Quick poll

This is an updated version of the original entry.  There’s a whole lot of people reading this entry but very few have filled in the form. Please do so, especially if you live in a state where you have a choice to wear or not wear a helmet. There’s no judgment here: I am no helmet nazi. As silly and small as this straw poll is, it may suggest something important about why you choose to wear or not wear a helmet.

One of my regular readers, Gymnast, speculates that temperature plays a significant factor in whether people wear helmets or not in states without universal helmet laws and how that would affect helmeted v. unhelmeted fatality rates. That’s fairly easy–though tedious–to check by correlating the deaths against weather records over a period of time (preferably years).

But his idea is based on an assumption I’ve heard from others: that riders are flexible in their behavior–they makes choices based on X (in  this case weather) to wear or not wear a helmet if they live in a state where that choice can be made.

My question to you: is that assumption true? Do riders change helmet habits based on the weather? And, if they do, why do they?

So let’s put Gymnast’s supposition to the test–answer via the comment function:

Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?

How often do you wear one?

Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?

If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?

If you DO  regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?

Any other comments?

Please send this link far and wide.

Let’s do a straw poll and see what turns up.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Motorcycle Awareness, Motorcycle helmet use, Motorcycle Rights, Uncategorized

43 Comments on “Quick poll”

  1. aidanspa Says:

    1. 3/4
    2. always
    3. yes
    4. N/A
    5. none

  2. A. Tam Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    Full face.

    How often do you wear one?
    At all times when operating the motorcycle.

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    Yes. I live in Illinois, a free-choice state.

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet?
    N/A

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it?
    N/A

    Any other comments?
    Unrelated to this post but I saw a news article on the 2008 MIC Ownership Survey that may be of interest.

    http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2009/06/2008-mic-owner-survey-holy-cra.html

    http://mic.org/news052109.cfm

  3. Randall Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    Half-shell
    How often do you wear one?
    Always (every day)
    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it? Yes.

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet?

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it?
    Always wear one.
    Any other comments?
    I learned to ride in Fla. in 1960. No one even thought about wearing a helmet. Some years later I came back to the sport in Hawaii. Helmets were required there. In the early ’70s motorcycling gave way to bicycling and bicycle helmets became popular in the late ’70s. I became a believer after a couple of minor falls that could have resulted in head trauma, had it not been for the helmet. Now back on a motorcycle, I continue the habit, realizing that it may only help in a minor crash.
    I’m not a statistics-smart person, but my gut feeling is that helmet use—and, for that matter, rider training—alone does not affect involvement in crashes, but that there are other unidentifiable, and thus unmeasurable, forces contributing to the puzzling outcomes of these studies. Thanks for trying to make some sense out of them. In so doing you awaken the possibilities that all is not simply black or white.

  4. Pitterpatter Says:

    As a glasses wearer, I usually wear a modular helmet. I own and sometimes wear full-face helmets.

    I wear a helmet every time I ride.

    I’ve spent significant time in non-required states. I still wear the helmet.

    I choose NOT to wear a helmet: 1.When I’m not on the bike; 2.When I’m on the bike in the garage with the motor off; 3.When I’m on the bike in a parking lot with the motor off. Rarely, but sometimes, when it’s warming up.

    Other comments: I’m an ABATE member and will defend to the death(well, mild injury, at least) your right to be stupid, which would in my opinion include not wearing a helmet while riding. I will, if you ask, tell you to your face that if you haven’t had children yet, I appreciate your doing your part to help clean up the gene pool by riding bareheaded.

  5. Troll Says:

    Modular or full face
    ALWAYS
    YES
    ALWAYS.
    I believe in ATGATT…. been riding for 48 years, ALWAYS wear all the gear. Rider Ed. Program coordinator, ABATE of WISCONSIN. We have ADULT Choice, I’m an ADULT, I choose to wear a helmet…

  6. do_not_spindle Says:

    Full
    Always
    Always. Would anyway if my state was not a mandatory helmet state. (I am also a lifelong 100% seatbelt user long before such laws or ignition interlocks and bells, and 100% helmet on my bicycle, which has 2x protected me from injuries.)
    No conditions requiring operating or riding a motorcycle that is or could be in motion.

