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Thread: Sideways wind

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    Default Sideways wind

    Many years ago, younger... The wind was annoying but most of the time just dealt with it. Now... Older... Today I had a pretty serious wind. Keep trying to take my head off. Raised windshield to full height which is the exact opposite of the way I normally keep it. Helped some. Had a ball cap on, felt it was on the verge of coming off most of the time.

    My question, does a modular helmet help cope with the wind, especially those coming at you sideways? I need to get one I think.

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    I have a modular and find it to be noisy. I think the extra seams around the chin guard tend to make noise in the wind, especially side wind. I think my next helmet will be full face. Any helmet will increase the surface area of your head and I think that may make the affect of the wind pressure to move your head around. Of course, the real purpose of the helmet is to save your head from traumatic impact or reduce the effects of same!

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    I own neither a full face or a modular, but my thinking is that the wind is still blowing, and now it’s against both your head and full face/modular plus their weight....in other words....the force of the wind will still be there. I wear either a 1/2 or a 3/4 helmet.....can’t stand the other two (claustropobic)!

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    Smile Fitted ear plugs

    I'm an ATGATT guy so always have a helmet. I recently went from a Bell Qualifier DLX to a Bell SRT-Modular. The SRT seemed a bit quieter for wind noise but then I almost always wear fitted ear plugs. I greatly prefer the ergonomics of a modular helmet over a full-face helmet. YMMV.
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    It wasn't the noise of the wind, I do wear hearing aids, but it was the buffeting on the side of my head that was such an issue for me today. I was actually turning my head and trying to put the top of my head into the wind. I have a 2020 RTL by the way and it handled beautifully in the wind it didn't seem to be bothered by it at all but my head sure was.

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    Jcummins -- apologies for my mistake. Q confused me "I have a modular and find it to be noisy."

    Modular helmets tend to be a bit bulkier than full-face. And of course I'm thinking motorcycle helmets which are aerodynamic for frontal winds. My car helmets (given away with my track cars) tended to be more rounded so maybe that's a possibility. I suggest you ask the Bell Helmet folks about a solution. But there really might not be one.
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    I wear a modular helmet as a matter of preference and ear plugs as well to protect the remaining hearing I didn't give to the VC the and the artillery weapons I began living with at 19. I never adjust my windshield for the wind; crosswinds are a fact of life when motorcycling. If you find them discomforting do some neck strengthening exercises, wear a neck brace under your helmet, ride only in calm weather, or give up motorcycling. It's your choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jcummins View Post
    Many years ago, younger... The wind was annoying but most of the time just dealt with it. Now... Older... Today I had a pretty serious wind. Keep trying to take my head off. Raised windshield to full height which is the exact opposite of the way I normally keep it. Helped some. Had a ball cap on, felt it was on the verge of coming off most of the time.

    My question, does a modular helmet help cope with the wind, especially those coming at you sideways? I need to get one I think.
    Question: Were you wearing a helmet with the cap? I ask because if so, it's possible the added drag from the cap helped create your problem.
    I wear modular helmets exclusively. They provide the best of both worlds - 3/4 & full face. You get chin protection not provided by a 1/2 or 3/4 lid and the freedom to open up and get air or sip a drink, etc.. Also a godsend if you ever have to sneeze! They are slightly louder than a full face but earplugs resolve that. Klim makes a very light modular - lighter than the Neotec 2 and Shuberth C3 and less costly. HJC also has a few to pick from. I have 3 modulars: Klim, HJC C90, & HJC RPHA Max. Personally, I never notice my head being pushed to the side in crosswinds. Rode east & west across Texas with steady 20+ mph crosswinds with plenty of gusts on 2 wheels, leaning into the wind to go straight.

    If your problem persists the suggestion to get a neck collar similar to the type racers use to support the lid on your shoulder is a good option.
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    I use a modular helmet. Either I have never been in a really strong crosswind or the helmet does help to keep my head steady, but I don't recall ever having my head get buffeted by a crosswind.

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    I doubt there is any real difference between a modular and full face helmet with regards to wind turbulence. Modern helmets have been thoroughly tested in wind tunnels for optimized performance. I have noticed excessive wind turbulence with an adventure helmet with the sun visor/beak. Might be your helmet isn’t right sized to you?

