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Discussion Starter #1
This topic has probably come up before too, but as I'm trying to get rid of the dreaded newbie label I"m reaching for straws.

I use a Shoei open face helmet. Stripped the stickers and painted a diagonal tire track on it with Krylon. Never lock it up and it will never be stolen. I wear glasses, so it's much less hassle.

Back in the olden days (there's those words again - almost as bad as "The Old Corps") I wore full face Arai and screwed with the glasses and anti-fogging gimmicks. That helmet ate it on a high side after a tank slapper (talk about tank dents - the stops both broke) on a Bonneville. Ground a hole through the shell to the styrofoam.

As I see it, the big advantage of a F/F is protection of the chin and jaw. There might be a weather advantage, in that rain probably doesn't migrate all over by going around the shield, too.

And the advantage of O/F is that it seldom fogs, is easy-on, easy-off, will never be stolen, costs less, and 3-snap flip up shields cost less. Usually I carry a flat 5-snap shield for real rain.

Another subtle advantage is that with the screen up, my face is clearly visible. Thus the babes can either swoon or continue to march, eliminating the wasted time and effort of pulling off an all-concealing lid to facilitate their swooning/marching. (Hmmm - "marching babes." There's a visual for you.)

In addition to that Arai, I've had to replace three or four other helmets over the years because of accident damage, but have never had anything happen to my chin or jaw. Never even close. The hit is usually high and on a side.

OK, open face helmets are only popular with the geriatric curiser/tourer brigade - the same folks that wear visors and golf shirts. But as an iconoclast, that isn't enough for me to eliminate them from consideration.

Anyone else here admit to function over form? No, that's a loaded question. Anyone else here use O/F.

-Don
 

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I have an open faced Davida Speedster, gloss black&silver, with aviator goggles. I'd say I split my time evenly between it and my full-face Arai.
 

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In addition to that Arai, I've had to replace three or four other helmets over the years because of accident damage, but have never had anything happen to my chin or jaw. Never even close. The hit is usually high and on a side.

OK, open face helmets are only popular with the geriatric curiser/tourer brigade - the same folks that wear visors and golf shirts. But as an iconoclast, that isn't enough for me to eliminate them from consideration.

Anyone else here admit to function over form? No, that's a loaded question. Anyone else here use O/F.
To my mind, the FF helmet is another one of those deals where you're making a significant change (and taking on some inconvenience) to reduce the already-very-small possibility that something incredibly horrible could happen to you. A square hit or a long slide on one's chin/jaw, however unlikely, would be excruciatingly painful and (probably) severely disfiguring. It's yet another one of those deals where each person has to decide for him/herself just exactly how risk-averse they feel, and act accordingly.

Personally, I feel nervous wearing an OF helmet in a car; I won't do it on a bike. But that's just me :)

M.
 
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For the sake of safety you want the most protection that's available FULL FACE is it...............
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ray,

If it were all about safety, we'd all drive SUVs, not ride bikes.

I do wear full leathers on the long rides, another safety thing. But I don't wear them commuting to work or riding downtown for coffee. I take the risk, balance the upside with the downside, and just wear the jacket.

Most people these days, either conciously or unconsiously, decide that the benefit of full face helmets outweight the inconveniences. Maybe some simply don't know what the options are. I've stopped several times looking for the once ubiquitous 3-snap flip shields and been told the bike shop doesn't even carry open faced helmets. (The usual best solution is to stop at a Harley dealer, because helmet state or not, that's where open face helmets still get sold. And Harley dealers always have billboards and are located just off the road.)

-Don
 

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Speaking of swooning/marching: I know a female rider who's used O/F all her life. Unfortunately, it shows. Dry air at 60 mph is not good, and I'm sure the sun and bugs don't help. Now on a man, that's sort of a good thing, gives you a Clint-Eastwood quality. On a woman, it's bad, bad all around. She now resembles the crazy aunt I never had.

Rene Carlos
 

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We wouldn't drive SUVs, we'd drive Volvos. SUVs don't dent so much, but they roll over a lot, and kill more of their drivers because of it. I wouldn't want to be caught saying something nice about SUVs on the road, especially when its probably not true. :mad: In any case, you're right, we don't ride bikes because they're the safest way to get around ...
 

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Don - To be a little scientific about your question (or maybe a little anal retentive) we did a survey of folks on the site, and of the 200 people who responded 96.5% said they wore full face.

As for the safety issue, yes we all make the tradeoff between risk and reward, and as riders our needle points more to the reward end of the scale than the average Joe. That said, people tend to have irrational fears (how else to explain all the Jaws movies?) and mine is grinding my face off. I've been on scene at three accidents where the front of a full face helmet saved the rider's mug. The most recent was Scott Nelson:
who basically had a full lock-to-lock tankslapper after about 6 oscillations and slid along the pavement face-down.

