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Visor color and riding conditions

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ahtoxa11, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. ahtoxa11

    ahtoxa11 FNG

    Nov 27, 2014
    Coppell, TX
    OK Gang, I have a question.

    Looking to get some input on visor colors: which colors/tints do you find best suited for which riding conditions?

    I wear prescription glasses and don't really want to get contacts or prescription sunglasses at this time, so I'm looking at visor options.

    My helmet came with two shields - a clear and a dark smoke. My dumbass scuffed the dark smoke shield by accident, so I'm looking for replacements and thus I'm here asking for recommendations.

    Night riding - I've been using the clear shield in these conditions. Are there other better alternatives that cut the glare but don't reduce visibility?

    Day riding - dark smoke works great on clear sunny days, which we have a lot of here in TX, but there are issues when I get into heavy shade or sudden overcast conditions.

    Is something like amber/yellow good for bright and sunny days while allowing good visibility when overcast or under heavy shade? Does the yellow/amber provide better contrast/definition via filtering out some of the blue light, which increases depth perception?

    Let's hear your experiences.
    Adventurer. likes this.
  2. therealjared

    therealjared Been here awhile

    Aug 5, 2012
    Central MS
    I've had decent luck lately with an amber screen for winter riding. On sunny days the shadows stay long so riding in and out of the woods can be a little trippy. It works better on pavement than dirt though. It's a little harder for me to see the lines in dirt with the amber shield for some reason.
    Adventurer. likes this.
  3. scottrnelson

    scottrnelson Mr. Dual Sport Rider

    Apr 3, 2006
    Meridian, ID
    I stick with either clear or dark grey tint. The darker Shoei visor is just right for bright days. The only problem I have is remembering to bring a long a light shield in case I don't get back before dark.
  4. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Jun 8, 2008
    NW GA
    I like a clear shield with a drop down internal tinted visor. Riding into a tunnel with either a tinted shield or sunglasses on is not a fun experience.
    I currently ride with a Nolan N-104.
  5. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

    Aug 1, 2005
    Escondido, Ca
    I have used a orange tinted shield on my Shoei.
    It seems to be a good compromise for a single shield to use in all conditions. At night it cuts the glare but not so much hard to see, and in the day does the same but not as well as the grey tinted ones.

    I wear it when I dont know what conditions I am going to encounter.

    or you can also go this route

  6. Conedodger

    Conedodger Wanna Ride

    Apr 12, 2011
    Upstate, NY
    I do the same, but keep a clear pair of safety glasses in my top case for those times I get caught after dark without the clear shield. Doesn't help the OP who is wearing prescription glasses. (Maybe get prescription safety glasses?)
  7. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    May 17, 2010
    Star Tannery, VA
    I found Amber was good in a lot of situations. Smoke was great in some too. Neither were great with lots of lighting variances though IMHO. I've found Clear is the best all around solution for me. Mother nature made our eyes pretty dang adaptable.

    I might try a transitions style shield or a helmet with a drop down visor shade some day.
    Adventurer. likes this.
  8. Idle

    Idle Been here awhile

    Jun 16, 2011
    Northern California
    Perhaps some goggles would suit you?

    I have mirrored blue tinted ones and they are awesome everywhere.

    Cloudy, overcast, dark woods riding, strobe light conditions when passing by the trees, and full sun or late day sun.

    The peak on my XD3 helps keep the low sun out of my eyes, so there's that.

    Have ridden in the dusk a few times getting home a little before full dark. It's fine, but putting them in my pack is a better idea probably.

    They fit snugly inside my helmet, and the shield still closes and clicks shut.
    There is a little more wind noise vs shield with no goggles.

    You can ride with the shield cracked open in the cold to keep it from fogging without freezing your eyeballs off. Last year I was farting around with anti fog every other ride.

    I haven't needed it this season exept for trail rides in the rain a couple times.

    It took a while to fully get used to the slightly reduced peripheral vision.
    Stretching my neck before riding helped out.

