Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This is coming up more and more lately, we've been paying attention to how well riders can see, particularly when we get them on the Lean Bike, and work on getting them in to a good riding position. I think we covered this elsewhere on the forum, but like to re-visit this.

 

On many riders this has lead to pointing out they are simply having a hard time seeing out the top of their helmets, and as a result we get strange head and body positioning being used to "help" them see.

 

Do an experiement (if you haven't already): go and put your bike on it's sidestand (helmet on), feet on the pegs then get into your cornering position--whehter you hang off or not. Get all the way down, and look up into the turn and see how well you can see ahead.

 

Many cannot see well, and resort to twisting their shoulders back up, or twisting their heads sideways in an effor to see where they are going. Others just won't get down into the position at all, since they can't see.

 

What we started doing was cutting up strips of foam for students to use, by putting them on the insides of their helmet liners. This happened so often, a locker full of foam was all used up on the last road trip.

 

So, how many of you can get all the way down and into an aggressive cornering postion, and can easily see out the helmet?: you should be able to see up to some degree, in the event you had an uphill and/or banked turn.

 

One last note: when you do this, put on your riding gear, as in many cases the leathers/jacket/hump or back protector in the back was forcing the helmet forward and down.

 

Let us know what you find, or have found.

 

Best,

Cobie

 

PS--I personally had to stack 4 layers of foam in the top of the helmet to be able to see from my full race position on the bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let us know what you find, or have found.

Take a look at a picture of Rossi with a helmet on, but with the visor up - I've always been mildly puzzled why his helmet seemed to be sit so high up on his head (this is the best I could find in a rush):

rossi-preview-brno.jpg

 

Cobie's post explains it all.

 

Personally, I've found that my Shoei helmets have always been sitting fairly low on my head/brow, whereas my new Arai sits much higher up, making it easier to look where I'm going.

 

I've found that the most important thing for me is to turn not only my eyes/vision towards the next RP, but also my head (thanks to JET, Spidey and Nemo this July).

I keep my eyes mostly horizontal (I guess this is what CF is referring to as "twisting the head sideways") - this works much better for me than trying to yank my head (even) further back.

 

Kai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a brilliant topic for discussion! Over here in Oz we see this is a common problem for vision. Personally I have to use seat foam to get my vision working for me on all types of helmets so far, and have noticed the jackets/suits 'hump' can cause this same issue in some cases.

 

As a quick fix without foam on the last CSS held at Hampton Downs in NZ I suggested my student grab a bit of cloth rag from the mechanical section, worked in a fix as we didn't have foam.

 

GREAT photo KHP!!!! Nicely found!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kai,

 

Thanks for putting the photo of Rossi up, perfect.

 

Related to this is the idea that the horizon needs to be leveled. Not sure if this is instinct, or if some have heard that is the way to go (say, that's a good poll question, you guys should sound off on that--if you level the horizon, did you just do that, or did someone tell you to do it?).

 

Maybe this was workable at some point, but with modern bikes and tires, the lean angles possible make it pretty hard to do and not have the upper body leaning back up over the top of the bike.

 

One point I've heard is that riders don't like it visually (not leveling the horizon to some degree). But, I've had riders at the school get used to it (having the head not leveled too much) in a session on track.

 

We have a corner here at the Streets of Willow Springs with 33 degrees of banking. One day goofing around I leaned my head past the lean angle of the bike, and got past horizontal pretty easily. Didn't really take long to get used to this. It wasn't my preference, but could get used to it. I imagine pilots must get over this pretty quickly.

 

Has anyone else experienced this?

 

CF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for putting the photo of Rossi up, perfect.

We aim to please :)

(it did take quite some time to find, as Rossi usually has the visor down so you can't see his eyes).

 

Related to this is the idea that the horizon needs to be leveled. Not sure if this is instinct, or if some have heard that is the way to go (say, that's a good poll question, you guys should sound off on that--if you level the horizon, did you just do that, or did someone tell you to do it?).

 

Maybe this was workable at some point, but with modern bikes and tires, the lean angles possible make it pretty hard to do and not have the upper body leaning back up over the top of the bike.