  7. Bob J Richter Says:

    1. Full Modular
    2. always
    3. yes
    4. N/A
    5. none

  8. V-Stromer Says:

    full (modular)
    all the time
    helmets are required in my state, but I’m ATGATT
    n/a
    n/a

  9. Dinosaur Says:

    Full-Face helmet
    All the time
    I wear it regardless of where I’m riding, except from the driveway into the garage occasionally (I’m just not that anal.)
    I’ve been a full-face helmet fan every since I discovered them…I never did appreciate being able to identify insects by their flavor.
    I’ve also tossed enough motorcycles to appreciate the benefits of all that ‘other’ gear…it works! Really!

  10. gymnast Says:

    If I were to replicate the study of “Weather as predictor of helmet use” today, I would collect a years worth of data from video cameras set up to observe a minimum of 10 locations in urban and rural locations rural, including locations with a variety of speed limits. As can be seen above in the first 8 responses, a self selecting sample affects validity of the result.
    In the original trials and study riders in traffic were observed over a period of time that allowed for the change of seasons and the inclusion of a variety of weather conditions. The data was recorded by observers rather than being self reported. With the technology available today to record and analyze data it should be easy to determine real world helmet use under a variety of conditions.

  11. wmoon Says:

    Gymnast, yes, it is a matter of self-selection and falls prey to all the problems associated with that. Hence the words “straw poll”. I want to respond to the rest of what you said, but I find there’s too much to say for a mere comment and it goes to inherent issues in motorcycle studies in general–even when, in this case, it would be designed by a motorcyclist–and more to the point, a significant change in the helmet issue itself. At this point, I’d also like to let this poll run longer–though I’m going to adjust the quick poll entry to see if we can’t get more responses and variety.

  12. Lee Keller King Says:

    1. Full Face
    2. Always wear it

    Good to see you back, Wendy.

    Lee

  13. Mark M Says:

    1. Yes. Full face.

    2. Always when I ride.

    3. I would wear it even if it were not required (it is).

    4. N/A

    5. None. I would always wear it.

  14. beemer380 Says:

    1. Yes, Full Face.
    2. Always when I ride.
    3. Colorado doesn’t require one, I wear one all the time anyway.
    4. N/A
    5. I can’t see making a choice of not wearing one. My choice is to always wear one.

    Glad to see you back.

  15. CaptCrash Says:

    Full Face.

    At all times…on the bike

    Don’t need a law to protect what’s left of me brain…

    Any other comments? It never rains inside my helmet…

  16. Loki Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    –Modular/Flip-up
    How often do you wear one?
    –Everytime I ride
    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    –Yes
    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?
    –N/A
    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?
    –N/A
    Any other comments?
    –The comfort of having the gear on is undeniable. Less exposure, less exhaustion, less dehydration. Does it get hot sometimes? Sure. I wear my seatbelt when it’s hot, too.

  17. Troll Says:

    This is the same problem that we run into in the classes. The people we teach are usually not the ones we need to reach. They already know there is more to riding than falling down in turns and running into parked cars. ATGATT is a foregone conclusion for the people who read this column, but they are not the people who ride without proper gear. This is exactly what’s wrong with studies that study the choir, and not the sinners

  18. wmoon Says:

    Whoa, your pseudonym is well-chosen, Mr. Troll–are you out trolling here? I am astonished at the attitude your comments betray. Is it arrogance? Is it ignorance? Or what? Is there really anyone in the USA that does NOT know that “there is more to riding than falling down…” ? And on what basis do you feel you know who all reads this column? All you know is who leaves comments.

    That ATGATT is a foregone conclusion for those that ride ATGATT and it’s not for those who don’t is probably the most obvious thing I’ve heard in a very long time. I mean really–that’s what ATGATT means after all. Doh.

    Frankly, I can’t think of one study that just looked at ATGATT riders.

