One Long Distance Rider’s Solution to the Fogging Helmet Visor!
By Gabe Carrera, aka the Attorney That Rides
One of the quickest way to stop your long-distance trip is a FOGGING HELMET VISOR. If you cant see because of the fogging of the face shield then your Spidey senses should alarm you into pulling over. If you’re not prepared then you wipe, ride, fog up again and then repeat, repeat, repeat. I have been riding since 1979 and this has always sent me into a mini quest for the solution. There are many shade tree remedies that are temporary fixes but if you are like me, your looking for the long-haul solution. My sights for a solution has always been to ride in a deluge without my helmet fogging up.
The damn fog usually starts when the rain comes down. Depending on the helmet and the face shield, within a few miles you’re frustrated and be pulling over because you can’t see. On some occasions I purchased certain wipes that contain a chemical that prevents your hot breath fogging up the face shield. The problem with those is that when it rains, it cools the outside of the face shield. As time goes on your warm breath on the inside of the helmet produces a condensation on the inside of the face shield. While pulled over I would be rained on as I took the chem wipe out of the package foil to coat the inside of the visor shield. With some wipes you must wait for it to dry but others dry fast. Wiping your visor in the rain is a pain, especially if you can’t find an overpass or other type of shelter.
As I mentioned before, there are many quick fixes and one I discovered out of necessity was Armorall tire foam, but after application the shield was always semi foggy from the armorall chemicals. Like I said it was desperation to make my destination on time. Other tests have included coating the lens with dishwashing soap. That was quickly dispelled due to bubbles and foam being created when the water hit it. I heard shaving cream but never tried it.
Ventilation is good depending on how small of a crack your helmet manufacturer allowed the visor to open. If it is open too much, then what is the purpose of a visor to protect you from the cold or the rain? Most helmets today come with vents that will allow chilly air to rush in to suppress your breath, but rain also comes in causing damp conditions, which are not great if you have been riding for a while. On my helmet water seems to come over the inside of the shield making matters worse. I never tried it, but I have thought of getting a snorkel that bends and letting the end outside of the helmet. That way the hot air is expelled out away from the face shield. If you are feeling adventurous try that let me know.
I just recently read about a small mask that covers your mouth and nose with vents. The Respro Foggy mask is a neoprene face-mask that you can easily use inside your helmet. It does not fit under every full-face helmet but it is affordable. This mask also assists you in protecting you from pollution but not sure how much. Must be good when your caught in a sandstorm and your breathing in dirt.
My favorite and the most effective in my opinion is the Pinlock system. I run the Shoei helmet with a face shield that has two pins for a second shield to be installed. Around the second shield that is semi thick it has a silicon bead all around that seals an air barrier between the two shields acting as insulation. The outside shield becomes cold with the rain and the second shield has the temps of the inside of the helmet so when you breath on the second shield it does not fog up because it is not exposed to the outward elements of cold or rain or both. The air between the two shields is the solution to my problem but it cost big bucks.
Not all companies offer the Pinlock double shield helmet. Sometimes you must spend $80 – $120 on a Pinlock outter face shield and then spend another $70 on a Pinlock inner shield. Remember you get what you pay for and when you go cheap it costs you in the end. I recommend the Pinlock system as your best result. For you hard heads that are now thinking I have received some type of sponsorship in monetary form I can assure you that is NOT the case. This is my opinion after trying out all different types of shade tree remedies that are band-aide cures to the fogging blues. If your on the side of the road and your reading this on your cell as it rains go buy some Armorall and use that as a temporary solution if you don’t have the chemical coating wipes available. Either way planning your trip saves you time and $$$$ because you don’t want to be stopping on your trip to fix a fogging issue.