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Old 01-05-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
390beretta OP
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A question for Harley riders, no disrespect.

I live in AZ, most of us ride damn near year round. I ride a 25 yo K75. I like bikes, though I've never owned a Harley. My question is this: Probably 90% or perhaps a bit more of Harley riders I see wear no protective gear whatsoever, well, sun glasses excluded. A few wear chaps or a leather vest. Very few a helmet and even then it's the kind that provides the least protection possible. Now, I realize I'm speaking a bit from ignorance, never having owned a Harley; but they, at least the larger ones, don't seem to handle all that well (although I did see a youtube vid of a police officer on a Harley who was the most amazing rider in the police competitions I've ever seen, but I'm assuming he was the exception).

My question is; "Why do most Harley riders not wear at least minimal protective gear?"

AGAIN: I'm not trying to "bash" "criticize" "demean", just understand.

Thanks to anyone willing to respond. 390
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:25 PM   #2
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Because they dont want to.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:30 PM   #3
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I rode about 4000 miles on an Ultra Classic. I had practically no wind behind that big fairing, which meant no air moving through my coat. It was hot, and I often took it off. I didn't want to, but…

Or, like said above, they don't want to. It doesn't fit in with the badass look.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:31 PM   #4
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Same reason why stunters dont. Because it really isnt cool and they dont think about consequences and are willing to accept the risks.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:50 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas.tc.young View Post
Same reason why stunters dont. Because it really isnt cool and they dont think about consequences and are willing to accept the risks.
Most stunters aren't running 65 down the highway. At 5 or 10 mph they aren't going to get much more than scraped up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
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.
I wouldn't be surprised if they think it's just a cruiser, they're not racing so they don't need that gear.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
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.
Does that make em conformist non-conformists?

On a serious note, I don't think the problem of sacficing safety for image is just restricted to Harley riders. How effective is a pair of kelvar lined cargo pants going to be coming off at 60+mph? All the safety gear in the world isn't going to matter if you hit a solid object i.e. the car that didn't see you wearing your black helmet, in your black leathers, riding your black bike. Why black or equivilent.... everyone still trying to look like Marlon Brando in the Wild One?

My hat goes of to the increasing number of mostly young riders that I see now wearing brightly coloured leathers, probably influenced by guys like Valentino Rossi etc. Probably image is still the main driver, but at least its a positive trend.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCW View Post
Does that make em conformist non-conformists?

On a serious note, I don't think the problem of sacficing safety for image is just restricted to Harley riders. How effective is a pair of kelvar lined cargo pants going to be coming off at 60+mph? All the safety gear in the world isn't going to matter if you hit a solid object i.e. the car that didn't see you wearing your black helmet, in your black leathers, riding your black bike. Why black or equivilent.... everyone still trying to look like Marlon Brando in the Wild One?

My hat goes of to the increasing number of mostly young riders that I see now wearing brightly coloured leathers, probably influenced by guys like Valentino Rossi etc. Probably image is still the main driver, but at least its a positive trend.
No the protective gear is nog going to work if you get hit by a car, but most likely you will still have your skin, while without protective gear, you won't.
Btw is there any evidence that coloured, hiviz or retroflective gear works on a motorcycle? As most have fairing and headlights on, it can hardly be seen and as most accidents happen at the front of the motorcycle, I don't think that it makes a lot of difference wether your dressed in black or yellow.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
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.
I think this is likely the case, though the "non-conformist" part I am not so sure of. Many are actually conforming!

Jim
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
Many are actually conforming!

Jim
+1

They strive to be unique, just like everyone else they hang out with.

Which reminds me,

How do you catch a unique rabbit?






























Unique up on it.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
I think this is likely the case, though the "non-conformist" part I am not so sure of. Many are actually conforming!

Jim
Yep, but they are conforming with their cohorts of HD riders who are a small segment of the US population which is who they practicing non-conformist behaviors. Kinda like the punk rockers of the 80-90s, they all pretty much looked alike amongst themselves but far different than the vast majority of non punk rockers.

The pirate crowd is really no different than the whale skin crowd in regards to conformity, just there aren't as many whale skins as there are pirates.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:29 PM   #12
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On my way to South America I happened to pass through Daytona Beach during Bike Week, seemed like a great big fashion show to me.
The HD riders I did talk to rode in from places like Maine and Michigan, so there were some riders and not just self absorbed fashion players. They were mostly dumbstruck at the idea of riding from Alaska to Ushuaia.
A lot of bikes there probably never killed a bug in their lives, the amount of chrome dazzling, amazing paint jobs and art work on many bikes which probably arrived in enclosed trailers.
I think my bug encrusted KLR and Alaska mud saturated Motoport kevlar(Dalton hwy mud doesn't washout) was a little off-putting for many, I was definitely kinda out of place. I felt much more at home in a seedy motel down in Homestead surrounded by all sorts of ethnic minorities, where Spanish and Haitian French was mostly spoken rather than English.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:56 AM   #13
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No matter what your stand on gear is, its all about odds, not guarantees......................



..............and what you're betting on is your life.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:36 PM   #14
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Perceived comfort, mostly.

Some of it has to do with not having any storage on the bike either. All I have on the wide glide is a set of throw-over saddlebags, that don't lock, and ain't waterproof, and a bungee net. No real way to keep things safe on the bike.

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Old 01-05-2014, 09:39 PM   #15
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You should be asking this question over at HDforums. There are way more Harley guys over there.
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