Now That’s a Cool Helmet
Trying to get Trina interested in the Harley-Davidson Night Train has been an uphill battle. A lot of that may have to do with the way she was introduced to the bike. After the initial shock she did briefly think it was kind of cool having a husband that rode a motorcycle. But in my typical fashion I completely blew that when I offered to take her for a ride. She agreed and we mounted up to take a short ride.
It seems that we have a difference of opinion as to what short actually means. My theory was you leave and come back on the same day. Trina on the other hand thought it meant a couple of miles to the store and back. This difference of opinion combined with the fact that the Badlander seat was definitely not made for passenger comfort made for a very long ride for Trina.
When we got home she was pretty sore. She was sore at me and sore in general. The good thing about that ride was that I got a new seat, one that had a much more comfortable passenger area. The bad thing was Trina refused to ride with me anymore. It looked as though I was destined to be a single rider. But recently things began to change.
As I began spending more time with the bike and introducing a few new items here and there, Trina again began to warm up to the fact that just maybe this motorcycle could be kind of fun. She mentioned that maybe she would go for a ride more often with me. This was of course great news as I would love to have her riding even if it is just as a passenger.
Before she agreed to a ride, a couple of things had to happen. First she got to decide the destination and the distance at least for the first little while. Second, she needed a helmet that would actually fit her. When I first got the bike I was told that I needed to always ride with a helmet and so did any passenger. Considering that I lost a good friend not too long ago when he was riding without a helmet and fell causing head trauma this seemed like a reasonable request.
I love riding my Harley but I love my family more so anything I can do to stay with them a little longer I am willing to accept that. When I ride I wear a Shoei X-Eleven helmet. It is a full face helmet but has great ventilation so it’s not even too bad when temperatures top 115 degrees. The second helmet we bought was something that the kids could wear when they ride with me. As a result it is a little on the small side for Trina.
I decided that perhaps what Trina needed was a helmet that would be her own. Shopping for a helmet for your wife is a little different than shopping for one for yourself. Looks are equally as important as function. In Trina’s case it couldn’t be too wild but she did want something that was stylish. It needed to be safe since protection is the primary concern. Finally, it could not be too heavy. Although Trina is 5 foot 8 inches, she barely weighs 100 pounds so there is not a lot of muscle mass on her thin frame. Anyone who has looked at helmets can tell you that the criteria laid out are quite mutually exclusive. You end up compromising something whether it is style, function, and weight.
I began researching helmets on the Internet looking over countless models trying to find something that would meet what she was looking for. I finally narrowed the search down to a handful of manufacturers and models. Looking at a helmet online is one thing, trying one on is quite a different proposition. Manned with the various brands and models we went out one Saturday morning to the various shops that carried helmets.
I was first interested in finding which model would feel most comfortable. Once we could identify that we could work on getting one that would meet her fashion requirements. After countless shops and even more helmets Trina finally gave her approval for the SparX brand.
The models from this manufacturer meet the safety requirements from several standards bodies including DOT and ECE2205. Of those two, I put more credence in the ECE2205. It seems to be more stringent for the types of damage that motorcycle riders may encounter. The SparX helmets were also some of the lightest helmets of those we tried. In particular the S07 was extremely lightweight. In fact it weighs less than my Shoei X-Eleven.
Ventilation also was what I would classify as very good. There are several vents around the helmet to whisk the hot air out of the helmet allowing circulation to occur naturally. The internal pads fit well but did not smash your face like many helmets. I was a little concerned when the S07 came with a set of ear plugs. How loud was this helmet that the manufacturer thought the rider needed ear plugs? Again I was surprised to find that the Shoei was louder than the SparX. Another plus to this helmet was that it included both a clear and a smoke visor. Every rider I know has two visors, one for daylight and one for night riding. It was nice that SparX included the second visor in the box immediately saving the consumer from an additional purchase.
With the make and model chosen it was down to style. The S07 comes in several colors/graphics. Trina immediately vetoed the skulls, rebel, and cobra graphics as being too harsh for her tastes. I was beginning to think that perhaps this was going to have to be the one area we would have to compromise on to get her into a helmet. That changed though when she saw the SparX Hornet S07 Special Edition helmet. The graphics and the color were bright and colorful and not too scary.
It had a tough look to it while still not looking so masculine that a woman could not wear it. It was settled, now all I had to do was find a vendor who had one in stock. I ended up buying from Revzilla who had not only a great price but free shipping.
The guys at Revzilla were great to work with and we had the helmet within just a few days, faster than they had estimated which I thought was amazingly fast. Since getting the helmet Trina loves it. It fits like a glove and gives her a distinctive look. She has gone with me on a few rides now and comes home excited about it.
Now if I could just somehow explain to her that a ride on the motorcycle does not mean that we always have to go to a craft or fabric store. I can’t complain too much though, at least she is now going which is what I wanted. I owe a lot of that to the new seat and the SparX Hornet S07 helmet.