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Here in Virginia they have courses for new drivers where, in addition to the classroom and in-car training, students get to spend a Friday or Saturday night in an emergency room seeing car crash victims coming in. I never attended training like that but I make it a point to look up motorcycle crash news stories on line or on You Tube every now and then just to remind me of what can happen when I ride. I think it's important to be confident when you ride but you also need to realize the bad things that can happen just so you have a healthy level of caution out on the road.
 

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This is a critical thread as far as me and my wife are concerned. You may not agree with me but here are my thoughs on this very critical subject of safety so please bear with me.

There is a lot of good gear related information here and I am a firm believer in the gear being substantial. Have been riding motorcycles now for 58 years and must say that the choice made were not regretted. This pertains to both me and my wife. Since I have ridden horses for the past 56 years I have Dehner or full lace-up riding boots or very heavy Black or brown officer leather puttees/leggings. I also have a great selection of Riding Breeches/Jodhpurs as well. I really do prefer the heavy leather for ankle / calf protection to just below the knee. Same for my wife as well. For pants we wear fully padded under gear covering hips, thighs and tail bone with vintage loose fitting vintage style riding breeches. The reason being that the flared breeches are comfortable with the wide flare and allows for the wearing of generously fitted padded under garments. I have found that American football padded pants work great under the breeches allowing us to sit in comfort without the tightness of jeans or tight leathers. We do have a selection of vintage flared leather breeches as well for cold weather. We both wear Cortech full armor shirts containing lower arm, upper arm, shoulder, chest, back and lower tail bone as well. We have Police yellow jackets or armored SMT jackets that we then wear over the shirts. Depending on weather conditions. As for rain gear, we wear Gortex 100mph red rubber cuffed neck and wrist shield jackets with high bib pants that slip on easily over everything else as needed. Ad to that armored knuckle shield leather gauntlet gloves.

As for riding safety, I have learned over these many years that it is critical that motorcyclists drive conservatively with eyes on all sides of your head. Meaning motor vehicles ‘ALWAYS” have the right of way. When out riding, we NEVER pass regardless. We consciously slow down when a driver is stopped at an intersection even though we have the right of way. Have learned by experience, that it seems that those who are stopped, always insist that they have the right of way. This procedure has save our lives many times and has become a habit as a result. We also always choose the “road less travelled” when out for a ride and even then we use the same rules as defined above. I must say that, and not to be too offensive, I have seen other bikers who do not follow the same guidelines who have paid the price and not fared too well as a result.

Kinda sounds like we are overdoing it, doesn’t it ? Can’t express our concerns with Motor vehicle drivers who simply could care less if you’re on a Motorcycle. We simply don’t exist when they are in a hurry. It’s a dangerous piece of machinery that must be give full respect, especially when we are the one on it.
 

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This is a critical thread as far as me and my wife are concerned. You may not agree with me but here are my thoughs on this very critical subject of safety so please bear with me.

There is a lot of good gear related information here and I am a firm believer in the gear being substantial. Have been riding motorcycles now for 58 years and must say that the choice made were not regretted. This pertains to both me and my wife. Since I have ridden horses for the past 56 years I have Dehner or full lace-up riding boots or very heavy Black or brown officer leather puttees/leggings. I also have a great selection of Riding Breeches/Jodhpurs as well. I really do prefer the heavy leather for ankle / calf protection to just below the knee. Same for my wife as well. For pants we wear fully padded under gear covering hips, thighs and tail bone with vintage loose fitting vintage style riding breeches. The reason being that the flared breeches are comfortable with the wide flare and allows for the wearing of generously fitted padded under garments. I have found that American football padded pants work great under the breeches allowing us to sit in comfort without the tightness of jeans or tight leathers. We do have a selection of vintage flared leather breeches as well for cold weather. We both wear Cortech full armor shirts containing lower arm, upper arm, shoulder, chest, back and lower tail bone as well. We have Police yellow jackets or armored SMT jackets that we then wear over the shirts. Depending on weather conditions. As for rain gear, we wear Gortex 100mph red rubber cuffed neck and wrist shield jackets with high bib pants that slip on easily over everything else as needed. Ad to that armored knuckle shield leather gauntlet gloves.

As for riding safety, I have learned over these many years that it is critical that motorcyclists drive conservatively with eyes on all sides of your head. Meaning motor vehicles ‘ALWAYS” have the right of way. When out riding, we NEVER pass regardless. We consciously slow down when a driver is stopped at an intersection even though we have the right of way. Have learned by experience, that it seems that those who are stopped, always insist that they have the right of way. This procedure has save our lives many times and has become a habit as a result. We also always choose the “road less travelled” when out for a ride and even then we use the same rules as defined above. I must say that, and not to be too offensive, I have seen other bikers who do not follow the same guidelines who have paid the price and not fared too well as a result.

