Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Motorcycle Tires: The Sticky Facts & Top Tips

The only things keeping you from a really bad day when you are riding are your motorcycle's tires and the air in them. Here is what you should know past the round-and-black points.

Most riders realize their bike's sole connection to the unforgiving asphalt is a thin, pliable hoop of rubber encircling the wheel. What many bikers don't realize though, is how crucial their motorcycle's relationship with this rubber really is. "Co-dependent" would not be an understatement here.

Essential as these rubber hoops are, plenty of riders still can't offer up much insight into their tires' construction or duties. Many riders buy tires based primarily on appearance rather than performance. But even though rubber has very much become a styling element of cruisers, a tire's beauty is deeper than its tread pattern--and what you don't know can hurt you.

Hoop Anatomy 101
The alphanumeric hieroglyphics on a tire's sidewall offer a variety of info. Size can appear in inch, metric and/or alphanumeric denominations. All three interpret the size in terms of its width, aspect ratio and diameter of the intended rim. Here 160 is the cross-section width in mm; 90 is the aspect ratio (the relationship of the tire's height from the rim to the road to its width, expressed as a percentage of section width); H is the speed rating. An S-rated tire is designed to cope with sustained speeds up to 112 mph. An H-rated goes up to 130 mph, a V rated is to 150 mph, and a Z-rated tire is will go more than 150 mph. illustration by Jim Hatch.

Nice Carcass: The backbone of a tire is called the carcass. This interior layer consists of overlapping synthetic cords called plies. The angle of these plies will largely determine a tire's strength and flexibility in action, while the entire carcass construction will affect a tire's performance and wear. Bias-ply tires, which most cruisers wear, have plies running diagonally from one bead to the other, with alternating plies angled in opposite directions. If you could see through the pliesÂ…well, you'd be Superman, but you'd also notice that the cords form an X.

Do We Have Contact?: When a tire rolls, the part that hits the pavement flattens out, becoming the contact patch. As forward motion continues, the contact patch travels away from the pavement and returns to its rounded shape. This constant flexing from round to flat causes plies to rub against each other, generating heat. Unfortunately, not many cruisers are built to use radials, which heat up less and wear better, but improvements in bias-ply technology have produced bias tires which are as good as radials for cruising.

Don't Tread on Me: The tire section motorcyclists are most familiar with is the tread--it's the outermost region of the tire pressing against the road. Molded from tough rubber, the surface of the tread is crisscrossed with grooves called sipes, which channel water away from the contact patch to prevent hydroplaning. The entire tread affects cooling, wear and stability, and the big daddy of them all--traction.

Get a Bead On: The bead is the inner diameter edge of the tire, comprised of high tensile steel wires. It's the edge of the sidewall where the tire seats against the rim, providing an airtight fit, and it acts as an anchor to the plies.

Up the Wall: The tire's sidewall is the portion of the tire between the bead and the tread. It's flexible enough to soak up bumps, yet stiff enough to limit rollover and protect the side of the tire from road damage.

Another important consideration to remember is that bikes with spoked wheels almost always use tube-type tires to keep air from leaking out around the spoke nipples, while bikes with solid or cast wheels are usually shod with tubeless tires. In tubeless applications the inside of the tire is sealed, as is the rim.


TOP 10 TIRE TIPS

Now that you understand the language of rubber, it doesn't mean you shouldn't keep practicing. A neglected tire can be a deadly one.
The simplest and most important thing you can do for your tires' health and your safety is keep them, inflated to the designated pressure.

1. Air It Out: Check tire pressure every chance you get. There's probably no simpler procedure that's more important and more ignored by bikers of every stripe. The air, not the carcass, supports the bike, and underinflation is a tire's number one enemy. (Make sure the tires are cool when you take the reading.) Contrary to most belief of riders that lesser pressure tire offer more grip on wet roads---For a better tractrion in wet conditions, increase pressures by about 10 percent. Unsure of what the pressure is supposed to be? Look for a sticker somewhre on the bike. It is also probably on the VIN (serial number) plate hear the steering head with the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) information.

The simplest and most important thing you can do for your tires' health and your safety is keep them, inflated to the designated pressure.

2. Step in Line: Pay close attention to alignment--shaft drive bikes have no adjustment, but if you have a chain or belt, check the position of your tires. Proper alignment ensures better handling and longer wear.

3. Steady, Now: Although it primarily affects handling, improper balance can also shorten a tire's life. Check it after 500 or 1000 miles of use.

4. Top It Off: The valve stem cap should be securely fastened on the stem, because it's an important part of your tire's sealing system. It'll give you extra security at high speeds, when centrifugal force can conspire to open the valve inside the stem.

5. Soap It Up: Most tire manufacturers recommend that the only substance used to keep rubber shiny should be good old soap and water. Many alleged protectants actually promote premature cracking and finish deterioration. Make sure you wipe off any lube, brake fluid or gas promptly, too.

6. Look Before You Crank: Before you saddle up, take a moment to visually inspect your tires. We can't tell you how many times we've pulled out screws or nails before a ride, thus preventing almost certain tire failure. Once you're on the road, it'll be too late.

7. Stay Smooth: This is common sense--avoid potholes and sharp objects on the road that can compromise your tire's integrity. The same goes for curbs.

8. Don't Mix and Match:

Never run two tires of differing construction. We can't stress this enough, and this rule applies to bias-plies vs. radials as well as tubeless and tube-type tires--even bias-ply vs. bias-belted tires. The results can be disastrous.

9. Scuff 'Em Up: Optimal grip is obtained only after the tread surface has been ridden on, so go into those first few twisties with a bit of caution. The suggested break-in distance is usually 100 or so miles. After that, check the tire's pressure again!

10. Don't Scrimp: If you replace your tires, make sure you replace the tubes, too. Some manufacturers even recommend that you change both tires at the same time, even if they wear differently.

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Drag machines

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How to lower your Motorcycles

Since most underbone users are fond of lowering their rides either for better look or for better performance, here's an article that will be of great help. It will give you a thing or two about things you need to know and remeber when lowering your motorcycles.

Though the article generally refer to cruisers, the concept is the same anyway, so enjoy reading.

Lowering a bike doesn't just give it that long, low custom look, it also allows shorter riders to put their feet flat on the pavement at stoplights. And if you've ever found yourself on a too-tall bike at a slippery intersection, you might be willing to trade in all the shiny chrome in the world for secure footing. (Though we know very short riders who have adopted to tall motorcycles.) "Probably more guys are after the look," says Progressive Suspension's Larry Langley, who estimates the ratio is approximately 60:40 in favor of lowering for style. "But more and more vertically challenged riders are doing it these days, too."

Regardless of your reason for lowering your bike, it's not a task to be taken lightly, and if you're unsure about the dynamics of this type of modification, consult a suspension specialist to avoid safety problems. Over the years, countless bikes have been lowered by backyard mechanics who took a hacksaw to the fork springs and bolted on a set of cheap lowering blocks to the rear shocks. Most of the perpetrators of such hatchet-jobs were happy with their work—until they rode it for the first time, and discovered that, in addition to cool-looking, the bike had become ill-handling, uncomfortable and unsafe. Langley gave us some guidelines for doing the job right, along with a few

Lowering the Front End

"First, as a general rule, never lower the front without lowering the rear," Langley says. "You can lower the rear without lowering the front, and what it does is give the bike more of a chopper effect. But if you just lower the front, you unbalance the bike the wrong way." Many bikes can be lowered by approximately an inch in the front fairly easily by modifying or removing the stock preload spacer. Some bikes come with preload spacers that compress the fork springs an inch or more when the fork is unloaded. Shortening the spacer drops the front end of a bike an amount roughly equal to what you removed from the spacer. But be careful not to go beyond the point where there is minimal pressure on the spring when the suspension is fully extended. If you go beyond this point, your bike will be effectively springless when the front extends completely, as when the front wheel drops into a dip in the road at speed. Not a pretty scenario.

If you want to lower your front end more than an inch, says Langley, probably you'll have to do it mechanically. "What we do is put a spacer, which is really a short spring, under the damper rod. That fools the fork into thinking it's shorter, and doesn't let it come back up to full extension." If the fork has a preload spacer on top of the spring, you also might have to remove or shorten it, or the spring will be too compressed when the fork is at rest. Depending on the bike, you may need shorter main fork springs because you've taken up so much travel that the springs will not let the fork compress fully before the coils contact each other, preventing the fork from compressing.

Cartridge Forks

The preceding methods work for any bike that has damper-rod suspension. "If it has cartridge forks," Langley says, "it's a much bigger problem. For example, we don't even make a lowering kit for the [Honda] Valkyrie, which has a cartridge in one leg and a dummy cartridge in the other." A cartridge is like a rear shock internally. Consequently, there's not an easy way to shorten it. If the design allows, you can slide the forks up in the triple trees; make sure, however, the fender doesn't hit the triple tree when you compress the fork completely, as when hitting a large, sharp bump.

Lowering the Rear End

If you only intend to lower one end of a bike, the rear end is the better choice. And it's all some riders need, since lowering the rear end also lowers the seat substantially, making it easier to flat-foot a bike at stops. The backyard crowd has a quick fix for this—lowering blocks, which are machined spacers that relocate the rear shock's bottom mounting point several inches to the rear. They're cheap, easy to install and their net effect is to lower the back of the bike. But there's another consequence of using lowering blocks which is not so obvious—they drastically change the rear shocks' lever ratios.

Lever Ratio

A shock's lever ratio is determined by the angle at which it's mounted. To better understand this concept, picture a bike's rear suspension, including the swingarm pivot, the rear shock's lower mount and the rear axle. Next, imagine the rear wheel moving though its travel, which describes an arc, and draw that arc. The distance the rear axle travels typically will be farther than the distance traveled by the shock's lower mount. At the extreme, the shock might be moving two inches, and the rear wheel four inches.

