enjoyment, etc. What are the benefits of not wearing a minimum level of protective gear (gloves, jacket, helmet, pants, real shoes…)?

          • Shawn

            Which is all subjective. It isn’t a benefit to a lot of people hence they don’t ride. Same goes for gear. What is good for you may not be good for me. How about you worry about yourself? People refuse to mind their own business now.

    • karlInSanDiego

      Because if more people stayed out of the emergency rooms and long term recovery wards, and off the nightly news as a death statistic, then car drivers, and insurers, and the general population might stop considering all bikes to be donorcycles. Gear is a straight forward way to reduce the cost of motorcycling on health care. Of course it requires you to trade a small portion of that cost to personal responsibility to minimize your injuries. So I’m ATGATT and anti Big Gulp/junk food. ATGATT and anti smoking. Some people’s bad choices affect all of us.

    • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

      How is this an example of the VGP?

      “so a friend who’d just started riding”

      Looks like it is advice to noobs to me.

  • Piglet2010

    I compromise on textile mesh gear when it is really hot, as overheating affects my concentration, making an accident more likely. Been thinking I should probably upgrade to Motoport for highway riding, and keep my current budget gear (Joe Rocket Phoenix and Alter Ego) for lower speed scooter and dual-sport riding.

    • http://ericrshelton.com/ Eric R. Shelton

      But I bet your textile jacket has CE rated armor in it, doesn’t it? We all have to do what we have to do. I’m wearing a mesh jacket because the speed limits are so low here and traffic lights are dense and poorly timed. There’s a LOT of just sitting in traffic in Fargo. I’ll go back to leather when it’s cooler, but I don’t think of one as being “better” or more “budget”. You deserve a lot more kudos for wearing gear than you do chiding for “not spending enough”. So good on you.

      • Piglet2010

        Not sure how well most textile mesh gear would hold up to falling at freeway speeds, but at least the first impact is usually the worst and the armor would still be in place then.

        But everything is a trade-off, and even the budget gear should protect much better than a “wife-beater” and flip-flops.

  • Piglet2010

    I would also want knee armor – I low-sided in the rain in Turn 4 at Blackhawk Farms and hit my left knee hard enough to take a chunk out of the slider, but felt no pain at all due to the armor. Probably would have broken or displaced my knee cap without it. Around town, I wear a pair of Dainese strap-on knee armor when I am only wearing Kevlar jeans.

    • Mitchel Durnell

      The knee is often overlooked when street riding, and it’s easy to see how messed up it can get if you can actually push the patella around with your fingers. When I get a street bike again, if not full pants I’m at least doing knee armor.

    • George Eddie

      is the integrated knee armour in kevlar jeans not any good? considered getting some over the top stuff a few times.

      • Piglet2010

        A lot of the Kevlar reinforced jeans do not have built in knee armor.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Yeah, I get the occasional puzzled look and “Aren’t you hot in that?” I’m actually quite cool because I know if anything happens on my ride, I’m well prepared for it.

    Bull S**t – its hot and you know it!

  • GarrettK

    Great article Adey, regardless of knowing we all need a reminder from time to time of the dangers we face. I wear the Dainese Racing Pelle which although pricey, has decent venting and a thin mesh liner meant for hot weather riding. Plenty of stuff floating around on local forums used so just spend some time and you can get a great deal on gear.

  • Errol Smith

    I’ve been down a couple of times and just as you said, wearing proper gear meant I just got up and walked away from the crash. The pictures are definitely worth a thousand words here. I think it’s too easy to put the consequences of riding without gear out of our minds. These pictures put those consequences front and center!

  • markbvt

    Good article. I don’t care how hot it is, I won’t even consider riding without sturdy pants, jacket, gloves, boots, full-face helmet. For anything longer than a quick hop through town to grab lunch, I wear armored overpants.

    There’s plenty of good mesh gear to wear on hot days. I’m a big fan of Cortech’s GX Air jacket because it incorporates leather panels over the most impact-prone areas.

