Many of the typical long time HD riders are philosophical non-conformist. Not wearing protective gear fits in with a non-conformist, non-safety, risk taking mindset.
I don't believe they don't think about the consequences at all, at least not long time HD riders, since most know someone that was killed or severely wounded while riding. They just accept the risk of freedom unrestrained by excess gear.
New HD riders, yea they mostly want the badass look.
Any day on a dirt road is a great day