This disparity can have unintended consequences if you decide that in order to lower your bike an inch, you only need to fit your shocks an inch shorter than stock. "On a bike like a Valkyrie, which has a 1.5:1 lever ratio, a one inch shorter shock will lower the bike an inch and a half," Langley says. Most bikes have a lever ratio greater than 1:1, and on a single-shock bike such as Yamaha's Road Star, the lever ratio may be as high as 3:1. "The only bikes that have close to 1:1 lever ratios are Harley FLHs," Langley points out.

The drastic change in lever ratio that results from using lowering blocks essentially makes the shock stiffer, reducing ride comfort. So why not just go to a salvage yard and yank some shorter shocks off a wreck? Langley warns, "Shocks are engineered for a particular model. For example, a [Harley-Davidson] Dyna Glide shock will not work on a Sportster because the lever ratio is different. The shocks on a Dyna are moved way up, and they have heavy damping and 300 pound springs. The spring on the Sportster shock is a 100-pound spring and the damping is lighter. Switch them and they'll be either too soft or too hard on the wrong bike. The spring has to be right, and the damping has to match the spring. You have to buy by application, not length."

Effects on Handling

Even if you lower your bike by the book, handling can be affected to some degree. "When you lower a bike, you also lower its center of gravity, so it'll handle a bit better in certain circumstances," says Langley. "The negative is that your initial ground clearance is decreased. Things you used to clear, like curbs or speed bumps, might now be a problem."

And that's not the only thing you'll notice during your first ride on your just-lowered bike. You've given up travel, so your comfort will suffer. As Langley puts it, "The more you lower it, the more ride quality and comfort suffer. Two inches of travel won't do the same job as four inches of travel." Why? The springs must be stiffer to keep you from bottoming out, and the shocks usually need heavier damping to match the heavier springs, which leads to compromises that might force you to re- consider lowering in the first place.

Cornering and Braking

If ground clearance is affected, how about cornering clearance? Common sense tells you a bike's lean angle should be reduced, too. While Langley (and most manufacturers of these kits) says lowering a bike seldom reduced enough to make a difference, practical experience has shown the Motorcycle Cruiser staff that cornering clearance is noticeably altered. If you drag pegs occasionally at the stock ride height, you will do so more frequently if the bike is lowered. Also, if your bike tends to drag solid mounted parts, such as its pipe or sidestand, lowering is not for you.

Braking is a performance category where few riders will notice a difference. Theoretically, lowering a bike should result in less forward weight transfer under braking. But cruisers' long wheelbases should make the difference negligible. However, if you find the fork bottoming out under braking, consider a set of progressive rate springs to stiffen up the front end in the bottom of its travel. The shorter travel may also make the bike chatter more over bumps under braking.

Load

So far, we've seen that when you lower a bike you give away some ride quality. Langley says you also should be prepared to give up some load capacity: "You can't make a bike low and have the same load capacity. That's because you lower the bike at the expense of suspension travel." The reduced travel means the bike can bottom out easier. Those planning on extended two-up riding should forego lowering. If you want to make your cruiser a show bike and troll Sturgis, go for it. But if you want to pack some gear and a passenger and ride across the country on a lowered bike, you're not going to be happy

There's one more way to lower a bike, which is to fit smaller wheels, lower-profile tires, or both. (Of course, you can simple cut the seat down by removing foam or replace it with a thinner saddle.) The wheel change approach is an option that seems appealing, especially with the advent of a wide variety of aftermarket wheels currently available for metric cruisers. Today, you don't just see Harley customs sporting enormous rear tires and low, wide wheels at bike shows. While that setup might lower the bike, Langley suggests you bear in mind that most of those customs aren't ridden much, if at all. "Now you're into an area that drastically changes geometry and how the bike handles," he says. "You'd better really know what you're doing." We recommend changes of this type be made carefully—with the guidance of builders who have performed this type of modification before.

The Lowdown

Langley offers some final thoughts on lowering: "The more you lower it, the more ride quality suffers. That's the first thing I tell anyone considering lowering a bike. What I generally recommend is going an inch lower front and rear, so you'll still have enough travel to give [yourself] a good ride. That's a pretty good compromise, but anything over that and you're giving up a good ride."

Regardless of whether you want to lower your bike for good looks or peace of mind, resist the quick-and-dirty fix, and remember that lowering unavoidably involves compromises, no matter what some backyard customizers say. You can live more easily with those compromises if you do the job right and don't take it too far. Just don't forget the idea is to get down...not hit rock bottom.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

MODENAS



Modenas Motorcycles

Motosikal dan Enjin Nasional Sdn. Bhd (National Motorcycle and Engine Company), or known as Modenas for short is a Malaysian national motorcycle company producing various small motorcycle models below 200cc targeted for local market and export. The company's headquarters and factory are located at the small town of Gurun, Kedah, Malaysia.

The history of the company began at the early 1990's. After the success of Malaysian automotive manufacturer Proton, the government looked forward to launch a national motorcycle project. Modenas was formed in 1995 and majority of its shares were held by Kawasaki, Sojitz, Khazanah Nasional and DRB-HICOM.


Models
Generally, Modenas produces motorcycle models ranging below 250 cc. Most models are scooter models and Honda Supercub compatible mopeds, or known by Malaysians as kapchai.

KRISS 110 SE
Max power: 9.0 PS (6.6 kW) @ 8,500 rpm
Max torque: 9.3 N·m (0.95 kgf·m) @ 4,000 rpm
Engine type: SOHC 2-valve 4-stroke single-cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 111 [[cubic centimetre|cc]
Bore x stroke: 53 x 50.6 mm
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Fuel tank capacity: 4.3 L
Dry weight: 96 kg
Transmission: 4 speed with automatic centrifugal clutch
Max speed: about 135 km/h
This is the Modenas Newest Kriss Motorcycle. Since Kriss is the most good selling motorcycle in Malaysia (rather than Kristar), Modenas decided to bring Kriss back and called them Kriss 110 SE (Second Edition).

Kriss 110 series
Max power: 9.0 PS (6.6 kW) @ 8,500 rpm
Max torque: 9.3 N·m (0.95 kgf·m) @ 4,000 rpm
Engine type: SOHC 2-valve 4-stroke single-cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 111 [[cubic centimetre|cc]
Bore x stroke: 53 x 50.6 mm
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Fuel tank capacity: 4.3 L
Dry weight: About 100 kg
Transmission: 4 speed with automatic centrifugal clutch
Max speed: about 120 km/h
Modenas Kriss is the first model launched by Modenas in 1996. It was previewed to the public during Malaysian National Day parade in 1996 and began production at the end of 1996. The original model only uses drum brakes, but in 1999 the front disc brake model was launched, known as Kriss 2 (or Kriss 115 Sports in some countries). Powered by 111-cc Kawasaki-developed engines, Modenas Kriss becomes the best-selling motorcycle model in Malaysia.

Another Kriss variant known as Kriss SG was launched in 2002. However, unlike other Kriss variants, this model didn't sell very well due to its outdated design.

All Kriss series variants outcame major cosmetic changes in 2003 especially at the lights for newer, better looks.

In 2005, all Kriss 110 variants have been phased out to make way for production of Kristar, leaving only Kriss 100 as the sole variant of Kriss.

Kriss 100
After the success of Kriss variants to dominate 110 cc small motorcycle segment in Malaysian market, Modenas launched another Kriss variant, this time with a 97 cc engine developed by Modenas. This model uses the same chassis and components as its other Kriss 'brothers' except the engine. However, there's no disc brake option available for Kriss 100.


Jaguh 175
Max power: 16 PS (11.8 kW) @ 8,500 rpm
Max torque: 13.7 N·m (1.4 kgf·m) @ 7,500 rpm
Engine type: SOHC 2-valve 4-stroke single-cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 174 cc
Bore x stroke: 65 x 52.4 mm
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Fuel tank capacity: 14 L
Dry weight: 132 kg
Transmission: 5-speed
Max speed: About 130 ~ 140 km/h
In 1999, Modenas built a small cruiser model based on popular Kawasaki Vulcan cruiser series. The model is aimed for bikers who wish to own large American cruiser motorcycles but cannot afford to own them due to very high taxes on imported motorcycles placed by the government and also due to refusal of the banks to finance loans on large motorcycles.


Karisma 125
Max power: 6.8 kW @ 8,500 rpm
Max torque: 9.3 N·m (0.95 kgf·m) @ 7,500 rpm
Engine type: SOHC 2-valve 4-stroke single-cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 124.9 cc
Bore x stroke: 51.5 x 60 mm
Compression ratio: 9.2:1
Fuel tank capacity: 7.5 L
Dry weight: 105 kg
Transmission: CVT
Max speed: About 110 km/h
During these recent years, more and more scooter models were introduced in Malaysia. However, Kawasaki never produce any scooters, therefore Modenas had to source from a Taiwanese scooter company for the technology transfer. However, Modenas had to improve the quality of the scooter by itself due to poor quality of Taiwan-made scooters.

The earliest production batches suffered poor handling, and after some improvements the handling of this model became better and Modenas Karisma dominmates the Malaysian scooter market since 2004.

Elit
On August 2003, Modenas launched three models at once in order to face the fierce competition of Malaysian scooter market with imported cheap models from China and Taiwan, where most of Chinese and Taiwanese motorcycles and scooters suffer poor quality and reliability.

Modenas Elit scooter was launched as an alternative to Karisma model, comes with two displacement choices - 125 cc model and the larger, more powerful 150 cc model.

