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Thread: ATGATT Research

  1. #1
    Daily Rider jurgen's Avatar
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    ATGATT Research

    The Gear Study Paper: http://www.georgeinstitute.org/site...tit_2011.pdf

    An Australian scientific study on the value of protective motorcycle clothing. One interesting finding is that not all protective clothing sold for motorcyclists actually does the job so buyer beware.

    Worth reading - I found the study well-designed from a research perspective. The authors did a lot of homework and knew what they were doing.

    It appears Australians are more safety-conscious than we in the US (although I have no data to back that up - just a gut feel considering what I have seen on the road).

    According to the study, ÔÇ£Nearly all participants wore helmets (98.6% [86.3% wore a full-face helmet]), motorcycle jackets (82.5%) and motorcycle gloves (87.3%). Fewer wore motorcycle pants (34.9%), motorcycle boots (38.2%) or other heavy boots (25.9%). Body armour was worn over shoulders and elbows (71.7%), hands (50.9%), feet/ankles (29.7%), backs (18.9%), knees 9.9% and hips (7.6%). Almost half (45.8%) wore foam inserts in their jacket backs.ÔÇØ [] added by me. With exception of helmets (in mandatory states) I donÔÇÖt believe American riders wear as much protective gear ÔÇô especially in hot weather.

    Also noteworthy: 25.5% of the accident victims had a ÔÇ£learnerÔÇØ license (not exactly sure what that means) and 2.4% had no license.
    In 60.3% of cases, the helmet sustained impact. Impact speed was <40 km/h (25 mph) in >57% of all cases - apparently mostly urban riding.

    Table 2 shows quite impressively how protective clothing and body armor reduces injuries.

    .

    I know we can never influence the brand-X riders with 1/2 helmets, shorts and tee sirts, but maybe we can guide some new riders in the ATGATT philosophy.

    Happy 4th of July, and ride safely!
    J?rgen
    Red Rocks
    04 R1150GS adv
    04 K1200RS last of the great bricks

  2. #2
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    First: the link is not ok. It seems to be abbreviated. Please check.

    I think I know what's the problem with some of the protective clothing. Clothing, and especially safety clothing, needs to fit perfectly, otherwise it can't function correctly. Like the airbag in a car. It's useless if you don't wear your safety belt too. If you don't, you don't hit the bag in the correct place and it doesn't 'catch' you and you slide along the side of the airbag and still bury your teeth in the dash.

    If your helmet does not fit properly, it's getting a dangerous thing. The same with a jacket that's too big. The protectors can move when the jacket's too big, and that way they can't protect you. Some clothing is of inferiour quality. Helmets for instance where the liner gets soft after a year of use and doesn't fit your head properly. Or protectors that are only good to protect a pedestrian, not a motorcyclist falling at 60mph.
    This might explain some of it. I won't pretend to know it all, but I think this is part of the explanation.

    I won't say that you need to buy the most expensive gear, but somewhere in the middle of the cheapest and the expensive stuff is good and decent gear. Also, the 'better' brands sell stuff that fits better, and are usually more user-friendly. I still have a Dainese jacket which is about 10-12 years old in the house. I don't use it anymore, but it doesn't have a loose stitch on it. It still works and is still a high quality jacket. I paid about $500 for it back then. Worth every penny.
    I always say that you need to start with rubbish to appreciate the quality stuff. Usually by then you know why you have to pay a bit more.
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  3. #3
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    A summary of the study is found on this George Institute page:

    http://www.georgeinstitute.org/about...r-just-weather

    which also contains a link to the study itself.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  4. #4
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    2003 R1150RT - Silver

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    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Very comprehensive study which renews my faith in AGATT. I was interested especially in the study's findings wrt gloves. I own many pairs and wear them as mood hits or for rain/cold/hot considerations. While all of mine were marketed as 'motorcycle' gloves the study suggests higher failure rates in gloves without armor. I only own one pair with armor which protects the knuckles. I would think many launches would include swan dives taking leather off the palms (at least my many bicycle crashes end that way - so one learns to curl and roll when speed is low enough). Not sure if the same thing happens on motorcycles and don't want to test the theory. Opinions?
    Ken
    [2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blue) - Mine]
    [2007 R1200RT (Sand Biege) - Hers]

  6. #6
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    I didn't have time to read the whole research report, just glanced through it. It definitely shows that wearing gear is a plus. I think it's great that some research has been done, but I think more needs to be done regarding the type of material used.

    They only had two categories for each type of gear: with or without armor. This assumes that the materials they are made out of are the same, which is not the case. I had a pair of Joe Rocket mesh pants that were ripped after dropping my bike at about 10 mph. A local BMW dealer here had a BMW jacket that didn't show a scratch after a get off at highway speeds. This shows that the material is just as important.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  7. #7
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    My personal testing of gear reinforced my belief in it's value. I will always be ATGATT when I ride. The quality of the gear does matter. The ability of the material to stand up to sliding in gravel and the ability of the armor to spread the impact forces made a huge difference to the severity of my injuries. The only low end gear I had on was a pair of Joe Rocket gloves; they very nearly ground through. The Revit suit did much better though it did have some abrasions and small tears. It would have still been perfectly serviceable, but the insurance company paid for replacements, so I got an identical new set. I replaced the gloves with a better pair.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  8. #8
    Daily Rider jurgen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Philippens View Post
    First: the link is not ok. It seems to be abbreviated. Please check.

