From Road Rash to Safe Slides: The Importance of Motorcycle Safety Gear

From Road Rash to Safe Slides: The Importance of Motorcycle Safety Gear

The Choice: Sweat or Bleed – The Unspoken Truth About Motorcycle Safety Gear

The choice between sweating a little in protective gear or bleeding on the asphalt is a no-brainer. Yet, many riders still debate the necessity of motorcycle safety gear. Let’s dive into the world of motorcycle safety and understand why protective gear is not just a choice but a lifesaver.

The Miraculous Recovery of Racers

Image of a  High speed motorcycle racing on an enclosed track

We’ve all seen it – a motorcycle racer takes a nasty spill during a high-speed race, only to bounce back up, rush to their bike, and rejoin the race as if nothing happened. It’s nothing short of miraculous. 

But what’s their secret? It’s not some superhuman ability; it’s their protective gear.


Helmets: The First Line of Defense

Stylized cinematic image of a motorcycle rider wearing a full-face helmet, showcasing its protective features.

Every rider knows the importance of a helmet. Why? Because wearing the right helmet is all about protecting the most vital part of your body. Helmets are designed to absorb the impact and reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries.

Whether you prefer full-face, open-face, or half helmets, ensuring it fits correctly and meets safety standards is crucial.


The Gruesome Reality of Road Rash

An infographic showing the different degrees of road rash, from mild to severe with text that reads "Road Rash Mild to Severe"

Imagine sliding across the rough asphalt at high speeds. Your mind is racing. A “few scratches” is the last thing you’re thinking about, right? Maybe it is, or maybe it’s the only thing you can think about as you slide and tumble and feel the flesh rip away against the rough asphalt.

The True Dangers of Road Rash

Without protective gear, the road acts like a relentless cheese grater against the skin. Road rash isn’t just a few scratches or a minor inconvenience; it can range from a superficial rug burn-like injury to a severe third-degree wound that demands immediate medical attention and has a high risk of infection.

Make no mistake. Road Rash is a kind of personal injury after a motorcycle wreck that should not be ignored, downplayed, or underestimated.

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Dressing for the Season – and Safety

A side-by-side comparison of regular jeans and Kevlar jeans after a drag test.

As the chilly winds of fall approach, riders often bundle up to keep warm. But this seasonal attire can serve a dual purpose: warmth and protection. Why not ensure that our gear, whether for warmth or style, also offers the best protection against potential accidents?

In a revealing material drag test here’s how various forms of leg protection stood up:

  1. Regular jeans gave way in less than 4 feet at 35 mph. 
  2. Kevlar jeans lasted a commendable 22 feet at the same speed.
  3. Heavy leathers lasted a whopping 86 feet at 35 mph. 

It’s often said that “ya get what ya pay for,” but these numbers alone should make the case for investing in quality protective gear.

“What makes Kevlar so effective?”

Though it may be known for bulletproof vests, most people don’t realize just how versatile Kevlar is. Kevlar, a synthetic fiber developed by DuPont in the 1960s, has become synonymous with high-strength and protective applications, from bulletproof vests to motorcycle gear.

Top 8 reasons Kevlar is effective:
  1. High Tensile Strength: Kevlar’s tensile strength, which is the measure of how much pulling (or tension) a material can withstand without breaking, is about five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis. This means that Kevlar can absorb and dissipate energy from impacts or abrasions very effectively.
  2. Lightweight: Despite its strength, Kevlar is lightweight. This combination of strength and low weight makes it ideal for protective clothing, allowing wearers to remain agile.
  3. Thermal Stability: Kevlar doesn’t melt or start to get soft. It can withstand temperatures up to about 450°C (842°F) before it begins to degrade, making it resistant to heat and flame.
  4. Chemical Resistance: Kevlar is chemically stable and is resistant to many harsh chemicals, solvents, and oils. This property ensures that its strength and integrity are maintained even in challenging environments.
  5. Low Elongation at Break: This means that Kevlar doesn’t stretch much before breaking. In the context of protective gear, this ensures that the material doesn’t deform easily upon impact, providing consistent protection.
  6. Woven Structure: When used in protective gear, Kevlar is often woven into a fabric. This woven structure provides a network of fibers that can spread out the force of an impact, reducing the risk of penetration or abrasion.
  7. Layering: In many protective applications, multiple layers of Kevlar are used to enhance its protective capabilities. The layers can move against each other, further dissipating the energy of an impact.
  8. Durability: Kevlar fibers are resistant to wear, tear, and age, ensuring that products made from them have a long lifespan.

Kevlar’s properties make it particularly effective at preventing road rash. When a rider falls, the abrasion resistance of Kevlar can prevent the asphalt from reaching the skin, while its high tensile strength can reduce the risk of the gear tearing upon impact.


Kevlar Jeans vs. Heavy Leathers: An Unbiased Comparative Look at Motorcycle Protection

Image of a man wearing leathers on a motorcycle with Kevlar in the background

When it comes to motorcycle safety gear, riders often find themselves choosing between Kevlar jeans and heavy leathers. Both offer protection, but they come with distinct advantages and considerations. Let’s break down the benefits and differences of each:

Kevlar Jeans:

  • Lightweight and Comfortable: Kevlar jeans provide a more casual and comfortable fit compared to heavy leathers. They’re designed to look and feel like regular jeans, making them suitable for everyday wear.
  • Abrasion Resistance: Kevlar, a synthetic fiber, is known for its high tensile strength. When woven into jeans, it offers impressive abrasion resistance, protecting the skin during slides.
  • Versatility: Kevlar jeans are versatile and can be worn in various settings, not just while riding. They’re ideal for riders who want protection without changing outfits after reaching their destination.
  • Breathability: These jeans tend to be more breathable than heavy leathers, making them a preferred choice in warmer climates.

