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Old 25th March 2018, 17:59   #1
v12
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Default Safety Parts on a motorcycle for the rider / pillion

There has been a lot of evolution in the motorcycle industry since the late 50s. We have evolved from single cylinder motorcycles to twins, triples and inline 4s. We have evolved from regular drum brakes to single and twin disc brakes (and that too with ABS soon to be made mandatory). We have evolved from carburated engines to fuel injected ones. Every aspect of a motorcycle has really evolved some way or the other to make way for a better and safer design for the rider and pillion.

However there seems to be a lot of hypocrisy in these rules / regulations in relation to safety. I'll bring upon some of the essential parts of a motorcycle which I feel are essential for safe riding.

Rear View Mirrors - As far as believe, rear view mirrors are not a mandatory part on motorcycles and scooters. I remember Activa and Ki-Ho were available with only a RHS mirror and the LHS was available as an accessory. Why so? Is there any RTO rule that mentions only one side mirror is mandatory and the other isn't?
Mirrors are the most widely used part of a bike while riding. It helps you know what's behind you and helps you make your next move. It's used at almost every minute of your riding - before you stop, slow down or even take a U-turn, the first thing anyone would use is a RVM. Not having any or either one can be very fatal.
Do we still need this safety feafure? YES

Saree Guard - The saree guard - however - continues to be a part of all motorcycles manufactures or build in India. I have always wondered :
Why is it such an important feature on a motorcycle and unique only to India?
Why such a dress code / gender based discrimination on a safety product?
Do we need a saree guard in today's age?
To some extent you could say that the saree guard was an important safety feafure back in the 70s and 80s when majority of the women population would wear a saree and sit pillion. It prevented the saree from getting into the wheel area while riding. It was an important feafure back then. It had a point - it saved the pillion's dress. But what's the point of the saree guard when the pillion's is not wearing a helmet. I mean the saree guard seems to be a half hearted effort in saving the pillion's dress rather than the head.
Do we still need a saree guard today? Maybe yes, maybe no. But not mandatory.

Grab Rail - According to me, this is a very important safety feafure for a pillion's. Rider. This is for most a Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) - the primary being the riders waist. Commuter motorcycles where the pillion's seat is inline with the riders seat (flat seat), a grab Rail may not be needed because you would feel the jerk when the motorcycle accelerates. However for a split seat motorcycle or one with a small tiny seat (like the RC390 or R15), a grab Rail could be the equivalent of a parachute for a diver. In an event of a sudden acceleration, the rider is very safe since he has the handle to hold on to. But other than the pillion's waist - there is nothing more that a pillion can hold on to. A grab Rail (a prominent one) which is large enough to grip and inline with the pillion's body is a very essential for the pillion's safety. Having sat as a pillion on a Duke 390, I realised it is a very scary place to be in. You are living on the edge and are in danger of falling behind if you are not aware of the riders riding style.
Do we still need a pillion grab Rail today? I would say YES.

Rider and Pillion leg guards - I remember when I first bought a motorcycle, my dad telling me to get the leg guards fitted for the rider and pillion. I am.a very safe and careful rider - but you never know when tragedy can strike. In the unfortunate event of a call - these guards can really be a life Savior (or leg saviour). It would not only save your leg from a fracture but also from bruises and burns from the exhaust.
Do we need leg guards? Well, it all depends. For a commuter / daily ride bike you may need. But for those who wear protective gear (riding pants and boots) may not need.

Would be good to hear everyone's opinion.

Take car& Ride Safe!
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Old 26th March 2018, 13:26   #2
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Default Re: Safety Parts on a motorcycle for the rider / pillion

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
Rear View Mirrors - Not having any or either one can be very fatal.
Do we still need this safety feafure? YES
Absolutely! The RVMs are extremely useful in any riding condition (commute or highway rides). A rear view mirror on my bike was loose at one point and I had to take both RVMs off for a day before I got them fixed. That one day without both RVMs was scary as I had to turn all the way to check the cars/bikes behind me.

