When You Skid on Your Lid

or Why Everyone Should Wear Full Face Helmets

Update- 9/11/2008: I am living proof after dropping the R on Highway 20 near Spavinaw. The top of my Arai helmet looks like a shotgun victim. I survived the incident with nothing more than scrapes and bruises. And about 6 hours of lost memory.
Nothing lights up a room like a discussion over motorcycle helmet laws. But the argument is a non-starter for me because I always wear a helmet. I’ve ridden motorcycles long enough to realize that falling off of one is inevitable. I’ve also been damn glad I was wearing a helmet when the inevitable happened.

Full Face Helmet with Road RashOccasionally I might ride “nude” for a short test ride– when I’m working on my bike or tuning it. It’s an odd feeling to me. Even at only 30 mph a bug in the forehead smarts. I always pull back into the driveway thinking, “How the hell do people do that at highways speeds?!?”

As long as I’ve ridden street bikes I’ve always worn full-face helmets. The wisdom of that was driven home recently when I came across an article by Jeff Dean (also source of the accompanying photo). That rider wearing the above helmet came away in one piece. In fact, he continued the ride home that day. Most likely wearing a helmet.

The article also features an interesting graphic [pdf] showing the most common location of major impact on riders’ helmets. 35% strike the area protecting your nose and chin. Think about that the next time you strap on a half-helmet.

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