Tag Archives: Helmet

Ulka Gear jacket becomes handy backpack

Carrying your helmet around with you can be a pain, but the Ulka Gear motorcycle jacket transforms into a handy backpack that also holds your lid, gloves, goggles and more!

These Indian-made jackets come in a Hakkit Forever touring and Hakkit V2 city version, both suitable for the hot Indian climate.

Prices are quoted in Indian rupee and translate to about $A170 to $A210 plus postage.

Handy jacket

Ulka Gear is the brainchild of company founder and former national circuit racer and trainer Shahnawaz Karim.

“When hitting the open roads, the biker’s gears including helmet, jackets etc. is of paramount significance thus offering maximum functionality,” he says in the official press release.Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacket

I understand the pulse of the motorcycle bikers and aim to provide with a motorcycling experience.

“We designed a convertible jacket which has weathered the test of time and aim to become one of the most iconic items of clothing for motorcyclist.

“I am optimistic that we would emerge in times to come as India’s most efficient rider’s apparel brand and global brand to reckon with.”

Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacketHakka V2 city jacket

The handy Ulka gear jackets are available in different sizes from XS to 3XL and they say they are unisex with an adjustable waist.

Other features include CE-approved back, shoulder and elbow armour and abrasion-resistant Cordura material.

Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacketHakkit Forever touring jacket

If you are riding in the rain, the pockets are “water-resistant” which is not the same as waterproof but there is a waterproof rain cover you can wear over the jacket. U can also wear it inside for warmth.

Hakkit Forever also has a pocket on the left forearm for your mobile phone.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Gizmo uses light to sterilise your helmet

Taiwanese company Lucky International has launched a GermBuster gizmo that uses ultraviolet light and ozone to sterilise and deodorise your motorcycle helmet.

In the wake of the panic over the pandemic, company spokesman Billy Chao contacted us to see if we were interested in selling their GermBuster through our website.

President Donald Trump would love it as he seems to think that along with injecting disinfectant we could also shine light inside people to cure them of COVID-19.

By the way, you can check the date of this story; it’s not April 1!

Motul motorcycle helmet cleanerNow, we know helmets get sweaty and grotty inside and can smell funky. But we usually just use a dedicated spray to deodorise them or pull out the removable pads and liner and give them a wash.

Click here to check our tips for cleaning your helmet.

Sterilise the hi-tech wayGermbuster is claimed to sterilise your helmet

However, that is not hi-tech enough for some.

So lucky for them, Lucky International has developed their GermBuster.

I can’t vouch for it and when I asked where to get it and how much it costs, the contact Billy Chao just wanted us to buy it via email.

I also couldn’t find any reference to the company or the product online.Germbuster is claimed to sterilise your helmet

However, I thought you might get a good laugh out of the press release they sent:

Wear a dirty and bacteria motorcycle helmet that caused hair loss and bald.

Due to sweating, dirt, food particles (I am not sure how you get food in your helmet!) and air born (sic) bacteria getting rubbed into the helmet padding and breeding in the warm environment, it is possible that your scalp may become infected. If so it could impact on scalp health and even hair growth

Bacteria in your helmet may also affect your hair growth

Your helmet becomes a breeding ground for air borne bacteria due to sweat, dirt and food particles that could infect your scalp and cause hair fall. It could also affect growth of new hair.Germbuster is claimed to sterilise your helmet

What you can do

The total solution, use GermBuster UVC + OZONE sterilizer and deodorizer,

Helmet sterilizer. Available all kind of helmet.

They say it comes with a free “adjust stand”, is USB rechargeable and can also be used to sanitise shoes, masks and nail scissors.

  

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

McQueen would wear this NEXX helmet

The new NEXX X.G10 Saloon open-face helmet is a vintage motocross style that resembles helmets worn by the legendary Hollywood actor and bike fan Steve McQueen.

He was an accomplished motocrosser who represented America in the international six-day enduro trials in 1964 where he rode with a Bell Jet helmet that looked very much like this NEXX X.G10 Saloon.

Bell Jet Steve McQueen NEXXMcQueen at the enduro wearing a Bell Jet helmet

While an open-face helmet can never provide the same protection as a full-face helmet, the makers claim this has their X-Matrix 2 construction comprised of 3D organic fibres and special weaving to improve protection and comfort.

