The Effects of My Motorcycle Crash Without Gear

I took a scary fall off my motorcycle and luckily sustained a minimal amount of injuries. I was doing some maintenance on my Ninja 650r and typically after doing any chain lubing or tension adjusting I take it for a spin around the parking lot in my apartment complex. I took a left turn and the rear wheel spun out to the right. The bike high sided and threw me off the bike like a rag doll. I instinctively stretched my hands out to brace myself, my right knee slammed down, and my chest and followed causing my face to whiplash into the pavement.

This would have been trivial if I was wearing gear because I was traveling around 15MPH. But I wasn’t wearing my gear. This is in fact the only time I don’t wear gear, when riding around the parking lot to see how the bike rides after maintenance. The following video was taking about an hour after the incident:

I hope this serves as a reminder to people about the risks of riding without protective gear. In the spirit of reinforcing the motorcycle safety mantra, “All The Gear All The Time” (ATGATT) I hope this candid video convinces those who think about compromising safety for the sake of comfort.

I am doing much better and healing up pretty quickly. Thank you all for the support and wishes to get better. It’s really been overwhelming.

Ride safe everyone.

  • Sven

    With the helmet laws here it just seems weird to swing my leg over a bike without a lid on.

    It’s like walking to the shop without shoes – you don’t do it because it feels so alien. It feels almost impossible.

    So even if I were moving the bike 10 feet I’d instinctively want a helmet on.

  • El Jefe

    Glad to see that you are ok man. Thanks for the site! I linked this post at my blog.

  • Bucky

    Hey Atlas,

    Physics vs. the human body. The impact and abrasion that can occur even at low speeds is surprisingly significant.

    I am frequently tempted to take a quick spin without gear, especially to warm up the chain after cleaning it in preparation for relubing it.

    I have never done so. It is always full leather suit, armor, gloves, boots, and helmet. Cumbersome, but worth it.

    Thanks for the reinforcement.

  • sasper

    I do the same thing you do. Take the bike for a spin after doing maintenance or washing the bike. I know I should put my gear on, especially after washing the bike when the tires aren’t going to have as much traction. Get better soon.

  • Cadillac jack

    Glad your okay, watch out for those fresh tires… they are extremely slick. I try not to lean until I’ve worn off the protective (crash inducing) coating they put on those things ~ 25 miles.


    Hope you’re okay :( I always enjoy your videos and to see you banged up sucks :( Great video, it reminds us to gear up. I know I never use a helmet in the paddock when going to tech, or airing tires up and what not. The speed limit is 10 MPH and even though we don’t/can’t mess around in the paddock, it can happen. On the pitbikes is when we are usually the most stupid–I have seen quite a few pitbike spills (thankfully none of my own). And I never have gear on then. Good of you to make this video for everyone to see! Feel better soon!

  • steelerider

    So glad you are ok. Your site is awesome.

  • Atlas

    Thanks everyone for your kind wishes! :)

  • hemflock-1150GS

    Sorry to see this. Get well. Here in France, in the summertime, I rarely wear all the gears. Simply too hot. BUT, I hear your call and like everyone else I shake my head and say “I know, I know, I know -I should wear them”. Seeing your video and makes it reality. THANKS. -I will now start my ten step program to be more safe, even during short summer runs.

  • cashstore1

    It was nice to see the photo of you with the thumbs up. Keep that smile!

  • Torq

    Get well soon Atlas and indeed a good reminder about ATGATT. Have to say it makes me wonder what state your face might of been in had you had your camera in your lid and taken a fall.

  • Speedforhire

    #1: Always wipe down new tires with a high contact solvent before your first ride. Any pro tire guy will tell you that.

    #2: Why are you, Quote: “Gunning It” on such a simple warm up, as you stated, when it was for a test ride?

    #3: Wear your gear! Especially when your gunning it in the corners………as you stated.

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  • Tama

    Glad to hear you’re ok. I always wear at least helmet, gloves and a jacket when just riding it out from my underground to the parking lot to wash it and this just reaffirms the idea that its more likely gonna happen in that short run to the store or what have you. Hows the ninja?

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  • bobo

    is it just me or it seems like you fall alot…haha i kid, I know your pain. I fell last year with zero gear going 40 on a gravel laden corner.

  • Kangie

    I feel your pain there.. Came off my 650 on Jan 2.. Wearing almost full gear.. Just figured that my wet jeans would do.. big mistake. Bike’s still in the shop. :(

    Hopefully you’re pretty much healed up by now though…

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