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All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle   
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 Motorcycle Safety
 Why a helmet- or any gear at all?
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Male Advanced Member
506 Posts

Chippewa Falls, WI



Posted - 04/25/2007 :  4:16 PM   DetailDetail                        Like
Poll Question:
WARNING-Lenthy Preamble:- There are undoubtably some people here (even if you are guests and lurkers) who may have started out not being overly concerned with wearing safety gear.

When I was a young man in MA, seatbelt laws went into effect. The debate was similar to the one we see on helmet laws (pro vs con with ancedotal evidence for both). I was against seatbelts myself. While voluntarily taking a car safety class (to lower my insurance premiums) I was introduced to the overwhelming majority of evidence that seatbelts DO save lives, reduce injury and so-on, through a multimedia presentation. That transferred over to helmets when I started riding. This is what made me realize the importance of safety gear- "exposure to the consequence of NOT wearing gear-educational."

My question then is "What is the single most important factor to make you want to wear gear?"

Having had an accident   [14%] 7 votes 
Knowing someone involved in an accident   [4%] 2 votes 
Witnessing an accident   [0%] 0 votes 
Video footage from non-news/non-educational sources (youTube, et.al.)   [2%] 1 votes 
Exposure to the consequence of NOT wearing gear- Educational sources   [10%] 5 votes 
Exposure to the consequence of NOT wearing gear- News/Media sources   [4%] 2 votes 
It just makes sense- safety minded person/personal research   [47%] 23 votes 
Exposure to other safety minded people-peers (like here at this site, fellow riders, ect)   [14%] 7 votes 
Raised/Trained that way- habit   [4%] 2 votes 
I don't wear gear except when forced to (Law, Track Rules, ect)   [0%] 0 votes 
= Guests (12 votes)

Poll Status: Closed  »»   Total Votes: 49 counted  »»   Last Vote: 05/08/2007 2:42 PM 

Advanced Member
6954 Posts

Meridian, ID


XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 04/25/2007 :  6:23 PM
Here is why I now wear leather head to toe, as well as a good helmet. I was wearing these on October 4, 2003 when I was tossed off of my bike into the road at about 60 mph.

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Jerry Godell
Male Senior Member
441 Posts

Kansas City, kansas


FXD SuperGlide

Posted - 04/25/2007 :  6:30 PM
I go way back. Back when race car drivers didn't wear seat belts. The thought was that getting thrown clear was safer. Masten Gregory of Kansas City jumped out of his race car 3 times at over 100 MPH. http://www.mtcabooks.com/movie.html Many racers were trapped in burning vehicles. I was on a local police department and the motorcycle officers didn't wear helmets. Heavy duty boots though. I was one of the few officers that used seat belts. We wore helmets in the police cars in the early seventy's. No seat belts. The firefighters rode the running boards on the fire trucks.
I installed seat belts about 1960. Been on every car since. I guess I have always had a different mind set. Has a seat belt ever saved my life or prevented an injury? NO!
In Kansas 2006 75% of motor vehicle fatalities were not buckled.
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Male Advanced Member
1208 Posts

Toronto, Ontario


2018 Tri-Gliide

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 04/25/2007 :  8:15 PM
One of the MAIN REASONS why I wear full gear is F E A R of pain and disfigurement!

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nomad dan
Advanced Member
1276 Posts

Denver, Colorado


06 Vulcan Nomad 1600

Posted - 04/25/2007 :  9:06 PM
Originally posted by fxstSteve

One of the MAIN REASONS why I wear full gear is F E A R of pain and disfigurement!

And web photos and videos helped graphically cement that in my mind.

I’m not sure why I wear safety gear. Mostly just because it is wise to do so.

Sometimes I don’t and I enjoy it, but if the web photos etc pops into my mind on one of those rides it takes some of the enjoyment out of the ride.

I have no fear of death, but I am very adverse to disfigured and brain damaged.
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Male Advanced Member
755 Posts

Ft. Worth, Texas


03 FXD Super Glide

Posted - 04/25/2007 :  11:03 PM
When I read the Hurt Report and it said that people that wear helmets are under represented in crashes...

And people that had professional training were under-represented in crashes...

And people that were licensed were under-represented in crashes...

I want to be under-represented too.

Does this mean that I won't crash if I do all these things?


