Welcome to the Leather & Lace MC Road Captain Website!

May is National Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month!!   We will be updating this site throughout the month of May with information to help keep your selves safe and to spread awareness of Motorcyclist on the road.   

May 15th:

Today let me show you some thing for incase you break down while traveling on your Motorcycle.   We all don't want to think about this but should think about it so you have a plan just in case.

https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/what-to-do-when-your-motorcycle-breaks-down
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdN09Wxxihw - (this one is a sport rider and he rambles but but he has some good ideas)
https://blog.rumbleon.com/when-your-motorcycle-breaks-down

May 14th:

Today have a video on fear.

https://youtu.be/XlBLGY3TUB0

May 13th:

This list is from MSF-USA.com

QUICK TIPS: Ten Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles

1. Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don't "recognize" a motorcycle – they ignore it (usually unintentionally).

2. Because of its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.

3. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.

4. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.

5. Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.

6. Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle's signal is for real.

7. Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle's better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.

8. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you can't always stop "on a dime."

9. When a motorcycle is in motion, see more than the motorcycle – see the person under the helmet, who could be your friend, neighbor, or relative. 10. If a driver crashes into a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian and causes serious injury, the driver would likely never forgive himself/herself.

May 12th:

Today in have an article with tips for packing bike for a trip. It even container videos to help.   

http://www.buffalochip.com/NEWS-INFO/News/Sturgis-...

May 11th:

Today I thought about riding in the wind.   It isn't a lot of fun and it can really wear you out.   So I found these articles that give good advice.

https://motorbikewriter.com/ride-high-winds/
http://www.soundrider.com/archive/safety-skills/6_Secrets/6s_riding_into_gusting_winds.aspx
https://rideapart.com/articles/how-to-ride-a-motorcycle-in-a-heavy-crosswind

May 10th:

here is a good article for comfort on long ride  https://rideapart.com/articles/stay-comfortable-lo...

May 9th:

Here is a good article on tips for riding in the Rain:  https://blog.jafrum.com/2013/04/08/15-tips-for-rid...

May 8th:

Today's article is actually a link to an article I found that has very sound advice   I personally think the helmet issue is personal choice and should not be mandated but other than that this is a good article.  https://www.bookmotorcycletours.com/news/motorcycl...


May 7th.

 I know I talked about Drinking and riding and how drinking will impair you reaction times and reflexes.  Another thing that will do that is if you are sick.  If you have a cold or are coughing and Sneezing you are not at the top of your game. You usually are more focused on how bad you feel than your riding and what is going on a round you.  Also much of the cold medicine that you get either contains alcohol or will make you sleepy.   To safely operate a motorcycle you need to be at the top of your game.  When you are sick your body is using energy to fight off the illness and needs all that energy it can get and if your ride you have less energy and more apt to make simple mistakes.   

May 6th:

So today is May 6th and I wanted to put out there the information about riding pants.    I few years ago I put this out and some of you were really surprised by the outcome.  So here we go:

                                                 Pants!!!!

                So you are thinking: “What the big Deal with Pants?”  Well it seems like day this summer I have seen someone who does not care about the skin on their legs while riding.   I have seen shorts, Capri’s, and even swim trunks.  Why does this bother me?   In the field as an EMT and have seen the damage that even a minor accident will cause to your skin. Do you know that when you get gravel, dirt and asphalt in your skin the only way to remove it at the hospital is to scrub it out with something like a brilo pad?  I don’t want you to have this so I am writing this to educate you on your options.

                Shorts or swim trunks:   First off with my bikes and my body build, I cannot even think of riding in shorts.  I would burn my thighs on the engine/exhaust.  I know some of you don’t have this issue and ride fine without this problem.    I know Shorts are cooler on hot days especially in an urban area where you don’t get much airflow.  But you have very little protection from anything flying up off the road, thrown out of car windows, or god forbid if you go down.  If you think about it, sliding on bare skin it would not take long to burn through all your skin to the muscle layer and even bone.

                Leather or Kevlar Armored Pants:  This is on the extreme other side from shorts.   You can slide a long way before you burn through Leather or Kevlar armored or even the ones without the armor.   They more than triple the time you can be sliding before your skin hits the pavement.  The issue with these are they are HOT even when vented they are warm.   They are also expensive to buy.  You see many sport bike riders/racers that wear these.

