Helmets and Helmet Laws

I wear a helmet, and I would still wear one even if it weren’t a law here in MI.

My friend lost it on the I-94 in WI one day and got a leg caught up under his cycle. It dragged him quite a ways before finally sliding off the road. He sprained an ankle, suffered some Road rash on the forearms, . . . and lost half his face in spite of wearing a police-style half-helment. He lasted three days in the hospital before the head trauma finally got him.

Up until his wreck, I was of the opinion that motorcycle wrecks came in two flavors: too minor to need a helmet, and too major for a helmet to save you. But here’s a wreck which wasn’t spectacular (compared to some), and the injuries–save head injuries–weren’t that major. No neck trauma, no back trauma. The obvious point is this: with a full-face helmet, he lives; without one, he died.

In any case, I wear a full-faced Shoei whenever I ride. Some think the full-face looks pretty dorky on a Harley, but that’s just the way it is.

Right about now, some readers will anticipate that I will start trying to convince everybody to wear helmets. This is where I differ from the lawmakers. I don’t make it my business to demand that others don lids. If you’re riding on my back seat, you’re in my space and become my responsibility; you’d better bring a helmet. If your riding next to me, do whatever you want. I think the country/states should take a similar position. Use their influence to add safety features to automobiles/cycles. They can even make laws that require us to use those safety features (personally, the MI seat belt law doesn’t bother me). But a helmet isn’t built into the Bike. Leave that decision to the rider.

For those of you who don’t wear lids, I don’t think less of you (in fact, I envy you a little). In my case, I feel better wearing one.

This was originally posted to rec.motorcycles.harley.


In 2012, the state of Michigan repealed the helmet law. Anybody who is over 21 years of age and carries medical insurance on their bike insurance, can choose to leave the helmet at home. Being me, I still wear one.

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