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Thread: Wearing Protective gear while riding a motorbike

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    Default Wearing Protective gear while riding a motorbike

    Thanks to the efforts and contributions from the TB education team, here is a comprehensive description on ATGATT for noobs, the ignorant and misinformed. If anybody has anything to add please free to comment as we would like to use this document in future education drives.

    What is ATGATT?
    ATGATT stands for All The Gear All The Time, and encompasses all safety gear recommended for use while riding a motorbike. It includes, but is not limited to helmets, jackets, pants, gloves and riding boots.
    It is about dressing for the slide and not the ride. Although manufacturers are always looking for newer designs to make their safety gear look more appealing to potential buyers, it is not about how good you look ON the bike, but about how well you will be protected in the event of an accident and how good you you will look AFTER a fall.
    By law, bikers are only required to wear an SABS approved helmet while riding a motorbike, but in the event of an accident, a helmet alone will do nothing to help reduce injuries to other parts of the body.

    Why wear ATGATT?
    There are many bikers who ride around in nothing more than just a t-shirt, shorts and slip-slops.
    Usually in a fall at speed, a rider slides across the road, ripping up all clothing and in the process losing a fair amount of skin. During such a fall, a properly dressed rider would be protected by the clothing, thus greatly reducing damage to their body, in most cases with only a few grazes and bruises.
    Unfortunately, no matter how well you are dressed, there are situations where your clothing will not prevent broken or sprained limbs, but will at least prevent or minimize superficial injuries.

    ATGATT is not cheap, but considering the alternatives of hospital bills, possible skin grafts, the discomfort and related medical bills, it will be far easier and cheaper to replace damaged ATGATT.

    Types of ATGATT:

    Helmet
    Helmets are required by law, and no biker should be on a bike without one.
    Their main purpose is to prevent injuries to the head and face should you be involved in an accident. Due to the position of the rider, in an accident with another vehicle, pedestrian or object, the rider will inevitably be flung over the handlebars and head first into the vehicle or onto the ground.
    There are many makes, models and processes by which helmets are made. There are five main types of helmets to choose from, i.e. full face, flip-up (modular), open face, off-road/motorcross and half helmets. Depending on your type of riding, where you ride, speeds travelled etc, you can choose between any of the above.
    Because a helmet is the most important piece of ATGATT, it should be cleaned and inspected on a regular basis for cracks and chips in the outer shell. Chin straps and buckles should be checked for proper engagement and sound construction. Visors must be checked for cracks and scratches that impair vision, and if necessary must be replaced. If a helmet is dropped, check it thoroughly for any cracks, if you do not know what to look for, have it thoroughly checked by a professional. All attachment points for the visor and chin straps must also checked to ensure a proper and snug fit.
    Depending on make and quality, helmets range from as little as R500 to R10,000. Of course finances ultimately determine what helmet you buy, but where possible a rider should buy the best helmet they can afford.

    Gloves
    Gloves are also an important and integral part of safety gear. They not only prevent your hands from superficial injuries in a fall but also keep them warm on cold days. Warm hands on cold days help your reflexes when having to brake suddenly and through the handlebars you can also “feel “everything that is happening on the bike. They also add extra grip on the handlebars on a hot day when your hands are sweaty.
    Gloves should preferably have a hard covering over the knuckles and ligaments on the fingers and have a durable material over the palm area. Gloves are by far the cheapest investment of all ATGATT items and range from as little as R100 to over R1,500.

    Jackets
    Jackets should preferably be made specifically for biking, as they have extra padding and protection in vital areas, such as the shoulders, elbows, shoulder blades and chest area. They are not just a piece of clothing to keep you warm, but an essential item to keep you safe in the event of an accident. The materials from which these jackets are usually made are of high quality with high abrasion properties such as leather, ballistic nylon and cordura, which will not tear easily in a fall. Most jackets have inner linings which can be removed on hot days and replaced for colder days.
    Cheaper jackets bought at fashion clothing stores are generally made from polyester, nylon and cotton and have a poorer quality stitching. None of these materials have good abrasion properties and will easily tear in a fall and seams will rip open and leave no protection for the rider in a fall.
    Depending on make and materials, jackets range from as little as R900 to a few thousand rand.

    If you cannot afford a proper biking jacket then a good substitute would be a denim jacket or “normal leather jacket” (not thin nappa leather) as the material is thicker and more durable than polyester, nylon and cotton.

