Bummer Dude! I am sorry to hear of your accident but happy you have had some good experiences with those companies. I doubt that I would be so willing to get back on after something like this. I will keep them in mind when I need new equipment.
I hope you are doing as well as you sound, I applaud you resolve to get back to your life and your bike as soon as possible. My wife is currently recovering from a recent lower leg amputation and I know first hand how hard it can be. It's nice to hear that these companies are willing to go the extra mile for you. When I have a need for riding gear I will call them first.
As for the comment from helterskelter, the world is full of stupid insensitive @#@holes. Just ignore em' and keep living!
As much as I roundly applaud JR and Sidi (my choice of vendors too) and their products, unless you wear titanium chain mail and even then, it's not going to help you none if you end up using a solid, imoble object to do the deceleration for you. Quit crashing in dangerous situations.
Mercifully all of my crashes have been in environments where I had an open road to go tumbling or sliding down. 60mph on sheet ice in the middle of a 3 lane Interstate 2 weeks ago was fun.
Sorry to hear about your misfortune, that's gotta sting. I think I remember you from Maximum Suzuki, I used to post on there when I had my Bandito Grande.
I use a 4.0 Ballistic suit and Blaster leather pants from JR, and Sidi On-Road Sympatek boots with very good experiance so far. I guess I have one more reason to stay with them when it's time to replace gear.
Good luck getting back on the bike, hope it goes well for you.
I believe helterskelter is talking about the first thing I noticed in the letter: the date of the accident. At first I thought the whole thing was a terrible joke, but now I think the date is another MO typo.
No mention of the type of bike he was riding, but I kind of think it must have been a sport bike as these types show a propensity to having the front wheel tuck in. Watching MotoGP I am struck by the frequency of this type of mishap. Is it the great lean angle they are capable of or something in the steering geomerty.
Regarding his injuries, it seems to me that the regions that need to be protected are the rib cage and the head as injuries here are potentialy life threatening. The helmets available, if certified, are as safe as can be made, but the protection of the rib cage seems to be non-existent. If anyone knows otherwise I would like to hear about it.
I speak from some experience, having spent a week in the hospital with fractured coller bone and ribs, torn sholder ligaments, collapsed lung with internal bleeding. I was going about 35mph when a mini-van parked at the curb decided to make a quick U turn right in front of me. No time to taper brake, I jambed on the brakes and was instantly on the ground. as I was just on a short hop down to the supermarket I was wearing a tee shirt , levies,boots and a helmet thankfully as I was aware my helmet was skating across the pavement.
Having plenty of time to review the incident in my mind, I have come to the conclusion that there is no gear made that would have protected my ribs. I looked at the gear that quarterbacks wear
but I am not sure that would do much good. The other question is anti-lock brakes which work exceptionally well on cars. I see Honda has anounced that by2007 all sport and sport touring bikes will have linked, anti-lock brakes and by 2010 all bikes over 250cc will have them. I can already hear the wails from the bike mags opposed to this but I have to think Honda knows there is a problem.
I live in a small community, but within the last year one rider was killed when a pickup he was passing turned left into him (the police report said the biker tried to pass a turning vehicle-no charges) and one lost an arm when hit broadside by a car running a stopsign.
With the poliferation of cell phones the already careless or aggressive motorists have begun to make riding a crap shoot.
I think a lot more needs to be done in the design
of protective gear and the move to anti lock brakes is way overdue.
Maybe the Harley riders with their loud pipes have a point.
Anti-lock brakes on motorcycles are a great safety feature. Their great advantage is in inclement weather and low traction surfaces and especially during hard "panic" stopping under these circumstances. when upright or at minimal lean angles.
Watching a BMW demo of anti-lock braking, they ride over wet, hay and gravel strewn pavement and they mash the brakes and come to a controlled stop. Impressive.
But nowhere in their demos are the bikes at any degree of lean.
Comparing MotoGP racing to street riding is like asking why NASCAR drivers spin out and wreck. They are pushing the motorcycle to the absolute limits in a controlled environment- a MotoGP rider is to sliding both ends of the motorcycle. Heck, Freddie Spencer is quoted as saying it's not unusual to use his knee to catch and save a front end tuck once per lap when pushing the bike to the limit.
