Is protective clothing worth it?

I saw this on the net somewhere and thought that whilst it was a bit morbid and shocking, that considering the summer was coming up and we might start to find excuses not to wear all our gear, that this might help reaffirm why we do wear our gear:


Been reading about people not wearing gear because it’s too hot - or they are only going for a short ride - or some other BS excuse.

Man - those excuses are syptoms of what we in the medical field call “itwonthappentome-itis” and it is a killer!!!

I’m in the military in a job that deals a lot with medicine (and trauma and door kicking). Couple years back I did a rotation in Seattle’s #1 trauma center, Harborview as a ER doctor, treating motorcycle (and many other) injuries. That’s where these pictures are from.

I’ve posted these pics in the past on different forums so if you have seen them before I apologize for being redundant.

This is not meant to gross anyone out, nor is it meant to drive people away from biking. I still love to ride even after working on these patients - I just make sure I wear all the protective gear I can, and try to keep my haed out of my ass when I ride


Sorry that this is a bit rough on the eyes. I’ve put these pics up in hopes that at least a few riders might make the choice to wear some protective gear instead of zooming around in shorts and t-shirts.

These are some of my patients. The have given me permission to post their pictures. These are not the worst ones (the really bad ones I did not have time to take pictures).

There are no pictures of the riders that did not survive.

Patient #1 - thought it was cool to wear a little beanie type "helmet". Low speed high side. The white you see is skull.

Head shot 1

Head shot 2

Multiple layer stitching to close him up. Head CT revealed skull fracture and a small inner brain bleed.

Patient #2 - This gentleman came in pretty scuffed up As the pics show he had a complete, open dislocation of his tib/fib ankle joint after he went skidding along the road. He was stopped by some sort of wall/barrier while still road surfing at high speed – ouch :insane:

Ankle pic 1

He was wearing ankle high heavy hiking boots - just like I used to. Got some Prexports now

Ankle pic 2

We reduced his ankle in the ER and then he was off to surgery - Pain pain pain!

Think of these pics when you wonder if the gear is really worth the money.

Patient #3 - TL1000, hit a patch of something in a corner.

Let’s start from the head and work our way down…

Helmet pic 1

Helmet pic 2

Good thing he had a helmet – he probably would have died without it.

Shoulders, Click here to see 'em

The patient told me it was a short ride, he was just going over to his buddie’s house so he didn’t think he needed any gear.

Too bad we couldn’t peel him off the sheets to give you a pic of his back - no skin left.

The rest… His side

That dark spot on the shoulder, not dirt, it’s roadrash plus burn - I know it doesn’t look it but it was some of the worst road rash I have seen.

It just keeps going… His arm

He went to the burn unit for cleaning up. You think the accident hurts, wait till you have full body road rash scrubbed out

Patients #4 & 5 - Two brothers, one 18 and the other 16. Riding on the older brother’s NEW 2002 R6 (2 days old - his 1st bike :eek: ) Lowside at 50-60mph.

Driver’s right arm

This is a closeup of the above hand, knuckles are on the right side.

Close up

His elbow - Elbow

Older brother’s elbow - brothers’ elbow

Older brother’s arm - click here

And for those of you considering an R6 as a 1st bike, see above.

BTW - As you look at these, let this run through your mind, about an hour and a half per kid to get them scrubbed out - painful even under the influence of those good hospital drugs They had to come back for a few more cleanings, suture removal and skin grafts.

No gloves you say - or just those little calf skin cool gloves - bad idea…

Female passenger on a bagger - bike goes down in a corner (5 minutes into the ride) and her hand is between it and the road - we call this a de-gloving

Bad hand injury


All I say I please consider the dangers involved in our sport. Use your brain when you ride, and please, choose to wear gear.

Like a sig line that I saw here says - "Sweat wipes off, road rash doesn’t)


Saty safe and have fun!


I knew I wore all that gear for a reason. Hope anyway seeing it pays attention. Have come off once wearing a T Shirt at 55, not a pleasant experience and one definately not to be repeated.


Thanks mate! I went out friday on jeans and no boots… I never do that but I thought I would for a change… Never more! Thank you for this ‘wake up’ …

If I’m not wrong jay told me off and Shuffster said something too… Thanks boys!!!

thanks for that now my dinner is all over my keyboard

Sorry But it sure brings it home. On the way back from Brands Hatch this evening past Cezar’s place in Dulwich, we were greeted with the sight of the H.E.M’s helicopter landing down a side-road, with a SUV on the pavement with a HUGE gap where the bonnet should be, like it had driven into the corner of two walls, then past the Fire Engines was a chest-sized SRAD 600. Head-on impact, must have been FOOKING fast. I can’t see how the rider survived personally, there was **** everywhere.

it depends on the circumstances of the crash you are involved with, if a car t-bones you in the legs with your leathers on, your legs are going to break and then you have to be cut out of your leathers. if you are going out for a sunday blast with the intentions of going fast with some bends then wearing the correct gear is a sensible option but you are not immortal with this gear on. here is a pic of a dead biker who had the right gear on. WARNING: THIS IS VERY VERY GHASTLY ! DO NOT VIEW IF YOU MAY BE OFFENDED




I haven’t even had my breakfast yet, and I don’t think I will now either. For sure, the leathers make you feel tough, but you’re not that tough, take it easy guys! Crashing sucks, I know.

Guys, please don’t start a competition on who can place the most horrible pics here… I got the message and I’m sure we all did. I will be on leathers at all times now, even if i need to go on a diet to fit into it…

S**T… Nasty, but A massive wake up call for all of us!!! Me included!! Feeling kinda sick right now… As Jay said on the way back from Brands yesterday we saw a Mashed up Gixer 600 and the carnage left after a head on!!! Not a pretty sight! After seeing that, there wasn’t any rush to get back home.

Bloody Hell

I normaly always wear my full kit but to say did go out in Jeans & T-Shirt the other weekend when i was well hot. Wont be doing that again, thats for sure.