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Motorcycle Goggles

How to Buy the Right Pair of Motorcycle Goggles

Being a motorcycle rider, you would know the importance of high quality gear. You would understand the need for a helmet, boots, gloves, jackets and goggles. If you use a full-coverage helmet, you won't need goggles, but if you use an open-faced or a short helmet, then you will need to get yourself a nice pair of riding glasses or goggles.

But this is not as simple as it seems. Before you buy a pair, you will need to consider a couple of factors.

Safety – What You Need to Consider?

The main purpose of motorcycle goggles is to keep your eyes safe. So you will need to look for something that is specifically designed for the environment and conditions you will be riding in. Here are a few safety considerations:

  • What You Need Safety For

In case of motorcycles, you cant take one hand off the handle and clean your eyes, should something get in. And similarly, if an insect suddenly hits your eyes while you ride on a green trail for instance, it might cause some serious trouble. To battle instances like this, you will need goggles to protect you from:

  • Wind
  • Dust
  • Sand
  • Rain
  • Bugs
  • Sun
  • Lenses

This is perhaps the most important safety aspect of a pair of motorcycle goggles, since this is the part which directly protects the eyes. Here is a list of things you might want to consider when contemplating over  the ideal pair of lenses:

Polycarbonate Lenses: This plastic is very light and remarkably strong. It is designed to absorb high-energy impacts and protect your eyes from objects flying in the air. Polycarbonate is practically indestructible, and is used in many of the world's sports glasses. The material will not shatter and is more scratch resistant than glass and typically comes with built in UV protection.

ANSI Approved Safety Glasses: These are heavy duty goggles that are not only good for motorcycle riding, but can also be used for law-enforcement, construction, military or industrial purposes. They have been tested to perform well in even the most extreme conditions.

UV Protection: This is an important feature in any eye wear. Ultraviolet treatments are designed to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays, which can cause cataracts and other eye problems.

Scratch Resistant Coating: Although the idea of a lens being entirely scratch proof sounds good, it is not possible. What is possible is the best protection against scratches with the use of a hard, scratch-resistant clear coat.

Tip: Use a micro-fiber cloth to clean your glasses. Abrasive cloths can cause scratches.

Anti-Fog Treatment: An anti-fog coating would help reduce fogging and keep your lenses clear while you ride. This is a semi permanent coating.

Polarized Lenses: Polarized lenses are the best way to cut out glare and get a clear, unobstructed view of the road. This is not a lens coating. It is a set of crystals enclosed within the lens to block scattered light from reaching your eye. The most common sources of glare include sunlight reflected from wet roads or glass buildings, windshields and direct sunlight.

Tip: Don't wear polarized lenses with some full-faced helmets. They might cause distortion.

  • Lens Tints

With lens tints, keep in mind that the darker the tint is, the more light it will absorb. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

Amber and Orange -This tint reduces the main component of glare, blue light. It also increases contrast and enhances details

Brown - This tint is good for different light conditions. It provides good contrast and because it is a darker shade, it minimizes eye strain and is good for motorcyclists

Clear - This is ideal for low-light conditions, for instance rain and riding in the night

Copper - Copper tends to sharpen colors such as greens and reds. And it provides good contrast

Flash Mirrored - This is a smoked lens that has a partial mirror coating

Gradient - This type of lens starts off with a darker shade at the top and gradually becomes lighter

Gray - This shade reduces glare and keeps color distortion at the minimum

Green - This tends to increase contrast in low light conditions and reduces potential eyestrain in bright conditions. It is considered to be the best general purpose lens

 Rose - This tint works best with daytime light conditions, offering high contrast and a soothing feel to the eyes

 Transitional - These lenses automatically adjust their tint according to the amount of ultraviolet light.

 Yellow - Best suited for overcast, foggy days and good for dusk or early dawn riding. Also increases depth perception and cuts out glare.

 Comfort – What to Consider?

While safety is certainly the most important aspect of motorcycle goggles, another vital factor is comfort.

 Snug Fit -The best goggles are the ones that provide a snug fit. This would particularly be important if you ride without a windshield, where your face will have to bear the brunt. This wind force can cause loose fitted goggles to vibrate on your face and affect your vision. In addition to that, a snug fit pair of goggles will protect your eyes from insects and dust.

 Vented - These are a good choice for warm days. Vented eye wear can also give you a snug fit

 Glasses - Comfort becomes a matter of concern for people who wear glasses. Many riders choose to wear contacts but this may cause irritation. And you can't even wear your glasses only, they are not enough. There are three ways to go about this: 

➢    Get lasik surgery, so you may not need glasses any more

➢    Find a pair of goggles that fit over your eyeglasses

➢    Get yourself a pair of prescription goggles

Tip: Make sure your goggles are adjustable. Many manufacturer's offer goggles with an elastic strap that has an adjustable slide.

Style – What to Consider?

Even though this factor is not as important as safety and comfort, it is still quite relevant, especially for people who are fashion forward, and conscious about their looks. You can choose from a variety of lens colors, shapes and sizes, as long as you keep the basics in check. If you know your safety and comfort preferences well, you can easily get a high quality pair of goggles at a fairly reasonable price.

 Whatever type of lenses you buy, one important factor you need to keep in mind is the cleaning.  Wash your lenses daily with a mild soap and warm water. This will help you avoid dirt and oil buildup. And if the need arises, use an eye wear lens cleaner to remove fingerprints, smudges and dirt buildup that might be hard to remove with just soap and water.

 Tip: Be sure to wash your cleaning cloth regularly. Do not use fabric softener when washing or drying the cloth.

 To wrap up – ride safe, stay alert, keep your vision sharp and eyes on the road.