                Capri’s : You know these are those longer than shorts but they don’t cover your ankles or lower calves that are really popular.   I see a lot of women riders wearing these with tennis shoes and even with crocs or sandals.   The do cover more than shorts and are cooler than long pants but they are also usually made of light weight material and so are not much protection at all.

                Carhart/ Canvas /Firehose :   Carhart is the brand name of a company that makes workwear used all over the world and it know to be very strong and durable.    I know from experience that even my EMT trama shears have problems cutting the Canvas material that Carhart uses in it’s cloths.   I personally like Carhart or Walls or there are other manufactures that make the same type of cloths.  They last and are not too expensive.  But of course they also have drawbacks.  They are Hot in the summer.   They are stiff especially when new.  I usually buy Mens since they seem to last longer but to do that I have to go up about two sizes above my normal because they have no give in the sizing.  I put Firehose in this same area because I would think they are similar but I have not personally tired them yet.  I want to but they are pricey and you have to order them over the internet so I can’t try them on.  This makes me uneasy.  So if anyone has tired these please let me know what you think. (update:  I have a friend who tired these.  He said they were not good at keeping the bike heat away.  He burned the crap out his let when he wore them.)

                Dress Pants/ Slacks :  Dress Pants or Slacks are long pants and do give some protection and I must confess to wearing them myself but I do tend to wear thicker, EMT or Military BDU pants that are stronger.   You should consider what the pants are made of when riding.  Polyester will melt and that will cause even more issues.

                Riding Jeans:  These are Jeans you can buy that have Kevlar, nomex, and/or armor.  These are more costly but they are a step down from racing leathers. So they would be very good for riding.  They do tend to be stiff and usually need to go up a size to get the right fit.

                Jeans:   Jeans are the go to riding wear.  Most people have several pairs and they will help protect in most crashes.   They are not expensive (unless you have to have designer). 

                Chaps:  Chaps most people wear in the cold weather over jeans but I have seen they over shorts in the summer.   I don’t personally like this but it is safer than shorts alone as long as the shorts are long enough no skin is exposed when you have the chaps on.

I suggest jeans at the least when riding


Here is information from a drag test I found on a rider chat site:
Tear and Abrasion Strength by the numbers
Pounds of force until fabric tears Abrasion cycles on pavement until fabric fails
CottonJeans 4.5 pounds to tear 50 cycles to failure
70 Denier Standard Nylon 4.5 pounds to tear 165 cycles to failure
500 Denier Polyester 8 pounds to tear 180 cycles to failure
200 Denier Standard Nylon 7.5 pounds to tear 275 cycles to failure
500 Denier Cordura 22 pounds to tear 710 cycles to failure
620 Denier Cordura 35 pounds to tear 1200 cycles to failure
NEW Competition Grade Leather 80-110 pounds to tear 1200-1700 cycles to failure
1000 Denier Cordura 110 pounds to tear 1780 cycles to failure
Air Mesh Kevlar 1260 pounds to tear 970 cycles to failure Stretch Kevlar Blend 420lbs pounds to tear 1800 cycles to failure

This is how quickly some materials take to hole:
Material Seconds
Denim 0.2 to 0.5
Some race gloves 0.6
Most leather gloves 1.0 to 1.8
Keprotec stretch material 0.9
Poor Kevlar 1.0
Two layers of waxed cotton 1.3
1.3mm thick cow hide 3.8
Two layers of 1.3mm thick cowhide 18
Three layers of 1.3mm thick cowhide 55
Two layers of Kevlar plain weave 5.6
Suede 18
Boot leather (generally 2.2mm thick) 20
Leather stretch panels 20.4


There is also this test from a while back:

Drag Test

"For the Drag Test, samples were stitched to a bag that held a 75-pound
sandbag inside a milk crate, then dragged behind a pickup truck..."

