Back in August this year I told you about the School Formal Jaja was going to be part of later this year. At the end of that article, I mentioned that the young bloke wanted to make an entrance on a Harley Davidson Breakout.
Well its later this year and the event has come and gone. Alas, the Harley Breakout wasn’t available for hire. It wasn’t because we left it too late or anything you understand, it was just that there weren’t any in the rental stable.
More’s the pity, I’d have liked to have ridden that bike.
2015 Harley Davidson Fatboy Standard (Sorry For The Lousy Pic)
Instead of the Breakout we were offered a Road King, a Street Glide or a Fatboy. We decided to hire the Fatboy, a 2015 standard this time with a back-rest.
Which was fortunate because it ensured there wasn’t going to be repeat of the episode we had out front of Chermside Shopping Centre when The Bar Tender slid down the rear guard while I accelerated away at a green light.
One of the things that came with the Fatboy was a peanut helmet.
See that thing hanging off the right ‘bar?
That’s the peanut helmet.
To look at, it’s not much more than a push bike helmet, but it had an Australian Standard 5 tick sticker on it, so it was legal.
I’ve worn open face helmets before, and I’ll freely admit I enjoy the wind in the face feeling they offer. I’ve got no problems wearing one, but I’ve never worn a peanut helmet (or skull-cap) like the one in the picture above.
So I though “meh” why not?
These things are comfortable enough, and they can’t be beat for the wind in the face feeling I mentioned earlier, but their limitations show up pretty quickly. Even before you put them on.
First off: I reckon if I had an off wearing this thing, I could put my head between my knees and kiss my arse goodbye: I don’t think it would save much.
Second: I got sunburned ears, yes I’m a wingnut.
It was 35°C (95°F) at 16:00 on the day of the formal (Friday) and it was as humid as a Swedish sauna, so sunscreen on the ears and neck are a must.
Thirdly, and this is the one that I found the most difficult to deal with, at 100 km/h (60 mp/h) the wind noise was something else. This in itself would be a worry for most people and for me to notice it, a man who has questionable hearing at the best of times, it was painful.
My ears are still ringing more than usual, and its now Monday night as I write this.
Forth: I’m not sure if its proven, but I reckon wind noise adds to fatigue. I mean, I rode a total of around 140 km (87 miles) on Friday starting at around 15:00.
What with collecting the bike on the south side of the city, making my way back to the north side then taking Jaja to the formal in the city, then picking him up again around midnight. I gotta tell ya man, I was knackered.
I doubt it was due to riding an un-fared bike though. I’ve ridden un-fared bikes before, even done it as recently as last month and I’ve never been that tired after a ride on any bike.
The long and the short of it is, for me at least, the peanut was a good experience and I don’t begrudge anyone wearing them, but they’re not for me.
On the up side, Jaja had a great night, I got to ride another Harley and I got to feel all Sons Of Anarchy like wearing the peanut. I reckon I could speak with some authority on them too if someone were to ask me what they are like… the peanut lid not the Harley; I know squat about Harley’s except that they sound awesome.
I’ve got no problem with open face lids to a point, they are significantly easier on the hearing (you could wear ear plugs and no one would know), you don’t get sunburned ears and they give pretty much the same in the wind feeling as the peanut. I’m still toying with the idea of grabbing one for summer.
Having said all that, I managed to persuade the Minster for finance (AKA The Pillion) to let me spend a little extra on a new lid. I’m picking up a new full face Shoei NXR on Saturday to replace my worn out Shoei XR-1100.