Face shield or goggles?  Which is it? ... How about both.

I don't think I've seen anybody else do this trick before.  Perhaps I'm the only one silly enough to come up with such a thing.  Perhaps someone else has also discovered this.  I'm not sure.  Anyway, here's a little something that might help out riders that use the Arai XD helmet.  In the dust, sand, bugs, and dirt department that is.

This is what I originally wanted but the shop only had the storm design

Ever since I purchased the Arai XD helmet (about 1 1/2 years ago) I have used it in various configurations.  Without the visor, without the face shield using goggles, with the visor and face shield, etc.  It never dawned on me to try and use the helmet with visor, face shield, and goggles.  One day I decided to put everything on for giggles and guess what, it all worked.  From there on, I use all three pieces together.  I use a pair of Oakley O-frames with the clear lexan lens.  Using the goggles takes a little away from the peripheral vision (about 5%), but it's really no big deal.  However, I like the fact that the goggles prevent any and all dust particles from entering the eyes.  It's a big plus when driving pass a gardener blowing leaves around.

A pair of O-Frames goes for about $60 on the net and the replacement clear lens cost about $6 bucks.  It's quite inexpensive to maintain.

A black frame would have been better than the pearl because the
pearl colored frame reflects light inside the frame and causes glare.
One of these days I'm going to take a permanent marker to the inside
and turn it black.

Cleaning the lens is a no brainer.  All I do is run the goggles under a faucet and give it a little rub with the fingers.  All the bug guts come right off without a problem.  I have replaced the lens once on this pair of goggles already, but at $6 bucks for a new lens, it's not a problem.  I originally used windex and equivalent solvents to clean the lens.  Mistake.  The solvents would dry out the lens and allow the lens to get scratched easily.  When I'm done with running the goggles under water, I use a very soft cotton cloth to dry the lens.  Even then I just dab the lens dry.  Next thing you know the goggles are dry, clean, and ready for use.

I have also try tear-offs and I didn't like them very much.  They have a tendency to distort the vision and scratch the lens.  After trying one set of tear-offs, the rest of the tear-offs are sitting on the book shelf.

Another major bonus for using goggles over the face shield is the goggles don't refract light as much as the face shield does.  the XD face shield has enough of a curve at the center that it refracts light a little.  As a result it sometimes feels like you're looking thought a partially straightened out fun house mirror.  This is the most apparent with the dark face shield.

I have the dark and clear face shield for the XD.  I normally have the dark lens on to use as additional shading from the sun.  I use the clear lens on cloudy or rainy days (riding R1200GS in the rain is a BLAST!!!).  I don't use the face shield unless it's extremely windy/noisy (e.g. freeway riding) or if it's really cold outside and I don't want to grow icicles on my cheeks.

Cleaning the face shield for the helmet is done in the same fashion as the lens on the goggles.  I take a quarter, nickel, or penny and unscrew the 4 plastic screws on the sides of the helmet.  I then follow the same procedure for the goggle lens cleaning above to clean the face shield.  Since both face shield and goggle lens is made of lexan the process works well for both.

Since I ride with the face shield up the majority of the time, I had the problem of the face shield dropping down on me at high speeds (e.g. 65 MPH and above).  I would have to spend part of my riding time flipping the shield backup only to have it fall back down again ... slowly.  I finally came up with a simple solution.

What would life be like without Velcro? It would be meaningless...

I went and bought a bunch of sticky back Velcro (you never know when you're going to need Velcro).  I take the side with the hooks and stick it under neath the visor.

I then take the furry Velcro side and stick it directly on the top center of the face shield.

When I lift the face shield up the two pieces meet and stay stuck together even at 90 MPH.

The top arrow is the visor.  The bottom arrow is the face shield.  Between the two are the two
pieces of Velcro smashed together.  Snug like a bug in a rug.

When you want to close and lock the face shield, it's simply a little tug to unstick the Velcro and close the face shield.  I had originally put the Velcro pieces on the sides of the face shield, but that didn't work so well.  I didn't bother removing the excess pieces because I'm lazy.

Here are some images of how everything fits together.  Goggles, face shield, visor and all.

Luke... I am your father... just kidding.

Notice how the goggle strap goes under neath the face shield easily.  When the face shield is closed,
the goggle strap remains in the same location and doesn't prevent the face shield from closing all the way.

During a warm summer day it's great to ride with the face shield up.  A lot of air circulates to cool off my big FAT head and there is no possible way to get bugs, sand, dust, or plane o' dirt in the eyes.  I still get the occasional bug smack on the cheek or forehead, but that's a different story.

Written on: November 27, 2005
Last modified: September 3, 2007