    Pants
    Pants are a multi functional item, with their main function being to protect you in the event of a fall. Like jackets, they are made from durable materials such as leather and cordura and extra strong denim.
    Extra bonuses are that they prevent your work pants from getting dirty from road debris and prevent injuries to your legs from flying objects thrown up by your bike’s wheels or vehicles around you. They also provide an extra layer of warmth on cold days and are pretty water resistant in light rain and splashes from puddles. As with jackets, depending on make and material, pants range from R1,000 to a few thousand rand.

    If you cannot afford proper biking pants, then a good substitute would be normal denim pants, e.g. jeans or any long pants made of a reasonable quality material.

    Boots
    Boots that are specifically for biking have many safety features built into them. Features and materials will differ, depending on whether they are designed for on-road or off-road riding. Some of the main safety features are steel caps in the toe area to prevent your toes from being broken, plates in the sole of the shoe to add rigidity for the foot, and ankle support.
    Most boots are made from high quality leather and are made to withstand the toughest of conditions. Boots probably go through the most punishment of all ATGATT, as they have to survive being walked in, getting wet and getting dirty from debris, water and grime on the roads and rain and must still protect you in a fall.
    Depending on make and material, boots range from R1,000 to a few thousand rand.

    If you cannot afford proper biking boots, a good substitute would be safety shoes as worn by construction workers as they have steel caps in the toes, solid soles and ankle protection. They can be purchased from as little as R150 from safety clothing stores and hardware stores.


    Hi-visibility safety bibs
    Hi-visibility (hi-viz) bibs help to make you more visible to other road users, like pedestrians, motorists and cyclists. They have reflective panels and -writing that reflect in sunlight during the day and vehicles’ headlights at night.
    They can be purchased from as little as R100 from safety clothing stores and hardware stores. The reason for the great price difference in hi-viz bibs is the quality of the fabric and reflective materials. The higher quality bibs will not fade as quickly and the reflective materials last much longer as well.


    Other protective gear


    Neck braces
    Neck braces help prevent neck and spinal injuries in the event of a fall. Just like all ATGATT, they may be cumbersome and restrictive at first, but after a while you will get used to it.

    Sunglasses
    Sunglasses are also an essential item, as they help to cut the glare of the sun when riding in bright sunlight, which eases the stress on the eyes and lets you concentrate on surrounding traffic.
    Having a set of sunglasses with interchangeable lenses is handy, as the lenses can be changed to suit different light conditions e.g. yellow lenses for night driving or riding in misty conditions which help cut out glare from lights of oncoming vehicles and improves visibility in misty conditions, orange lenses for low light conditions e.g. overcast days, dusk and dawn driving and dark lenses for driving in bright sunlight.
    Sunglasses with interchangeable lenses can be purchased at most sports stores.
    Depending on make, prices range from around R300 to a few thousand rand.

    Visors and Visor Inserts
    Some brands of helmets have interchangeable visors that are clear, tinted or amber and can be easily changed for use during day, night or low visibility riding. These visors are usually purchased separately to the helmet, although some brands include an additional visor on purchase. Other helmets come with factory fitted sun visors that are part of the integral visor system that can be operated independently of the clear visor, so as to prevent changing of visors every time a rider alternates between day and night riding.

    Also available are visor inserts that come in varying colours and some even have photochromatic abilities and darken according to the intensity of the UV rays of the sun. Once the UV is removed (for example riding through a shady area or underground car park), the visor insert gradually returns to its clear state The insert is placed on the inside of the visor and helps to cut down on bright sunlight, much the same as a pair of sunglasses. Most of them are also anti-fog. Prices range from around R200 to R400 and should be replaced once a year.

    Just like all hobbies/interests, riding a bike is an expensive activity and investment. Just because a person cannot afford the proper protection is no excuse not to take preventative measures and look for alternative methods of dressing appropriately. As mentioned, clothing and shoes can easily be substituted with alternative items that would give a fair degree of protection.

    Headlight covers/film
    In misty conditions, visibility is severely impaired due to light being bounced back off the mist and creating a glare. Yellow/orange headlight covers can be installed over the headlights which help to reduce the glare in misty conditions and thereby improve visibility.
    Alternatively a yellow film, similar to window tint film, can be applied directly to the headlight lenses.
    On the downside, depending on the colour and thickness, loose covers tend to refract up to 30% of light emitted by the headlights, thus reducing the quality of illumination. Because film is thinner and applied directly to the headlight lens, the quality of illumination is almost unaffected.
    Yellow headlights also help motorists distinguish between bikes and cars approaching from behind and to take appropriate steps to avoid colliding with bikers.

