Some rookie questions

Saxeus

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I've read through many threads and I've learned a lot already. I still have a few more questions that I cannot seem to find an answer for. My apologies if they've been asked before in another thread.

1a. Regarding helmets, there's a few considerations I need to keep in mind before I buy one. I wear glasses (somewhat near-sighted) that have an anti-glare coating specifically for night driving so I'll want to wear them any time I'm on the road. From what I've read, flip-up or modular helmets seem to be the most convenient for spectacle-wearers. However, since most modular helmets seem to have an internal sun-visor, I'm wondering if such a thing might catch on the glasses when you flip it down. Is this a common issue or is the sun-shield generally set far enough away from the face?

1b. Also regarding helmets, the dual-sport type do seem to be more "spacious" which might be to preferable to spectacle-wearers, but will probably not fit in the frunk. Almost all the dual-sport helmets I've looked at do not have an internal sun-visor, with the one and only exception of, oddly enough, a local South African manufacturer called Spirit Motorcycles. I would think visor size and unobstructed vision can be a life or death matter especially in traffic, so as far as urban safety goes I'm thinking the wider the field of vision the better, so a dual-sport helmet might be preferable for commuting? Or isn't this much of an issue with standard helmets?

2. I see many, many people advising the additional centre-stand if only for the ease of chain maintenance. I've also been told that crash bars and extra spot lights are very advisable for new riders. I haven't found a lot on huggers though. I'd expect such a thing to be standard equipment on all bikes except maybe dedicated racing machines. Are there any significant drawbacks to installing a hugger that Honda (or anyone else) leaves them off their road bikes?

3. I've seen a local advert for a European battery manufacturer called "Ultrabatt". The advantages mentioned over the more common lead acid batteries were numerous and significant. Has anyone had any first-hand experience with these lithium iron phosphate batteries?
 

maxwellian

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1A, My rather wide and square glasses fit with about half an inch of clearance under the sun visor on my Gmax flip-up. Size large barely fits in the frunk.

2, I am definitely in the pro center-stand camp. Maintenance and loading cargo are both made much easier.

3. I believe the main advantages to a lithium battery are better cold start performance, and weight savings. It's rather temperate in SA, correct? The weight savings probably wouldn't be noticeable. On a lightweight dirt bike, yes. Big downside of lithium is cost, and they're just as easy to kill as lead acid if you leave your lights on a couple times.
 

anglachel

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1) I use a full face helmet with fog city hyper optic insert, it darken slightly in the sun to cut glare.

2) I don't have a centre stand and I manage, something as simple as a stick will hold the bike up for chain maintenance. Though I just lube often for what I can get to and call it a wash.

3) consider the cost for something you'll need once per ride when you start the bike (less if you pop the clutch down a hill.) Weight difference doesn't mean much and there are probably cheaper ways to reduce weight (diet for some of us, center stand for others) in my mind value just isn't there for the cost. If your reducing weight for better mileage consider that at speed aerodynamics is likely a bigger concern, a good wind screen will probably help more then a lighter battery.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk 2
 

bamamate

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Flip up helmets can generally be taken on/off without removing eye glasses. With a full face helmet including dual sport you usually have to remove glasses to get the helmet on/off. Most helmets have a channel for the arms of the glasses so they are comfortable when on and not pressing into your temples. I have 2 helmets with internal sun shields and clearance has not been an issue. I highly recommend an internal sun shield. Both my flip up and full face have a wider viewing angle than my glasses so I don't "see" an advantage in a dual sport as far as view goes.

Center stands are awesome!

Maxwellian cover lithium pretty well. Additionally, while rare, lithium batteries can catch on fire due to internal shorts.
 

Griff

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I have a Schuberth C3 and there is no problem with the sun visor catching in the spectacles. I wear specs most of the time on the bike and there is no issue after they are adjusted appropriately in position.

The Dual sport helmets have a Peak on them. As a result they really don't really need a sun visor as you only need to dip your head slightly to get the sun out of your eyes. For that reason I will get one shortly.

I believe you will benefit from a centrestand as a rookie. I don't have one as I use a stick to prop my bike for chain oiling etc. The only downside is the extra weight added.

Can't help with the batteries.
 

Chris

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Hi & welcome.

For me the most important thing about a helmet is to try it on and be sure it fits comfortably - you'll also be able to check out the fit & function of the sun visor with your glasses when you try it out then. You need to try the helmet out very carefully - it might feel fine for a 30 second try on in the shop - but after 5 hours riding slight pressure on the ears over the glasses side arms can become extremely painful. Slight pressure on any point on your head can become bruising discomfort after a while. You should also try the helmet with the front plate up and down - some fit very close to your face. Think about any accessories you might fit - like a Bluetooth headset to hook up to your phone double as intercom, music player, navigation sound unit. The basic shape of each helmet model varies a lot - as do the shapes of our heads, the size of the helmet is not a reliable guide to fit & comfort, without testing you don't know whether it'll work for you or not.