    Sure, we all take on risk by riding. But why wouldn’t I try to mitigate that risk instead of increasing it? When I got hit by an SUV two years ago, it broke my femur and slammed my head into the pavement hard enough to cause a brain bleed, but the gear I was wearing saved me from much worse. My ECE-rated helmet certainly saved my life, and my jacket, pants, and boots saved me from serious road rash and probably a partially ground-away ankle/foot. Yes, I still had to recover from the busted femur (which the orthopedic surgeons were able to bolt back together with a rod, thanks to modern techniques — I was never even in a cast), but at least I didn’t have to recover from having large areas of skin and flesh torn away.

  • the antagonist

    You guys are pretty lucky. What you call a “heat wave” is our regular summer temperature here in the South. Then add another 10 degrees or so to the heat index for our ridiculous humidity and even most mesh jackets are miserable. I’ve found two that are bearable and offer decent protection, though:

    Spidi multi-tech (http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/spidi-multitech-armor-jacket) and,

    Vanson Vent-max (http://www.vansonleathers.com/main_page/chapters/mens/Textile.htm).

    The Vanson breaths a little better and feels like it would be more abrasion resistent, but the Spidi has better armor and pockets. It’s also slim enough that I can wear it under my un-armored Vanson leather jacket in winter, giving me the full gamut of CE armor without making me look like a power ranger.

  • Scott Otte

    Glad it wasn’t worse. I just wish that someone would make riding jeans that I could deal with walking around in.

  • orangelion03

    I cringe whenever I see gals riding muffin or on their own bikes, wearing tank-tops. Makes me want to have cards made up with the URL for this young woman…
    http://www.rockthegear.org/index.php?/testimonials/view/brittany_morrow_the_roadrash_queen/

  • Adam

    Heh! Told my first crash story to my shop guys and showed them how remarkably undamaged I was. Then I got the requisite “Yeah man, full leathers for me every time! …Now, anyway”. One date with the cheese grater smartens up the squiddies!

  • grb

    The question is no longer about being comfortable, we already have very competent warm weather gear, and every real rider knows you feel more free and comfortable both physically and mentally when geared up. I think the issue is about looks and fashion, people think you look cool wearing normal(fashion) clothes on a bike, ignoring that on anything you do, purposeful is cool

  • thumpthump

    good points but you’re dressed just fine for the virtually impossible crash that doesn’t involve your lower 1/2. yer kneecaps are about to punch through those “riding pants” for chrissake! wear some real armored pants dammmit, then be as preachy as you want.

  • Rob McGarry

    I would love to see a review of functional everyday motorcycle pants. Especially armored overpants.

    • sdyank

      I second this. Pants have been the hardest thing to shop for gear wise.

      • Christopher Richards

        I’ll have to take a 3rd on this.

  • Shawn

    I would love to see you force them.

  • BattleStarGalactica

    Just saw this link on BuellXB.com
    we dig squids there, they are the best….especially the urban ones!

  • Woolfe

    Came in a bit late but http://www.brosh.com/new/default.asp?L=1 have some good hot weather riding gear.

  • http://www.skiilight.com/ Jonathan

    Has anyone tried uglyBROS? I see them on ebay and it looks like fashionable and safe jeans, although very expensive. Here’s a listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/uglyBROS-2SLUB-K-Motorcycle-Pants-Biker-Premium-Kevlar-Jeans-with-CE-Protector-/190748860579

    I’m not trying to spam, just curious if anyone out there has seen or tried these jeans. Thanks.

  • DrRideOrDie

    Nice article Adey, I like the Dainese Air Flux Textile jacket myself riding every day in Phoenix, I even keep the weather resistant lining in the pocket for the back protector, just in case we get one of our random storms.

  • Thatmanstu

    Evaporative cooling is genuine. Cover yourself and be cooler….no Bedouins running around the desert in tank tops….If you are truly on the road and it is hot,take a long sleeved shirt and give it a good soak and then put it on under your vented jacket(of course, they make purpose built garments these days)….AC comfort till it dries,then do it again….Protected and cool beats unprotected an uncool….