We’ve shared ideas for safer riding in low-light and night riding in the past. Keys to improved safety really center around you being able to see clearly, keeping your speed down a little, and, perhaps among the most important factors, being seen by others. The hazard level is particularly high from other traffic approaching from the rear.How about a solution that gives your riding shoes some added light that combines with your motorcycle’s taillight, brake lights, or turn signals?Let’s face it—a motorcycle’s taillight, brake light, and turn signals are fairly small points of light—even if they are bright, sized to meet or even exceed federal motor vehicle safety standards, and are in good working condition.
Their small distance from each other can make a motorcyclist appear to another driver as a vehicle much further away than you actually are. That can set the stage for a rear-end collision when the motorcyclist must slow down or stop for an intersection, turning maneuver, or what-have-you. On-coming traffic from behind can seriously misjudge the distance to the motorcyclist and be unable to stop or even take evasive action to prevent a crash.The famous, aptly-named Hurt Report on motorcycle crashes published in 1981 found that “The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in a collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.”The Report also found, “Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps-on in daylight and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.”The study found that “Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most usually a passenger automobile.” And, “In the multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.”Deliberate hostile action by other motorists against motorcyclists that led to a collision were rare, according to the study underscoring the need for motorcyclists to do everything possible to improve their “conspicuity” to other drivers.Now there is a clever, cool new way to improve your conspicuity that can help prevent close encounters of the collision kind—while addressing your need for bespoke motorcycle footwear at the same time. It is a product from ROAME.Roame Zeros are designed to improve rider safety in multiple ways, according to the company, “The very first motorcycle shoe with wireless turn signals and brake lights. Reinforced with state-of-the-art materials. The ROAME Zeros mirror the existing brake lights and turn signals of your motorcycle for greater visibility on the road. D3O offers superior impact protection. It is trusted in many sports and military applications, and we integrated it into the ROAME Zeros.”The product comes with a one-year warranty. Installation is very straightforward and is supported by this video by ROAME.The ROAME Zeros and the vehicle installation box will cost you $299.Sizing data: Only whole sizes available.Normal-width feet: The shoes fit a little big, so if you are in between two sizes we recommend you round down to the smaller size.Wide-width feet: The shoes fit true to size, so select your shoe size.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.