Rider Saved By ATGATT

Nobody gets on their bike thinking, "Today I am going to have an accident, I better wear my gear." Because accidents are never expected, many riders use All The Gear All The Time (ATGATT) as a personal rule for safe riding. You only ride when wearing a full set of safety gear. 

My friend Vic is an experienced rider on the street, trail, and track. He is also an ATGATT rider who high-sided on the pavement and walked away with minor injuries thanks to his safety gear. Here is his story...

"I just had a mini high side and tested out my spanking new jacket at about 35 mph or so.  Around Las Colinas City Hall, there is a area right around a curve where the inside lane has sunk down about 6 inches from the lane running beside it.  I did not notice this as I was changing from the inside to the outside lane.  I guess my tires hit the edge perfectly wrong with both tires and the bike suddenly pitched me over the bars sliding on my face and right side. One second I was riding along, the next second I was crashing into the pavement."

He compared this accident to hitting a curb sideways. As the bike fell away to the left, he flew over the handlebars and landed on his right thigh, then right elbow, and right front of his Shoei RF-1100 helmet. 

"My face slide jacked up my visor a bit but my helmet will be OK except for some minor scratching.  Right arm of the new jacket is chewed up a bit but not all the way through. Not a scratch on my legs thanks to Bull-It  jeans. My chest area is as if nothing happened thanks my Forcefield Body Armor." 

"If I was not wearing my gear, it could have been so much worse; cracked ribs, shoulder, smashed up face/jaw. Road rash on legs, shoulder, thigh, face, and arms would have been a reality."

This is a great testimony to the effectiveness of wearing quality gear. It will save you a lot of pain and injury when the unexpected happens to you! The detailed damage to his gear  included:

- Triumph branded jacket: (heavy leather with armored elbows and shoulders) scuffed, but no tears or asphalt burn through. 

- Gerbings T5 heated gloves: scuffing and tears on right hand fingers; repairable.

- Alpinestars MX5 boots: a few scrapes on the upper sliders, but otherwise fine.

- Bull-It Jeans: tear through of the jean material, but the Covec did not allow the asphalt to get to his legs. 

As for personal injuries:

"A 1/2 dollar sized asphalt burn on my right elbow area. quarter sized bruise on my right thumb and swelling of my right thigh. Some minor bumps and bruises. All should be fine."  

"I am in decent shape these days so I was able to easily get up, right the bike, and get back to work."

His trusty KLR returned him to work, but it also had some injuries.

"The KLR suffered some twisted forks (can fix, I think) and road rash on the ice-cream scoop protectors. Gotta love the old girl, she really came through like a champ. My S3 or Ninja would have been coming home on a truck."

It's easy to see that without his gear, Vic would have been a bloody mess laying along the road, while the bike was still good enough to ride. Only by wearing ATGATT, was he able to get up again with relatively minor injuries and ride away from this accident. That is something to remember the next time you get on your bike.

Vic contributed his story and I wrote this post, hoping to spare other riders from injury or death because they do not see the importance of All The Gear All The Time. If one rider changes their mind and wears their gear after reading this, then our job here is done.

Thanks Vic and ride safe!

Wolfman E-12 Enduro Saddlebags Review

I bought the Wolfman E-12 Saddlebags to use on day trips with my Green DRZ. These are smaller saddlebags for enduro bikes, and they fit the KLX perfectly. They are quality bags, made of heavy duty material and zippers, and liked them right away. Just what I needed for overnighters on the KLX 400.

Yet, they have migrated over to the KLR and stayed there for several months. I don't plan on removing them anytime soon. These are great bags and I am amazed at how much they can hold. They will carry several plastic shopping bags of stuff, but are small and low profile enough to stay out of the way when not needed. Between errands and weekend rides, they have found a home on the KLR.

The above picture comes from Wolfman's installation sheet and shows why the E-12 bags don't require mounting racks. They lay across the seat with two adjustable 2 inch straps and the lower mounting straps fasten wherever needed. The "Tension-O-Matic Rear Mounting" strap was a pain and I removed it from the bags. Even without this rear harness the bags stay secure and ride just fine.

The bags are not waterproof, so I simply sprayed waterproofing on them. After several short trips through "normal" rain showers, nothing in them has ever been wet. Try riding long distance through heavy downpours or crossing a deep river, and your results may vary. A dry bag would be very useful in this situation. I did not buy them for that sort of riding so that's never been a problem for me. While I bought them for the smaller bike, they work great and look good on the KLR and I would buy them again. These bags are a quality solution for extra carrying capacity.

Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route Trailer

Less than one month remains until the new Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route will be revealed in Boise. I don't mind saying that I am excited and this video only adds to it. The trailer shows the great potential of the Idaho BDR and provides a glimpse of the awesome riding the new route will open for all dual sport and adventure riders. Regardless of your skill level, the challenge of the Idaho backcountry awaits!