Protective gear.......worth it?

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by waldo_one2, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. waldo_one2

    waldo_one2 Member

    Me and my female partner are going to do 2 weeks touring Laos.....starting in LP.

    We're gonna stick to decent roads but go off road when we deem safe and necessary[:D]..........we're probably gonna hire a couple of Baja's from Green Discovery Laos.

    Couple of questions>

    1)Can we hire protective gear from Green Discovery?
    2)Is it necessary?.......and if so how far to do go,just the basic pads or full on Moto x gear?

    Cheers Wal.
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Wal
    If you're serious, bring your own, as you wont get any (protective gear, apart from a cheap helmet) for rent in Laos.
     
  4. brat

    brat Ol'Timer

    I just spent a week or so riding in Laos, North of Vientienne was downright dangerous with Tourist mini-buses doing Micheal Schumaker impersonations, South of Vientienne was good. I wore a full face helmet and Kevlar lined jeans, in hindsight I would have liked at least a decent bike jacket and gloves as well!
     
  5. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    [1)Can we hire protective gear from Green Discovery?
    2)Is it necessary?.......and if so how far to do go,just the basic pads or full on Moto x gear?]

    I would say that full on Moto X is overkill, unless of course you are going MX racing. My girlfriend and I always wear a padded riding jacket (mesh jkts for normal weather, now need something warmer) good helmets and gloves and usually riding boots. Most of the time I try to wear padded riding pants but sometimes I get lazy with this and don't really feel like walking around in them at the various stops and tourist sites.

    Definately better to bring the gear with you if you can.
     
  6. waldo_one2

    waldo_one2 Member

    Thanks a lot guys........it looks like i'm gonna try and get away with the basic,helmet,arm and leg pads,goggles.

    My partner is gonna go for the padded trousers and jacket.

    Theres that fine line between looking ok and safe on a bike and looking like Robocop and scaring off all the villagers!!!!
     
  7. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    You should have no problems with that set up. Keep it upright and it is all irrelevant anyway.
     
  8. pee

    pee Ol'Timer

    Helmet, googles, gloves are compulsory... No Question about that.
    Now I have been procrastinating the purchase of padded riding pants and jackets for quite a while...
    I guess I am lazy (and always have to spend available money on the bike first). However recent accident in Hongsa and SilverHawk comment after what looks like a bad serie ("we should do better...")bring back the issue again.
    I have got a pair of kevlar padded pants(Australian made). However I believe those only help to save the pants. They also provide a more comfortable seating, marginally. However, I don't see how they would prevent broken knees, etc.
    Speaking of padded jackets and pants I mean models with protective shells, armoured type.

    Negative points about padded jackets and pants:
    -Uncomfortable in hot weather we are going to meet from now on
    - "Theres that fine line between looking ok and safe on a bike and looking like Robocop and scaring off all the villagers!!!!", as Waldo One 2 says.
    Positive points:
    -Better protection to a certain extent(?)
    I don't know what kind of jacket David was wearing at the time of the Hongsa crash. If he was wearing one of those padded (armoured) jacket, would it had made any difference?
     
  9. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Eric-

    Thanks for taking my post to heart. I find a good mesh jacket with protective armour to be quite good even in the hot season here. There are varying degrees of mesh and one with a large weave actually lets quite a bit of air flow through. My pants also have some mesh and are not too hot except in extreme heat if you are not moving. Of course locating exactly what you want is another matter.

    David may respond to this himself, but I can tell you from riding many, many kilometers with him he always wears a jacket with padding and armour. As for this fall, it was the shear force of a direct impact on the bone. It was more of crush factor as there was no real speed involved. I don't think any type of jacket would have helped in this situation.

    As for the other extreme you speak of; here is a photo of our friend "Temple Hunter" alias The Road Warrior in action.

    [​IMG]
    (Hope you don't mind Don)[;)]

    However I don't fault him at all as he travels many kilometers into the far, far, outreaches of Laos and Cambodia usually alone.

