Motorcycle Forums » Biker Chat

No helmet, novelty helmet or DOT helmet and why?

    • 544 posts
    June 20, 2013 8:11 AM PDT
    I have to say that the helmet controversy interests me greatly because I hate big government.  I don't think that our forefathers meant for us to be told every little thing by big brother. 

    Here's what Ben Franklin had to say,"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin. 

    Here is what Thomas Jefferson had to say, " I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson  

    We fail on both points.

    I wear a novelty helmet because I don't like the government telling me what to do.  Is it the safest thing to do?  Probably not, but I should have the right to wear or not wear a helmet without penalty of fines and incarceration for failing to pay those fines.

    I understand that many of you wear a DOT hemet because it is supposedly safer and that is a wise choice.  Notice I said "choice" not mandatory law. 

    What do you say?


    • 44 posts
    June 20, 2013 8:33 AM PDT
    Here in Tennessee we do not have a choice its DOT or fine.Compared with cars, motorcycles are an especially dangerous form of travel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that per mile traveled, the number of deaths on motorcycles in 2011 was more than 30 times the number in cars. 1 Motorcycles often have excessive performance capabilities, including especially rapid acceleration and high top speeds. They are less stable than cars in emergency braking and less visible to other motorists. Motorcyclists are more prone to crash injuries than car occupants because motorcycles are unenclosed, leaving riders vulnerable to contact with hard road surfaces, other vehicles and fixed objects such as trees. This is why wearing a helmet, as well as other protective clothing, is so important. That being said IT SHOULD BE MY CHOICE NOT THE GOVERMENT!!!!
    • 314 posts
    June 20, 2013 9:10 AM PDT
    I have never liked being told what to do and we should be able to make our own decisions.In NY we have to wear one and it also has to be DOT, been like that since i started riding so i am use to it. I have been in other states that you have a choice, and i choose to wear mine still.
  • June 20, 2013 9:47 AM PDT
     I cant say this with near enough volume......I hate a damn helmet!!!    We have to wear 'em in Va. but the law doesnt normally hassle ya about the turtle shells...... We try every year here to get it repealed or choice for those over 21.... It should be the individuals choice..... I rode dirt bikes as a kid and never wore a helmet...had some terrible accidents.... and lived thru 'em.... When I go on a bike trip I try to go somewhere where I can ride without...it's more natural...its safer in my opinion....you're more AWARE..... helmets give you a false sense of security....and the gov't can take those statistics and twist 'em to read as they want.... I hate a damn helmet!!!
    and while we're quoting the founding fathers......" Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?...Forbid it almighty God...I know not what course other may take but as for me give me liberty or give me death"...... Patrick Henry.. St. John's church....Richmond Va.
  • June 20, 2013 9:48 AM PDT
    Now my blood pressure is up......breath in...breath out.....breath in....
  • June 20, 2013 11:49 AM PDT
    HELL YEAH !!!!!!                       
    • 5418 posts
    June 20, 2013 11:52 AM PDT
    Well everyone knows my opinion has always been to support an individuals choice to wear a helmet or not but I personally choose to ALWAYS where a helmet no matter what. (but then again I also wear a hemet when I ride a bicycle and safety glasses when I work in the garage too). Now after our accident last week and looking at our helmets I will NEVER change my decision to wear a helmet.  There is almost 1/4" of fiberglass ground away where I slid over 30 feet on my helmet.  I can only imagine how much of my skull would be ground away!  Yep, I have worn a helmet EVERY TIME I ride for over 35 years, just for that 20 to 30 seconds I needed it for the first time ever last week.  We are actually going to upgrade to 3/4 or full face because of the injuries to Laura's face.  Hopefully we will never need them again, but we will ALWAYS wear them - BY CHOICE!

    As for a false sense of security or reduced vision from wearing a helmet, sorry but I can't buy those as excuses to not wear one.  I wear a helmet as well as long sleves, long pants, gloves and boots and don't ride any more confiedent because of it.  My main goal when I ride is to always ride safe, the safety gear is just there in case something beyond my control happens... not to push the limits.  And for vision... I wore a full face for years when I raced and never had a problem seeing what was around me, just turn your head!  If your vision is impaired by your helmet, you do not have the proper helmet for youself.  And if someone is going to ride more dangerously BECAUSE they are wearing a hemet, they are probably an idiot in the first place.  I have riden for over 35 years and over 800,000 miles and never crashed or nearly crashed because of a helmet.  I crashed once - last week - because of something in the road!


