Motorcycle Safety Equipment
I’m so pleased with my Fox Creek jacket that I had to share my experience. As a motorcyclist, I believe in wearing safety equipment. You don’t have to wrap yourself in a bunch of bubble wrap but the basics are: eye covering, a helmet, a good motorcycle jacket, and gloves. When looking for a jacket, I wanted the best quality jacket money could buy (note that I didn’t say the most expensive), one made in the great USA (hard to find) and one that would give me the largest range of comfortable temperatures.
I selected the Fox Creek Vented Reflective Jacket to give me one additional feature, night time visibility. The features of this jacket, insulated liner and multiple vents, allow me to make adjustments to stay comfortable from the low 30’s to the mid 90’s. That’s pretty much year-round comfort for North Carolina. I have had it on in the low 100’s and as long as you’re moving and all the vents open it is comfortable, a bit warm, but still not bad for the added protection.
Now for my experience. After riding over 30 years, here is a story that I never thought I would be writing. A young driver, in a hurry to go nowhere, forgot to do the most elementary thing when entering an intersection from a stop sign. No matter what transportation you use (a pedestrian, bicycle, automobile or motorcycle) before entering an intersection look left, look right, look left again and then proceed when safe. “I didn’t see the motorcycle” is the lame excuse so often used by the guilty party. If you don’t look you will never see anything! Don’t try and make up time in your day by driving fast, carelessly, or taking chances. A motor vehicle can cause a lot of damage and a careless mistake, resulting in a crash, will affect many people’s lives in many different ways and please “Watch For Motorcycles!”
Now back to my story. This four wheel driver decided they could beat the vehicle approaching from the right and pulled out from the side street when I’m only 100 feet on their left. I appears they were going to use the center left turn lane as a refuge (an illegal move) allowing the oncoming vehicle to pass. The problem, they never looked back to the left before pulling out. Applying all the brakes I could, I quickly moved into the left turn lane to try and clear the vehicle but was struck on the right side. My wheels were literally knocked out from underneath me as I was struck from the right. My Harley Fat Boy ripped the front bumper and grill off the offending car as I was slammed to the pavement. We slid along the pavement (me, my bike and the bumper) with my Fox Creek jacket protecting my skin and my helmet protecting my head. After stopping, I checked that I was all there and able to move. Thank God I could move but the handlebar was griping my lower leg against the gas tank and I couldn’t get up. The driver from the vehicle that was approaching, stopped and ran over to see if I was ok and helped to lift the bike off my leg. I walked, ok limped, away with a seriously hurting right shoulder, right hip and leg. The bike had begun leaking fuel and soon after ignited in a small blaze.
In the ambulance the EMT’s made the comment of how well the jacket I was wearing had protected me and how fortunate I was for wearing it. We all were amazed at how well the jacket held up to the crash and protected my skin from certain road rash. After arriving at the hospital and getting x-rays, the Doctor entered my room and went right to my jacket lying on the table beside me. He picked it up and made the comment: “This is a really well made jacket! You have a fractured (broken) shoulder blade and rib, torn ligaments, and bruised rotator cuff. Most people with these type fractures have many other injuries.”
Several months have passed now and I’m feeling blessed by God that I’m sharing this story with you. After the crash my Harley was totaled, my helmet is trash being cracked and scraped on the right side and my Fox Creek jacket has road rash on the right side from the front collar, around and across the length of the arm and right back. It was obvious that this jacket protected my skin from my neck, shoulder, arm, back, and all the way to my right hip.
I called the folks at Fox Creek about getting a replacement reflective jacket and found they were discontinuing that model and didn’t have one in my size. I decided to try and repair the jacket to see if I could salvage it. Ryan, at Fox Creek, gave me some Doc Watson’s Leather Conditioner to help me with the job. After trimming the rough leather with some clippers and light sanding (to smooth out the cuts) I rubbed it down with Doc Watson’s several times. To my amazement this jacket looks great! It now has that worn motorcycle jacket look, let’s just call it “patina”. That says a lot for the thickness and quality of the leather Fox Creek uses. The next time I’m up in Independence Virginia I’ll get a lower snap cover replaced and no one would ever know what this jacket has gone through.
I can’t say enough about how well made Fox Creek jackets are and how the folks at Fox Creek did all they could to help me make the necessary repairs to keep it in service after being damaged. I know this jacket saved my skin, untold pain and suffering, hours of physical therapy and thousands of dollars in physical recovery cost. I’m happy to be here sharing this experience with you today and encourage other motorcyclists to think “safety” as they ride and drive. For my life changing event, I thank God most of all but wanted to also thank Fox Creek and all the skilled “American” craftsmen that build these quality products that are important pieces of motorcycle safety equipment.
Clayton, North Carolina
*Although we have discontinued the Vented Reflector jacket, the same quality workmanship and many of the same features run throughout the entire line of Fox Creek Leather motorcycle jackets.