It is very important to be able to see where you are going when you are riding a motorcycle and lack of visibility can cause a crash. As this is not something that you particularly want to happen then it is a good idea to use a pair of motorcycle goggles that will keep out anything that would otherwise be a problem for your eyes. Wind and dirt can get into your eyes and trying to wipe them when riding is probably not going to end well.
There are as many different types of glasses as there are types of riding. Choices will need to be made between off-road and street goggles, and clear and tinted lenses. This goggle guide can help you with all the choices that you will need to make when deciding on the right pair of goggles.
Just one minute – Goggles without Foam?
The main reason that new goggles need to be purchased is deterioration of the foam. This will occur more often with cheap foam and you may also find that it is uncomfortable. It will be more cost effective in the long run to purchase a more expensive pair with better quality foam as these will need to be replaced less often than cheaper pairs. If foam is well constructed it should be anchored well to the frames and be slightly denser in these areas.
The goggles will be more comfortable if the foam that rests on the face is soft. Special desert goggles such as Scott RecoilDust/Sand Goggles are available if you ride in sandy conditions. These goggles have specialist foam that has smaller pores. This foam allows air to flow through the goggles but will not let sand through.
The benefits of these clear motorcycle goggles are:
A decent speed can usually be reached when speed riding. The wind in your face can get very intense without a car windshield to protect you. A windshield can be installed on your bike or some people choose to use a full face street helmet. As long as the right shield is used then eye wear may not be necessary if you have a full face helmet. If you are only using a windshield then protective eye wear and facemask is essential and many people feel that they have enough protection from motorcycle glasses or sunglasses.
Goggles will keep your eyes protected whether you do or don’t have a windshield because nothing will get around the rims and into your eyes. Motorcycle glasses may not give enough coverage if your bike does not have a windshield but this is not the case with goggles.
The sun can be another problem that can affect your eyes when riding during the day. This problem is worse of all for those who live in Alaska as the sun can be out for up to 21 hours per day in the summer. Having the sun in your eyes can prevent you riding on a day that would otherwise be perfect for it. Motorcycle goggles come with tinted lenses in the same way that motorcycle glasses do and this means that you are able to ride with good vision whatever the lighting conditions. More information will be given on the different lens colors later on in the article.
Eyes can be seriously damaged by exposure to UV rays from the sun and you should choose a pair of goggles that offer this type of protection. Polarized lenses is another feature that a good pair of goggles will have. The scattered light that would normally cause glare is prevented from reaching your eyes with these types of lenses by tiny crystals that are found between the layers of the lens.
Glare can prevent you from seeing clearly and as well as being caused by bright sunlight it can also occur due to windshields, buildings and wet roads. Goggles with polarized glasses will be more expensive but will give you clear vision even when the light is very harsh.
Strong plastic is typically used for most goggles but goggles such as Pacific Coast Airfoil 7610 Series Google has lenses that are made from polycarbonate plastic. This plastic is very light weight as well as being virtually indestructible. They come with UV protection and are thinner than glass lenses. Objects that hit these lenses at high speeds when riding will be absorbed by the material but it is likely to get scratched very easily. However, goggles can be purchased that have a clear scratch resistant coating.
It is important to make sure that the goggles fit well. This should not be too difficult as most goggles will come with straps that can be adjusted to fit properly.
You will still need to make sure that the straps can be adjusted to make the goggles as big or as small as is needed. Goggles will become loose if they cannot be adjusted to be small enough and this can be distracting when you are riding as well as being very annoying.
It will also be very uncomfortable if the goggles cannot be adjusted to be big enough. Goggles should fit snugly but not feel so tight that the blood is prevented
from flowing to the cranium. Your leg falling asleep is bad enough, so just imagine what it would be like if this happened to your head. Goggles that are too tight may also obstruct your view as the frames will be too close to your eyes. It is important that goggles have adjustable straps, but even more important that they can be adjusted to your specific requirements.
The fit of goggles with vary from person to person because of the differences in face structures. Pressure points can occur on the face which can be uncomfortable when riding, even in goggles that fit perfectly. Goggles are available with outrigger straps for people who just have one of those faces that cannot get on with goggles and always seem to have pressure points when wearing them.
Goggles with these straps allow for a much better fit and many top of the range goggles will come with outrigger straps. Goggles should always be tried out with your helmet. Goggles may fit you fine but it may be a different story when they are worn with your helmet. Helmets may cause pressure points that are not felt without the helmet being worn and they may also cause the goggles to lift in strange places.