Ceria
Max power: 5.5 kW @ 7,750 rpm
Max torque: 7.38 N·m @ 6,500 rpm
Engine type: SOHC 2-valve 4-stroke single-cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 101 cc
Bore x stroke: 51.5 x 48.5 mm
Compression ratio: 10.5:1
Fuel tank capacity: 6.7 L
Dry weight: 98 kg
Transmission: CVT
Max speed: About 100 km/h
Modenas Ceria scooter was launched together with the Elit model. This scooter uses smaller 101 cc engine, making Ceria as the scooter with the smallest displacement ever built by Modenas.


Dinamik
Max power: 12.5 kW @ 9,000 rpm
Max torque: 14.1 N-m @ 8,000 rpm
Engine type: 2-stroke single-cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 118 cc
Bore x stroke: 54 x 51.8 mm
Compression ratio: 7.3:1
Fuel tank capacity: 4.6 L
Dry weight: 98 kg
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Max speed: About 150 km/h
After years producing only 4 stroke powered motorcycles, Modenas launched its first 2-stroke motorcycle, Dinamik together with Elit and Ceria scooters. Modenas claimed that this model exceeded Euro 2 emission standards without the addition of a catalytic converter.

This model was built by Modenas as a preparation to take part in Malaysian Cub Prix tournament which are currently dominated by Yamaha. machines. During the tournament, Modenas increases the displacement up to 125 cc to provide more power and torque.

Elegan
Max power: 13 PS (9.56 kW) @ 8,000 rpm
Max torque: 11.7 N·m @ 6,000 rpm
Engine type: SOHC 4-valve 4-stroke single-cylinder, water-cooled
Displacement: 149.6 cc
Bore x stroke: 57 x 58.6 mm
Compression ratio: 11:1
Fuel tank capacity: 8.5 L (± 0.3 L reserve)
Dry weight: 144 kg
Transmission: CVT
Max speed: About 130 ~ 140 km/h
At the end of February 2004, Modenas launched their first water-cooled scooter, Modenas Elegan. This model is targeted for those who wants to travel long distances. In addition to more powerful water-cooled engine, Elegan scooter features a large gasoline tank accessible under the handlebars, large underseat storage compartment, and digital meter panel for odometer, fuel gauge and thermometer. The engine cylinder is coated with Ni-Si ceramic for better reliability during long distance travels.

Kristar
Kristar was launched by Modenas at the end of 2004. Modenas decided to produce Kristar as their all-new model after nearly a decade of Modenas Kriss production.

Even though Kristar uses the same engine as Kriss, Modenas claimed that Kristar achieved better fuel economy of 46.95 km/L @ 90 km/h, compared with Kriss with the fuel economy of 44 km/L @ 90 km/h. The increase of fuel economy is due to the installation of te fuel tank breather tube connected to the inlet manifold for better fuel emission and better fuel economy.

Besides of the new design and better fuel economy, Kristar also features an underseat compartment that can be opened from the same ignition key slot, dual headlights, stylish superbike-like muffler and rear light failure detection system which claimed by Modenas as the only model equipped with this system.

Passion
Max power: 7.1 kW @ 7,750 rpm
Max torque: 9.3 N·m @ 6,7850 rpm
Engine type: SOHC 2-valve 4-stroke single-cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 124.9 cc
Bore x stroke: 51.5 x 60 mm
Compression ratio: 9.9:1
Fuel tank capacity: 4 L
Dry weight: 97 kg
Transmission: CVT
Max speed: About 120 km/h
Modenas Passion is the latest scooter model launched by Modenas on January 2006. Using a pair of 14-inch cast iron wheels, Modenas Passion has a direct competition with Yamaha eGo.

Participation in motorcycle races
Modenas formed a factory team and supported some other teams using their machines to take part in Malaysian Cub Prix, a tournament of moped held in Malaysia to compete with Yamaha and Suzuki machines. The teams use Modenas Kriss machines for Wira category and Modenas Dinamik for Expert category.

Modenas also used to take part in Motorcycle Grand Prix via Team Modenas KR before taken over by Proton in 2001. Modenas built a 500 cc 3-cylinder 2-stroke machine for the team.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mopeds

Mopeds are a class of low-powered motorized vehicles, generally two-wheeled. Moped classification is designed to allow the use of small motorised vehicles, avoiding the safety restrictions and licensing charges required of larger motorcycles. Some motorized bicycles, small scooters, and small motorcycles fit the definition of a moped. In many countries microcars like Aixam and Piaggio Ape are classified as mopeds because of their low top speed and small capacity engine.
In legal literature, mopeds are normally defined by limits on engine displacement, speed, power output, transmissions, or the requirement of pedals. In some countries, the legal driving age for a moped is lower than for larger motorcycles, and consequently mopeds are popular among the youth. Typically, mopeds are restricted to 30-50 km/h (19-31 mph) and engines less than 50 cc. Some localities require pedals, thus making them a form of hybrid vehicle, using both human power and machine power. Because of their small size, many jurisdictions consider them "limited speed motorcycle."



History

Early moped, a bicycle with a helper motor on the rear hub.
The earliest mopeds, introduced in the early 1950s, were standard bicycles with a helper motor in various locations, for example on top of the front wheel; they were also called cyclemotors. An example of this type is the VéloSoleX brand, which simply had a rubber roller driving the front tire. A more innovative design was known in the UK as the Cyclemaster. This had a complete powered rear wheel which was simply substituted for the bicycle rear wheel, which originated from a design by two DKW engineers in Germany. Slightly larger machines, commonly with a 98 cc engine were known as autocycles. However, some mopeds, such as the Czech-made Jawa, were derived from motorcycles.
A further category of low-powered two-wheelers exists today in some jurisdictions for bicycles with helper motors—these are often defined as power-assisted bicycles or motorized bicycles; see full article there. Some jurisdictions, however, may categorize these as a type of moped, creating a certain amount of confusion.
Some mopeds have been designed with more than two wheels, similar to a microcar, or the three wheeled (two front, one back) transport moped.


Mopeds and the United States
In 1974, the United States was in the midst of a national fuel crisis due to the OPEC oil embargo. Travellers were forced to wait in lines for hours just to get a tank of gas. Most cars at that time were not very fuel-efficient and people looked for a new method of transportation, which could allow them to travel efficiently and reasonably.
The moped, which was half bicycle / half motorcycle had existed for years in Europe but had not made it to the United States, in part because of safety restrictions implemented by the Department of Transportation. In 1972, Serge Seguin of France wrote his Masters thesis on the European moped. After receiving two mopeds and a small amount of money from a company called Motobecane, Seguin travelled throughout the United States promoting the vehicle. After lobbying Congress on its fuel efficiency benefits, Seguin was able to get more than 30 states to devise a specific vehicle classification for the bikes.
The bikes had very small engines and often could not exceed 40 miles per hour. What they could do, however, was run for up to 220 miles on one tank of fuel. Because of the problems caused by the aforementioned energy crisis, mopeds quickly became popular, with more than 250,000 people in the United States owning one in 1977. However, as gas prices eventually moved down and automobile companies devised more efficient cars, the mopeds popularity and usefulness began to fade.

Etymology

The original moped – a bike equipped with a motor
The word moped was coined by a Swedish journalist in 1952, as a portmanteau of motor and pedal. It is however often claimed to be derived from "motor velicioped", as velicioped is the translation for bicycle in other languages such as Russian.[1] According to Douglas Harper, the Swedish terms originated from "(trampcykel med) mo(tor och) ped(aler)", which means "pedal cycle with engine and pedals." (the earliest versions had auxiliary pedals).[2]
Other terms used for low-powered cycles include: Mofa (Motor-Fahrrad, German
for motor-bicycle), Mokick (equipped with kick-start), Motorbicycle, Motorized Bicycle, Motor-Driven Cycle, and Goped (motorized inline skateboard with T-bar).

Local definitions

Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asian countries, mopeds are classified as small motorcycles similar to Honda Super Cub, sometimes called underbones, they are also known as kapchai in Malaysia. A kapchai moped is usually powered by small 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines ranging from 50 cc to 125 cc, but recently the displacement range was increased to 135 cc with the introduction of the largest displacement kapchai model, Yamaha Y135LC.
In Thailand, the regulation of motorcycle in city is different from the regulation for home used. Motorcycles in the city must paid road tax and have a valid license plate number. However for the motorcycle for home use, a motorcycle might not need to register and the motorcycle will only be able to be used in farms or a small
town. Wearing helmet is a must when riding on a major road and in the city. There is no limit of maximum pillion riders on the bikes even in the city.
In Malaysia, kapchai bikes may apply the same highway speed limits as cars and larger motorcycles since modern kapchai models are capable to reach the top speeds of about 120-130 km/h, therefore all kapchai bikes are allowed to be used on public roads and expressways. However in Indonesia, mopeds are not allowed to be used on Indonesian tollways. In the Philippines, many underbones, especially the Honda XRM are modified, some are "pimped out" with stereo systems and neon lights, while others are tuned for illegal street racing.
In Vietnam, mopeds can be seen everywhere. In the main cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, mopeds are by far the preferred method of transport, due to the narrow nature of many of the streets, and the sheer volume of vehicles on them. In fact, many of the shops along these streets are designed such
that these mopeds are parked inside of the shop.

Brazil
In Brazil, the definition of moped (locally called "ciclomotor") and the regulations regarding its use has been varying throughout the years. From 1985 to 1997, a moped was defined as human propulsion vehicle aided by an engine displacing less than 50 cc, no more than 3 hp, having a maximum speed of no more than 50 km/h and having pedals similar to those found in a bicycle. No license was required.
From 1997 onwards, the legal definition of moped changed to "a two or three wheeled vehicle having an internal combustion engine with displacement inferior to 50 cc and maximum factory speed of less than 50 km/h. The 1997 New Code of Transit also stated that any person aged 14 or older could ride a moped provided that person could read and be physically able. However, in 1998 the minimum age limit was changed to 18 years, since Brazilian Law doesn't allow minors to be criminally responsible, which contradicts the 1997 New Code of Transit, that states that being a criminally responsible is a requirement to be able to get a license.
Note that by the current Brazilian regulations, electric mopeds are currently classified as "motorcycles", which require a type A driving license, as they have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine.

