Life is a series of risks. I grew up in Iowa and never wore a helmet and hated to wear one when Nebraska, where I now reside, implemented a helmet law in 86. If you are honestly concerned that much about your safety and everyone elses then you should be preaching that we all should walk everywhere we go. People are maimed in cars, on motorcycles, and in airplanes. Since car drivers are in the majority by about 99% it goes to follow that they are the ones that enact helmet laws for the minority but never for themselves in their cars. They allow the majority to talk on cell phones while they drive their 2 ton cars. I imagine this is allowed because they certainly wouldn't want to inconvenience themselves with any rights taken away from themselves. Let's point the finger at the 1% to take the heat off the 99%. Sure, people die for a million reasons everyday and that is what keeps this earth from overflowing with humanity faster than it already is. If you want to wear a helmet then feel free, nobody is stopping you. The problem is I don't have the right to not wear a helmet when I don't want to. Next time, write about the car driver without the helmet that is laying in a coma because of a head injury. You'll never see in the newspaper that the car driver wasn't wearing a helmet. I always see that accompaning an article about a helmetless motorcycle rider.
this whole helmet issue could be put to rest if we would all just stop riding bikes altogether. any rational person will agree that they are unacceptably dangerous and should be outlawed. but they are not, for some strange reason. anyone can buy them, even bikes tuned for high performance! can you imagine? oh the horror!
if you MUST ride one of these deathtraps, for gawd's sake buy one with no more than 40 horsepower, and keep it below 45 mph. at that speed your chances for survival will be much greater.
am i the ONLY one who is tired of the hand-wringing weenies telling me to be safe by wearing a helmet? who the hell ARE these people, mother surrogates?
personally, i always wear a helmet. but i sure ain't gonna preach, because riding is in and of itself a dangerous thing. what constitutes "acceptable risk" is up to the one putting his/her arse on the line.
I wear helmets. My passengers wear helmets. I encourage everyone I know who rides to wear a helmet. The law has changed here in Texas several times in the thirty years I have been riding, and I always wore a helmet anyway.
That said, I don't agree with helmet LAWS. Something I learned in school about the land of the free....
We all have stories about those who wore helmets that have been saved by them, but ultimately, it should still remain a personal choice. After all, life is survival of the fittest (read into that what you will). Given all the hype, stories, laws, etc., I still would not always ride with a helmet. There's nothing like a ride with the wind blowing in your face.
Eveyone is still meandering away from the point. Why not? I am curious as well and I even went so far as to try it. Riding without a helmet felt just like sticking my head out of a car while going 80 (what you guys dont have alcohol where you live?). It was neat for about 10 minutes but not how I would want to get around on a regular basis. Also, all sissy concerns about comfort aside what do you do when a rock hits your face at 60mph? I had a few bugs hit me and it sucked but it wasn't the end of the world. However, I have a large gouge in the front of my helmet where a tractor trailer ejected a rock at me from it duallie wheels in the back. Damn near knocked me off the bike as it was. Without the helmet I would have gone down for sure. Also, all the bugs I hit were pretty small. I dont know what it feels like to take a locust in the eye but it sure made a lot of racket when it careened off my Shoei. So, I am still wondering why?
If you are in fact interested in finding out why someone would not wear a helmet and not just looking for a soapbox to get your opinion heard I'll attempt to provide my answer.
I live in a choice state and occasionally decide to ride without my Arai Quantum F. Ive made that decision while riding everything from sportbikes to tourers.
Why would I make that choice? I occasionally like to ride without a helmet on. Its really that simple for me. Im not trying to snub my nose at the world or make a point when I do it. Im not trying to fit in to an image that many have a "free" rider. I just like going without on occasion.
The key is Im not a new rider, I continually work to improve my riding skills through both formal training and daily practice, I have been a licensed rider since I was 16 and I take into consideration the conditions of the ride before taking off. I am pretty sure when I start the bike Ill be arriving at my destination in one piece whether Im wearing protective gear or not.
It may be that Im not the guy you intended this question for. I happen to take great pleasure in riding my Road King with my 1-piece Aerostitch, full face helmet, full finger gloves and boots. At least I dont look like every other rider on a Laser-Rich Red pearl Road King. The funny thing is though YOU would group me in with those that have you " absolutely appalled by the number of cyclists who did not wear helmets!"
That seems pretty appalling to me. Why dont you just ride as you like and leave me to my business?
To answer the question you didnt ask: Why do you wear a full face helmet all the time? For me its not about being protected from hitting a pole after over cooking a turn and improper breaking technique. I just like keeping the flying crap out of my eyes.
Just like life, riding a bike is a series of risks too. Why not minimize the chance of becoming a drool-spewing vegetable - or a quashed vegi at that - by wearing a lid? Perhaps that lazy-ass, cellphone toting, SUV-piloting soccer mom may just not be the problem? You just might make a mistake yourself someday that causes you to eat asphalt.
