Author Topic: Safety Gear for MCists  (Read 1034 times)

Offline PAULRIDES

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Safety Gear for MCists
« on: February 24, 2017, 03:08:34 pm »
Safety Tech for Motorcyclists
While motorcycles may never be completely risk-free, safety innovations—like air-bag vests, adaptive headlights and helmets with heads-up displays—are keeping riders off the pavement
 
Illustration: ALEX WILLIAMSON
By Jonathan Welsh
The Wall Street Journal
Updated Feb. 24, 2017

3 COMMENTS
AS MOST SEASONED motorcyclists will tell you, riding a bike inevitably means falling off sooner or later. Yet much of the basic safety tech that has kept drivers of cars relatively unscathed for decades hasn’t trickled down to motorbikes. For many riders, nothing but some leather, hard plastic and a bit of foam protects them from the unmerciful pavement.
Thankfully, motorcycle riders are finding it easier to stay upright and safe, if still passably rebellious, as basic features from the car world, like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and rearview cameras, begin to migrate to two wheelers.
The stakes are high. Nearly 5,000 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2015, up 8.3% from a year earlier, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wet roads that simply cause a car to skid can take a motorcyclist down. The same pothole that a car rolls right over might send a biker flying.
Of course, many motorcycle fans will say that inherent danger is intertwined with the pleasure of riding. But even the most cavalier want to stay perched above the bike rather than sprawled comatose beside it.
Here are the latest developments in motorcycle technology that are lessening the risks.
 
Reevu MSX1 helmet with heads-up display
For a Wider Field of View
Being able to keep your eyes on the road—harder than you might think—obviously improves the odds of safe biking. But occasionally you’ll have to glance down at your bike’s gauges or peer over your shoulder to be sure another vehicle hasn’t sneaked into your blind spot—and on a bike, those few seconds of swerving attention leave you more vulnerable than when you’re in a car.
New helmets, like the Reevu MSX1 ($400, revzilla.com ) and the forthcoming Intelligent Cranium ( intelligentcraniumhelmets.com ), aim to minimize this danger. Both couple a rearview camera with a fighter-jet-style heads-up display that’s projected inside the helmet visor, letting you keep an eye on what’s behind you.
The Intelligent Cranium also promises to include visual and vibration warnings to alert you when other vehicles are close behind you. The company says the helmet will also display trip data from connected devices, including your smartphone running a navigation app.

For Staying Upright
The number one priority when riding a motorcycle is not falling over. But anything from loose gravel to a brief rain shower can cause tires to lose traction—and send riders tumbling before they have time to react. Bosch, an established maker of automotive electronics, comes to the rescue with its “inertial measurement unit.” This stability system tracks a number of factors—wheel speed, throttle position, brake pressure and, critically, the bike’s position—to instantly adjust the brakes and throttle, preventing the tires from losing their grip. It can be tuned for riding on wet roads, racetracks and even dirt and gravel trails. At the moment, you can find the system on high-end models like the KTM 1190 Adventure ($18,000), and Ducati 1299 Panigale sport bike ($25,000). BMW uses a similar combination of anti-lock brakes and traction control, including its top-of-the-line 1600 GTL tourer ($30,000).
 
Alpinestars Tech-Air vest with an integrated air bag
For More Cushioned Crashes
Air bags transform cars into padded cocoons in the event of a crash, but bikers seeking a softer landing do have a clever new option: clothing with built-in air bags. Alpinestars, a maker of leather suits for pro motorcycle racers, recently rolled out its Tech-Air vest ( alpinestars.com ) in Europe (with a U.S. launch slated for this month). Created to be layered snugly under the company’s specially designed motorcycle jackets, the vest inflates automatically when its accelerometers detect an impending collision. Alpinestars says the Tech-Air’s algorithms can differentiate between a panic stop, a harrowing near-miss and an unavoidable crash, deploying only for the latter.
Racing-suit maker Dainese ( dainese.com ) takes a slightly different approach with its Misano series of jackets. In addition to relying on accelerometers and gyroscope sensors, Misano taps GPS data to gauge a rider’s position to determine when to inflate the bags. It will be available in the U.S. in April.
 
J.W. Speaker Model 8790 Adaptive Headlight
For Better Night Vision
When you’re leaning into a sharp curve during a moonlit ride, the beam of a traditional motorcycle headlamp lags behind your line of sight, leaving you staring stoically into a void. Manufacturers have tried to solve the problem using movable lights, but J.W. Speaker’s Adaptive Motorcycle Headlight (from $420, jwspeaker.com ) takes a savvier approach. Its headlight incorporates an array of disparately focused LEDs. A sensor inside the headlamp detects the angle of your lean and triggers the appropriately aimed light to turn on, making it appear as though the beam is transitioning seamlessly as you corner.
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Chris

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2017, 11:10:04 pm »
Good article and good find Paul!  A couple of the items make me wonder.  Wearable airbags have been under development for a while now and while I think the idea is worth developing I'll be interested to see if the first few years real world results live up to the theoretical promise.  On the other hand, the steerable headlight is worth it and years overdue.  My Volvo has headlights that move to cover the direction of travel and they are simply wonderful.  Driving on a tight curvy road with them becomes an exercise in no drama, no worries.

