Before I even begin, let’s assume we both prefer avoiding crashes. You’ve probably taken motorcycle safety courses that fit your abilities as a rider, beginner or experienced. You know that continued learning and practice helps to maintain a responsible risk offset. You also understand that curiousity about the physics of your motorcycle(s) aids in suppressing the desire to push limits unless on the track. Well, with respect to the most able of riders, sometimes $h!t just happens.
… and what if it does? What if, one day, you do everything right, telling others where you’ll be before riding your favorite local route during low traffic hours. Then, a pea-size remainder of some burned out, mile-wide meteor finds its way from another side of the cosmos directly into your steering head bearings. All control is lost as you do whatever you can to soften the impending low/high side. Your bike disappears into a ditch while you lay there, unconscious.
Sure, that’s a big pill to swallow but finding horrible images of bad motorcycle accidents isn’t hard. We’re not looking to terrify anyone but we certainly want all riders to be at the ready. Let’s look at three products that, when combined, might just help should you find yourself in an accident. These installations are NOT an absolute solution. Their only role is to add to whatever preparations you can make to ride better and more safely, even if at a spirited pace through the twisties.
Motorcycle Airbag Jacket/Vest Options
There are a few different motorcycle airbag jackets and vests available today. All of which are gaining popularity for good reason. While the price points vary, no dollar amount is too much considering what they provide.
Offering brass tax functionality, if your ignition switch is in the “on” position while your bike-to-rider leash gets disconnected, “Poof!” … you’re a more cushioned, albeit perhaps airborne marshmallow of sorts. These aren’t one-time use, either. So long as their material remains intact, they can be deflated before installing a new air cartridge.
Material is of the essence with these “boom pillows”, often consisting of Lumidex for its night time reflective qualities. Others use a polyester/cotton veneer that’s similar to that of fire hoses. None can protect you from the suffering of having wrecked your bike in the first place, however.
CRADAR (CRAsh Detection And Response)
Right out of the gates, this might require a data connection. Most of the riding routes we promote place you in secluded locations where data might not be available. Either way, there’s no harm installing this fine little app.
Cradar uses your smartphone’s built-in accelerometer to determine if you’ve come to a halt a little too quickly. It then texts a preferred emergency contact about the incident. Included in the transmission is your current location (requires GPS). Sensitivity can be adjusted based on travel modes, in our case automotive/driving. Should you experience an off while riding and trigger Cradar’s response, you have roughly thirty seconds to cancel the alert.
Don’t fear its GPS use, though. It only puts said antenna into action if it detects a prospective emergency. Otherwise, it sits idly by while minding your phone’s feature circuitry.
SPOT Trace Tracking: LoJack Security Goodness
At just over 2.5″ and made in the USA, the SPOT satellite GPS device is actually intended to provide lojack style security for those with motorcycles prone to theft. At the same time, these lightweight solutions are perfect for third party status checks. Think of it this way, if you’re not moving and you’re not at your end destination, there’s no harm relaying a few texts back/forth with loved ones to let them know you’re breaking for lunch.
Motorcycle Crash Detection Summary
In the end, it’s all about riding smarter and more safely. Learning the ins and outs of your motorcycle’s performance as well as the limits of your current rider knowledge can help to insure there’s no need for the supportive products mentioned above. While our target demographic is that of sport touring enthusiasts with an extensive knowledge of technical riding procedures, anyone can expand on the most basic of concerns when it comes to safety.
What Safety Add-Ons Does YOUR Motorcycle Feature?
There are many great safety alerts on the market. Which ones do you prefer? What do you like about them and why? Your input is invited. Post an article!