Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Why motorcyclists wear black

Why do you think? Do you think it's because motorcyclists want to scare people or something?

Actually, it's a lot simpler than that, and explains why my riding gear is black and/or dark gray rather than, say, Hi-Viz Yellow (though I may wear a Hi-Viz construction vest for more visibility). The problem is that riding a motorcycle is a dirty greasy business. First off is the motorcycle itself, especially motorcycles with chains, which are notorious for flinging oil and dirt all over the place. This tends to get greasy grime all over your riding pants. Then there's road grime flung up by cars in front of you when it is raining. I had a Hi-Viz riding jacket that, over the course of four years, slowly went from being bright yellow to a dingy shade of gray not because of grease or dirt but because of that oily greasy slime kicked up by the tires of cars in front of me whenever it rained. That's why my new jacket was black and dark gray and I rely on a cheap disposable Hi-Viz vest for my visiblity. Then there's the times when the roads department pours sealant into cracks in the road, which seems to get kicked up by tires too. And the times you need to kneel to check maintenance items such as tire pressure and chain tension, or where you're cleaning or lubricating the chain, where your knee pads are getting a workout and where pants a color other than black would start looking grimy and dirty.

In other words, black is because any other color starts looking nasty quickly when you're riding long distances on a motorcycle. We're not trying to scare you. Honest!

-- Badtux the Motorized Mule-ridin' Penguin

1 comment:

  1. Life really is hard.
    That's life.
    What's life?
    A magazine.
    How much?
    5 cents.
    Don't have it.
    That's Life.


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