Monday, May 23, 2011

Should you get a Windshield???

Your right, why bother... you don't really need a windshield...

After three years and about 6000 miles, I finally added a GIVI mid sized windshield to my BV500.

This make a HUGE difference in the ride. Why I did not do this before I do not know. I guess I have been quoted as saying, "I don't wan no wussy windshield crapping up the sporty looks of my BV 500!" Not one of my better ideas.

Windshield Benefits:

1. No more buffeting! This is the BIGGEST DIFFERENCE and it is HUGE. When you are riding at 70 mph in 20 - 30 mile hour winds it's like a big hand is trying to wrench your helmet off of your head! Now, it can't touch me!

(AHAHAHAHAHA! You hear me WIND! YOU CAN'T TOUCH ME! You Can't do NO-FHING! Oh, also you can't yank up my t-shirt and expose my junior miss bra and weeblies to oncoming traffic.)

2. Since the Windshield extends over my hands, no more cold wind shooting up my sleeves. I might miss this when the weather finally warms up, but it feels great without it so far.

3. No more pebbles and debris spattering off my helmet.

4. No rain or goop splattering in my face as well.

5. Actually feel more visible and a bit larger in traffic.

Things you will notice upon installation:

1. A marked line in your vision since the top of the windshield may be even with your eyes. This is no issue. You will adjust and either sit up slightly to peer over, or duck your head slightly to peer through. So far no head or neck issues doing this.

(Some people end up cutting down their windshield an inch or two to avoid this. And this process is entirely possible but most recommend the professionals to do it, because you don't want to "crack" your windshield by using the wrong tools.)

2. Fear of the windshield becoming a "SAIL" in high winds and actually shoving you off the road.

(Look, I am not going to lie, it does feel different and you are wise not to ride too fast in any high winds. period, windshield or not. But it does feel different and takes a bit of getting used to.)

3. Lots of bug spatter and specks! OMG you mean all this gunk was hitting ME! ACK!

You might want to keep some towels handy so you can wipe it down. First to get the bugs off, take a soft cloth/towel and soak it in hot water and drape it over the windscreen or visor and then wipe it down. Stuff comes right off.

So I am recommending a windshield to anyone who likes to ride. Unless you have a thing for wind and bug guts...but that's your business.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Who is safer when we ride, Men or Women?

The helmet in question? Feminine or is that even necessary?

I just bought a new Scorpion Helmet. It is a dark rich red, quite gothic and I thought it was "feminine". My BF says it is NOT. He says he has seen lots of guys riding in red helmets.

I said, "Well I don't see what the difference is..."

BF: I think you should wear a helmet that identifies your sex and let's everyone know that you are a woman on the road. It needs to be pink or with flowers and bunnies and Sh*t like that on it.

Me: Well I do acknowledge the power of the pink helmet and how it keeps most people at a distance. And I am recognized as a woman from a distance too. I am proud to be a woman rider.

BF: Men riders are treated as equals on the road, but woman riders are given special treatment.

Me: ????? WTF**%?

BF: You are given extra distance. More room and courtesy. Most men don't get that. We are treated as another vehicle on the road. We get tail-gated and people get more aggressive with us.

So now he has me thinking about all sorts of stuff.

Number one: Is it more to my advantage to be recognized as a female rider by wearing a pink helmet?

Number two: Am I in fact putting myself more at risk by appearing "asexual" on the road???

Yes, this is a woman.

I have had plenty of aggressive drivers come at me, despite my gerbil fart Piaggio horn. They look right at me and come at me. But would a different helmet garner MORE aggressive actions from other drivers?

Hs argument had nothing to do with my riding abilities vs a mans, but perception by others? Though other's consider his thoughts to antiquated, they are based on his observations of my ride last weekend when he followed me by car to downtown Chicago for my scooters oil change and tune up.

He said he could keep easy track of me because of how well the pink helmet showed up in traffic. He also said he was amazed at how far most vehicles stayed away from me as I went down the highway. He thought felt that drivers were way more aggressive towards him when he rode his motorcycle.

I don't think he is antiquated in his thinking. Just concerned for my well-being. If he was that antiquated he would try to insist that I not ride.

We are not talking about skill at riding here. We are talking about what you wearing actually affecting those drivers around you.

If high-viz yellow is a requirement for some people, does more feminine gear, give you a better edge while riding???

Are drivers more aggressive if they deem you male? Or basically, is a D-bag driver a D-bag driver whether you are male or female?