Kit up! Zip up! motorcycle protective clothing in hot weather.
We first ran the following blog in April & July 2018. However, having witnessed more & more motorcycle riders putting themselves at risk by not wearing protective motorcycle clothing; mono motorcycles feel the need to re-share this safety message.
The sun is shining & it is is perfect weather for getting out on your motorcycle or moped. There is nothing more exhilarating than heading out in the sun, meeting up with friends & basking in the seasonal sunshine.
For most motorcycle or moped riders, wearing full protective motorcycle clothing is automatic & a normal part of motorcycle/moped riding. Yes, we all agree, sometimes in hot weather, full leathers can be a little toasty & in the winter, layers of gortex can be cumbersome.
However, there are a few motorcycle & moped riders who seem to think that they are somehow invincible the moment a chink of sunshine breaks through the clouds. There are a few motorcycle & moped riders who ride in t-shirts, short sleeves & in extreme cases, flip flops! mono motorcycles are puzzled by this behaviour, as we firmly believe that sunshine does not add a magical layer to skin to make a rider some sort of Iron Man, nor will it protect you should the worst happen.
The legal statute for motorcycle riders in the UK, is that you have to by law ride a two wheeled moped or motorcycle with a CE approved motorcycle helmet. New legislation recently released, also states that all protective clothing sold in the UK from the 21 April 2018, has to be CE approved. https://www.gov.uk/motorcycle-helmet-law
“Since 1994, any garment described as Personal Protective Equipment has had to be demonstrably able to meet a CE standard – in the case of motorcycle jackets, trousers, and one/two-piece suits, this has been by testing to EN 13595. But most bike kit has been sold as being ‘non-protective’, with only the armour being tested to CE-standards.
The dodgy part comes from the fact that many manufacturers’ marketing departments – and the motorcycle media – have been describing these garments as protective, leading to confusion for the consumer.
From 21 April 2018, new legislation came into force that should at least see the beginning of the end for this confusion.” https://www.bennetts.co.uk
However, despite the fact that the clothing now has to have a CE mark, it is still not a legal requirement to wear protective motorcycle clothing while riding a moped or motorcycle in the UK. Therein lies the rub, because as soon as the warmer weather appears, a distinctly lapse approach to protecting skin creeps in to some areas of the motorcycling & moped communities.
As adults we have the knowledge & understanding of the facts about the dangers of motorcycling. We are all aware that there is a heightened chance of broken bones from an accident on a motorcycle, as opposed to driving a car. However, what about your skin?
Human skin is not designed to drag & protect the same way as leather or Kevlar can & yet every year, thousands of moped & motorcycle riders run the gauntlet by not wearing any protective motorcycle clothing to protect their skin. The resulting damage to skin from a motorcycle accident is called road rash. There are three main types of road rash:
- Avulsion – The most common type of road rash, avulsion refers to layers of skin being scraped away, revealing the hard and soft tissue underneath. In severe cases of avulsion, the bone may be exposed. This is what most people think of when they think of road rash, but there are variations to consider.
- Open Wound – Open wounds may form as the skin is cut or torn while skidding along the road. These lacerations can be quite severe if not addressed quickly.
- Compression – Compression refers to road rash injuries in which part of the body is caught and/or pinched between two objects, hurting the skin, bone, muscles, and other tissues.
These injuries can be life changing & sometimes sadly can lead to death. mono motorcycles has been given permission by Toni Meredith to share her experience of what happened to her during a 30mph motorcycle accident. Toni was travelling the 5 minute journey from her place of work to her home when the accident occurred.
15.07.17 “I had a bike accident on Wednesday evening, spent 2 nights in hospital but am now home. All considered my injuries aren’t too bad. I have full thickness grazes to both knees ( no skin left) grazes cuts and bruising to my back and stomach.”
26.07.17 “The holes in my knees are healing well, unfortunately I have developed some complications. I have been diagnosed as having DVT in my right leg and now undergoing treatment for the next 3 months and have also got a very large subcutaneous haematoma on my lower back. It’s hoped this will reabsorb by itself but could take months hopefully it will and I can avoid having to have it drained.
My bike is in the process of being written off as it will cost too much to repair.
I have learnt the very painful way…never be complacent coz you’re not going far, always wear the right kit, had I done that I probably wouldn’t have half the injuries and complications. Proper kit every journey for me from now on, no excuses.”
Toni, a rider of 15 years, wholeheartedly admits that she got complacent as her motorcycle journey was only minutes from work & she wasn’t wearing protective leg coverings when she had her accident. The images below are what happened to Toni during her 30mph accident.
Toni’s knees immediately after the accident Road rash damage to Toni’s skin
Toni’s Honda SP2 after the accident. The dent in the tank being caused during a 30mph accident
mono motorcycles & vehicle security believe that in addition to a CE approved motorcycle helmet, either full leathers, leather jacket/trousers, gortex leggings/jacket or Kevlar jeans & gloves should be worn by all motorcyclists, whether on a 50CC moped or a 1000CC sports bike. In addition, we do believe that all people taking a CBT should be wearing full protective motorcycle clothing & that physical safety, as well as road safety, should be part of the CBT process.
Skin can be grafted, but do you really want to put yourself in the position to need this excruciatingly painful & arduous procedure? The most important thing for anyone with a moped or motorcycle is to understand the dangers & try to prevent damage to their bodies, rather than encourage it. Sadly there are still those out there who really do believe it won’t happen to them. However, it is this mentality which can & does breed complacency.
This article is not intended in any way to put anyone off riding, nor to scare monger. mono motorcycles & vehicle security are passionate bikers, with a lifetime of riding experience. Riding motorcycles is a way of life for us, but we respect the risks & do all we can to protect ourselves while we ride.
mono motorcycles: Live to ride, ride to live!
Disclaimer: Please note, leather & Kevlar are only designed to protect skin in an accident up to 60mph. mono motorcycles are not implying that protective clothing will protect you entirely at speed nor that it could save your life in an accident.
For more information & advice about the values of protective motorcycle clothing go to http://think.direct.gov.uk/assets/pdf/dg_195215.pdf