The one I'm simply not sure about is the head's up display.  On the face of it, yeah! Great!   But I know that in many ways I was a better, more attentive driver before the advent of GPS and graphic displays.  The problem is this...we all have a finite amount of attention to use and if too much of it is being used to monitor the displayed data then you won't be paying enough attention to actually driving the car/riding the bike and watching out for threats.  How do I know this?  Because I've had more "surprises" and "could have been bad" incidents due to having my head in the GPS or other displayed data than I care to admit.  Will a head's up display fix that or will it just give still more info to distract us from the real job at hand?  Dunno...
CHRIS
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Offline Luvmystar

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2017, 08:32:03 am »
 :ditto I will say that Draik and several others have been using the vests for several years and seem to be glad to have them.We had a fundraiser if I remember right to help him get a larger one after he outgrew his.
Marc

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Offline SpareParts

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2017, 07:41:00 pm »
Oh man!  Come on, a head's up display would be so cool!  Would it only work in a full face helmet?

I like that idea better than inflatable clothes.  I don't want to end up looking like the Michelin tire guy!

Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 12:20:51 am »
Michelin Man   ----  ATGATT :pop

By the time I get my MC Jacket (Padded) over this garb which has the padding from back of old MC Jackets laced in it --- I hope I at least look intimidating.  >:D

Hip pads are not shown.   :banghead
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 12:21:57 am by PAULRIDES »
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline SpareParts

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 12:54:17 pm »
Wow. You wear all that stuff everytime to go riding?  That looks uncomfortable.

Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 09:14:45 pm »
Wow. You wear all that stuff everytime to go riding?  That looks uncomfortable.

EVERYTIME   O)  ATGATT  --- think about not doing it sometime - then think that will be the rime I crash.  :banghead

 
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline gl1dinorider

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2017, 10:32:33 am »
ATTGATT

im just going to assume that this means all the gear i have all the time.

always wear a helmet.

always wear gloves.

wear a jacket "most" of the time.

yes, i know, that doesnt count.

but at least if its cold i will wear the whole damn cow.

   


and yet, it doesnt seem to matter any more, since the latest "promotion" i spend most of my time riding my desk with only the occasional ride to and from the desk.

but its okay i guess, one of these days i will grow up and be Paul.

then the world can kiss my . . . . . . well, you know, and im just mostly going to ride. . . .



What does "riding season" mean?

Offline Luvmystar

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2017, 07:12:47 pm »
 :ditto
Marc

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Offline PAULRIDES

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 08:18:22 pm »
  :lol    I'm an inspiration.      :happypep :pop :happyrider :yw

I will be thinking about you young "whipper snappers" when I am gone if there is an after life, I may just be your  O).

Sad, I don't think there is. Anyway, I wish you he best.
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline IanC

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2017, 11:05:34 am »
I'm not necessarily ATGATT but I'm fairly close. I do ride with mostly quality gear and what I wear depends on the temps and what kind of riding I'll be doing. I plan on doing some product review posts in the near future so keep an eye out for those.

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2012 Triumph Daytona 675R

Offline Chris

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2017, 11:44:05 am »
I'm not necessarily ATGATT but I'm fairly close. I do ride with mostly quality gear and what I wear depends on the temps and what kind of riding I'll be doing.

Ditto mostly.

I often ride in whatever sneakers I happen to have on and sometimes in hot weather may just go with a shirt.  I've even been known to ride in shorts if it was just a quick "couple of blocks" run to pick up something at the store.  But a premium quality helmet is always on my head.   I can think of at least three times in my riding career that I've thoroughly used up a good helmet and had no head injuries to thank for it.  The last time I was even moved to write a big thank  you to Shoei.
CHRIS
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1978 GS1000C / 1979 GS1000S / 1981 CM400C / 1986 RG500 GAMMA / 1988 R100RS / 1991 K100RS / 1997 GSF1200 BANDIT

Offline gl1dinorider

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Re: Safety Gear for MCists
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2017, 12:33:29 pm »
Dirtbikes tauht me the value of a helmet fairly ealy in life.

Split a bell helmet down the middle almost as cleanly as if it were cut with a saw.

And that was low speed through  a rock patch on cherokee lake bottoms.

You know, back before living became illegal.
What does "riding season" mean?