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Kevin Helt
Kevin Helt has been racing in all forms of motorsports, building and maintaining his race equipment since 1984. He has worked in the aircraft field for about 12 years in Quality Assurance before going to work for Nmotion Race Technology in early 2004 as a dyno technition and engine builder. In 2005 Kevin became an owner and took over the parts manager position where he made many contact in the motorcycle and atv industry which has proven to be very beneficial to Nmotion. Kevin is experienced in most of the day to day operations at Nmotion where he has taken an active role in managing Nmotion.
2007-12-01 10:04:00
How to become a safer rider
Last month we talked about motorcycles being safe, and determined that they are indeed safe. Most accidents are caused by inexperienced or unlicensed riders. Let’s go a step further and discuss how you can be even safer when you ride. No matter what type of motorcycle you ride, almost everyone falls off sooner or later and protective gear can help prevent or reduce injuries. Protective gear is most effective in simple falls and slides on the road. However there is a limit to what protective clothing can do. If you get hit by a car, or collide with a solid object, nothing you wear will protect you from the impact, but it may still help minimize some injuries and ensure a more speedy recovery by keeping wounds clean. A study of motorcycle crashes, found that riders wearing protective clothing spent less time recovering, and healed from any injuries much faster, than those who were not protected. The protected riders were also 40% less likely to have suffered a permanent physical defect. The study also concluded that protective clothing was significantly effective in preventing or reducing at least 43% of injuries to the skin and soft tissue and 63% of deep and extensive injuries. The impact in most crashes actually occurs at relatively low speeds (75% at less than 45 mph). These are the crashes where protective clothing is of most value, when you are sliding and tumbling along the road surface but not if you hit a solid object. There is a limit to what protective clothing can do. When it comes to serious injuries to the limbs and torso, there is little difference between riders with and without. However, the right protective clothing can almost certainly: • Prevent most of the cuts, gravel rash and friction burns as you slide along a road. • Protect you from exhaust pipes burns if the bike ends up on top of you. • Reduce the risk of infection and complications caused by road dirt in open wounds. • Save you from having the muscles and skin of your hands and legs stripped from your body. The medical term is “de-gloving” - think about it. • Prevent or reduce the severity of some fractures and joint damage. Protective clothing Jackets and pants Most riders wear a motorcycle jacket, but few wear motorcycle pants. This is despite the fact there is actually far more risk of injury to the legs than to the upper body or arms. Boots Over 80% of motorcyclists who are injured in a crash have some injuries to their legs, including their feet, and ankles. Your feet are the part of your body that is most likely to make contact with the road first that could result in injuries even at a slow speed or minor crash. Boots are very important. Gloves Motorcycle gloves need to keep your hands warm but not sweaty. They need to be sufficiently robust to provide protection from injuries without restricting your ability to operate the controls. They need to be designed and fitted to stay on your hands in a crash. Helmets There are standards for motorcycle helmets. If the helmet complies with DOT Standard and is in good condition, then it will provide as much protection as you can expect in a crash provided it fits and is fastened correctly. This means that you don’t have to buy the most expensive helmet in the shop. The essential factor is fit. Cost is not an indicator of better crash protection but may relate more to comfort, features, appearance and the quality of the finish. Fit is critical Choose a helmet that fits well. Many of the good motorcycle shops will have staff who will assist with the correct selection of size. • It should not move around on the head, nor place pressure on the forehead. Keep it on for 5 or 10 minutes before you buy, to be sure it is comfortable. • When the straps are securely fastened, ask someone to try to pull it off your head by grasping it at the nape and pulling up and forward. The nose contact is the limit for most helmets, the less movement the better. If it comes off, it is dangerous - chose another style. Check your peripheral vision to make sure you are happy with the width of the eye-port. If you wear glasses, do they cause pressure points? Remember that good protective gear can prevent or reduce some types of injury in a crash. And well designed motorcycle gear will make you safer and more alert by reducing discomfort, fatigue, and possible dehydration. Also bright colors and contrast may make you more visible and draw the attention of other motorists.
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