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3 Myths About Motorcycle Gear for Passengers

Me, in 2008 posing for a photo on a rented R1200R that my husband rented. I also rented an F800ST on this trip, but decided to pose for a quick pic.

Me, in 2008 posing for a photo on a rented R1200R that my husband rented. I also rented an F800ST on this trip, but decided to pose for a quick pic.

Hopefully if you’re reading this, you’ve either been riding as a passenger or are about to become one.

I often see lots of passengers come into the Showroom and there are so many misconceptions, false narratives and untruths that need to be cleared up.

If you have NO IDEA what you’re getting into, would you really accept the risks? That’s like saying yes to going swimming but you don't know how. Wouldn’t you want to know how to at least tread water?

Yes, it’s a big investment. But you’re riding a motorcycle. This isn’t a light hobby like camping or hiking. This is something that has a very high risk of injury or death if something goes wrong. Many of us have been riding for years and have had zero injuries. It’s just like being in a car and not wearing your seatbelt. You may or may not ever need it, but if you do, you will very likely have severe injuries or worse, death.

Why would you wait until you’re hurt, in pain, in the hospital or deep in debt over medical bills to then gear up?

So here are 3 Myths that need to be buried forever.

#1 You Don’t Need a Full Face Helmet Because You Don’t Ride Enough

Probably one of the last times I ever rode on the back of a motorcycle ~6 years ago

Probably one of the last times I ever rode on the back of a motorcycle ~6 years ago

This is simply not true.

This pic above is me wearing a full face (modular) helmet while riding with my husband on the back of his Triumph. I rarely rode with him, but the few times I did, I absolutely wore my helmet. Why would it be any different for you as a casual passenger?

Nothing about being behind the driver minimizes the risk of injury to your face. Unfortunately you are also at at risk of death as a passenger.

Your risks are very real, and equal to that of your driver when you are on the actual motorcycle.

#2 You Don’t Need to Gear Up Your Whole Body

Wrong.

This is where I tell you to click here and read a story that every rider needs to read. Don’t worry, there are no graphic images, just a detailed, personal story that should show you the risks that you are choosing to take when you swing a leg over any motorcycle.

As a passenger, you must be willing to accept all the risks AND consequences. You may know the risks, but do you really know the consequences?

Me and my awesome friend  Brittany Morrow,  whom I wish I had met earlier in my riding career. She’s an inspiration and a badass. Unfortunately, she had to suffer consequences that hopefully you will never have to endure.

Me and my awesome friend Brittany Morrow, whom I wish I had met earlier in my riding career. She’s an inspiration and a badass. Unfortunately, she had to suffer consequences that hopefully you will never have to endure.

#3 You Don’t Need As Much Protection as the Driver

Wrong. So Very Wrong. See #2.

airbag-pixabay_large.jpg

What is going to happen to you if your driver suddenly swerves to avoid hitting a deer but ends up crashing because he didn’t expect that to jump in front of the bike?

No magical airbags, inflatable rafts, imaginary heroes are going to save you from sliding down the asphalt or hitting the ground.

Your driver cannot possibly prevent you from getting injured. Only YOU can do this. Only you have the power to decide what you will wear, and when you will throw a leg over that motorcycle.

Why does your car have airbags and seatbelts for both the driver AND passenger? Because you both need it.

As you can see the moral of this story is, GEAR UP, no matter how often you ride. No matter whether you ride on the back or drive up front.

If you’re thinking that gear is cumbersome, or that you can’t possibly find something that will work for you I hope you will reach out to me directly and let me help you find options that are within your budget and style.

If you have 15-20 minutes to spare for a quick chat, it can quite simply change your life.

Guest Article, Black Girls Ride Magazine

Woo Hoo! The January 2017 Issue of Black Girls Ride 

Woo Hoo! The January 2017 Issue of Black Girls Ride 

If you're not familiar with Black Girls Ride Magazine, it's an web based motorcycle magazine that highlights women of color in the riding community. An often overlooked segment of female motorcyclists in mainstream media. 