Kinda sounds like we are overdoing it, doesn’t it ? Can’t express our concerns with Motor vehicle drivers who simply could care less if you’re on a Motorcycle. We simply don’t exist when they are in a hurry. It’s a dangerous piece of machinery that must be give full respect, especially when we are the one on it.
Generally yielding the right of way when you have the legal right of way can cause as many problems as you avoid. Defending your space adds to safety, rather than detracts from it.
 

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I have another question pertaining to riding gear. In the early days of motorcycle riding here in the states in the 30s, 40s, and even still now in Europe, bikers wore the vintage trousers (i.e. breeches) and boots for safety. My dad always rode in breeches during that time as did all the guys of that era. Breeches were designed to allow for riding comfort because of the wide flare design that allowed ease of seat and movement when on a bike (or even when on a horse) and, In hindsight, would still be very functional with the use of padded riding gear from the waist down. Now that breeches have been replaced with tight fitting jeans, leathers and 4 way stretch breeches (for mounted use primarily), padded/armored below-the-waist gear wear is no longer an option unless one buys huge fitting and oversized armored pants often going for a huge price. Just can't get used to the new look. I guess the new norm will lead to something else further down the road and perhaps not. On a personal note, I can't tell you just how many times we have been complemented on the breeches and boots option by other bikers and perhaps a time will come when the vintage biker style will return just as a reminder of the early days of MC riding here in the states. What is interesting is the large number positive comments, looks and thumbs up we receive when out on the the road. As for us, that's the preferred option regardless.
 

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@DRAWS
I just don't think I can agree with
" When out riding, we NEVER pass regardless."
If you get behind a slow moving vehicle, wouldn't you go around him to go the flow of traffic speed?
 

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The concept of "never passing" seems weird as well as impractical. It must be fun when you are on a country road and get stuck behind a tractor pulling a tank of liquid manure at 20 mph and sharing the odors with everyone behind them. Personally, dropping a gear and twisting the throttle to do a high speed pass on a two lane road is one of the most fun things to do on a motorcycle. Enjoying the raw sense of power as I zip past the 55 mph minivan, hitting about 85 within a few seconds and leaving that minivan far behind in my dust is just a hoot.

Now I don't mean to sound overly judgmental, but your focus on wearing vintage motorcycle clothing, your ultra conservative riding style and other comments in your original post make me wonder if you are one of those "riders" that is more enamored with the idea of riding than with actual riding itself. Not that there is anything wrong with that, since there are likely millions like that who endlessly polish their bike, buy all the "right" gear for their brand of bike, and put on as much as a 100 miles each riding season going to and from their home to the local watering hole. If that is their thing, or your thing, more power to you. I love the thrill of the ride, the freedom and independence, and while I wear protective gear most of the time, wearing that gear is not the reason I own a motorcycle.
 

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The concept of "never passing" seems weird as well as impractical. It must be fun when you are on a country road and get stuck behind a tractor pulling a tank of liquid manure at 20 mph and sharing the odors with everyone behind them. Personally, dropping a gear and twisting the throttle to do a high speed pass on a two lane road is one of the most fun things to do on a motorcycle. Enjoying the raw sense of power as I zip past the 55 mph minivan, hitting about 85 within a few seconds and leaving that minivan far behind in my dust is just a hoot.

Now I don't mean to sound overly judgmental, but your focus on wearing vintage motorcycle clothing, your ultra conservative riding style and other comments in your original post make me wonder if you are one of those "riders" that is more enamored with the idea of riding than with actual riding itself. Not that there is anything wrong with that, since there are likely millions like that who endlessly polish their bike, buy all the "right" gear for their brand of bike, and put on as much as a 100 miles each riding season going to and from their home to the local watering hole. If that is their thing, or your thing, more power to you. I love the thrill of the ride, the freedom and independence, and while I wear protective gear most of the time, wearing that gear is not the reason I own a motorcycle.
Didn't mean to sound too judgmental and, if you took it that way, that's ok with me. An individual's need to twist the throttle is fine. We see it all the time. To each his own. Have a great day.
 

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@DRAWS
I just don't think I can agree with
" When out riding, we NEVER pass regardless."
If you get behind a slow moving vehicle, wouldn't you go around him to go the flow of traffic speed?
On your point, I agree and yes there are times when we have no choice but to pass when conditions apply. However, our goal is to enjoy the ride and keep reasonably within the posted speed.
 