Canada
In Canada the Moped has been repealed from the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.[3] Nevertheless the vehicle itself is still legislated within various provinces.
In Alberta, Canada, mopeds require a class 6 (motorcycle) or class 7 (learner's permit) licence and must have engines under 50 cc. In addition to this, they must not have a driver-operated transmission. They are allowed to carry more than one person. Mopeds are subject to all of the same traffic laws as other vehicles, and all riders must wear helmets.[4]
In Ontario, Canada, "a moped is a motor-assisted bicycle fitted with pedals that can be operated at all times and has a maximum speed of 50 km/h."[5] A motor assisted bicycle is a bicycle:
(a) that is fitted with pedals that are operable at all times to propel the bicycle,
(b) that weighs not more than fifty-five kilograms,
(c) that has no hand or foot operated clutch or gearbox driven by the motor and transferring power to the driven wheel,
(d) that has an attached motor driven by electricity or having a piston displacement of not more than fifty cubic centimetres, and
(e) that does not have sufficient power to enable the bicycle to attain a speed greater than 50 kilometres per hour on level ground within a distance of 2 kilometres from a standing start; (“cyclomoteur”)
Since 28 November 2005 moped drivers require either a full M licence or a restricted class M licence to legally ride on road in Ontario.[7] Prior to that date riders only required a G licence. The G licence is a "general" licence for automobile drivers such as cars, small vans and trucks.

Denmark
Mopeds in Denmark are divided into "Small mopeds" and "Big mopeds", 'Small' mopeds have a speed limit of 30 km/h, and 'Big' mopeds have one on 45 km/h. A moped license is needed and the driver must be at least 16 to operate a small one. A car driver's or motorcycle license is needed and the driver must be at least 18 years old to drive a big one. All new mopeds (both types) bought after 1 June 2006 must be registered with a license plate, and have insurance. The older models are not required to have a license plate.
Both models have a maximum of 1
-1.2 bhp (750-890 W) and 50 cc but nearly 75% of all Danish mopeds are illegally unrestricted.

European Union
There is yet no law for mopeds commonly throughout the European Union; each country has its own laws. However, there is a moped called the EU-moped that has the same speeds and other properties and is widespread over Europe. It has a maximum speed of 45 km/h and must have a license plate.

Finland
Mopeds can be driven with an M-class driving licence, which can be obtained at the age of 15. People born before 1985 can drive a moped without a licence.The power of an internal combustion engine moped is not limited, but the speed limit is 45 km/h and engine capacity can be a maximum of 50 cc (with electric motor maximum power is restricted to 4 kW). Mopeds are allowed to carry one passenger with the driver, if the moped is registered as having two seats. Both driver and passenger are required to wear helmets. After Finland joined the European Union, EU regulations increased the maximum weight of moped and speed limit was increased from 40 km/h to 45 km/h.

Greece
In Greek slang mopeds are referred to as "Papakia" (Greek: Παπάκια) - meaning "Ducks". They are usually powered by small 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines ranging from 50 cc to 125 cc. They are very popular among youngsters due to their small price and maintenance cost, and are widely used by all age groups, usually 13 and up. The most known "Duck" was the 80's Honda 50 cc moped, which is still in use today. (the use of these bikes require license and relevant exams taken before attaining it)

New Zealand
Mopeds can be driven with any class of driver licence. Mopeds are classified as having an engine capacity not exceeding 50 cc and a maximum speed not exceeding 50 km/h. Electric mopeds must have a motor between 600 and 2000 watts. Mopeds do not require safety testing (known as a Warrant of Fitness in NZ) and are subject to lower licensing costs than motorcycles, though one still needs the right equipment (Helmet etc.).

Portugal
InPortugal Moped is a two or three wheel motor vehicle with an engine of 50 cc or less, or having an engine with more than 50 cc but with a maximum speed of no more than 45 km/h. For driving a Moped is necessary a A type licence, which can be obtained at the age of 14 years old.

Russia
Russian moped ZiD-50 "Pilot"
The moped is legally defined as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with engine displacement of no more than 50 cc and maximum speed of no more than 50 km/h. Such vehicles require no licensing. Pillion passengers are not allowed.

Spain
In Spain a moped is defined as a two or three wheel motor vehicle with an engine of 50 cc or less with a maximum speed of no more than 45 km/h. The license needed for driving a moped is the 'LCC' or 'Licencia de Conducción para Ciclomotor', which can be obtained at the age of 14 years. The driver is not allowed to transport passengers on the rear seat until 16 years of age.

Sweden
Mopeds are available in two classes. Class 1 (also known as EU moped as it was introduced to comply with European Union rules) is a moped designed for a maximum speed of 45 km/h powered by an engine of 50 cc or, if it has an electric motor, has a maximum power of 4 kW. A driver's licence type A (motorcycle) or B (car), a driving licence for tractor or a class 1 moped licence (when you're 15 years old) is required to ride a class 1 moped. In traffic class 1 mopeds are regarded as motorcycles (but may not be driven on freeways or motorroads) and has to be registered and have a licence plate. They are however tax free. Class 2 is a moped designed for a top speed of 25 km/h and has an engine with maximum 1 kW. No licence is required, but the driver has to be above 15 years and wear a helmet. In traffic they are regarded as bicycles unless there are signs explicitly forbidding mopeds. Mopeds registered before June 17, 2003 are called legacy mopeds and they are subject to the same rules as class 2 mopeds, but may have a top speed of 30 km/h.

Switzerland
A moped is considered to be a two wheeled vehicles that has pedals, a motor which is less than 50 cc and a top speed of 30 km/h (19 mph). The moped must be registered and must have a number plate with a sticker for that year indicating that the vehicle is road taxed and insured. Insurance is handled by the government. These vehicle are regarded bicycles in traffic and are therefore not allowed on motorways. To drive this vehicle one must have a Category M licence (which comes with every car and motorbike licence) as well as a motorcycle helmet. A Category M licence is obtainable at the age of 14. At the age of 16 one can obtain a A1 licence to drive a 50 cc motorcycle which does not conform to the 30 km/h limit.

United Kingdom
The term moped describes any low-powered motor driven cycle with an engine capacity of less than 50 cc and a maximum design speed of no more than 30 mph. If used before 1 August 1977 it must be moveable by pedals and although it must be 50 cc or below, it does not have to conform to the 30mph speed restriction. (This is where the original name 'moped' is derived - Mo = motor, Ped = pedals). A provisional licence, full motorcycle or car licence is needed to operate a moped. An additional Compulsory Basic Training certificate is also required to ride a moped on public roads, except for anyone who obtained their full car driving licence or motorcycle licence before 1 February 2001. A provisional moped licence may be obtained at the age of 16, whereas standard car and motorcycles licences are only available at the age of 17. Provisional licences require learner plates and expire after two years if the licence holder has not upgraded their licence. Mopeds are subject to all of the same traffic laws as other vehicles. All motorised cycles/motorcycles/mopeds under 50 cc are excluded from using UK motorways.

United States
Legal terms and definitions of low-powered cycles vary from state to state and may or may not include "Moped," "Motorcycle," "Motorized Bicycle," "Motorscooter," "Goped," "Motor-Driven Cycle," and or others. The Honda Metropolitan scooter is designated as a "Motor-Driven Cycle" on its VIN sticker and by states like Kansas (K.S.A. 8-1439). A moped's speed generally may not exceed 30 mph (48 km/h) on level ground, even if it is capable of going faster. In a few states this number is 20 or 25 mph (32 or 40 km/h), and in most states, the maximum engine capacity is 50 cc. However, Kansas ("Motorized Bicycle" K.S.A. 8-126, 8-1439a) allows up to 130 cc[11]. Some states require pedals, while others do not.

Derestriction and performance tuning
In juristrictions where mopeds are limited by power output or top speed, it is common for mopeds to be restricted in some capacity. Some mopeds are restricted by simple means, such as plates or washers which may be removed to increase speed--some dealerships will derestrict a moped for free or at minimal expense. Some mopeds are restricted by washers in the variator which prevent it from being able to close fully at high speeds, limiting revs, while others are electronically limited by their CDI unit which works similarly to an ECU in a car. Other mopeds, however, are restricted by their design as a whole. Such mopeds require aftermarket parts to increase performance. Common means for increasing performance on 2-stroke mopeds include adding an exhaust pipe with a larger expansion chamber, installing a larger carburetor, and/or installing a speed kit with a larger cylinder or with reed valves.
The speed gained by such modifications varies greatly on the specific engine and on the combination of modifications performed.

Most mopeds can be upgraded without problems to a 70 cc engine by replacing the original cylinder with an aftermarket cylinder - Mainly produced in Italy by Polini, Malossi, Athena, Hebo (sub-producer of Athena), Metrakit etc. These companies are specialists in producing 'racing' or sports kits (which last better, and do not require extreme maintenance - good for every day mopeds) for many kinds of 2- and 4-stroke engines. They also offer great sponsor deals for licensed racers, who race on certified racetracks.
The problem with riding tuned mopeds by teens in countries where their top speed and/or engine capacity has to be limited to allow driving without or with an M-class EU driver's license is that technically, a moped that has been upped in power or top speed is a motorcycle, which requires different tax paying, insurance and an A-class EU driver's license, which can be obtained only by an adult, which makes riding one punishable as driving without a license.
In Finland, the police have increased the number of surprise checks in schools and teenager hot spots to cut down the problem.

