The great motorcycle helmet visor ripoff

Absurd visor laws need simplification ripoff

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.

Click here to read how to protect and clean your visor.

Expensive ripoff

The great helmet visor ripoff
AGV iridium visor

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.

The great helmet visor ripoff
Chrome burner

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.

Cheap visors

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

Bell Bullitt motorcycle helmet with bubble visor helmet cam tinted visor
Bell Bullitt with tinted visor

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.

Read about the absurd tinted visor rule here.

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.

8 Comments

  1. OK, it’s not a top line helmet but I bought an ALDI ‘special’ which came with a spare visor and internal tint visor for $89. The point being that the visor must comply with Australian standards which means some of the prices quoted for others must be a rip off.

  2. Bought a helmet – Shoei – from a large bikeshop, asked for a spare visor as well & was told have to order it in & takes 1 week. Tried a second bikeshop on way home – same.
    If you can stock a helmet, you can & should stock visors.

  3. I bought a nice new midrange helmet, went shopping and as I was putting it in my top box dropped it right on the visor putting a big scuff mark right in the worst spot. Replacement visor cost nearly a third the cost of the helmet.

  4. Well to be fair, visors from the 70’s were just Perspex and they deteriorated very quickly compared to the modern ones. The old Perspex would get micro scratches very easily and make night riding rather challenging with oncoming headlights, and/or rain.

    1. Agree, the old perspex visors were only good for a limited time.

      Meanwhile, the visor which came with my Shoei XR1000 has lasted eight years!!
      Approximately 40,000 klms. A replacement has not been required, as it is still very usable.

      BTY – have just made sure it is properly wet before wiping with the servo paper towel, no special treatment.

      So, am thinking the price for modern day visors is not necessarily over the top, they are way better (and cheaper in real terms) than visors of old.

      Cheers
      MicMac

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