For the generation that grew up watching Easy Rider, the open road symbolizes the freedom that can only be achieved from the back of a motorcycle. As it is this age cohort that has seen the most spectacular rise in rates of motorcycle ownership, a spotlight on safety is being shined on the more than one million riders older than the age of 50. According to MotorcycleDaily.com, they comprise a quarter of the motorcycle riding population.
Old Illusions and New Safety Gear
With age, comes wisdom, and the majority of riders know that a flag-embossed headband provides precious little protection from the traumas that can occur during a serious motorcycle accident. As such, the aging, modern day riders are increasingly looking to the wide array of high-tech toys that are on the market to ensure that measure of rider safety, while still staying true to their perceptions of freedom on the open road.
The only thing cooler than the new bike you just bought, which just put a significant dent in the family’s saving account, are the cool array of high-tech toys that bring rider safety to the James Bond level.
The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that fatality rates among motorcycle riders are nearly five times higher than the rate of car passengers involved in accidents. Some James Bond-style high-tech gear can be the difference between walking away with all your critical parts attached, or being carried away to sample the local health care facilities.
When the rubber hits the road, there are a number of safety steps you can take that will dramatically increase your chances of surviving an accident while maintain that “cool” persona you bought when you purchased the bike.
To begin with, ensuring that your bike is completely road-worthy is a necessary precondition for safe riding. Whether it’s buying motorcycle tires at Bike Bandit or tracking down why that turn indicator won’t function, making sure that everything is working properly may give you that edge when your quick reflexes are called on to extradite you from a jam.
High-Tech Protection for Hands and Feet
Modern motorcycle armor answers the promise of all the James Bond movies you viewed when you were not watching Easy Rider. The chances are pretty good that the movie-inspired vision of the open road, which spurred your initial decision to purchase the bike, has been modified by the reality that you also need to meet the monthly mortgage payment.
As such, protecting the tools of your trade: your brain, fingers, flesh, and composite parts, is of paramount concern for when the bike goes back into the garage on Monday morning, and it’s time to go into the office.
When it comes to motorcycle safety gear, leather has found a willing ally in Kevlar and carbon-reinforced materials. Gloves are now exoskeleton protection systems, and helmets are designed to provide the maximum protection to head and neck regions, as CoolThings.com notes.
Whether you are seeking to avoid the inevitable old-man-who-broke-a-hip comparisons, or your significant other has demanded that you gear up with a chest protection system that absorbs blunt force trauma, you can get the piece of safety gear that targets the critical body parts you want to protect.