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Preventing crushed ankles

1366 Views 26 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Offcenter
Hi,

I'm new to motorcycle riding and I've come across a few horrific stories of people crushing their ankles in accidents.

What is a good way to prevent crushed ankles (apart from the obvious, don't crash)? Do floorboards help keeping the bike's weight off of the ankles in a crash? Do boots have to have special ankle protection? A few of the stories I read mentioned rider's wearing proper motorcycle boots but still ended up with crushed ankle.

In motorcycle accidents, do crushed ankles result from foot twisting to unnatural angles or bike's weight?

Thanks!
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Proper boots. Welcome no0b
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Hi,

I'm new to motorcycle riding and I've come across a few horrific stories of people crushing their ankles in accidents.

What is a good way to prevent crushed ankles (apart from the obvious, don't crash)? Do floorboards help keeping the bike's weight off of the ankles in a crash? Do boots have to have special ankle protection? A few of the stories I read mentioned rider's wearing proper motorcycle boots but still ended up with crushed ankle.

In motorcycle accidents, do crushed ankles result from foot twisting to unnatural angles or bike's weight?

Thanks!
All the above. Crashes are very unpredictable, both in their causes as well as effects. While ankle injuries do occur, they tend to not be as common or severe as head injuries. Various medical and insurance associations have stats on moto crashes and injuries if you want to look up actual numbers.

Imagine just parking-lot tip-over. Bike will tend to fall over sideways and pivot around contact patch. Bike's weight may land on your legs and ankle, but pegs and handlebars will limit how much force goes into them. Due to triangle of pivot, head moves largest distance in same timeframe and hits ground at 30mph! Even if bike is barely moving, many have died in parking-lots and driveways while moving under 5-mph.

Get some good boots and your ankles will be OK. Helmet with Snell or ECE rating will protect your noggin'.
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It is a concern and does happen but I think you are over thinking it a bit. Yes floor boards or engine guards may help depending on the bike. My personal opinion would be that it is equal to slamming your fingers in a car door. It happens, and usually in parking lots, but it is a very very small proportion of the injuries people get in cars.

As a new rider, you have lots to worry about. Heck, as an experienced rider you have lots to worry about. It is good you are thinking but don't over think it. Wear good gear, maintain your bike, and be careful.
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What is a good way to prevent crushed ankles (apart from the obvious, don't crash)?
Crash bars or frame sliders on the bike to create space in the event of tip-over or low side, steel shank and ankle armor in boots to protect your fragile foot bones!
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Get a solid pair of boots and don't worry too much about your ankles, anything is possible but usually ankles are OK.
Wear good gear, a helmet, motorcycle jacket, good boots, gloves, and possibly motorcycle armored pants, and go ride!
Hmm , you had to dig pretty deep to find that worry .
This is the first time in close to 60 years of cycling that I've heard or read about anyone concerned about crushed ankles .
Gotta love being alive ... something new , every day . ;)
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Hmm , you had to dig pretty deep to find that worry .
This is the first time in close to 60 years of cycling that I've heard or read about anyone concerned about crushed ankles .
Gotta love being alive ... something new , every day . ;)
Me too. Never heard that mentioned before.
But,..to prevent it?
Don't let your 900 pound Goldwing fall over in your driveway with your foot under it.
(been there, done that)
Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate the input. I'm hoping to start with a Suzuki VZ800. Hopefully it's not too heavy as a first bike. We'll see how it goes this summer.
fell over in a parking lot, broke my ankle. damn good thing i wasn't wearing steel toed shoes
Is the risk the same even if the bike weighs relatively less like 400lb? or it doesn't really matter as either way it's more weight than the ankle can take.
It's funny how physics plays a part, just the wrong angle and the consequences are huge.
I managed to grow up doing a thousand crazy and unsafe things on the farm. Never got seriously hurt or broke a bone. Then one day I couldn't make up my mind to slide or not when going into second and did an awkward half slide, catching the edge of my cleat on the base. Yep, that loud crack was my tib-fib breaking just above the ankle. So you just never know.
As for the ankle/motorcycle question, I wouldn't say it's a worry point. The head is the most vulnerable, and the consequences are larger than a simple broken bone. So if you're going to be concerned about something, worry about that. Get a good helmet that fits properly.
I have a Suzuki VS800, probably a similar size to your bike. It's not really heavy as bikes go, I can easily maneuver it around the shop and balance it. I did put crash bars on it, mostly because I don't want to muck up the paint if I happen to drop it, but also because I like having the additional foot rests and they do provide some protection for my legs if I dump it, not just for breaking a bone but also didn't want to be trapped against a hot exhaust. I've never dropped it, but I also imagine the crash bars would be a help in getting it back up again.
Like they've said, wear good boots and a good helmet, use some common sense, get some training, and if you're really worried about your legs, I'd recommend installing a set of crash bars. Don't over think the hazards or you're talk yourself out of getting on the bike.
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Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate the input. I'm hoping to start with a Suzuki VZ800. Hopefully it's not too heavy as a first bike. We'll see how it goes this summer.
Everyone is different, some need to start on a small bike, others do fine on a larger one. A VZ800 is mid sized, mid weight, slightly above average power but not crazy.
My Daughter learned to ride in a day on a VZ800, she rode it for about a year then sold it and bought an Indian Scout.
Everyone is different, some need to start on a small bike, others do fine on a larger one. A VZ800 is mid sized, mid weight, slightly above average power but not crazy.
My Daughter learned to ride in a day on a VZ800, she rode it for about a year then sold it and bought an Indian Scout.
Ha! When I started riding in the late 60s, an 800 was a BIG bike!
After 6 smaller bikes, I eventually graduated to a BMW 900 in 1974.
I rode that bike for 30 years. Never thought it was small or even mid sized.
Now, after riding the Goldwing for a few years, that BMW would feel like toy.
my pantleg caught on the peg then the crankcase pivoted on my heel. a 400 lb bike i might have walked away.
I wear leather boots that are about 6 or 8 inches high and give ankle support-- but I don't think they protect me from a crush hazard. I'm just not too worried about that.

I'm more worried about crushing my knee joint or simply being burned if Motorcycle does a low side crash or tips over to the right and those twin hot exhaust pipes are pressing against my right leg.

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P.S. I think (guess) the best way to mitigate that hazard would be to get a set a crash bars/engine cage bars, but I haven't done that yet.
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I'm more worried about crushing my knee joint or simply being burned if Motorcycle does a low side crash or tips over to the right and those twin hot exhaust pipes are pressing against my right leg.
Heat wrap around those pipes might help too.
Heat wrap around those pipes might help too.
I'm sure it would help make a nicer pattern in the burn . LOL
I'm more worried about crushing my knee joint or simply being burned if Motorcycle does a low side crash or tips over to the right and those twin hot exhaust pipes are pressing against my right leg.
You might learn just how fast you can kick that bike off regardless of weight factor. Adrenaline is like magic at times.
In addition to other suggestion for high top boots for ankle and foot protection, and crash bars, there is also crash training which also includes low speed/no speed lay overs. I have seen some leg/ankle injuries from folks trying to keep the bike upright when it gets past that lean point of no return. They have done that focusing on not wanting to damage their bike or their pride, but getting our leg/ankle/foot out of the way is best and let the bike go. You can train for this in the drive way or almost any place. It's amazing how quick you can move your feet out of harms way when you focus on safety instead of the shiny parts. There is always going to be an exception, but if we keep the right mindset and occasionally practice, we most often can keep our lower parts out of harms way, and especially in a low side.
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