Skip to main content

What it's Like to Crash a Motorcycle

“Damn it. John Burns thinks I’m a dick.”
That was one of the predominant thoughts going through my head as I slid down a Florida highway at 60 mph back in March.
It’s weird how the mind works. Time slows in a crash. Every tiny image burns into memory, so your brain can replay it over and over and over at night for the next who knows how many weeks.
In the moments before I crashed, I was riding the Harley-Davidson Street Rod along County Road 34 in central Florida. I’m not sure which county. The accident report simply records it as “County Code 61,” but the internet can’t agree on which county that is. Maybe I was in Indian River County; maybe I was in Suwannee County; maybe I was in Flagler County; I don’t know. I guess it doesn’t matter; I was somewhere. The road passing through that somewhere was long and straight – not the sort of place where one usually crashes – and the weather was perfect.

“My God, I am so happy,” I was thinking. “I am so incredibly lucky to be here – to live t…

Gear review: Furygan Revol Evo

Furygan Revol Evo
When it comes to motorcycle gloves, I suppose there are really only two things to consider:
1) Will they protect my hands in a crash?
2) Will they keep my hands warm/cool?

The first question is rather hard to answer definitively without, you know, hurling yourself from a motorcycle at speed. Yes, you can get a good sense of a glove's durability from safety ratings. You can smack the leather and hard plastic and tell yourself that you feel it would hold up well. But you don't actually know.

So, the bulk of my review of the Furygan Revol Evo glove is centred on how well they answer the second question. Unfortunately, after having ridden with them for a while I have to say they've not answered the question very well.

The gloves are marketed as winter gloves, and were bought on that same heady day after signing up for my CBT that I bought my helmet. Both items were promptly hidden from my wife until I was found out a few months later. Because they are winter gloves, one would expect them to keep hands warm in, you know, the winter. But unless you're spending your winters in Arizona I can't say they really live up to the billing.

For instance, on the super-bad no-good Mod 2 day it was cold enough that a tiny bit of snow was blowing around as we rode out to Swansea (a). You don't get more wintry than snowfall. And the gloves were simply not up to the task. Halfway there my right hand had frozen up so badly that I only had feeling in my index finger and thumb and had to force us to make an early pit stop. 

But, hey, perhaps that's an extreme example. And after all, winter in the southern parts of the UK is rarely cold enough to produce snow. You are far more likely to encounter temperatures ranging from 3-8 C (37-46 F). Those are the temperatures in the range I experienced on my trip to Dyrham Park, or a week before when riding in the Brecon Beacons, or a few weeks before that when I rode down from Mid Wales. In all those cases, however, I suffered cold hands after only about 30 minutes of riding.

Meanwhile, I discovered when I first got my bike and rode it down from Cheltenham that the gloves are sweat-tacularly hot when riding on a day that is 17C (62F). Indeed, my experience is that these gloves have a pretty limited temperature range: somewhere along the lines of 9-15 C (48-60 F).

With that in mind, then, I'd say they are sort-of adequate late-spring/early-autumn gloves. And to their credit they are cheap, comfortable and, at least, more waterproof than the all-leather summer gloves I use. After less than a year of use, however, there are definite signs of wear and it should be noted that the first time I used them, I set them on a radiator to warm them up and that caused the glue on the Velcro forearm strap to melt.

All in all, I suppose it's another lesson of You Get What You Pay For and if you can afford to do so, I'd suggest buying different gloves. That's what I plan to do. 

__________

(a) I realise you may not be familiar with the geography of South Wales. Cardiff and Swansea are roughly 45 miles apart. The McDonald's that I had to stop at in order to get feeling in my hands is only 19 miles into the journey.

Comments

  1. Chris:

    I don't really have winter gloves, but then I don't ride much below 6°c (43°F) either. It helps to have hand guards and heated grips but then again I don't use the heated grips much either. I am using a leather summer glove without armour. I turn on my heated grips more during the summer when it rains and when my gloves get wet so as to dry them out

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ride review: Harley-Davidson XL 883 L (aka Sportster SuperLow)

Yes, as a matter of fact, it is like riding a tractor.
That's the criticism so consistently levied against Harley-Davidson motorcycles: that there is something agrarian to the experience. And I can now say from personal experience that all those critics are right. But I can also say those critics are leaving out a key piece of information, which is this:
TRACTORS ARE FUCKING AWESOME!!!
It's a tractor that hurtles forward with roller-coaster intensity, a tractor that goes really fast, a tractor that makes you feel like Brock Lesnar in a children's ball pit. A tractor from the Land of Bad-Ass, with which you can sow the seeds of awesomeness.
But let me back up a bit...
A few days ago, I decided to take the day off, solely for the purpose of getting a chance to ride around and finally make use of the free breakfast coupon sent to me by Thunder Road. As I was gearing up, I suddenly decided that since I was already heading west, I might as well push a few miles further and che…

Ride review: Yamaha XV950 / Star Bolt

Imitation, Charles Caleb Colton famously noted, is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's true, the flattery the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 receives from Yamaha's XV950 is enough to make one blush. Put the two bikes side by side, and the inspiration for the latter is undeniable. Yamaha claims its bike has a "new neo retro Japanese look," but that's clearly just nonsense –– lorem ipsom that was used instead of "totally looks like a Harley-Davidson Iron 883."
Certainly the XV950 –– known as the Star Bolt in the United States –– isn't the first example of a Japanese OEM adhering faithfully to the styling cues of America's best-known motorcycle manufacturer. The orthodox members of the Church of Jesus Harley Latter-day Davidson write these bikes off as "wannabes," and tend to be pretty dismissive of anyone who would dare consider purchasing one. But I'm going to commit blasphemy here and tell you that the XV950 is unquestionably the …

Ride review: Triumph Bonneville

"OK," I said. "I want one." "Well, you know, maybe you should ask your wife first." "She loves Triumphs," I said. "Still, Chris. You should give it a think. Go home, discuss it with your wife, give yourself a chance to think clearly. After all, this is one of Triumph's most popular models; there's plenty of stock available."
The voice of reason in that conversation was Drew, the salesman at Bevan Motorcycles. He was doing his best to talk some sense into me after my test ride of the 2014 Triumph Bonneville. I was wild-eyed and yammering like a teenage boy who has touched boobies for the first time. This, my friends, is what the Bonneville does to you. It is an instantly rideable, instantly enjoyable, instantly lovable motorcycle that surprises you in just how good a simple motorcycle can be.

The Bonneville, of course, is a storied machine that's been around in one form or another for 55 years. It is a classic. Partially b…