    And personally, I am offended that you associate ATGATT with “the choir” and those who aren’t with “sinners”. Goodness gracious–it’s the “choir”–the trained/licensed helmet wearing, sober riders that are the significant majority of fatalities–and if recent data coming out of individual states is correct, then in the majority of cases it’s the riders who are now at-fault. I’d suggest the “sinners” in this case may be choir members…
    W.

  19. Troll Says:

    Very interesting response… I am a 48 year rider, 61 years old, with over 1,000,000 miles on my butt. I have been an MSF instructor (I hate coach) since July 1981, and I firmly believe, at least where I live, the majority of the riders who crash, and the ones who die are the ones we need to reach with the “message” Every time I go out, I see flagrant disregard for any kind of judgment or civility. The ones I read about all seem to crash about 2 am, and are not wearing protective gear. I would postulate, based on my state’s insistence on an additional 1 hour alcohol information message,added to the regular MSF curriculum (which is pretty weak)that we, at least here in Wisconsin, and basically in the upper midwest have a really serious problem. The people I see in the classes are all aware of the fact they need some training, and most already realize that operating intoxicated is a problem. What do we do about the rest of them who will never, have never, taken ANY kind of formal training, but spend their time riding from bar to bar, party to party, until fate takes them by the hand. I mentioned the people I suspect read your column are probably the same ones who read MCN, as I do. As a group, their own (MCN) studies indicate they are rational, responsible riders…who generally dress and behave like adults. Too bad the same can’t be said for everybody else.

  20. wmoon Says:

    Troll, your reading is limited or you have a very selective memory. Riding between midnight and 6 am is higher risk, true–with or without a BAC. One of those riders who killed himself riding late at night (at the time of the article BAC was unknown) was an instructor in the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program this spring. He failed to make a very easy curve on a two-lane road. IIRC, the article said he was wearing a helmet. And he was most certainly trained–and trained others. And I’ve recently heard about a guy who took the course (in PA) and two weeks later was killed on a bike.

    Believe what you want but the majority of riders–even in WI–die in daylight hours in good weather on dry roads–and stone-cold sober.

    You’re making a lot of unfair judgments–you’re lumping in those who haven’t taken formal training in with those who drink and ride (and while you don’t mention ride without gear you had mentioned that in the first comment). It’s inaccurate to lump them together–in many cases those are three separate groups. No one–and I mean NO ONE knows how much those groups overlap. Nor do all riders who drink and ride spend their time riding from bar to bar and party to party. If that’s how you talk and act around people who belong to that part of the motorcycling community, it’s no surprise that they aren’t open to your message to take training, wear helmets/gear and not drink and ride. Frankly, I’m surprised–if you say things to them like you posted here–that you haven’t had your ass kicked from Milwaukee to Hudson–or from Superior to Janesville… If you want them to take the class, I would suggest not calling them sinners or imply that they must be bad and reckless riders and not wear helmets and ride over the legal limit just because they haven’t taken training and heard this additional hour of alcohol information.

    As far as taking any kind of training? MSF claims that passing the end-of-course evaluations are equal to (in operational skill and knowledge) to passing the licensing tests at the DMV. Iow, one who can pass (on a far bigger bike in most cases) at the DMV has the same skill–however they gained it–to the one who takes the course. MSF is the one who designed and publishes the tests used in almost all DMVs. Iow, if you can pass the test at the DMV, MSF is tacitly claiming that you are no less skilled than those who take the course.

    And besides there’s a hellava lot of studies now that show that riders are no safer–and maybe have a higher likelihood of crashing/getting a ticket–than those who never were trained–at least after 6 mos with all difference gone within a year. Btw, one of those studies was done in WI and found that trained riders were at more risk. I have an original copy of the study–it’s fascinating.

