September 5, 2022

Involuntarily crash testing my gear.

Involuntarily crash testing my gear.

It's not often when testing riding gear, you actually get to test how well it handles a crash. But due to an unfortunate "off" I can now report how well the Rev'it Dirt Series H2O Component pants held up in a 40kph loss of control, resulting in my sliding around 5 meters on my left buttock.

It was 7:50am, Monday morning, the air temp was around 4 degrees, and I was jumping on the Beta RR 430 for my standard morning commute. The tyres were stone cold, and the ground wasn't much warmer. I rode out of my driveway, onto the road, and about 300M down the road, I grabbed too much front brake, locked up the front wheel, and the bike washed out, sending me to the ground. My left hand hit first, then my left forearm, elbow, and shoulder. My left hip then hit the ground and I started sliding. After about 5 meters I stopped, looking up to see the bike continue to slide about another 10 meters. I got to my feet, instantly feeling pain in my left knee. I hobbled over to the bike, picked it up, and checked for major damage. I was relieved to see there was only minor superficial damage to the bike. No oil or water leaking out. I pushed the bike to the side of the road, fired it up, swung a leg over, and rode it back home.

This "off" was a momentary lapse of concentration. I didn't account for the lack of temperature in the tyres. It's completely my own fault. But it serves as a reminder, that anyone can come off their motorcycle at any time. You never know when it's your turn.

I am lucky to not have sustained any serious damage or injury, the gear did its job. I walked away with some bruising, but no broken skin. Given my hand hit the deck first, I would have expected some damage to my Macna gloves. But there is none.
I was also wearing my Forma ADV boots and Airoh Commander helmet, luckily no damage to those.
The gear that took the major impact was the Rev'It Dirt Series Component pants and the 1Tonne Apex adventure jacket. The pants suffered some friction burns and ripping to the outer shell. The jacket also had some melting from the heat generated during the slide. The pants have impact-absorbing pads in the hips and knees, and these did their job. The jacket has pretty solid elbow and shoulder pads. and because of these, I was able to walk away with little to no injuries at all. No bruising to my upper body or arms. I have no doubt had I not been wearing proper motorcycle gear, I would be a lot worse for wear.

I am also lucky that this was only at 40kph, had I been going any faster, there would have been more damage to the gear, and likely more damage to me.

What is the lesson here? None of us know when we're going to hit the deck next. It can happen to anyone. The only way to minimize your chances of injury is to wear all the gear. If you don't have good gear, you are likely to sustain more serious injuries when your number is up. Take a serious look at your gear, does it have impact-absorbing armor in it? How old is it? is it damaged?

I can tell you now, that I will be replacing the jacket and pants asap. as if I was to come off again, there is a good chance the small rips in the outer shell would give way much faster. Riding gear is a one-and-done sort of deal.

So, that's my story. Take from it what you will. But please, check your gear, and if it's not up to scratch, invest in something good.