Centre stands - were always fitted as standard for a reason and have now been deleted so they can sell the majority of us one as an extra. I find that slightly annoying but prefer to have one for all the uses it fits.

Batteries - it's not a race bike, the standard battery should last for years, I'd save my money for some other
 

Saxeus

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Thanks for the responses so far.

I'm trying to figure out if there are any practical reasons to get a dual-sport helmet, otherwise a modular one that fits the frunk will most likely win out. The GMax GM54 looks like a good and affordable candidate, if I can source one here and if it fits, of course. The sun in the eye is one thing, but up here in the highveld we usually have clear and bright days that can give you eye strain from all the reflected light as well, so for me a sun-visor is something of a necessity since I'll need to be wearing my glasses as well. So what is the appeal of the dual-sport helmets beyond style and looks? Are they better for commuting? If so, why?

Any further advice on huggers? I'm not planning on doing any off-road riding, but in the event of dirt roads (of which we have many) being a necessity, would this be considered a worthwhile investment to protect the rear suspension?
 

Chris

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I bought and fitted the Skidmarx hugger because it seemed to give the most coverage of the rear wheel and was likely to give most protection. It's better than nothing - but there's still a load of mud thrown up under the bike, over the exhaust etc. The rear shock still gets dirty - but not that much, so I guess the hugger is doing its main job of protecting the shock. I think a shock sock might have been a better buy in hindsight
 

Griff

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I have a hugger on mine. It was a French item, and it was difficult to fit . In my opinion huggers are not completely successful. As Chris says, stuff still gets past them. As they tend to follow the contour of the wheel, there is nothing to stop some spray going straight over the top of them. However, while they do not stop spray billowing around under the rear mudguard, they DO stop water spray off the centre of the wheel, hitting the shock directly. The most effective item I have ever seen is made by Pyramid Plastics. It forms a barrier between the wheel and the shock and is only made for the Triumph Explorer . The shock on that bike is still like new after 8000 kms. I enquired but they do not make one for the NC. I enclose the link so you can have a look, and it might give someone the idea for an invention ! They have a selection of huggers on there also for the NC
 

maxwellian

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On dual sport helmets. The peak that shades your eyes is better for rough terrain than tinted glasses/shield/goggles alone. Lets you see more detail in the shadows, less glare. Also, you can pull the shield and use goggles, better for dusty conditions. I've only worn a peaked helmet offroad on a bicycle, but i'd think they'd be not great at 100k+ speeds. I'm not the best person to ask, but since no one had chimed in on that point, I thought I'd offer my 2 cents.

I don't find field-of-view to be an issue at all on my helmet, and I'm used to lane-splitting on a bicycle. The only real restriction is vertical, so maybe an issue on slow technical offroading, watching out for tree-branches, etc. not at all an issue on the road.
 

Saxeus

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Thanks for the comments. I have another question regarding crash bars.

So far I've only come across two different types. Honda seems to have these as a standard accessory, but I see the SW-Motech ones are also available here. Which are better and why? Also, which might be better to mount additional spot lights on?
 

Old Can Ride

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Givi has engine guards also. Not to protect your legs as some folks for some reason think. Purpose is to protect the engine.
 

happy

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Givi has engine guards also. Not to protect your legs as some folks for some reason think. Purpose is to protect the engine.
Some engine guards are actually injuring the rider when they crash and if they were badly made of poor quality metal, then can in fact pierce the rider in a crash.

Best "guard" is to have a sound piece of working human part inside your helmet.
 

anglachel

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Givi has engine guards also. Not to protect your legs as some folks for some reason think. Purpose is to protect the engine.
Protection? I thought they were ruggedized mounting points for lights, highway pegs, and the like....
 

Saxeus

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What's the benefit (if any) of having "wave-style" disc brakes? The specifications always seem to mention it but I've yet to read anything about why they are better or worse than a standard disc. Anyone?
 

StratTuner

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It looks like he's already going that way, but I have to give a plug for the GMAX 54s helmet. The internal dark visor will slide down a variable amount. This is useful when I want to look down at the gps through my bi-focals (I am 50) with NO tinted visor, and then look up at the road WITH the tinted visor.

Some helmets (BILT) employ a mechanism that is either all the way up or down with nothing in the middle.

The GMAX 54s has a removable liner made of coolmax fabric. I can disassemble all the internal pads and wash them.
I can remove the visor with no tools to clean it.

GMAX also sells that wireless unit that syncs the helmets battery operated rear light (two AAA) withe the motorcycle brake light. That was a fun project. I'd recommend rechargeable batteries for this. I recharge mine about every two weeks, and they are on and working only when you turn them on. That helps.

For those of us with glasses, the flip up "modular" helmets are the ONLY way to go, I would say.
cheers,
 
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