  21. Troll Says:

    I suppose that using a religious metaphor is the bone of contention. I used that just because it is common. I fully agree that there is much to be done in the arena of training. I feel that we should NOT be issuing licenses on the basis of the eval.or the “knowledge” test. I like the European system of parking lot exercises followed by on the road training in the real world. You and I are on the same side, so don’t let my New York sarchasm fool you into thinking I am trying to bait you. Out DOT just sent out 31000 plus letters to addresses that had motorcycles registered but no one had a class M endorsement. We have been entrusted with the task of sending feedback to DOT about the nastygram and so far, it’s been a bust. I have official charts and spreadsheets showing the fatalities and the BAC. I agree that most of the crashes occur during the day, but the numbers I have show most of the fatals are at bar time. It doesn’t take a trained statistician to count motorcycles parked in front of bars at midnight.
    This is part of what makes this so complex an issue. Larry Grodsky center punched a deer, and if ANYONE knew about safety, it was him. My point is that the majority of the crashes are preventable and mostly self induced by extreme risky behavior that might possibly be influenced by rational thinking and an approach to safety that is non adversarial. I would love to see that study you have, and I would send you the official DOT materials in return….It is sad,but true, nobody can prove rider ed works, nor can they prove that driver ed has done any more good, either…..

  22. Joe Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    Full/Flip-Up

    How often do you wear one?
    Every time I ride

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    Yes, all the time.

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?
    N/A

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?
    Only when I putting the bike in the garage.

  23. wmoon Says:

    Yes, religious metaphors aren’t good–but it’s the attitude you have that’s problematic to me. I’m glad we agree on where training should be and isn’t and that you have some appreciation for the complexity of the issue. However, once again, you have a limited understanding of the issues you’re discussing. For example, it appears you assume that all who go to bars on bikes drink to excess. It’s a common stereotype but there is no hard evidence to prove that. And you seem to imply that all fatals are riders who are over the limit. However, Oullet showed that riders are affected at 0.04–half the legal limit–as if they were were twice as inebriated. But it IS the legal limit–so if a rider gets on a bike under the limit–he’s still riding legall meaning he may not understand how risky it is to ride–and this info is NOT given in training or is well known. I’m just saying that, imho, you speak of these issues in a way that would hardly win over those who do drink and ride.

    I think you’re also making erroneous judgments about crashes and risky behavior. If you want to see the study, ask your state program coordinator as I would imagine he would have a copy in the files.

    I would also suggest that you do more research–particularly into risk compensation (or risk homeostasis). Read up on the Haddon Matrix, too. Also read Oullet’s Thailand study and everything on risk and hazard awareness from the folks at Monash University. As well as a scottish study on risk and motorcyclists. After you do, let’s have an informed intelligent discussion on it.

  24. A. Tam Says:

    I’d have to look at the Student Handbook but I think the BRT calls out “impairment begins with the first drink” shortly after the term impair (to make worse) is defined.

  25. wmoon Says:

    Otoh, the BRC student handbook is on line at: http://msf-usa.org/CurriculumMaterials/BRC_Handbook_Vs7.1_noprint.pdf. Alcohol impairment information begins on p. 43. There is no definition of impairment, however, it says, “Alcohol is a depressant drug that affects safety. It reduces the ability to search for hazards, to evaluate factors that lead to crashes, and to execute coordinated physical movement.” I’d suggest “reduces ability” doesn’t have the same connotation or urgency as “to make worse”.

    reads, “Almost 50% of all riders killed had been drinking. One-third of these riders had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit. The remaining two-thirds had only a couple of drinks in their system, not enough to be legally intoxicated but more than enough to impair their mental and physical skills.”

    It goes in a very weak way to explain BAC but never really explains what happens to riders who operate motorcycles with alcohol in their bloodstream and what it means to actual physical operation, judgment etc. to have even a low BAC. It doesn’t make a strong case for not drinking and riding. Once again, I recommend finding Jim Oullet’s paper on drinking and riding.
    W.

  26. goldiron Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    full and half shell

    How often do you wear one?
    Mostly when the weather or law requires it.

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    Depends upon the weather of a gut feeling of impending doom.

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?
    I don’t like getting smacked in the face by rain or sleet. Bugs are problematic in riding. Hate getting smacked in the face with hard shelled bugs and bees.

