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Apr 26, 2002

Updated Post: One Reader Thinks Barkbusters For Road Racers Could Stop Crashes Caused By Running Front Brake Lever Into Other Bikes, But Another Points Out A Problem

This suggestion just in, via e-mail:

FIRST PERSON/OPINION:

Just read about Luis Garcia. Hopefully he improves.

Just curious---why don't/can't road racers use something similar to a barkbuster over their front brake lever? Seems that could prevent an accident like Mr. Garcia's or Steve Rapp's at Road America? It wouldn't weigh anything and would keep inadvertent brake applications from happening. My two cents on the subject.

Adios for now,

Jim Kelch


And now this:

FIRST PERSON/OPINION:

Greetings,

I raced at Daytona with CCS back in the 80s, and coming through the right-left kink after turn 1, I clipped the haybale on the inside of the left with the clutch lever. Smashed my fingers really bad but nothing broke.

After reading about the idea of barkbusters on road race bikes, I would almost have to agree.

I say almost because, I also thought about if it was something harder than a haybale, it could have crushed or cut fingers off. I have seen this on dirt bikes when hitting a tree at 40 mph, could be much worse at 150 mph.

Lately I have thought about some kind of new shoulder protection, as I highsided my VTR and broke my collarbone.

I guess we can't have everything.

Wishing Luis well.

Henry Madsen
#296 Jax. Fla.


This just in...

FIRST PERSON/OPINION:


About shoulder Protection:

The problem of clavicle protection, like everything else is complicated in that the goal may be met (no broken collarbone) but the force is transmitted to different locations. For example most recent Dainese suits afford
excellent shoulder protection, but injuries end up being transmitted to the chest wall (muscle tears or broken ribs) or to the sternoclavicular joint (the "inner end" of the clavicle/collarbone). Granted, these do not pose the same problems of collarbones, but only illustrate the idea that the force goes somewhere.

Good research by the makers of protective gear addresses these problems, and so the fit and features of each suit should figure in our choice of gear. It might be important for a person who has broken a collarbone to select leathers that protect the area...but each choice must be guided by your body fitting the gear.

J. Adams, MD
Tachyon Sports Injury Research Foundation