NEXX helmetNEXX X.G10 Saloon open-face helmet

The vintage-style features six different layers for impact and penetration protection while keeping the shell light and breathable. The ultralight shell is tougher, stronger, and stiffer that results in impressive high-energy impact management.

NEXX helmets usually rate three out of five stars in the highly acknowledged SHARP helmet safety ratings

The entire production process of NEXX helmets is done in Portugal and not outsourced to other countries as many other helmet manufacturers do.

They boast a team of more than 160 workers skilled in helmet shell sculpture, leather manipulation, stitching, paintwork and engineering. Every helmet has to pass more than 50 control steps.

The NEXX X.G10 Saloon also has a cool interior thanks to their X-Mart Dry technology that provides a soft, breathable and water absorbent liner.

NEXX claims it dries twice as fast as cotton while also providing extra warmth.

The interior pieces are removable to be washed and are anti-allergic and anti-sweat.NEXX X.G10 Saloon open-face helmet

It features a rear leather clip holder for goggles, the traditional D-ring chin strap, PC Lexan flat-shield and comes in three shell sizes (XS-L, XL, and XXL-XXXL).

There is no word yet on prices in Australia, but they are available overseas for €242 (about $A395).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Best Motorcycle Helmets in 2020

You can’t live without your head, so you need to protect it with the best motorcycle helmets. However, shopping for a motorcycle helmet has never been a walk in the park. Sometimes you have to weigh up cost versus comfort. Should buying a helmet leave your pockets empty? Of course not!

Do you need a full face, modular, custom or adventure motorcycle helmet? Let’s delve into the best motorcycle helmets in 2020 in this guide to choosing a motorcycle helmet.

Best Motorcycle Helmets

1. Shoei RF-SR Helmet

Best Motorcycle HelmetsShoei RF-SR helmet

The Japanese Shoei RF-SR carries the day on our helmets list. “You get what you pay for” has never been more true than with this full face helmet. From the blending of style to safety, the Shoei RF-SR is one of the best motorcycle helmets in the market. This is a premium helmet, but it’s worth the money.

Safety

Quality is never an accident. The Shoei RF-SR helmet is engineered with Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus technology (AIM+).

This Shoei helmet is made up of five fiberglass layers. It is tried and tested by Snell, and has attained the elusive M2015 certification.

The Shoei RF-SR also features an Emergency Quick Release System (EQRS). The EQRS is designed to automatically pop out the cheek pads in case of an accident. Inside the helmet is a multi-density shock absorbing liner. The EPS liner absorbs even the most micro of shocks a rider may encounter.

Ventilation

The Shoei RF-SR takes pride in its ventilation capabilities. The chin vent is the star on this hard hat. The chin vent is V-shaped at the bottom with two vents on the upper façade. A pair of vents is also conscientiously placed at the brow. The vent sliders are impressive, with the metallic cuff and click.

Towards the shield, the hard hat comes with a breath guard to direct fresh air to the rider. Remember the EPS liner? Air flows through the holes in the ship from the upper air vents.

Sizing/ Weight

The Shoei RF-SR helmet comes in six sizes. Extra-large, Large, Medium, Extra-small, and Extra-extra-large are all available for his armor. The EPS lining is scourable and antimicrobic. The XX-L helmet weighs only 1780 grams. The close to lightweight design is superb for its aerodynamics and thrust.

Noise Levels

More vents, more noise? You’re wrong! The upper and lower vents have minimal noise infiltrating through them. The cheek pads also deter a substantial amount of noise around the neck area.

Design

The Shoei RF-SR helmet is available in seven shades; Basalt Grey, Black, Matte Black, Matte Blue, Tangerine, Matte Deep Grey, and White.

2. Arai XD4 HelmetBest Motorcycle Helmets

This Arai helmet is among the best adventure motorcycle helmets. With the Arai XD4 helmet, the shield and peak are detachable. Improved aerodynamics and large cowl vents characterize this monster hard hat. The Arai XD4 helmet can be used as a motocross, adventure, or full face helmet.

Safety

The American Arai XD4 masterpiece is fully certified by Snell, as well as ECE 2015 and DOT endorsements. The helmet is lined with multi-density polystyrene liner for magnificent shock absorption. The Arai XD4 shell is engineered with a Complex Laminate Construction. The CLC is made of high-quality fibers to offer you maximum head protection.