Quote:
Saree Guard -
Why is it such an important feature on a motorcycle and unique only to India?
Why such a dress code / gender based discrimination on a safety product?
Do we need a saree guard in today's age?
Do we still need a saree guard today? Maybe yes, maybe no. But not mandatory.
IMO I don't think it's about gender based discrimination. Considering the different types of saree guards that we see, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact necessity of the guard. For instance, most of the commuter motorcycles have an extended part for resting the feet (shown in the image below). I have observed that most pillion riders use this foot rest (long) rather than the small foot peg especially made for resting your foot. Also, most of us must have observed that while getting on the rear seat, short folk prefer using this foot rest as a side step to get on the bike. Some people in villages also use the saree guards to tie up bags on the side. Basically, on commuter bikes, it's more of function over form. The bikes of higher class have saree guards which are merely present to abide by the rules set by the government. So, yes. Providing as an accessory makes a lot of sense right now.
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Quote:
Grab Rail Having sat as a pillion on a Duke 390, I realised it is a very scary place to be in. You are living on the edge and are in danger of falling behind if you are not aware of the riders riding style.
Try sitting on an RC390 the next time

Quote:
Rider and Pillion leg guards - Do we need leg guards? Well, it all depends. For a commuter / daily ride bike you may need. But for those who wear protective gear (riding pants and boots) may not need.
If by leg guards you mean engine guards, it is debatable. There have been many cases where the engine guards have proved to be useful. But also, there was research conducted based on which SIAM decided not to mandate the engine guards.
Safety Parts on a motorcycle for the rider / pillion-dfgdfgdfgdf.jpg
This was the conclusion of the research done at different institutions -
University of South California
Quote:
• Engine guard (E/G) is not effective to protect the legs.
•In some case, E/Gs are dangerous.
JAMA Research
Quote:
• E/G beneficial only in some configurations (vehicle & motorcycle angles).
• In most configurations, E/G proved hazardous.
• Installation of Engine Guards should be avoided.
Motorcycle Impact Performance 94-S7-O-06 (IMMA) & Motorcycle Impact Performance 96-S7-O-09 (IMMA)
Quote:
• Standard engine guard - no change in injury chances
• Heavy duty engine guards - increase in injury chances
Overall evaluation of UKDS Motorcyclist Leg Protectors based on ISO 13232
Quote:
•Normalized injury cost summed across the seven configurations increased by 300%.
•This type of device should not be fitted to motorcycle.
Information and pictures source - click here

Last edited by Omkar : 26th March 2018 at 13:48.
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Old 27th March 2018, 20:17   #3
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Default Re: Safety Parts on a motorcycle for the rider / pillion

Hello V12, its a great topic.

For pillion safety let me try to add on some points from a different perspective -

There are few different types of pillion riders-

The teenager guy/girl seating behind and enjoying the high speed thrills without any safety gears.

Here the pillion is always at great risk. In case of a crash they generally get thrown away and in most cases the outcomes are severe injuries or even worst.

These joy riders need serious safety training. They prefer holding the rider much more than holding a grab rail and for them a saree guard is mostly of no use.

The wife or mom/aunt wearing a saree, seating sideways in a two wheeler. They generally wear a helmet, but a cheap one, just to avoid getting caught by the cops. They generally prefer slow speeds.

Looking from outside, they look to be safe but most of them are generally unfit and in case of a fall they get badly injured and above all, the sideways seating makes them more vulnerable in case of a crash. They are more prone to head, knee or shoulder injuries.

Saree guard and grab rail both are very important to them. Grab rail can help them to re-balance in case they get dis-balanced or tend to fall.

The dad's or the uncle's, who generally ask you to ride safe but they themselves hardly wear any safety gears!

They do keep a constant eye on how the rider is riding but still due to their age they are more susceptible to injuries. Here they do not need a saree guard but a grab rail do come handy for them.

