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Riding in tennis shoes and jeans, how dangerous is it?

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  • Riding in tennis shoes and jeans, how dangerous is it?

    Whenever I ride my bike I also suit up and wear the same thing, I wear my helmet, mesh jacket with armor, gloves, jeans, and tennis shoes.

    I've had two wrecks now (one at 20 and one at 60) and both times I was wearing those exact items. Going 20 I got a few tiny scrapes on my knees but nothing else. Going 60 my jacket rode up on one side and I got some decent road rash (plus some small scrapes on my knees). But in both wrecks my legs were more or less unharmed, I never got anything that I couldn't have got tripping on pavement while walking. So I've been wondering how effective jeans really are as riding projection?

    Now my a little more detail. Both wrecks I had I didn't really slide but instead rag dolled. I'm six foot tall and weigh 190, I have very broad shoulders and my lower body is alot smaller compared to my upper body. Could that have something to do with why my upper body seems to always take the damage from my wrecks?


    Having this road rash has certainly taught me that I don't want it again, I'm sure I'll drive safer but I'll be the first to admit that I like to have some fun and I'll probably wreck again. I'm going to buy a new helmet and a good leather jacket (I really hate road rash). Should I be looking for some better protection for my legs as well? I have riding pants but I've never liked them, they are horrible uncomfortable. I've never had my tennis shoes come off in a wreck either, I'm not one of those skater punks thats shoes are always ready to fall off, mine are always tied on plenty tight.


    I'm just looking for some opinons, what is everyone else wearing? Preferable people who have crash tested their gear.

  • #2
    As far as jeans go, I'm not really sure what to say about this. I have no experience, and jeans vary greatly in weight and strength of material. As far as the shoes go though, you're very lucky, especially with rolling like you said, that you didn't smack your ankle on the pavement and have problems due to it. You can get riding boots that cover your ankle for fairly reasonable prices. Most of them also have something to cover or hold the laces so they don't get caught on the peg accidentally preventing you from getting your foot down when you stop.

    I would like to say though, with actual riding pants, you get the benefit of tougher materials, and the CE approved armor. If you're going to "have fun" as you put it, then you'd probably be pleasantly surprised how much it can boost your riding by boosting your confidence level.

    Now, I can't say that I've crash tested any of my gear. But I used to wear a mesh jacket until I went on a ride with a local group and saw two riders go down in the same ride. I personally like the feeling of being protected.

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    • #3
      First off let me state it's your life, your body etc etc etc, you can ride in what ever you feel comfortable in.

      If I remember correctly @55mph jeans are good for 3 or 4 feet in a slide, textile 18 feet and leather 180 feet.

      As for for tennis shoe's you have absolutely no ankle protection, if your leg got pinned under the bike in a slide you'd have 450+lbs pushing down on top of your ankle bones as it grinds into the pavement. Not to mention the possiblilty of snapping your ankles if you hit something like a curb in a slide.

      I did a 30-35mph slide last fall after I hit sand in a corner. JR speedmaster jacket and pants, KBC lid, Ryhno gloves and some cheapie touring boots.

      I scratched my lid on the right side from chin to forehead, wore a spot through my glove on my right hand. I slid with the bike with my right leg under it for about 30 ft. From ankle to my waist I scuffed my boots and leathers. On my right arm I started to peel back a few letters where it says "rocket" and other than fracturing some bone in my left hand I walked away with a spot of rash maybe 1/4 inch on my palm.

      Now this is completely IMHO, and I will repeat to each thier own, most of us are adults and can make our own decisons

      I was going slow, very slow. I normally cruise the highway at 85mph, 35 mph is nothing. Never mind the I'm taking it easy **** most people spout ( no offense intended towards you ) when it comes to why they don't need gear. At highway speeds I don't even want to think about the damage that would result from a get off if your not geared for it.

