Motorcycle riders who wear a turban for religious reasons face a dilemma: remove their turban to enable them to wear a traditional motorcycle helmet, or keep their turban on and not wear a helmet. The first option is difficult for both religious and convenience reasons, the second has both safety and possible legal implications. Now, Pfaff Harley-Davidson has helped develop a product to provide a third option, the Tough Turban, as a possible solution to the dilemma.

The debate over riding with only a turban in jurisdictions that have mandatory helmet laws has been ongoing for decades. Mark Richardson over at Canada Moto Guide gives a great overview of the situation in Canada here. Some regions have allowed exemptions, others have not. Pfaff Harley-Davidson in Richmond Hill, Ontario, just north of Toronto, is in a jurisdiction that does allow riders to ride with a turban only, but the issue of head protection still remains, and the Tough Turban aims to help remedy that.

Conceived and designed with the help of Zulu Alpha Kilo and Spark Innovations, the Tough Turban is a head covering that includes layers of impact-resistant materials that provide a degree of head protection. Unlike traditional motorcycle helmets which often use a thick layer of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) for energy absorption, the Tough Turban uses Non-Newtonian foam in a relatively thin layer. Non-Newtonian foam remains soft and supple until force is applied, when it stiffens up considerably to dissipate the impact energy.

A second layer features chainmail-like armour, and a third is made from Dyneema fabric to provide tear and puncture resistance.

Tough Turban Blueprints

Tough Turban Blueprints

The designers have made the blueprints for the Tough Turban available online. Pfaff also has a promotional YouTube video featuring some of the design process, feedback by Sikh riders, and insight into the manufacturing processes.

For riders who wish to ride their motorcycle with only a turban, the Tough Turban provides a measure of head protection that was previously unavailable. Could the next step be a fully safety certified version that can be legally used in regions with mandatory helmet regulations?



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