Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A minor mauling by a shark

As I set out on one of the very few motorcycle rides I took last year I noticed that some of the trim on my aged, but immaculate Arai Quantum F was starting to come away from the helmet shell. I have had the helmet for over ten years and, to be honest, it was well overdue for replacement but my limited annual mileage, it's great condition and the price of a new lid all have repeatedly persuaded me to put it off for yet another season.

That season has finally arrived and, after taking T&M for an early morning walk, I set off to the wilds of Hinckley as that was the most conveniently* located helmet superstore.** The reason for travelling to a major retailer was to try on as many helmets as possible to ensure great comfort and fit. To a non-biker I suppose the closest experience is buying a pair of shoes ... they need to look right, they need to fit perfectly and they have to say the right thing about the wearer. Then, in addition to this, imagine if it were illegal to be out and about without shoes so you couldn't just take them off if they started to rub.

As I mentioned at the start of this entry, it is more than ten years since I last bought a helmet but I can still remember the experience. *** Each helmet manufacturer uses a slightly different shaped shell and, as a consequence, some helmets fit better than others, so there I was in an Industrial unit on the outskirts of Hinckley trying on helmet after helmet ...

... I can report that nothing has really changed. The following facts sum up my helmet buying experience;

  1. Bikers have the most appalling taste in helmet graphics
  2. I don't know what happened to the wearers of AGV and Bell helmets in their formative years but am guessing that their heads were bound and compressed in some way
  3. Shoei's are good fit BUT just not good enough
  4. Why is is that every Shark helmet I put on bends the tops of my ears over?
  5. Arai helmets fit me best.

As a result I tried to walk away with a size L, gloss black Arai Axcess II lid but was advised that they were out of stock. I wasn't particularly disheartened as the Internet is full of on-line motorcycle gear retailers and I was now assured that Arai helmets still fit me better than anything else out there.

Once home I found a retailer that was happy to sell me a new helmet with free delivery for twenty five pounds less than the establishment I visited ...

... so I ignored that, added a hundred quid to my budget, and went and bought myself a replacement Arai Quantum instead.

Other Stuff

The afternoon was spent freezing my whatsits off in the garage routing the rebates in the two oak picture frames I have made. These have now been sanded and given a coat of wax polish and hopefully I will find time tomorrow to glaze them and mount the pictures.
* can 45 miles away be classified as convenient?
** They really do exist.
*** and the location; Farnborough. I took a minor diversion when down in the region for a meeting and spent a happy hour spending the insurance money**** received after dropping my Shark on the garage floor.
**** plus another tidy sum from my bank balance

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