Yesterday I spent a large portion of the day doing things that had nothing to do with motorcycles. First I spent the morning completing the weekly yard work, then I changed the oil in my truck and in the afternoon I spent a couple hours working on the next issue of Grease Monkey (aka sitting in front of a computer). Well, by the time 4pm rolled around I was more than ready for a two-wheeled escape.

Since the SV is a lot easier to whip out of the garage quickly, I hopped on it and took off. In my haste to get going and given the 90 degree heat… I didn’t bother to put something on other than the sleeveless t-shirt I had been wearing all day… and about 5 miles into the ride it dawned on me that I was a “SQUID”.


squid (plural squids)

  1. (slang, motorcycling, pejorative) A motorcyclist characterized by lack of riding gear


It probably wasn’t too smart of me to ride like that but it sure felt great. But… since it is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month… I thought I would ask. How many of you “gear up” every time you ride? If you’re just going on a quick ride in the 90-degree heat, do you wear full gear? When do you not? Just wondering…

21 responses

  1. I’m a Squid as well… never heard that word before, but I’m all over that. When I first got my bike you’d never catch me without the leather jacket, gloves, boots, etc… now it’s nothing but a t-shirt (or hoodie if it’s a little cooler), no gloves, and regular shoes. SO COMFORTABLE!

    May 23, 2010 at 9:54 AM

  2. I have been known to squid it on occasion, but I am 99% ATGATT, even when I just go on a quickie ride to the store. I commute and ride year around, so gearing up has become sort of like putting on your clothes in the morning. You wouldn’t leave the house stark naked, would you? And when I crashed my Hayabusa on the way home, it was that gear that saved my butt from serious injury. Doc at the ER told me that he was glad I was wearing all that stuff or I would be “laying in the other room with my clothes cut off.” I remind myself of that, when I get the thought of ‘just this once’ and quit being lazy.

    May 23, 2010 at 9:55 AM

  3. I hear you Mother… Here in Middle Tennessee. 90 degree weather makes it really hard to grab a jacket.

    May 23, 2010 at 10:06 AM

  4. Good comment MissBusa… hard to argue with your experience.

    May 23, 2010 at 10:07 AM

  5. It is hard at times, the GA humidity is killer, too. I have a RPCM cooling vest but am too lazy to actually use it. LOL I’ve only been riding 18 months (24.4K miles), so maybe I haven’t really hit on my ‘lazy stage’ yet. But really, I don’t feel good when I’m not wearing my gear, it’s almost like I’m less confident, and the ground seems way too close… yeah, I’m weird. *rolls eyes* I just can’t enjoy the ride as much.

    May 23, 2010 at 10:13 AM

  6. In the summer I resort to boots, jeans and t-shirt. Always wear a helmet and seldom gloves unless it’s cold. So, maybe I am 1/2 Squid? Maybe it’s that I don’t have a jacket to wear in the summer (leather jacket is lined). Maybe it’s I don’t have summer gloves? These aren’t excuses BTW – I just don’t have them… probably should get some.

    Just today I comment to my wife – there was a guy getting on the interstate riding a dressed up Harley with a tank top, shorts, sandals and no helmet. I might be part Squid when I ride, but I would never get in the interstate (or any ride for that matter) like that!

    May 23, 2010 at 10:18 AM

  7. The sandals thing I totally don’t get. I see that a lot here in Tennessee… followed by visions of toes being ground off!

    May 23, 2010 at 10:29 AM

  8. Sandals are safey-shoes compared what they wear around here: FLIP-FLOPS! Grown men on bikes wearing flops. I laugh every time I see that… curling up their toes when they lift their feet to put them up on the pegs, so the flops won’t fall off… I still haven’t figured out how they shift.

