Sunday, April 25, 2010

Can You See Me Now?

Can You See Me Now?

X-treme Design Class 2 High-Visibility Mesh Safety Vest — Lime Review

If you have ridden a motorcycle for any length of time you have had close encounters with the drivers of other vehicles. If you ride year round like me you probably have had lots of them. People pulling out in front of you, turning in front of you, not yielding to you, and changing into your lane all happen too frequently to us traveling on two wheels.

One of the biggest problems of cage drivers is that they just cannot see us. The moment you start riding a motorcycle or scooter you become invisible like you have turned on some Romulan Cloaking Device. On a motorcycle we are a smaller target to see and people just don’t seem to look that well. Another factor is that it would appear we tend to travel a little faster than cages and when they look they don’t look far enough away to see us coming at speed. We can be beside them or in front of them in the second it takes them to look back to start making their planned maneuver.

Then there is the rumor going around that Loud Pipes Don’t Save Lives. I don’t believe it. Speaking from personal experience, from both points if view, seat and saddle, drivers that may not have seen you, might hear you. They may not hear every time, but any time they do it may prevent a mishap. It has kept daydreaming drivers from moving into my lane before I could react and hit the Stebel Nautilus Compact Dual Tone Horn button. I am not condoning irrationally loud pipes but it does help to be loud enough to be noticed. I like my Cobra Longshots.

Since I commute in the traffic of a major metropolitan area, (Dallas / Fort Worth), everyday to and from work, before sunup and after sundown, I have picked up an inexpensive device to help people see me better. I purchased a X-treme Design Class 2 High-Visibility Mesh Safety Vest — Lime from the local Northern Tool + Equipment. I wear it when it is dark or overcast out like on rainy days. I bought it large enough to fit over my other riding gear.

The High-Visibility Mesh Safety Vest is made from a bright green color that catches your eye in traffic. It has two 2” wide vertical and one horizontal 3M Scotchlite reflective stripes. This safety vest comes with a zipper closure and an inside pocket. The X-treme Design vest meets ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 Class 2 specifications. They also make other models with different features and a high visibility orange color.

Yes, I look like the dorkiest motorcycle rider in the Mid-Cities but at least you can see me. For any of you naysayers out there let me show you the evidence. Here is a photo of me at dusk with just my OSi Cool Mesh Jacket on. Click on any photo for larger view.

Now here is a photo of me with the X-treme Design Class 2 High-Visibility Mesh Safety Vest — Lime on.

Those were both taken without a flash. Here is a shot with the High-Visibility Vest on and the cameras flash on to simulate headlamps.

Now you can see for yourself with your own eyes what a difference that vest makes. I have been using the vest now for around six months and have not had any issues with it. It has withstood my fumbling fingers not zipping it up correctly and countless rain storms and has held up fine. Torch gives the X-treme Design Class 2 High-Visibility Mesh Safety Vest a M.M.M. rating of 9.5 out of 10.

Ride on,