    Good to see you thinking about this issue.
     
  10. waldo_one2

    waldo_one2 Member

    Thanks Eric for your consideration on the matter.I also read about Davids unfortunate accident!!!!........if you spend that many hours in the saddle you're increasing your chances of an accident no matter how much protective gear you have on.

    I'm definitely loving The Road Warrior's style though.
     
  11. pee

    pee Ol'Timer

    SilverHawk, thanks for the feedback. I appreciate that: a first hand account from an experienced rider is priceless... It’s not easy to get the right idea when trying on pants & jackets in the comfort of an aircon shop in downtown Bangkok.
    Waldo One2: SilverHawk hasn't disclosed the whole extent of "Temple Hunter" Road Warrior outfit! His helmet got an antenna on top so that he can "GPS" the tracks he is doing... That last detail makes probably the kids laugh along the way, which is always good. However, according to friends who rode with him, once he 's got his "warrior" outfit on, Don hardly ever stops… He would feel too hot then. I personally wouldn't like that, as breaks and encounters along the way are a big part of the biking experience in this part of the world.
    Of course Don often rides on his own and this is an important point. It brings to my mind a post from Daewoo who points at a risk factor: nowadays motorbike trip are becoming banal... More and more riders, more bikes on Mekong countries tracks tend to wipe out the "adventure aspect". There fore we may be a bit less vigilant than in the past.
    I believe that riding alone is a good experience though. Being alone in nature makes ones feel very humble... Back to earth, back to dust... It raises the sense of responsibility. As much as I have fun riding with mates in a small group, I also always do some trips by myself. It makes me feel less relaxed but somehow safer… I also feel more in touch with my environment, which is always a good thing.
    I know that riding alone is not advisable. Consequences of a crash could be exponential. However, even in remote areas there would always be someone passing by, sometimes. That’s where good protection gear becomes very important if they can lessen a crash impact.
    I agree, “that many hours in the saddle you're increasing your chances of an accident”. Do you mean that we should take breaks every so often (like professional truck drivers must do according to the European law, for example)? Or do you consider a bikers life with statistics in mind? Pushing the logic to the end that would mean that after xxx kms, one should quit biking… Too sad.
    In the end there would always be bad luck. Bad luck is bad luck. Even the most skilled, the most experienced won’t be able to do anything about it.
    Let’s be humble… Just trying what we can do in order to avoid circumstances that could bring bad luck.
    Sorry if I sound serious or sanctimonious... Above all I wish you all fun for many, many(imagine here a thai voice) years to come... Chokdee Khap.
     
  12. waldo_one2

    waldo_one2 Member

    Hi Eric,

    All of my riding up till now has been on my own.I to feel exactly how you mentioned " Being alone in nature makes ones feel very humble... Back to earth, back to dust... It raises the sense of responsibility. As much as I have fun riding with mates in a small group, I also always do some trips by myself. It makes me feel less relaxed but somehow safer… I also feel more in touch with my environment, which is always a good thing.".....to add to that,i also prefer to travel in general (not necessarily on a bike on my own......but it is my prefered form of transport) as it forces me to interact with people and situations on a personal level as i am solely responsible for the decisions i make.Sometimes the decisions have been right and wrong but in hindsight whether they were right or wrong i always take something from each decision i make and learn from it...........thus growing as an individual.This is what i believe is the essence of travel.

    To quote you again" Pushing the logic to the end that would mean that after xxx kms, one should quit biking… Too sad.
    In the end there would always be bad luck. Bad luck is bad luck. Even the most skilled, the most experienced won’t be able to do anything about it.
    Let’s be humble… Just trying what we can do in order to avoid circumstances that could bring bad luck"...........i've learnt this lesson the hard way.In September 2006 i was involved in a fatal car accident where a pedestrian recklessly ran out onto a busy main road.The car in front of me narrowly missed him however i was totally unable to avoid him and hit him and he died 2 days later.I was'nt speeding nor was my vehicle in anyway defective and all eyewitness accounts backup my account.

