Originally Posted by FinlandThumper
On a related note, I was at my local USA HD shop last summer buying some parts for my low rider. I was also shopping for a new jacket so I was in the clothes section. I overheard this:
Customer: so, what about this helmet thing?
Shop attendant: well, normally we recommend helmets for new riders, just until you get the feel for riding. After that, of course, you dont really need one. Of course some states make you wear them, so if you plan to ride outside of wisconsin you need to have at least something along.
Customer: so, how long should I think about wearing a helmet?
Me (silently): as long as you want to live. Oh dear lord!
Shop guy: well, at least for one season. As a new rider you will probably need to lay er down a few times.
Me (silently): oh for fucks sake.
I did pull the new guy aside and tell him that if he wants to live, he should ignore the idiot he was just talking to, and the go over to the jap shop and buy a full face shoei, arai, or similar. The helmets sold at HD dealers are pretty much junk, in keeping with their unofficial corporate philosophy that helmets are for pansies. The look on his face told me that he wasn't going to follow my advice, but at least I gave it to him.
Basicaly, if this is what the noobs get fed at the dealers, by dealer staff, what else do you guys expect? I love my Harley, but their dealerships really take a wink-wink nudge-nudge attitude toward safety and skills at times.
First off, that conversation was so damn funny in a macabre sort of way that it had to be printed again and again...
What an idiot there at that dealership.
Now the problem -
Official Harley Davidson apparel labeled helmets are NOT junk. They are from name brand companies, in keeping with their policies.
At a glance on the Harley web site I found the following; the modular was HJC
, the full face by KBC
, and even the half shell was by KBC
Mat Mladin wore the KBC helmets for years as an AMA superbike racer/champion and Ben Spies wears HJC in MotoGP. I personally have both a KBC Racer1 and an HJC CL15. The latter is the best fit I've had since 1983 with a Bell Star!
So the Harley branded helmets are good helmets by all means. Harley even used to buy from Bell years ago when they were on par in sales with Shoei and Arai.
Your bad! You'd have done better to look at the helmets, ignoring all the matte and black, to see that they actually were decent helmets (labels inside), then told the newbie that it isn't an automatic that he will "lay 'er down" any number of times and the sales guy was full of BS, but his brain is still worth protecting - even if only with a half shell.