 

One point I've heard is that riders don't like it visually (not leveling the horizon to some degree). But, I've had riders at the school get used to it (having the head not leveled too much) in a session on track.

 

We have a corner here at the Streets of Willow Springs with 33 degrees of banking. One day goofing around I leaned my head past the lean angle of the bike, and got past horizontal pretty easily. Didn't really take long to get used to this. It wasn't my preference, but could get used to it. I imagine pilots must get over this pretty quickly.

 

Has anyone else experienced this?

I was given the advice to level my eyes when banked over, while doing my first cornering school more than 10 years ago (Wobble MC in Norway, who were inspired by CSS at least). The explanation given at the time (which makes perfectly sense to me) is that the brain is wired from nature to see the world from a horizontal perspective, so leveling your eyes would reduce the feeling of "hey this isn't right" and thereby reducing the risk of triggering your SR's.

 

When talking/training other riders (mostly newcomers to cornering), I've found that asking them to level their eyes (on top of the usual TOTW-2 rules) have helped them enormously in improving their cornering.

 

While taking the CSS classes over the last two years, I've ran into the "don't level your eyes" argument. I've been mulling over it since last year, and my conclusion on the subject so far is that leveling your eyes is like using a crutch in order to walk after breaking a leg, and a damn fine crutch at first I might add.

But like a real crutch, it should be thrown away when it becomes an obstacle to improving your cornering.

 

That is, if the leveling of your eyes has become a limit to how far you want or can lean your bike, when it is obviously possible to use more lean angle, then the "tool" has gone from being an asset to being a liability and should be discarded.

 

I suspect myself of being afflicted by this, and I'm currently trying to teach myself not to level my eyes all the time and to be relaxed about it, so it doesn't become a barrier to leaning far over.

 

Well, enough rambling from me (this time)

 

Kai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I have mentioned before, the reason for keeping your eyes in line with the horizon is not to reduce fear of lean, but to prevent the brain from having two horizons to deal with should things go horribly wrong in a hurry. We have discussed this before and the general conclusion seems to be that this is silly and the brain can easily cope with two horizons and still know what is the real up (and down). Maybe this is true for the masses, but it most certainly is not for me wink.gif

 

Regarding helmets, I have a Rossi replica AGV lid. I bough the first because it was on sale (50% off since the paint design was a couple of years old) and fitted me perfectly. When it also proved very crashworthy when stopping a Volvo with my head, I went for an identical replacement - surprisingly still available at the same excellent discount cool.gif

 

I have owned many brands of helmets over the years, but they have all come down further above my eyes - Nolans in particular. Even my AGV sits lower over my brow that it does on Rossi, but that has something to do with the shape of my noggin. Anyway, I'm very happy for the added visibility offered by the AGV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rightio... beautifully put khp, I suspect a crutch it has become for me. Time to drop that crutch and move on.

 

Why do I think this? When I look over my riding of fast open corners I find my vision cannot get to my 3rd step/vanishing point easily.. in fact it's damn near impossible without breaking my neck when executing a good hook turn, so I broke it down further.

 

Physically when I'm "riding" my bike in the garage to simulate this, I find in the hook position head horizontal When I turn my neck into the direction of the turn (eyes stay horizontal), my vision is then down since the more I turn my head horizontally, the less I can lift my chin. ('turn' is defined as the way your move when trying to look over your shoulder)

However, if I tilt my head into the turn, I can just lift my chin up to see further up the track, and wow, much easier and much further vision. (tilt is defined as putting my ear towards my shoulder)

 

Further to this point, I always thought on track that I couldn't lift my chin high enough, I thought THAT was my limitation, in the garage I've discovered I can't lift my chin if my head stays horizontal.

 

 

Try it... turn your head horizontally as far as it can go,
then
try to lift your chin - doesn't work does it.

Now try tilting your head over and lift your chin, see how much easier it is!!

 

I think I might discover in the end that a combination of both turning and tilting might be ideal, but I'll wait and see how I adapt to it before any conclusions.

