Not the latter, definitely. Because that would be too Hannibal Lecter. Besides, the soft mush inside your head, that does all your thinking for you, will thank you for the helmet. The unattractive lid fondly christened “Brain Bucket” will be the one standing in the way of a healthy you and a mangled, bloody and slightly cuckoo future self. Of course there’s the small issue of looking like a whack-a-doodle when you first take of your helmet and deal with ‘helmet hair’. But is it really worth losing out on good health and safety? After all a comb costs much less than cutting open your head. What really ticks with the whole helmet wearing situation? Let’s find out.
1. Avoiding cringeworthy head injuries:
If that is no motivation for wearing a helmet, then by Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory, you are better off without a helmet. In the event of an unfortunate collision with a bigger vehicle, it is more probable that the rusty Chevy would be standing proud amongst the sorry remains of your Honda CBR. When a vehicle collides with a motorcycle at that force, the rider is most likely to be thrown off upon impact. While your projectile propelled body hits the tarmac, your head is quickly calculating as to which is the most fragile body part. A minute before you eat dirt, you will realize it’s your head. It could be too late by the time and the damage could be done. IF you are not wearing helmet. With the helmet on, your brain will be free to register pain in other parts of the body. Upon impact the inner liner of the helmet absorbs most of the energy released on the hit. It also cushions the head and the impact causes little or no damage.
2. Keeping face secure:
Ugly as we are, everyone has a fair bit of vanity. And with that misplaced vanity comes the need to protect your face. As various beauty ads perpetuate, to maintain the youth of your skin, it important to shield it against dust and grime. Not that it will do you much help if you look like an orc. But we must do our duty towards maintaining the useless biases of outer appearances. And bam! The savior is helmet. Modular and full face helmets come with strong chinbars and visors that safeguard your mug against lacerations common to motorcycle accidents.
The facial tissue is extremely delicate and scars easily (as demonstrated by our beloved Joker in Batman). The chinbar prevents jaw damage which is very common for downhilling heroes in Enduro. The frequent dental insults can cost you a fortune and leave your mouth too full to talk with. Considering that, helmets are an easy bargain.
3. Protection against wind and grime:
Full face and modular helmets are equipped with visors and chin curtains to shield against bugs, grime and sometimes sunshine. On extremely windy terrains the airflow can bother your eyes and take you mind off the course. Also, if your idea of ideal non veg food is a Sunday brisket but you accidently end up swallowing a fly on the ride, that kind of kills your spirit. Visors are fast evolving as a prominent market in themselves. From regular to special scratch resistant UV protection visor, there’s a whole range of them. Tinted visors are especially helpful if your climate alternates between sunny and funny. Apart from the full sized face shields, some helmets have integrated flip down visors shaped like goggles which eliminate the need for another pair of Ray-Bans that would settle uncomfortably inside helmet. Bigger strides in helmet innovation have led to the invention of photochromatic visors that darken in sun automatically. This means you don’t have to reach up and switch visors. It’s costly but it lets you be the lazy bum you aim to be.
4. Connectivity on the go:
You could be the hotshot corporate who earns big bucks for gazillion dollar companies. Or you could be living with your over-involved mother. In either case, you might want to have conversations with people on the go, or listen to music or directions hands-free. With Bluetooth helmets like BILT Techno Full face motorcycle helmet that have integrated speaker or pockets for Bluetooth device, talking on the fly gets real easy.
If you are exceptionally ugly, a Duke DK-140 or Shoei Neotech can make you look like Leon Haslam. As long as the helmet stays on! Tribal designs of Hi viz helmets keep you visible on the road at night making it easier for other drivers to see you zooming past.
Veteran motorcyclists will tell you that there is whole science behind helmets, what with ventilation, safety, looks, price and feature concerns. More and more R&D by helmet makers has led to masterpieces that are short of only a kitchen sink. Special deep vents in the inner lining, wind tunnel techniques, visors, lightweight shells all converge to give you a freedom-asserting ride but without the hassle of worrying for your head. A 40% higher chance of survival in a crash is a figure worth considering over frizzy helmet hair.
Say you are in your wild child phase and want to experience the wind and sun in your face. Keeping your helmet handy will keep you alive to have that phase and annoy your mother longer. Besides, brain splattered on the pavement does not make for a pretty sight. So wear a helmet and hope for a peaceful death like Tyrion Lannister.