To all you valued internet commenters who cannot resist the urge, yes, I am fully aware that the gear I wear is sometimes worth more than the two-wheeler I’m riding. I realise you may find it amusing, but allow me to ask you this – what’s your point exactly? Should we place a particular value on our physical well-being, and is it imperative that said number be lower than the amount we’re willing to spend on a motorcycle? Doesn’t really make sense, does it?
I have a passion for safety gear that stems from much more than just a fear of getting hurt. Sure, that’s a big contributing factor, but the truth is that I find new motorcycle gear as exciting new motorcycles – just ask the YouTube algorithm on my devices. I found myself on this path years ago through the discovery of just how satisfying it is to be fully and appropriately kitted out on a motorcycle. For example, the sense of security you feel on the racetrack in a one-piece leather race suit. Or the sheer unbridled joy of Gore-tex boots bringing you home with dry feet after 12hr of riding through near-cyclonic weather and flooded streets.
I’ve been blessed to have walked away from all four crashes I’ve had so far, and with each one, my brain had time to process an ironic sense of relief as I flew to the ground with my arms outstretched – relief that I had my gear on. Riding any motorcycle is a gamble, but I’m addicted to the feeling of stacking the odds in my favour by wearing the best gear I can – every single time I get on a bike.
Some may say that it’s just overkill to do so on a vehicle that can’t cross 80kph. My standard response is that when you have your first fall at anything above average running speeds, you’ll understand what the human body is actually capable of taking. We’re simply not designed to fall at speed and definitely not into solid objects – that’s why safety gear exists. The better the gear, the better off you are.
The world of motorcycle safety apparel is deep, fascinating, and always evolving. Of course, as with all hobbies, interests and passions, things can get seriously expensive as you start to climb the ladder. You have to reach what you find to be the balance point between price and protection. This is a very personal thing, and it’s an answer only you can give yourself. What’s important is not to let the price of your motorcycle dictate that decision – motorcycles can always be replaced, but your body can’t.
Bottomline, I can bear with the expense and inconvenience, but I dislike pain almost as much as I detest regret. So, I will continue to give myself the best level of protection I reasonably can, regardless of what vehicle I’m riding; and without the slightest care for what anyone might think. How about you?