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?

    Any other comments?
    FMVSS218 is a joke and the consumer that believes that anyone is protected because of the DOT labeling is being woefully misled by the government and by others that tout it. Other testing of helmets seemingly are much more stringent than a self certification of product that has no liability of manufacturer when it fails.

    It is very interesting that although TBI or head injury are rarely the sole cause of death or the sole injury that so much attention is paid to it.

    Most emergency rooms and morgues rarely pay attention to coup contra coup or atlanto occipital dislocation and yet the deaths are attributed to helmeted or helmetless riders.

    I fully understand the concern of the parking lot and cone instructors. Most trainees within those environs will have low speed crashes and will need the protections that a helmet can afford.

    For myself, the available helmets do not fit my head. A 3XL is too small and a 4XL is too large.

    I have communications from major manufacturers of stating that they will not help me.

    The 3X causes migraines and the 4X moves around on my head so much that it interferes with vision.

    Whether or not I wear a helmet of any sort is my choosing and mine alone.

  27. wmoon Says:

    Goldiron, Thanks for being the first–and hopefully not the last–person to post who doesn’t always wear a helmet. I agree that wearing a helmet should be a matter of personal choice. However…

    You are mistaken in terms of the standard–it isn’t a joke and there’s absolutely no reputable research that shows it is a joke. And you’re mistakede re: DOT v. Snell testing–there is no other accepted standards in the USA. DOT is not self-certified. Snell supposed stringency is no better than DOT–it just costs the consumer more to have it on the helmet. DOT standards are adequate–it’s the helmets that have failed to improve–they are (pretty much) as good as they can get at this point (though, as Dr. Hurt points out, there are potentially better cushioning agents that wouldn’t be better at preventing injury/death but would be more comfortable and lighter and have less mass).

    I’m not at all sure where you get your medical information–because most of it is flatly wrong: TBI rarely is the sole injury, true, but it is very often the sole fatal injury. You say “emergency rooms and mogues rarely pay attention to coup contra coup or atlanto occipital dislocation”? You’re claiming gross and systematic negligence and malpractice–so medical studies back up that claim?

    And you go on to say, “and yet the deaths are attributed to helmeted or helmetless riders”–I’m not even sure how that makes sense. Deaths are attributed to injuries. How they got the injuries are attributed to the riders. Whether they would’ve suffered death is often attributed to whether they were wearing a helmet or not. You want to stop the deaths? Stop the crashes. You want to stop the crashes? Better training, better motorist awareness and competency, better barriers, etc. But someone’s life isn’t going to be saved because Snell testing was used instead of DOT standards…

    As far as low speed v. high speed crashes, it’s true that helmets only completely prevent fatal TBI of a certain kind at head impact speeds of 13 mph or below. However, people have no or minimal brain injury in high speed crashes all the time–it entirely depends on the kinetics of the crash.

    Try Ariai–they have cheek pads, etc. that can be special ordered to customize a helmet fit. Also, try getting a hold of helmets made in Europe and not (legally) sold in the USA. You may find a helmet that fits much better as others I know have done. It won’t have a DOT or Snell cert–but you have to decide if safety (and comfort) is more important or meeting the letter (in this case the letters DOT or Snell) of the law.

    Like you, I cannot find a helmet that fits properly–even helmets that are too small can be pulled up over my chin with very little effort. Luckily for me, that’s an extremely rare crash configuration.

  28. A. Nonymous Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?

    Modular with additional flip-up sun shade.

    How often do you wear one?

    Always (when riding)(ATGATT)

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?

    YES.

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?

    When not on the bike.
    I prefer to reduce my risk of serious injury and I’m convinced that helmets go a long way toward that objective.

    Any other comments?

    I am VEHEMENTLY opposed to helmet LAWS. I think everyone should CHOOSE to wear a helmet, but it is the individual’s choice.