    So to some up..........i've gone beyond being humble........i've gone beyond what words can express in such tragic circumstances.......i'm left with my own emotions,feelings,anger, self doubt and sadness.

    However all i can say is that riding a bike around SE Asia on my own (or in a group whatever you prefer) is one of the most liberating and therapeutic things that i do in my life today.Its almost what i live for!!!!.........i don't post much on this site but i do check it out and love it just before my next trip and hate it once i'm back.

    Sorry for going a little bit deep,i was'[nt going to share this stuff but thought it appropriate.

    Thanks.....Wal.
     
  13. pee

    pee Ol'Timer

    It was very much appropriate to share "this stuff", your story... On this site, technical advices, roads details, etc are great. However in the end it's much more interesting to tell why we love motorbiking trips and what we get out of it on a deep personal level. That's the main thing and too rare. Thanks you for sharing this tough story with us. Good to see, that sharing the same passion enables trust between us.
    I have been looking for something "smart" to say about the story... However your friends and family may have told you already everything that could be said... It was not your intention to harm this pedestrian. Only bad intentions can be blamed, etc.
    I have been lucky enough to not face this type of situation, so far. So I can just listen very carefully.
    The most important thing is probably how you feel and how you 've choosen to grow up from there... I can feel that "self-doubt" motivates you to find the right way to grow up. It would be a shame if self doubt was so strong that it overwhelmes development... Always a thin red line... An accurate tune up...
    However I am afraid to write more. I am not a native English speaker... When it comes to sensitive feelings I know that words can carry an emotional-cultural content I may not be aware of.
    Maybe one day we 'll have a chance to chat up along the Nam Ou river or any nice Lao forest track... That would be nice.
    Wishing you all the best,
     
  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    For me I think it’s going to be back to Dainese safety wave jacket

    [​IMG]

    http://www.dainese.com/eng/articolo.asp ... lo=1875796

    & some sort of ventilated riding jacket. I was always happy with the Dainese & tailored made leather jacket to fit. But as the years slipped by & the girth increased quicker than the years slipped by I started to feel the heat more, also did a lot more slower hotter trail riding, plus eventually needed a new jacket.
    The vented mesh jacket with the protective foam was the cheap & easy way out. Then I always thought that shit I really would not want to go sliding down the road at speed with that mesh jacket on. The jacket is not a tight fit, & so most likely the protective gear would not hold in the right place & therefore not be so protective. Fortunately I never got to try it out at speed on the asphalt.
    Now on a dusty stony dirt road it did not seem to offer much protection to my shoulder either. I figure that I must have landed on a rock to cause the damaged I did.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The head of the left humerus is trashed & I now have to wonder how much better off I might have been wearing the Dainese, which is surely 100% better than the ol Joe Rocket mesh jacket?????

    [​IMG]
    Confusing isnt it?

    Then take a look at
    http://board.gt-rider.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=147
     
  15. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    David
    The last pic is definitely a Churchillian Fearless Leader pose.
    Trust you are on the mend & G/F still HGL & TLC++.
    See you when next in CM.
    ATB
    Rhodie
     
  16. pee

    pee Ol'Timer

    "Churchillian Fearless Leader pose"... Good one!
    The "Dainese safety wave jacket" is impressive too. This week I have visited Dirt Shop in Bangkok (http://www.dirtshopthailand.com/home.php)they have a promotion on a ventilated mesh jacket with protections: 2500 Bahts.
    However, a quick look at it will tell you it can't match the Dainese... Arrf this Dainese might be damned hot though...
    So the dilemna is: putting up with the heat or compromising with safety.
    All the best David... I hope you won't start smoking cigars though!
     
  17. scot harper

    scot harper Ol'Timer

    Dave m8, the only conserlation is that chicks dig scars[}:)]
    cant speak for lady boys though[?]
    scott
     

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