The Emergency Quick Release System is also incorporated in the Arai XD4 hard hat for a quick abrupt response. In the SHARP helmet tests, the Arai XD4 scored 3.5/5. Not too bad for a multipurpose helmet.

Ventilation

The Arai XD4 has five vents: two brow vents and three at the chin bar. At the top, there are several vents as well. All these vents are slidable. The top and front vents are quite brittle. The chin vents are mesh-reinforced to deter fogging. The rear vents on top of the helmet refresh the helmet by exhaling the air inside the hat.

Sizing/Weight

The Arai XD4 is generally oval molded. The X-large helmet weighs 1640 grams—ideal for drag and thrust. The Arai XD4 comes in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Extra-large. The cheek and foam pads are washable and easy to dry.

Noise Levels

With more vent holes that its predecessor, the Arai XD4 has higher noise levels. Nevertheless, the amount of noise solely depends on how fast the rider is pushing as well as the prevailing wind conditions.

The Arai XD4 is not fully streamlined hence offers some drag resistance. The adjustable chin bar, however, reduces the noise up through the rider’s neck.

All in all, the Arai XD 4 helmet can be tweaked to your type of track. For a motocross/off-road experience, some level of noise will spruce up your thrust and revs.

Design

The Arai XD4 is available in four colors: Frost Black, Frost Red, Frost Orange, and Frost White. If you are after aesthetics, there are the Mesh, Desert and Route designs to select from. 

3. AGV Unisex-Adult Full Face K-1 Motorcycle HelmetBest Motorcycle Helmets

The AGV K1 Helmet is a basic sports bike helmet with immense aesthetics and a thermoplastic shell. The AGV K-1 helmet can be tweaked into a modular helmet, full face helmet or open helmet. The AGV K-1 helmet is the entry-level hard hat of the AGV racing technology.

Safety

The AGV K-1 helmet as it is made of a thermoplastic shell and scored four stars in the UK Thermoplastics rating. Engineered to a broad shield, the AGV K-1 gives you a wide-angle of vision. The face shield is fitted with an anti-fog lock for a crystal-clear view.

The inside of the AGV K-1 consists of four polystyrene liners for a great fitting on your head. The cheek pads are pulpy to cushion you in the event of an accident.

Ventilation

The AGV K-1 has five slidable vents: three on the forehead and two at the chin bar. The double rear exhaust vents exhale the air inside the hat. The AGV K-1 is one of the best motorcycle helmets with the Integrated Ventilation system (IVS). The IVS ventilates fresh air into the helmet and around the polystyrene liners. The EPS liner has four openings that duct air onto the rider’s head.

Sizing/Weight

The AGV K-1 helmet comes in six sizes: Extra-Extra-Large, Extra-Large, Medium-Large, Extra-Small, and Medium-Small. The Extra-Extra-Large hard hat weighs up to 1520 grams. It is relatively light. The thermoplastic shell much attributes to its superior drag and aerodynamics.

Sound Levels

The thermoplastic shell is exceptionally aerodynamic, thus truncating wind resistance. Reduced wind resistance, in turn, cuts down the amount of wind noise. The chin curtain at the front façade of the K-1 helmet eliminates turbulence motion, thus creating a quiet riding experience.

However, with the open face tweak on, the amounts of noise increase significantly.

Design

Black, White, and Matte Black options are available. The AGV K-1 isn’t particularly attractive, unlike some of its successors, which have a touch of glamour. The AGV K3 and K5 have a stunning graffiti theme.

4. Bell Qualifier Full face Motorcycle HelmetBell Qualifier Full face Motorcycle Helmet

The Bell Qualifier DLX is made of a polycarbonate shell with a sleek, meticulous design. The Bell DLX takes pride in its unique color schemes as well as a light-reactive shield. Not to forget, the Bell Qualifier DLX comes with a Double-D ring fastener.

Safety

A great forte of the Bell Qualifier DLX is its light-reactive shield. The shield has a natural anti-UV and anti-fog coagulant infused—no more obscurity at low temperatures. The Bell Qualifier polycarbonate hard hart has bagged in the elusive ECE and DOT recognition globally.

On Snell’s test, the Bell Qualifier lost narrowly on the side-impact tests.

Ventilation

The Bell Qualifier is exceptional when it comes to ventilation. The Bell Qualifier is equipped with a couple of vents, both the chin, brow, and top vents. What else could you ask for? The lower chin vents are slidable for the humid climates. The chin vents open into the horizontal chin bar blowing a load of air inside the hard hat.

