And just like that, I was sliding down the road. No word, no warning, warm tyres, perfect conditions. My first crash on a public road. WTF just happened? I’m fine thanks to the quality of the gear I was wearing, but I didn’t know whether to blame the bike or myself. Probably a bit of both.
I was riding a Continental GT at the photo point, having just done the same stretch on a Classic 500 during the launch of Royal Enfield’s updated range of 500s.
I wasn’t going in too hot (at around 50km/h), but I must’ve been leaned over far enough for the sidestand and its mounting bracket to dig in and cause the front to wash out without notice. After all, the Continental GT is designed to be a cool, urban commuter, so cornering clearance probably isn’t a high priority.
So there I was sliding for about 50m towards the road barrier and thankfully I didn’t meet with oncoming traffic.
The Draggin Twista jeans did an excellent job of saving my skin. As you can see below, the Australian company’s proprietary Kevlar-based lining did its job to withstand the sliding forces, and I felt no friction burn. I only have a small graze on my knee (most likely from impact), which probably could’ve been avoided had I been wearing the knee armour inserts. Still, check out the damage on my knee – bugger all. That’s what you’re paying for.
In contrast, the Roland Sands Design ‘Barfly’ leather gloves shouldn’t have burst at the seams on two fingers, which allowed them to graze.
As for the rest of the gear, the elbow and shoulder armour of my Triumph Leybourne textile jacket took the impact, and the textile copped some minor tearing around the elbow. The reinforced toe box of the DriRider Legend boots protected my toes, although the laces inevitably burst apart from the friction.
"Check out the damage on my knee — bugger all. That's what you're paying for..."
Chris Harris, editor
The good news is a safety rating for motorcycle clothing, similar to ANCAP crash test ratings for new cars, is on the way. Moto-CAP won’t be mandatory, but you’ll be better informed by an independent testing authority when it comes to buying new gear. You can otherwise take our word for it.