    May 23, 2010 at 10:34 AM

  9. I too am 99% attgat. Being a full time sub/urban/freeway commuter I know I have a lot more exposure to the statistics and fates. I can’t bring myself to wear less than helmet, jacket, gloves, boots. Sometimes I will omit the armored-knee overpants for jeans or cargos (never shorts or lowtop shoes), but on those occasions I prefer to keep it off the highway. Those times are generally when running errands, not commuting or horizon chasing. Also, I like the convenience of being able to dress for the destination (gym, run in the park, suit & tie) and still be protected with overgear. This will be my first summer as a full-time biker, so I have ordered a mesh jacket for that. Admittedly know I look like a dork to many, wearing what appears to be a snowmobile suit to most. 90% of my rides are just too fast and hairy to cut corners. And yes, I too live near the center of the sun (Atlanta). One last thought – there are lots of people for whom any mishap will be their I-told-you-so…almost everybody I know. But I am wearing protective gear first for me & my family, not them.

    May 23, 2010 at 10:48 AM

  10. Dress for the ride… not for the crash… right? 😉

    May 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

  11. @urbansix: Totally agree. I ride through Atlanta on occasion and I have dubbed I-285 the “Devil’s Playground”, you have got to keep your wits about you and I wouldn’t dare squid through there. Good gawd, and I thought people in Augusta couldn’t drive. 😀

    May 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

  12. I’m always full gear, which in my case is: full-face helmet, leather jacket (with armor for the last year), leather gloves/gauntlets, steel-toe boots (mid-calf), and the one weak spot, jeans. Even if it’s 90. As long as I can keep moving I’m ok because the jacket has vents and I have a small fairing (Buell 1125R). All of the above items have saved my skin and noggin.

    May 23, 2010 at 11:24 AM

  13. I agree with MissBusa & Andy…full gear! Yesterday, I was 200km from home on the Buell 1125R and people were asking how I could ride in full leathers with the heat; my response, I would rather be safe than sorry and my gear is vented. Then on the way home, I see a guy at a gas station on a Road King in a muscle shirt, shorts and sneakers, he looks at me like I am crazy and I give him exactly the same look!


    May 23, 2010 at 2:21 PM

  14. I do have a nice “mesh” jacket with armour that isn’t too awfully hot. I also have THIS perforated leather jacket but if I wore it in the summer I would be soaking wet under it.

    May 23, 2010 at 4:14 PM

  15. I’m a poor gal livin in the hills of NE TN. I don’t own the fancy equipment and armor to protect my tired old hide…so I do the best I can with what I do have. In summer, I wear long sleeves (always), lace up over the ankle leather boots, leather chaps, deer skin gloves and of course my helmet. Winter will see me in a tough leather jacket.

    I’ve broken bones in my feet and ankles when riding…and I was wearing “HD RIDING BOOTS”. They sucked and did little to protect the delicate thin bones in my feet. I’ve learned boots are more than leather surrounding the feet. Now I wear loggers footwear, and I know darn well I am NOT gonna suffer the pain of broken bones in feet and ankles. Now if only my money angel would drop a few dimes on me for a full armor suit…hhhhmmmmm

    May 23, 2010 at 6:24 PM

  16. Pingback: Trend in Protective Gear – Sport vs Harley | Don Thava Cycles

  17. I’m always in full gear minus the boots and leather pants. I’ve taken to riding in my sneakers since I got tired of my riding boots. They’re stiff and hard to walk in. I’ve been meaning to opt for a riding boot more practical for every day riding but haven’t yet.
    In SC, it’s rather humid and hot during summer months as well. But I always wear my gear whether I’m sweating like a pig or not. But I’m not going to lie, the longer I ride, the more inclined I am to squid it a few times during the summer, but I haven’t yet.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

  18. BTW, I meant to say, good post Swag 🙂 Way to get the conversation going!

    May 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM


  20. Christian

    I’m a new rider who lives in MN. I gear up every single time my leg goes over the bike for a ride. Tends to put me in more of a ‘focused’ mindset.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:13 PM

  21. I always gear up. Jacket, gloves, helmet all the time. All summer. Even on the hottest days.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:29 PM

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