Well I've spruced up my reviews page to make it a little easier to navigate. I also put up a couple more funny photos of myself wearing some of my gear. I hope you like it.
I also wanted to bring up the subject of scooters. It's a love/hate relationship for most. It's too 'weak', 'girly', 'boring', etc. Until you have one, you really can't say anything. Yes, you may know how to ride your R1, Gixxer, or Beemer. But until you zip around the city on a cute 50cc or 125cc scooter, you don't realize how much fun it is. I would never be where I am today if it weren't for my little scarabeo that I rode for a year. I learned so much on that thing and it really prepared me for riding a motorcycle. Riding in San Francisco can be intimidating and even a little scary. I learned here, so it's all the same to me.
After riding a motorcycle for a while I yearn for a scooter again. Yes, I really do. But that doesn't mean I want to go back to a 50. I definitely could use a 100-125cc. These SF hills are painful. It's such a slowwwww start from the bottom of a hill. But once I get going, I can generally keep up. It would just be nice to have enough power to get out of the way if I needed to.
I'll be honest and say that no, I didn't wear my Daytona's nor my Olympia's. But, I did wear my Arai, Racers and Revit jacket (because it's cooold in SF summer right now). Daytona's would've been a little uncomfortable, given what I was riding (roomie's Kymco 50cc People Scooter). Instead, I did wear a pair of hiking boots that cover my ankles and have really good traction. I also wore jeans. Something that I realized while riding this little guy is that when you can't go very fast, it makes you ride fairly slow and conservative. I admit, when I'm on my bike I certainly feel more powerful and in control. But being on this scooter made me stay in the slow lane as much as possible and avoid the hills! I didn't want cars to tailgate me and I certainly didn't want to hold up traffic. I felt like I couldn't do anything or go anywhere if something were to happen suddenly. I also noticed that since I'm going slower, I have a little more time to react to different situations. When you're going slower, you have the extra 2-3 seconds that you won't have going twice as fast, right? If you're only 2 car lengths behind someone who has to slam on the brakes, but you're only going ~20 mph vs. 40mph, and weigh almost nothing, it's going to be a lot easier to react and respond.
I know that it's impossible to get people to wear real gear head to toe while on a 50cc scooter, but if you're on a 450+, in the city or in the freeway, you risk just as much as I do on my 749cc sportbike. At least I'm covered head to toe with armor and adequate protection to minimize the risks of getting seriously injured in an impact. You don't need to wear a one piece leather, but for pete's sake, wear a full face helmet and some gloves and stow your wingtips or peep toe heels under your seat so you can wear some real shoes for the ride home.
If you're on your 50cc, at the very minimum, you need that full face helmet, gloves too. There are many benefits to wearing a real jacket, not necessarily leather but how about textile? How about something with a little armor, cordura, and a liner to keep you warm? There are so many options under ~$200, if you're spending $3,000 on a new scooter I'm sure you can carve out a little more for a good jacket. At the very least, I urge you to COVER YOUR SKIN. Please wear some boots that cover your ankles, long pants that cover your legs, long sleeve jacket that cover your arms/wrists and a full face helmet. If you can't spend any money on gear then at least try to make the effort to cover your skin and offer it a little more protection against the pavement.
Believe it or not, you'll get quite a bit of respect from other motorcyclists who take their safety seriously. Some of you may think as well that you'll be laughed at or feel embarrassed. Well, yes, from the people who don't care about safety as they laugh at you in their shorts and tshirts. But not from those of us who choose to protect ourselves.
Many accidents (and serious injuries) occur at very slow speeds and you have no idea if some moron crossing the same intersection as you decides to run their red light and intrude on your right of way. The one thing you have zero control over is OTHER people. Ask any motorcyclist if they're scared of riding and they'll probably tell you no, that they're more afraid of everyone else.