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I respect @DRAWS reason for wearing the gear he and his wife do, as well as, the style of riding they prefer and have come to feel it is the safest for them. I have no doubts that they receive compliments on their fashion, and I have no doubts that there are many other motorcyclist who don't prefer their fashion and whom just pass without comment. I started riding 2 wheels 63 years ago and have never worn knee high boots or breeches. Just not my thing and it provides no additional protection in my opinion. I am ATGATT 99.5% of the time, but use modern gear that for me is far superior to options of the past.

I agree with @vito and @bpe on the subject of passing. Although there are times when I pass based on a specific need, like not having to breath the black smoke being spilled by a diesel truck in front of me for miles, I pass almost exclusively because I want to ride faster than the vehicle in front of me. Sometimes I pass the vehicle in front, that is already passing everyone else, simply because today, at this time, I want to go even faster! I don't always go faster, sometimes when traffic is rolling along at a good clip I just lay back to 'keep up with traffic and stay in between the packs', probably the safest place for a motorcycle.

I do like and respect that it appears @DRAWS has given a lot of thought to his decision as to what to wear and how to drive. Probably based on his many years of experience, research and wisdom. I see so many riders, mostly new riders, that buy this or that bike based on what their friends ride, and wear what other riders are wearing that goes along with that style of bike, and quickly develop a riding style based on how their friends ride, without giving it any thought or training. I would bet, that is how a lot of us started riding. Nonetheless, it's good to hear others opinions based on their thought process regardless if I agree on not. And, with only 12 posts since he joined this forum I have enjoyed his threads and replies. Although I'm sure he would not consider riding with me, nore I him, I bet him and his wife would be a real joy and hoot to meetup at the local waterhole to chit-chat about bikes and riding.
 

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I respect @DRAWS reason for wearing the gear he and his wife do, as well as, the style of riding they prefer and have come to feel it is the safest for them. I have no doubts that they receive compliments on their fashion, and I have no doubts that there are many other motorcyclist who don't prefer their fashion and whom just pass without comment. I started riding 2 wheels 63 years ago and have never worn knee high boots or breeches. Just not my thing and it provides no additional protection in my opinion. I am ATGATT 99.5% of the time, but use modern gear that for me is far superior to options of the past.

I agree with @vito and @bpe on the subject of passing. Although there are times when I pass based on a specific need, like not having to breath the black smoke being spilled by a diesel truck in front of me for miles, I pass almost exclusively because I want to ride faster than the vehicle in front of me. Sometimes I pass the vehicle in front, that is already passing everyone else, simply because today, at this time, I want to go even faster! I don't always go faster, sometimes when traffic is rolling along at a good clip I just lay back to 'keep up with traffic and stay in between the packs', probably the safest place for a motorcycle.

I do like and respect that it appears @DRAWS has given a lot of thought to his decision as to what to wear and how to drive. Probably based on his many years of experience, research and wisdom. I see so many riders, mostly new riders, that buy this or that bike based on what their friends ride, and wear what other riders are wearing that goes along with that style of bike, and quickly develop a riding style based on how their friends ride, without giving it any thought or training. I would bet, that is how a lot of us started riding. Nonetheless, it's good to hear others opinions based on their thought process regardless if I agree on not. And, with only 12 posts since he joined this forum I have enjoyed his threads and replies. Although I'm sure he would not consider riding with me, nore I him, I bet him and his wife would be a real joy and hoot to meetup at the local waterhole to chit-chat about bikes and riding.
Eagle Six, nicely done. And my post was only to inform others so that they will always give serious thought to consider and plan for their safety and for that day when our collective time comes, "Like A Theif In The Night".
 

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I respect @DRAWS reason for wearing the gear he and his wife do, as well as, the style of riding they prefer and have come to feel it is the safest for them. I have no doubts that they receive compliments on their fashion, and I have no doubts that there are many other motorcyclist who don't prefer their fashion and whom just pass without comment. I started riding 2 wheels 63 years ago and have never worn knee high boots or breeches. Just not my thing and it provides no additional protection in my opinion. I am ATGATT 99.5% of the time, but use modern gear that for me is far superior to options of the past.