But it does mean I'll be statistically less likely to. I like the odds of being un-normal. I also know that I hurt easy and heal hard now that I'm older. I'll wear the gear.
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Male Advanced Member
1796 Posts

Baytown, Texas


'07 V-Star Custom

Posted - 04/26/2007 :  12:05 AM
I cant just pick one

1. The pictures
2. Wrecking and seeing the damage to the helmet 1st hand and no injuries to my face (that would have otherwise been road rashed, busted nose/eye, possible brain trauma, in otherwords alot of unneeded pain that was prevented by my helmet)
3. The statistics I have read both for and against
4. Seeing 1st hand the injuries sustained after someone had a mild wreck not wearing ANY gear
5. I'm alergic to pain, it hurts me...reducing pain is my 1st priority (even though recent events seem to point to the opposite )

Plus it makes sense...you see those racers go skittering across the ground after a wipeout wearing all that gear and they get up and walk away
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Standard Member
100 Posts

Vancouver, BC



Posted - 04/26/2007 :  1:06 AM
I've ridden my bicycle about 50,000 miles in the past 15 years with no protection except gloves and a helmet. A few falls, some road rash, and a stick an inch in my upper thigh is all I've endured. Now on my bike I wear full textile gear, gloves, boots not only for possible protection but to stay warm and dry. Being cold is almost never a problem on a bicycle but can be really hamper your judgement when you are shivering and wet on a motorcycle.
When we were kids (12-14) we used to sneak (break) into the local auto wrecker. I still remember all the cars with shattered windscreens broken by the driver's and passenger's head. Sometimes there was hair still stuck to the window! I think seat belt are great.
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Advanced Member
1077 Posts

Houston, Texas


1997 Virago XV1100

Posted - 04/26/2007 :  8:42 AM
I could only check one choice, but I think that for me I could have selected 3.

I think that my first realization of the importance and benefit of wearing safety gear was from taking the MSF BRC. After taking the class, even though I did learn a lot, it did not really provide what I was looking for. I wanted to know more about how to survive on the streets of Houston. I have been driving these streets in a car for many years and know what the traffic is like, but never on a motorcycle. So, I wanted to know more about street strategies on a motorcycle. So I began to look for more information on the internet. That led me to this site where I found great tips, suggestion of good books and videos and experiences of other riders.

So, I would say for me, it was really the MSF training, exposure to the other safety minded people here on this site and other sources that I have taken advantage of that were suggested by members of this board.

I can control how I ride and how I may prepare for what might happen. But I can’t be sure that I won’t make a mistake and I can’t control what everyone else on the road is going to do. So I try to prepare myself for the possibility that something bad could happen.
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Junior Member
76 Posts

Houston, TX

Moto Guzzi

2007 Norge

Posted - 04/27/2007 :  9:22 PM
After years of roller skating, I call asphalt my "blood brother". We shared blood, yes mine. I know what happens when flesh hits the black top at very low speeds,i.e., compared to bike speeds. Also very familiar with consequences of head impact on an immovable object like a tree. I do not look forward to those experiences again.
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Male Advanced Member
801 Posts

Toronto, Ontario


Marauder vz 805

Posted - 07/06/2007 :  10:20 PM
Back in 1971 I had the pleasure of owning a pristine 1962 Ford Galaxie Sunliner 500 xl Convertible and I installed seatbelts because I instinctively felt that they would be of assist (heaven forbid) in the event of an accident. The idea of being "ejected" was the most fearful of all and personally I carried this into the motorbike world where I somehow knew that personal protection would be a mandatory issue. Back then, helmets and mandatory on lights were a requirement by law (still are here)however I did not know much beyond a leather jacket to supplement the safety gear. In one sense I did recognize that a "low side" imminent collision surely beat a high side. I know from this site and common sense that it is my body and life that I protect when I gear up ATTGATT. In response? my body and life are worth it to utilize every engineered safety device and practice available to minimize personal injury to myself and others
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Male Advanced Member
616 Posts

Castle Rock, CO



Posted - 07/07/2007 :  1:31 AM
Besides the obvious responsibility stuff, yadayada, I wear my gear because I love riding and I don't want one toss on the pavement to end my riding days.

I know that this takes the whole live-free-wind-in-your-hair biker mentality and spins it backwards, but it makes perfect sense to me.
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Male Standard Member
139 Posts

parma, OH


electraglide classic

Posted - 01/01/2008 :  4:47 PM
Helmets and gear are for the riders protection and safety. Have you really paid attention to other drivers terrible habits behind the wheel? They positively frightening at times!
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