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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #1
So I just noticed something this morning... I usually wear a full face helmet but for xmas my wife bought me a beautiful HD hybrid half-helmet and with the amount of traffic I have to deal with and the summer heat, I decided to go with the HD helmet so I can stay a bit cooler in that crappy traffic during my work commute this morning.

Now, I spend a good amount of my ride in very slow bumper to bumper stop and go traffic on the highway and I try to time myself to go super slow and not put my foot down unless absolutely necessary. Of course it's a bit of a chore to keep your balance when crawling at almost a dead stop and you weave side to side a few inches here and there to keep your balance etc, and every once in a while I'll just stop to get a couple seconds rest and then go back to walking my tightrope again. I suppose I could walk the bike, but this is good practice.

Anyhow I noticed that with my half helmet, it was MUCH easier to keep my balance and on a straight line as I crawl through rush hour traffic this morning. I was more relaxed and just leaning back a bit in the saddle and it was pretty much effortless.

Am I imagining things or is this a known effect of not having your head totally wrapped up?

Dan
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,542 Posts
Part of balance is vision so you opened your eyes more. Sounds possible to me.
 

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I have both and haven't noticed better balance with one or the other. It could be that you were simply more comfortable, or maybe you had better vision.

With a windshield I'm more comfortable with the half shell, without windshield(or little dinky windshield) I'm more comfortable in full face.

Even with the windshield, critters have the uncanny ability to hit the smallest portion of exposed skin. Like the little strip of forehead between my goggles and the helmet, and with any openface the stingers seem to find a way to get stuck between the side of head and helmet.........don't wear earmuffs with a half shell that is an invitation for stingers.
 

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I can see it, because a half-helmet weighs less, it's not going to jerk your head around with every start and stop, or give resistance when you're looking around.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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Makes sense to me. Our balance is affected by more than the inner ear, it's also a mixture of visual cues. My half helmet allows me better peripheral vision when turning my head looking around so I do feel more on top of things than when I have to peer out through a full face helmet.
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #7
Well I have to say, aside from being concerned about getting in the face with a piece of road debris (I have a full windshield though) I definitely like the half better in terms of riding comfort. Also much easier to scratch my nose when need be :D
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #8
I can see it, because a half-helmet weighs less, it's not going to jerk your head around with every start and stop, or give resistance when you're looking around.
Most definitely, plus I have that new hybrid model so it weighs even less than the regular half helmets. It weighs 1lbs 15oz. It's this one in gloss:

http://www.harley-davidson.com/store/hybrid-spoiler-1-2-helmet

Very comfortable and I'm definitely not sweating as much in the traffic.
 

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To me, there's no question that my peripheral vision is better in half-helmet than full. Since that's critical to balance, I don't doubt your experience.

OTOH, full face is safer, and does also ward off bug-splats and such more effectively, especially without a large windshielf.

Basically IMHO no helmet is better than half helmet is better than full face helmet in every regard... except safety, of course.
 

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American Legion Rider
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American Legion Rider
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hahah I'm thinking more like when I have to fly for work and the flight is at 4AM.
Oh I understand that totally. Logged way too many miles in business class. I didn't mind the 4am departures, it was the 1pm return flights a few days later I hated. Then all the weirdo's come out of the woodwork at that time of day. Ya know, the ones that bathe once a year whether they think they need it or not!!!!!

 
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