So that's for me. Your calculation may differ. (Oh, and I wouldn't drive and SUV if you paid me. They are indefensible, especially for Californians, in my book.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Uugly. Time to reconsider.

-Don
 
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glad to hear you would reconsider...

I like to ride a lot, it brings me much joy...forget the reasons why, it is simply because it is so wonderful, I want to do it again and again.....walking away from a get off let's me do that.
 

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Your discussion so far has been focused on either of the two extremes . . . there is a compromise. I, and several of my fellow riding club members, have flip chin helmets.

Not necessarily the best of both worlds but a decent solutions to some of the complaints for either type of helmet. I keept reading that Nolan makes an excecptional version, I have an HJV, I know someone with a Shoei . . . hell the police use the Shoei version for their motocycle officers around here.

Anyway, just a thought FF and OF aren't the only options guys.

Oh yeah, and as for safety I think the person that mentioned Volvos being safe was closer to the mark then the SUV person for considering safe transportation. That being said however I read an article about SAABs from the World Insurance Institute or some such silly name and it rated SAAB the $1 car for safety. There numbers weren't solely based off of crash tests, but visibility, handling, traction, and yes crash tests.

Of most significance to my little mind was the point that any corner of the SAABs roof can withstand 5 times its entire weight. I think I remember the article saying that it could support the weight of an elephant too.

Anyway, just thought I'd share on the FC helmets and got sidetracked by the safe vehicle thing.
 
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Lets face it, open face helmets work on cruisers and tourers. Why? Well hell I dont think you could make a Goldwing tank slap and highside. But that R1 gets a little hairy and suddenly the rider is a ballastic object. Ask the guy who was riding in downtown Atl a few years back (well you cant now, he didnt make it) on an overpass who hit a extra large gap at speed. He went over the barrier and kept flying 30-40 feet out and 40 ft down. Would you care to guess which part hit first? Now no amount of body armor or helmet would have mattered but if he had not been doing way in excess he would have gone face first into the ramp asphalt. An open face helmet would not have been a pretty sight.

My mug is already too ugly, i'll stick to full face helmets. Now EURO style flip ups are appealing but i fear that portion coming up in a crash
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just a note here:

Studies done on football players show that while helmets reduce head injuries, they increase neck and spinal ones.

Not sure that's directly relevent.

Maybe a poll with two columns to see who wears FF and sneakers or jeans, and who wears OF with full leathers would be interesting. I see a lot of race replica full face helmets on guys with shorts around here.

-Don
 

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As I recall, the (unfortunately ancient and not updated) Hurt report showed no link between neck injuries and FF helmets.

I've benefitted from the chinbar of my FF helmets several times in almost 3 decades of riding, so I kinda like 'em. Thankfully, I haven't used one as hard as Scott N. did.

I do 95% of my riding in the daytime, with sunglasses. I may start wearing clear lens glasses for the little night riding I do, as I_really_hate crap blowing into my eyes while I'm riding. The fiddling and fogging are a minor PITA, but it's all I've ever known, so it's just a part of riding. I've got a very recent Arai Signet GT and the venting is extremely effective.

The flip-up chinbar helmet is an interesting option, I've never looked closely at them. They seem to be popular with the BMW set.

Those squids who ride with shorts and FF helmets would ride without helmets if it were legal. They don't seem to spend much of their time on logical thinking........
 

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As a reconstructive plastic surgeon in Cali was telling my father last year (whilst getting a boob job) - Full face helmets really put a hamper on his business.

A while ago (when I was a wee one) Full Face helmets were not so prevelant- so this nice young surgeon was making some nice cake just working the face reconstructive business from motorcycle accidents. He has seen a very large percentage drop off in that kind of business. Thinking of that is enough for me to want to wear full face. I didn't consider anything else. Yes it is a risk/reward decision - but it works for me.
 

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Full face for me, always. A friend of mine is a maxillofacial surgeon and has explained in graphic detail what happens when you lead with your chin into the ground at 40mph. You'll have the babes swooning when they see your face, but for all the wrong reasons...
 

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How about one of the full face units were the entire chin peice flips up? This might give you the best of both worlds, 3/4 in the city at low speeds (cruising chicks), full face when the risks get higher...

Not sure who makes them but I am seeing more and more of them, usually on goldwing riders.
 

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I was in this car two months go. The race seat was mounted about a foot away from the steering wheel. I was wearing my full face motorcycle Arai. We hadn't thought of disconnecting the airbag when we prepped the car. It deployed when I hit the ramp at 60mph, almost knocking me out. I'll always be wearing full face helmets any time I plan on doing stupid things involving CARS, let alone motorcycles...

-R.

 

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