D3O Ambassador Allan Lane’s passion for motorcycles is matched by his passion for motorcycle protection. He gave us his take on why riders need to get serious with their gear for the latest issue of IMPACT Magazine, which is now available to download.
Born to ride
I was waiting at the gate to dive into the motorcycling life. My brother mentored me to ride free, enjoy speed, and ride safe. The older you get, the greater your sense of self-preservation.
I’m married, I have a son now. Every ride is a baptismal rebirth of my soul. There’s not been a time when I rode a motorcycle that I did not feel born again, alive.
My aim is to ride every day. The reality is of course a little different – but I’m on a bike at least five days a week. It’s my method of transport, it makes me that little bit happier when going from point A to point B.
I’m not a lone wolf but I appreciate the solitude of the road. I’m with people all the time at work, manipulating seven or eight universes all the time, so I value those moments on my own.
But I also host the largest street ride in Philly. I used to run Shut the City Down twice a year but I had to cut it to one when we got above 1,000 bikes.
Wearing the right gear
I’ve seen people spend $12,000 dollars on a bike and go get the cheapest, crappiest apparel. They’ve spent all their bread on the bike, so they buy a ‘this’ll do’ jacket. I’ve seen accidents, I’ve also been a victim but my armor has protected me.
Knowing I’m wearing the right gear is just as important as knowing my motorcycle is going to perform. I want to ride till the doctor says I can’t lift my leg over – and even then I’m going to get a mobility scooter, a little rascal thing with a basket on the front!
The same riders that go get the cheap, crappy gear often do all the research on the bike but not on the gear. Companies like D3O and ICON are working 24/7 to raise awareness that not all armor is made equal and that it’s a mistake to spend a few bucks on a ‘this’ll do’ helmet or jacket.
It won’t do the job when you need it to – and you might not find that out till it’s too late. If you’re rolling the dice then the odds are stacked against you. You’re doing yourself a disservice as a rider and as a human being.
I was wearing D3O® protection and loving it before I even knew what it was. When it came to my attention, it was kismet – like the scene in the movie when the good guy realises he has special powers.
I was attracted to ICON by the quality of the apparel, its construction, and also the way it looks. The D3O® armor that goes into it is flexible, not cumbersome. It allows you to ride without an afterthought.
You’re balancing an unstable but powerful machine, at speed, manoeuvring, braking, so knowing you’re protected means one less thing to think about. D3O and ICON are protecting me and my lifestyle.
Don’t blow your budget on the bike
Who wants to look bad riding a bike? We ride because we want to be different from the rest of the world – who wants to be different and not look cool? But cool looking kit can be unfit for purpose. Apparel manufacturers must understand that kit can’t only look great, it has to be well constructed and contain top-quality armor.
Last year I was broadsided by a minivan. I was on my Ducati XDiavel S, 25mph going through traffic. The van plowed into my left side and pushed me across two lanes. I never dropped the bike, I managed to coast to a stop. My ankle was broken, but it was a clean break.
The doctor at the hospital asked what I was wearing – what with the force of the impact, he couldn’t believe there was only one broken bone. He said that had I not been wearing my ICON boots with D3O®, I would have lost my foot. I’ve seen riders out on the road in sneakers – imagine if that’s what I’d been wearing.
In short, don’t blow your budget on the bike, make an allowance for the gear. It needs to fit properly. Be comfortable. Often new riders get hand-me-down gear – don’t go there. Get properly kitted out so the apparel and armor fit like a skin to save your skin.
I’m a student of life. And I believe you never stop learning. Never assume you know everything there is to know about riding a bike, and don’t ever become overconfident.
I love that brands like D3O are reaching out to educate riders, helping them make informed decisions. It’s a deadly myth that the gear is less important than the bike.
Not all armor is created equal. Period. I choose D3O® in ICON gear.