Wearing a 1/2 clam shell is heavily geared for the Harley crowd, most wear bandanas and wife beater T shirts, so it was an act of futility, was it not?
Some would disagree with "your time to go" and "natural selection" or "people that depend on me to provide for them so I try at this time of my life to manage the risk more responsibly." I'd agree with those that disagree.
All of these are phrases of denial. All of it is flirting with death. No helmet changes that. No careful and slow method changes it either. Many die by the act of another and you're never protected against a 2500 lb car on a bike. Preserving life wins the debate, doesn't it, especially with family responsibilities, as if no one here has a parent, sister/brother, or child? Does it compare to sky diving, scuba diving, horseback riding, and other recreational activities that seem more innocent in nature but if you check, it's not less dangerous? Should we live in a plastic bubble and engage in nothing exciting?
A balanced view of what you choose to do, and how to do it is a personal one. "Ride Safe" means what? When you make the decision to increase your risk of death mounting a motorcycle, it's rather ignorant to qualify that risk by how you do it, or how someone else failed, or when your time is up. If you set yourself on fire as a stunt routinely on weekends and you finally burned to death, is that an accident too? What supports the theory of natural selection, or going at a predestined time? As far as riding a motorcycle like an old lady, one could argue you're about to become complacent and never see what hits you. If you ride, it was your decision to do so. It's that simple. After the fact, it's no surprise. If you get hit or roll high side, you're chances of making it are slim at best. Putting any other label on it is perhaps driven by emotion, not cognitive thinking. It's deadly, and you can die or be disfigured for what's left of your life. Safe riders still die. Riders with full gear, still die. Statistics don't really change until you're off a motorcycle. Professionals and imbeciles alike get buried every day from motorcycle accidents.
It's best to face the reality, soberly, and either assess your temporary pleasure for the permanent grieving family you leave behind that is was really worth it, than not to think about it while you can and just stop, and spare everyone the experience. Who doesn't already understand that you can take months/years of recovery to feed yourself again and you have supporting loved ones to handle that for you until you can, if you're lucky? That the sheer pain of losing limbs or skin while enduring several surgical procedures to look less frightening to people in restaurants is worth the fun of riding? If you ride guilt free now, how will you feel after your wreck and who can cover the costs of medical and loss of work for a year on this forum, or would want to?
One fraction of a second will catch you by surprise, and changes your whole life, job, future, and relationships, if you live, are the facts. A minor fender bender for a car, is death for the biker. Accidents happen, and you can't prevent it. But don't worry about it, anything you worry about is in itself a distraction when reflex speed is needed to execute a move that can save your life. I do that best when I'm what beginner riders call a maniac. The adrenaline rush works in my favor. So far, so good. I rather get the finger than a wood box. Is that less value for life than the next rider? Is that more insane? Well, I can verbalize and distinguish the two and not make up stories or make excuses to deny it.
The one thing riding a motorcycle for me does, is makes me happy, and I don't have to go slow, or wear a turtle suit, and it's better than slowly dying by an armed drug addict trying to rob me or getting a heart attack. When I ride, I try to stay alive and see what blind cagers are about to do to challenge that fact. When I get off the bike and realize I was protecting my life the whole time, after the ride, it deserves the same intensity, and dedication to do my best.
I made my personal decision for reasons no one else shares. It's my right. It's my life. Enjoy yours. After all, we all ride, and we're trying to stay alive, and can share the experience.
It doesn't require too much cognitive ability to see that wearing protective gear and practising your road skills can indeed make crashing survivable, and it certainly reduces your recovery time, and that of those witnessing your efforts.
Yes, wearing proper gear and riding skillfully are no guarantee of your survival, there's always the "golden BB" that nobody can protect us from. But it'd be _really_ stupid to give up those simple protections, and even worse to actually try to convince others to do so...
Being able to crash and simply stand up to look at the damage is a far better result than hoping a passerby can keep you alive while waiting for an ambulance, while you lay there taking no responsibilty at all.
In Australia we have something called Medicare so it doesn't cost us anything for our (non-voluntary) medical procedures, it's all included in our taxes. In road accidents we also have compulsory third party insurance included in our registration fees to recompense people injured by our efforts - that includes yourself and passengers in your own vehicle.
In thirty road and race crashes it has never cost me anything for ambulances, surgery, hospital stays or doctors.
And my own insurances actually pay me money when I hurt myself on the track.
When I crash, I pay to repair the bike, replace my leathers, boots, gloves and lid, and put another tank of juice in as soon as I'm able to ride again.
My girlfriend and I were discussing this when we watched Breaking Bad and they were adding up Walt's medical expenses. I have friends that have won and lost their battles with cancer (one mate has beaten it twice now) and I can't imagine what their lives would've been like if they'd have had to pay for their treatments, or even if they'd had to pay for insurances to cover it.