Proper application of the MSF's Slow, Look, Lean and Roll (remember, being on throttle in a corner helps a motorcycle preserve traction) makes losing the front on a sportbike fairly hard to do. But if there's oil, gravel, sand, cold tires... environmental factors that the rider did not identify and made him/herself aware of, it doesn't matter if it's a dual sport, cruiser or sportbike... it can catch the rider out.
What to do?
Diligent observance of the MSF's SEE (Search, Evaluate, Execute) strategy and never riding beyond the limits of the rider, the environment and the motorcycle is the best way to make sure the rider stays healthy and rolling on two wheels.
Bohn does sell a chest protector. I think there was a roadracing version of a chest/torso protector similar to what an off-road rider wears made of foam instead of hard plastic. Back protectors are now de rigeur in roadracing and some racers wear some type of chest protector.
However, the balance between comfort, convenience and freedom of movement are important considerations. How many street riders own a separate back protector? How many are likely to use them regularly on the street? There are riders out there who think a proper riding jacket is too uncomfortable in warmer weather.
"Safe" motorcycling is an activity that requires 100% concentration from the participant. The buck stops at the rider and no amount of technology can replace rider skill, proper training and proper mental attitude. In a world that is so closely intertwined with technology, this purity of experience that motorcycling offers is part of its appeal. Our sport is not without risk, best we can do is to be aware of them and take all the necessary steps to manage those risks.
As for accident statistics... one segment that is experiencing one of the largest spikes in accidents are the mid-aged, post baby boom crowd who haven't ridden in 10-20 years, if ever and who got themselves a large displacement cruiser...
Glad to hear you are not slowing down and plan to get back on a bike. After being life flighted from an accident scene due to being in the middle of a multi car pile-up on a commute to work one morning, I know that getting back on a bike after a major accident can make you look completely insane to your friends and family.
I later bought my dream bike (996) and took it to the track. That led to more track time and that led to me selling my Duc and buying a cheap racing bike and getting off the street all together. After taking to the track, riding on the street just wasn't fun any more. I finally had to admit that those fast rides on Sunday morning were crazy and no matter how I was dressed I was pushing way to hard for the street. I couldn't enjoy the bike at sane limits as it didn't even lean over in a curve unless you were approaching double the speed limit for that section of road.
Take it to the track and enjoy a margin of safety and the benefit of pushing the bike to its limits and your limits. Thats what they are made for. The money it costs is worth it. Like the old helmet saying, "If you got a $10 head get a $10 helmet", should apply to track time.
BTW I lived a dream of mine to actually race at Daytona in Feb 2003. I came in second on my cheap racer. That was the best experience I have ever had on a motorcycle. It was worth every penny. Get to the track and really live!
I am not concerened with being involved in an unforced accident. I have sufficient experience and always keep a margin of safety in hand. It is the situation, my first in this case, where there is no escape.All options are bad and there is only a split second, literally, to make a decision. Until you have been in this fix, you have no idea how it feels.
In this situation talk of riding strategy is meaningless. It's too late for that. Now the issue is survival thru protective gear and the bikes braking system.
I have checked out the Bohn system and I don't think if offers sufficient protection for the chest.
I wonder if Gennaro knows why he lost the front wheel. Barring a patch of oil on the road or too hign a speed into a corner, as you say, it would have been hard too do. I would like to hear more on that aspect of his accident.
Sure... like being sideswiped by a cab while in the left turn lane and almost crashing because the rear wheel gets pushed sideways a foot or two.
Or making solid eye contact with a lady but she still decides to turns out onto the street in front from her driveway.
Two ways to look at this- accidents are simply unavoidable or most accidents are preventable with due diligence and good training and skills that are honed through constant practice.
I subscribe to the latter.
If it were truly a crapshoot, we all better have ride bells and other shamans to protect us. Or perhaps I'm just lucky in 10 years of riding to have come out unscathed having faced only a handful of "no escape" situations.
I give you full credits for getting back into motorcycling. Also thanks for the heads up on the good service from the manufacturers.
Buy the way, if you don't mind sharing, give us a write up on your experience with modifiying the bike and equipment, to handle your unique situation. As well as your own skills adjustment.
I remember in the early 80's I was riding though Montana and passed a guy riding a bike, he only had one leg. I was impressed. Then there is a guy I've seen who rides a 3 wheeler, hes a parapalegic, and strap his wheelchair onto the side of the bike.