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Old 01-10-2009, 08:24 AM   #104
jack of all trades...
markk53's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
Oddometer: 9,251
Originally Posted by whitetiger7654
I completely agree, so does broken bones and such. Which is why I don't do it. But as ikono mentioned at first I always rode to work and school. But now getting geared up takes so much time it's much quicker just to drive.
Personally I have a multitude of circumstances I use to decide what to do.

When I ride, I decide what I am willing to risk. Always a helmet since head injuries don't heal like a skinned up arm or leg.

I figure how I plan to ride and where.

If I am riding to school (work) I may do the minimal for the weather. I go 7 miles, three stop signs, two lefts, and two rights, on a relatively rural road with medium traffic and actually NO curves (part of what I hate about the flat lands here). I am not thrashing and am very aware of my surroundings. I will risk no coat, boots, etc. but always a helmet and usually gloves.

When we're doing the "supermoto" or back roads thing, I'll wear boots (MX or one of my over ankle bike boots), gloves, coat (now more often with elbow pads and shoulder cups for a reason to be noted later), and obviously helmet and goggles.

If it's more of an open road longer ride I may or may not wear the coat and such. That would be like on the 79 mile ride to Mid Ohio for the races. We aren't really thrashing, the towns we go through are small, the road doesn't have heavy traffic except in Lexington and at the track. So I justify a bit more risk on gear.

I will say I always wear the helmet, no matter what. I like a lot of air flow on hot days so I even wear the MX helmet on my street bike. I wish there was a way to see how effective the venting of helmets can be. I had an AGV Stinger with like ten vents - no flow. I don't see why they can't get real vents that can flow at least half of what you'd have with those bicycle helmets. I wish I had the where-with-all to make something like that.

When it comes to the coat, I have a black 3 season Heine Gericke Boost that I wear when it's under say 65, almost never take the liner out. My favorite is an old First Gear Timbuktu 3/4 jacket (sort of an Eisenhower for you older guys out there) I got back around 1992. It has a Thinsulate liner with 3/4 sleeves, full width cape (back) vent double zippered so I open them to the center, nearly 12" long sleeve vents that I only open about 1/2 way (and also make the arm pads move around making me wonder just how effective they are), and a zip/snap front that I may only snap on hot days.

The really good part is the Timbuktu coat is mainly red and white - cool colors that don't absorb the sun's radiated heat. Unfortunately the white shows dirt really bad especially at the neck, later versions had black collars. The other good part about the coat is that the padding holds it away from your skin a bit and allows fantastic air flow. I don't bother to remove the liner in it very often either. The air flows so well that at any speed over about 25 mph it is cooler to wear the coat than not on a sunny day. So I've taken to wearing it a lot more than I used to, because it IS cooler to wear it than not.

So it isn't that I wear all the gear all or most of the time from a safety standpoint. I chose how much risk and also comfort when I decide what to wear. I am chosing to wear the coat more often because of comfort too. If we get on a long open drone where I don't want to wear a coat, I can always take it off and bungee it on the rack or seat anyway.

There's my take on it... for what it is worth.

By the way occasionally a search on First Gear Timbuktu will bring up either a NOS coat or a decent used one. I recommend them highly with dense foam forearm pads and hard shoulder cups, even has a 20 oz. fluids bladder that can be used and a storage pouch in the back (like a hunting jacket) to store the liner if one removes it on a ride. Probably could fit a chest protector under the coat with the coat armor removed, that would really promote air flow. I think the last one I saw on line was like $89. Well worth it.
Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550
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