eBay and Craigs List have everybody going through their garages, closets and boxes out in the shed looking for things to sell. What’s the old saying…’one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’, sometimes it’s so true and then are times that, well…think twice.
I’m a vintage kind of guy…I drive a vintage car (’63 Ford Fairlane), ride a vintage motorcycle (’76 BMW R90S) and I like vintage wine but when it comes to protecting my vintage head, I don’t go vintage.
Lately, while cruising eBay for cool old motorcycles I also run into all kinds of other old motorcycle stuff including helmets. I’m going to stand next to my soapbox here instead of getting on it about wearing old helmets. It’s simple…don’t.
If you are building a helmet collection that is just going to go on a shelf, there are a lot of cool old helmets out there that have great places in motorcycling history. You can buy one that looks just the one Steve McQueen wore in ‘On Any Sunday’ for..oh I don’t know, around $50, you can even get one that looks like ‘Captain America’ from ‘Easy Rider’, the thing is…don’t wear them.
A helmet that is 30 years old has seen it’s better days over 20 years ago. The foam that is designed to save your head has deteriorated, the foam padding for cushioning has also lost most, if not all, it’s cushioning and the chin strap that holds it onto your mellon probably wouldn’t hold a grapefruit much less your head in a crash. It doesn’t matter how good a helmet looks or that the seller says it’s been in storage for 30 years, it just isn’t safe to wear.
If you want to go old school there are a number of companies out there that make new helmets that look like they came right out of the 50’s or 60’s but have modern features that can save you some brain damage, Davida is the first one that comes to mind . Save the ‘vintage’ helmets for the shelf