Ever since my brother Greg taught me how to ride, I’ve had a passion for motorcycles. There’s just something about them that keeps me, I don’t want to say breathing, but pretty damn close.
Unfortunately, I’ve also seen a lot of bad things happen and you have to remember that for this passion, you’re putting your life on the line.
It happened to me a couple of weeks ago in Philadelphia. I was on my 2016 Ducati Xdiavel S going about 25-30mph when a car came from my left and hit me broadside.
I’ve been in wrecks on the track before but this was different and pretty scary. I came to a stop about half a block up the road and just couldn’t move my left leg.
An ambulance took me to the hospital and the doctors confirmed I’d broken my ankle, but all the medical staff there were struggling with the fact that it was my only injury.
I was wearing all of my ICON motorcycle gear; jacket, helmet, gloves and boots with armour in the ankles. It was my ankle that took the full force of the impact, however the armour in them made sure my foot stayed where it was supposed to be.
I genuinely feel like had I not been wearing those armoured boots, I might not be here right now.
I got the opportunity to meet the team from D3O at an expo in Wisconsin back in 2014. They were doing demonstrations with the orange goo and I was like ‘wow, that’s what’s inside my apparel?’
I was already wearing it and it looked cool, but now it had form and function. It seemed really smart and made me feel safer knowing that it would act the part if I needed it. This stuff was the real deal.
Some of the other protective motorcycle gear on the market can be a bit stiff and heavy, which affects the ride and your ability to focus on what you need to focus on.
The last thing you want to worry about on your bike is stuff shifting around and needing to be adjusted, you just want to be able to enjoy the ride.
Once I understood what D3O was and what it would do for me I felt like I didn’t need to worry about my protection anymore. Or let’s say I worried less.
The right motorcycle gear
If you think about the reality of being a motorcyclist, you have to give yourself the best opportunity to walk away and you have to understand what you’re doing.
I see a lot of people riding with inappropriate apparel and they don’t get it. It only takes a moment for something to go wrong, for a bad accident to happen, and it can happen to anyone at any time.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing something wrong, that you’re not skilled. I’m a professional rider, but what happened to me was nothing to do with my level of skill, or what I can or can’t do on a motorcycle. It was just one of those things and you have to be real about it.
Nobody is going to come and save you. You have to give yourself the greatest opportunity for survival. It’s better to prepare for the crash so you can enjoy the ride.
That means gearing up and if you’re going to gear up, use the right gear. Plus, if you can look great, and be cool while you’re doing it, then that’s the move!
Allan Lane is a D3O Brand Ambassador and the Editor in Chief and Publisher of SportBikes Inc Magazine. He owns Hard Knocks Motorcycle Entertainment and works as an Industry Consultant and Ambassador for Icon Motosport, Ducati and Pirelli.