  • June 20, 2013 1:53 PM PDT
    I couldn't have said it better Lucky. I believe in the choice, and I choose to wear. I will never believe it's safer without one. But as for a government dictating it, never. Your accident has me considering using my 3/4 helmet now instead of the 1/2 helmet I normally wear. Better to learn from others than to learn by experience. I'm glad you and Laura are OK, thank God. I hope I never have to put my helmet to the test. Markyd
    • 44 posts
    June 20, 2013 2:17 PM PDT
    I agree with the choice part we ride in Ky alot and some pepole we ride with always stop and take theres off me and the wife always wear ours dont like it but the last thing I want to think of when I go down is man I should have had a helment on yea they are a pain but Like lucky said what if ? Now as far as the goverment telling me what to do what gives them the right!! I paid for my bike I pay for my Insurance and pay for medical insurance they can kiss my A** If you dont Ride don't tell me what I can and Can't do I pay There salary
    • 57 posts
    June 20, 2013 2:37 PM PDT
    I dont have anywhere near the experience that most of you have on motorcycles but I've been in construction almost 40 years and heard every excuse there is not too wear a hard hat or safety harness or safety glasses,I've seen a man die after falling off a 6 foot ladder and seen another survive a 7 story fall onto concrete,Why who knows,at the end of the day we all want to go home.Your Choice I guess but I'm wearing my Helmet and Leather always
    • 1 posts
    June 20, 2013 2:38 PM PDT

    • 79 posts
    June 20, 2013 3:46 PM PDT
    Here in Ohio and surrounding States there are no helmet laws so i don't wear one.No excuses i just like wearing one.I own one that i put in my saddlebags if i think i might end up in a state with a helmet law. Like you said its a matter of choice and everyone should do what makes them comfortable.
    • 844 posts
    June 21, 2013 3:46 AM PDT
    I very much agree it should be a choice, but I do wear mine most of the time, more and more as I get older.

    I know people do die in motorcycle accidents while wearing helmets, I just choose to reduce the chances. So as for the arguments I hear for repealing helmet laws I agree with what Lucky said. It should be a choice because no one should tell you you have to wear protective equipment if you don't want, but please don't use silly arguments like it is more dangerous to wear a helmet. That just makes us look stupid!
    • 5418 posts
    June 21, 2013 3:56 AM PDT
    GoFur wrote...
    I very much agree it should be a choice, but I do wear mine most of the time, more and more as I get older.

    I know people do die in motorcycle accidents while wearing helmets, I just choose to reduce the chances. So as for the arguments I hear for repealing helmet laws I agree with what Lucky said. It should be a choice because no one should tell you you have to wear protective equipment if you don't want, but please don't use silly arguments like it is more dangerous to wear a helmet. That just makes us look stupid!

    A guy down the street who never smoked in his life died from cancer, but that isn't going to be my excuse to start smoking again!  I know there is no way to eliminate risks in life, especially in an activity with inherrant risk like motorcycling, but I will sure as hell do what I can to reduce the risk to myself... but I am also not going to force that decision upon anyone else.

  • June 21, 2013 5:15 AM PDT
    Michigan repealed the helmet law last yearfor over 21 and certain amount of med insurance, that being said about 1/2 of the group I ride with go without and about 1/2 with, me and the better half still wear ours, mine is 1/2 helmet went with a Carbon Fiber this year and really like it, it's about half the weight of my old helmet and she has about 6 different ones depending on what goes with her outfit for the day and are either half or full with various visors and shields. I've only slid down the road once from being hit from behind, went over the bars as the bike went down slid on my leather and my helmet, I'll keep wearing mine.
  • June 21, 2013 5:21 AM PDT
    Making stuff up?... I thought a forum was about viewpoints! ... To each his own...
    • 3004 posts
    June 21, 2013 5:29 AM PDT
    The point is for me,do I take the risk or do I choose not to?

    Should a govt have the ability to regulate a citizens activitys that are harmfull or dangerous in nature,by proscribing that activity w/safety laws? Of course it should and it does,and making helmet laws is a natural extension of that principle.Yet in making those laws it must first pay respect to the over riding principle of personal freedoms,which are inalienable and undisputed.

    Do helmet laws really infringe on these basic rights?,and I would say yes they do.We look at history & draw enough info to realize each infringement of a citizens rights, decay the fabric of what makes our country great.

    I wear a helmet always,usually my full face.Yet at times I will wear my own version of a novelty helmet,homemade,yet a very good helmet for extremely hot riding weather.I would not wear one at all
    on those days if I had a choice in the matter,yet I would not get on the freeway ever w/out my full face.

    Its something everyone should have a right to choose,sadly tho in my state its not an option,even in a limited form.
    • 544 posts
    June 21, 2013 6:29 AM PDT
    It appears that everyone agrees that wearing a helmet should be a choice made by the rider and not something dictated by the government. To this I commend each of you.

