The news feeds are pretty quiet these days - most of our Canadian events are done for the year save the odd ride night that is still running and the upcoming Halloween and Christmas dances. Sports and new motorcycle reviews seem to be what is predominantly in the feeds.

This is the time of year when many people will begin thinking about that paint job, engine upgrade, maintenance or the various bolt on parts that might make their machine more comfortable.

I want to start some discussion on gear. With the January motorcycle shows just around the corner - there will be a ton of gear providers trying to hawk their wears.
What is the best jacket, boots, gloves - helmets, goggles, glasses etc...

Preventing road rash and protecting you from the worst of the damage that can be inflicted by a crash or collision is the goal.

So let's discuss the pros and cons of gear - Let's start at the top - Helmets.

Many claim that a helmet is the MOST Valuable piece of gear a rider can possess and use - others feel that they are restrictive and resent wearing them. Many gals think they are ugly. In the US there are a number of states where helmets are optional. In BC, the right to wear a beanie was taken away from riders in favor of the DOT, SNELL rated helmets.

So - how much do YOU know about helmets?
What is your stance on helmets - to wear or not to wear them?

I am one of those who thinks that it should be the rider's right to choose as long as I as a tax payer am not funding a lengthy hospital or extended care stay. In other words - if you have adequate insurance and my health care dollars are not paying for your right to choose - knock yourself out...pardon the pun. I have ridden without a helmet and while I enjoyed the sense of freedom I also felt vulnerable, naked and after some time opted to wear my half helmet. I hung my beanie up years ago after a friend's crash -what seemed to be a pretty harmless one but none the less, she hit her head wearing a beanie - just the right way and died as a result.

I have never been able to bring myself to wear a full face because I am so very claustrophobic and although I have tried getting used to one - I just can't seem to be able to catch my breath in one. I also can not take the weight on my neck (I have 4 compressed discs thanks to a car accident)

So let's start with some basic knowledge on helmets and the testing or lack there of that they go under...

DOT as opposed to SNELL as opposed to SHARP (The UK Standard) and the EN - European Standard - which of the them is a more credible sticker to have on your helmet? DOT has no manditory testing attached to from everything I have read about its certification. SNELL however is all about testing as is the UK's SHARP Standard - I have not been able to find out much about the EN standard.

Depending on what you read and where you sit on the fence when it comes to the use of helmets there is no shortage of stats and information to support arguments on either side of the issue.

The SHARP web site is rather interesting:

SNELL has some interesting comparison articles n the major world standards for helmet testing:

So - talk to me - tell me what you know about helmets, their fit, their function, their ability to protect the melon.

I also want to know your thoughts on mandatory helmet laws and in all of the discussion I want you to think about the people who love you and how your decision to wear or not wear a helmet may affect them.

So - let's have some discussions - here on this blog or on Face Book, Twitter or you can also join us in the forum on

I am looking forward to hearing your opinions and views.

Belt Drive Betty
Ride & Editor

The Busted Knuckle Chronicles

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