Moped culture
As mopeds and repair parts have become scarcer, and as a certain nostalgia has grown around mopeds (not unlike that of classic scooters), enthusiasts have formed an increasing number of organizations devoted to moped collecting, repair, and lifestyle.
The Moped Army is a moped gang comprised of local branches from the United States. Different branches put together annual rallies around the country.
The Moped Riders Association is an international organization which sponsors events and rides throughout North America.
The National Autocycle and Cyclemotor Club ( NACC) cater for all types of mopeds in the UK and are affiliated to the Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC).
A number of unaffiliated local and regional organizations also exist, such as the RCMP from the Greater Toronto Area, Rocket Ship Tomos from Japan, and The Variators, which were formerly a branch of the Moped Army, from Ottawa.
In 1978, Walter Muma set an unofficial world record for distance travelled on a true moped in a single trip. The trip took 97 days and began in Toronto, Canada, taking him a total of 11,518 miles (18,660 km) through Yukon, Canada; Alaska, USA; Inuvik, Canada; and back to Toronto. He rode a Motobecane
moped, and carried most of what he needed (clothing, food, spare parts, fuel, etc.) on the moped itself. Over the entire trip, he spent only $106 (Cdn) on fuel.

Moped safety
Riding a moped safely has similar considerations to motorcycle safety, however, some concerns are exacerbated on a moped. Their smaller size, while offering finer control than larger bikes, also makes them harder to see.Therefore, many mopeds are equipped with reflectors and other accessories that makes them more visible in the street - especially in the dark.
Many mopeds are styled to look like motorcycles. This may encourage inexperienced riders to act as if they were operating such a machine, bringing it into situations or expecting performance it is not capable of negotiating (such as attempting to ride a moped on a high speed interstate
). This also increases the risk from automobile drivers as they may think a moped is a motorcycle and misjudge its speed.

Read more...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Motorcycle Safety Clothing

Motorcycle safety clothing

A motorcyclist wearing full safety clothing of helmet, gloves, boots and leathers
To improve motorcycle safety many developed countries mandate the wearing of protective clothing by motorcyclists, especially a helmet. Other protective gear may include certain types of jackets, gloves, boots, and pants. Jackets meant for motorcyclists are typically made of nylon, leather, or Kevlar. These jackets typically include heavy padding on the elbow, spine, and shoulder regions. Gloves are generally made of leather or Kevlar and some include carbon fiber knuckle protection. Boots, especially those for sport riding, include reinforcement and plastic caps on the ankle and toe areas. A well-protected motorcyclist will wear boots with heels that fit on motorcycle pegs and provide good ankle support. Pants are usually leather, nylon, or Kevlar. Except for helmets, none of these items are required by law in any state in the U.S. but are recommended by many of those who ride.
"Off road" riders wear a range of plastic armour to protect against injury from falling off, hitting other riders and bikes, debris kicked up from the rear wheel of leading bikes, and from running into track barriers protecting the public. This armour protects the extremities from breakage and dislocation and the back and chest from strain and broken bones. Although fairly efficient, it is of course not always completely effective. Many riders wear "roost protectors" designed specifically to protect against painful debris from other bikes, but are of no use in a fall or collision.

Leathers
The term "motorcycle leathers" describes leather clothing worn by motorcyclists. Leathers provide impact, puncture and abrasion protection to a rider who falls from his or her bike, and provide additional weather protection beyond what normal clothing offers when travelling at high speed. The most common leather used for motorcycle apparel is cowhide, known for its strength and durability. Kangaroo leather is becoming popular for its suppleness, light weight and strength compared with cowhide.
Originally, motorcycle leathers were adapted from tank corps gear immediately following World War I. Duster coats, which tended to catch in the wheels, were switched for short coats. Wide-pegged breeches were worn by some motorcycle police (and are still worn in Belgium) and by dispatch riders in World War II, but were largely abandoned in the post-war years because of their association with certain Nazi uniforms.
Currently there are two major styles of motorcycle leathers: the tight fitting and sometimes colorful one or two piece suits based on motorcycle racing leathers; and the somewhat looser fitting leather trousers and jackets, usually black and often decorated with metal studs and tassles. The latter style, the jackets in particular, are also worn by people who are fond of the style but do not ride motorcycles. The classic American Perfecto motorcycle jacket with epaulets and diagonal zipper, made famous by Marlon Brando in The Wild One, (1954) was invented in 1928 by Irving Schott, of Schott NYC in New York City. Leather chaps, adapted from cowboy gear, were used by American bikers starting in the early 1960s.
A lot of modern leathers have armour on the inside at critical impact points such as elbows, shoulders, knees and the spine. The armour ranges from high density foam to foam backed hard armour, and in Europe much of it is CE marked. It is designed to spread the impact point to minimize injury.

Textile clothing
Increasingly, motorcyclists are choosing protective equipment constructed of man-made textiles rather than leather due to their improved weather protection, from heat, cold and water, and the increased utility these garments tend to provide in terms of pockets and vents. Common materials include high density (600 - 1000 Denier) ballistic nylon (e.g., Cordura) and Kevlar (or blends of Kevlar, Cordura, and Lycra) and often include waterproof liners made from materials such as Goretex. These artificial fabrics are said by some motorcyclists to be more comfortable, particularly in warm weather. The textile garments typically take less time to dry out, whereas leather gear may remain wet (and cold) for some time.
Textile protective clothing is also nearly always worn over ordinary clothing, whereas leather suits—particularly those manufactured for racing—are not. In addition, synthetic fabrics generally provide better protection from inclement weather. For these reasons, synthetics are often practical for commuters and can help make motorcycles an attractive alternative to four wheeled vehicles.
Not all textile clothing is made from synthetic materials. Heavy weight waxed cotton was used for many years before the development of modern materials, typified by the jackets made by companies such as Belstaff
.
Performance claims range for textile motorcycle clothing from somewhat less to somewhat better than competition grade leathers. Key elements of performance include:
strength - the protective clothing must maintain its integrity in the event of a crash
abrasion resistance ability to slide instead of grabbing tarmac or concrete (grabbing would tumble the rider, likely resulting in greater injury) heat resistance - whilst sliding the friction with the road can result in enough heat to melt many synthetic materials
ability to stretch and breathe (for comfort). Additional protection may be provided by armour (CE approved is desirable) and airbag systems.

Proper fit
Whatever materials one chooses for one's motorcycle gear, it is important to get the correct fit when purchasing it. Incorrectly fitted garments may result in excessive injury if armour shifts out of position during a riding mishap. Flapping due to too loose a fit also creates unnecessary wear and tear, wind drag, and noise, and can distract the rider. In the event of a fall, loose garments may grab the road surface, resulting in a tumble rather than a slide. Two piece suits often come with zips to join the jacket and trousers/jeans together, thus improving safety in the event of a crash.

Boots
Motorcycle boots are a type of protective footwear used by motorcycle riders designed to protect a rider's feet and legs while riding and in the event of a crash. Sturdy, over-the-ankle boots can protect from a variety of riding hazards. Boots with oil-resistant, rubber-based composite soles will give you a strong grip on the pavement and help you keep your feet on the pegs. If the boots have heels, they should be low and wide to provide a stable base when standing with the bike. In case of a crash, boots help provide valuable protection against foot and ankle injuries. As with jackets and pants, boots should be designed specifically for motorcycling, using materials (thick leather, abrasion resistant textiles and plastics) that can protect against the forces of a crash.

Engineer boots

Wesco crotch-high Engineer Boots
Similar to harness boots, engineer boots are a type of motorcycle boot: footwear usually worn by motorcycle riders, commonly called "bikers." The boots are most often made of heavy weight black leather, have a rounded toe and range in height from short (10") to extra high (38"). The most typical height is between 10 and 18 inches.
Engineer boots are designed to protect the motorcycle rider from injury to the foot and leg in the case of an accident while riding and to prevent burns of the rider's calves while riding. They may include a built-in steel toe cap and metal shank in the heel, and often are double layered with leather for stiffness. Engineer boots typically have an adjustable leather strap across the ankle as well as an adjustable leather strap at the top of the shaft to adjust the fit. Multiple straps at the top of the shaft are also not uncommon. Soles and heels are usually made of hard rubber and may either be relatively flat or may have lugs for increased traction.
During the depression era, Chippewa Shoe Company[1], of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, developed a pair of boots with stovepipe leg and was fashioned over "English Riding Boot" last. In the 1960s, Sears carried the Sears branded Chippewa Engineers and showed them as worn by land surveyors, a possibility as of how the name came about.[2] Another major manufacturer of Engineer Boots is West Coast Shoe Company based in Portland, Oregon. They began manufacturing the engineer boot in 1939. A large portion of their sales began with the shipbuilders in Portland, Oregon, building ships for World War II





Motocross boots

Motocross boots are a variety of motorcycle boot designed specifically for off-road, motocross (MX) or all-terrain vehicle riding. To help prevent a rider's feet and legs from being injured, motocross boots are typically much more stiff than regular motorcycle boots or racing boots, but are more flexible than ski boots by comparison.
Modern motocross boots are usually nearly knee-high (about 16 inches in height) and made from a combination of leather, metal, plastic and/or man-made composite materials to create a very form-fitting, comfortable and tight boot. To allow a rider to easily get the boot on or off, the shaft of a motocross boot is designed to open lengthwise. Multiple adjustable straps (usually 4 to 5) are deployed along the foot, ankle and shaft of the boot to allow the rider to tighten the boot to his/her preferences and comfort. Some manufacturers also include an internal quick-lacing system between a soft inner leg and the outer harder shell of the boot shaft to further ensure a tight, but comfortable fit. To protect the leading edge of the boot sole against rough terrain, a metal plate is usually screwed in place. The heal of a motocross boot is typically very low: not more than 1/2-inch. A curved plastic or composite plate covers the shin of the boot to protect the rider from debris that may be thrown from the front wheel of the motorcycle.
The most common colors of motocross boots are black or white, but other colors such as red, blue, yellow and green (possibly combined with black or white) are also available. Trick riders often opt to wear white boots since they are more most readily visible.


