Hi-vis Gear - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hi-vis Gear

I just got back from the cycle shop, I went to check out the Olympia Motorsports jackets and the helmets.

I finally bought my first bike on Saturday (not a Versys, but I'm still hanging out here until you kick me out!) and I need to get some gear.

I went in looking for the Airglide 2 jacket in hi-vis, and it didn't disappoint. That's the jacket I'm going to buy.

The helmet I wasn't sure about except that I want a decent full-face. It turns out that Scorpion makes a model (EXO-700) which also comes in hi-vis yellow. It matches the jacket perfectly.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/r2/motor.../exo-700-neon/

Now I'm trying to figure out if that's what I should go with. I want to be seen, I have a family and I am keeping that in mind. I am not out to express myself with a new image, I just really like riding a cycle and the physical experience is enough for me. I don't plan on defining myself through riding.

So I'm thinking why not? May as well be as visible as possible...and man-oh-man, is that stuff bright!

Last edited by Zinger; 11-26-2008 at 01:43 PM.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 01:46 PM
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Yip - I agree with what you are saying. I wore an Olympia Hi-Vis jacket for the first two years of riding. I like it a lot and it really got me noticed. I still wear bright yellow - just toned it down a little bit with a TourMaster in bright yellow.

The best thing is the color contrast between black and yellow. You are doing the right thing - also don't forget to read up a lot like Hough - Proficient Motorcycling. I believe in a chain of safety that includes conspicuity, education, training and practice.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 02:44 PM
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You will definitely stick out at the biker bar!!





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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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You will definitely stick out at the biker bar!!

Ha! I'm going for that "sport cruiser" look.

I have a cousin who is a die-hard Harley guy (tatoo, no helmet, etc). He'll probably refuse to ride with me.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 03:28 PM
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That's ok - Zinger. It's your ride - your responsible for it.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 09:05 PM
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Distress Yellow

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Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
I just got back from the cycle shop, I went to check out the Olympia Motorsports jackets and the helmets.

I finally bought my first bike on Saturday (not a Versys, but I'm still hanging out here until you kick me out!) and I need to get some gear.

I went in looking for the Airglide 2 jacket in hi-vis, and it didn't disappoint. That's the jacket I'm going to buy.

The helmet I wasn't sure about except that I want a decent full-face. It turns out that Scorpion makes a model (EXO-700) which also comes in hi-vis yellow. It matches the jacket perfectly.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/r2/motor.../exo-700-neon/

Now I'm trying to figure out if that's what I should go with. I want to be seen, I have a family and I am keeping that in mind. I am not out to express myself with a new image, I just really like riding a cycle and the physical experience is enough for me. I don't plan on defining myself through riding.

So I'm thinking why not? May as well be as visible as possible...and man-oh-man, is that stuff bright!
O.K. I am a first time rider. I bought the Olympia distress yellow jacket and a Shoeie rf-1000 canari yellow helmet. I have no regrets about my decision. Where I ride folks tend to be a little less careful about where they look. I have a usual rought and from what I can tell people know to look for me now. Go with the most noticeable stuff you are comfortable with to be safe.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 10:04 PM
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Sure, why not hi-vis? I wear a bright yellow helmet. As far as the hard-core Harley types trying to keep their image, it's funny how I about never see them in tough weather but the regular riders with all the gear on, I do. I just want to stay alive to ride into an old age. Screw image.

As you already know though, you can ride with sirens, bright lights, fireworks going off, bright colors, etc, but you'll still have people look right at you and then pull in front of you. No matter what you wear to be seen, sometimes it helps and sometimes it makes absolutely no difference. Or should I say, I assume sometimes it helps.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2008, 09:01 AM
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I wear hi-vis colors, red V, red in my jacket with a light silver helmet, extra retro-reflective tape on my bike. Wish I would have gotten a helmet with color in it and am I thinking of getting yellow in my next jacket. Heck I also wear one of those clip on red lights which I can switch to blinking mode for the foggy or really poor conditions. Don't care what it looks like, if it helps a few more people see me, perfect.
There is a rider in town here with a yellow bike, yellow helmet, and gear. I see him 3 miles out. You almost can't help but see him, and it doesn't look lame at all.
Seems smart to me.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 02:48 PM
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I absolutely refuse to look like a radioactive banana when I ride. Im sorry but I just cant get on this whole Hi-viz yellow thing, and let me tell you why.