The four brow vents gush air into the top of the helmet. The double top vents rush air into the polystyrene liner into the biker’s head. The Bell Qualifier is also crafted to four exhaust vents at the rear of the helmet. These exhaust vents serve to exhale the dense air inside the helmet. The exhaust vents are also mesh-covered.

Sizing/Weight

The Bell Qualifier comes in seven size variants: XXX-Large, XX-Large, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. Bell Qualifier’s EPS Liner is also washable and moisture-wicking. The XX-Large weighs 1596 grams.

Noise Levels

The Bell Qualifier helmet is a bit noisy due to the open top and rear exhaust vents. On the flipside, the cheek pads and the taper mitigate the noise across the lower part of the helmet. Towing along some earplugs will do the magic for you on this helmet.

Design

The Bell Qualifier helmet outshines all other helmets you could think of on matters aura. The 13 hues in the market are a bang. The Flare Gloss Black/Red, Flare Matte Black/Grey, Honor Matte Titanium, Integrity Matte Black, Orange Camo, Raid Matte Black, Gold Flake, Stealth Camo Matte Black, Solid Black, and the Stealth Camo Matte White simply define the Bell Qualifier’s theme.

5. GLX Unisex-Adult GX11 Motorcycle HelmetGLX Unisex-Adult GX11 Motorcycle Helmet

GLX has proven to be a hard nut to crack on its rivals, the Arai and Shoei helmets. The GLX GX11 helmet is very pocket friendly and when it comes to performance, it rivals the best in the market.

Safety

This is a very safe helmet. The GLX GX11 offers a lot of great safety features, and has Snell and DOT certifications. The GLX GX11 shell is made of polycarbonate. The polystyrene liner (EPS) on the inner of the helmet provides superb shock absorption. The GLX GX11 helmet also incorporates the Emergency Quick Response System for a better accident reaction.

Ventilation

The GLX GX11 is fully armored on the top with vents. The top vents ventilate the rider’s head furnishing a cooling effect. With these top vents, forget about sweating on your skull. There are two pairs of exhaust vents at the rear façade of the GLX GX11 hard hat. These exhaust vents exhale the dense air on the inside of the EPS liner.

The cheek padding also permits some air into the inside of the helmet. This padding is fully washable and moisture-wicking.

Sizing/Weight

The GLX GX 11 is available four sizes: Large, Medium, Small, and X-Large. The GLX GX11 weighs, on average, 1587 grams.

Sound Levels

The GLX GX11 is prone to noise through the exhaust vents, owing to the fact that the rear vents are not lockable. However, the GLX GX11 has an inflated face shield that blocks substantial noise from infiltrating into the rider’s ears. The face shield is fog and scratch-resistant.

Design

The GLX GX11 is currently available in Matte Black shade. Much detail has been paid to the paint quality. That matte finish is impressive.

How to Choose a Motorcycle Helmet

When choosing the best motorcycle helmets, attention to detail matters. Deciding on the ideal helmet for your head has always been an uphill task. There are several factors that you need to pay attention to when buying a motorcycle helmet.

What type of helmet do you need?

The six main types of helmets are: Full faced, Modular (flip-up chin bar), Half shell, Open-Faced, Off-road, and Dual-Sport helmets.

A full-face helmet shields the whole head and features a fixed chin bar to protect your jaw.

An open face helmet leaves your face open. They cover the sides, top, and back of your head. Open face helmets are deprived of the chin bar. Scooter riders often open-face helmets.

The modular helmet is a hybrid of the full and free face helmets. The visor and the chin bar can flip up, opening the front.

The half shell helmet (or half helmet) only shields the forehead and the top part of your head. With these helmets, you are assured of excellent airflow.

Off-road helmets are engineered for dirt use i.e., motocross and dirt bikes.

Dual Sport helmets are a hybrid of full face and off-road helmets. Examples include the ADV, Enduro, and Crossover. Akin to the off-road helmet, the dual-sport offers a large visor but enhanced padding on the interior.

Safety Features

Before buying a helmet, acquaint yourself with its safety ratings and certifications, if any. Snell, DOT, and ECE rated helmets offer more excellent protection to your head and chin. Rated helmets are often expensive, but guarantee you ultimate safety.

The material forming the helmet’s shell also contributes to its safety performance. Is the shell made of fiber or polycarbonate? A hard shell is desired to provide maximum protection. The best motorcycle helmets are often safety certified by Snell or ECE.