Racing boots
Similar totouring boots, racing boots are a variety of motorcycle boot designed specifically for riding a motorcycle on hard pavement (either the street or a race track) and are usually between 10 and 14 inches in height and made from a combination of leather, metal, plastic and/or man-made composite materials to create a form-fitting, but comfortable boot. The amount of armored protection provided by racing boots is usually greater than touring boots due to the increased potential for injury at the high speeds needed for racing.
Depending upon how form-fitting the boot is, to allow a rider to easily get the boot on or off, the shaft may be designed to open lengthwise. If so, Velcro is typically used on the inner sides of the opening to allow the rider to close the boot over the foot, ankle and leg. This allows for some flexibility for the rider to control the boot's tightness. Some manufacturers also include an internal quick-lacing system between a soft inner leg and the harder outer shell of the boot shaft to further ensure a tight, but comfortable fit. The heel of a racing boot is typically very low: not more than 1/2-inch, and sole of the heel and foot is typically rather smooth. A curved plastic or composite plate may be included to cover the shin of the boot to protect the rider's shin.
The most common color of racing boots is black, but other colors such as white, red, blue, yellow and green may be combined with black or each other in some fashion. Typical street riders may prefer all black, but racers may opt for a color combination that matches the rest of their motorcycle leathers, helmet and/or motorcycle
.




Touring boots
Similar to racing boots, touring boots are a variety of motorcycle boot designed specifically for riding a motorcycle on hard pavement, but with less armored protection than racing boots since they are intended for riders that typically ride on city streets and highways, not race tracks. They are usually between 10 and 14 inches in height and made from a combination of leather, metal, hard rubber, plastic and/or man-made fabrics to create a form-fitting, but comfortable boot.
Dependingupon how form-fitting the boot is, to allow a rider to easily get the boot on or off, the shaft may be designed to open lengthwise. If so, velcro is typically used on the inner sides of the opening to allow the rider to close the boot over the foot, ankle and leg. This allows for some flexibility for the rider to control the boot's tightness. Some manufacturers also include an internal quick-lacing system between a soft inner leg and the harder outer shell of the boot shaft to further ensure a tight, but comfortable fit. The heel of a touring boot is typically very low: not more than 1/2-inch, and sole of the heel and foot is typically rather smooth.
Unlike racing boots that are available in a wide variety of bright colors (as well as black), touring boots are typically only black




Helmet



Two white motorcycle helmets,full face and open face.Use of the colour white helps increase visibility.
A motorcycle helmet is a type of protective headgear used by motorcycle riders. The primary goal of a motorcycle helmet is motorcycle safety - to protect the rider's head during impact, thus preventing or reducing head injury or saving the rider's life. Some helmets provide additional conveniences, such as ventilation, face shields, ear protection, intercom etc. Helmets can have some inconveniences, such as being hot, heavy, or itchy.

Laws and standards
Motorcycle helmets greatly reduce injuries and fatalities in motorcycle accidents, thus many countries have laws requiring acceptable helmets to be worn by motorcycle riders. These laws vary considerably, often exemptingmopeds and other small-displacement bikes. In some countries, most notably the USA, there is some opposition to compulsory helmet useWorldwide, many countries have defined their own sets of standards that are used to judge the effectiveness of a motorcycle helmet in an accident, and define the minimal acceptable standard thereof. Among them are:
AS 1698 (Australia)
CSA CAN3-D230-M85 (Canada)
JIS T8133 (Japan)
NZ 5430 (New Zealand)
ECE 22.05 (Europe)[1][2]
BS 6658:1985 (UK)
DOT FMVSS 218 (USA)[3]

The Snell Memorial Foundation has developed stricter requirements and testing procedures for motorcycle helmets with racing in mind, as well as helmets for other activities (e.g. drag racing, bicycling, horseback riding), and many riders in North America consider Snell certification a benefit when considering buying a helmet while others note that its standards allow for more force (g's) to be transferred to a rider's head than the DOT standard.[4] A motorcycle helmet with either standard will nonetheless provide vastly more protection than one with neither.
In the United Kingdom the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) defines a stricter standard for racing than the legal minimum BS 6658:1985 or ECE 22.05 specification. Only helmets with an ACU Gold sticker are allowed to be worn in competition, or at track days. Many riders in the UK choose helmets with an ACU Gold sticker for their regular on-road use.

Basic types

There are four basic types of motorcycle helmets. All of these types of helmets are secured by a chinstrap, and their protective benefits are greatly reduced, if not eliminated, if the chin strap is not securely fastened so as to maintain a snug fit.
From most to least protective, the helmet types are:

Full face
A full face helmet covers the entire head, with a rear that covers the base of the skull, and a protective section over the front of the chin. Such helmets have an open cutout in a band across the eyes and nose, with a plastic face shield (which may be clear or tinted) that generally swivels up and down to allow access to the face. Many full face helmets include vents to increase the airflow to the rider.
The significant attraction of these helmets is their protectiveness. Some critics dislike the increased heat, sense of isolation, lack of wind, and alleged reduced hearing of such helmets. Full face helmets intended for off-road use sometimes omit the face shield but extend the visor and chin portions.
Studies have shown that full face helmets offer the most protection to motorcycle riders because 35% of all crashes showed major impact on the chin-bar area Wearing a helmet with less coverage eliminates that protection — the less coverage the helmet offers, the less protection for the rider.
A subset called "Convertible", "Modular", "Flip-face" or "Flip-up" is also available; in these helmets, the chin bar pivots upwards (or, in some cases, may be removed). The rider may thus eat or drink without unfastening the chinstrap and removing the helmet.

Off-Road/Motocross
The motocross and off-road helmet has clearly elongated chin and visor portions, a chin bar, and partially open face to give the rider extra protection while wearing goggles. The visor is to keep the sun out of the eyes of the rider when he or she goes off jumps. The open face is to give the rider extra visibility for obstacles on the track.

Open face
This helmet's rear also covers the back of the skull, but lacks the lower chin armor of the full face helmet, as well as the face shield. Many offer visors of selectable length, some clear, some tinted, which may be used by the rider to block out sunlight or headlights. An open face helmet provides the same rear protection as a full face helmet, but little protection to the face, even from non-crash events. Bugs, dust or even wind to the face and eyes can cause rider discomfort or injury. As a result, it is not uncommon for riders to wear wrap-around sunglasses or goggles to supplement eye protection with these helmets.

Half helmet
The half helmet, also referred to as a "shorty", has essentially the same front design as an open face helmet but with a raised rear. The half helmet provides the minimum coverage generally allowed by law in the US. As with the open face, it is not uncommon to augment this helmet's eye protection through other means. Unlike open face and full face helmets, half helmets are also prone to shifting and sometimes coming off of the rider's head during an accident.

Others
There are other types of headwear - often called "beanies" or "novelty helmets" (a term which arose since they can not legally be called "motorcycle helmets") - which are not certified and generally only used to provide the illusion of compliance with mandatory helmet laws. Such items are often smaller and lighter than DOT-approved helmets, and are unsuitable for crash protection because they lack the energy-absorbing foam that protects the brain by allowing it to come to a gradual stop during an impact. A "novelty helmet" can protect the scalp against sunburn while riding and - if it stays on during a crash - might protect the scalp against abrasion, but it has no capability to protect the skull or brain from an impact.

Visibility
Although black helmets are popular among motorcyclists, they offer the least visibility to motorists. A rider wearing a plain white helmet rather than a black one reduces his or her chance of collision by 24%[6][7] because it is so much more visible — day or night. Nevertheless, black helmets — as shown in the photo of an open-face helmet above, right — outsell white ones (photo, right) by 20:1. Helmets of other colors vary in the visibility they provide to motorists by where they fall on a scale from black to white.

Construction
Modern helmets are constructed from plastics. Premium price helmets are sometimes reinforced with kevlar or carbon fiber. They generally have fabric and foam interiors for both comfort and protection. Motorcycle helmets are generally designed to break in a crash (thus expending the energy otherwise destined for the wearer's skull), so they provide little or no protection after their first impact. Note that impacts may, of course, come from things other than crashing, such a dropping a helmet, and may not cause any externally visible damage. For the best protection, helmets should be replaced after any impact, and every three or so years even if no impact is known to have occurred.

