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Thread: Do you dress for visibility in the UK?

  1. #1
    trscott
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    Do you dress for visibility in the UK?

    I started a thread at AdvRider about dressing for visibility and got to wondering if you folks see a similar phenomenon in the UK.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...71#post4274371

    If you got to the motorcycle shops here in the US, the road touring gear is predominantly black or grey. Ironically the motorcross off-road stuff is more often high visibility colors. It is very difficult to find a touring jacket in neon yellow or something similar. Being a market capitalist, I understand that this means we bikers are not dressing to be visible. If we were buying high visibility, that would be what the shops would carry.

    What really brought this issue home to me was my MSF (motorcycle safety foundation) Basic Rider Training class. The instructors talked about dressing in high visibility gear, but they were actually all wearing black or grey when they rode. I was the only one in the class in anything you could call high visibility. I bought an Olympia AST in neon yellow and like it very well.

    The trouble is, I hear bikers complain about car drivers not paying any attention to them, but the vast majority of us are dressing like Johnny Cash Ninjas.

    I am gratified to find a few folks here agreeing with me that we have some responsibility here, but am surprised at the number of folks who don't seem to understand their inconsistency on the subject.

    Do you see the same thing there in the UK? Or are you more concerned with riding safely than some mis-guided sense of style?

  2. #2
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    I don`t wear Hi Viz clothing.


    It`s something I simply won`t do.


    Nor will I enter a possible multi page discussion/debate/arguement/rant about it.


    If other folk feel better for doing it,that`s their choice.
    Bicycle riders.....Darwin's very own speed bumps.

  3. #3
    Varadero explorer Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    I personally don't wear hi-viz and probably never would - not style just not keen on it

  4. #4
    Trippy
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    Its not my cup of tea either.

  5. #5
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    Never have done & never will.

    I feel that if we ride defensivly, we don't need it.

    Some may disagree & that's their choice.

  6. #6
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    I carry a Hi-Viz vest for mainland Europe but that is a legal requirement in most countries, and my heavy jacket is orange and blue. Otherwise I conform to the NAIB standard (nearly all in black)

  7. #7
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    Its a funny thing fashion

    I recently bought an Icon Mil Spec Jacket to wear whenever I take the bike to work instead of the car.

    Not worn it much so far this year but it has quickly become my favourite bit of biking kit. It has a very noticeable effect on traffic and it definitely helps me filter . It is also a quality bit of kit that fits well over any jacket thanks to the elasticated sides and doesnt flap at speed. Unfortunately you cant buy them over here in the UK .

    However, I dont really wear it when doing any leisure riding, unless I am coming home from somewhere at night, because I think it make me look like a fully fledged IAM/BMW riding twat.
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  8. #8
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    Rear

    Handy pocket at rear and cut lower to keep draughts out.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    As the great philosopher Keating once wrote " Life is a rollercoaster, you just gotta ride it!" ------Amen

    My current stable of "adventure bikes"
    2009 Guzzi V1200 Sport 8v Triple Black..my weekend sex kitten
    2014 VFR1200X Crosstourer Highlander DCT Camo.. my big trip missile

    My BMW history, all gone but not forgotten. K1 , R1100GS, R1150GS, G650 XChallenge, R1200GS TB

  9. #9
    steveuk
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    sometimes yes - sometimes no.

    my advanced riding trainer says it's not neccessary - and i agree - if we ride defensively it's not neccessary....just ride like everyone is out to get you !

    so i dont wear it day to day.....

    if i am running late i will wear high viz top to toe and a white lid..... it's not a force field (of course not everyone sees you, some drivers can't even spot an emergency vehicle with blues and twos running) ...but i am convinced more people spot me than when i am all in black......makes filtering a little easier . . . i will wear the high viz clobber through london / and on long motorway runs -

    most of us who bought bikes for commuting / work bought bikes so we don't have to sit in traffic / can make progress.....high viz on the motorway certainly helps - traffic generally spots me / moves over so i might pass alot quiker when i am wearing the high viz clobber (even if i do look like a knob).....


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveuk View Post
    if i am running late i will wear high viz top to toe and a white lid.....



    White Arai Quantum F must help me too
    As the great philosopher Keating once wrote " Life is a rollercoaster, you just gotta ride it!" ------Amen

    My current stable of "adventure bikes"
    2009 Guzzi V1200 Sport 8v Triple Black..my weekend sex kitten
    2014 VFR1200X Crosstourer Highlander DCT Camo.. my big trip missile

    My BMW history, all gone but not forgotten. K1 , R1100GS, R1150GS, G650 XChallenge, R1200GS TB

  11. #11
    UKGSer of 2014 (Dead) Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Okay, I'll chip-in.

    Police vehicles here are liveried in Hi-viz passive and reactive tapes. Police officers wear Hi-viz clothing, again passive and reactive materials.

    All of this stuff is intended to raise conspicuity but not in the sense that is often assumed, i.e. in normal everyday conditions.

