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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
cybrdyke
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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
thomas.tc.young
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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
blk-betty
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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
Tuna Helper
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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 01-05-2014, 09:36 PM   #8
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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   #9
waveydavey
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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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Old 01-05-2014, 10:16 PM   #10
CSI
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Because wearing "Gear" is not part of the bad ass look.

I owned three Harleys before buying my wing in 2012......it goes without saying, that a lot of my riding partners are still on Harleys....

Went to Eureka Springs with a friend and his wife, who were riding two up on his Ultra.

When we left for home, I was wearing a Polo shirt, jeans and a helmet. They were both in sleevless shirts and doo rags.

When the temps hit about 95, I swapped the polo for a soaked in water long sleeve shirt, and put my mesh jacket over that. They BOTH told me I was nuts, for putting on more clothing in the face of rising temps. Forget trying to tell them about how the slow water evaporation from my wet shirt would keep me cooloer than THEY would be in their sleeveless attire......

Made it about 200 miles....while sitting at a gas station, she nearly fainted from the heat....both were beet red, and most likely bordering on heat injury.

But at least they looked cool....
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:21 PM   #11
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If you think you don't need a helmet...you are probably right!
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:24 PM   #12
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They all have to conform to the rugged non conformist look.
And pirate duds.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:25 PM   #13
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I agree with this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrdyke View Post
Because they dont want to.
this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuna Helper View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if they think it's just a cruiser, they're not racing so they don't need that gear.
and this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlemdog View Post
Perceived comfort, mostly.
I'm a newer Harley rider of just a couple years who's ATGATT.

Tho truth be told, I did come from a "Ricky Racer Power Ranger" background.

And oh yeah, I'm on HDForums but I like it a lot better over here.

Anything 2-wheeled, Mark H.

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Old 01-05-2014, 10:33 PM   #14
Tip Over
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKDuc View Post
I'm a newer Harley rider of just a couple years who's ATGATT.

Tho truth be told, I did come from a "Ricky Racer Power Ranger" background.

And oh yeah, I'm on HDForums but I like it a lot better over here.

Anything 2-wheeled, Mark H.
Some of the Gear, Some of the time. I have a pretty sweet Biltwell Gringo Full-face that I wear quite a bit.

Same here, HDforum has it's good points, but I enjoy this place more.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:41 PM   #15
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seems most harley riders i see on the road have on a leather jacket of some sort, boots of one sort or another, gloves, and denim pants. is that not "gear" enough?
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