what’s that on your head?

Ah, helmets. Little in motorcycling is so simple and so controversial. A tricky subject, depending on your audience. Down here in the get-the-guvment-outta-my-business South, there is a large and vocal group of riders (mostly cruiser enthusiasts, and mostly Harley-riders) who believe that wearing safety equipment should be a choice. A decision left to the adult rider to make. I understand their position. And I choose to give my brain – my precious, most valuable body part- and my face (which I kinda like), the best chance they’ve got to stick with me should the worst happen. But that’s not what this post is about. Really. We’ll have that discussion another day.

This post is about my new helmet! I don’t claim to be a gear expert – not by a long shot. But I do know what I like, and I’ve chosen to share my opinions here.  🙂

Me riding
Me riding

A good helmet is an investment. Yes, you can spend $20 on a brain bucket, but I think I’ve established that I value this thing attached to my neck a bit more that that. But funny; I won’t spend $700 on one either! I think marketing, plus fancy graphics (read: ugly) drive the cost of most in that range. Anyway, something in the $350 area works for me. I plan to take care of it and with luck it will last me several years. I’m really getting better about not dropping it or risking a fall by perching it precariously. My last helmet was a much-loved Shoei  TZ-1 that has seen its share of miles since I purchased it in 2004. But like so many things, you never know what you were missing until you get an upgrade (right Beyonce?) I went to a retail shop and spent about an hour trying on different manufacturers and models.03-300_1_lg I decide that Shoei still seems to do me right. And compared to my old model, the RF-1000 is downright luxurious! The vents actually work for moving air in all the right places, over and under your head. And- here’s a genius idea – there are spaces for my ears. I realize how crazy this is now, but my last helmet didn’t! After hours of riding my ears would be red and sore from being pressed against my head, and it hurt to wear earplugs. No longer! If I could wiggle my ears, I’d have room to do it. The freedom is amazing. I think I could even wear my earbuds if I wanted , but I never do – a little freaked that I won’t hear something important, or maybe I just don’t want to distract my thoughts. So even though this helmet is just a smidgen too big overall, and the chin strap is way too long, I am loving it. It would be super if helmets came in a wider range of sizes, but I’ve worked around retail long enough to understand SKU rationalization. All in all, I recommend this helmet, and urge you to protect what you value.

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