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Old 01-05-2014, 10:47 PM   #16
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Sure it is until you hit your head.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:51 PM   #17
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I broke the mold when I got my Harley which is my first bike. I won't ride without a full face helmet which is my new Shoei RF 1200, leather gloves, boots and 95% of the time I wear my tourmaster hi viz venture air jacket. I ride a lot at night and in heavy traffic and would rather be seen and safe then conform to the "look". Riding over pants are my next purchase.

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Old 01-05-2014, 11:16 PM   #18
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Oops, almost forgot the requisite pics. Like my vanity plate?

Sometimes I feel more hi-viz :

And sometimes more "badass black."

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Old 01-05-2014, 11:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DudeClone View Post
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?
Slide down the highway in denim and see how far you get before you leave skin, Even the firehose pants I have I don't fully trust to anything past a 5 mile an hour tip over.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:06 AM   #20
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We don't need all that stuff because our loud pipes will protect us.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by CSI View Post
Because wearing "Gear" is not part of the bad ass look.

I owned three Harleys before buying my wing in 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....
I think you've summed it up pretty well. Safety notwithstanding, I've often wondered how do they tolerate the weather, whether it be hot, dusty, cold or wet. I know I'm a wimp, they must be tough I guess. Perhaps it's a bit like keeping up with the Jones's, but don't they realise the Jones's don't care.
I was stopped near an intersection out in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee or Oklahoma somewhere, this dude and his woman arrive on their Harley, dressed in their uniform of do rags and sleeveless leather tops. I give a friendly wave, and all I get in return is a dismissive look. Oh yeah, they sure are tough. You just gotta laugh. Wankers.

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Old 01-06-2014, 03:31 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Nadgett View Post
We don't need all that stuff because our loud pipes will protect us.
Yep! And the do rag also will add protection. I never see a Hog rider around here riding with a helmet on.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by trevorf View Post
If you think you don't need a are probably right!

How does that old Bell helmet question go "If you have a $10 dollar head wear a $10 dollar helmet?"
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:06 AM   #24
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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 01-06-2014, 07:16 AM   #25
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Time to confess,
My first street bike was a Harley and I wore the costume. I was young and impressionable, letting peer pressure, trying to fit in, and the image influence me to make bad decisions about gear even against my older brothers advice as an experienced rider and racer.

After witnessing the results of relying on image and ego rather than training and gear I changed my ways. I'm still not ATGATT, but now always wear at a minimum a modular helmet, boots, gloves, and almost always a jacket and long pants. I do sometimes do my short sub 40 mph commute in shorts and a shirt in hot weather when riding my Ural. When on 2 wheels, jeans and jacket stay on.

I sincerely believe most gearless riders don't put much thought into it, being more of a monkey-see-monkey-do kind of thing.
"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:21 AM   #26
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Because babes dig guys with feeding tubes and can't talk.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:25 AM   #27
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First reply nailed it.
you don't see luggage racks on a hearse..........act accordingly
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:51 AM   #28
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Funny you should mention it. I traded the only HD I ever owned for a new K75C in 1986.

My guess is that many of the HD and cruiser crowd, as has been mentioned, got into it to adopt the image. That image is well-defined in the popular media of the last sixty or seventy years and if they have little or no MC experience there is no reason they would be expected to feel otherwise. Education and observation are what brought me to wear what I consider appropriate gear when I ride.

These rider's sense of style is different from an ADV, RacerBoi, or an IronButt rider. Stereotypically their rides are short, their destinations often involve ogling each other's chrome over a brewski and the aim is to support an image that has been well-marketed for decades. Many just want to be unique, like all their buddies around them. Is this any different than the other sub-classes?

As a teen I enjoyed reading Easyrider magazine and dreamed of owning a Harley, but had to make do with a Suzuki TS100. I went through twenty bikes before finally purchasing a Harley. When I did, it was a Sportster 1000, as I had come to appreciate handling and performance and the other bikes in the HD line couldn't even try to deliver. It was the first new motorcycle I had owned, and it was a disappointment.

I tried to like it. Really I did. I tried to find joy in riding helmetless with jeans and a jean or leather jacket, boots and gloves. It was uncomfortable riding this way, having always ridden with a helmet. Putting in 400 mile days was a pain with the tiny gas tank. Wind, sun, and weather all will wear you down on long rides. Those noodles for forks were the clincher for me. I'd crank it into a turn, or try to transition between curves and have to wait for the steering input to translate through the flexy forks to the wheel. The bike had less than 10,000 miles on it when I traded for the K75C, bought a Roadcrafter suit and racked up 80,000 miles over the years before finally selling it.

In the mean time I still rode with guys on HD's who were the real deal. We were buds, but I know it was embarrassing for them when we went to, say, a Gypsy MC rally in Del Rio and amongst the pirates was me on a blue bike with a blue suit, looking all GQ. They'd always threaten to use my bike in the bike bash. But we were all riders and that would win through once they took the time to realize I was an all right guy, even if I dressed funny.

These guys were content to ride long miles, day after day, in all kinds of weather. We had some good times and respected each other's choices.

I'm just glad that we all ride. Riders are still better than non-riders in my book. If you ask me what I think is best, I'll tell you what is best for me. As for other people, I really do try to avoid preaching gear choices. Everyone has to find their own path through life and evolution must take its course. Some who prefer pirate garb will ride into their golden years and some who gear up to the max will get dead young, despite being well prepared to avoid injury.

If someone has poor skills and poor gear choice, and, I care enough about them to intervene, I will probably point out where they might consider focusing in order to preserve themselves. Once.

The bottom line for me is that I want to respect a person's choice, offer information if it would be well received, and avoid doing things that divide riders amongst themselves. Riding can be something different for each rider and if they need to dress a certain way to get that something, then so be it. At least they are riding.

This is The Internet. Confirm for yourself anything you may see while visiting this strange and uncertain land.

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Old 01-06-2014, 08:37 AM   #29
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Folks are free to choose what they want, it really is that simple.

Been on HD's for many years. In the 70's 80's 90's and early 2000's it really was no helmet, illegal beanie if you had to have a helmet. Leather jacket only if it was cold and most everyone rode in jeans, boots and a t-shirt.

Now a days, there is still a lot of that, but there are many more folks who ride HD's with a lot more gear. For me, it's an armored Vanson leather jacket, gloves, Draggin jeans, boots and depending what I'm in the mood for, a full face ( most of the time) a dot half helmet ( some of the time) or no helmet ( couple times a year ) if I'm in the mood and in a state where I dont have to wear one.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:06 AM   #30
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Met a guy who's got over a million miles on Harleys. I think he's on something like his 27th Electra Glide?

Anyways, he's fully geared all the time. Harley does make some nice stuff if you can get away from the do rags and sleeveless leather vests - AKA 'the uniform of noncomformity'.
"Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair."
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