Cost of Motorcycle Helmets

The cost of a helmet solely depends on its materials and design. Should buying a helmet leave a big hole in your pocket? No! There are affordable yet high-quality helmets you can choose from.

The price of the helmet also depends on its size. X-Large and XX-Large helmets are often dearer. For a harder shell and better interior fabric, you’ll need to invest more.

Ventilation

There’s nothing as unpleasant as riding in a stuffy helmet. When selecting a helmet, scrutinize the type of vents available thoroughly. Does the helmet have top, brow, and rear exhaust vents? If so, proceed and get your hands on it. Probe thoroughly on the vents, especially the top vents. Some designers just fix aesthetic vents that run nowhere.

A visor that can be rolled up a few inches comes in handy in ventilating you as you ride.

Size and Fitting

You don’t need an under-sized helmet just to save a few bucks. A helmet should fit on your head precisely, with minimal coercion. To get the right fit for your head, measure the circumference on your head, and find a suitable match. An over-sized helmet could be lethal in the case of an accident. The cheek pads and chin bar will not optimally protect you from fracture.

An extra-taut helmet, on the other hand, imposes undue pressure on your skull. Therefore, it’s best to fit out the different helmets at the store before making a purchase.

Usage

What will you use the helmet for? Is it riding for leisure? Track racing? Dirt riding? For bike racing purposes, you might need to consider a full face crash helmet. The full face helmets are often padded and made up of hard outer shells. For leisure riding, the open face helmets will do the magic. As you cruise around, you’ll need to enjoy nature’s beauty as well as some relaxing air, hence the need for the open face helmets.

Helmet Addons

If you are going the open helmet way, look out for the three pushbuttons. These three buttons at the front aid in hooking up a visor at a later time. Peruse through for other features such as Bluetooth compatibility, microphone hookup, dash camera slot, and pin-lock peaks.

In case you need to wear earplugs, survey for a helmet with a recessed façade around the ears. A cap clasp is also vital to deter your cap from blowing off. You should also audit whether the inner EPS liner and cheek pads are washable and moisture-wicking.

Helmet Weight

A lightweight helmet favors aerodynamics such as thrust, drag, and lift. A helmet should not impose a substantial loading on your head. You should be able to move your head optimally with zero strain. The scantiest of the shift of gravity would have lethal effects on your spine and cervical vertebrae.

Helmet Interior

What material is the interior of the helmet made from? A good helmet should be padded with a washable liner. The EPS liner and cheek pads should also wick moisture. The helmet’s interior ought to be comfortable and relaxing to the skull.

The top vents should also be waterproof. The fastener type should never create strain around your neck.

Warranty and Aesthetics

Any helmet should have an agreement that spells out the terms and conditions of aftersales service in case of malfunction. When dissecting the warranty, be keen to scrutinize the scope and maintenance policy.

Matters color, bright helmets make more sales due to ease of visibility at night. Themed helmets are more expensive than their ugly twins.

Conclusion

Helmets not only provide safety to your skull but also protect you from excessive wind. Burn rubber, not your soul. We hope you found the perfect product for you in this roundup of the best motorcycle helmets. Before purchasing a helmet, scrutinize it meticulously against the above checklist. Safety comes first!

(Contributed post for our North American readers)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

HJC makes first retro flip-up helmet

The retro helmet fad has boomed in recent years, but this HJC V90 with bubble visor is the first we have seen in a modular or flip-up helmet.

These vintage-style helmets are usually worn by touring riders (and many BMW riders!) who are more interested in the flexibility of the practical design than in fashion or style.

That’s why most come in solid colours.

So does this. It is available in solid white, grey or black only.HJC vintage retro flip-up modular V90 helmet

The modular helmet costs €319 (about $A520) but there is no word yet on availability here.

Flip-up chin barHJC vintage retro flip-up modular V90 helmet

HJC say the flip-up chin bar can be secured in the up position.

We don’t know if this means it was certified that way, but if it was, then you should be able to legally ride with the flip-up front open. Otherwise, it is illegal, even though many police officers ride with the front up!

Since it’s modular, it is practical and unlike many other retro helmet designs, it includes large air vents front and back.HJC vintage retro flip-up modular V90 helmet

Apart from retro styling and the practicality of the flip-up chin bar other features include an integrated anti-fog sunvisor, fibreglass composite shell, removable and washable cheek and forehead pads, plus Silvercool “moisture-wicking” liners with anti-bacterial fabric.

