LOUD PIPES are all I need! Really?
Updated: Feb 10, 2020
When I purchased my first Motorcycle as a teenager, CB 400 Honda Hawk, I was stoked! I threw away my bus pass, hung my peddle bike on a rack and grabbed a rag to shine up my new toy…stoked! Up until then I was at the whim of someone else’s schedule, but no more. If I wanted to go now, I could go NOW! The freedom and independence of controlling my own time and space was, for an adventurous boy, the ultimate! But sharing this awakening with you is not what this blog is about.
Over time I realized that my exuberance had a sad and unwelcoming bedfellow…ignorance. As a kid ,growing up in Vancouver, I believed I was a seasoned motorist having spent most of my pre-teenage years coursing over the cobblestone streets of Gastown and the ocean-swept pathways of Stanley Park. I had endured the pounding winter rains, the sweltering summer heat, and the monster hills of Burnaby, while on my peddle-bike and I believed that my training was complete. I mean, two wheels is two wheels. The upgrade to a Motorcycle was to me a natural transition…with a bit more horsepower mind you, but still! The last thing on my mind, and I mean the last thing on my mind, was safety. With 10 years of accident free riding, I was convinced I knew how to ride safely. In fact, my new purchase, the CB 400 Honda Hawk I was telling you about, had more features than my bike: A headlamp, signal lights, a horn, brakes that worked. Perfect!!! But who was I kidding? My perceived reality was a lot different then my actual reality.
According to Transport Canada:
When looking at motorcycle accident statistics, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were 26 times more likely to die in an accident than passenger car occupants.
OK today, but not when I was a kid, that statistic alone is enough for me to take notice. Here are the top reasons for Motorcycle crashes according to stats gathered in 2019 by Transport Canada:
o Unsafe lane changes
o Car doors
o Driving under the influence
o Lane splitting
o Sudden stops
o Inexperienced drivers
o Left turn accidents
So now as an informed adult, at least that’s what I say to myself before I go to sleep, I can make decisions about my safety…just like you. On a recent video I posted (Motorcycle Minute – Reflective Gear) I added a poll question asking, ‘do you wear reflective gear or not’. 52% of respondents said, NO. OK, I hear you. I may not agree with you, but I appreciate your honesty. One Facebook comment went as far to say that his LOUD PIPES were reason enough for him NOT to wear any reflective clothing. When I pressed him about his habits (IE I asked if he wore a seatbelt) he shared with me that NO ONE WAS GOING TO TELL HIM WHAT TO DO. OK.
The only way to prevent a Motorcycle accident is by not getting on a Motorcycle to begin with…just sayin’, but, that’s not me. After seeing the reflective clothing options available today, I couldn’t justify an excuse NOT to wear this gear. Let’s be real, vanity does play a part in our decision to do most things, including what to wear when riding. If you feel loud pipes protect you, then great. If you feel that a bright yellow reflective jacket will protect you, then great. For me, if you’re not wearing reflective gear then you might as well be riding naked…and for some of us, that’s not pretty…or safe :)
PS Thanks to our partners at Boutique of Leathers/Open Road they’re now offering FREE SHIPPING with any on-line purchase! Nice. Just add the PROMO CODE: PHOENIX
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