      As for pants, you didn't say why your uncomfortable in them but if it's heat try some of the mesh ones, the JR phoenix pants are like riding in shorts they have so much airflow.
      Kyle

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      • #4
        I remember Soulrider got a peg through his foot....Now, he probably could outride 99.9% of the members here

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        • #5
          I've recently crash tested my gear and I can honestly say the helmet saved my life and the rest of the gear meant I was able to walk (ok, hobble) away from the scene. Even with boots on (regular boots, not proper riding boots) I broke two bones in my right foot and after shattering the shoulder armour in my leather jacket I was left with a separated shoulder. Imagine then the shape I'd be in without that gear on? Oh and the pants... I wore a small hole in the outer fabric of the knee. Next season, when I'm back on the road, I'll be in proper riding boots. As others have (and will say) in this thread, it's your body and your choice. I wore gear never imagining I'd ever need it but figured better safe than sorry - I learned a big lesson last week and I'm thankful to be able to replace what was broken and ride again some day. I'm thankful and profoundly impressed with just how well proper gear works and having been though this, I'll never ride again without head to toe protection.

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          • #6
            Tennis shoes?
            One word - Shoelaces.

            They don't mix well with motorcycle chains.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Get a decent pair of riding jeans, and at least some touring boots. Regular jeans and tennis shoes are worthless in a crash.
              90% of motorcycle forum members do not have a service manual for their bike.

              Originally posted by Badfaerie
              I love how the most ignorant people I have met are the ones that fling the word "ignorant" around like it's an insult, or poo. Maybe they think it means poo
              Originally posted by soulless kaos
              but personaly I dont see a point in a 1000 you can get the same power from a properly tuned 600 with less weight and better handeling.

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              • #8
                I know it's my life and I get to make the choices, that's why I want to make the right choice. In my 60 mile an hour wreck I tore a hole through my jacket, under liner, sweater, and tee shirt before the road claimed about a square inch of skin on the back side of my shoulder. After that I realized that the mesh I was wearing was no real match for pavement, even if the rest of the jacket did just fine.

                As far as the riding pants not being comfortable it's because of the material mine are made out of. I live in texas so I bought some mesh ones so that they would breath decently, and they do. But the material is rough and makes your legs very itchy.

                I have ZERO issue with wearing my helmet, jacket, gloves, or even boots (I just don't have any boots). I guess if jeans really provide that little protection it's time I make the switch to some good leathers. I'm a big advocate of proper protection, my friends call me the blue power ranger because my jacket is blue, I just tell them I'm kinda attached to my skin and I would like to keep it.

                Could I wear just the jacket from a two piece suit like this?

                http://www.ironpony.com/ironponydire...its&Class3=Two Piece Suits&Class1=STREET PRODUCTS

                Originally posted by BradsKat View Post
                I've recently crash tested my gear and I can honestly say the helmet saved my life and the rest of the gear meant I was able to walk (ok, hobble) away from the scene. Even with boots on (regular boots, not proper riding boots) I broke two bones in my right foot and after shattering the shoulder armour in my leather jacket I was left with a separated shoulder. Imagine then the shape I'd be in without that gear on? Oh and the pants... I wore a small hole in the outer fabric of the knee. Next season, when I'm back on the road, I'll be in proper riding boots. As others have (and will say) in this thread, it's your body and your choice. I wore gear never imagining I'd ever need it but figured better safe than sorry - I learned a big lesson last week and I'm thankful to be able to replace what was broken and ride again some day. I'm thankful and profoundly impressed with just how well proper gear works and having been though this, I'll never ride again without head to toe protection.


                Could you give some more detail of your crash and the gear you were wearing?
                Last edited by Jacobz; 09-27-2009, 06:15 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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                • #9
                  I wear black "service boots" like these

                  They are all day comfortable. $19.99 and offer better support and protection than sneakers. I agree with Tom that laces and chains don't mix, but neither do 500lb bikes and ankles.
                  Now Jeans are better then shorts to be sure. I usually asses what I wear based on miles + type of road X speed / time..
                  Anything more then 1 hour or speeds over 60 mph for more then 30 minutes = leathers

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                  • #10
                    If you've gone down twice in jeans and tennis shoes and not gotten hurt, then your luck is officially used up. Don't play the lottery, it's worthless to you now. Don't go to Vegas.

