Originally Posted by xbeemer
We all make cost/benefit decisions regarding safety. Max safety would be not to ride a bike at all. If we do ride there are a few well known safety decisions we all know about and make according to our particular value systems:
Helmet vs. no helmet: most of us choose helmet because it is probably the highest benefit in case of a spill vs. the cost in money and discomfort.
To me, the 40% or so survival margin benefit is well worth the cost.
Half vs. open face vs modular vs full: increasing safety benefit weighed against increasing discomfort and cost.
I prefer an open face helmet because I consider the wind in my face an important part of the experience, but not a half helmet because of the wind noise. It's a compromise with safety that many, perhaps most, would not choose.
ATGATT: Usually not the life/death margin a helmet gives in case of a spill, but often can be the difference between walking away vs. a hospital stay. But generally at considerable cost in money, inconvenience, and discomfort, especially in hot climes.
I'll compromise here: gloves and hightop shoes, maybe a mesh jacket, but otherwise nothing special. If I had to layer up for every ride, I'd just forego it all and drive the cage. Others disagree and good for them. It seems to me that if you are comfortable with it, having an extra layer of safety is for the best.
Hi visibility colors vs. what looks best: This seems to be a no brainer given how little cagers pay attention to bikers. But I suppose it's at least somewhat age related, with old codgers like me less invested in how we are seen as long as we ARE seen.
ABS vs regular brakes: Hard information is sketchy but it does seem ABS offers a significant safety margin, perhaps nearly as much as wearing a helmet.
I'm going for the ABS. It seems like an easy way to add an extra margin of safety, and it only cost money, no comfort or inconvenience hit at all.
Darkside vs. motorcycle rubber: It's certainly cheaper not having to replace tires so often, but there is also a safety cost. Obviously, as seen here on this thread, people disagree on the degree of safety compromise, but it's willful avoidance of the facts to insist there is no compromise at all.
I see it like the ABS brakes: it only costs money to go with approved motorcycle tires, no rider discomfort or inconvenience at all. Plus likely better handling. So it's an easy decision for me, I'll stick with the motorcycle tires.
My point here is the decision go Darkside is simply one of several cost/benefit compromises we need to decide on. It's not a religion issue, and no need to get so riled up about it one way or the other. Just factor it into the other safety decisions you need to make, and ride on.
I see it as less a lower level of safety and more a WILLFUL DISREGARD for safety. Like riding with brakes known to be bad-order. Like riding without insurance...hey, we're not gonna crash! So what do I need insurance for?
Likewise...hey, I'm not gonna need to be able to make a violent swerve! That's not my riding style; there's little traffic and it's all flat, straight roads, yada yada. So, what do I need a tire that can hold me in a steep lean for?
In both cases...you don't need it, until you do. And then you need it badly; and then it's too late.