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Thread: Hi-Viz Helmets?

  1. #16
    Club President gsjay's Avatar
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    I am typically the lead rider in our group.

    Anywhere from 3 to 6 or 7 bikes.

    When I look in the rearview mirror the first thing I notice is who's wearing a white helment and who's on the newest bike.

    The white helment always sticks out and the newest bike always has the best headlight.

    jason
    Jason Kaplitz
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    Laurel Highlands BMW Riders #294

  2. #17
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Back in the late 1970's I wore an orange Bell Star 120. I chose orange over white due to it's (to me) apparent brighter conspicuous color.

    I'm still here, never got hit while wearing it.

    I do believe that high viz is probably more effective on a helmet due to the beacon like position (at least on a sitting up bike) above & unobstructed by bodywork or luggage.

  3. #18
    Registered User coalminer's Avatar
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    I appreciate that the initial question was asked. I currently wear a Multi-Tec and I to am considering a new one in either white or yellow. I would probably opt for the HI VIZ if Shoei offered one, but since they do not, what does everyone think; YELLOW or WHITE? Which would be the most visible during day light hours and in both good weather and bad? I rarely ride at night.

  4. #19
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    HERE is a "preview" of Solomon's 2002 updated study of emergency vehicle accidents with research into suggested colors for peak visibility. Please read the info starting on page 74 onward. Interesting...
    Very interesting indeed!

    As a semi-interesting aside, back in the 1960s my dad was employed by the Highway Safety Research Institute (known today as the Transportation Research Institute), and during his time there he was involved in some experiments that sought to determine the best colour for tail-lights. Long story short, red was found to be among the worst overall. The best overall, which performed well in the greatest variety of conditions, was a sort of greenish-turquoise. The Institute submitted their report form the study to the US Department of Transportation, who politely filed it away never to be seen again. Oddly enough, nobody else in the world seems to have given this any regulatory consideration either.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  5. #20
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coalminer View Post
    I appreciate that the initial question was asked. I currently wear a Multi-Tec and I to am considering a new one in either white or yellow. I would probably opt for the HI VIZ if Shoei offered one, but since they do not, what does everyone think; YELLOW or WHITE? Which would be the most visible during day light hours and in both good weather and bad? I rarely ride at night.
    I would think Yellow would stand out better. my Shoei is white w/ graffics (sp)
    AKA SNAPGADGET
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

  6. #21
    Registered User coalminer's Avatar
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    I've spent the last hour or so conducting a little online research. The information from the online helmet store was similiar to what I found at a lot of sites asking the question about helmet color. The other information was from a research site having to do with the Munsell Color System or some such.

    From An Online Helmet Dealer:

    Although black helmets are popular among motorcyclists, they offer the least visibility to motorists. A rider wearing a plain white helmet rather than a black one reduces his or her chance of collision by 24% because it is so much more visible ÔÇö day or night. Nevertheless, black helmets outsell white ones (photo, above) by 20:1. Helmets of other colors vary in the visibility they provide to motorists by where they fall on a scale from black to white.

    From A Color Research Site:

    Many auto accidents happen in early morning and late in the evening when it is dark outside. Does the vehicle color have anything to do with this? What automotive paint color is easiest for the eye to see when it is dark outside? How about in daylight? (895)

    I have not seen any statistics correlating car color with accident rates. Accidents are not common enough and there are two many other variables involved to get the required statistics. However, there is little doubt that visibility is one important factor in automobile accidents (this has been shown for motorcycle accidents since they are often "not seen" by other drivers). The most visible car color (and motorcycle helmet color for that matter) is white in low light conditions. This is because it reflects the most light and normally contrasts the most with the background (a snowy background would be an exception where a black car might actually be more visible). In general white is also most visible in the daylight because it contrasts most with the typical background.

  7. #22
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    I made an observation today that was revelatory to this discussion.