 

So this morning I gave it a road test - albeit in the car on the morning drive to work, tilting my head at my 2 step, then lifting my vision for the mid point and exit/vanishing point. I became sea sick after a few turns !!!! :D Nope, not kidding.... but those few turns gave me the idea that if I can get this to work for me it'll be much MUCH better on track in the sweepers....

 

So I'm now writing a plan of habits and places to try this... morning commute (car or bike) will be one, I've got a couple of days at Phillip Island the week after next which will give me a great opportunity to bed this down, even looking around my desk I'll be tilting - sure I'll look odd but's it's for a good cause. :D

 

So, what motion sickness tablets does anyone suggest????? :D

 

Thanks Cobie, great topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a few days of trialing the change where I no longer keep the head level with the horizon, I can say the major drawback is the loss of widescreen vision/Peripheral vision. When tilting my head in I lose the inside and outside points on the track which I've always used to locate myself.

 

This raised other interesting questions for me on my own vision, but that can be brought up later if not discovered by others here.

 

So right now I'm limiting the amount I tilt my head.. this helps so I don't just see sky and rushing ground out of the widescreen.

 

Rossi, Hayden, Stoner... they're all using a similar amount of head tilt at the last round at Phillip Island...

Rossi_10GP16_2690_AN.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I put on my gear and leaned well forward toward the inside mirror of my bike, I saw a big chunk of visor tinting. I have a 3/4" tall film with connected dots that acts as a sun shield. For me, the visor sun shield film thingy helps reduce eye strain and migraines. However, I can see that the more I lean in and down, the more it blocks my vision. If I lean over far enough or look in far enough, I'll also see the actual top of the eye cutout on my Scorpion helmet.

 

I'm a safety manager by day and have often noted how awkward this body-leaned-head-straight position looks. Unnatural. The rational I've always heard was to keep the head and eye level with the horizon to avoid getting dizzy. I've often thought, "But I don't get dizzy when cornering."

 

On a side note, I scared some birds yesterday. In turns, three of them jumped up from the road and took off to my right. I got a good look at all three of the little brown creatures. Every one of them had their head on almost straight and their eyes and chins (beaks) pointed where they were going. There heads were almost straight, even though they were turning so hard their little wings were almost 90-degree from the ground.

 

Interesting topic. I'm expecting a truly revolutionary motorcycle to appear any time soon. I just feel we're all missing something fundamental. Maybe the next great motorcycle revolution will come from a more natural seating position "inside" the bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing that worries me about this topic is that you guys are taking expensive helmets and putting pieces of foam into them, now I am no helmet designer but wouldn't you be concerned about the possibility of comprising the safety of the helmet by doing this?

I personally use Xlite (Nolan) helmets and am very happy with the fit but recently Ducati gave me an Arai helmet for buying an 848 from them and to be honest I wasn't happy with the fit, after discussions with Arai and having my head measured they assure me that not only is my helmet perfect but that in the past the helmets I have been wearing have been to big, this is why I couldn't get used to the Arai. Now that I'm used to it It feels great and now my Xlite does feel a bit loose! Point im trying to make is next time you buy a helmet get your head professionally measured, and buy a helmet that fits, I dont think I could fit any strips of foam into my Arai but I probably could get some in my Xlite!

 

Bobby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing that worries me about this topic is that you guys are taking expensive helmets and putting pieces of foam into them, now I am no helmet designer but wouldn't you be concerned about the possibility of comprising the safety of the helmet by doing this?

I personally use Xlite (Nolan) helmets and am very happy with the fit but recently Ducati gave me an Arai helmet for buying an 848 from them and to be honest I wasn't happy with the fit, after discussions with Arai and having my head measured they assure me that not only is my helmet perfect but that in the past the helmets I have been wearing have been to big, this is why I couldn't get used to the Arai. Now that I'm used to it It feels great and now my Xlite does feel a bit loose! Point im trying to make is next time you buy a helmet get your head professionally measured, and buy a helmet that fits, I dont think I could fit any strips of foam into my Arai but I probably could get some in my Xlite!