New, 100% Cotton Denim Jeans ----------------------- 3' 10"
Senior Balistic Nylon ----------------------------------- 3' 10"
Leather, Lightweight, Nude Finish, 2.25 oz/sq. ft. --- 4' 3"
Leather, Fashion Weight, 1.75 oz/sq ft. ------------- 4' 4"
Two-year-old 100% Cotton Denim Jeans ------------ 4' 5"
Cordura Nylon Type 440 ----------------------------- 18' 3"
Kevlar 29 Aramid Fiber, Style 713 ------------------ 22' 1"
Leather, Competition Weight, 3 oz/sq. ft. -------- 86' 0"


Taber Test

"For the Taber Test, the specimen was mounted on a rotating platform and
scuffed by two rubber-emery grinding wheels." The numbers represent the
number of revolutions until the fabric totally fails. A vacuum clears
debris.

Two-year-old 100% Cotton Denim Jeans 168
New 100% Cotton Denim Jeans 225
Kevlar 29 Aramid Fiber, Style 713 506
Cordura Nylon, Type 440 559
Leather, Lightweight, Nude Finish, 2.25 oz./sq. ft. 564
Leather, Fashion Weight, 1.75 oz./sq. ft. 750
Senior Ballistic Nylon 817
Leather, Competition Weight, 3 oz./sq. ft. 2600

More to consider...

"Finally, protection from road abrasion cannot be guaranteed by a
materials abrasion resistance alone. A jacket may have panels of
highly abrasion-resistant materials, yet if low-quality stitching joins
those panels and the seams come apart upon impact or during a slide, then
the abrasion resistance of the panels could count for nothing.
Furthermore, an ill-fitting garment may ride up in a slide, contorting
the body and exposing the skin. And the best jacket in the world, left
unzipped and/or unsnapped, won't give riders the protection they pay
for. When it comes to safety, the issues are more complex than just the
abrasion resistance of materials." __________________

From another site:

The textiles vs leathers debate is all about tradeoffs. Choosing which material to use to cover your hide with and spend your pennies on depends on how much you value individual tradeoffs and ultimately, your intended use and riding conditions. Sounds easy enough, but deciding between textiles vs leathers has had great rider minds in a muddle and increasingly so over the last couple of years as the quality and versatility of both materials has improved so much! Just type in “textiles vs leathers ” into google and you will find that 90% of the results are from forums with the answer ultimately resulting in the fact that it depends on your personal preferences. The problem is that this does not help those new to the biking world who have not had the time or experience to develop their own, well-guided preferences… and so the argument goes on.
But, it’s really quite simple if you use the BMI (Best Motorcycle Information) textiles vs leathers test. This test takes the four most differentiating attributes of the two materials into consideration – price, maintenance, comfort and protection. Each attribute is also assigned to either leathers or textiles, depending on which material has the greater advantage in terms of the attribute. After reading the brief summary on each, assign a score out of a hundred to each attribute, giving those attributes that are most important to you higher scores, so that in the end the total score of your four attributes adds to 100. Then add up the score that you gave to the leather attributes and textile attributes, and the material with the highest score is your answer – and best of all it will be unique to your personal preferences.
Price - Textiles
Motorcycle textiles are cheaper to buy than leathers. It is also much harder to judge the quality of leathers and so you take the risk of paying a lot of money for a suit that does not have quality stitching and construction. (Just beware however that it is widely accepted that your textile suit will probably only survive one crash before you have to fork out for a new pair.)
Maintenance - Textiles
This one is simple – motorcycle textiles can be thrown in a commercial washer, while leathers will need to be sent to the cleaners.
Comfort - Textiles
Motorcycle textiles have an all weather capability: vents for when it is warm, liners for when it is cold and water resistance for rain. It breathes more easily than leather, and water slides off it like a ducks back.
Leather is also much heavier than textile.
Protection - Leather
Tests are conducted all the time to compare the abrasion resistance of motorcycle riding gear materials and leather always comes out on top as the most durable material. Furthermore, leather does not melt from friction, it will cushion your fall more than motorcycle textiles would and it offers the best protection against a road rash. The fact that leather also lasts through multiple crashes whilst textiles will probably only last through one, says a lot about the difference in protection and impact between the two materials.
The textiles vs leathers debate basically comes down to protection vs everything else.
__________________ 

And here are some You-tube videos of the drag testing:  

May 5th:

So since this is Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to do to day's article on Drinking and riding.   We all know we do things we are not proud of when drinking and we all say we know our limit but think about all the motor skills it takes to ride a motorcycle.  It is not something we get on your first try.  We have to practice and practice.   Drinking makes our reflexes and reactions slower without us really noticing until it is too late. As a firefighter / EMT I have been on may a motorcycle crash and I can honestly say over half involved Alcohol.   I have also been "voice of Reason" that took keys or disabled a bike so someone too drunk would not be able to ride home.    pulling spark plug wires works,   Don't flatten the tires, they will just try to ride on the flats anyway.  I don't recommend doing anything that will cost money to fix.   Just something simple so the bike won't start.  Then they are forced to find another way home or to stay put until they are sober.  