    Head-on the vehicles are not particularly conspicuous (mainly because there's a limit to the surface area available for conspicuity markings). Here they rely on emergency lighting.

    From the side and the rear, they are very conspicuous.

    These area's are conspicuous for a reason and that is when the vehicles are stationary at the scene of an incident.

    Having side-on conspicuity is worthless when moving. Anyone who has time to see the vehicle from the side has seen it pass.

    Rearwards conspicuity is particularly important when stationary for obvious reasons. It also has a general benefit in conditions of reduced visibility.

    The Hi-viz clothing is worn for when an officer is at the scene and away from the patrol-car/motorcycle on fast roads etc.

    Hi-viz is designed to provide contrast with the surroundings. That's all it does.

    In all the years that I rode around lit-up like a Christmas tree, wearing all the Hi-viz stuff possible, I never once thought that it added to my survival, and the amount of car drivers who still pulled-out in front of me (not on an emergency run, just normal patrolling) only reinforces that impression.

    No amount of Hi-viz clothing would have altered the fact that they still didn't take-in the visual presence of a bike that looked like this.....



    The problem road users have with motorcycles is the judgement of approach speed.

    It's to do with the relatively narrow frontal aspect of a bike. It makes the perspective of the approach difficult to assess, especially to road users who normally make their assesment based upon cars.

    Drivers who pull out on bikes, tend to admit seeing the bike approach but not register the proximity.

    A single point of light, such as a single headlight or day running light does not help in assessing speed of approach. An incorrectly adjust dipped beam or use of high beam only makes things worse as it tends to "wash-out" the main bulk of the motorcycle in the view of the driver.

    A pair of widely spaced day running lights is best for forward conspicuity, coupled with a dipped beam is good too. This set-up allows the eye to gauge the approach better owing to the change in the relative positions of the lights.

    Hi-viz reflective tape on the rear is good for obvious reasons.

    None of this is any benefit at all if the rider does not apply a high level of awarness.

    My recommendation would be to save your money and buy a copy of "Roadcraft."

    Me? I wear black, ride a black bike with some Hi-viz retro-reflective red tape on the rear of my Zega's and rely on my training. After 30+ years of riding I still find it is what works best.

    I'm not above using the lights to add to my conspicuity and an advantage of a black bike is that the lights are even more noticeable against it.





    Conspicuity is all about contrast and contrast is not a constant.

    In these photo's the rider is wearing a Hi-viz jacket but the bike and helmet are more conspicuous than the jacket because of the background.





    I do carry a Hi-viz over-jacket but that's for the time that I'm off the bike at the side of the road in an emergency.

  12. #12
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    For my day job I drive a big yellow truck round the streets of SE London, It's fitted with blue flashing lights, an ultra bright white strobe and 3 flavours of siren tone. You would be amazed at how many drivers do not see me!

    That's my I don't wear bright colours, you're best defense is assume everyone else is a twat and ride accordingly. However in the depths of a murky winter commute I do ensure I have plenty of reflective panels, IMHO far more effective than bright coloured clothing.

    Steve

  13. #13
    Folks (GS'ers some of 'em) have commented that the two wide spaced splodges of yellow prop tape on the edges of my windscreen give a fair indication of approach velocity to the startled motorist.



    I was so enraptured with the novelty of this that I've flipped the colour of the visor hinge covers* on my helmet as well.

    For my body, I'm still for and of the mind of Suzanne. (.....nobody's perfect but we like to be seen that way.)

    (* Yes, Arai do sell a yellow RX7- not that I've ever seen one worn anywhere west of Suez.)

    This is the ideal set-up I'm really after:-

    "What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money."
    - - - George Leigh Mallory

  14. #14
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    Hein Gericke and Scott Leathers both produce proper hi-viz armoured motorcycle jackets in yellow. Having used the Scott jacket for a couple of years I found that the yellow cordura type material got dirty very easily when riding a bike in winter and the jacket soon looked rather secondhand. Washing does not seem to release the dirt.

    I now wear a black BMW Streetguard jacket which has some hi-viz panels and material within it. I also tend to wear a cheap hi-viz vest as I feel it aids visibility and keeps my bike jacket caener. The hi-viz vest generally lasts a a year before it is replalced.

  15. #15
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    Hi viz

    Fashionable or not, for my daily commute up the M3 I find a hi viz jacket and a white helmet seem to produce a notable effect - allide of course to BTBR best efforts on aux lighting!

    Of course this only applies to those drivers who have worked out the shiny glass objects in their car and on the car door are mirrors!

  16. #16
    KAS
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    I have reflective panels on my panniers (courtesy of two wheeled Humvee).

    I carry a high viz vest when abroad as in some countries it is a requirement.

    I wear a hi viz during the winter months to and from work. This is due to the observation and driving standards of a half awake car’s etc going to work and the brain gone to custard after a long day type on way home.

    Plus the obligatory fog/driving lights.

    Rest of the time i dont bother.

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