When is a helmet like worn out underwear?

By John Reed

When I change underwear I don’t care their color, age or condition; I just put them on and forget them. When they get loose and don’t fit well I make a note to throw them away but I forget. When they get to the top of the stack again I put them back on and now the elastic has grown even looser. As the day progresses and after continuously pulling them up from my crotch, my annoyance turns to anger. One time I lost my temper. I didn’t have time to take off my jeans so I grabbed each side and pulled them up as hard as I could to rip them to pieces;
It didn’t work. In fact, I didn’t even tear them and instead I gave myself a wedgie that hurt so bad my temper vanished and I had to stop to see I hadn’t done any long term damage.

I thought a technical sketch would drive this home.

I work the same way with my motorcycle helmets. I have some favorites and I change them when one gets sweaty and ready for a wash. For years that involved just cleaning and a bit of maintenance, which I enjoy, but a while back the cloth in one was loose and even the little rubber thing that goes under the nose fell off. I tried all the others but they were even worse, and after a couple of weeks trying to live with it I couldn’t handle it anymore.

I simply had to buy a new helmet. But one that was the same as my favorite worn out one, even with discounts, was over $700. About that time I was visiting a friend at his warehouse, whining and moaning about all this (and no one whines like an Englishman.) My friend shares the warehouse with a company called Kali who make helmets. He said I should check them out, so we went over to see them.

I inspected a carbon fiber model (the Naza Carbon) and it was lighter than the ones I wear now. It was well made; the visor movement was a good and fit with no gaps. I put it on and it fit as good as any helmet, the deflector under the nose was bigger and a bit more rigid—and looked like it wouldn’t fall off!

I was impressed, especially with the slides that control ventilation, which has always been a pain. The strap felt different than the ones on my present helmets, but all in all it felt as comfortable as any helmet I have ever had. When I found it was about $300 cheaper than it would be to replace my present Italian model I was hooked and bought one.

I have been extremely pleased with it, too. I know some people don’t like using a full face helmet but if it’s the weight and the almost-claustrophobic feeling that bothers you, try out this one. It’s the lightest helmet I have ever worn.

Note: I took the picture amongst a load of my underwear.


Kali Protectives