Every now and then you come across a piece of gear that is so good that you not only recognize it as amazing, but you wonder why it isn’t legally required. I recently purchased and installed something on my motorcycle helmet that I believe could be the motorcycling equivalent of windshield wipers.
A little biker background
I ride in the Seattle area of Washington State. The great thing about riding in Seattle is that most winter days are a little shy of 50 degrees. The bad thing about riding in Seattle is that many summer days aren’t much warmer than 50 degrees. Cool ambient air and warm (inside the helmet) air make for a fogged-up visor almost every time. It’s frustrating and often dangerous. If you ride with your visor closed then you’re holding your breath at every intersection. The other choice is to ride with your visor cracked open. That allows cold air (and Seattle rain) into your helmet. It also allows the occasional angry bug into a very intimate space with your face. It also allows a not-so-dull air roar that eventually adds up to damaged hearing. This foggy visor problem plagues western Washington riders.
The solution was right in front of us for the last 30 years
I’m a child of the 60s and 70s. My parents’ house in Salt Lake City, Utah had single-pane windows. Those old windows would regularly fog up when anybody took a shower or boiled water while cooking on cold winter nights.
As contractors began putting double-pane windows in houses during the 80s and 90s this foggy window problem went away. That’s because there is a pocket of still air between the exterior and interior panes of glass that acts as a layer of insulation. The interior glass surface can be exposed to warm, moist air without fogging up.
In 1978, the developers of the Pinlock anti-fogging visor system took note of what home builders already knew about windows, and they figured out how to make a visor with an interior and an exterior pane. The result is a helmet visor that doesn’t fog up. IT’S AMAZING to breathe normally at intersections. IT’S GREAT to not have to ride with my visor cracked open. No more wind, rain, gravel or angry insects sharing intimate moments with me at 60 mph.
Webbikeworld.com reports: The system includes a special moisture-absorbing plastic insert that looks something like a miniature tear-off.
A silicone gasket is added around the edges of the Pinlock insert, which forms a virtually air-tight seal when it is installed against the inside of the motorcycle helmet visor. The special plastic and the double-wall system work to create a very good anti-fog barrier on any helmet visor.
The Pinlock system is used on motorcycle helmets, motocross helmets, and on other types of visors and goggles. Several police forces and others use the Pinlock system to prevent fogging. The system also has several international patents in Europe, the U.S.A. and Japan.