It is also suitable for the Smart HJC integrated bluetooth communication system.

Like all HJC helmets it comes with a five-year warranty which is the usable life of a helmet anyway.

The V90 comes in sizes XS (53-54cm) to XXL (63-64cm) with just two shell sizes covering the six sizes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aldi confirms annual motorcycle gear sale

Aldi Australia has confirmed its annual motorcycle gear sale will return, but has not yet named a date nor confirmed whether the pandemic will delay the sale.

The sale is usually held on one of the first Saturday’s in August, but was pushed back to the end of the month in 2019.

An Aldi Australia spokesperson says their motorcycle Special Buy theme “continues to return every year as a result of its popularity and following from motorcycle enthusiasts, who are after quality gear for great prices”.

“Like with all our products, we continue to improve our range by making necessary changes,” they say.

They would not confirm a date nor say whether the pandemic would cause a delay.

We will publish the sale date and list of products and prices as soon as it is available.

Sticky situation

Aldi helmets Ray SchrieverRay with the sticky helmet

It follows a recent claim by Sydney rider Ray Schriever that the silver paint on Aldi helmets he bought in 2015 had crazed and become sticky, despite limited use.

“The helmet was sticky all over. I took it to the sink and gave it a wash but the sticky mess just congealed or balled up,” he says.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

The Aldi Australia spokesperson says:

Before 2016, a different type of paint was used on the motorcycle helmets and after listening to our customers feedback we learnt that the helmet would sometimes become sticky if stored in damp conditions for a long period of time. As a result we worked with our business partner to improve the paint and the new formula was introduced in 2016. The safety of the helmet has never been impacted, the sticky surface was an aesthetic fault only. It does not damage the shell, the EPS liner or the structure of the helmet. Our helmets come with a 12-month warranty.

We do not suggest this paint issue would also affect helmet integrity in the event of a crash.

However, we do note that most helmet manufacturers recommend you replace your helmet after five years of regular use, anyway.

In Ray’s case, the helmets had not had regular use.

Aldi claims all its rider gear meets proper safety standards.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

More pressure on American helmet laws

Despite the US introducing helmet laws more than half a century ago, only 19 American states require all riders to wear helmets and now Missouri may relax their helmet laws.

A large proposed transportation bill before government includes a provision to allow riders aged 26 or more to ride without a helmet so long as they have medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility.

It is not the first time the bill has been attempted.

Missouri voted in May 2019 to repeal its helmet laws.

Governor Mike Parson vetoed the Bill in July 2019, but only because of a provision to confiscate licences of people who don’t pay fines for minor traffic offences.

The Governor had no qualms with allowing riders over 18 to decide whether they want to wear a helmet or not.

In fact, Parson supported repealing the helmet rule as a legislator.

Missouri is not the only American state considering a reversal of helmet laws. There have been several in recent years including Nebraska which last year finally rejected the idea.

American laws

crash accident helmet Sturgis insurance claim

US helmet laws were introduced in 1966 when the feds withheld 10% of states highway construction funds unless they introduced certain safety regulations, including helmet laws.

Within a decade, 47 states had complied.

But in 1975, Congress amended the Highway Safety Act to prevent the use of federal highway funding as leverage against states.

Despite evidence of helmets protecting riders form death and severe head injury, 28 states have repealed their helmet laws with more likely to follow.

It seems strange to Australian riders since we were the first nation in the world to make helmets compulsory in 1961.

Most American states introduced compulsory helmet laws in 1967, but there is a growing movement toward “more freedom” for riders with a strong civil liberties lobby actively fighting the laws.

In recent years, states such as Michigan have relaxed their helmet laws and the latest to consider the move is Tennessee, despite the overwhelming evidence that helmets save lives.

Safety

As Dudley (William H Macy) tells Woody (John Travolta) in “Wild Hogs”: “62 per cent of all motorcycle fatalities could be prevented with the use of an approved DOT helmet.”

Liberal helmet lawsWild Hogs

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for every 100 motorcyclists killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 could have been saved had they worn helmets.

Yet, the use of motorcycle helmets in the US continues to decline to about half from 71% in 2000.

So the temptation when you visit America is to try some of that freedom for yourself.

