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Old 03-25-2014, 02:09 AM   #61
ObiJohn
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Location: Seattle suburbia
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I don't have a half-million miles on a bike. But I also know that in statistics, a sample of one is useless; don't make decision based upon only one person's experience including your own. (Or mine.)

That you have a half-million miles and haven't crashed is noteworthy, and most likely due to a large amount of good judgment combined with skill, with a little luck thrown in. Relying on luck will get you, sooner or later. You really are betting that your safe record will continue, that no one else will screw up and get you hurt. I dunno... I see a lot of grizzled jeans-and-t-shirt riders who have some nice road rash scars. Some even brag about them as a rite of passage. No thanks... been there, done that, got the scars (bad car wreck, a week in the hospital, couldn't walk for a couple of months, took over a year to recover fully). That accident was 100% another driver's fault, but I paid the price.

I teach about risk in other areas. One concept that helps evaluate risk is the concept of risk exposure... the chances of the risk occurring times the cost of the consequences of that risk. Perhaps the average motorcyclists gets into an accident every 60,000 miles or 10 years. Without gear the chances of significant injury are very high and the cost of that injury are also very high in terms of pain, medical expenses, rehab, and impact on subsequent quality of life. A small chance times a very large cost is still a large number. If the motorcyclist is wearing adequate gear, then the cost of consequences is significantly diminished. Most falls under 45 mph with good gear on result in minimal to no injury to the rider... maybe some bruising but that's it. The same fall with jeans and a t-shirt results in significant abrasion and damage to knees, hands, elbows, etc.

Here's the rub... the odds say that in general a motorcyclist is about 5x more likely to have an accident than someone driving an automobile, and about 35x more likely to die than a cager. About half of motorcycle accidents are 'SMIDSYs' (car turning left in front of oncoming motorcycle, or car turning left or right in front of overtaking motorcycle). Not the motorcyclist's fault, but the motorcyclist pays. (My accident was the result of someone inappropriately pulling out into traffic.)

About half of all non-fatal injuries suffered by motorcyclists in accidents are to the arms or legs (legs make up about 30% of all non-fatal injuries). Looking at all of the accident data, looks like wearing a good jacket, pants, boots, and gloves might reduce the chances of serious injury by 70%... makes wearing armored pants and a jacket seem like a pretty good idea, at least to me. YMMV.

I wear kevlar-lined jeans with knee armor, boots, a jacket, gloves, and helmet for around-town riding (under 40 mph). The pants really are as comfortable as a pair of jeans, and will protect me from a fall. When I'm going to be on the freeway or going on a trip, it's my MotoPort gear. At my age, I don't bounce so well... more likely to break... and I don't want to break anything. I have faith that, unless I hit something really hard, the MotoPort gear or similar is about the best I can do to protect myself.

Wearing good gear (good enough for the intended use) lets me do something to greatly mitigate the risk of falling. There's not much any motorcyclist can do to mitigate the risk of being struck by another vehicle. I'm a lot more relaxed and free from stress when I don't have to worry about the things I could have controlled but didn't.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:44 AM   #62
troy safari carpente
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Define "Freedom"

The third dimension of liberty.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:53 AM   #63
No False Enthusiasm
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Two components of risk are "frequency" and "severity". A quadrant can be made of those using low and high.

1. Low frequency, low severity: Accept the risk.

2. Low frequency, high severity: Insure the risk.

3. High frequency, low severity: Manage and modify the risk.

4. High frequency, high severity: Avoid the risk.

Risk management 101...

NFE
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:55 PM   #64
cldiver
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just retired, full tank of gas, empty road in good shape, and enough money.
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