Heavy Leathers:

  • Superior Protection: Heavy leathers offer unmatched protection against abrasions, cuts, and impacts. They’ve been the go-to choice for professional racers for decades.
  • Durability: Leather is naturally tough and can withstand repeated wear and tear. With proper care, leather gear can last for years.
  • Weather Resistance: Leather provides a natural barrier against wind and light rain, making it suitable for rides in varying weather conditions.
  • Fit and Form: Heavy leathers, especially those designed for racing, often come with a snug fit, reducing the risk of the material bunching up and causing discomfort or reduced protection during a slide.

While both Kevlar jeans and heavy leathers offer protection for riders, the choice often boils down to the rider’s specific needs and preferences. For everyday commuting and a more casual look, Kevlar jeans are an excellent choice. However, for those seeking maximum protection, especially during high-speed rides or on tracks, heavy leathers remain the gold standard.

Regardless of the choice, ensuring the gear fits correctly and is worn consistently is key to maximizing safety, and either choice is better than shorts!


Beating the Heat with the Right Gear

A biker wearing a mesh textile jacket, with a focus on the breathable fabric and body armor.

One common gripe among riders is the heat associated with safety gear, especially during the scorching summer months. But here’s the catch: not all protective gear is sweltering.

Mesh textile jackets with body armor (as seen above), for instance, can be cooler than a basic sleeveless t-shirt. The key is airflow. Once you stop, shedding the jacket can prevent overheating.

For those who find chaps or riding pants too stifling, products like the CoolAir Mesh Bohn armored pants offer a breezy alternative. Designed to be worn under jeans, they provide crucial protection without the heat.


Visibility Matters: Shine Bright on the Road

A biker wearing a jacket with reflective stripes, visible in low light.

Safety isn’t just about protection from impact; it’s also about being seen. Especially during night rides, rain, or foggy conditions, reflective patches or stripes on your gear can make a world of difference. They ensure that other motorists spot you from a distance, reducing the chances of accidents.

Chosing the right reflective gear for night rides can be nearly as important as making sure you have a great working headlight on your bike.


Protecting the Extremities

A close-up of a biker's hands gripping the handlebars, showcasing heavy leather gloves with reinforced knuckles.

Your hands and feet are especially vulnerable in a crash. Investing in gloves and boots with adequate padding can make a world of difference. From heavy leather options to lighter variants for warmer weather, there’s a glove for every rider and every condition.


“How often should I replace my safety gear?”

Two motorcycle helmets side-by-side. The one on the left is old and worn, the second on the right is new with updated safety features.

Just like your motorcycle, your gear also needs regular checks and maintenance. Cleaning your helmet visor ensures clear visibility. Checking for wear and tear, especially in protective padding, ensures they provide maximum protection. And remember, if a piece of gear has been through an accident, it might be time to replace it, even if it looks okay. Safety gear is designed to absorb impact, and its protective qualities might be compromised after a crash.

Remember, if a piece of gear has been through an accident, it might be time to replace it, even if it looks okay.

The Price of Safety vs. The Cost of Neglect

Yes, quality protective gear can be pricey. But when you weigh the costs – pain, medical bills, potential loss of income, and the sheer trauma of an accident – that price suddenly seems trivial. As the old saying goes, “It’s better to sweat than to bleed.” So, the next time you gear up for a ride, remember: your safety is in your hands. Choose wisely.


Your Safety Net After the Ride

Image of The Biker Lawyers standing by their motorcycles

Accidents happen, even to the most cautious and geared-up riders. If you or someone you know has been injured while riding, don’t navigate the aftermath alone. The Biker Lawyers are here to support and guide you. We understand the unique challenges bikers face and are committed to ensuring you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us be your road to recovery.

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The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

The 2023 Comprehensive Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Helmets

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, but safety should always be a top priority. One of the most crucial safety gear for riders is the motorcycle helmet. Let’s dive deep into the world of motorcycle helmets and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Required or Not: Motorcycle Helmet Laws by State (as of 2023)

A graphic of the united states with text reading "Helmet Laws By State"

Each state has its own set of laws regarding helmet usage. While some states mandate helmets for all riders, others require them only for specific age groups or under certain conditions. Always check your state’s regulations before hitting the road.

Here is a breakdown of current Motorcycle helmet laws by state, according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

State Helmet Law
Alabama All riders are required to wear helmets.
Alaska Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Arizona Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Arkansas Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
California All riders are required to wear helmets.
Colorado Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Connecticut Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Delaware 18 and younger and passengers 18 and younger; novice riders and their passengers for the first two years after endorsement.
Florida Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Georgia All riders are required to wear helmets.
Hawaii Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Idaho Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Illinois No helmet law.
Indiana Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Iowa No helmet law.
Kansas Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Kentucky Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Louisiana All riders are required to wear helmets.
Maine Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Maryland All riders are required to wear helmets.
Massachusetts All riders are required to wear helmets.
Michigan Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Minnesota Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Mississippi All riders are required to wear helmets.
Missouri Riders 25 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Montana Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Nebraska 20 and younger are required to wear helmets. In Nebraska,  riders 21 and older will not be required to wear a helmet as long as they have completed a basic certification course provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (effective 01/01/2024).
Nevada All riders are required to wear helmets.
New Hampshire No helmet law.
New Jersey All riders are required to wear helmets.
New Mexico Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
New York All riders are required to wear helmets.
North Carolina All riders are required to wear helmets.
North Dakota Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Ohio Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Oklahoma Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Oregon All riders are required to wear helmets.
Pennsylvania Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Rhode Island Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
South Carolina Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
South Dakota Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Tennessee All riders are required to wear helmets.
Texas Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Utah Riders 20 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Vermont All riders are required to wear helmets.
Virginia All riders are required to wear helmets.
Washington All riders are required to wear helmets.
West Virginia All riders are required to wear helmets.
Wisconsin Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets.
Wyoming Riders 17 and younger are required to wear helmets. Helmets are mandatory for mopeds defined by the state as having an engine displacement of 50 cc or less, brake horsepower of 2 or less, and maximum speeds of 30 mph.

