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Crash Tested: Tatami LT 01 jacket & Robby Slim Black jeans combo against cold asphalt in Finland

December 07, 2023

Marko from Espoo, Finland, has shared a story with us from the end of his riding season this year that happened on October 12, 2023.

Late autumn, actually exceptionally late autumn, warm and sunny. Marko planned to take his bikes to winter storage for a while now, always tomorrow…

“Daaaaamn, I can see the sun, and it’s not the coldest day I’ve seen. I want to take the last trip, not far, just to the nearest shopping mall. I don’t even have to go there, but I have an excuse – I want a new shield for my phone glass. I wanna ride there because there is a long Finnish winter ahead”,- Marko begins his story.

It was the first driving season for him in over fifteen years, since his twenties, so after a long pause from riding, he wanted to experience an entire season to the very last day. That, in his own words, was a poor decision.

“As always, I took my time to get full gear on. I don’t drive without “the suit”. I’ve heard enough stories. I just got a new one this summer in July: riding gloves, Arai helmet, Stylmartin shoes, PANDO protective jeans, and a PANDO leather jacket.”

According to Marko, that was a good decision. His bike – a 2005 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 – was working nicely. The painter had already checked it for a custom paint job, leaving with a comment – “just take it to the shop after the season ends”. He did not know back then that it would end like this.

Marko was thorough and honest about his experience:

“Well… Last roundabout before the shopping mall. I’ve to slow down. That was the point I knew that I had made a mistake. I did not remember those freshly painted warning signs on the asphalt in the middle of the lane from before. My front tire lost its grip, and I suddenly became a passenger after that point.

I fell to the right side and got loose from the bike. It continued straight ahead to the middle podium of the roundabout. I instinctively had my hands to my chest and started to roll on the asphalt. Luckily, no car drove over me. I even missed the curb stones and traffic divider4!

I think I did not slide; I just rolled, body straight, hands tight at the chest – like a boxer taking the hit. I’m in one piece?!? Yea. Adrenaline took over, and I got up. All the body parts were in place – that I checked right away. My chest was sore – that I noticed immediately.”

After came the time at the doctor. “Got your luck all used up for today. No need to buy a lottery ticket”, the doc said after the check. He said he was also a rider, so Marko thought he probably knew what to match with asphalt meant.

Verdict? Bruises. Lots of those. Roadburn to both knees. His right arm and right side hip were damn sore, and his right shoulder “took some” also. He had rolled over his fist with his chest, so that explained the chest pain.

Surprisingly, Marko even managed to discuss the gear with the doctor in the hospital:

“ Doc asked, “Were you riding in those?” while pointing to my gear. Yeah, I said. The chilling answer was, “Lots of people don’t drive with full gear and a full set of armour. Without those, you would not have survived with only bruises”,- he shared with me, obviously speaking from his patients’ experience.”

The helmet got some, but the visor took the most because the “pizza hole” was open. Looked like the visor was the only thing from the helmet to be damaged. Gloves and shoes got just minor scratches.

How did Marko’s PANDO gear hold up the challenge?

“My PANDO jeans (Robby Slim Black) had marks matching road burns on the knees. Knee armour plates were damaged on both legs, and dampening material ripped, but the back skin of it stayed intact. Armour had marked its’ location in the pockets. The outer fabric had a few skid marks on the knees.

I wore my PANDO leather jacket (Tatami LT 01) with a back protector. That additional back armour plate saved me a lot when it was supporting my back. It was just rolled a bit from the side. A few scratches here and there on the jacket. The elbow and shoulder armour had minor stretch marks on the fabric side. My right shoulder got an initial hit and a minor slide damage, but the asphalt did not go through the leather.”

The bike was done. There’s no need to even think about rebuilding. Looks okay from afar, but closer inspection showed that the main frame was damaged, chafed almost through the metal. Also, the front fork was crooked. It’s the end of an era. Marko had to say goodbye to his Triumph Speed Triple.

Thankfully, our rider hero came out from this experience in much better condition than his bike. His chest and ribs hurt after, and a second check at the doctor showed two broken ribs;- “They’ll slow me down a bit for a while, but I’m already feeling better”, – our hero shared. He got two “nice” road burns on his knees and felt that he just made a full-body rolling landing on asphalt. Doc’s last words before saying goodbye at the second check-up, “Next week is going to be painful”, started to get real pretty soon.

“Bit longer story than I first thought, but I believe this was a debrief I needed to get my mind back to saddle for next season. Oh, and this happened yesterday. Looked like I cheated at a game called life-or-wheelchair once more and walked away with just bruises. Thanks for excellent gear!”, – Marko finished his honest crash story.

Two broken ribs did not prevent him from test-driving a new bike very soon. It is already in his garage, waiting for the next season. He found a nice 2008 Yamaha FZ1-N, now under periodic check and maintenance.

The very last message Marko asked us to share with you guys:

“Feel free to tell my story, ending with an undeniably true moral – always ride with full gear. Especially on those roads near your home.

We cannot agree more – save your skin by wearing protective certified quality moto gear – you’ll not regret it.

We all here at PANDO wish Marko all the best – good health, a successful friendship with his new Yamaha and for the next riding season to come to Finland as soon as possible!

Marko’s PANDO weapons of choice against Finish asphalt were:

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