Monday, November 4, 2013

New Skid Lid

When I started riding a motorcycle back in 2007, I was in my 5th decade of life.  I wished to prolong that as best I could, so I made sure I had the proper protective gear.  I never ride without a full leather suit, motorcycle-specific gloves and boots, and a full-face helmet.

I even wore one to the MSF beginner class I took: 

I wore this used helmet for a few weeks until I bought the new one.  It is now relegated to being a photo frame in my office.

Since my noggin a very important part of me, I looked over the reviews carefully when I bought my first helmet and found that the Scorpion EXO-700 was highly rated and reasonably priced.  I went to the local dealer and tried one on for fit.  I wore it for about 20 minutes n the store to make sure there were no pressure points.  I got some odd looks from other customers, but that is the penalty you pay to make sure you are not buying something that won't fit properly.  I decided that it was fine, so I made the purchase.

I bought light silver color because it matches well the silver on the bike, and blends with my usual riding suit colors.  

That lid now has almost 40,000 miles on it, over a little more than six years and some 536 rides.

By the way, that Fieldsheer suit was an early purchase in the quest to learn to ride a motorcycle.  I actually bought it at a pawn shop more than ten (!) years before I got a motorcycle.

What can I say?  It was a really good deal.  It was just luck that the motorcycle I bought was silver to match it. 

[How do you know all those statistics you quoted above, Bucky?]

I'm afraid I am compulsive about keeping track of when and where I ride and how far.  In fact, I can also tell you that the average ride length is 74 miles, and I have put in about 6500 miles per year, since the beginning.  That includes a lot of short jaunts to work and back, and usually just one longer ride on the weekends.  An advantage of keeping track of all this data is that I can look back and refresh my feeble memory on whether a route was a good one, what there is to see there, and whether I wrote (or might write) about it on these pages. It also helps when I am out riding to remember where any future tag game pictures were taken. 

Practical, eh? 

Now, back to the gear discussion.

They say that a helmet should be replaced when it is between five and seven years old.  Certainly the soft foam comfort padding inside deteriorates, so that is one reason to chuck it.  And it can get kind of nasty from all the sweat, even though you can remove and wash it in the Scorpion.  Indeed, my helmet had a new set of foam installed under warranty when it was three years old.  The covering over the foam had become cracked and was peeling off.  The denser protective foam is also said to deteriorate.  I don't want to find out whether it has done so by putting it to a test, so I sally forth to find a replacement helmet.

The old:

These days, my shopping is in large part on the Internet, though I almost always look locally too. 

There are so many helmet manufacturers and models to pick from, and the prices range from bargain-basement $59.95 to hundreds of dollars.  I think my head is worth more than 60 bucks, so I look a little higher. 

So, what did I pick for the replacement?  See for yourself.  Here is a picture of the new helmet in its box: 

Scorpion EXO-700! 

They give you this pretty bag to protect it:

[OK, Bucky, don't tell me...]

And here is a side-by-side photo of my old and new helmets.

[C'mon, let's see it!]

OK.  Here it is:

Yes, I admit it.  I bought the identical helmet.  Bike Bandit had them on sale for $102, so I decided to buy another one before they phase them out.  

That eye staring out of half of the face shield is intended to demonstrate its fog-proof coating.

It doesn't really work when it is cold outside.  The only thing I have found that really works to keep the shield and your glasses from fogging is the Foggy Respro neoprene insert that covers your nose and mouth.  It attaches to the inside of the helmet with Velcro.

I put my new helmet on my head to test the fit, and immediately notice the difference between it and my old helmet.  This one is TIGHT.  Has my head swelled up in just six years?

No, my original was tight too when I first got it.  In fact, if you watch your face and scalp through the face shield opening while you move the helmet, the skin should follow the helmet.  Like this.  If it doesn't, then the helmet may be too big.  You don't want it moving around. 

I hope this one gives me another 40,000 miles of safe use, and so I can continue to look snazzy with my color-coordinated look.

 [Makes us all goose bumps, Bucky.  ...NOT.]

Ride safe and wear ATGATT.


1 comment:

Chiller tek said...

So what your saying is that your head is worth more than $60 but less than $110 bucks.

My helmet cost near on $1000 cause frankly I think my head is worth more than 100 bucks.