You may notice that Iowa is one of very few states with no helmet law. This is thanks in large part to organizations like ABATE who fight for the rights and interests of bikers everywhere. The Biker Lawyers are proud members of ABATE and highly recommend you check out this awesome brotherhood!

It’s important to note that while these laws provide a general guideline, there might be specific conditions or exceptions in each state, and laws may change over time.

Always refer to the state’s official regulations or consult with a local attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


Motorcycle Helmet Safety

Image of a man on a motorcycle at an intersection.

Safety should always be the top priority when choosing a helmet. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the safety aspects:

Certifications 

Helmets undergo testing to meet specific safety standards. The most common certifications are DOT (Department of Transportation), ECE (Economic Commission for Europe), and Snell. Each certification has its testing criteria, but all ensure a helmet provides adequate protection.

Material and Construction

Helmets are typically made from polycarbonate, fiberglass composite, or carbon fiber. Each material offers different levels of protection, weight, and comfort. Multi-layered EPS (expanded polystyrene) liners inside the helmet absorb impact during a crash.

Full-Face vs. Open-Face

image of an open-faced and closed faced helmet with a graphic including letters "vs"

Full-face helmets offer the most protection as they cover the entire head, including the face and jawline. Open-face or half helmets might be more comfortable for some, but they provide less protection.

Retention System

The chin strap keeps the helmet securely on the head. It should be easy to fasten and unfasten, and when secured, the helmet should not move around on the head.

Visor and Face Shield

A good visor or face shield protects the rider from wind, debris, and UV rays. Anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings can enhance visibility in various conditions.

Regular Inspection

Helmets should be inspected regularly for signs of wear, damage, or degradation. The interior padding can compress over time, and the outer shell might get scratched or chipped. Any visible damage is a sign that it’s time for a replacement.

Post-Accident Replacement

Even if there’s no visible damage after an accident, the helmet’s structural integrity might be compromised. It’s always safer to replace a helmet after a significant impact.

Safety is paramount, and while style and comfort are essential, they should never compromise protection. Always prioritize safety features when choosing a helmet and ride with confidence, knowing you’re well-protected.


Motorcycle Helmet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Close up image of a motorcycle helmet on the ground

What are the Disadvantages of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?

To be fair, wearing a helmet has undeniable safety advantages but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. While the advantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet far outweigh the disadvantages, it’s important to consider all factors when deciding if wearing a helmet is right for you. Here are some commonly cited disadvantages of wearing a motorcycle helmet:

  1. Restricted Peripheral Vision: Some riders feel that helmets, especially full-face varieties, can restrict their peripheral vision. This limitation can potentially make it harder to see vehicles or obstacles on the side.
  2. Reduced Hearing: Helmets can muffle sounds, making it harder for riders to hear certain noises from the surroundings, such as horns, sirens, or other vehicles.
  3. Weight: Helmets, especially those made of robust materials, can be heavy. Wearing them for extended periods might cause neck or shoulder strain for some riders.
  4. Heat and Discomfort: In hot climates, wearing a helmet can become uncomfortable due to the accumulation of heat. Even with ventilation systems, a helmet can cause sweating and discomfort during long rides in the sun.
  5. Cost: Quality helmets with advanced safety features can be expensive. For riders on a budget, this can be a significant consideration.
  6. False Sense of Security: Some riders might feel invincible with a helmet on and might indulge in riskier behavior, thinking they’re fully protected. This mindset can be dangerous as helmets are just one aspect of overall road safety.
  7. Communication Difficulties: Conversing with fellow riders at stops or signals can be challenging with a full-face helmet, requiring riders to lift the visor or the entire helmet.
  8. Potential for Fogging: In colder or humid conditions, the visor of a helmet can fog up, reducing visibility. While many modern helmets come with anti-fogging features, it’s still a concern for some riders.

All this said it would be irresponsible of us to not remind you that despite these disadvantages, the safety benefits far outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to wearing a helmet. 

But hey man, in the end, it’s your choice. That’s what freedom is all about!

What are the Benefits of a Half Helmet for Motorcycle Riders?

open-faced motorcycle helmet with goggles sits on the back of a motorcycle

Half helmets, often referred to as “brain buckets,” cover the top of the head. They offer better visibility and more airflow, making them popular in hotter climates. However, they provide less protection compared to full-face helmets.

What are the Best Motorcycle Helmets for Beginners?

close up image of a motorcycle helmet with an open visor

For beginners, venturing into the world of motorcycling can be both thrilling and daunting. One of the first and most crucial decisions a new rider will make is selecting the right helmet. A helmet is not just about protection; it’s about comfort, visibility, and enhancing the overall riding experience.

