I regret having to retire my favorite motorcycle helmet. I have worn this helmet for about five years now. It was color-matched my Harley, and its fit was superb. This helmet is recommended and worn by motorcops across the USA. But when I crashed on 31 May, this helmet…
…took the brunt of the impact, as you can see from the photo here.Whenever a helmet absorbs the crushing energy during a crash, its interior protective foam is damaged and is not repairable. It did its job as designed on that fateful morning ride. But once impacted, it’s time for the helmet to be retired. I have placed it on a shelf in my family room with a note: “R.I.P. SuperSeer 5/31/2016” as a permanent reminder of this helmet having served its mission.
This helmet has many fond memories of use while riding. It was the first helmet in which I installed in-helmet audio, including speakers and a microphone, so I could communicate via CB with other members of my riding club. I could also hear my GPS Lady screaming “recalculating!” at each wrong turn I would inevitably make.
This was the first 3/4 helmet I ever had in all my years of riding. Before this helmet, I always wore a full-face helmet with a shield because all of my previous motorcycles did not have a windscreen. But when I got my ’08 Harley Road King with a wind screen, I realized that I did not have the wind in my face any more, so I could wear a 3/4 helmet with eye protection and have a bit more breathing room.
The only other visible damage to any of my gear is a gash on the toe box of my Chippewa Harness Boots that I was wearing that day. You can see from the image here how the boot absorbed impact and abrasion. This boot slid some 300 feet (91 meters) on the highway as my body was propelled forward from the crash.
Instead of retiring these boots, I just may wear them as a sign of proof that boots do what they’re supposed to do — protect the feet and ankles from injury while riding, and also are stylish enough to wear every day. (Though now this beat up, I will not wear these boots to the office.)
Will I replace these boots? Well, not if my spouse has anything to say about it. We had an amusing conversation when I was discussing the matter of replacing the helmet. He said, “you aren’t going to replace those boots, too, are you?”
I said, “I was considering doing that. I like those boots because they are rugged icons of a standard.”
My spouse shook his head and said, “and just tell me, how many other pairs of motorcycle boots do you own?”
Oh well, this is our ongoing discussion in the life of a Bootman and a non-boot-wearing spouse.
Life is short: replace the helmet. The boots can wait.
Photo below: me wearing this helmet and these boots at the local firehouse where I volunteer: