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Featured Real World Crash Tested Gear Review

Discussion in 'Clothing, Gadgets & Equipment' started by Expat Jack, Oct 24, 2023.

  1. I recently had a crash at c100mph at Silverstone. My gear undoubtedly saved my life but I still suffered a huge amount of injuries. I have decided not to go into massive detail about them but the bike landed on top of me, causing 19 fractures and dislocation plus internal injuries to several critical organs. I was very lucky to survive (thanks to Silverstone Medical team, The Air Ambulance Service and Coventry Critical Injuries Unit amongst others).

    Follows pictures of my protective gear after the event plus my thoughts on how it performed.

    Please feel free to add your own reviews of any gear you have the misfortune to use in anger. It may help others decide upon an appropriate level of protection aligned to their riding environment.


    This is the second of these I have owned and I am a fan. The first I "tested" at Snetterton on a gentle 45 mph lowside. I immediately replaced it with a new one.

    As you can see, this helmet took a fair slide. The left hand side of the lid has had its curve flattened off by my slide down the track. The visor was scratched up and I took hits to both sides of my head. The majority of my bone injuries were to the left of my body, but not limited to that side. I was knocked out and suffered a big, fat lip presumably where my upper lip hit the chin bar during the slide. No lasting damage.

    I would have no hesitation in replacing this lid with another. Lightweight and strong. Quick release cheek pads and double d fastener. Recommended.

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    After the aforementioned off at Snetterton where I was wearing Knox Handroid Mk 4 gloves, I replaced them (eventually) with these. The Knox did their job but the comparatively low speed off eventually after a further 10 days caused ripped leather and blown seams rendering them useless.

    I was impressed with the Knox schapoid protection and it was this that drew me to the considerably less fussy Racers (who use the same Knox protection).

    In the Silverstone crash, the Racer gloves performed brilliantly. No hand injuries at all but my hands were black and blue for 2 weeks following the crash due to the impact. A bit of scuffage to the Knox sliders and the pinkie protector stiches ripped out. Pics show all of this.

    The gloves still look serviceable after a minor repair to the pinkie protector.
    Highly recommended

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    This bit of kit saved my life and stopped any injuries to my neck or spinal cord. The airbag inflated (confirmed by In & Motion as the suit was cut off me) which gives a Level 3 back protector. Thats as good as it gets. Thanks god I was wearing this. Enough said.

    Essential bit of kit - I would not ride without this

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    Having previously suffered a nasty right ankle injury falling off a ladder, protection was important when choosing boots. I opted for these due to the high level of ankle protection. I suffered no leg, ankle or foot trauma in this off so cannot really rate the boots. They have obviously taken some damage from the slide as you would expect but held up and stayed on my feet. It’s a personal thing but I would not go Sidi again. I have to mark the boots down for the lack of feeling I got from them, especially on the gearchange. Maybe this is the price you pay for protection, but I would prefer both.

    Make your own mind up

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    Lightweight slip in chest protector used as a backup to the RST airbag suit, primarily to protect me if anything got flung up off the track and hit me directly on the chest. For the crash I had, it would be unfair to "grade" this piece of equipment as the impact from the bike was onto my back. I did suffer extensive chest injuries but I dont think any chest protector would have helped.

    Recommended. Cheap, comfy, additional safety. Why wouldn't you?

    I hope that you have found this useful.
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  2. Can you reuse the airbag parts of your suit (ie: transplant into another suit) or is it a use once and throw away thing?
  3. I certainly can’t reuse that one as the medics cut through all the bladders. I have a two piece RST suit for the road which I use the same “brain” in. That way I only pay one subscription. I have removed the brain unit and put it into my road suit. Under “normal” airbag triggering it’s just a case of slotting in a new canister and away you go again.
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  4. As it happens in my Snetterton off I was wearing the two piece which did a fantastic job. Here’s a pic of it in its blown up state:-


    PS. I’m not a serial crasher, honest!
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  5. It's just gone a year since my tumble on the 999. I thought, in real time, 'please don't land on top of me!', followed by relief beyond words that it didn't. It makes me wince to read the above. I have a vivid impression of the weight coming down. Actually the momentum must have increased it considerably.

    Incidentally, the bits that hit the road still hurt. I think that must be old age!
  6. I only had it confirmed the bike landed on me yesterday by the team at Silverstone after their reviewing of the cctv footage. Luckily I cannot remember a thing about it. Sorry if my post caused you any distress. I have spared a lot of the medical detail to save upset. Suffice to say I’m very lucky to still be here.
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  7. Are we allowed to ask if/when you have plans to swing your leg over a bike again Rich (if we promise not to say anything to mrs rich)?
  8. Honestly don’t know when I will be physically fit enough. I do know I’m going to sell the s1000rr as I can only just reach the ground on it and in a weaker state that would be super tricky. I will assess in the spring and then decide. It might be I can’t bend my body enough to ride sports bikes but time will tell.
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  9. Did you have any lung damage Richard, after my crash at andalucia, even when the broken bones healed, the trauma to my lungs meant I got out of breath very easy for a long time after

  10. Good to hear youre at least considering it :upyeah:
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  11. Yes Wayne. I had one punctured lung (left) and damage to the right. Chest drain was fun. Still checking my O2 saturation levels daily and they seem to be getting better. I’ve a lot of physio but I’ve prioritised lungs.
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  12. Please, don't apologise! No stress, just moments of clarity.

    No, I didn't think you'd remember it. I couldn't say I remember crashing the Triumph. Years later I thought it was coming back to me - the set-up, as it were - but it's probably just reconstructed from my imagination.

    Not remembering the crash is probably a blessing. What you do remember is a learning experience, of how close you came when you got away with it. I feel like remembering a moment of stark terror is to become a little wiser, but I don't know what you could gain from remembering the bike actually landing on you.

    No, I've banged myself about a few times; just enough to know you've been through a lot more than I ever have, and maybe just enough that I'm able to empathise. Probably still won't stop me doing 100 in trainers, denim and an open face, but at least I'll feel stupid for it!
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  13. Yow. You definitely have your very own lucky star. And thats good.
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  14. Great piece Richard - thanks for writing your review of how your kit performed!
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  15. No worries mate. I hope others are able to update with their own experiences as appropriate, obviously without wishing anyone to have an off. The stark difference in glove performance and airbag protection were the real eye openers for me.
    At least people who read this know it’s a true review and not just a made up five stars.
    Ride safe all.
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  16. Very interesting review. I’ve used X-lite lids for years and really rate them, looks like yours did its job.
    Good to hear you’re on the mend and physio can work wonders to get back your movement
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  17. Thanks so much for taking the time out of your recovery to share these reviews of your kit. RST might be at the less expensive end of the market, but all the reports are (and especially if you talk to leather repairers) that they are excellent when you need them. Unlike, for example, Alpinestars.

    I know you said you can't remember anything about the crash @Expat Jack, but have you been given any information about how it happened? Getting nailed by the bike is usually a highside thing, but you were going some if you managed a highside at 100mph!
    #17 dmc12, Oct 24, 2023
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2023
  18. I have tested Racer gloves too (albeit in a simple 100mph highside/slide along tarmac without any heavy items falling on me!) and they came through pretty much unscathed.

    Thanks for going to all that effort to test this stuff in real world conditions - you really are a saint! :heart::motorcycleduc:
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  19. It was Aintree corner. I am told the following by the Silverstone team.

    One of the guys had viewed my crash on the cctv many times - he was there on the day. Apparently one rider went down in front of me and broke his ankle. There was then another guy in the middle of the track with his arm in the air. I was unsighted right up till then but I must have seen (or felt him as a went by). I clipped his raised arm and I hit the brakes. The bike and I went up and over and the bike landed on top of me. Hence all the trauma.
    On hearing this I actually felt relieved. One that it was kinda out of my hands and two that I wasn’t a foot further across or I probably would have killed the guy on the floor.
    Other accounts apparently mention one other rider so I’m not certain there were two riders and wonder if the chap I brushed was the guy with the broken ankle. But I do tend to lean towards the cctv evidence given it must have been carnage and other accounts are third hand from other riders.

    I assume the 100mph was estimated either from a marshal or the cctv as this (100mph crash) was plastered over my hospital admission note.
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  20. oh blimey, this sounds absolutely horrific.

    But I’m glad you’ve managed to get this information as it shows it really was a freak accident and nothing to do with your riding, or indeed any blame on anyone else for taking you out etc.

    I imagine you saw the chap in the road very late, hit the brakes hard instinctively (if you’d had time to think you’d probably not have clamped down as hard), possibly unweighted if you were trying to swerve too - and then that together caused the flip.

    But it’s likely your actions saved life (if not lives), so I hope the gods smile on you from now on.

    And if you do get back on a bike one day, hopefully the knowledge it was a freak accident will help you get your confidence back.

    Sending you all my best wishes - this event could befall any of us, and you’re a credit to the community the way you’ve dealt with this incredibly shitty hand.

    Wishing you the absolute best in your recovery.

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