Here’s a deeper dive into choosing the best helmets for those just starting out:

  • Fit and Comfort: A helmet should fit snugly without causing discomfort. A loose helmet can shift during a ride, obstructing vision and reducing protection. Many brands offer different shell sizes and interior padding options to ensure a perfect fit.
  • Visibility: For beginners, a clear field of vision is essential. Helmets with wide eye ports offer better peripheral vision, helping new riders be more aware of their surroundings.
  • Ventilation: Proper airflow is crucial, especially during longer rides or in warmer climates. Look for helmets with adjustable vents, allowing riders to regulate airflow based on weather conditions.
  • Safety Standards: Ensure the helmet meets or exceeds safety standards like DOT, ECE, or Snell. These certifications indicate that the helmet has undergone rigorous testing.
  • Ease of Use: Features like quick-release straps and integrated sun visors can make the riding experience more enjoyable for beginners.
  • Price: While it’s tempting to go for the most expensive helmet, beginners should look for a balance between cost, comfort, and safety. Brands like HJC, Bell, and Shoei offer helmets that are both affordable and reliable.
  • Reviews and Recommendations: Before making a purchase, beginners should read reviews, ask fellow riders for recommendations, and visit local shops to try on different models.

Remember, the best helmet for one rider might not be the best for another. It’s essential to find a helmet that suits individual needs and preferences.

Is a Motorcycle Helmet Still Safe to Use After an Accident?

close up image of a white helmet at a motorcycle crash scene

No. Even if there’s no visible damage, the helmet’s integrity might be compromised. 

Helmets are designed to absorb impact by dispersing and cushioning the force throughout the helmet’s structure. 

Once a helmet has been subjected to a significant force, such as in a crash, its ability to provide the same level of protection is diminished. The materials inside, especially the EPS liner, are meant for one-time use; they compress upon impact to reduce the force before it reaches the head. 

If the helmet hit anything during the accident, it’s probably best to replace it. Even a mild crash can cause unseen micro-damage, reducing the helmet’s protective capabilities in future impacts. It’s always better to be safe than sorry; your life and well-being are worth more than the cost of a new helmet.

Are Full-Face Motorcycle Helmets Safer?

Absolutely. Full-face helmets stand out as the top choice for riders prioritizing safety. They envelop the entire head, including the face, chin, and neck areas, which are notably susceptible during accidents. 

The continuous shell around the head and face that full-face helmets provide also shields riders from environmental nuisances like wind, rain, debris, and pesky insects. 

While the allure of open-face or half helmets might appeal to some for their style or breezy feel, when it boils down to sheer protective capability, full-face helmets reign supreme.

Is it More Safe to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet or Not Wear One?

Smaller image of Ginger Jansen on a Harley Davidson

The answer is clear-cut: strapping on a helmet is always the safer route.

Helmets are meticulously crafted to absorb and distribute the brunt of an impact, drastically slashing the risk of severe head traumas or fatalities. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are about 37% effective in warding off fatal injuries to motorcycle enthusiasts. 

Riding without that protective layer leaves one exposed to direct, unforgiving impacts, potentially leading to traumatic brain injuries or worse. 

Beyond the life-saving crash protection, helmets also serve as a barrier against the elements, elevating the overall riding experience. The decision to wear a helmet can spell the difference between a minor scrape and a catastrophic injury.

What Speed Are Motorcycle Helmets Rated For?

Image of a man riding a motorcycle on an empty highway

It might surprise some to learn that most motorcycle helmets undergo impact tests simulating speeds around 13-14 mph. 

While this might seem modest given the velocities motorcycles can reach, it’s pivotal to grasp that these tests mirror the average speed a rider’s head would strike the ground in real-world mishaps, not the motorcycle’s cruising speed. 

In a plethora of accidents, even if the bike is zooming at highway speeds, factors like sliding, tumbling, or the bike’s deceleration can temper the actual head impact speed. With that in mind, it’s always wise to champion safety and steer clear of reckless speeds.

Helmets offer a formidable line of defense, but they aren’t magic barriers. Adopting a responsible riding approach maximizes the protective prowess of any helmet.

Are Expensive Motorcycle Helmets Worth It?

a shelf with four motorcycle helmets for sale

When it comes to helmets, the age-old adage “you get what you pay for” often rings true. 

Pricier helmets tend to offer enhanced comfort, superior ventilation, and cutting-edge features. They might also boast advanced materials and construction techniques that can provide better protection. 

However, it’s crucial to remember that safety standards, such as DOT or ECE, remain consistent across various price points. So, while a high-end helmet might offer additional comforts and features, many mid-range helmets still provide excellent protection.

Should I Buy a Pre-owned Motorcycle Helmet?

two shelves showcasing an extensive motorcycle helmet collection.

Regarding pre-owned helmets: while snagging a deal might be tempting, helmets are one piece of gear you should always buy new. The reason is simple. Even if a used helmet looks pristine, you can’t be certain of its history. It might have been involved in an accident or dropped, which could compromise its structural integrity. Plus, the interior padding of helmets, designed to provide a snug fit, conforms to the shape of the original wearer’s head over time.

A used helmet might not offer the same level of comfort or protection as a new one tailored to your head shape.

Are Most Motorcycle Helmets One Size Fits All?

image of a man and woman strapping on motorcycle helmets

Definitely not. Just as every individual is unique, so is the shape and size of their head. Helmets come in a variety of sizes, from XS to XXL, and many brands even offer different shell sizes and interior padding options to ensure an optimal fit. 

A proper fit is paramount for safety; a helmet that’s too loose or too tight can be a distraction and might not provide the best protection in an accident.