    I'm sure that it is safer to wear a DOT helmet than a novelty helmet or none at all. I think a DOT helmet is tested safe up to something like 17 mph. That doesn't say much for shooting down the interstate at 70 mph but I do think that a helmet and especially a full face helmet can prevent horrible road rash.

    Whether you wear a helmet or not I am glad to see everyone for freedom of choice. In my opinion our freedoms have been erroded over the many years and they continue to be under fire so it is good to see men who understand that freedom is what has always set us apart from all of the other nations. That and the American spirit. I find a variety of people, good people, here on Cyclefish and I'm glad to be a part of them.
  • June 21, 2013 9:48 PM PDT
    Well, at my age I find out I don't bounce as well as I use to. I wonder if they make a tin suit for bikers. About a year ago I did have to lay my little bike down to avoid hitting the broad side of a US Postal truck that blew a stop sign. Other than aching joints everything was fine. I was going slow enough that the tumble I took coming off the bike was not too bad. The great thing there was no road rash. The gear did its job.

    By the way Midlife, I love the color of your bike.
  • June 22, 2013 5:14 AM PDT
    I just had this debate with a few other people in another online forum. In this forum a woman had posted about just moving to New Mexico where apparently there are no helmet laws. She is appalled that anyone would be selfish enough to not wear a helmet and make some innocent first responders "scrape their brains off the street". When I added my two cents basically mentioning that where I live the 110 degree heat sometimes makes our ride a little uncomfortable and that on these days when we are cruising the back roads out by one of the lakes or riding next to the river, I would like nothing more than to have the choice of taking off my helmet. Do I want to ride around San Francisco in rush hour traffic without a helmet, I said, No, I don't. But the choice should be mine anytime I get on the back of the bike. Again, I was hit by a barrage of insults claiming the hubby and I are a couple of the "obviously ignorant" bunch of riders and passengers who "deserve to be run into the guard rail and left for dead as a tribute to Natural Selection". Needless to say I left it at that and left the site, haven't been back since.

    The way I see it, helmet/no helmet, 1/2, 3/4, full face, no matter what every time we get on that bike and ride around we put our lives at risk. My husband is cautious and alert, watching everything around him while trying to enjoy the ride as well. One time as we were headed home from a night out in Sacramento we stopped at a gas station and noticed another couple at the pump next to us. As I climbed off we all came face to face and looked each other over. Shayne and I were in our usual 100 degree weather riding clothes (Me a tube top, jeans, and my awesome custom high top Chuck Taylors. Him in a white tank, his cut, jeans and vans). Now they were suited up like they were riding through Alaska! No leathers, just full body snow suit looking riding gear with what looked like extremely thick black knee high motocross boots. So I was standing there pondering how crazy someone would be to dress like that on such a gorgeous day when you could feel the sun on your shoulders and adjust yourself so the wind shoots down your back, I mean I would have had a heat stroke in a get up like hers! Then my husband walked up behind me (cause I swear he can read my mind, at least sometimes) and said "Yea babe, they think we are the crazy ones!"
    • 3004 posts
    June 22, 2013 7:40 AM PDT
    LMAO ^^^5 good post :) a missed Kodak moment !!!
    • 285 posts
    June 22, 2013 7:47 PM PDT
    Helmet... I have both, Dot and non. If I ride just around, about 10 mph and 2 or 3 miles, the park and neighborhood.... Non.. If I am going farther than the park DOT... I have seen heads after a crash with no helmet....
    • 1 posts
    June 23, 2013 3:26 AM PDT
    The state I am from is a right to choose state. And I choose to not wear my helmet... I do not do this to be cool or any thing it is just a choice... I know that one day it might be a bad choice and I know that one day I might regret every thing I have ever choose to do... But till that day I will and do love what little freedom the goverment has not taking from me.
    • 130 posts
    June 23, 2013 6:05 AM PDT
    My State is also "pro-choice" for riders over 21. I think wearing a helmet is a good idea, I had them save my melon a couple of times when I was younger and dumber. I like wearing a helmet, for me, it's more comfortable than a backward ball cap, bandanna or bare head, and, it's a good place to put those little stickers.

    I dont want Big Brother to force one on your head, though.
    • 1855 posts
    June 23, 2013 7:13 AM PDT
    Just returned from a 4500 mile journey to Yellowstone and back. We wore our helmets all but the last 200 miles of our return trip. No reason, that's just the way it was. People who would say someone is selfish for NOT wearing a helmet drive me nutts. I have had open-heart surgery. Am I now "selfish" because I'm at a greater risk for a heart attack? USPMC....we don't believe in big brother government.

    Peace