 

Bobby

 

Bobby;

 

I use Suomy and my current helmet is much tighter than my previous one was but despite the tighter fit, Cobie was still able to put a square piece of foam in the the top and it does offer an improved sightline and the tight fit is not diminished in any way. In theory your concern makes all the sense in the world but in my experience, I am totally confident that I will get all of the protection Suomy offers the next time I bounce my head off the track. DAMHIK!

 

BTW, loved your season wrap up piece. You add a lot to this Forum and I want to encourage you to keep active here.

 

Rain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ace,

 

Maybe it could be an issue, I'll talk to some helmet guys and see what they say. Most of the of the shelf helmets I have used, have not fit me well. When we got ours "fitted" by a pro, they just used some foam too. Also, not sure how more foam would be a minus unless it was so much that one's head was in a weird place.

 

Worth looking in too, but it's been a big hit with the students, stunned when they can see when before they couldn't.

 

CF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ace,

 

Maybe it could be an issue, I'll talk to some helmet guys and see what they say. Most of the of the shelf helmets I have used, have not fit me well. When we got ours "fitted" by a pro, they just used some foam too. Also, not sure how more foam would be a minus unless it was so much that one's head was in a weird place.

 

Worth looking in too, but it's been a big hit with the students, stunned when they can see when before they couldn't.

 

CF

Cobie. I am not an expert on the matter. I have Shoei, Arai and a Scorpion until I tried the new Suomy Apex.

I just order the Fabrizio Model. It is unbelievable the difference. When I tried it. I was very impressesd with the field of vision up and down. They recommend if you are a large try the Xlarge. I am large and I tried the L and it fits like a glove, go figures. When I lean on my bike (guess what) I can see what is in front of me very far without tilting my head up.. With the others I can see in front of me but not as much, I have to tilt my head up to see ahead.

 

Try them and see if you like them. I will buy from now on Suomy. The apex is the new thing and they are super light also.

Regards.

The razor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cobie. I am not an expert on the matter. I have Shoei, Arai and a Scorpion until I tried the new Suomy Apex.

I just order the Fabrizio Model. It is unbelievable the difference. When I tried it. I was very impressesd with the field of vision up and down. They recommend if you are a large try the Xlarge. I am large and I tried the L and it fits like a glove, go figures. When I lean on my bike (guess what) I can see what is in front of me very far without tilting my head up.. With the others I can see in front of me but not as much, I have to tilt my head up to see ahead.

 

Try them and see if you like them. I will buy from now on Suomy. The apex is the new thing and they are super light also.

Regards.

The razor

 

 

Nice info!!! Thanks Razor.

 

Anyone else experimented with leaning their head to let them look 'up' the track/road easier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cobie. I am not an expert on the matter. I have Shoei, Arai and a Scorpion until I tried the new Suomy Apex.

I just order the Fabrizio Model. It is unbelievable the difference. When I tried it. I was very impressesd with the field of vision up and down. They recommend if you are a large try the Xlarge. I am large and I tried the L and it fits like a glove, go figures. When I lean on my bike (guess what) I can see what is in front of me very far without tilting my head up.. With the others I can see in front of me but not as much, I have to tilt my head up to see ahead.

 

Try them and see if you like them. I will buy from now on Suomy. The apex is the new thing and they are super light also.

Regards.

The razor

 

 

Nice info!!! Thanks Razor.

 

Anyone else experimented with leaning their head to let them look 'up' the track/road easier?

 

I get a lot of help from you guys, I think it is time I give a little back. Please, try the new soumy's, They are called apex model (the new generation of suomy's) wich has different styles as far as painting. But it is a different feeling and fit. I love them. Just go to a store that carries them I try them on. I never tried a helmet so light.

Regards.

The razor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing that worries me about this topic is that you guys are taking expensive helmets and putting pieces of foam into them, now I am no helmet designer but wouldn't you be concerned about the possibility of comprising the safety of the helmet by doing this?

I personally use Xlite (Nolan) helmets and am very happy with the fit but recently Ducati gave me an Arai helmet for buying an 848 from them and to be honest I wasn't happy with the fit, after discussions with Arai and having my head measured they assure me that not only is my helmet perfect but that in the past the helmets I have been wearing have been to big, this is why I couldn't get used to the Arai. Now that I'm used to it It feels great and now my Xlite does feel a bit loose! Point im trying to make is next time you buy a helmet get your head professionally measured, and buy a helmet that fits, I dont think I could fit any strips of foam into my Arai but I probably could get some in my Xlite!

