Protective Motorcycle Clothing – To Wear Or Not to Wear?

Who wears Protective Motorcycle Clothing? Manly Men?… Or… Wimps?

Wearing protective motorcycle clothing… or not… is something everybody has to decide. There are several directions that the thinking that goes into making that decision can take you.

What’s your hide, and the other pieces and parts of your carcass, worth to you? Is it more important to ‘Look Cool’…

… or… remain whole?

Many years ago, an old Cowboy once confided in me; “Brian, there’s a thin line between Macho… and Stupidity… and son… I gotta tell you… you step across that sucker, way too often!

I have to admit that I’ve resisted acquiring much in the way of protective motorcycle clothing. But, at some point a fella has to accept that maybe a little discretion is in order… and take those few steps required to help preserve the good looks the Boss upstairs blessed him with!

I can’t help but agree that helmets reduce that absolute sensation of Freedom I get on a motorcycle. Wrapping my head in a plastic bucket is not my favorite thing… But that dislike is outweighed, in my mind, by the vision of somebody having to pick up the mush that used to be inside my skull, with a stick and a spoon!

The feeling I get when I roll without a motorcycle helmet is so superior to wearing one, that I can sometimes have considerable difficulty strapping on that particular piece of protective motorcycle clothing…

But… I take those couple of moments considering the possible consequences of not having it in place… seasoned with a thought or two about the other people, on the road, that a motorcycle rider has to contend with… and on it goes.

Your Brain pan is not the only part you have to protect either. You’ll want to consider the other pieces and parts of your carcass that are vulnerable, when considering protective motorcycle clothing.

All the parts that smack the ground if you’re sliding, or tumbling along, after you dump your motorcycle are in need of protection. Shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees… all can stand a lil’ shielding from the assault made on them by hitting the asphalt, at 45 mph!… or quicker!

Many is the story where a biker had to drop his ride… to avoid simply slamming into the side of some bozo on 4 wheels… and then got up and walked away, with only minor scrapes and bruises. A story that wouldn’t get told if he’d chosen ‘Macho’… over good, quality, protective motorcycle clothing.

Now we get to the bottom of the story, even your butt needs protection 🙂 sorry… I just couldn’t resist that one… Do a little googling about that… and I’m confident that some of the ‘Road Rash’ photos, that will turn up, is going to send you motoring, credit card in hand, liver quivering, to buy the latest, thermonuclear, protective motorcycle clothing for your kiester!

You’ll soon find that there’s no particular shortage of motorcycle gear to protect you. There are even a few outfits building ‘inflating’ motorcycle vests and jackets that instantly wrap you in an airbag you wear!… should you part ways with your motorcycle.

Motorcycle Leather or Fabric Jackets, complete with built in padding and shields to offer protection against impact and abrasion… synthetic or leather, Motorcycle pants, over pants, strap on shields and pads, underwear made to be abrasion resistant, and chaps and motorcycle gloves; the list of protective motorcycle clothing is nigh on to endless…

I’m the first one to admit it… I much prefer riding ‘Free’… Nose to the wind… unarmored… But, I can only shake my head when some guy comes roarin’ along, just sunglasses, muscle shirt, shorts and flip flops. No helmet, no gloves, hell, not even sleeves!

Then there’s the other guys… haulin’ their wives or girl friends on the pillion behind them… Just as unprotected… Not a piece of protective motorcycle clothing to be seen between the pair of ’em.

Knowing what would be… should either bike get cut off… and they have to drop it, just sends a cold shiver up my back.

I may be able to make that decision for myself… and live with the consequences… but should anything go wrong… having to look at the lady I carried, unprotected, is simply something I’m unwilling to do.

Make the decision to protect yourself… and then acquire the proper protective motorcycle clothing to keep you whole.

A set of Protective Motorcycle Clothing can change a really ugly wreck… into some minor scrapes and bruises… and provide fodder for some fine motorcycle touring ‘war stories’… sippin’ a coke at a stop on your next poker run!

… and the truth is… The gear they’re building now-a-days… carefully selected… actually looks pretty ‘Cool’ … so, now you’ve got no excuses!

Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are one of the major causes of ugly scenes on our highways and other roads. They are responsible for deaths, fatal injuries and life long disabilities. A sad to note fact is that such accidents have been on a steady rise as though nothing can be done to tame them. It is surprising how many motorcycle users fall prey to the same mistakes that have been causing accidents day in day out. What every motorcyclist needs to know is that the responsibility of reducing or avoiding motorcycle accidents all together lies with every individual that uses the motorcycle and the others who use the road such as motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians. Before you look at the other person for blame, look at what you can do yourself to stop the menace. Here are a few tips that you can use to avoid this annoying trend.