Function
This article may requirecleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.Please improve this article if you can.(December 2006)
The conventional motorcycle helmet has two principal protective components: a thin, hard, outer shell typically made from polycarbonate plastic, fiberglass, or Kevlar and a soft, thick, inner liner usually made of expanded polystyrene or polypropylene foam. The purpose of the hard outer shell is:
to prevent penetration of the helmet by a pointed object that might otherwise puncture the skull, and
to provide structure to the inner liner so it does not disintegrate upon abrasive contact with pavement. This is important because the foams used have very little resistance to penetration and abrasion.
The purpose of the foam liner is to crush during an impact, thereby increasing the distance and period of time over which the helmet stops and reducing its deceleration.
To understand the action of a helmet, it is first necessary to understand the mechanism of head injury. The common perception that a helmet's purpose is to save the rider's head from splitting open is misleading. Skull fractures are usually not life threatening unless the fracture is depressed and impinges on the brain beneath and bone fractures usually heal over a relatively short period. Brain injuries are much more serious. They frequently result in death, permanent disability or personality change and, unlike bone, neurological tissue has very limited ability to recover after an injury. Therefore, the primary purpose of a helmet is to prevent traumatic brain injury while skull and face injuries are a significant secondary concern.
The most common type of head injury in motorcycle accidents is closed head injury, meaning injury in which the skull is not broken as distinct from an open head injury like a bullet wound. Closed head injury results from violent acceleration of the head which causes the brain to move around inside the skull. During an impact to the front of the head, the brain lurches forwards inside the skull, squeezing the tissue near the impact site and stretching the tissue on the opposite side of the head. Then the brain rebounds in the opposite direction, stretching the tissue near the impact site and squeezing the tissue on the other side of the head. Blood vessels linking the brain to the inside of the skull may also break during this process, causing dangerous bleeding.
Another hazard, susceptibility of the brain to shearing forces, plays a role primarily in injuries which involve rapid and forceful movements of the head, such as in motor vehicle accidents. In these situations rotational forces such as might occur in whiplash-type injuries are particularly important. These forces, associated with the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head, are smallest at the point of rotation of the brain near the lower end of the brain stem and successively increase at increasing distances from this point. The resulting shearing forces cause different levels in the brain to move relative to one another. This movement produces stretching and tearing of axons (diffuse axonal injury) and the insulating myelin sheath, injuries which are the major cause of loss of consciousness in a head trauma. Small blood vessels are also damaged causing bleeding (petechial hemorrhages) deep within the brain.
It is important that the liner in a motorcycle helmet is soft and thick so the head decelerates at a gentle rate as it sinks into it. Unfortunately, there is a limit to how thick the helmet can be for the simple reason that the helmet quickly becomes impractical if the liner is more than 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) thick. This implies a limit to how soft the liner can be. If the liner is too soft, the head will crush it completely upon impact without coming to a stop. The liner is a hard plastic shell and beyond that is whatever the helmet is hitting, which is usually an unyielding surface, like concrete pavement. Consequently, the head cannot move any further, so after crushing the liner it comes suddenly to an abrupt stop, causing high accelerations that injure the brain.
Therefore, an ideal helmet liner is stiff enough to decelerate the impacting head to an abrupt stop in a smooth uniform manner just before it completely crushes the liner and no stiffer. The required stiffness depends on the impact speed of the head, which is unknown at the time of manufacture of the helmet. The result is that the manufacturer must choose a likely speed of impact and optimize the helmet for that impact speed. If the helmet is in a real impact that is slower than the one for which it was designed, it will still help but the head will be decelerated a little more violently than was actually necessary given the available space between the inside and outside of the helmet, although that deceleration will still be much less than what is would have been in the absence of the helmet. If the impact is faster than the one the helmet was designed for, the head will completely crush the liner and slow down but not stop in the process. When the crush space of the liner runs out, the head will stop suddenly which is not ideal. However, in the absence of the helmet, the head would have been brought to a sudden stop from a higher speed causing more injury. Still, a helmet with a stiffer foam that stopped the head before the liner crush space ran out would have done a better job. So helmets help most in impacts at the speeds they were designed for, and continue to help but not as much in impacts that are at different speeds. In practice, motorcycle helmet manufacturers choose the impact speed they will design for based on the speed used in standard helmet tests. Most standard helmet tests use speeds between 4 and 7 m/s (9 and 16 mph).

Standards testing
Most motorcycle helmet standards use impacts at speeds between 4–7 m/s (9–16 mph) At first glance, this is confusing given that motorcyclists frequently ride at speeds higher than 20 m/s (45 mph). This confusion is relieved by understanding that the perpendicular impact speed of the helmet is usually not the same as the road speed of the motor cycle and that the severity of the impact is determined not only by the speed of the head but also by the nature of the surface it hits. For example, the surface of the road is almost parallel to the direction the motorcyclist moves in so only a small component of his velocity is directed perpendicular to the road while he is riding. Of course, other surfaces are perpendicular to the motorcyclist's velocity, such as trees, walls and the sides of other vehicles. The other vital factor in determining the severity of an impact is the nature of the surface struck. The sheet metal wall of a car door may bend inwards to a depth of 7.5–10 cm (3–4 inch) during a helmeted head impact, meaning that it generates more stopping distance for the rider's head than the helmet itself. So a perpendicular impact against a flat steel anvil at 5 m/s (11 mph) might be about as severe as a 30 m/s (67 mph) oblique impact against a concrete surface or a 30 m/s perpendicular impact against a sheet metal car door or windscreen. Overall, there is a very wide range of severity in the impacts that could conceivably happen in a motorcycle impact. Some of these are more severe than the impacts used in the standard tests and some are less so.
The speeds are chosen based on modern knowledge of the human tolerance for head impact, which is by no means complete. It is possible to deduce how well the 'perfect' helmet outlined in the Function section of this page would perform in an impact of a given severity. If currently available data suggest that the rider is unlikely to survive in such an impact, regardless of how well his helmet performs, then there is little point in demanding that helmets be optimized for this impact. On the other hand, if an impact is so mild that the rider is unlikely to be injured at all so long as he is wearing a helmet than that impact is not a demanding test. Modern standards setters choose the severity of the standard test impact to be somewhere between these two extremes, so that manufacturers are doing their best to protect the riders who can be helped by their helmet during a head impact.

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Types of helmet

Helmet Appearance
Motorcycle helmets manifest themselves in hundreds of forms, from decal-clad to fitted with worn leather. Whether a leather motorcycle helmet or a graphic motorcycle helmet, remember the more complex, the more they generally cost. If a motorcycle helmet dealer offers you a model with intricate graphics at a high price, ask about a solid color--this will decrease costs considerably.
Before choosing traditional solid black, however, consider a bright color. Brightly colored helmets such as a pink motorcycle helmet, orange motorcycle helmet or purple motorcycle helmet not only look fantastic but alert other riders of your presence on the road. Safely stand out in bold colored helmets or try matching your bike's paint. Most motorcycle helmet manufacturers offer a helmet line that fits various models.
A custom motorcycle helmet is also a fun option. Shells such as a chrome motorcycle helmet or carbon fiber motorcycle helmet can be airbrushed to perfectly suit your motorcyclist panache.

Custom Motorcycle Helmets
A custom motorcycle helmet is a great way to show off your personal motorcyclist's style. If you're an old school rider, why not purchase or commission a vintage motorcycle helmet to be made? Alternatively, faddish novelty motorcycle helmets are becoming popular.
Consider a decal motorcycle helmet with your favorite symbol, a motorcycle helmet sticker of a pithy proverb or a graphic motorcycle helmet with your astrological sign.
A cool motorcycle helmet can also come in the form of an airbrushed motorcycle helmet--choose subtle hues or wild expressions. There's no limit to the possibilities of an airbrush motorcycle helmet. Design a motorcycle helmet the color of an angry sunset or a pre-storm cloud.
Custom painted motorcycle helmets individualize you. Set yourself apart from the pack today!

Motorcycle Accessories
Motorcycle helmet manufacturers often market special features that pertain to pleasure, comfort and safety. Riders frequently enjoy a motorcycle helmet radio, for example, particularly for long distances.
A motorcycle helmet accessory that is used for security when riders dismount is the motorcycle helmet lock, great for fastening a helmet to handlebars, engine guards, etc.
Special motorcycle features that provide protection include the motorcycle helmet visor, the motorcycle helmet shield and the motorcycle helmet face shield, three motorcycle helmet accessories that block sun, wind and road detritus from damaging facial skin and eyes.

Helmet Size
The size and shape of your motorcycle helmet depends upon how much coverage and convenience you plan to enjoy. While a full face motorcycle helmet provides the most protection, it may lack in comfort. While a half motorcycle helmet allows for air and visibility, it leaves the chin vulnerable. An open face motorcycle helmet covers the skull but leaves eyes exposed to wind and dirt damage (if without an attachable visor or goggles).
Evidently, each size and shape of helmet, from a full face motorcycle helmet to a shorty motorcycle helmet to a child motorcycle helmet exhibits pros and cons.
Before settling on any one size or shape, try on a series of motorcycle helmets to ensure motorcycle helmet safety.

Full Face Helmet
A full face motorcycle helmet covers the whole head. A rear extension of the full face helmet covers the base of the skull while a front portion protects the chin. A plastic face shield (clear or tinted) resting over the cutout eyes and nose section allows access to the face if pushed up.
While many of these helmets provide airflow vents, critics complain of heat, poor airflow, claustrophobic sensation and reduced hearing. Despite these sensory drawbacks, a full face motorcycle helmet boasts a high rate of protection, hence is more popular than a 3/4 motorcycle helmet (known also as an open face helmet) or a half motorcycle helmet among persons greatly preoccupied with motorcycle helmet safety

3/4 Helmet
Like the full face motorcycle helmet, the 3/4 motorcycle helmet (also known as open face motorcycle helmet) covers the back of the skull, but rids itself of the lower chin armor and the face shield, thus allowing for increased airflow, hearing and peripheral vision.
Some open face helmets are equipped with visors of various lengths and tints that block out sunlight and headlights. As insects, debris, dust or wind contact with facial skin, eyes and nose can cause the rider distress or bring about injury, riders may use wrap-around sunglasses or goggles as an additional means of protection.
A 3/4 motorcycle helmet is as effective in rear protection as a full face motorcycle helmet, but is deficient in face coverage during a crash or otherwise.

Half Helmet
With virtually the same front design as a 3/4 motorcycle helmet but with a cropped rear portion, the half motorcycle helmet provides the minimum coverage typically allowed by motorcycle helmet law in most states
Akin to the open face motorcycle helmet, the half motorcycle helmet's eye protection is often increased through the use of goggles or sunglasses.
When purchasing a half helmet (shorty motorcycle helmet), be sure to check whether it meets standards for motorcycle helmet safety.

