There Are a Few Little Known Facts, Myths, and Misconceptions About Motorcycle Riding. AMERiders wants to give you the heads up on them and Why They Matter. Motorcycling by its very nature is a dangerous pastime; sadly, the danger is caused mainly by motorists not being observant rather than rider faults. From the safety of four wheels, it’s often easy to see motorcyclists as speed-crazed rule breakers, however, that is not always the case.
For non-riders, motorcyclists and motorcycle riding are two things that tend to be very misunderstood, and there are plenty of misconceptions swirling around about them. However, the biggest misconceptions and myths about riding come from riders themselves! When science meets urban legend and imperfect logic, some “facts” motorcyclists think they “know” about motorcycle safety, crashes, and riding turn out to be dangerous myths and misconceptions. Check out the some of the dumbest myths some riders perpetuate and get learn why they are just.
1) Wearing gear is pointless because riding is so dangerous, you’re gonna die if you crash anyway, so you may as well be comfortable while you’re riding.
Among a lot of the non-riding public, motorcycles have a reputation for being some kind of lethal two-wheeled time bombs just waiting to blast the riders into the afterlife. Most of us riders know that’s a bit far-fetched, but that’s the perception a lot of people have of motorcycles – and that fear keeps them far away from them as a result.
But there are some people who believe that motorcycles really are that dangerous and still ride them anyway. They boast about how dangerous it is and the fact that they still ride because of it. This plays up how “badass” and fearless they think they are. Often riding in t-shirts and shorts because “if they go down, they’re dead anyway.” A comment that makes some of us serious riders want to slap ’em in the back of the head and tell them how stupid they are but you will hear it quite a bit.
Statistics show that riders are actually more unlikely to die in a motorcycle accident; NHTSA statistics show that even unhelmeted riders only have a 39% chance of dying in a motorcycle accident, meaning there’s a 61% chance they’ll live through the ordeal, suffering from road rash, broken bones, reconstructive surgery, and if they’re really lucky, permanent brain damage. I guess if riding without gear isn’t “comfortable” enough for them, maybe 45 days in a hospital bed on morphine while their skin grafts heal will be.
Fact: Motorcycle Riding is dangerous, however, they are much more likely to injure you than kill you. Wearing gear, especially helmets, will dramatically reduce both the extent and severity of that injury.
2) Helmets cause more accidents than they prevent because they block your vision and hearing.
We promote “ATGATT” (all the gear, all the time) not only because we sell motorcycle gear, but because we know it works. However, many riders that don’t wear it all the time. Opting to wear reinforced jeans instead of armored pants for commuting, or ditching the jacket on a short ride on a sunny day. It’s a measured risk and a personal choice that every rider needs to make before every ride.
But when it comes to helmets, extensive research shows that helmets improve the chance of survival in a motorcycle crash by a whopping 37%. While also dramatically reduces other things like the severity of head injuries, medical treatments and more. Unhelmeted riders are 3 times more likely to sustain traumatic brain injury in an accident than helmeted riders.
However, some will say that the risk of crashing itself is higher when wearing a helmet because helmets cut down on their ability to see and hear threats, to begin with. The claim seems like it could have merit – except it’s totally untrue.
Another study by the NHTSA compared the effects on vision and hearing between helmeted and non-helmeted riders and found, no measurable reduction in hearing ability. In cases where peripheral vision was hampered by the helmet, riders compensated by simply turning their heads more. Yup, turning your head a couple more degrees is apparently all it takes to debunk this argument – sounds like a small price to pay for a huge increase in safety, doesn’t it?
Fact: There is no evidence that use of a helmet increases the likelihood of getting into an accident, but there is plenty of evidence showing that using one will help you survive one.
3) Using loud pipes makes you safer when riding on the street.
I know I’ll receive a lot of flak for this and people will say a loud pipe saved their life, but there is no empirical evidence to prove it. In fact, many modern drivers have the windows wound up and stereo blasting in their air-conditioned cars. So they can’t even hear an emergency service siren pointed at them, let alone an exhaust pipe that is facing away from them! However, This claim has some anecdotal merit – many riders (including myself) claim to get into fewer “close calls” with loud exhausts on their bikes. Loud pipes annoy many, but there is some merit to the claim that they are harder to miss.