Lens Color and Tint
There are many different options available for the colors and tints of lenses depending on the types of conditions that you will be riding in and manufacturers have a wide range of different options that will always give you clear vision.
Clear lenses are the most basic type and are usually made of plastic. They can be used for conditions when lighting is low such as at night or on a cloudy day. These lenses do not filter anything out because they have no color and this includes UV rays. This is due to the fact that they are not designed to be used in conditions where there is a lot of sunlight.
Gray lenses are the complete opposite to clear lenses. These lenses minimize light and reduce glare from direct sunlight but still allow you to see the true colors of objects. These lenses will vary in terms of darkness and the darker the lens, the less light that will hit your eyes because more light will be absorbed by the lens. Darker lenses work best in conditions with high lighting whereas lighter lenses can be used in low light.
Some goggles have transitional lenses which will save you having to buy two pairs of goggles with different lenses. This lenses will adapt to different lighting conditions and therefore the goggles can be worn whatever the conditions.
There are lenses of varying colors that lie in between clear and gray lenses which all work best in different conditions. Glare is caused by blue light and this can be reduced by goggles that have orange or amber lenses. These colors will also brighten conditions with low lighting which can make details seem enhanced and highlight contrast.
Yellow Lens Motorcycle Goggles:
On days with minimal lighting yellow lenses are a good choice as you will be able to see more clearly even if there is not much light. You will also experience increased depth perception and reduced glare. If conditions are well lit then rose tinted glasses can reduce glare, give better contrast, and reduce eyestrain.
A green lens has advantages in both well lit and low light conditions. These lenses will enhance contrast if there is low lighting and reduce eyestrain in well lit situations. There are many other colors that lenses can come in, including copper and brown. Generally speaking, darker lenses are better for sunny days and lighter lenses are more suited to riding on cloudy days or at night.
Lenses are also available which are mirrored and this effect can be used on lenses of any color, including yellow and clear lenses. A mirror coating on a lens can allow you to see out but others will not be able to see your eyes. Not only do lenses with this coating look good but they can also bring a degree of privacy. A mirror coating can be beneficial on clear lenses because it can reduce the glare that may be experienced from headlights if you are riding at night.
Having lenses of different colors means that you will be prepared for any riding conditions that you may face. This may mean having a pair of goggles for every color of lens or an alternative to this is having one pair of goggles with interchangeable lenses. Which option you go for will be down to personal preference but many people love using interchangeable lenses.
There are options for people who don’t have 20/20 vision to still wear goggles. Goggles such as Bobster Phoenix OTB Goggles are shaped so that people who wear glasses can wear them underneath the goggles. It needs to be checked out before riding that the goggles fit with your glasses underneath them and that they remain comfortable. These types of goggles are usually a bit more round than other types and some people think that they don’t look as good. If you feel this way then wearing contacts could be an option, but if not you are looking at expensive prescription lenses or Lasik.
Maintenance And Storage For All Goggles
In order to keep your goggles in good condition they will need to be maintained properly and this can also mean you don’t have to replace them too often. Goggles should be washed on a daily basis or at least after every time they are used. Warm water and mild soap are the best things to use to clean your goggles. Foam can be corroded and any coating on the goggles broken down if harsh cleaners are used. A microfiber cloth should be used to dry the goggles after washing as this will not scratch them and before being stored the foam and straps should be completely dry.
Goggles should not be stored in direct sunlight or in other places that are likely to get hot. It may be convenient to keep the goggles on your dashboard or to have them hanging from the rear view mirror and it may look cool. However, the integrity of the glasses will be broken down much quicker if they are stored in this way. A Fox Goggle Case can be used to store your glasses when they are not in use and this will stop them getting scratched or damaged.
A microfiber cloth or a goggle lens cloth can be used to wipe your glasses and get rid of dirt, finger prints and even the remains of bugs. Fabrics that are used to produce shirts and jerseys can scratch goggles and so wiping them with these items should be avoided.
You can be as creative with the design of your off-road or street goggles as you are with the rest of your motorcycle gear. Once the characteristics that you want for your goggles has been decided then you can express yourself by choosing whatever style and color you want, from classic chrome goggles to bright neon colors.
Have you ever seen something on the road and thought, “I wish I could have taken a picture of that.” It could be nice open scenery, a funny looking biker walking down the road, or a fast moving small animal. Sometimes you want a picture and stopping on the side of the road is just not possible. Or pulling out the camera or cell phone is just to slow and you will miss the shot.
Well check these out!
Pivot Head Wearable Imaging
The pictures and the potential for these are nothing short of awesome! (Beware Instagram, here i come.)