Be Visible
When you are riding a motorcycle on the roads, make sure that you are well visible especially by the motor vehicle drivers and the pedestrians. This is the best way through which you can reduce motorcycle accidents as each road user will be able to see you clearly. To achieve this, you should make sure that you use bright colors for your clothing when riding on your motorcycle. This is important especially when using the roads at night. You should also use your headlight to enhance your visibility.

Make Your Communications Clear
When changing lanes, taking on a new direction or slowing down to stop, make sure that the other road users read and understand your intentions well. This is where you will need to apply the correct use of your indicators and signals. Keep the correct lane position and make sure your brake light is functioning well.

Do Not Trail Closely
It is a risky behavior to follow other vehicles from a very close range. You never know what to expect from the vehicle ahead of you and you may find yourself in an uncontrollable situation when they brake suddenly. Also make sure that when you are overtaking, you keep a reasonable space between you and the other road user who you are overtaking.

Watch For Roadsigns
These signs usually do a good job in guiding road users. Ignoring them or dismissing the directions indicated on them is one of the most stupid things you can do if you are looking to avoid motorcycle accidents. You should keep within the specified speed limit of the section of the road on which you are riding and be alert for any sudden actions that could lead into a motorcycle accident. You should be always prepared to avert any sudden danger and avoid an accident.

Revise Your Course
Make it a habit of going through your motorcycle riding course more often so that the ideas will always remain fresh in your mind. This way, you will keep on refreshing your knowledge of riding your motorcycle and be able to avoid silly mistakes that can easily lead motorcycle accidents.

Brake and Clutch Reservoir Covers: Purposes and Safety Benefits

All of those who are seriously into motorcycles know that they need top quality brake fluids for their safety. Unfortunately, these quality brake fluids are found to be highly sensitive to the UV light. To keep the fluid safe from the environment they usually put a sock on the reservoir cap to block the UV rays from causing any damage to the brake fluid.

Since there are many debates on the subject of brake fluid getting degraded by the sun’s UV rays maybe we can add that looking at MSDS (material safety data sheets) it states to store brake fluid away from sunlight, also this is the reason why they are not sold in clear bottles, but brake are clutch fluid reservoirs on most sportbikes are opaque which lets sun/UV rays to reach the brake fluid, aesthetically thinking these will also cover up the ugly plastic brake and clutch reservoirs.

The reservoir sock covers also help prevent spillage or leakage from either the brake or the clutch reservoirs. These are basically designed like wristbands wrapping the brake and clutch reservoirs to absorb any fluids that may spill or leak from the cap of the brake and clutch fluid reservoirs as in such cases of hard braking. And yes brake fluid does expand and anyone who is real hard on their brakes will know it. The danger is the highly corrosive fluid can damage paintwork, metalwork and get onto riding gear such as your visor which could cause real visibility problems. For those who are into motorcycle racing, the reservoir covers will also keep the reservoir caps firmly in place during a race and/or spirited riding. It can also help the brake fluid from getting contaminated with dust or dirt by keeping the brake/clutch fluid reservoirs clean and away from debris.

Many of the brake reservoir fluid sock covers are made from cotton and manufactured in such a way that each of the socks fit properly since you don’t want them to come flying off down the road or track. When it comes to the clutch fluids, it is basically the same principle. The brake and clutch fluid reservoir sock covers keeps the fluid from environmental degradation which can eventually lead to poor braking and shifting performance. And as most that use these covers are involved in motorcycle racing, poor braking and shifting performance and brake fluid spillage bike would not be any help on the track.

For those who are wondering if they could just go buy generic wristbands for their brake or clutch fluids, they can, at their own risk. But wristbands tend to fit very loosely and will eventually fly off going down the road or track. Obviously the bike aficionados would probably get horrified if they see their precious Honda, Yamaha or Ducati motorcycles getting dressed with poor fitting low quality products. They would want to get matching Yamaha reservoir sock covers for their Yamaha’s and Ducati’s, rather than having an ill fitting wristband with a sport shoe brand covering up their brake and clutch reservoirs.

Many of these motorcycle brake and clutch covers can be bought online or at reputable motorcycle shops. They are relatively affordable; the generic ones are particularly cheaper but are lower in quality and have heat pressed logos which tend to peel off after a few months. Higher quality reservoir sock covers will be made of high quality cotton, specifically made to fit your motorcycle application and have matching logos which are embroidered on.