                    At the very least, wear some boots that cover your ankle. Your ankle is a complex joint, with many things that can go wrong and leave you with a permanent limp. Not to mention that it's hard to shift after you've had your ankle fused.

                    As for the actual topic, I ripped up a windbreaker coming off a long time ago, but otherwise came out ok at ~35 or so. The last time I went down, it was at no more than 15 mph, and it holed my jeans, rashed my legs, nearly holed the bodywork of the bike....... Amazing how much damage a little gravel in a parking lot can do.

                    Do as you please. Personally, for me, gloves, helmet, and boots (not necessarily riding boots, but SOME sturdy boot) are the bare minimum. Leather jacket whenever possible. I've never worn riding pants, but I likely will whenever I get back on.
                    Any and all statements by Loudnlow7484 are merely his own opinions, and not necessarily the opinion of Katriders.com. Anything suggested by him is to be followed at your own risk, and may result in serious injury or death. Responses from this member have previously been attributed to all of the following: depression, insomnia, nausea, suicidal tendencies, and panic. Please consult a mental health professional before reading any post by Loudnlow7484.

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                    • #11
                      I went into a turn too hot, was dragging peg when (I think) the rubber toe cap/soul of my boot caught. I high-sided and landed on my head/shoulder. Had I been wearing proper boots then at the very least I suspect I wouldn't have broken anything and possibly it would have slid instead of catching; it's my belief that this is what catapulted me from the bike and hence what sent the bike into a somersault. Having said that, the real cause of the crash was speed - too much of it on unfamiliar roads.

                      Also, my jacket/pants do *not* match but they do zip together (shorter 8" zipper) and this probably saved me a few feet worth of skin on my side/back. Pants are Ballistic 5.0 and jacket is a Nexo Sport.

                      Brad

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                      • #12
                        I was in a crash going around a turn at 60 mph and luckily walked away with nothing more than bruised hips and a small raspberry on my knee because I was wearing jeans. My synthetic jacket didn't hold up very well! But did its job. I now wear full leathers this is the only way to properly protect yourself. And I am guilty of wearing sneakers this is something I have to stop doing and wear boots. So if you ride gear up you will have a much better chance of surviving a crash.
                        Last edited by scaryfast777; 09-27-2009, 06:34 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I highsided earlier this year avoiding a deer I didn't slide, I bounced and rolled twice then ended up in the grass. I had on a fieldsheer Mach8 mesh jacket and titanium air pants, and Teknic Lightning boots. Scraped the whole side of my helmet, actually broke parts of one of the boots (if I would have had tennis shoes on, I probably wouldn't have been walking for quite a while.) In my opinion, had I not had the other gear on I would have most likely broken my hip/pelvis (indicated by the 14 inch black bruise on my side that I got even with the padding) I bruised both my bruised elbow and scapula. My gloves took the brunt of the impact on my hands. pretty much wore through the carbon fiber, had I not had them it would have been my nuckles.

                          Occasionally when I am just running up to the store I will ride in jeans, but I always wear my Helmet, jacket, boots and gloves, regardless.

                          We are adults, we make our choices. I have decided I like my skin and all my parts in one place, so I gear up.
                          Always count on hitting pavement twice. First time from inexperience, the second from thinking you are experienced!

                          "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me! "

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                          • #14
                            I really want a pair of riding boots but crap they are expensive. Ive been looking at these:
                            http://www.ironpony.com/ironponydire...EET%20PRODUCTS
                            Any thoughts? They are a good price but I dont know how well they would protect you ankles.
                            Originally posted by arsenic
                            93 octane fuel and K&N pod filters rock.

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                            • #15
                              Good gear can mean the difference in a ride in an ambulance or walking (or even riding!) off.

                              Why not wear it? Things that make sense for $1000, Alex.

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