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    I'd say it depends if you're riding with the face or visor open. If so, likely, some of the cross wind will be caught in the helmet and cause you to deal with similarities from the cap. Closed lid, a lot less likely due to aerodynamics

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    Because you're riding on wheels and can't "crab" into the wind you almost always will have some side wind on you. When it's hot it's great, when it's cold it sucks. However, I have run into some extreme cases over the years. A number of years ago my buddy and I were returning from a trip to Camp Breton, NS and were crossing the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia line. We were hit with a unforecast crosswind that almost knocked us over and literally brought us to a stop. I could just barely keep my Goldwing up and we could only drive 5/10 mph as the wind pounded us. After a few miles we left the unprotected area and the winds were manageable. We later found out the winds were up to 65 mph there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayBJ View Post
    Question: Were you wearing a helmet with the cap? I ask because if so, it's possible the added drag from the cap helped create your problem.
    I wear modular helmets exclusively. They provide the best of both worlds - 3/4 & full face. You get chin protection not provided by a 1/2 or 3/4 lid and the freedom to open up and get air or sip a drink, etc.. Also a godsend if you ever have to sneeze! They are slightly louder than a full face but earplugs resolve that. Klim makes a very light modular - lighter than the Neotec 2 and Shuberth C3 and less costly. HJC also has a few to pick from. I have 3 modulars: Klim, HJC C90, & HJC RPHA Max. Personally, I never notice my head being pushed to the side in crosswinds. Rode east & west across Texas with steady 20+ mph crosswinds with plenty of gusts on 2 wheels, leaning into the wind to go straight.

    If your problem persists the suggestion to get a neck collar similar to the type racers use to support the lid on your shoulder is a good option.
    I was just wearing the ball cap. Reason for my post is whether a helmet would be better than the ball cap in a crosswind that's what I was trying to get at.
    From the comments thus far I'm kind of thinking that the helmet would be better under that situation. Think the bill on the cap was fighting the wind. Reason I was using the ball cap was to help shield my eyes from sun glare. I was using a sock cap and just recently moved to the ball cap.

    Having said that I have a big long scar on the back of my neck from vertebrae surgery and my neck tends to not tolerate helmets that's the reason I don't have one up to this point. The only helmet I've used in fact is an open face helmet with no Shield and from that experience years ago it didn't help with the wind at all. Neck issues aside, think I'll be getting a modular helmet.

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    I've never ridden without a helmet, but I don't think the style of helmet has much impact on the severity of the wind blowing your head around. I have both modular and full face style helmets and wind is just as annoying with both.

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    Helmet is a full coverage Shoei. In strong crosswinds with intermittent gusts, you still feel it against the helmet.

    Full coverage helmet has the permanent chin bar and flip down visor like a road race helmet. Some folks mistakenly state full face for full coverage. Full face is an open face style where the face is exposed.

    My experience was while wearing a full coverage helmet with the visor closed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    .......
    Full coverage helmet has the permanent chin bar and flip down visor like a road race helmet. Some folks mistakenly state full face for full coverage. Full face is an open face style where the face is exposed.
    ......
    I'm not sure that's the 'generally accepted definition' of a Full Face helmet PMK, altho it might be one used in certain specific (& not necessarily all that widespread) applications. What you describe in the second bolded sentence above is, at least in my experience, as an 'Open Face Helmet'.

    There are numerous sources out there that use 'Full Face Helmet' as being descriptive of any helmet with a fixed chin bar as quoted here:
    A full face helmet covers the entire head, with a rear that covers the base of the skull, and a protective section over the front of the chin.
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 04-08-2021 at 06:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Aawen View Post
    I'm not sure that's the 'generally accepted definition' of a Full Face helmet PMK, altho it might be one used in certain specific (& not necessarily all that widespread) applications. What you describe in the second bolded sentence above is, at least in my experience, as an 'Open Face Helmet'.

    There are numerous sources out there that use 'Full Face Helmet' as being descriptive of any helmet with a fixed chin bar as quoted here:

    It appears the industry has kind of dumbed down the terminology for consumers. My time working in a shop with applicable training in selling helmets from the various manufacturers, always used the terms I posted.
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    I ride with a Bell Pit Boss half helmet with drop down sun visor. It's light and comfortable and doesn't ride low on the back of my neck. You might want to have a look and see if this will work for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jcummins View Post
    I was just wearing the ball cap. Reason for my post is whether a helmet would be better than the ball cap in a crosswind that's what I was trying to get at.
    From the comments thus far I'm kind of thinking that the helmet would be better under that situation. Think the bill on the cap was fighting the wind. Reason I was using the ball cap was to help shield my eyes from sun glare. I was using a sock cap and just recently moved to the ball cap.