This month, the editor Porsche asked me to contribute a copy of my Open Letter to New Riders that I wrote a couple years ago. 

Thanks Porsche!

Click Here to Read the Entire January Issue!

A Fantastic Example of Why You Need to Gear Up

This video from what I think is a French Government website, regarding public safety really sums it up for me. This is exactly what you're up against, even if you're "JUST" riding around town. 

The sad reality, my friend, is that it doesn't take much for you to get hurt. The stereotype is that you only need a half helmet for a scooter, you don't need to wear anything as a passenger, that you only need gear if you're "racing" or "riding crazy". I wish riding a motorcycle were easy, that it was ridiculously safe and that you can't *really* get hurt unless you're doing "crazy" things. 

But that's not the reality, it's simply a false stereotype reinforced in Movies, Television and Mass Media. (Aren't they so helpful?)

Be informed, educate yourself, THEN make whatever choices YOU want. That's your right, but when you don't seek out the real information on your own you've just dug your own grave, so to speak. 

Don't wait until you have to say 'I should've, would've, could've..."

How Goldie 2.0 Was Born

2012_triumph_street_tripleR_totalled
2012_triumph_street_tripleR_totalled

I know, it's not pretty. But first

The Accident

First of all, I'm great. The photo above is of my bike before she crashed into a guardrail. As a result of hydraulic fluid that was spilled down the entire lane, I lowsided at approximately 40-45mph (same speed as the curve I was headed into) and the bike took most of it.

The good news is I got up without a scratch. And no, I was not stuck under the guardrail. I actually stopped right on the spotty white painted line on my stomach. As you can see, my gear took all of it (head never touched the ground). And that's why I typically wear leather, even in the summer:

(gear clockwise from top left: Racer High End Gloves (sliders work!), Revit Galactic JacketRevit Gear 2 Leather PantsSidi Vertigo Lei Boots). My head never touched the ground, so no helmet replacement needed. I did replace my gear with another Galactic jacket, Gear Pants, and this time some Alpinestars SMX-6 Boots. The only reason I went with these is because my feet are smaller than when I got these, so I needed a 36. Sadly the Vertigos are only available in 37. These actually fit me very well, so we'll see how they do. I've spent ~500 miles in them so far and they're very comfortable (wider too).

My body did walk away with bruises. Which I'm *very* happy to have, instead of broken bones, road rash or surgery. No ambulance was needed, just a quick visit to the Dr that night to make sure nothing was broken.

(bruise pics clockwise from top left: day of the accident, 3 days after, 1 week after, 1 month after)

The only real injury I sustained was a tiny fracture on the underside of my metatarsal bone. It's hardly visible on the x-ray. Here's a pic of my foot 2 weeks later:

I can't imagine what my foot would have been like had I not been wearing those Sidi Boots. Unfortunately my bike didn't have any frame sliders or engine guards, so the full weight of the bike was on my foot. Although my boots prevented my ankles or rest of my foot from being crushed, one tiny little bone under my foot suffered. It's now been almost 8 weeks since the accident and although my foot is much better than before (back to wearing cute shoes!) I still have trouble walking for awhile in hard-soled shoes. I'm guessing a few more weeks and it'll be gone for good. Wearing my new riding boots isn't a problem!

In case you're wondering about the bike at this point, Yes, the bike was totaled! Beyond totaled. But the good news is as soon as I called my local dealer to let them know my bike would be dropped off the next morning for an estimate, he told me that the exact same bike came in on consignment! Goldie 2.0 was born. Without hesitation, I knew I wanted the same bike.

Just my luck that the exact same year, make and model showed up when I needed her. Actually, this bike was in better shape than the previous version with a little over 3,000 miles on it and no dings or scratches. Whereas previous Goldie had 5,000 miles , dropped on both sides and had some imperfections.