There seems to be this constant debate between motorcycle helmet advocates and riders who would rather not wear them. Even in the states that require helmets, there are plenty of riders who refuse to put them on. On the other hand, even if the rest of the country, were motorcycle helmet use isn’t mandated, there are plenty of riders who choose to wear them.
That is not what this article is about, and we’re not going to push you into wearing or not wearing them, though the statistics seem convincing that motorcycle helmet use is the safer option. What if your motorcycle helmet did more than just protect your head in case of an accident? Here are a few recent motorcycle helmet design innovations that deserve your attention.
For the most part, the motorcycle helmet has a maximum capability of blocking out the wind and protecting your head in the event of a crash. Some companies have been trying to make them more useful, with the addition of technology to help you get through your ride easier.
The Skully AR-1 was one of the first to try and bring an electronic HUD (Heads-Up Display) to the motorcycle helmet market, but that project has gone defunct. Livemap has a prototype and is crowdfunding to bring similar technology to the ride, including GPS navigation, AR (augmented reality), and voice control. Reevu has a low-tech solution that gives you a rearward view that’s far better than those tiny mirrors and your best barn-owl impression.
Bluetooth helmets are not quite as sophisticated, but can add a lot to your morning ride or next cross-country adventure. Bluetooth helmets let you listen to music or navigation directions, even let you take phone calls or chat with your fellow riders. If you don’t want to buy a Bluetooth helmet, you can upgrade your current helmet with the technology, too.
Looking at racks on racks of motorcycle helmets usually doesn’t inspire much more than a sigh from most of our lips. There are a couple of perks, perhaps, tinted or mirrored visors or the Bluetooth upgrade, but still the same generally-boring palette of motorcycle helmet designs. Some motorcycle helmet makers and DIYers have turned the basic helmet into a work of art or even a statement piece.
Think of practically any fictional character, and there’s probably a motorcycle helmet to mimic it. We’ve seen Transformers’ Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, Iron Man and War Machine, The Predator, and Halo’s Master Chief and ODST helmets. Some of these can be found by reputable helmet companies, and they’re all DOT and FMVSS-approved. If you want to try your DIY-hand, you can mod a plain old motorcycle helmet with novelty helmet pieces and a custom paint job without compromising safety.
No matter what side of the fence you’re on regarding motorcycle helmet wearing, we think you’ll agree that, if you choose to wear a helmet for safety or legal reasons, there’s no reason that it shouldn’t do more. Whether it’s listening to music, navigation directions, or just letting the world know you’re actually a Samurai warrior, motorcycle helmet makers and modders can make it happen.