    Having said that I have a big long scar on the back of my neck from vertebrae surgery and my neck tends to not tolerate helmets that's the reason I don't have one up to this point. The only helmet I've used in fact is an open face helmet with no Shield and from that experience years ago it didn't help with the wind at all. Neck issues aside, think I'll be getting a modular helmet.
    I have both a 3/4 with integrated flip up shield and Modular helmet. I relate the difference regarding noise like going from a Chevy to a Caddy or MB. I am 6'3" so I sit a little high in the saddle. Wind can be tiring, nice thing about the RT is you can set the windshield to different heights depending on conditions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    It appears the industry has kind of dumbed down the terminology for consumers. My time working in a shop with applicable training in selling helmets from the various manufacturers, always used the terms I posted.
    Dumbed down or not the common definitions I find all are at variance with your definition. Here are links from the m/c legal foundation, an insurance company, and a manufacturer. These are the definitions I've been familiar with 15 years.

    https://www.motorcyclelegalfoundatio...cycle-helmets/

    https://www.progressive.com/lifelane...es-of-helmets/

    https://www.hjchelmets.us/full-face/

    https://www.hjchelmets.us/open-face/

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoMtnSpyder View Post
    Dumbed down or not the common definitions I find all are at variance with your definition. Here are links from the m/c legal foundation, an insurance company, and a manufacturer. These are the definitions I've been familiar with 15 years.

    https://www.motorcyclelegalfoundatio...cycle-helmets/

    https://www.progressive.com/lifelane...es-of-helmets/

    https://www.hjchelmets.us/full-face/

    https://www.hjchelmets.us/open-face/
    Yes sir dumbed down. Like so many other things.
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    Being advertised as a 1977 advertisement. Check out the lower right corner.

    Bell helmet eBay ad 2.jpg

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bell-Helmet...8AAOSwGtRX0TIf

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    I, for one, feel that this topic has been beaten to death. Arguing terminology....what EXACTLY is a Full Face helmet, what EXACTLY is an Open Face helmet and what EXACTLY is a Modular Helmet? Who cares. Use the type of helmet your comfortable with (as long as you obey the law). There is no right or wrong...it’s your head/your choice.

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    Something effecting head buffeting not mentioned is the size of the helmet. I have a couple helmets. Both fit me well. One has a much larger shell size. The smaller one is much more comfortable in windy conditions. The larger one has more features and would be better, I supposed, if I were sliding down the highway on my noggin..... Jim
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoMtnSpyder View Post
    Being advertised as a 1977 advertisement. Check out the lower right corner.

    Bell helmet eBay ad 2.jpg

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bell-Helmet...8AAOSwGtRX0TIf
    IIRC, it was actually Bell who invented & introduced this type of helmet back in 1968/69 or thereabouts - and IIRC they called it a 'Full-face Helmet' waaayy back then. . These types of helmets have certainly been widely called 'Full Face Helmets' ever since my involvement with motorcycles, racing, & other activities requiring helmets became pretty serious in the early '70's, and even when I became more active in 'the design & testing of things' involved with the automotive industry, sports, etc... in my presence & experience, they've ALWAYS been called 'Full Face Helmets' by the users and by the inventors/designers/manufacturers of said helmets.

    But as BBrucie mentions, the specific terminology you might chose to use to label any particular style of helmet isn't really important just so long as the majority of those reading/concerned understand what you're going on about; altho I'd also argue that the differing levels of protection provided by the various types of helmets may be pretty important to anyone wondering/concerned about which is 'best' at protecting their heads - especially when we're talking about the differing levels of protection regarding head buffeting by side-on or cross winds.... which is really the point of this thread, isn't it?!?

    Regardless of whatever term you might personally choose to call them or whichever helmet style/type you might personally choose to wear or not (excluding any discussion/consideration of the addition of the 'Adventure Rider' style peaks) then the modern helmet type which is currently most often referred to as 'Full Face Helmets' is likely to provide the most streamlined protection & therefore be the least effected by cross winds, closely followed by 'Modular Helmets', then 'Open Face Helmets', & finally by 'Half or Cavalry Helmets' (& there endeth the list of those I have experience with & so am considering re this discussion, but only cos I'm not considering any Off-Road or Adventure style Helmets or additions in this particular discussion )

    That said, as canamjhb suggests, anything that increases the size & weight of the lump that your neck & shoulders hasta carry while you ride juuust might make you feel as tho you need to work a bit harder to hold said lump erect while riding in strong &/or gusty cross wind conditions, so choosing something that's fully streamlined & lightweight, with a smooth profile & few protruberances or unsealed openings to catch the wind, cross or otherwise, as you ride is probably a pretty good idea! . And I'd guess at just about any 'modern' helmet type being somewhat better at resisting catching cross winds than a peaked cap, but that's just a guess on my behalf, since I very rarely ride with just a peaked cap on my head.
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 04-09-2021 at 08:33 PM.
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