I agree, and that leads to a thought...
Originally Posted by DR. Rock
I think the real potential downside is that the changes to your riding style are subtle and largely subconscious. If you don't believe me, ride around the block with no gear and see for yourself how cautiously you ride. Most people definitely ride differently with gear on, and I would venture to say that no one rides the same with gear as they would without. So the question isn't "does the gear cause you to ride in a riskier manner?", but rather "how much?".
Again, I'm not arguing against wearing gear, just trying to point out some of the perhaps not so obvious psychology underneath.
I think you're right on in your evaluation.
Your comment on riding around the block without gear brought up a thought that is sort of sideways to the original intent of the thread. In an earlier post I half rhetorically asked if riding more 'cautious' was always a good thing. One thing we all learn over time is that when on the bike we have to take control of the situation for maximum safety and sometimes that means getting downright agressive with the right hand. I think for the already somewhat timid rider it can make you "less safe" to ride even more cautious. I've substituted the word timid here for cautious because I think it's really hard to separate the two when you're talking about the effect of riding without gear.
'06 BMW 1200 GS (sold
'12 BMW K1600GTL
'08 Honda CBR 1000RR (get outta da way!)
'05 Honda CBR 600RR (trackday toy)