    I was driving a local freeway this afternoon (not on the bike). An R1200GS passed me on the left. The rider was wearing a white helmet and a hi-viz yellow jacket.

    As the rider got farther ahead of me, I kept my eyes scanning traffic ahead. What did my eyes keep 'sticking' to? The hi-viz jacket. The white helmet pretty much blended in with everything else- and was LOST among the white vehicles (and there always seem to be a few in any traffic), all of which were visually quite a bit larger.

    BTW if the rider I saw today (yellow GS with grey Micatech bags) is reading this, thanks for providing me with the on-the-fly study in visual conspicuity.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  8. #23
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    I bought a fluorescent orange Shoei years ago and I swear by it. Every time I use it in a group ride, I always hear from other riders "the only thing I have seen all day is your helmet!". I got the idea because I used to follow a Harley rider who had one and noticed him 1/2 mile away. The sight of a fluorescent orange globe bobbing down the highway is just so unusual, it attracts the eye. I am sure a screaming yellow glow in the dark helmet would be better in low light conditions. I am very surprised that more people have not caught on to the idea. If I could not find a screaming helmet color, I think I would pay $300 to get one custom painted.

    Wow, how many times is the word "I"used up there? My English teacher would never pass that paragraph! Sorry....

  9. #24
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    {snip}...What did my eyes keep 'sticking' to? The hi-viz jacket. The white helmet pretty much blended in with everything else- and was LOST among the white vehicles...{snip}
    I think this experience, while less than a scientific study, points to the idea that many of the traditional helmet colors (even white) do not stand out from the "background" array of naturally-occurring colors. Yes, you can't argue with the physics that white reflects more light than any other color. However, if the color of light that is reflected does not "pop-out" in contrast to the background, (IMHO) it is of little consequence.

    I was in the city the other day and noticed that many of today's cars are white or close to white. The city buses were a white and blue two-tone. White awnings decorated white building facades and, as it was warm, many folks had their dress coats off revealing their white shirts as they crossed the street.

    I just wish that there were more recent visibility studies that included generic color recognition studies as well as practical motorcycle helmet color safety studies.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  10. #25
    www.hivizstore.com hivizguy's Avatar
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    Hi Viz Helmets

    White WAS the norm for Hi Visibility Helmets. That was until Scorpion threw their Hi Viz Hat into the ring.

    They single handedly raised the bar for Visibility and Rider Safety with the Advent of the EXO 700, 900, and 400 Helmets.

    I personally never leave the house without first donning a Hi Viz Helmet and either a Jacket or Vest. My occurrences of being "pulled in front of" has dropped dramatically.

    I can't imagine going out without my Hi Viz Safety shield.

    Then again the color of the bike helps... but that is another thread

    Be Seen and Be Safe......
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    Be Seen and Be Safe

  11. #26
    Donster
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    I've heard complaints that the Scorpion EXO-700 hi-viz color fades pretty quickly. Does anyone know if that is still a problem in the current models?

  12. #27
    shootinjimster
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    Hi-Viz

    It may not translate directly, but the military and civilian market is moving to using green lasers from red due to the increase in visibility. Apparently, a measurement made of the actual brightness of the laser is the same between the two colors, but the human eye picks up the green color easier and it appears brighter to humans in the field.

  13. #28
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donster View Post
    I've heard complaints that the Scorpion EXO-700 hi-viz color fades pretty quickly...{snip}
    Any color helmet is susceptible to fading a bit due to the constant barrage of UV light on its shell. It's always a good idea to store your helmet in a side/top case when left outside for a time. Even putting it in the OEM bag helps, too.

    Also, you may wish to consider a wax/treatment that has UV-blocking properties as a hedge against fading. I use Aerospace 303 Protectant but a number of other products offer equal UV protection.

    The fading may be more noticeable on the Hi-Viz colors as they are so remarkably bright.

    Since I just bought an EXO-900 Hi-Viz, I'll keep an eye out for this.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

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