If you’re purchasing your first helmet, visiting a brick-and-mortar store can be invaluable.

three shelves with rows of motorcycle helmets for sale

 Local motorcycle shops or specialty helmet retailers often have knowledgeable salespeople who can guide you through the fitting process. They’ll measure your head, recommend sizes, and let you try on different models. This hands-on approach ensures you get a helmet that fits perfectly, which might be challenging when ordering online without prior experience.

How Does the Sun Visor Work in a Motorcycle Helmet?

Image of a man riding a motorcycle

Integrated sun visors in motorcycle helmets are a game-changer for many riders. These visors can be flipped down to shield the eyes from bright sunlight, eliminating the need for sunglasses and making transitions from light to dark areas smoother.

But beyond mere shading, many of these visors offer UV protection. On average, quality sun visors in helmets can block out up to 99% of harmful UV rays, safeguarding your eyes from potential damage and reducing eye strain during sun-drenched rides.

When shopping for a helmet with a sun visor, it’s a good idea to check the UV protection rating to ensure you’re getting the best protection possible.

How Does it Feel to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?

Image of a person on a motorcycle at an intersection looking at the camera as if it were another motorist

Slipping on a motorcycle helmet for the first time can be a unique experience. A well-fitted helmet should feel snug around your head, with even pressure distributed throughout, but without any uncomfortable tight spots. The top of the helmet’s eye port should sit just above your eyebrows. 

As you wear it, you’ll notice a reduction in ambient noise and a sense of enclosure. This feeling of being “cocooned” can be reassuring for many, knowing that they’re shielded from potential hazards.

Does it Feel Good to Wear a Full-Sized Motorcycle Helmet?

Full-sized or full-face helmets, while offering the utmost protection, do come with a distinct feel. 

The comprehensive coverage can initially feel a tad claustrophobic to some, especially those transitioning from open-face or half helmets. However, many riders grow to appreciate the serene environment it offers, shielding them from wind blast, noise, and debris.

Over time, as riders get accustomed to the sensation, the benefits of enhanced safety and comfort usually outweigh any initial reservations.

Is it Hot to Wear a Full-Face Motorbike Helmet?

close-up image of a motorcycle rider wearing a helmet

Full-face helmets, due to their comprehensive coverage, can feel warmer than their open-face counterparts. However, advancements in helmet design have led to improved ventilation systems.

Modern full-face helmets come equipped with multiple vents that channel fresh air in and expel hot air out, creating a cooling effect. While they might feel a bit warm when stationary, especially in hot weather, the airflow while riding usually keeps the rider reasonably comfortable.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Get Sweaty?

Yes, especially during warmer days or intense rides, helmets can get sweaty inside. However, modern helmets are designed with this in mind. They often feature moisture-wicking liners that pull sweat away from the skin, keeping you relatively dry.

Additionally, advanced ventilation systems allow for airflow, helping to evaporate sweat and keep the rider cool. For those who ride in particularly hot climates, it might be worth investing in helmets with superior ventilation or removable and washable liners.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Block Sound?

Image of several bikers riding motorcycles- each controlling the space around them

Helmets are designed to reduce certain types of noise, primarily wind noise. A good helmet can significantly cut down on the roar of the wind rushing past, offering a quieter ride.

However, they won’t block out essential sounds like sirens, horns, or the engine’s roar. Some riders, especially those on longer rides or high-speed journeys, opt to wear earplugs to further reduce noise levels, ensuring they can still hear crucial sounds while protecting their hearing.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Loosen Up?

nearly grayscale image of a man riding a motorcycle down a highway

Over time and with regular use, the interior padding of a helmet can compress slightly, leading to a looser fit. This is a natural process as the materials conform to the shape of the rider’s head.

However, a helmet should never become too loose. If it starts to shift or rotate easily while on your head, it’s a sign that you might need a replacement or at least new interior padding. Regularly checking the fit and ensuring it remains snug is crucial for safety.

Is it Hard to Breathe in a Motorcycle Helmet?

For the uninitiated, the notion of a full-face helmet might conjure up concerns about breathability. However, modern helmet designs prioritize the rider’s comfort and safety.

  • Ventilation Systems: Most helmets come equipped with a series of vents, especially around the mouth and nose area. These allow for a steady flow of air, ensuring that the rider can breathe comfortably.
  • Anti-Fogging Features: To combat the issue of visors fogging up due to breath, many helmets have anti-fog treatments or pin-lock systems. This ensures clear vision without compromising breathability.
  • Adjustable Features: Some helmets have adjustable chin curtains or breath guards, allowing riders to customize the airflow based on their comfort.

While it might take a ride or two to get accustomed, most riders find that breathing in a full-face helmet is no more challenging than in any other type.

What is the Most Comfortable Motorcycle Helmet?

close up image of an open visor helmet

Comfort is subjective and can vary from rider to rider. For this reason, it’s a good idea to know exactly what to look in terms of comfort for when choosing the right helmet.

Four Common Factors to Consider for Helmet Comfort

1. Fit 

A helmet that fits well, neither too tight nor too loose, is paramount. It should hug the head without causing pressure points.

2. Lining and Padding 

Helmets with plush, moisture-wicking liners tend to be more comfortable, especially on longer rides. Some helmets even offer customizable padding systems for a tailored fit.

3. Weight

Lighter helmets reduce strain on the neck and shoulders, enhancing comfort during extended rides.

4. Ventilation

A well-ventilated helmet can make a world of difference, especially in warmer climates.

Brands like Shoei, Arai, and Schuberth often receive high marks for comfort, but it’s always a good idea to try on several models to determine the best fit for your unique head shape and preferences.

What Do You Do with Old Motorcycle Helmets?

