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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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leather = bad?

I met a guy today who told me a story about his wreck. he was doing some kind of "forward wheelie" when it went bad at 40 mph. he remembers sliding smoothly over the pavement, looking up at the sky, then, as he slowed down, his leather jacket started to catch, and made him sommersault (sp?), which broke his ankle.

i thought this was an interesting story b/c it seems that, while the leather saved his skin completely, a smoother textile material wouldn't have caught as aggressively as his body slowed down, and he wouldn't have tumbled like he did.

any thoughts? I'm sure this is a pretty unique situation, in any case. i'm not saying that wearing leather is a bad idea, but the phenomenon of it "catching" the pavement at lower speeds is interesting anyway.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 05:06 PM
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All gear must fit you snugly to be useful or it could ride up on you or bunch. Loose gear is bad. So, do you think leather gear or textile gear is more likely to have baggy, catchable spots?

Ignoring the (perceived?) superiority of leather to deal with abrasions, it would seem to me that leather is more likely to avoid such incidents.

And if this guy was wearing chaps and fringe, well, let's just say that probably wasn't the best safety or style choice.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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His gear wasn't baggy - that wasn't the issue. The problem was that the leather material, by nature, is "stickier" when it comes to contact with the pavement.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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There will always be certain situations where protective gear or equipment could be more dangerous then helpful, such being in an accident where not wearing a seatbelt saved someone's life. I think I'll keep wearing my leathers though.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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Speaking from experience, leather slides over asphalt very smoothly. If he caught and flipped, he likely dug in an elbow, knee, hand, foot, shoulder, etc...

Once down, flatten out, and let the gear do its job.

If he described his maneuver as a "Forward wheelie" then he obviously has little experience in the motorcycle world. I would suspect that he has described escaping situations by saying "I had to lay it down!"

There is no (realistic) situation where laying it down is a better solution then staying up and braking hard!

My point is, this sounds like a new, or inexperienced rider. I would take the details of his story with a grain of salt.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 10:55 PM
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The problem was not what that guy was wearing, it was what he was doing with his bike. God was being kind to him that day because the fella did not land on his head and get knocked into another level of mental health!

I like what Kanwisch said.

I am not really sure how you made the link in proximate cause between him breaking his ankle and the type of material his clothing was made out of. You can catch any part of your body on a tumble off a bike, and the material your clothing is made of has less to do with that than how close the clothing fits to your body. The likelihood you will catch clothing and get flipped over into a cartwheel seems more a luck of the draw rather than a predictable event. In other words, expect the worst when you ride and be prepared by wearing clothing that both fits snugly and provides maximum abrasion protection.

There are fabric jackets and pants that protect just fine and are useful for touring type riding where the weather could change on you. They also are nice as far as pants anyway in terms of those that are designed to wear over pants so you can wear them over your work clothing if you ride to work.

I am not big on doing tricks on my bikes like wheelies and stoppies. If you want to do the high risk stuff then you better stay away from the fringes and chaps and stick to snug leather clothing with armor.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 04:10 AM
 
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Leather is more protective then anything else right now, especially when it come to abrasion resistance. The thing is with a get off on the street is that you very rarely are going to have a long slide like you would at the track. You are going to hit something sooner or later or a patch of rough pavement like your friend there.

For street gear make sure it fits proper with armor snug in place. Also make sure you have good boots with ankle support and protection and good gloves. Textile or leather is your choice, I think on the street they are fairly comparable.

In this case it sounds like a good pair of boots were more of a factor then the material of his jacket.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 07:34 AM
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Speaking of leather, and since I'm feeling in something of a hijacking mood, did anyone see that announcement of the nanotech material being worked on in Israel as body armor? I wonder what the implications could be for motorcycle gear.

The armor is good at stopping piercing objects, but nothing has been said of abrasion resistance.

One linky.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 07:35 AM
 
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tell that guy to try the same trick again after he greases his leathers up. then, when he falls, he'll just sliiiiiiiiiiiide right along into the next upright structure.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2005, 10:55 AM
 
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hey guys I heard that the smell of leather, over time, will fry your brain and make you extremely gullible!

I'm switching to textile!

Last edited by Unas_the_Slayer; 12-22-2005 at 10:59 AM.
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