  29. Jeffry Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    full
    How often do you wear one?
    always

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it? yes
    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why? N/A

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why? N/A

    Any other comments? As an instructor, I used to bring my full face to teach the classroom and use my 3/4 for demos. However, after witnessing a face dive by a student with a 3/4 and the result, I have decided to model with own behavior during the range, full face only all of the time. I guess my 3/4 could be donated to Abate for their helmet roast.

    Please send this link far and wide

  30. V-Stromer Says:

    To comment on Jeffry not wearing a 3/4 while instructing. I wear a full-face modular at all times riding on the street, but when riding demos for my classes I wear a 3/4. I’ve been an MSF instructor since 1992 and have only witnessed one face plant by a student in less than a full-face – she was wearing a 3/4. Her eye protection cut her face, no chin, jaw, or mouth injuries.

    Of course I respect Jeffry’s choice to wear a full-face while riding demos, but I switched to a 3/4 many years ago at the suggestion of a chief instructor who was evaluating me. With a 3/4 I can leave my helmet on between exercises and still coach the students. It is all about risk management and risk acceptance. I make this clear to my students, who all are aware that I use a full-face modular on the street.

    Funny thing about my new white 3/4 for the range. Cycle Gear had to special order it. They don’t bother carrying white helmets – “can’t sell ’em” was their explanation.

  31. Rabid Transit Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    – Full coverage only. Helmets offer far more than just impact protection. I’ve seen too many full coverage helmets with asphalt-scoured chin bars and face shields to wear anything less. I am especially grateful a full coverage helmet protected a friend from painful and permanent facial alterations during a long slide.

    How often do you wear one?
    – All the time.*

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    – Yes. Illinois is a free choice state. I freely choose to wear mine, thank you!

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?
    – N/A

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?
    * – Only if a difficult-to-detect mechanical noise requires a repair unit to be in motion for diagnosis only, though this is a blue moon event.

  32. wmoon Says:

    Ah, Blue Moon….one of my favorite beers. Hope you aren’t riding a bike without a helmet after drinking one or more ; ) Or maybe you mean that’s it a rare thing that you even think of not wearing a helmet? Or rare that you have to fix a motorcycle? Or maybe it means you’re blue under the moon or when you have to work on a bike?

  33. Michael Hack Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    – Full

    How often do you wear one?
    – Every time I ride

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    – Yes, always full-face helmet

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?
    – SC allows choice of helmet or not over 21 y/o. I always wear a helmet since I commute on my bike. Can’t see a reason to NOT wear helmet.

    Any other comments?
    – Even when temps are over 100, I wear all the gear. As doc flash gordon says, “I’d rather sweat than bleed”.

  34. Scott Sheckler Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?

    Half-shell

    How often do you wear one?

    1/2 time

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?

    1/2 time

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?

    Generally at night and while raining.

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?

    During really hot days.

    Any other comments?

  35. Jeffry Says:

    I understand Vstrom’s point about teaching demo’s in a 3/4’s. I began to feel conflicted because I was telling the students “I always ride in a full face helmet. However for the class, you will see me ride in a 3/4’s because it is easier to teach it.” I wanted to use the term always and mean it for myself with having to add qualifyers to my statement.

  36. John Says:

    1. Full-face

    2. Always

    3. Iowa does not require helmets, but I still always wear my full-face helmet

    4. n/a

    5. Under no circumstance would I ride without a helmet.

    Other Comments:
    I ride always with a helmet, as well as protective pants and jacket (a bright yellow reflective vest, but that doesn’t add much to the body temp). As a recreational rider, I have the luxury of choosing when to ride, so if the weather is simply too hot and humid, I take a shorter trip or stay home. I do sweat a lot in full gear at higher temps, though, so I imagine if I had to ride my bike for more practical purposes, changes in gear would have to be made. That said, I’ve never gotten too hot in my helmet, so it would stay on all the time.

