Sunday, April 19, 2009

Is the new Army-brand cycle jacket an i-wreck waiting to happen?

It's no secret we have had an alarming rise in motorcycle deaths in the past few years, especially among sport bikers.

A few months ago, the service secretaries met with motorcycle manufacturers to discuss the trend.

The secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force met with four major motorcycle makers Jan. 15. The discussion focused on motorcycle safety and how sport bikes are marketed to service members. read the full story.

The military has attacked this issue numerous ways: safety courses, motorcycle rallies, and my favorite (seriously) ... rally days where they encourage fast riding in a safe, controlled environment.

I haven't had the opportunity to ride much here in Korea, but I certainly expect to at my next PAO assignment. So, I was in the Military Clothing Sales store when I saw one of the newest "Power Trip" Army-branded motorcycle jackets. I bought this model.

I really like the jacket ... it's got some nice touches like reflective strips that fold out for riding, but tuck away for wearing; jacket loops that attach to your belt so the jacket doesn't ride up during a fall; pads for the shoulders and elbows and an option to put in a heavier pad for the back.

But one thing bothers me: with the increase in motorcycle deaths, did we really need this?

It might just be me ... but do we want Soldiers listening to their iPods while operating THE piece of equipment most likely to be involved in their peacetime early death?

Or am I over thinking things?



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