    Just remember: SOMETHING is better than NOTHING….


    Don't take life too seriously....nobody gets out alive!!!

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    First suggestion, if I may: this --> It includes, but is not limited to helmets, jackets, pants, gloves and shoes.

    should be -->
    It includes, but is not limited to helmets, jackets, pants, gloves and riding boots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendon View Post
    First suggestion, if I may: this --> It includes, but is not limited to helmets, jackets, pants, gloves and shoes.

    should be --> It includes, but is not limited to helmets, jackets, pants, gloves and riding boots.
    Fixed. Thanks

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    Perhaps throw this in there as well? in the ATGATT section. (or something like this?)... please free free to ignore me if you like

    Seemingly innocious "roasties" which are received during a slide, are often prone to serious infection if not cleaned thoroughly by a trained medical professional (even when this rule is applied, infection may still set in). Such infections may result in far more serious consequences. For this reason, strong abrasive resistant gear is greatly recommended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Devil View Post
    Fixed. Thanks

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    Probably me

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    I like it a lot ... nice one guys ... good work

    What about mention of reflective stickers on top-boxes, helmets etc to help improve visibilty at night etc ?

    The colour of the high-viz vest (apart from the reflective quality of some of the elements), also helps a rider to be more visible to other road users. (due to the bright colours used, yellow, day-glow green etc)

    Respect

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    Could admin please make this thread a sticky?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Devil View Post
    Could admin please make this thread a sticky?
    Done

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    I Have taken some time to read this thread..... (Okay a lot of time as I had to read it a few times to make sure I'm getting the bigger picture. In fact I must say a very comprehensive approach to basic safety.

    Maybe this should be posted on other bike related forums

    I have been discussing this doc with some none TB member not on the forum and they really like this. They did mention IDENTIFICATION as a major point that is outstanding. Must say at first I thought they are spot on but how long do we want to make this doc.

    Very nice reading material

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    Identification probably overlooked because it is a fundamental of TB membership. Dog tags go on in the morning with the watch But for non TB members, mention dog tags and membership card in wallet and ICE and those little capsules that attach to jacket or key ring and see through pockets on non TB hi vis jackets
    Maturity is a grossly overrated achievement

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    @Brendon this is good reading material and if I may suggest that you guys go around and promote ATGAT at schools because while riding around in my area I picked up that a lot of scholars ride schooter without any ATGAT due to lack of knowledge on the parents side. I would even go so far and ask the schools to enforce a rule that all kids with a bike or scooter should wear ATGAT. Schools should inform the parents that if they buy a bike or scooter their kids must wear protective gear period. Thanks and good luck if you do go around to schools.

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    ...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I never try anything, I just do it >;

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    Lightbulb Abrassion Time Table

    For interest's sake please find attached
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Great advice and I will deffinately use it well!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGarmin View Post
    @Brendon this is good reading material and if I may suggest that you guys go around and promote ATGAT at schools because while riding around in my area I picked up that a lot of scholars ride schooter without any ATGAT due to lack of knowledge on the parents side. I would even go so far and ask the schools to enforce a rule that all kids with a bike or scooter should wear ATGAT. Schools should inform the parents that if they buy a bike or scooter their kids must wear protective gear period. Thanks and good luck if you do go around to schools.
    I would like to take credit, but alas I cannot ... Speed Devil (and others I think), were responsible for writing the document.

    The Education Team, part and parcel, attempts to do exactly what you describe. Perhaps offer them a hand?

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    Speed-Devil is the one to thank, He took the time out to type this. Initiative came from his side.
    The Education team was all involved in giving their input before it was posted.

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    Thanks for this guys. I must say that when I see bikers riding without gear (t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops or even just one without gloves) I lose my cool. I remember my dad coming home from one of the rallies to tell us about what happened to a pillion rider. She was apparently wearing high heels, tank top, mini skirt and no helmet... and she came off the bike... She needed several skin grafts and wasn't recognisable due to her injuries. Just the thought of it still freaks me out to this day. So ATGATT!

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