Women's Helmet
What could be more motorcyclist-chic that a polished and shimmering pink motorcycle helmet? A women's motorcycle helmet allows a woman to embrace and flaunt her femininity in a world traditionally dominated by men.
A lady motorcycle helmet merges hard and soft elements into one fabulous image. Equipped with a stylish woman motorcycle helmet (perhaps a purple motorcycle helmet, an orange motorcycle helmet or a decal girl motorcycle helmet), the biker chic is ready to burn some rubber with her own personal flair.
Check out a personalized woman motorcycle helmet from various motorcycle helmet dealers and complete the paradoxical look of tough elegance.

Child Helmet
It is particularly important to heed motorcycle safety when it comes to your child. Invest in a youth motorcycle helmet that provides good coverage and excellent retention.
Motorcycle helmet safety for children also involves proper fit and sizing. Visit a motorcycle helmet dealer to have an expert find a kid motorcycle helmet that is perfectly shaped to your child's head.
Before buying a child motorcycle helmet, read up on motorcycle helmet laws according to your state. Check out our "Motorcycle Helmet Law" section and our "Safety Features" section to ensure that your child is permitted and equipped to ride safely.

Helmet Cost
A motorcycle helmet that fits the best on your head, feels the best and boasts the most motorcycle convenience features is likely to cost more than those that do not provide adequate comfort, convenience and motorcycle helmet safety.
If a helmet that fits and looks the best on you is out of your price range, there are a few factors that help to lower the price. Heed the note above the price of graphics. Bikes with less elaborate graphics and less venting are a good deal more affordable.
You may opt to order a motorcycle helmet by mail from a motorcycle helmet manufacturer rather than though your dealer. Although if the dealership has paid to stock the helmet and the dealer has spent time helping you chose a helmet, you may decide to stick with the dealership and buy a motorcycle helmet on the spot. If the cost is above your budget, ask about negotiations. The motorcycle helmet dealer might be willing to tweak the price so you are a left with the best motorcycle helmet and a discount motorcycle helmet to boot.

Discount Helmet
To find the best motorcycle helmet available that is affordable, visit a motorcycle helmet manufacturer online, your local motorcycle helmet dealer or a used motorcycle helmet store. These venues often offer discount motorcycle helmets, cheap motorcycle helmets or often a seasonal motorcycle helmet sale.
It is not worth the bargain, if the bargain involves your life as well as your wallet. A truly reliable motorcycle manufacturer will offer deals while still considering motorcycle helmet safety.

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Choosing a helmet

A motorcycle helmet is an extremely important element of motorcycle gear for aesthetic and most importantly safety reasons. For neophyte riders, choosing a good helmet is almost as difficult as deciding on the motorcycle itself. The purpose of a motorcycle helmet is to enhance your riding experience to a fun and secure level. Some people consider a bike helmet merely as an afterthought and end up making rash decisions regarding appearance and motorcycle helmet safety. A hastily chosen motorcycle helmet may lessen your riding experience, particularly if the helmet fails to fit or work properly.
Difficulty in choosing a helmet is not an annoyance singular to novice riders. Even experienced riders that wish to replace their old helmet find the process irksome. A motorcycle helmet dealer, for example, may not carry the make, model or size a rider is interested in. Other times, a rider may not even understand proper sizing. Don't be misguided when it comes to comfort or fit of a motorcycle helmet. False information is particularly detrimental to motorcycle helmet safety since everyone's head is shaped differently and requires different helmet features. The fact is, many factors play into the process of motorcycle helmet choice. We're here to help you find a comfortable, convenient and safe motorcycle helmet.

Helmet Comfort
Along with the motorcycle saddle, the motorcycle helmet is a piece of motorcycle gear that can make or break your riding experience. Motorcycle helmet comfort turns potential agony of a ride to pure joy. Helmet comfort, however is difficult to determine straight off. Some riders aver that a comfortable helmet simply doesn't exist. It is true that many riders, even seasoned bikers, have never had the pleasure of riding with a perfectly fitted helmet. Don't be discouraged. It takes several visits to various motorcycle helmet dealers to find the ideal size, make and model of helmet for your head.
Highly recognizable brands are generally the most comfortable. Other factors that contribute to motorcycle helmet comfort are soft foam-rubber padding touching your head, a solid seal around the ears (although not on the ear itself) and a neck roll that cradles the back of your head and neck.
Keep in mind that a good fitting helmet may seem tight as you tug on it due to the foam layers that seal out wind and noise. These foam shells are smaller than the inside the helmet proper. If when pulling on your helmet there is a lack of resistance, it probably won't block out sound or fit snugly and is likely to shift about your head. Although a snug, heavy helmet may feel constricting, riders who wear heavy helmets suffer fewer neck injuries than those who don loose, floating helmets. Motorcycle helmet safety should come before motorcycle helmet comfort.
The best advice when it comes to motorcycle helmet comfort is to try on numerous brands and models before settling on any one.

Convenience Features
Most motorcycle helmets are equipped with convenience features that can heighten your riding experience. An additional shield or a quick-change face shield is an example of handy motorcycle helmet mechanism.
A storage bag another convenient item along with motorcycle helmet face shields for carrying a spare helmet for yourself or a fellow rider.
Many helmets provide a special feature for fastening and securing straps as loose or flapping straps can be quite an annoyance.
There are dozens of other elements that enhance riding convenience, such as a breath guard. Riders with larger features can also utilize breath deflectors that are removable if they become inconvenient for nose or facial bones.
For those motorcyclists in humid climates, certain motorcycle helmet padding can be removed and washed for a fresh and clean ride.

Safety Features
The "best" motorcycle helmet is one that provides ample motorcycle helmet safety. There are a few ways to ensure the efficiency of your motorcycle helmet.
First, try out various helmets before settling on any one. Motorcycle helmet comparison is an effective means of judging comfort, fit and security. The helmet must fit snugly around your skull--pads can augment the fit, as well. Perfect motorcycle helmet size is a key component to motorcycle helmet safety.
Second, check out the chin strap. The motorcycle helmet's chin strap must reach around your ear and under your chin comfortably and securely so that the helmet does not shift about laterally or lengthwise.
Third, assess the overall fit. A motorcycle helmet should be settled low on the forehead and just above the eyebrows. Make sure the helmet appears straight and aptly situated by using a mirror or a buddy. Knowing proper helmet fit is an integral step in helmet safety. If you cannot gage the right fit just by looking, visit a motorcycle specialty store whose experts can assist you in fitting.
Lastly, before purchasing, be sure you're choosing a DOT approved motorcycle helmet or one that meets other standards, such as Snell certification. Founded in 1957, the Snell Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization that researches, develops and tests helmet safety standards. Motorcycle helmet rating ensures the rider that he or she is using reliable head coverage.
In addition to checking motorcycle helmet test stickers upon purchase, you may also want to peruse a motorcycle helmet review to learn about motorcycle helmet crash tests. Make an informed decision for the sake of motorcycle helmet safety.

Helmet Fitting Guide
To help you choose the best motorcycle helmet for you, we've provided you with a series of steps below to ensure proper motorcycle helmet fit. - Utilize a motorcycle helmet manufacturer's fitting chart and measuring tape. - Find the corresponding motorcycle helmet size category: small, medium, large, extra large. - Widen the helmet by tugging chin straps outward and place it over your head. - Keep in mind that the helmet should fit snugly and comfortably on your head. - Make sure the helmet rests tightly against your forehead--you should not be able to wedge your thumb between the helmet and your forehead. - Adjust and fasten the chin strap, but don't allow it to cinch your neck. - Give your head a shake to ensure that the helmet does not shift around or slide off your head. - Mount your motorcycle in riding position--the top of the helmet should not affect your vision. Along with clear vertical vision, you should have 100% vision to your left and right (motorcycle helmet manufacturers are required by law to account for lateral vision). - If you wear glasses while riding, make sure the helmet fits properly over and around them. - Press down on the top of the motorcycle helmet. Hold it down and make certain the helmet feels comfortable and surrounds your whole head. - Lastly, check for all additional comfort, convenience and motorcycle helmet safety features before taking your motorcycle for a ride.

Motorcycle Helmet Tips
Below we have provided you with a list of motorcycle helmet tips for choosing a helmet that perfectly suits your head and your riding experience:
1. Try on motorcycle helmets for at least five minutes to detect bothersome areas. Look in the mirror for symmetry, to ensure that the helmet rests just above your brows and to see if any red marks remain after taking off the helmet.
2. After you have purchased your helmet, try not to store in a high or unsteady place where it could come crashing to the ground (such as the motorcycle saddle or side of the mirror. Don't risk scratching or busting an expensive motorcycle helmet.
3. Observe motorcycle helmet safety standards. If a cheap motorcycle helmet has not been Snell certified, for example, or is not a DOT approved motorcycle helmet, your insurance company may refuse to provide accident coverage.
4. Make sure your helmet has undergone anti-scratch and anti-fog treatment. In addition, be sure the visor doesn't touch the helmet outer shell resulting in scratches or fuzzy vision areas on your visor.
5. A lighter helmet may be more comfortable than its heavier counterpart, but is perhaps less equipped to ensure motorcycle safety.
6. Consider your chinstrap while checking your motorcycle helmet--the strap should not be too long and should be able to be tucked away so as not to hit your chin repeatedly.
7. Poor ventilation systems are chief causes of noisy helmets. The more aerodynamic the helmet and the better the vents, the less noise there will be.
8. A motorcycle helmet's comfort liner can mold a bit to the shape of your head so the helmet typically becomes more comfortable over time and use. Be sure, however, that you start with a good fit.
9. Inquire about the motorcycle helmet safety standards the motorcycle helmet manufacturer has met. A cheap motorcycle helmet may eschew certain safety testing standards. Moreover, always observe motorcycle helmet law by state, particularly if you are a young rider.

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