Image of an old motorcycle helmet that should not be worn

Once a helmet has reached the end of its life, whether due to age, wear, or an accident, it’s essential to retire it responsibly. Here are four solid suggestions:

  1. Recycle: Some areas offer recycling programs for helmets. The outer shell, EPS liner, and other components can sometimes be processed separately.
  2. Donate: Some organizations accept old helmets for display, educational, or artistic purposes. They might use them in crash demonstrations or for art projects.
  3. Repurpose: Get creative! Turn your old helmet into a planter, lamp, or any other DIY project.
  4. Dispose: If you can’t find a recycling or donation option, ensure you dispose of your helmet properly. It’s a good idea to cut the straps off to ensure it doesn’t get reused unsafely.

Remember, an old helmet should never be sold or given away for riding purposes. Its protective capabilities are likely compromised, and it could be dangerous for a new rider.

Should You Customize a Motorcycle Helmet with Bluetooth Audio and Accessories?

motorcycle helmet with a set of bull horns attached to the sides

It’s essential to avoid any alterations that might compromise the helmet’s structural integrity, such as drilling holes. Instead, opt for accessories specifically designed for motorcycle helmets. In the world of biking, safety and functionality should always ride hand in hand.

Customizing a motorcycle helmet with Bluetooth audio and other accessories has become increasingly popular among riders, and it’s easy to see why. Bluetooth systems have revolutionized on-road communication, allowing riders to seamlessly connect with fellow bikers. 

This is especially beneficial during group rides, where coordination and communication can enhance the overall experience. Beyond just chatting, these systems provide the added advantage of real-time navigation instructions, eliminating the need to frequently stop and check maps.

Beyond Practical Application: More Benefits of Helmet Customization

Of course, we can’t forget to mention the entertainment value.

Long rides can sometimes become monotonous, but with Bluetooth audio, you can immerse yourself in your favorite tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination. This fusion of technology and riding brings a modern twist to the age-old thrill of motorcycling.

However, while the allure of customization is strong, safety should always be at the forefront of any modifications. If you choose to customize your helmet, you should be cautious to ensure that your enhancements don’t undermine the helmet’s primary function: protection.

In Conclusion

image of a motorcycle crash scene with a helmet

Motorcycle helmets are a rider’s best friend, offering protection and enhancing the overall riding experience. Remember, safety first! And if you ever find yourself injured in an accident, don’t hesitate. Contact The Biker Lawyers for expert guidance and support.

How to Avoid Crashing a Motorcycle

How to Avoid Crashing a Motorcycle

Top 10 Rules of the Road: Avoiding Motorcycle Crashes Like a Pro

On two wheels, safety isn’t just important, it’s everything. For that very reason, we’ve crafted a list of the top 10 lifesaving rules to keep you upright on your ride. These aren’t rocket science but following them religiously can significantly trim down the chances of a nasty surprise. This is how to avoid crashing a motorcycle.

Here’s a quick rundown of the tips. Once you check it out, keep scrolling for a bit more about our logic for each.

1. The Cardinal Rule: Always Be on Alert

Image from the perspective of a motorcyclist demonstrating alert perceptions while riding

Think every driver out there is out to get you. Assume that they’re going to make a wrong move that could put you in harm’s way. That guy cruising towards the intersection? Expect a sudden left turn. That woman at the crossroads? Be ready for her to bolt just as you get there. Speaking of Intersections…

Image of motorcyclists demonstrating how to safely cross an intersection

2. Beware the Intersection

Intersections are like the Wild West of roads. They’re unpredictable. Even if you don’t see any cars, slow down. Remember, preparedness is key, and it’s easier to respond to surprises when you’re not blazing through like a comet.

Image of a frightened driver with a focus on his eyes.

3. Don’t Trust the Eyes

It might look like a driver has locked eyes with you, but here’s the truth: they’re often looking right past you. You’re on two wheels, they’re scanning for four. You’re practically invisible to them.

Image of a car turning in an intersection.

4. Trust the Wheels

The wheels, though, they don’t lie. A driver’s eyes might deceive you, but the wheels give it away. If they twitch, you twitch and prepare for them to burst into your path.

Image of a motorcyclist surrounded by cars with the potential to turn into a "lethal-Left" situation

5. Prepare for the Lethal Left

Always assume the oncoming car is going to make a sudden left turn right in front of you. Ease off the gas, hover over the brakes, and be ready for some fast action.

Image of a motorcycle that has crashed.

6. Find a Shield

Whenever possible, go through intersections with another vehicle beside you. It’s not foolproof, but if someone’s gonna run a red light, better they hit your metal buddy than you.

Close-up image of tire tread

7. Check Your Ride

Give your tires a once-over before you roll out. Badly inflated tires can cause serious trouble at high speed, and you don’t want a blowout on the open road.

Image of several bikers riding motorcycles- each controlling the space around them

8. Control Your Space

If someone’s tailgating you, wave them back. If they don’t take the hint, pull over and let them speed away. They’re a hazard you don’t need.

Image of a person on a motorcycle at an intersection looking at the camera as if it were another motorist

9. Create Your Buffer

If a car passes you and pulls in too close, ease back and re-establish your safety zone. You need space to react if something suddenly appears in your path.

Image of Pete Leehey and Dan Matzdorff demonstrating proper distancing while riding a motorcycle

10. Keep Your Distance

Don’t tailgate. Keep a solid three-second safety buffer between you and the traffic ahead. You want space to react, not a windshield for a face mask.