I must admit to having tried it a few times, usually at slow speeds around town, but on one occasion at the speed limit on an Indiana highway.

While I felt very vulnerable, I have to admit it was absolutely exhilarating … but also deafening.

The wind in your hair is one thing, but the wind in your ears is another.

It also blows your hat off! I’m surprised Billy in Easy Rider could ride without getting his cowboy hat blown off.

Liberal helmet lawsMotorbike Writer in Indiana

State laws

When you are again able to fly to the United States, maybe for Daytona Bike Week in March or the Sturgis Rally in August, don’t get too excited about not wearing a motorcycle helmet.

As soon as you get off the plane in California, you will have to wear a helmet to ride. In fact, 20 states, mainly on the west and east coasts of the US, have compulsory helmet laws.

American states with motorcycle helmet laws for all riders are: Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Only three states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire) have no helmet use law.

The remaining 28 states have varying laws requiring minors to wear a motorcycle helmet while six of those states require adult riders to have $10,000 in insurance and wear a helmet in their first year of riding.

About half the states also allow you to ride a low-powered motorcycle such as a 50cc bike or scooter without a helmet.

State Riders Required To Have Helmets
Alabama All riders
Alaska 17 and younger
Arizona 17 and younger
Arkansas 20 and younger
California All riders
Colorado 17 and younger and passengers 17 and younger
Connecticut 17 and younger
Delaware 18 and younger
District of Columbia All riders
Florida 20 and younger
Georgia All riders
Hawaii 17 and younger
Idaho 17 and younger
Illinois No law
Indiana 17 and younger
Iowa No law
Kansas 17 and younger
Kentucky 20 and younger
Louisiana All riders
Maine 17 and younger
Maryland All riders
Massachusetts All riders
Michigan 20 and younger
Minnesota 17 and younger
Mississippi All riders
Missouri All riders
Montana 17 and younger
Nebraska All riders
Nevada All riders
New Hampshire No law
New Jersey All riders
New Mexico 17 and younger
New York All riders
North Carolina All riders
North Dakota 17 and younger
Ohio 17 and younger
Oklahoma 17 and younger
Oregon All riders
Pennsylvania 20 and younger
Rhode Island 20 and younger
South Carolina 20 and younger
South Dakota 17 and younger
Tennessee All riders
Texas 20 and younger
Utah 17 and younger
Vermont All riders
Virginia All riders
Washington All riders
West Virginia All riders
Wisconsin 17 and younger
Wyoming 17 and younger

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Would you buy a Chinese-made helmet?

Would you wear a Chinese-made helmet, jacket, gloves, or motorcycle, in the wake of the escalating trade war with Australia?

The Communist Party of China has imposed hefty tariffs and threatened other measures on some Australian exports after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus outbreak.

When we published a recent article about the CFMoto FC1250J, the biggest capacity bike to come out of China, it was met by uproar from readers saying they would never buy products made in China.

CFMoto CF1250J police bikeCFMoto CF1250J police bike

Comments included:

I feel sorry for the importers of Chinese products in the future because the Chinese Government have shown their contempt for Australia which has fired up our patriotism to buy local, or from any other country except China or not at all.

Even if this were the world’s greatest motorcycle (which I doubt it is), after learning how Australia has been treated by China in recent days, I would rather roll on my balls before supporting Chinese manufacturing. Let’s get our onshore manufacturing started again and make a real effort to self sufficiency. In the mean time, support Australian made.No Chinese products for me after there political bullying and deception

One might have considered it before China decided to be an arsehole. I would rather walk than buy anything from them.

Yet Michael Poynton, director of Australian importer Mojo Motorcycles, says they have “not experienced any backlash”.

He says CFMoto sales have actually increased over the first four months of 2020.

Chinese components

The fact is, most motorcycles have some Chinese components and most motorcycle accessories and rider gear such as jackets and helmets are made in China. Even established European brands get much of their gear made in China.

Check the labels in your gear and see where it is made. You may be surprised.

So good luck trying to impose your own personal trade ban on China.

And while Australia suffers from the Chinese-imposed trade war, the US has just announced that Chinese motorcycle helmets would be exempt from recent traffic hikes.

American icon Harley-Davidson is also set to begin production in China of a range of smaller-capacity bikes, unless the new boss changes plans.