 Here are a couple studies or examples of what happens when mixing alcohol with riding:
https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/drunk-motorcycl...
http://www.motorcycle.com/rider-safety/the-truth-a...
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/...

May 4th:
May 4th I thought I would again remind you of T-CLOCS.  You should always make sure your bike is in top shape before heading out even on a short ride.  T-CLOCS is a good way to remember what you need to checked.
Here are some YouTube Videos about T-Clocs and how to preform the checks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJd9A6m1cgI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkEtxpG7-Co
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmbJzlCJtMk
I found this write up about T-CLOCS by a biker named Karma on a site called MeetUp and it is really well done so I thought I would share.  (If you share this on social media please give Karma on MeetUp the credit.)

T-CLOCS INSPECTION: A 3 MINUTE CHECKLIST

    Open this link for the actual checklist. This is a great tool to keep with your registration and insurance. cool
    http://www.msf-usa.or...[/B]

    A quick check to insure your next motorcycle ride is a great one

    "What a day for a ride," you think to yourself.

    What you should be thinking, though, is "Is my ride ready for the day?"

    It's a valid question, no matter how often or infrequent you ride. Either on-the-road usage and vibration or in-the-garage inactivity can take their toll on your bike, potentially degrading safety, control, performance and comfort.

    That's why the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends a short pre-ride check of your favorite two-wheeler before every ride. To help you remember what to check, the MSF came up with the acronym T-CLOCS, which stands for Tires, Controls, Lights, Oil, Chassis and Sidestand.

    These are simple, easy-to-access items that anyone who rides should be able to identify and check. And despite the length of the MSF's list, you can probably check everything in about three minutes. Depending on what you find, that could be the best three minutes you spend all day.

    Tires and wheels

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since these are where you and the road meet, they're probably the most important things to look over. A problem can affect handling—sometimes severely.

    Are your rims free of dings? Are your spokes tight and straight? Check pressures in both tires. Since most manufacturers specify pressures for cold tires, this is the only accurate way to check them, as they heat up quickly on the road, raising the pressure. Consult your owner's manual or call your tire manufacturer's hotline for the proper pressures for your particular bike.

    If you own multiple bikes, it may be difficult to remember all those different tire specs. And since this is one of those critical things you should check often, you may want to make a small card with each tire's recommended pressure, then hang it on your garage wall, or anywhere that's handy.

    While you're down there checking the tires, make sure you've got plenty of tread. You should have more than 1/16 of an inch, about the distance between Lincoln's head and the top of a penny. Remove foreign objects that may have lodged in the treads, and make sure there aren't any cuts in the tire. A scuff is nothing to be worried about, but if it's a deep scratch, you might want to have it checked.

    Controls and cables

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    A snapped throttle or clutch cable can leave you on the side of the road, so check 'em. Operate anything connected to a cable and make sure that levers and cables feel smooth and don't bind. Apply the front brake and push the bike forward. The brake should feel firm, and the front wheel should not move. Check the rear brake in the same fashion.

    Lights

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Seeing and being seen are two great ways to avoid unwanted incidents on the road, so making sure your lights work is key.

    Start by turning on your ignition. Are the headlight's high beam and low beam working? Does the taillight come on? Does the brake light come on when you depress the brake pedal and lever? Check left and right turn signals, front and rear. Remember that the cause of a malfunction here could be a relay or bulb.
    Lastly, don't forget to check your horn.

    Oil and fuel

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Running out of gas is a bummer, but since many motorcycles don't have gas gauges, it's a very real possibility. Check the gas level in the tank, and be sure your fuel petcock isn't on "reserve," which could leave you with a nasty surprise if you roll to a stop thinking you've still got gas in reserve. And don't forget to reset the tripmeter every time you fill up.

    Running out of gas can be inconvenient, but running out of oil can turn your bike into an inert display of public art. Even some new bikes can use enough oil to be down a quart between oil changes, so check it before every ride.

