Australian service stations can legally refuse to serve you fuel if you don’t remove your helmet, yet very few provide anywhere safe for you to place your helmet while you fill up.
The owners say it’s for safety reasons, but really it’s so you don’t ride off without paying, which is happening more frequently. In the US, most gas stations require you to pay first, but then, most have credit card facilities at the pump and very few do in Australia!
If you feel offended by the lack of trust, you only have the thieves to thank for this get-tough attitude.
You can argue about open-face and flip-up motorcycle helmets providing facial identification for their cameras, but the owners have the final say as it’s private property, even though there is no law prohibiting the use of a fuel pump while wearing a helmet.
If you are offended, you should politely protest about drivers not removing their caps, sunglasses or even religious headwear, then refuse to use their service station, post about it on social media and move on.
If you look around, there are still some servos that let you use the pump without taking off your helmet, especially if you have an open-face or flip-up helmet.
I’ve found one near me that does; probably because they now know me. Country servos are also more forgiving.
However, if you do remove your helmet as many do simply for the rest, good luck finding anywhere safe and clean to place it while filling up.
Helmets cost from a few hundred dollars up to more than $1000 and the last thing you want to do is leave them in a place where they can get dirty, filled with petrol fumes or fall and get damaged.
The most convenient place would be on top of the bowser, but most bowser tops these days have small advertising signs on top of them preventing you from placing your helmet there.
Not every bike has a place to safely place your helmet. They can and often do roll off seats and placing them on the mirrors can indent the internal foam.
Often riders are forced to place their helmet on top of a bin or on the ground. However, we suggest you buy a big carabiner or one of these helmet hooks so you can quickly and safely fasten your helmet to your bike.
If “service” stations can’t offer that simple “service” of providing somewhere to put your helmet, they shouldn’t be called a service station or they should, at least, allow you to leave your helmet on.