    Anyway, some over the glasses (OTG) goggles are another option you might consider. Stowing goggles is way easier than carrying an extra shield and swapping.
  9. jgiacobbe

    jgiacobbe Long timer

    May 2, 2008
    Just outside of DC in va
    You can go the KLR route and just put a strip or two of electrical tape at the top of the visor to act as a sun shade. I did that for a bit. After laser surgery, I was told to wear sunglasses all the time for the next year so I got used to wearing sunglasses. I even can remove them while riding and stick them in a pocket as it gets dark. The tape trick worked until the eye surgery. My eyes became way more light sensitive after that.
  10. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Dec 21, 2008
    Vagabond Hippie
    I use dark grey when the sun is out and clear when the moon is out.
  11. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 @LC8Adventures

    Jan 20, 2012
    Dual sport helmet (I have a Hornet) with a visor and a shield works great for me. I usually ride both at night and during the day, even if I'm just riding to work, so anything other than clear doesn't do much for me.
  12. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

    Mar 24, 2004
    In Yonder Hills
    I used a reflective gold Arai shield for a long time.

    Not quite dark enough on the brightest days, but was nice morning and evening. The light tint, plus the gold reflective coating really cut down on unwanted glare.

    Since then, I have just used a clear and a dark smoke screen interchangeably as needed.. The Arai screens are easy to change out.

    Last year I got a Nolan N43e that has a drop down smoke screen. No need to swap screens around anymore.

    Plus, I don't mind wearing sunglasses in my helmet. My eyes are sensitive to light, so I wear them whenever outdoors, anyway.
  13. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

    Aug 29, 2009
    NW Washington State
    Clear at night. No color at all. Any color will reduce the light to your eyes. Nothing that cuts glare that won't also cut the little light you need at other times.

    In bright sun, whatever best suits your eyes. It is personal. I like the Arai gray/green. I usually wear brown/bronze sun glasses for bright cloudy days.

    Can you find cheapo clip on sun glasses for your eye glasses? If they're cheap enough, try several tints of gray, green, and brown. See which you like the best.
  14. scottrnelson

    scottrnelson Mr. Dual Sport Rider

    Apr 3, 2006
    Meridian, ID
    Polarized lenses without an added tint can cut glare without otherwise reducing the amount of light making it to your eyes. :deal
  15. D R

    D R Been here awhile

    Sep 14, 2007
    Have you considered Photochromic lenses?
  16. motorat

    motorat Is it raining

    Oct 9, 2007
    SW WA
    I put in the yellow pinloc.
    since my helmet has an internal dark screen this worked good for me.
    at night it also helped block out some of the high beam glare and during
    the day it cleared up some shadows.
  17. NickW1

    NickW1 Been here awhile

    May 28, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Bingo! I've been using one now for a few months and for me its the only way to go. The helmet is the Lazer Monaco with the photochromic face shield. When the sun strikes the face shield it darkens rather quickly depending on the degree of sunlight on the shield. The same folks who make Transition eye glasses make this face shield. You never have to change out shields.
    Adventurer. likes this.
  18. Unhingedlizard

    Unhingedlizard Long timer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Does it work well at night when headlights hit it at night? Genuinely curious.
  19. tapdiggy

    tapdiggy Been here awhile

    Jul 22, 2009
    If the shield darkening is only activated by UV light and not white light, it should be fine. Then again, the application of photochromic tech in faceshields is quite recent. It's hard to find testing results on nighttime performance, beyond 'this shield works at night.'
  20. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    May 5, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    For daytime, I often use a dark visor + yellow safety goggles (plastic).

    If it is very bright outside, and I ride into a tunnel for example, I open the visor at the entrance. Can see nicely in dimly lit tunnels that way, and still have some eye protection. Also if the sun shines up front and quite low but not on the horizon yet, I can open the visor, and it can still block away the sun, but I can see the shadowy areas very well this way.

    Works best in dry summer conditions. Does not work so well in cold & wet climate, because the goggles can get misty.