    Chassis

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Though an improperly adjusted suspension may not seem critical, imagine your surprise as your bike behaves differently in the middle of a curve because you forgot to reset it after picking up your friend last night.


    Sit on the bike and rock it, making sure that everything moves smoothly and relatively slowly. If the front or rear end behaves like a pogo stick, a trip to your trusty mechanic should be in your immediate future.

    If you have an adjustable suspension, remember to read your owner's manual and adjust it properly for the load you'll be carrying and the type of riding you'll be doing.

    Sidestand and centerstand

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The sidestand is a handy little item—it's what keeps your motorcycle off the ground. Make sure it's not cracked or bent. Check the spring or springs. Are they in place, and do they have enough tension to keep the sidestand safely up?

    Don't forget to look at the engine cut-out switch or pad, if so equipped.

    If everything's in place and operating properly you're done, and you're good to go. Enjoy the day.

    May 3rd:

    As we know the Month of May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness and a time we ramp up getting the message out to the masses that Motorcycles are on the roads. We do this all the time but we really push hard in May.   
    So much of what we put out there is to "See Motorcycles" and "Look Twice Save a Live", and other things to make the average Non-motorcycle driving person to be on the look out for us, but we also have a responsibly to ride safely and not be the biker who gives all bikers a bad name.  
    To the Non-motorcyclist public most bikers are lumped together and what they see one do they believe we all do.  They are less likely to care about us and care about looking for us if they think we are all stupid idiots with a death wish.   Most drivers share the road with motorcycles too many times to count but the times they will remember is when the motorcycle is cutting off cars, popping wheelies on the interstate, yelling at other drivers, or doing burnouts.   There are times and places for showing off and in the middle of traffic is not it. It just pisses off people.
    We as riders need to make an effort to be a good example of a motorcyclist.  We should ride safely and not act stupid.   We should be the person the driving public wants to look for and care for.  They don't understand us or they would be one of us.  They believe it is a hobby and that our bikes are "Recreational Vehicles".   They don't understand that for some of us it is our only vehicle or that it is a way of life. 
    Please don't be the one that gives us all the bad name.  


    On this May 2nd I want to talk about the Motorcycle Safety Classes.

    We have all had someone (friend or stranger) come up to us and tell us they wish they could ride or that they want to learn to ride or that they are going to bike a bike one day.   Most of us say that is nice and go on are own way.  
    Most of us have also had a friend or relative that has come and asked us to teach them to ride.  Depending on who is asking sometimes we do take the time to help and sometimes we refer them to someone else.
    In my Opinion the correct answer to both these situations would be to suggest that the person take the local Rider Safety Class.  Now not all of them will but if you know a little about the class and can give them the reasons it would be good to take it, you may have helped the world get a safer rider instead of the jerk that gives the whole riding community a bad name.
    A lot of the riders out there that you see cutting off cars, weaving in and out of traffic, riding wheelies down the interstate did not take the safety class.   Some don't even have a license to legally ride a motorcycle. 
    We all have bad riding habits that we have picked up over the years and if we try to teach someone else to ride we end up passing those bad habits on to the new rider.  That is another good reason to send them to the safety class.
    Here are some good point in favor of taking the Class
    1. Most classes provide the Bike so no denting or scratching your ride.
    2. Classes will provide the most current local laws pertaining to Motorcycles
    3. Most classes if you pass you can apply for maybe even get your Motorcycle endorcement
    4. Some insurance companies will give you a lower rate if you take the class
    5. The class Teaches the basic and some of the stuff we forget to teach because it is second nature to us.
    Now here is the leg work you will need to do.  Who teaches the classes in your area and how do you sign up?  Unless you can provide this information most people will not do the leg work themselves and will just forget you suggested it.
    In Illinois and some other states the Classes are Free.   You have to put $20 down to save your spot but after the class you can get that back or donate it to the class and get a t-shirt.   The classes are run through our Department of Transportation and funded through a fee on Motorcycle license plates.  (in other words every Motorcycle owner in Illinois is paying for the classes so we should be pushing people to take them!!!)
    Classes are also taught by MRF ,Harley Davidson, and some community colleges,  and those can be expensive to take.  But they are still worth it.
    &