Becoming a canyon carver is more than a helmet and a jacket. A perfect demonstration is in this video showing full-leathers in action.
Proper riding gear can be the difference between a dusty, head-hanging walk of shame and a trip to the ER chaperoned by paramedics when a ride goes south.
This video starts off with Local Joey ripping his Yamaha YZF-R6 down Edwards’ Corner through “the snake” section of Mulholland Highway tucked back in the Malibu Mountains of Southern California. As this canyon carver junkie makes his way towards the exit of the right-hand corner with his knee puck dragging along the worn public road surface, an especially rough patch of asphalt is encountered, unsettling the suspension and swinging the rear end out. This puts our local hero into a rather uneventful low-side but sends the bike and rider directly into the opposing lane. After narrowly sliding by an Lexus RX350, the R6 and its pilot come to an abrupt rest underneath a Civic as they meet head-on in the shoulder despite the cage driver’s best evasive maneuvers.
Luckily, no one was injured in this hair-raising chain of events. This can be attributed to the rider’s excellent choice of riding gear that morning. Decked out in a full leather, one-piece racing suit, race boots, full-length gloves and a full-face helmet, the pilot was up and walking around in no time after a little help from bystanders fishing him out from the Honda’s undercarriage. Without such safety gear, serious injuries such as broken bones, abrasions or worse would have been unavoidable.
Before setting out on a ride, whether it be a canyon cruise, commute to work or even a quick trip to the grocery store, proper riding gear should always be worn. Far too often are riders caught riding around town, down the freeway or through the twisties in shorts, a t-shirt and a pair of Nikes. Typically, these riders are new to the sport, trying to save a few bucks to put towards the next obnoxious aftermarket mod and/or perhaps making an attempt at a fashion statement. Experienced motorcyclists can spot these novices with ease but have trouble comprehending the validity of the logic behind these decisions. Even a spill while cruising through the neighborhood at 20MPH can have devastating results if casual wear is the selected attire for riding that day. At the bare minimum, proper riding gear should include:
- DOT approved full-face helmet within its useful life
- Armored riding jacket (leather or textile)
- Protective gloves that cover the wrists
- Armored boots or riding shoes that fully protect the ankles
Additionally, more conservative riders can opt for a back protector, specially designed riding pants, knee/leg armor, etc. but the essentials listed above can hedge against injury in a wide range of situations. The human body is surprisingly durable and can take quite a beating but the ankles, hands and brain are extremely fragile components that are especially prone to injury in even the mildest motorcycling incident. Before throwing a leg over a bike regardless of the length of the trip, intensity of the ride or weather conditions, all responsible riders rock the proper riding apparel at all times.
Despite the unfortunate wrap to our friend’s day of canyon carving in the video and perhaps the level of riding aggression of which he was exerting given the surroundings, we are glad to see the proper safety precautions were taking in the riding gear department. As a result, Local Joey was able to walk away from the crash site with nothing more than a bummed ego and for this, we salute him.