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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Explaining Safety Gear to a Pedal Pusher

So my old boss just got himself a Yamaha FZ-16 to commute. He mostly wants it for the lane splitting, avoiding traffic jams and ease of parking. He wants me to go with him to pick up the bike and help him chose a helmet...

And I said: "You also need at least a jacket and gloves"...

His response: "WUT?" I made that up, the real response was "Seriously?"

This guy is a hardcore athlete, he has done several IronMan triathlons, ran the NY marathon, etc. He often commutes on his bicycle, same roads he will ride the motorcycle in. When riding the bicycle he only uses a helmet, a reflective... "jacket" and regular bicycle gear.

Obviously, motorcycle gear makes no sense to him.

Then I got to think about it, his commute, from his house to his office is about 70% steep downhill, so he can go quite fast without even pushing the pedals. He is not really going to go much faster on the motorcycle. His return home is a different story...

He feel safe with "bicycle gear", which to us, sportbike rider is... HD riders wear more gear! I know the pavement doesn't care if you were riding a HD, bicycle, scooter, sportbike or a battleship like a R1200GSA, it will hurt the same given the same speed. I guess what he considers to be "acceptable" risk is quite different...

And the FZ-16 does about 70mph tops.
 

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I've gone over 65 mph downhill on a bicycle, in Lycra with only a helmet and leather riding gloves

I've hamburgered thigh right through the Lycra at maybe 20 mph, it offers zero protection

It's not the same on a motorcycle, you aren't doing the physical exertion generating heat like bicycling

Plus, your bike is 12 lbs, not 400 lbs, so if you get trapped under it....


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Whats an FZ-16?

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That bike is little more than a moped, would great for city commuting.
 

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Mediocre Strafer
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I started riding a road bike a couple of years ago, and the lack of gear really does scare the crap out of me (along with the lack of acceleration). I have only been able to get into the low 40's on a regular downhill, and the thought of eating it at that speed is seriously unappealing. I feel about the same risk level as I do riding a horse - much higher than a motorcycle.

KeS
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've gone over 65 mph downhill on a bicycle, in Lycra with only a helmet and leather riding gloves

I've hamburgered thigh right through the Lycra at maybe 20 mph, it offers zero protection

It's not the same on a motorcycle, you aren't doing the physical exertion generating heat like bicycling

Plus, your bike is 12 lbs, not 400 lbs, so if you get trapped under it....


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If you're doing that kind of speeds on a bicycle, with bicycle gear, then you're accepting the risk of going down at said speeds.

That's the main problem here, how to explain someone, that accepts the risk of going down at that kind of speeds (and probably, already has) with no gear , that they should use gear?

I think the only two valid, or non-subjective, arguments are:

- The bike might end up over you.
- You're not doing the effort to move that extra weight around and you don't need the comfort/ventilation.

I don't want this guy to end up hurting himself on the bike. I'm afraid that being an experienced pedal pusher he'll quickly become the proverbial overconfident noob.

And glorified moped or not, you can hurt yourself quite badly if you wreck at 70mph. The only time I've been to the hospital (motorcycle related) was because of a 85mph wreck (impact speed must have been around 70-60mph) in my RXZ-135.
 

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If all he had to worry about was sliding on pavement, he'd be somewhat justified... The trouble is, what happens if someone cuts him off and he flies into a guard rail or another car? Ask him how much he likes his skin... Because in the burn unit of hospitals, they use steel wire brushes on your rash to get the debris out of your wound.


Beyond that, you've just got to let some people learn the hard way I suppose.
 

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I said two things to other people that questioned why I had full face helmet, boots, armored jacket and such when I bought my scooter. "You wear all that for a scooter?".

1. I've never been concerned about my safe riding habits. It's everyone else on the road I'm worried about.

2. It doesn't matter if I'm on a scooter or a motorcycle, you get knocked off your bike because some jackass cut you off at 60 mph and the pavement doens't give two shits what you were riding.

Show him some pictures of people who ate concrete and maybe he'll think twice about it.
~~
 

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Basically, understand that you cannot tell people what to think.

If he's willing to take bicycling risks, then in his mind the 150cc bike is even less risky.

Smile and wave, be supportive, but don't be preachy. That's a global turn-off.

If he gets hurt, then he might be willing to listen more. At least he has a helmet. That's more than I see in the non-helmet states here in the USA.
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, he got a helmet and gloves.
2012-11-10 11.39.08.jpg

Then he had to "lay her down"...
2012-11-10 12.53.34.jpg

I was teaching him how to lift the bike and routine maintenance.
 

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It's good to do that stuff in a controlled environment I suppose. Those can't be THAT heavy though, can they? The times that I've dumped my R6 I was able to just grab the clip-ons and flip it back upright.
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Should be around 310 with fluids.
 

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You actually laid it down on purpose to practice picking it up? Not if it were my bike. I will never get over how casually people talk about dropping a bike in their driveway or in a parking lot. I would be so mad at myself if I did that.

This seems like a good time to discuss my encounter with a new rider tonite. I pull up into the local internet gambling establishment after work and to my surprise I see a beautiful blue R1 parked there. I parked my bike near it and admired it as I walked inside. As I was leaving this guy comes out and asks me where I get my bike parts from. I asked him if that was his bike and he said yes. I began to go on about how my bike is my first and how I have been riding it for a year and a half and have been dying to try out a supersport. He interrupts me to say that the R1 is his first bike! I asked how long he had been riding it and he said 2 weeks! He goes on to tell me how he wants to buy a new swingarm to stretch out the back 6 inches to keep the front wheel down. The otherwise beautiful R1 already had cheap chrome spikey grips on it. I told him what he is doing to that bike makes me want to cry and to please be very careful and he just laughed at me. Poor bike.
 

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i just kick it over to make it as realistic as possible except for actually riding it. then i can feel all the anger and pissyness. after that, i'm gtg. I'll never drop it again.
































j/k
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You actually laid it down on purpose to practice picking it up? Not if it were my bike. I will never get over how casually people talk about dropping a bike in their driveway or in a parking lot. I would be so mad at myself if I did that.
Yes, did it on purpose, there is a sleeping bag under the bike so it wouldn't get scratches. Why not? It's not going to hurt the bike at all, it's a naked bike, not a plastic covered bike.
 

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What are those FZ-16 like?

Now they sell those here instead of the YBR 125 I used to have. The price is not bad, my little brother was asking about one. Have you ridden it?

Closer to topic; hard to get the gear thing in his head, given his story... perhaps once he's riding he'll change his mind? It has happened to a few friends. No drops or crashes, but just riding made them realize it feels better to ride with proper gear.

nico
 
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