  37. wmoon Says:

    John, a couple people have commented about the heat and helmets now and it made me think of my experience in California–both about heat and helmets. There is a helmet law there so wearing one isn’t a choice. It’s a lot hotter on the freeways than on the streets–and the microclimates can be incredibly hot no matter how short in duration as I rode through them. However, early in my riding life, I realized that wearing a helmet in LA’s blistering, dry summer heat–and keeping the visor down–was a whole lot cooler than riding without one–even if my helmetless jaunts were as others have said just moving the bike a few feet. I do have a problem with the heat, as many readers know. One day I was down in Beverly Hills and had baked myself ill on the way there. I decided that I would take off my leather jacket and chaps for the trip home–and it was cooler in the LA Basin and in the Hollywood Hills. However, shortly after I got on the 405 at Sepulveda, my legs started burning. It was so hot, that I thought the Harley’s engine had somehow started on fire. It hadn’t–the temp on the freeway was just so hot that superheated air passing over a dehydrating body did nothing to cool me down. I was actually cooler in my gear.

    Now, though, I have a lovely Revit mesh jacket that does a lot better job balancing coolness with safety.

    The point is that sometimes what things seem to be–gear makes us hotter–isn’t so.
    W.

  38. rc Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    1/2 shell

    How often do you wear one?
    most of the time

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    I have ridden lidless in a Helmet law state.

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?

    As I stated I wear a helmet on most occasions. Rarely without. I have had the experience of having my head slide down the highway, fortunately with helmet.

    However Florida heat in congested traffic is killer and any helmet I have tried has resulted in killer headaches a couple hours into the ride. So I have been known to say a few choice words and take it off.

    Any other comments?
    Should be personal choice. My “opinion only”

    My wife picked up a couple of ” Functional and lightweight long sleeves shirt, * Dry-fast®, UV-Control® and Anti-mosquito® finishing”

    shirts that can be found here:
    https://www.johnnorris.co.uk/shop/br_aigle/ty_232-bargains/5356-11090-aigle-mens-one-shirt.html

    Although somewhat of a thick headed die hard, I must admit I have tried them in the Florida heat and they do make a difference.

    However sitting if in downtown traffic in July and August little is helpful. I always carry a few bottles of water w/ me. For myself and for the person who didn’t. Hydration is key. Alcohol dehydrates.

    I wonder if that’s discussed at the motorcycle safety meetings held in bars.

    As always. good stuff, rc

  39. Gary Suarez Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    Modular Full Face
    How often do you wear one?
    Always

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    Yes–recently moved to South Carolina from Illinois–neither state is a helmet state.

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?
    I never don’t wear it!! In a “previous life” I wore a half helmet–got blind sided and broke a couple of facial bones. The ambulance was nice and cool. I’d rather have the face protection!

    I also wear a protective jacket (always). As well as protection, this gear truly does offer comfort. It’s a lot hotter with the sun beating down on your noggin and body, than with the protection of the coverings.

  40. Dave Says:

    Yes, Full face
    Always
    Yes
    N/A
    Never
    No further comments

  41. Flash Says:

    1. half shell & skid lid
    2. not often
    3. I’ve ridden lidless in helmet law states & w/ helmet when not required
    4. Helmet = rain hat, & it’s absolutely indispensible when riding in the snow.

  42. A. Nonymous Says:

    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?

    YES, MODULAR

    How often do you wear one?

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?

    YES (ATGATT)

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?

    N/A

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?

    N/A

    Any other comments?

  43. RCHaynes Says:

    Day late and a dollar short, but I just found this site today.
    Do you wear a helmet (full, 3/4, half-shell)?
    Started in a 3/4, last 3 have been full

    How often do you wear one?
    Every time the motorcycle leaves the driveway ATGATT

    Do you–regardless if it’s legal not to wear a helmet–wear it?
    Yes

    If you do NOT regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose TO wear a helmet? Why?
    not applicable

    If you DO regularly wear a helmet, in what conditions do you choose NOT to wear it? Why?
    not applicable

    Any other comments? I now live in MA, a compulsory state, but I started driving in CT, a choice state. My ex taught me to ride, but has almost never worn a helmet himself. I started as his passenger, and very quickly decided I felt *way* to vulnerable to not wear a helmet.


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