Since there had been articles regarding Sportbike Freestyle Riding (SFR) as an upcoming professional motorsport, here is a general outlook on what the SF riders wear during the practice and shows alike.
Safety has been a lenient and utter lazy follow up for the Indian masses. Many researches and surveys in the past have been an evidence of how careless and laid back an attitude do we as Indians carry. This in fact should be first thing of enforcement and moral realization by everyone on road. Roads are not individual properties where one can neglect the designated rules and do whatever they want. Such actions of course will not only bring potential harm to the subject but also will be the responsible for deaths of the immediate body count of any sort surrounding them. Why this is being brought up in such crude and blunt manner is because it is of utter importance for everyone here to stop just praising the outside world about their developments and work to forge ours now.
It’s pretty known that ill effects of not wearing legit safety gear can be deadly but what we today will discuss is regarding the safety uniform that one has to endow in Sportbike Freestyle Riding (SFR) as a motorsport. Unlike conventional track racers where the rider doesn’t really move a lot from the mean riding position throughout the race, here the riders have to perform different tricks which involve balancing on a bike in challenging positions demanding specific flexibility throughout. The need of flexibility is nowhere a let go to impact resistance. Hence, the need of able impact or stress distribution material while keeping it flexible and lightweight is what the riders can use to perform their absolute best.
If one closely observes, there are a lot of abdominal and various foot positions which are exercised in different tricks which is why abdomen part of a Sportbike Freestyle Rider does not host anything like a full body leather racing suit of 2nd piece of a racing suit and racing boots. The description below will help everyone understand the wearable in a bit more detail:
Helmets: In here helmets are the first and most important bit of protection that one has to comply with. The ‘helm of safety’ protects against any potential trip while performing a trick and avoids or utmost minimizes the impact in case one is being directed to the head. Going in for a full-face or hybrid DOT approved helmet is priority than conventional ISI marked helmets as DOT helmets are generally made of advanced thermo-poly alloy shell. This gives them maximum impact resistance and terrain absorption apart from being lightweight too. ISI mark to a helmet is by Indian standards whereas DOT approved helmets are of global standards. Do remember helmets have expiry dates too and not replacing them periodically can prove fatal in otherwise tunable circumstances.
Riding Safety Jackets: There is a huge market of jackets available today globally. One practicing SFR though just cannot look at the aesthetic aspect of it but has to look at the amount of padding incorporated. The most essential manner of browsing for a jacket is to see whether the jacket is CE, EN or ISO 9001 certified. EN and CE are the highest and globally recognized certificates and are implacable even in motorsports such as MotoGP. It is imperative to verify that the jackets are certified for impact abrasion resistance, burst strength and impact cut resistance at the least. They should also be affiliated for protection against any mechanical impact (elbow, shoulder and back protection). The back protection can be much more like it is for Motocross riders where a spine guard is put up unlike a padded hump in MotoGP. The jackets should also be appropriately ventilated around the chest to let off sweat.
Gloves: Since a single hand has 27 bones to perform every kind of function, it is imperative that they are well isolated from any damage. In this activity where throttle, handbrake and conventional brake are supposed to be constantly fiddled with to perform those amazing tricks, hence the protective gear needs to be safe and flexible at the same time. Preference is to short cuff gloves as wrists then gets a considerable degree of unrestricted freedom which is best to perform different tricks. The gloves have to be functional enough to rule out any damage from mechanical risks. There are certifications like EN388 catering to the same.
Jeans: The part of body which spends the maximum amount of flex to perform the number of acrobatic feats is the legs. The same have to be basically protected which is why jeans somewhere turn up to be the best of options. Even if jeans experience a certain amount of tear, they can very easily be got hold of. Though there are some manufacturers today who are investing in Kevlar as a material to make the jeans much more heavy duty which are regionally ideal as a lower wearable. What one has to understand is that the general Kevlar jeans are a bit heavier than the ones available at your local malls.
Shoes: Since there is no real restriction to the kind of shoes in selection but the riders have to use a shoe which has the least amount of ankle restrictions. Just for instance in the case of Flamingo wheelie, the foot has to be attempted to point outwards which an ankle boot or shoe will find it difficult to host. The soles if flat but grippy will give appropriate traction whenever the placement of foot is to be on the fuel tank, ralph flu foot pegs and wheelie bar.
What is not visible but is also a part of the safety gear is that below the jeans, one has to wear knee pads and shin guards to isolate the knees and legs.
All in all, the above mentionable is to make people understand that like any sport, Sportbike Freestyle Riding has its section of safety gear which one has to oblige to. There has been much more than the described development in the field of specific materials such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) foam armor, kangaroo leather and more which are incorporated by companies for add safety. The safety stitching to prevent extreme abrasion and tear resistance shows how peculiarly the term of protection being researched is. An article of this kind is just to give you a consensus of what is available and that everyone driving a bike on road or in this sport should pick up to avoid becoming a living example to others as to what will happen if you don’t go with the ethical flow. At last, for those who say helmets mess hairstyles, you need a head for a hairstyle first!
About the author:
Gaganbir Singh is the Manager for Sportbike Freestyle Riding Extreme Athletes
Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by its author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it’s owners.
Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.
The views and opinions expressed on this web site are soley those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Steve Gerweck, the GERWECK.NET staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.