Wrap Up

These are the rules of the road, the biker’s bible for staying safe out there. But hey, we’re all human, and stuff happens. If you ever find yourself in a scrape, get medical help pronto, and once that’s taken care of, reach out to pro motorcycle accident attorneys like Pete Leehey and Dan Matzdorff. They’ve been there, done that, and can guide you on what to do next.Call to action Image- A motorcycle riding down a highway with text encouraging the viewer to call The Biker Lawyers for a free consultation

20 Motorcyclist Tips for 2023

20 Motorcyclist Tips for 2023

20 Motorcyclist Tips for 2023

Posted on January 9, 2023 at 11:11 AM by The Biker Lawyers

20 things every motorcyclist should know before hitting the road

Introduction

Motorcycling is an exhilarating and liberating way to travel, but it’s important to remember that your safety should always be the top priority. This article is dedicated to providing you with the best advice on how to stay safe while riding your motorcycle in 2023.

Whether you’re a new or experienced rider, you’ll find some useful tips here on wearing the right protective gear, obeying traffic laws, and still having fun.

Keep reading to learn more about how to stay safe and enjoy your ride.

1. Wear appropriate protective gear.

Yes, when we say wear appropriate protective gear, that means including a helmet, gloves, eye protection, leather or heavy-duty textile jacket and pants, and boots that cover your ankles.

Gear Matters. Use a high-quality motorcycle helmet that fits properly and meets current safety standards. Use eye protection as well as face protection when riding at night or in inclement weather. Wear long pants to protect your skin from road rash in the event of a fall.

2. Learn and obey traffic laws and regulations.

Motorcyclists should always know and obey the traffic laws and regulations of the road before hitting the highway. As a biker, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road, including speed limits, right-of-way laws, and helmet laws.

Obeying traffic laws and regulations is essential for keeping both you and other drivers safe on the road.

3. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings, including other vehicles and pedestrians.

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.

To ensure you stay safe while on the road, it’s important to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings, including other vehicles and pedestrians. Always look both ways before crossing an intersection, and be sure to give yourself plenty of space when passing other vehicles. Try to anticipate the actions of others on the road, and be aware of any blind spots or areas of limited visibility.

If you’re riding in a group, be sure to communicate with the other riders and maintain a safe distance between motorcycles. By being aware of your environment and staying alert, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.

4 Familiarize yourself with your motorcycle and its controls.

It is essential for all motorcyclists to familiarize themselves with their motorcycles and their controls before hitting the road. Knowing how your motorcycle operates and how to use the brakes, throttle, and the clutch is vital for a safe and enjoyable ride.

Veteran Road Warrior Tip:

“Ensure you have a “heel kick” up-shift arm on shifter. Most often, your winter weather footwear will not fit under the “toe lift” of shifter. I recommend this vs. removing shifter and adjusting for footwear.”

-Richard Brockmeyer via Facebook

Uneven road surfaces can cause your motorcycle to wobble and can be dangerous

5. Reduce speed in adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, and snow.

Riding a motorcycle in adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, and snow can be dangerous and should be avoided if possible. However, if it can’t be avoided, it is essential that motorcyclists reduce their speed while riding in these conditions. Lower visibility, wet roads, and slick surfaces can make it difficult to control your bike and can increase the risk of an accident.

To reduce the risk of an accident, motorcyclists should reduce their speed and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Additionally, they should consider wearing rain gear and other protective gear to stay safe and dry. Taking the necessary precautions can help you stay safe and enjoy your ride even in the worst weather conditions.

6. Increase the distance between you and other vehicles.

Motorcyclists should always remember that they are at a higher risk of being involved in an accident and should drive defensively. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and therefore harder for other drivers to see. Because bikers have less protection from impact, they may suffer serious injuries from even minor accidents.

7. Maintain a safe following distance when riding in a group.

It is important for motorcyclists to maintain a safe following distance when riding in a group. This ensures that all riders have enough time to react to any unexpected hazards or changes in the road. Following too closely can cause an accident if the rider in front has to suddenly brake, and the rider behind does not have enough time to respond.

When riding in a group, it is best to leave at least three seconds between each bike. If riding in a staggered formation, the bikes traveling closest to the centerline should have a three-second gap between them. The bikes in the fog line lane should follow this same rule.

The gaps between the bikes near the center line and near the fog line should have at least 1.5 seconds between them. This way, each rider has enough time to react to any changes on the road and can feel safe and secure.

8. Avoid lane splitting when in traffic.

Lane splitting, or riding between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, is an incredibly dangerous practice for motorcyclists.

Not only is it illegal in most states, but it can also be dangerous for other drivers and yourself. It is much safer to stay in your designated lane and drive in the same direction as the flow of traffic. Motorcyclists should be aware of the laws in their state and always ride responsibly and safely.

Additionally, lane splitting can be especially dangerous if it is done too quickly, so it is important to maintain a safe speed and distance when riding in traffic.

9. Be aware of uneven road surfaces and potholes.

As you ride, be sure to keep watch for uneven road surfaces and potholes. Uneven road surfaces can cause your motorcycle to wobble and can be dangerouswhile potholes can cause you to lose control of your motorcycle.

Both of these road hazards can be difficult to spot while riding, so it is important to be extra vigilant while looking out for them. Be prepared to take evasive action and slow down if you do notice them. Also, be sure to check the road surface ahead and to the sides of you before changing lanes or taking a corner.

10. Anticipate other drivers’ actions and be prepared to take evasive action.

Call it riding with your head on a swivel, call it cautious driving. Whatever you call it, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to always practice defensive driving. This means being aware of other drivers on the road, watching for potential obstacles, and anticipating the actions of other drivers.

