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Groin Injuries
By Design?

By: James R. Davis

You think hitting the ground during an unscheduled dismount is going to be painful? Have you taken a look at what you are sitting behind lately?

Many motorcycles are designed with the rider sitting in a well behind a raised tank. Should you run into something with a bike designed like that you are subject to massive pelvic and groin injuries long before you hit the ground.

Some bikes have a faux tank that you sit behind which are bristling with controls and gauges. Though some, like the GoldWing, are well designed in the sense that the controls are flat allowing you to slide over them on the way to that dismount, some people feel compelled to add 'custom designed' gauges and controls of their own and those are typically dangerous in the extreme. Your pelvis may not sustain the same degree of injury as it would ramming into a raised tank, but a meaningful part of your groin could be left behind on your way over the handlebars when it encounters one of those 'designer' items on the way.

Some people have mounted soft luggage on their tanks. These might actually provide some measure of protection during a dismount. That is, unless that luggage contains sharp objects or breakable glass in them.

I know we don't plan to ever dismount a bike by going over the handlebars, but it amazes me that some people (especially motorcycle designers) are thoughtless as to the potential consequences of their choices.

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(James R. Davis is a recognized expert witness in the fields of Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics.)

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