 

Bobby

One vendor selling these had my buddy and I try them on without the cheekpads. They thought, and I agree, people tend to size the helmet to fit their face, not their head. You can different thicknesses of pads. My Profile came with 30mm pads but I went down to 25 then 20mm before it didn't squeeze my cheeks so I can close my teeth without biting the inside of my cheeks. My buddy went down from an XL to a medium size. So maybe the foam works because we're getting helmets too large. Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VERY interesting idea, trying on helmets without the cheekpads!!!! I went into the local shop today but found they didnt stock Suomy, will be trying it soon but like all helmets, what fits brilliantly for one headshape *may* not be so goodfor another... but the vertical vision is something I'm dead keen to "see" for myself. Thanks guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VERY interesting idea, trying on helmets without the cheekpads!!!! I went into the local shop today but found they didnt stock Suomy, will be trying it soon but like all helmets, what fits brilliantly for one headshape *may* not be so goodfor another... but the vertical vision is something I'm dead keen to "see" for myself. Thanks guys.

 

To everybody out there.

I spoke about the new Suomy apex model. Good vision etc. Well, I got the apex Fabrizio model, I tried it at 90+ miles and eventhough the helmet is very light with good vision, the aerodynamic it is not good. I guess it is good to go around the city and some twisties but when it gets down to go on the straight away I do not recommend it. You are going to find the shield against your face, like I found out. Therefore, my first comment was made just trying the helmet on and sitting on the bike. But After I rode with the helmet and pushed the throttle hard I was dissapointed at a high speed. Just letting you know if you guys want to buy the Soumy's apex model. I recommend find out who has one and ask him for you to try it. Since I bought mine I will be using it just for local rides. I hope nobody bought the helmet based on my first opinion.

 

Sorry.

The razor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is PairFECTO!!

 

Is there a specific type of foam?? Do you glue or sew the foam to the liner? Since you're putting it inside the liner; any added heat build-up noticed?

 

The only time I got into a "good" position, it scared the hell out of me because I couldn't see anything except my helmet :o

 

 

 

oh and the "horizon view" is pretty cool too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me the foam handles the fact the helmet won't fit from front to back. For example, I haven't been able to wear an Arai without adjust the foam on my forhead--I guess I'm long-headed. The helmet when big enough, then drops down too low to see well.

 

We had some foam that has adhesive on the back side and just put the liner up and stick some underneath.

 

Had a number of riders rave about how well they could see after this.

 

CF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After riding for years and thinking that my helmets fit right and everything was fine I saw the light at CSS. Josh G. asked me if I could see and of course I told him I could see fine. He inserted a piece of foam from the truck locker and behold, I could see when in my proper riding position!

 

I'd like to add something to head tilt. As a fitness trainer and post-rehab specialist I often break exercises down to bodyweight movements. I then get my clients into more balance type exercises. It's interesting to watch the transformation of the movements as they move into smaller muscle groups (stabilizers). Now, if you have them balance on one foot that can prove to be difficult. If they close one eye, that is even more difficult. If you want to really throw them off you have them plug their ears with their fingers. What?!? Yes, you then inhibit the vestibular system in the ears. This system also affects the eyes. We have better success with eyes that are paralell with the horizon or as close as possible. Of course that is not always possible, but you have less side effects than with the head tilted at a 45 degree angle.

 

Just my .02

 

Vernie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty interesting...what happens when you plug their noses?

 

CF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They turn blue...

 

 

laugh.giflaugh.gif

 

The ear thing was on reason I'd ground pilots when in the military. It was fun to tell a cocky brass-type 'hit da rack' as a lowly little enlisted guy wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found that I had an issue with my Shoei X-11 at Talladega GP this past November.

 

I ended up putting a shop towel between the liner and the inner shell of the helmet so I could see! The Shoei is a nice helmet, but I have to wonder if it always fit this way and I never noticed it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...