Thing is, the statistics actually don’t support that claim. Some Motorcycle accident studies show there is no difference in representation between motorcycles with loud aftermarket and stock quiet exhausts. The numbers show that you are just as likely to crash with loud pipes as with quiet ones. So what’s going on?
The best explanation is that running loud pipes creates a false margin of safety the rider ends up relying on. They assume that with loud pipes they are easier to notice, and become more lax about relying on fundamentals. IE (riding defensively and practicing evasive maneuvers and emergency braking)
Fact: Loud pipes may get you noticed more, but statistically, they do not make you safer – practicing good riding habits, increasing your skills, and gearing up, does.
4) Bikers Only Wear Leather Because It Looks Cool
Not exactly, although we do think that our gear makes us look cool. We don’t all wear leather and when we do it isn’t always to look cool (though, admittedly, leather has never gone out of fashion). Leather has great protective properties such as; extreme resistance to abrasion, protecting against scrapes and cuts, and it’s a great insulator, to help keep us warm against wind chill.
The leather jacket has been part of the rider’s uniform since clothing designer Irving Schott popularized his windproof Perfecto starting in the 1920s. They’ve evolved to include protective pads for shoulders, elbows, and back for extra safety. Leather gloves, vests, and boots are also common among riders’ wardrobes; and these are typically made from cowhide, which is considered superior to pigskin and buffalo hide alternatives.
Fact: Leather will help to protect against not only the elements but from road rash, and other cuts and abrasions as well while Motorcycle Riding as well.
5 Essential Elements For motorcycle gear
There may be all types of gear but there are specific pieces that any rider should have in his/her wardrobe they are:
•Helmet – Although most states have a law obligating motorcyclists and their passengers to wear helmets, this is the most important safety gear when riding a motorcycle.
•Jackets and pants – Clothes, especially those which are made of durable material like leather, can provide some measure of protection in case of a crash. It can protect the skin of rider’s against abrasions so as much as possible, both jackets, shirts, and trousers should cover the skin completely.
•Goggles, Glasses, Face Shields – Given that most riders have to wear a helmet, many underestimate the importance of wearing eye protection. Moving at a high rate of speed can cause your eyes to tear and blur which can impair your driving. So goggles, glasses, and face shields are recommended for safe riding.
•Gloves – While gloves can be used to protect the rider’s hands from injuries or burns, there are also non-slip types that can help keep the rider have a firm grip on the controls.
•Footwear – Leather boots are recommended when riding a bike because it can protect the rider’s feet, ankles, and lower parts of the leg during a crash. Anything that has dangling laces should be avoided as these may get caught in the wheel.
Extra piece of gear to add
We recently saw an article about man’s life being saved by his gear. Not just the above gear but one singular piece of gear that we would like to share with you, A Helite airbag vest. In reading the article and looking at what happened to this gentleman I am inclined to save up (they are pricey) and get some for my family as well.
What is up with this vest and why mention it? A Helite vest provides a rigid neck brace, as well as firm support to the spine and back, chest, rib and kidneys and also provides hip and pelvic protection. The vest can be tethered to the handlebars of a motorcycle. Upon activation, a spring-loaded piston pierces the CO2 cartridge on the front of the vest and rapidly inflates the airbag around the neck and body. The air chambers are designed to stabilize the neck, spine, and torso, reducing the impact to vital organs. Once the vest is deployed, it stays inflated for about 15 TO 20 seconds, then deflates. Once the used CO2 cartridge is replaced with a new one, the vest is ready to be used again.
We don’t always put up stories like that but that one merited mentioning because it is a piece of gear that actually responsible for saving his life while he was Motorcycle Riding. If you have any stories that you have heard or know of about myths and misconceptions or gear that has saved lives Please send us a message to the link below and we will post them.
And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
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