Motorcycling is inherently an evil pastime. And the color of evil is black. Simple as that. Most of my gear is black and has been for the 19 or so years I have been riding.

I hear people say all the time that "I get seen a lot more in my hi-viz" but what I wanna know is...How the hell do you know? I mean, what quantifiable evidence is there to support that you were actually seen more while wearing your uber canary suit?

Not meaning to start a flame war here, just something I have wanted to get off my chest for a while. I wear protective gear (helmet, gloves, jacket, kevlar jeans, boots) every time I ride, but I simply do not feel the need to coat myself in eye searing yellow for the simple sake of safety. I will hone my riding skills and be more aware in traffic but I absolutely refuse to become one of the Laser Lemon Brigade.

All in good fun. Ride safe, but keep some sense of danger to it. Wear black and be evil.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 03:33 PM
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Hi-Vis is a color that doesn't occur naturally in nature and when you see it on the street it quickly draws your attention. I'm not talking anything scientific - but whenever I've seen it - my attention is immediately drawn to it whether it's a road worker, motorcyclist, bicyclist or fire engine. And it doesn't take much.

I think it's a good idea to wear - especially when you are trying to let your spouses and loved one's know that you are going to be safe as you can.

All I can say is - each to their own ride. Whatever works for you - do it.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
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I absolutely refuse to look like a radioactive banana when I ride. Im sorry but I just cant get on this whole Hi-viz yellow thing, and let me tell you why.

Motorcycling is inherently an evil pastime. And the color of evil is black. Simple as that. Most of my gear is black and has been for the 19 or so years I have been riding.

I hear people say all the time that "I get seen a lot more in my hi-viz" but what I wanna know is...How the hell do you know? I mean, what quantifiable evidence is there to support that you were actually seen more while wearing your uber canary suit?

Not meaning to start a flame war here, just something I have wanted to get off my chest for a while. I wear protective gear (helmet, gloves, jacket, kevlar jeans, boots) every time I ride, but I simply do not feel the need to coat myself in eye searing yellow for the simple sake of safety. I will hone my riding skills and be more aware in traffic but I absolutely refuse to become one of the Laser Lemon Brigade.

All in good fun. Ride safe, but keep some sense of danger to it. Wear black and be evil.

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Riders Against Hi-Viz

I'm not as passionate about it as you, but I agree. I've read many threads where people say "good thing I was wearing 'X brand' boot, cause if I wasn't, I wouldn't be walking". How do you know what would've happened? I call emotional over-reaction (and maybe a little price justification). Now don't get me wrong, I don't deny the benefit of good safety gear, but it doesn't have to be the most expensive or brightly colored crap on the market.

And as far as visibility goes, If a driver can't see the motorcycle beneath the rider, a yellow jacket ain't gonna help. I believe the "not seeing the rider" stuff is based on two things more than anything else, inattentiveness from the driver & the fact that our minds are instinctively looking for an object the size of a car, two headlights, yada yada. I've done it many times myself, not seeing a biker while I'm in the car until he's right up on me.

Of course, I have to end this by saying, it's your ride. You ride however you feel comfortable. If you want to wear hi-viz yellow, by all means do so. By the same token, if you want to ride in shorts & flip flops, well that's on you too.







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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 05:50 PM
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Every one of us cheats to some extent and rationalizes it, but I'd never want to advise anyone to wear less safety gear.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 06:51 PM
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I can't interview everyone who drives by me but I will say the people I have spoken to say I look like a cop in my Olympia AST hi-viz green. If they're slowing down because I look like a cop what do I care for the reason. I have no doubt my jacket saved me from serious injury with a gravel truck on the highway because I spoke with the driver after a close call. He said my jacket made him notice me and not try and move into my lane. I was staying back of his truck in the left lane, passing through an on-off ramp section of road when a merging car cut him off. The truck driver started to move out of the way into my lane but saw my jacket and decided to throw on the binders, stay in his lane and risk taking out the car because he felt the car had a better chance than (what he thought was a cop) me. This was at night and I doubt my cool looking black jacket on my cool looking black Versys would have been seen in his mirrors. As I said, he didn't see the bikes headlight, he saw the jacket.

Having said that I try to be as visible as posible and ride like I'm invisible. And I mean what the hell, my jacket keeps me warm and dry in the winter and if only ONE person see's me because of it I'll spend some "cool factor" credits on it. It is your own ride, I get it. But for me it's not just me riding it's my kids, wife, parents, brother riding with me.

