Protective Motorcycle Clothing ~ Should I Wear it? Or Not?
What value do you put on your hide? Is it more important to 'Look Cool'...
... or... remain whole?
An old Cowboy once told me; "Brian, there's a thin line between Macho... and Stupidity... and son... I gotta tell you... you step across that sucker, way too often!
One of the dumbest things I've ever heard is when a mans masculinity or a person's toughness, man or woman, is called into question, because they're wearing protective motorcycle gear... it's either the dumbest thing to dump on someone... or the most arrogant. Neither one very complimentary... of you.
I understand the need to 'Cowboy Up'... and 'tough it out'... I didn't rodeo for all those years, and not understand the motivation... but the instant I hear someone using the word 'Wuss', referring to another rider... 'cause they strapped on some variety of protective motorcycle clothing...
I often relay the words of that long gone old Cowboy...
You may have a need to risk more... OK that's fine, but don't go rousting anyone simply because they're not afflicted with that same need.
If you need to defy the Devil, do it... I understand 100% what's in your mind... and I'm not going to criticize you for it... unless you try to drag someone else along on that ride. It's yours and yours alone bud... You ride your road... and leave them to find theirs.
I'm still learning... and it's a slow and painful process. :-) But, at some point a fella has to accept that maybe a little discretion is in order... and take a few steps, like sticking his legs into some protective motorcycle clothing, to keep himself as purty as the good Lord built him!
I know that motorcycle helmets get in the way. The reduction of that absolute sensation of Freedom I get on a motorcycle, that's caused by wrapping my head in a plastic bucket is considerable...
The feeling I get when I roll without one is so superior to wearing a helmet that I sometimes can have considerable difficulty strapping on that particular piece of protective motorcycle clothing...
But... after a moments consideration of the possible consequences of not having it in place... and thinking about the other people, on the road, that a motorcycle rider has to contend with... and on it goes.
Along with protecting your brain pan you have to consider the other pieces and parts of your carcass that are vulnerable, in the event you are forced to drop your bike.
Shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees... all the parts that smack the ground if you're sliding, or tumbling along, after you dump your motorcycle.
Even your butt needs protection... Spend a little time googling about that... and some of the 'Road Rash' photos you'll find will send you racing, credit card in hand, liver quivering, to buy the latest, thermonuclear, protective motorcycle clothing for your kiester!
Once you start searching, you'll find there's no particular shortage of protective motorcycle gear to armor you. From Motorcycle Jackets, built of Leather or Fabric, complete with built in padding and shields to offer protection against impact and abrasion...
To Motorcycle Pants, also leather or fabric, over pants, strap on shields and pads, underwear made to be abrasion resistant, motorcycle gloves and chaps; the list of protective motorcycle clothing goes on and on...
I have to admit it... as much as I like riding Free... unarmored... I can only shake my head when I see some guy roarin' along, no helmet, just sunglasses, muscle shirt, shorts and flip flops.
Or some other guy... haulin' his wife or girl friend on the pillion behind him... her just as unprotected... Not a piece of protective motorcycle clothing to be seen.
The thought of what would be... if they got cut off... either bike... and had to drop it just makes me cringe.
A person only has to make the decision to protect himself... or herself... and then acquire the proper protective motorcycle clothing.
It's a simple truth...
... Wearing a decent selection of proper protective motorcycle clothing can change a really ugly wreck... into some minor bruises... and a good story to tell the next time you're swappin' tales with other riders at a stop along the route of some poker run.