    .
    Sorry, should have done that. Seems that others found the source.
    Corrected link one more time:
    http://www.georgeinstitute.org/sites...nstit_2011.pdf
    J?rgen
    Red Rocks
    04 R1150GS adv
    04 K1200RS last of the great bricks

  9. #9
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    It is very difficult to present good reliable statistics about the effects of wearing protective gear in a motorycle accident. Especially when you want to differentiate between quality gear and low-end stuff. The type of accident is so different and you can't possibly compare one accident with another, even if they are very similar. Some roads are more abbresive than others. Sometimes roads are slippery, so you slide a long way, but your suit is not worn that much (in relation to the length of the slide). This may give you a false impression of the quality.
    I once saw a guy on TV who was in an accident. He was tagged by a car and slid off his bike at 60mph. He wore mountain shoes/hiking boots. The 'tough' leather was worn completely and you could look right into his ankle...very nasty. And so many people believe that hiking boots are tough enough to be used a motorcycle boots...

    I heard of very cheap leather suits where the arms and legs came off when the driver crashed. The arms and legs of the suit that is. The seams were very poor quality. Actually, they were copies of expensive gear, so that doesn't really count. It was made to rip you off and only to approximate the right stuff.

    So...quality is relative. BMW has a sign with patches of fabric to show how good their stuff is. For instance, I have a BMW Atlantis leather suit. The leather is quite thick (nubuck) and BMW shows a patch of 'normal' leather after a crash at a certain speed. Next to it is a patch of the BMW nubuck leather showing much less wear. BMW want you to believe that all other suits are made of that thin, inferior leather...I'm sure others have the same quality leather.
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  10. #10
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    I live on a backroad very popular with motorcyclists of all stripes. Now that summer weather has finally arrived, on weekends I swear more two wheeled vehicles pass my place than those with four wheels. It is only a small minority in "all the gear."

    I wish I shared the confidence of the majority that "I'm not going to crash this trip." If I did, I would make a lot more of those short trips to the two closest towns (4 miles and 15 miles) on the bike rather than in the car. Hey, just put in the earplugs, pull on the helmet and GO! But that is not to be. Two crashes - both times wearing serious gear and no serious body damage - kind of erodes that confidence. So if I can't extend an "errand" trip to at least an hour, I take the car.

    ATGATT, as all true believers know, actually makes the trip much more comfortable and enjoyable - if you have the right gear for the weather conditions. But let's face it, putting it on and taking it off for short trips is a PIA. So I do get the point of view on this topic of those who are still young enough to think they are immortal. At least for short rides.

    What I have NEVER understood is the pleasure of taking bugs and/or rain in the face at 60 mph. Perhaps a reformed Harley rider could explain it to me.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  11. #11
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    So I do get the point of view on this topic of those who are still young enough to think they are immortal. At least for short rides.
    This was supposed to be a short ride too...


    (click on the photo for the story)
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  12. #12
    Daily Rider jurgen's Avatar
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    Here's a sad example of NOTGATT

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/07/04/new...cyclist.death/

    This poor guy rode in an ABATE ride to protest helmet laws in NY state. Medical experts contended that he would have likely survived had he worn a helmet. Fate can be cruel.
    Last edited by jurgen; 07-05-2011 at 12:53 AM.
    J?rgen
    Red Rocks
    04 R1150GS adv
    04 K1200RS last of the great bricks

  13. #13
    Dachary
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    I learned to love motorcycles from someone who is ATGATT and actually founded something called the Gear Up! Project. There are some really good infographics and info about the Hurt Report, which reveals a lot of correlation between riders not wearing gear and the types of injuries and severity of injuries they incur.

    Personally, after low-siding at ~25MPH and ripping out the knee in my motorcycle pants, I'll never go out without pants. The armor in the pants saved my knee, but I was surprised by the amount of damage from such a relatively minor, low-speed crash. If I hadn't been ATGATT, there's no doubt in my mind I would have been in the hospital. I don't understand why other riders don't get the risk...

    But if you're curious about ATGATT or want to educate your riding friends, send them to the Gear Up! page for some good information.

  14. #14
    Random
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    I am sold on ATGATT for most of my riding. There are times when I don't wear the riding pants. I had a low side a few years ago wearing a Darian jacket and pants and only had a small bruise. At the same time I realize (even more today) that gear does not guarantee that I won't get hurt. I say that while I sit here typing with my right arm in a sling. Last Wednesday I stalled my GS in a parking lot U-turn with gear on. It resulted in a separated shoulder. Doctor says no riding for 12 weeks. We'll see...

  15. #15
    iscream-stop
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    Thumbs down

    This poor guy rode in an ABATE ride to protest helmet laws in NY state. Medical experts contended that he would have likely survived had he worn a helmet. Fate can be cruel.[/QUOTE]

    I went on and ABATE spring poker run ONCE on an invite from my brother who was a member. I was the funny looking one of the near hundred on the ride because I was wearing everything and it was red not black leather. I witnessed so many just STUPID things happen on this short hundred mile ride that seemed to go from bar to bar. At the end of the ride the region directer asked me what I thought of the ride, I asked him what ABATE stands for and that these are the people who are teaching new riders in their safety course. After I witnessed these "American bikers aimed toward education", I would never ride with them again.

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