After more than a month. România: 2021-08-17 16:30

I still have no answers. I still don't know why did the crash happen.

Usually these are the circumstances when you don't — should not — dwell too much on it. Cracked and broken bones heal, even medium strong bleedings stop (wasn't flowing from the nose, ears, mouth or eyes) and you will recover eventually.

The bike will never be the same as before, but cracked and broken parts can be replaced to feasibly possible extents. The bike was still road-worthy after the crash (except missing one side rear-view mirror), so nothing crippling or fatal happened.

I think you already noticed this.

The main culprit could be a speed bump. Not always, but generally I avoid speed bumps: either from the side or if it's split, then between two parts. Not at all costs, and neither because I am not willing to slow down, but more because I have hands-on, direct reasons.

I still have the last 1-2 seconds in front of my eyes: traffic jams, heavy and pushing traffic, 30 over degrees, GPS took to a confusing route — the next thing I recall, before at the next corner of my destination I'm pounded into the ground by force. Not just comfily laying down.

Some moments later two helpful strangers helped to pick up the bike, one yelled: You're bleeding! Indeed so did I, fat blood drops appeared on my gloves, pants, boots and the rear seat. After removing the helmet, things sortened out quickly: some incisive or sharp plastic/metal part of the helmet microlock strap system ripped up my chin. A few inches down, and the part would likely cut up my throat.

The first flip-up helmet of my life
Somewhere, aeons ago I noted to pursue flip-up helmets. The logic was: less safety but a) easier water drinking b) easier talking c) more ventilation. Our relationship was already poisoned from the beginning. I found a promising one last spring while lived in Nürnberg, but by then things crashed into quarantine and allowing only internet purchases. Which is quite damned for helmets, without the chance to try it first, that it properly fits — but I ordered it.

The received size L was extremely tight. Waiting weeks as I remember, until finally I could go to the shop personally: there we could replace to an XL, which fit much better. Before I could start to enjoy the world of flipped up helmets, the by-wire sun visor system failed: you pushed it back one time and it never could be lowered again.

Back to the shop, a second brand new helmet provided the same symptoms. My helmet was sent to the regional center: as far as I remember they just replaced it to a new one. You won't ever believe this: the third helmet, again same problem. Took some screwdrivers and figured out the facts: the semi-rigid metal wire which should move the visor breaks into an arch when you pull the lever back (to retreat the visor). Then pushing the lever forward (to lower the visor) is never again able to straighten the wire out. A 100% bad design.

I had some emails with the manufacturer, and while they were helpful, I already left Nürnberg, without the chance to send the helmet for warranty fixes — so I learned to live without the sun visor.

After 9 hours and dehydrated, you may tend to forget the weight-balance differences of the flip-up helmets: after one first step toward the petrol station's shop, the next thing I heard a loud bang. Helmet fell down from the top of the luggage, shield scratched, some painting removed, and the brand new Sena EVO 20S scratched too at multiple locations too. At least no functionality got damaged. Neither to mention that at the height of 1.9 mt, one may miscalculate the interior heights: but learn at least three times by hearing a loud bang that the opened flip-up easily hit the ceiling, plumber pipes or the top of the door. Neither helped to bond with the helmet.

The helmet in question is…was an HJC i90. The by-wire visors often produce this error — but I mention them namely because their website still claims all the positive things about the sun visor system. Until an i90 v2 or i100 comes out, I reject to believe that the issue is resolved.

What I realized
I damn no need flipping flip-up helmets. I recounted all the occasions when I used the flip up — I would come to a conclusion that 90% I still used the helmet fully closed. Then I also learned to manage to lead the water reservoir's pipe to my mouth from the chin pad, also I can afford to take off the helmet for those stops at the petrol stations.

You may also approximate the strength of the impact during the crash, if I say that the flip-up holding system broke out; aka one side of the flip-up is just dangling in the air. While I appreciate that the helmet after all protected me from anything irreversible, I still remain with full-face helmets, built up from one piece shell.

I damn won't ever use jet or half-face helmets either. If you've ever experienced to skid forward on your face even in a full-face helmet — you will be certain for life that you don't want to do that in anything lesser protecting.

Of course, there are a third type of bikers: who claim they never fell and also are self-confident they never going to.

Secondly, I will avoid microlock/micrometric locking systems. It's a fast-food experience. It's an automatic transmission experience. One of my truly enjoyed motorcycle seances are those 5-7 seconds while I fasten the D-ring. In those moments I prepare mentally for motorcycling, also know: the fun comes now.

And microlock/micrometric is way inferior. That rigid plastic will never fit as snugly as the D-ring flexible strap; chances are that piece of plastic will just press your adam's apple. Sure there's that soft padding over the plastic, but it needs no touring rider experience, how much does that stay in one place after the twentieth minute under the scorching Sun, all sweating and moving. Yes, you got it right: zero much.

I won't get into any, especially picturesque exhibition of which part of the helmet's microlock system could have cut my chin. But by knowing the shape of the impact, I can't come up with anything else, which or what any other part could cause it. I also yet to see a D-ring system which I could imagine to cause similar injuries. Of course, all the accidents, all the injuries come in all shapes and sizes; it's impossible to predict all of them. Still, for me microlock is overtly overcomplicated and worse.

Why it's not a bad idea to have spare helmets?
It may seem extraneous, but probably not. I had two options:

I chose the second option and the HJC: while it's still microlock, but it was used for smaller daytrips only. Marushin endured 3+1 years of everything, thus I have honest doubts about its integrity and current performance of safety.

Not to mention that I still thoroughly hate its visor-replacing system.

The next touring helmet?
Absolutely full-face, absolutely D-ring system and if possible an enduro-touring style. I tried a few, but so far it looks the shape of my head isn't exactly fitting into them. I found one exception, and while the right fit is still sought, also I very certainly won't possibly choose them because I won the lottery (I would need to buy at least one ticket for that…) but because their how-to manual.

You too may tend to ask But whyyyy? But whyyyy? I have proud statistics that I basically read all the possible helmet manuals but so far I found the explanation only in Shoei's, why you must replace a helmet after one impact. Of course I do believe other manufacturers, because 1 impact === end of the helmet sounds logical, but without explanation it's not that difficult to rather assume a kind of business-marketing motivation than reality. Shoei's helmet howto clearly explains it:

Upon the impact, the flexible shell will lead away the impact, also at the given point the EPS padding will be compressed. It means it won't fit snugly to the inside of the helmet, it won't have the same thickness anymore but only empty air will fill the space. And everyone knows from the primary school Physics lessons, that air is infinitely compressable. It means upon a next impact nothing will absorb or slow down the physics, and the hit directly, with its original power will strike your head.

After all
I still don't know how could I avoid the crash. I have good assumptions (front wheel always looses) but no evidences. I had the sport camera on the helmet, but during the impact the memory card ejected from the slot: that corrupted the whole movie, transformed it into a war of pixels.

I will remain at the conclusion of bad luck, those Emmentaler slices rotated and lined up to see through the holes.

It's quite annoying. I have done so far unprocessed, great things to my skills — and a bloody speed bump causes my doom. Slid, rolled, moved over them thousands and billion times, without any drama. Irritating.

My approach to motorcycling hasn't really changed. I immediately spent time around the bike right in the evening, and the following days. Due to unavoidable reasons, even rode the bike 100 km on winding and up-down mountain roads to Cluj-Napoca and back to the accommodation; with cracked, broken bone and a broken helmet. I still didn't have any sense of being afraid of motorcycling. Naturally, I was very cautious.

Life moves on. Motorcycling didn't become anywhere more dangerous.

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