You don’t have to get in an accident to injure your eyes riding a motorcycle. If a bug or a rock smacks you in the eye at 70 mph, it could do some serious damage. It can also knock you out or disorient you, causing a crash. At the very least, it hurts like hell. It’s too easy to avoid this scenario; just wear some sunglasses or goggles, get a full face helmet or put a snap-on shield on your half or 3/4 helmet. Don’t take chances with your eyes — they’re too precious.
- Full Face Helmet: Obviously, a full face is the hot setup for head protection. Unless you have a stigma about wearing one or if it’s a coolness issue (really, a lot of FF helmets look awesome), an integrated, flip-up face shield is included. The shields are made of super hard Lexan©, which is good at repelling bugs and rocks. They have neat colors, too — mirrored, chrome, gold and variant Iridium. One of the best selections of helmets on the Internet is located at BikeBandit.com. Cost: $49 – $4,299.
Photo by Riachard Stowey via Flickr
- Snap-on Face Shield: If you won’t or can’t, for some reason, wear a FF helmet, there are several options available for snap-on face shields. You can get a flip-up shield, combined with a snap-on sun visor with pivots on each side of the visor. The shield comes in several colors. Just remember, you can’t use the darker shades at night. Then, there’s the 5-snap flat shield or the really old 3-snap bubble shield, which also come in different colors. You can find every type of helmet shield at J&PCycles.com Cost: $12 – $30.
Photo by bluXgraphics(motorcycle design Japan)=Midorikawa via Flickr
- Motorcycle Goggles: There are some really cool goggles. If you’re still hell-bent on wearing half or 3/4 brain buckets, the old Aviator style glass goggles like the Naninni Streetfighters are popular, especially with the cruiser crowd. They are offered in clear or tinted, have over-eye-glasses versions and even can be made with prescription lenses. There are the wild looking Steam Punk Goggles from MedievalCollectibiles.com, but be careful with those as some aren’t practical for motorcycle riding. Additionally, you can choose the more modern designs like Bobster Bugeyes® which have foam rubber seals on the inner surface to keep wind from leaking into your eyes. They are available with an elastic strap or eyeglass-style ear arms. In a pinch, you can use dirt bike / off-road type goggles, such as the Scott Tyrants, but street bikers are generally not too crazy about the aesthetic appeal. Cost: $8 – $140.
Photo by mikebaird via Flickr
- Sunglasses: Last but Not Necessarily Least: Although not the first choice for protective eyewear, a good fitting pair of sunglasses can serve the purpose. A good source for glasses suitable for motorcycle use is Vision Direct, a retailer of high quality, name-brand glasses. They do have models starting at $16.99 for the Evolution Eyes Aviators, but most of their “active/recreation” selections are Calvin Kleins ($179.99) and Fendis ($270.00). Of course, the company offers different color tints and prescription lenses. And you know the Kleins and the Fendis look wicked cool, no matter what you’re riding.
Photo by Podknox via Flickr
So, cover ’em up, man, and ride happy.