Take my statment for what it's worth, I'm not a hi-viz nazi that hates you if you don't wear what I wear. Just ride safe, have fun and please do what you got to do to get home to your family.

Cheers.

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Last edited by cuff; 11-29-2008 at 06:55 PM.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Having said that I try to be as visible as posible and ride like I'm invisible. And I mean what the hell, my jacket keeps me warm and dry in the winter and if only ONE person see's me because of it I'll spend some "cool factor" credits on it. It is your own ride, I get it. But for me it's not just me riding it's my kids, wife, parents, brother riding with me.

Take my statment for what it's worth, I'm not a hi-viz nazi that hates you if you don't wear what I wear. Just ride safe, have fun and please do what you got to do to get home to your family.

Cheers.
I bought the jacket and matching helmet on Friday. I'm with you cuff, I have a family to get home to and I need the best odds possible.

Research has shown that visibility does matter, so you guys who want to wear dark colors that's your choice, but recognize that you are less visible. I passed a group of riders today while I was in my car, and I really took notice how they were not much more than silhouettes coming towards me (all in black).

Frankly, I think the whole getup looks kinda cool, I like it and I feel better about riding when I'm wearing it.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 10:07 PM
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The more I ride, the less I want to "impress". Why should I try to look good for the idiot "drivers" who have no regard about killing me by their unsafe actions?

In many regards, I agree, if they can't see my bright light in front, what more would a yellow jacket and helmet do? If anything, it gives the appearance that the rider is trying to be safe and is a responsible rider.

Read a forum once where this guy had a variety of gear and bikes. According to his "study" all black or hi-vis made no difference, but looking like a cop did make a difference.

Years ago when I rode in CA, I had a cop looking helmet and bike. What was bad about it was how traffic so often slowed up in front of me so they would do the speed limit. Others still treated me like "who cares".
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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The more I ride, the less I want to "impress". Why should I try to look good for the idiot "drivers" who have no regard about killing me by their unsafe actions?
I agree with you 100%.

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In many regards, I agree, if they can't see my bright light in front, what more would a yellow jacket and helmet do?
Not so sure about this. I kept a close eye on my buddy who rode my bike home for me. I was leading the way in my truck back to my house. Looking at him through the rear view mirror there wasn't much there that caught my eye. The headlight doesn't stand out to me the way I think it should. Perhaps this is from looking at them constantly, day and night. He has a black jacket and black helmet, with black face shield. Not very noticable at all. He was with me when I went the first time to look at the hi-viz jacket, and when I was trying on helmets the sales person handed me the hi-viz one, since it was my size. We were debating hi-viz jacket only vs jacket and helmet and what tipped the scales for me was how unnoticable he was with his all black helmet behind me.

My two biggest fears while riding a bike are:
1. Person pulling out in front of me
2. Getting rear-ended

I'm not sure how much of a dent this move will put into my odds of having #1 happening, but I feel pretty darn good about #2. There is so much hi-viz yellow when looking at me from behind you'd have to be sleeping to miss it.
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-29-2008, 11:53 PM
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The only way to tell if hi-viz works is if nothing happens. How do you measure nothing? However, if I do get hit again, and make it to court with the asshat who hits me, I want to bring the jacket and ask them to say agiain that they didn't see me.

Falling down is your bodies way of saying you just screwed up.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2008, 06:45 AM
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My Hi-Viz definitely saved my butt several times while I was learning to ride. I just didn't understand the negative reaction I got from it. It was like waving a red cape in front of a bull to some bikers.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2008, 07:43 AM
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Here's a motorcycle study that says a total of hi-viz helmet, clothing and lights on really works in reducing crashes.

http://men.webmd.com/news/20040408/h...-motorcyclists

To me, the most important things for being seen is my HID light always on and my yellow helmet that also has reflective tape all over it for night riding.

Zinger brought up rear-end accidents and thats where I REALLY like hi-viz gear and why I also have Hyper rear lights that constantly blink when my brake light is on. Plus, I always watch the car coming up behind me and I always leave myself an escape route if I see the person is not stopping to avoid this:

http://home1.gte.net/res0ak9f/1bikestop.gif
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-30-2008, 09:31 AM
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That does it, when I get old my Harley is gonna be white and my helmet gold...

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