The rider couple or rider friends-

They generally know how to seat properly, they lean with the rider in a curve where its necessary and they do wear the safety gears.

Again saree guard is not of much use, but a grab rail is important.

Few more things which should be properly maintained in a bike for the pillion's safety-

1) Proper foot pegs

2) A rear seat which is not slippery in nature. I have seen many bikes with slippery seat covers as they come handy during rain.

3) A proper silencer shield.

4) In heavy bikes like the Royal Enfield or Harley Davidson, a rear leg guard can be protective too.


Last but not the least the pillion's safety depends mostly on the rider.

Last edited by Samba : 27th March 2018 at 20:45.
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Old 28th March 2018, 13:13   #4
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Default Re: Safety Parts on a motorcycle for the rider / pillion

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
There has been a lot of evolution in the motorcycle industry since the late 50s. We have evolved from single cylinder motorcycles to twins, triples and inline 4s. We have evolved from regular drum brakes to single

Rear View Mirrors - As far as believe, rear view mirrors are not a mandatory part on motorcycles and scooters. I remember Activa and Ki-Ho were available with only a RHS mirror and the LHS was available as an accessory. Why so? Is there any

Would be good to hear everyone's opinion.

Take car& Ride Safe!
Well it is a nice initiative to talk about the safety parts of a motorcycle, however I do not agree with the point of Saree Guards and pillion leg guards,

Saree Guard - To me it is extremely important as we have different types of pillion with different types of clothing, but maximum do not have the right sense of riding or being in the pillion, thus an additional guard not only protects the dress from tearing but also sudden mishaps where a dupatta gets into the chain (open chain) and causes accident. Thus I feel it is important and should be kept mandatory.

About the pillion leg guard, it is unclear what exactly it meant, but if its like something which the bullet gets as a pillion leg guard, it is safe to have them but not mandatory as it creates lot of problem in heavy traffic conditions. and for the sports bikes we have its impractical to have them. So my opinion goes with not mandatory in this case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Hello V12, its a great topic.

For pillion safety let me try to add on some points from a different perspective -

There are few different types of pillion riders-

The teenager guy/girl seating behind and enjoying the high speed thrills without any safety gears.

Here the pillion is always at great risk.

Last but not the least the pillion's safety depends mostly on the rider.
Once again you have already mentioned all the facts which are necessary. I agree on this fact of pillions safety depends mostly on the rider.

However in our weather conditions it is not always possible to wear riding gears always, but a good quality helmet is necessary which most of the people do not use.

One additional point i can add is
Incorporation of hazard lamps in all motorcycles/ more than 150cc bikes like cars
This is a very important feature for them who rides on highways frequently. whenever a rider tries to stops in the middle of any highway this will be an important feature.
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Old 1st April 2018, 11:13   #5
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Default Re: Safety Parts on a motorcycle for the rider / pillion

Due to lack of grab rails, is there any accessory to tether the rider and pillion?
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Old 12th May 2018, 11:26   #6
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Default Re: Safety Parts on a motorcycle for the rider / pillion

Quote:
Rider and Pillion leg guards - I remember when I first bought a motorcycle, my dad telling me to get the leg guards fitted for the rider and pillion. I am.a very safe and careful rider - but you never know when tragedy can strike. In the unfortunate event of a call - these guards can really be a life Savior (or leg saviour). It would not only save your leg from a fracture but also from bruises and burns from the exhaust.
Do we need leg guards? Well, it all depends. For a commuter / daily ride bike, you may need. But for those who wear protective gear (riding pants and boots) may not need.

IMO Pillion leg guards can cause more harm if you get caught in it. I have only seen these installed on RE motorcycles.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
Due to lack of grab rails, is there any accessory to tether the rider and pillion?

You can try grab belt for the pillion. Its a belt with handles, worn by the rider. Not sure if these are available in India.

https://gladbelt.com/collections/motorcycles
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