If you think the price of some motorcycle helmets is a ripoff, what about the exorbitant prices you face for a replacement visor?
Visors are easily scratched from a mishap or just from bugs, dust, road grime and light gravel and stones.
When they are damaged they should be replaced for your own safety.
But while your helmet lasts about five years, a visor may often last a lot less. It depends on how well you treat it. And the cost of replacement visors can really add up.
The most expensive visor we have found is a $169.95 silver iridium visor for a $1300 AGV Pista GP / Corsa Race helmet.
It seems an enormous amount of money for a piece of plastic.
If your helmet last five years and you replace the visor three times, it will end up costing about $510 for visors. That is almost 40% of the cost of the helmet.
Ok, so iridium visors are more than just a piece of plastic.
Iridium visors have a vapour-deposited coating to reflect part of the light and filter the rest.
But to charge $169.95 for a tinted visor is surely a ripoff.
It’s not about how much they cost to produce but what the manufacturers can get away with. That depends on the demand for “fashionable” visors.
For example, Shoei make a bright-coloured “chrome burner” visor for $127.95.
Who says motorcycling isn’t about fashion!
Helmet manufacturers are also known for charging an extra $100 or more just for race graphics on their helmets over the standard solid colour models.
Charging more than $100 for a visor is one of those motorcycle ripoffs that seems to go unchallenged. We just accept it and fork over the money.
But should you buy a cheap visor over the internet?
The cheapest visors we have found are about $50 for a range of helmets, including a clear visor for the Reevu helmets at the top of the page.
However, visors must be certified and stamped with the official certification.
How are you to know whether the generic visor you bought over the internet is approved and safe?
Warning on tinted visors
Tinted visors reduce glare and rider fatigue and are more comfortable than wearing sunglasses underneath your helmet.
However, police in some states interpret the ADRs and fine riders for wearing a tinted visor. They incorrectly claim it makes the helmet non-compliant.
The visor tint rule is being reviewed by the National Transport Commission as part of an extensive review of all road rules.
The Australian Motorcycle Council has made a submission to the NTC that says the rules should be simplified. They say a helmet visor or goggles with visible light transmission of less than 50% must not be used between sunset and sunrise.