With that said, I believe helmet laws should go away. I'm a firm believer in keeping government out of my face. But common sense tells me to minimize the risk of an inherently dangerous hobby simply by donning a helmet before I ride. I guess there will always be those organ-donors who choose to help keep others alive...
I almost always wear a helmet (99% of the time). I learned the hard way to wear a full face helmet, 28 years ago, when a flat front tire washed out in a corner pasting my chin to the asphalt. I prefer to wear a helmet when I ride for comfort as much as saftey, others don't. Motorcycling itself is arguably inherently dangerous. I know of many riders with skills greater than my own that have died pursuing this passion. I will however always support anothers adults freedom of choice in making the decision of whether or not to wear a helmet. I have no interest in being told how to operate a motorcycle or how to survive on the road by those that don't know how to themselves. There is no shortage of people in this world who would like to tell others, what to eat, what to believe, how to live, think and pursue happiness etc. etc. Many believe that motorcycles are so dangerous that we need to be protected from ourselves. It's not their lives or their choices. Nobodys getting out of this thing alive, if another increases the risks to themself in the pursuit of their passion I have to support them in this.
Sometimes my ride has, what I perceive to be, enough risk to wear a helmet, sometimes it doesn't. If I'm riding my Harley 2 miles down an isolated country rode to a friends house, no helmet. If I'm riding 35 miles to work through freeway traffic, full face every day. Taking the dirtbike to the mailbox, no helmet. Taking the dirtbike through the woods in third gear, full face. I enjoy, and will fight for, this freedom. And I can live with others abusing this freedom, all the way to their own demise.
Locust on the forehead isn't as bad as you'd think. I got that experience a couple years ago when the 17-year locusts were out in Ohio. I wear OSHA-approved shatterproof glasses when I ride, so I can't tell you how anything feels when it hits the eye. When I ride without a helmet, it's because it's 90 degrees and I won't be going fast enough to keep cool--around town or something like that. Yes, it's the most dangerous place to ride helmetless, but sweat rolling into my eyes is also bad for riding safety. And believe me, more than once I've had to limp to the side of the road to take off a glove, pull the glasses out of the helmet, and clear my eyes.
years ago when i was a young lad living in a state with no helmet law, i routinely went lidless. the motivation? it feels GREAT. there is some wind roar, yeah, but for shorter trips its quite tolerable. nothing like the wind in your hair on a warm summer's eve. (this was back when i had lots more hair than now)
now i've got a wife and a kid and i sorta feel i owe 'em the security a helmet affords them (and me). so even if there weren't a law here in california, i'd always wear one.
but i never preach, and i sure don't think the guv'ment has the right to force me.
Get rid of the helmet laws, I don't like having the government getting that involved in my life. And you are correct, the world is a dangerous place and there are a lot of scary things that can happen to us. I choose to wear a helmet because I believe the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience. If you are making an educated decision as an adult, good for you. Unfortunately, many of the people who don't wear helmets are not making an "educated" decision. They are relying misinformation and rhetoric.
If anyone doesn't think helmets provide protection... put on a DOT approved helmet. Hand a baseball bat to a 5 year old and have them hit you in the back of the head as hard as they can. Now, take off the helmet, and have them do it again. Notice a difference?
The choice to wear a helmet should be yours. But if you choose not to wear one... for the love of God, please make sure you fill out your organ donor card, and keep it in your wallet.
If we don't want to be singled out as an extreme sport that requires special legislation to protect ourselves from ourselves and others then we're going to have put up with some compromise legislation - helmet laws for one. So far in California they still look the other way when we white-line. Don't rock the boat - wear a helmet and for God's sakes don't ride with obnoxiously loud pipes! That's not too much to ask.
This thread would be interesting if people would stay on topic. The topic is not "should there be helmet laws?" The topic is "if you choose not to wear a helmet, why?" It's an honest question asked by someone who really doesn't understand the motivation. He didn't talk down to anyone or insult anyone.
I always wear a full-face helmet and live in a helmet law state, so my response can only be one of speculation. I would surmise that those who choose not to wear helmets do so because the helmet distances them from their environment. I can guess that riding without a helmet feels much more liberating than riding with one. There is probably also a tinge of rebeliousness in the decision too.
Again, I always wear a helmet and would do so even in a "choice" state, so these are simply guesses. Am I on track?
I wonder if all those dead, helmeted riders I picked up on the streets for 19 years had their organ donor cards filled out? I never checked, but they were just as dead if they didn't. Please don't equate helmet use with not getting killed, or permanently injured, on a motorcycle. The brain in your head, and the skill you acquire, is much more important than any piece of plastic. Unless they attach brain cells to every helmet, it's just silly to depend on that to save your ass. I've outlived thousands of helmeted riders, as I don't wear one all the time. I don't think anyone ever said helmets don't provide protection, you said that. If you choose to ride a motorcycle, please have your organ donor card filled out, because helmet or not, you have a better chance of using it than any car driver, especially if you ride like a moron and depend on plastic headgear to save you from yourself.
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