Do crashbars protect your legs?

I am a motorcycle rider who encountered with a number motorcycle accidents and still in one piece.

Being a high speed fanatic, I read more and more about motorcycle safety following each accident. I explored ways to avoid trouble without losing the thrill of speed. As motorcycle training in Sri Lanka doesn’t commence in a professional way, most of the motorcycle riders have just a set of self-taught incomplete skills and beliefs.

When reading about motorcycle safety online I found a quite interesting thing called the “Hurt Report”. I’m not sure how far these findings of the Hurt Report are valid in Sri Lanka — and practically I experienced that the finding about crashbars isn’t quite true. Well, at least not for me.

It says,

Crash bars are not an effective injury countermeasure; the reduction of injury to the ankle-foot is balanced by increase of injury to the thigh-upper leg, knee, and lower leg.

So what does my experience say? I had a 150 cc Hero Honda Hunk (2011 model). In Sri Lanka it’s an average intermediate level motorcycle with a considerable body weight. When I ride I usually keep my legs close, each in tight contact with the fuel tank. In one of the two encounters where crashbars involved, right side crashbar bent due to direct impact with road surface. I decided to repair it instead of buying a new one – and voilà – it was not only bent, but also fractured!

I have seen many motorcycle owners ride bikes with crashbars just bent due to previous accidents, but this was the first time I saw one actually bent and cracked.

Now, imagine what could have happened to my kneecap if there was no crashbar and I kept my legs open! It’s a horrific feeling. Crashbars do protect – but also important to have your legs closed.