11. Use your signals and be courteous to other drivers.

Before hitting the road, especially if you are a new rider, make sure to brush up on the basics like signaling when turning and changing lanes.

Being courteous to other drivers should also be a priority, as a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than a car driver. For instance, if you see a car trying to make a left turn in front of you, don’t speed up to get in front of them (a great way to learn about the “Lethal Left” the wrong way).

Instead, slow down and give them plenty of space to make the turn safely. By using your signals and being courteous to other drivers, you can help to ensure a safe ride for everyone. Also, and we know we mentioned this before but it is worth repeating, watch for pedestrians.

12. Be prepared to take evasive action if necessary, such as riding in a zigzag pattern or braking hard.

Motorcyclists should always be aware of their surroundings and know how to respond if a situation arises that requires evasive action. This might include riding in a zigzag pattern to throw off a tailgater, or braking hard in order to avoid hitting an obstacle.

It’s also important to know how to maneuver your motorcycle in a tight space and be able to quickly shift your weight in order to make quick turns. Being prepared to take evasive action can help you to avoid an accident and keep you safe on the road.

13. Inspect your motorcycle before each ride and check the brakes, lights, tires, and fluid levels.

Motorcycling is a great way to explore the world and get a sense of freedom, but it is important for riders to remember that safety should always be their priority. It’s good to do a deep dive inspection of your bike at the beginning and end of riding season, but before each ride, take a few minutes to inspect your motorcycle and check the brakes, lights, tires, and fluid levels.

This is key to making sure your motorcycle is in top condition and that you are prepared for the ride ahead.

Click below for a FREE Motorcyle Check-up Checklist!

Make sure to check the tire pressure, oil levels, and brake fluid, and also look for any signs of wear or tear that could cause a problem on the road. Additionally, ensure that all lights are working properly and that your brakes are in good condition. Taking the time to properly inspect your motorcycle before each ride will help you stay safe and enjoy your time on the road.

14. Don’t drink and ride.

Motorcycle riders should never drink and ride. Alcohol impairs the rider’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making it extremely dangerous for anyone to operate a motorcycle after drinking.

Even a small amount of alcohol can increase the chances of an accident, and the consequences of such an accident are often severe. Not only can you be charged with a DUI, but you can also face serious physical injuries, fines, and even jail time. Always remember to never drink and ride, and to always ride responsibly.

15. Don’t ride when you’re fatigued and don’t ride if you’re feeling ill or taking medication that could impair your judgment or coordination.

Always be sure to ride with a clear and alert mind. Don’t hit the road if you’re feeling fatigued or if you’re taking any medications that can impair your judgment or coordination. Make sure you get plenty of rest before getting on your bike and take regular breaks during long rides. Following these basic rules will help ensure you’re fit to ride and that you stay safe on the roads.

16. Make sure you have good insurance including UM/UIM.

No biker should ever hit the road without having quality insurance coverage. It’s important to make sure you have insurance that covers you in the event of an accident, including Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.

UM/UIM coverage helps to protect you if you are hit by a driver who either has no insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the full extent of the damages. Without this coverage, you could be stuck with a hefty bill if you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your motorcycle before you hit the road.

17. Keep your motorcycle in good condition and service it regularly.

Motorcyclists should always keep their bikes in good condition, especially before a ride. Regular maintenance and servicing is essential to ensure your safety and the performance of your motorcycle.

Inspect your brakes, tires, lights, and oil level before every ride. It’s also important to check the chain and sprockets for wear and tear, as well as any loose nuts or bolts. Additionally, be sure to check the fluid levels in your engine, and replace them when needed.

Regularly servicing your bike is the key to keeping it running smoothly and safely. If you don’t feel comfortable doing the maintenance yourself, don’t hesitate to take it to a professional. Taking the proper steps to ensure the safety of your bike will help you enjoy your ride for many years to come.

18. Know the local laws and regulations in the areas you plan to ride.

Before hitting the road on your motorcycle, it’s important to know the local laws and regulations in the areas you plan to ride.

Depending on your location, traffic laws and regulations may vary. Be sure to familiarize yourself with motorcycle regulations and traffic laws, as well as any other specific requirements you may encounter. Make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as a valid license, registration, and insurance.

Also, ensure that your motorcycle is in good condition and that you have the proper safety gear and equipment. Following the local regulations and laws can help you stay safe and avoid any legal issues.

19. Never ride beyond your capabilities.

Motorcyclists should never ride beyond their capabilities. No matter how experienced you are, it is always important to stay within your skillset and abilities when riding on the road.

Riding beyond your capabilities can lead to dangerous situations and even catastrophic accidents. Before hitting the road, always practice your skills and make sure you are comfortable with the bike and the environment you plan to ride in.

It is also important to understand the limits of the motorcycle and to never exceed them. Responsible riders always keep safety in mind and make sure they are riding in a safe and controlled manner.

20. Have fun and enjoy the ride!

Riding a motorcycle is one of the most exhilarating forms of transportation. Before you hit the open road, make sure to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.

Be sure to review your bike’s owner’s manual and always wear a helmet and other protective gear. Additionally, be sure to check the weather and road conditions before you leave and be sure to know the rules of the road.

Conclusion

With these basic safety measures taken care of, you can relax and enjoy the ride. Cruise down the highway and take in the fresh air and beautiful scenery. Whether you’re out for a short ride or a long journey, remember to keep your eyes open, your head of a swivel, and have fun!

 

This article was brought to you by the personal injury lawyers at The Biker Lawyers, PC.

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