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Chilly’s Blog – Fashionistas Trump Safety
Have A $25 Dollar Head?
This idea has been on my mind awhile, when I saw the link below, I decided I just had to chime in.
I am sure many of you remember the old Bell(?) helmet advertisement. The message says that if you value your noggin, you should wear a helmet that protects it properly. I can hardly remember a more lasting advertising icon. It was such a great ad campaign, it became a part of our lexicon. Decades later riders still refer to the tag line.
Is there anything more common sense than protecting your head? 40 years ago full face helmets were still just making their mark on motorcycling. It would be a few more years before dirt bikers accepted it. With the Bell Moto III, full face became all the rage and most of the long time hold outs became converts. Certainly we are all collectively better off for it. There is little doubt of the safety improvement. The last die hard that I knew was Fred Hoess, wearing his trademark Scott facemask until the FIM mandated full face of everyone.
But, kids these days, you know how it is. Even when old enough to know better, they still make poor decisions. Lately I have cringed looking at the moto journalists playing the ultimate posers as they test the new breed of “scramblers”. Few things say “I have no idea what I am doing” more than the current trend to make a street bike into a scrambler by adding a funny exhaust and some randomly grooved tires intended to resemble knobbies.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t really about the bikes, but the choice of seemingly mandatory attire that goes with them.
For testing these bikes, somehow the notion that old school open face helmets and a pair of goggles are the du jour fashion statement for moto journalists. Safety and common sense be damned, we gotta make it look good for the photos! As the guardians of hip, we have to be on the cutting edge of fashion. Well I am declaring shenanigans on the whole lot of you.
Oddly enough I am giving a shout out to MotoUSA as being both the cause and the cautionary tale of how this could all go wrong. The link is to a follow up of editor Bryan Harley’s post crash gear evaluation. It is sort of fluffy, more anecdotal than analytic. Still, it is the kind of reminder that we all need to refresh ourselves on regularly.
As I tell my tour clients all the time, nothing you can do on a motorcycle will impress me more than simply keeping it upright.
The crash review seems to gloss over one huge point for me. Looking at the scratched rim of the open face helmet, I can’t help but think how close the impact was to the face. It is a point the editor refers to almost as a circumstance beyond ones control.