Futzin with Fog

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Yamaha Motorcycles Street Event - I-90


Futzin with Fog

Helmet face shield tips and tricks

Autumn rolls around, the air gets colder and moister and the next thing you know – you can't see a thing. A fogged up face shield can really be a nuisance and not a year goes by when a riding friend doesn't ask me for advice on how to beat it. So let's review the options.

Option 1 – Fog City and Pinlock inserts

One company makes a product called a Fog City insert, another makes what's called a PinLock. These inserts attach to the inside of your existing face shield by way of an adhesive edge, or connecting points. Fog City and PinLock make inserts for many popular full face helmets from companies like Shoei and Arai. Do these products work? Yes, but they have their imperfections.

For starters the adhesive attachment must be done exactly right so there is no way air can enter between the insert and the face shield. If not, two things will occur – you'll get fog in between the lens and insert and eventually a not-so-nice buildup of dirt.

Secondly these inserts tend to cause a star effect when you look into lights, such as oncoming headlights and street lamps. Not a desirable effect when you're operating a motorcycle.

Option 2 – Fog Off, Cat Crap and other anti fogging liquids

You apply these anti fogging liquids to the inside lens of your helmet. They can be used on your spectacles too. The liquid is applied to the glass or plastic by way of the spray bottle they come in and then you're supposed to rub it into the surface. Do the liquids work? Sometimes, and if they do they have their imperfections as well.

The end results are two. One is that water collects on the face shield lens and doesn't go away, like regular fog. Gone is the white haze that fog leaves, but over time, say five red lights to the Starbucks, your lens becomes blurry with a buildup of moisture on it. The second negative result occurs later when a light dirt layer develops on the lens because of the collection of dust and air particles by way of the water residue.

Option 3 – Dish Soap

Dave Preston outlines the old school trick of rubbing dish soap into the lens area in his book Motorcycle 101. The trick has been around for years and many swear by it. Does it work? Yes, but is has it's imperfections

Dave's main complaint is that the soap needs to be reapplied often as it doesn't stick around long. If you like scented things then try a scented soap and see what happens. Another drawback is that soap will tear down the laminates in plastic, shortening the life of your face shield from the inside out.

Option 4 – Open the vent

Most full face helmets now come with a vent on the lower chin area to move air up the inside of your face shield as your moving. Does it work? Yes, but it has its imperfections.

This method makes for a cold nose but works pretty well – when you're moving. How good is all dependent on how well the vent and air shaft are designed on your helmet. But when you're at a stop light it's a hopeless cause and your face shield once again fills with fog.

Option 5 – Tilt the face shield open

The most effective, surefire, hassle free way I've found to do battle with fog is to tilt the visor open when it begins to accumulate. Sounds like a pain, but it simply becomes second nature after you do it for a while. When you're at a stoplight,  open my lens the entire way and when you're moving, crack it open about ¼ to ½ inch. Does it always work? Yes, but it has its imperfections.

The draw back here is when it's raining. If you tilt your face shield open while it's raining you chance getting rain drops on the inside of the lens which can obscure your vision somewhat. You can simply pull out if it gets to thick and wipe the inside with a dry cloth.

The reality is that you're going to breath moist air into your lungs. When you exhale it's going to carry more moisture from your body out with it. It has to go somewhere.

Got a trick that works for your that you want to add. Send it to us at tipsntricks@soundrider.com SR!

PT/Fall 03 (Revised 2014)

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