Dealers say no to thongs as riding gear

thongs riding gear HOG rally peeves

If you arrive at a Triumph Motorcycle dealer in India dressed in thongs (flip flops), shorts and a t-shirt, they may not hand over your new motorcycle.

This comes as police in Victoria want minimum riding gear standards that include gloves and boots in an effort to reduce the rising motorcyclist road toll.

The debate on minimum clothing standards for motorcyclists has raged for several years and split the motorcycle community.

But the Indian Triumph dealers have taken things into their own hands – at least at the handover stage for new motorcycles.

Apparently, 12 customers have been turned away in the past two years that the British motorcycle manufacturer has been enforcing this policy in a country where high temperatures make riding gear uncomfortable.

thongs riding gear HOG rally

Triumph Motorcycles India managing director Vimal Sumbly says the rider needs at least a helmet and boots, but did not stipulate other riding gear. Thongs and no helmet are definitely out of the question.

“In our store, even if a customer walks in with full money, we refuse him the bike, if he’s not ready to wear a helmet or riding boots or doesn’t hold a valid driving license,” he says.

The “All The Gear All The Time” brigade say it is a financial burden on the rest of society when a rider crashes and is badly injured or killed because they did not wear appropriate gear.

That’s true.thongs riding gear HOG rally

Those against minimum standards say the debate gets muddied when you start legislating standards for riding gear.

That would require acceptance of a standard, certification, enforcement, etc.

All of this would make gear more expensive and turn more people off riding.

Certainly riders in hot climates such as India might like to dress a little lighter than most. But surely thongs are out of the question!

Where do you stand on minimum riding gear? have your say in the “Leave your reply” section below. 

  • Meanwhile, Bangladesh has banned more than two people on motorcycles following several murders committed by bike-riding criminals. While the Motor Vehicles Act, 1983, already prohibits more than one pillion rider, in reality the rules are never followed. Now that criminals and militants are using motorcycles as getaway vehicles, the government is clamping down on their rules. Just days later the government extended the ban to all children.

5 Comments

  1. Wear what you like as long as you can control the vehicle. If I want to wear speedos, sandals and a $1200 helmet, that is my business.
    “All the gear all the time” sounds nice, but appropriate gear in Hobart Tasmania in winter is not the same as appropriate gear in Cairns Queensland in summer.
    Legislating clothing would be a typical bureaucratic nightmare. Of course each state would enforce its own interpretation of an unclear, self-contradicting national standard.
    When the police pull you over for a “licence check”, they will also make you strip on the side of the road so they can do a “label-check” (on top of a Queensland tattoo/identity check). If the fashion police don’t like the labels you are wearing then you get a fine. Yeah, that will teach us not to get hit by nitwits driving cars.
    Apparently it is too hard to make car drivers not run into us, so it is easier to make us riders expect to be hit by cars every time we ride. That is the price we are expected to pay for being a minority on the roads.
    Imagine the outcry from the cycling lobby if cyclists had some kind of mandated clothing requirements. Lycra doesn’t last long sliding along the road at 50kmh.

  2. I have never worn thongs while riding even just to move my bike, always at least runners but mostly my motorcycle boots, however I have done away with my jacket and gloves on occassion when I got so hot I thought I was going to melt. Do I do it often? No. because I am also aware of wanting to keep my skin intact.
    Do I think the authorities should legislate a certain standard of riding gear other than a helmet? No. because we would get police stopping bikes just to “examine” and book riders because they “can”.

  3. There are certainly two sides to it
    There are those who feel we are individual rational adults
    and should be able to make our own choices.
    And those who should mind their own effing
    business

  4. I have moved my bike around for washing in thongs and that’s about it.
    I’ve ridden without gloves or a jacket but I prefer them even in hot weather
    While I’d never ride in shorts having ordinary pants or jeans may be no better and that’s what I usually wear
    Having intact legs and feet after an accident is of course desirable but I value my hands arms and head more and not being cooked alive is also a safety factor.

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