Purchasing a half helmet really is like buying half a helmet, because you often end up with half of what you were looking for. While motorcycling’s all about risk management, I’m not about to risk my management for the sake of a thumbs-up or an approving nod. If I can’t wear a DOT-approved helmet, then I ain’t riding.
Lo and behold, Daytona Helmets has come out with what it claims to be the smallest DOT-approved half helmet available, and I was desperate to try one. They come in so many colors and designs that it’s tough to decide on one. Colors include black, gray, white, pink, silver, and red with finishes including carbon fiber, leather, or chrome, and the available graphic designs are too numerous to go into. Most come with or without visors, in sizes ranging from XS to 4XL (three shell sizes in all). I ended up deciding on a matte black finish with a Harley Orange racing stripe down the center, sans visor.
The verdict? I love it! Under the right conditions, that is. This helmet is lightweight and comfortable; it feels like it’s barely there. There are no ear pads, so earplugs are a necessity. However, the shell doesn’t extend far down the back of the neck, and the thinnish nylon Y-strap feels kind of flimsy. Combine those factors with its light weight, and any sense of real security gets blown away on the freeway. But it fits snugly and does the job capably, even on the highway, where the brim doesn’t act like a parachute.
Still, I doubt I’ll be doing much high-speed travel wearing this helmet; it’s much more of a cruise-the-boulevard type of cap. But it’s better than risking my melon wearing some toy helmet.
Daytona also makes three-quarter, full-face, and children’s lids, and they’re available online; I got mine from our friends at Skull Crush Gear. —Jon Langston
Hard Data: Daytona Helmets D6-O Skull Cap, $85.95, 817/565-4060, www.SkullCrushGear.com
Story as it appeared in the May 2011 issue of RoadBike.