I agree with @vito and @bpe on the subject of passing. Although there are times when I pass based on a specific need, like not having to breath the black smoke being spilled by a diesel truck in front of me for miles, I pass almost exclusively because I want to ride faster than the vehicle in front of me. Sometimes I pass the vehicle in front, that is already passing everyone else, simply because today, at this time, I want to go even faster! I don't always go faster, sometimes when traffic is rolling along at a good clip I just lay back to 'keep up with traffic and stay in between the packs', probably the safest place for a motorcycle.

I do like and respect that it appears @DRAWS has given a lot of thought to his decision as to what to wear and how to drive. Probably based on his many years of experience, research and wisdom. I see so many riders, mostly new riders, that buy this or that bike based on what their friends ride, and wear what other riders are wearing that goes along with that style of bike, and quickly develop a riding style based on how their friends ride, without giving it any thought or training. I would bet, that is how a lot of us started riding. Nonetheless, it's good to hear others opinions based on their thought process regardless if I agree on not. And, with only 12 posts since he joined this forum I have enjoyed his threads and replies. Although I'm sure he would not consider riding with me, nore I him, I bet him and his wife would be a real joy and hoot to meetup at the local waterhole to chit-chat about bikes and riding.
Thanks, George. The range of opinions is very wide on this forum and we appreciate that. My goal was to share our view with riding, not to change others views. We have many friends who would agree with regard to riding gear and style as do we. Like-minded bikers will tend to associate with each other when riding anyway so long as we have respect for others views, as well. Thanks for your reply. VROOOM!
 

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And my post was only to inform others so that they will always give serious thought to consider and plan for their safety and for that day when our collective time comes, "Like A Theif In The Night".
That is how I took your post. There are parts that we don't agree, but that is our option and in part, the fun of it. There are probably many things we do agree on. If when you are riding along and someone like this comes up behind you, I'll be passing with courtesy and hope I get a wave from you and the wife.....

60431
 

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Thanks, George. The range of opinions is very wide on this forum and we appreciate that. My goal was to share our view with riding, not to change others views. We have many friends who would agree with regard to riding gear and style as do we. Like-minded bikers will tend to associate with each other when riding anyway so long as we have respect for others views, as well. Thanks for your reply. VROOOM!
BTW just curious, what part of the country are you and the wife riding?
 

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BTW just curious, what part of the country are you and the wife riding?
We live near Manchester New Hampshire. Have lived here all of our lives. Our riding range covers all of New hampshire and Vermon as well as the southest part of Maine along the coast and north up to and including the Rangeley Lakes area. We summer on a lake infar Northern New Hampshire where the roads are a bit less congested but full of moose. We love to spend a lot of time riding in the White Mountains with great vistas and back roads. We both still work 2 days per week but are retired and, other than church on Sunday, spend 4-5 days riding per week, weather permitting. We do spend a lot of time in the lakes region as well as seen in our Avitar.

NOTE: I forgot to mention that when I was growing up, Manchester was a smaller city with lots of open space in the southern part of the state. Probably no more than 1/2 million. Since then, Southern NH driving has taken a turn for the worse. Manchester area is now about 350,000 and the Manchester/Nashua/Derry metro area (25 mile radius of the city) thas about 700,000. This doesn't include the other parts of so. NH outside the metro area. Very early on, we realized that in order to keep riding, we needed to address the issue of very bad congestion and severe traffic conditions and to take steps to improve safety for ourselves as a result. I would now classify the metro Manchester area as very dangerous and getting worse daily.
 

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I live and ride near the White Mountains as well, just in a different state! @DRAWS sounds like real nice country you folks live in. I guess I will not be passing you folks, it's a far piece for me to ride.
 

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I presume northeast of Phoenix. If so, beautiful area up to and including the Flagstaff area. You are right. I think we will just need to communicate and pass on our travel experiences.
 

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My take. I'm one of those retired guys who don't usually have any place to go in a hurry, so I don't. Still--I do wear ATGATT which is a good thing. This regardless of the number of miles one rides, although the more miles, the more chance of a happening.

Last year, just pulling out from a driveway into traffic, my rear wheel spun out as I hit some pea gravel I didn't see in the center of the 4 lanes. I laid the bike down on its side. No harm done as my gear took all the fall which was at a fairly slow speed. Without the gear, I would have had some foot/lower leg abrasion, elbow/shoulder abrasion, and maybe some hand scrapes. I wasn't hot rodding or anything, but accidents can happen even though.

Some years ago, my rear tire blew at 70 mph and I highsided. I broke ribs and collarbone, punctured lung, messed up insides, and had bruises along my whole left side. Weeks in ICU. If not for the gear, who knows. So do we know when we'll have a blowout and a highside? If not, then if one can handle the gear, assuredly helps one's chances. (y)

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