Harley's 338cc bike to be made by Qianjiang Motorcycle barenuckleHarley’s 338cc bike to be made by Qianjiang Motorcycle

Even the first Australian full-size electric motorcycle, the Savic, will have parts made in China.

Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturers are ripping off motorcycle designs for their own markets.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aldi helmets ‘age disgracefully’

Aldi claims the gear they offer in their annual motorcycle gear sale is safe, but one Sydney reader says at least silver Aldi helmets don’t age well.

Ray Schriever bought a stack of helmets from Aldi in 2015 and all the silver paint has now crazed and become sticky, despite limited use.

We contacted Aldi for comment but have not yet received a reply. This article will be updated if/when they reply.

Ray says he bought a few spare helmets in various sizes and kept them in their bags in the garage for visiting friends.

Aldi helmetsAldi helmets Ray Schriever

He bought three silver/grey Aldi helmets – two full-faced and one open-faced — plus two black open-faced Aldi helmets.

“Having recently built a sidecar I thought I might go for a tootle with one of the open-faced helmets,” Ray says.

“To my surprise I had a devil of a time getting it out of the bag.

“The helmet was sticky all over. I took it to the sink and gave it a wash but the sticky mess just congealed or balled up.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“I sprayed the helmet with isopropyl alcohol and it stated to remove the sticky coating with a fair bit of elbow grease.

“I soon realised that I was also removing the outer coating of paint on the helmet. That definitely shouldn’t be happening.”

Ray then checked his other helmets and found the same issue with all those with silver paint.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“All of my helmets (eight in all) share the same shelf in my garage so it isn’t an environmental issue as other brands and other colours are not affected, including my ancient RJays helmet that sits there unused and uncovered,” Ray says.

“The full-face helmets are untouched but sticky on both the grey section and the patterned sections of the helmet.

“The difference between the layers of paint can be clearly seen on the open-faced grey helmet.

“The top layer dissolves in either isopropyl alcohol or methylated spirits. Both are alcohol bases and shouldn’t affect cured paint.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“Pretty disappointing really. Never had anything like this right back to pudding basin days.

“Would have expected these barely used helmets to last instead of self destruct.”

Helmet safety

We do not suggest this paint issue would also affect helmet integrity in the event of a crash.

However, we do note that most helmet manufacturers recommend you replace your helmet after five years of use.

In this case, the helmets have not had regular use.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Are race replica helmets still a thing?

With the absence of racing due to the pandemic lockdown and the waning of sportsbike popularity we wonder how many riders are still keen on race replica helmets.

They used to be very popular, but we haven’t seen as many in recent years.

Some riders wear them to announce their allegiance to a particular rider or motorcycle team while others simply want to look like a racer.

Most of these helmets are not made to the exact standard as worn by the racers, but are mass-produced cheap versions.

Some don’t even have the exact graphics and sponsor stickers.

Yet riders will pay more for the privilege of wearing them.

Italian helmet company AGV is known for its range of race replicas, in particular for nine-time world champ Italian Valentino Rossi.

Australian importer Link International has announced a “40 foot container” of AGV helmets has just arrived including two new race replicas.

AGV K3 race replica helmetAGV Valentino Rossi Race Replica K3 helmet

The latest addition to the K3 SV range is a tribute to Rossi.

It features “VR 46” on each side, Rossi’s initials and racing number in the customary fluoro yellow plus a black base and bright blue highlights.

The AGV K3 SV is an affordable version of the Pista GP RR and Corsa R helmets and even includes a similar aerodynamic rear spoiler to reduce wind turbulence at high track speeds.

Actually these spoilers are common on many sports helmets these days and the aero effect really only occurs at seeds above about 20km/h, so they are of no use at all on our roads.

A standard solid-colour K3 costs $349, while a multi-coloured helmet is $369 and the exact same helmet in frame replica graphics is $399.

K1 Mir race replica helmetAGV Joan Mir K1 Race Replica helmet

AGV also has a K1 Mir helmet in race replica helmet in honour of Moto3 2017 world champion Joan Mir (above) of Spain.

We can’t imagine too many Aussie riders inspired to honour the Spaniard.

However, they may be attracted by the helmet’s attractive camo design with its sharp lines and black, white, silver and grey along with bright, bold fluoro yellow highlights.

Also, the sponsor names, race number and other graphics have been deleted, so it doesn’t look like the usual race replica.

However, you will pay extra for it at $349, compared with $279 for solid colours and $299 for multi-colours.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com