"I pulled you over for Speeding. Do you have any idea how fast you were going?"

Regardless of what you ride, even if you don't ride at all, EVERYONE is welcome here.

Mr. Motorcycle

I am

My photo
I live at 1 Frozen place in, Minnesota, United States
My real name is Mark. For many years now my wife has called me Mr. Motorcycle. When I started my Blog I was looking for a catchy blog name, so I went with it. I'm happily married and I'm also a father of 6 children. I have two human offspring, one dog, two cats and one custom Harley. I believe that makes 6 children. When I'm not doing my real full time job, or going for a ride, I like to do art, custom paint jobs, and of course BLOG. If you would like to contact me, my e-mail address is phonetically spelled for avoiding spammers. (I actually do use the number 1 in the beginning.) 1mrmotorcycleATgmailDOTcom

*****This is my Bliss*****

*****This is my Bliss*****
Depending on your settings, Click, or Double Click on the image for full size photo.
The photo above is my ride :
"Kenny" started life as a stock '97, 883 Sportster. It's been a work in progress since the day I bought it many years ago. Its mostly custom with a built, "slightly juiced up" 1200 motor.
The Metal Fabrication, bodywork and custom paint was done by me.

How the Hell did I come up with a name like Kenny for my bike you ask?...... Most people who name their rides, go with chick names. I of course had to be different. I think bikes look tough, cool and masculine; not feminine. Plus, my father "Ken" has helped make me who I am today. Therefore with a little twist on the name, my bike was named "Kenny".


Come check out my custom paint! Click on the logo above to go to my custom paint blog.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Old School, Old skool, or should we just say Olds Kool, Fulmer V2 Helmet review-- Crash and Burn Stories-- Marathon Post.

Be prepared to take a few minutes. Unlike my usual style of posting, this one isn't short. If you don't have time for a longer read, come back later. I reveal a lot here. Part of which has been a public secret until now.

This post is about my quest for the perfect helmet, and stories of why this quest has come to be, more than once, and why I find it so difficult.

Minnesota has a Limited helmet law. If you are under your learner's permit, you must wear a helmet. If you are under 18 years of age, you must wear a helmet. If neither apply to you, it is your choice. (Funny because we have a mandatory seatbelt law in a car(cage) with airbags. Go figure.

When I had my motorcycle learner's permit, I had a black full faced helmet. It was a Fulmer.
I hated wearing this thing with a burning passion. I couldn't wait to ditch it. I got my motorcycle endorsement, and of course, ditched the helmet.

I rode most of my riding years without a helmet. Then I got into a car accident. I was going through an intersection. I was in the right hand through lane. There was no turn lane here, and lady made a last minute right hand turn from the left lane into my bike. I was ejected, and was hurled through the air like Superman. She was in a Suburban, and said she didn't see me. Regardless, she made a turn from the wrong lane. I totaled that bike. I was injured pretty bad, and couldn't walk for about a month. I should have sued her ass, but I was too young, too naive, and I'm not the suing type of person. That accident freaked me out bad. I was also too new of a motorcycle rider to realize just how bad the motorcycle riding bug had bit me. I swore, I'd never ride again. I got married after that, and it wasn't too long before I couldn't hear, or watch another motorcycle going down the road without having to turn my head as they passed by to watch them with envy in my gaze. This went on for quite some time. My wife could see it was slowly killing me, and making me not the person she met, or married. We jointly agreed that I could get another motorcycle, but I had to wear a helmet. I agreed. I got another bike, I got another helmet. This time a Bell half shell DOT approved helmet. Since I've never ridden with a windshield, and never will, I refer to these DOT half helmets as (kites, or wind catchers if you will). I also have a small head, and am not a really big guy, so I looked like Marvin the Martian wearing it. Mushroom head is what some people like to call it. I F'n hated that thing so bad, it made me not want to ride if I had to wear it. Gradually, I stopped wearing it, and gradually, my wife begrudgingly accepted that I was going to ride, and I was going to do it without a helmet on my head.

Years passed, and I got in another minor accident. This time it was my fault. Too much speed, not enough time to slow. I slid, then high sided, and was ejected. (Stupid rookie mistake). Guess I should have taken those advanced rider courses. Needless to say, I survived. The bike was fixed, and I continued to ride without a helmet.

Last summer, July 20th, 2008, to be exact was a riding, life changing day for me. I have not spoke of this on my blog until this post. I got in a pretty scary motorcycle accident. Again my fault. (By the way, That you tube Video I just posted of Custom Paint repair techniques was my own bike getting repaired after my crash from last summer. I healed, and had the bike made "ready to ride" so I could ride the rest of the season, then had it fixed for real this last winter. It was in the shop until early- to mid Spring.)

Anyway, back to the crash...
I was planning on heading down to our family cabin, which is about an hour and a half south of my house. It was going to be a beautiful ride, and when I got there I was going to mow the lawn, and maybe wet a line and see if some fish were biting, then visit my folks on the way home. I only made it about 15 minutes south of my house before the possibly near fatal moment happened. I was traveling Southbound on Interstate 35W, and getting ready to exit onto State Highway 10. The exit ramp off the freeway- entrance ramp onto 10 basically just takes up the shoulder. There is no other room for this ramp. Thusly, within inches of the outside white line alongside the ramp is a guard rail. I was traveling the speed limit on the freeway at 70 MPH, and slowing just slightly for the exit, so going approximately 65 MPH, hugging the right side of the lane by the guard rail. I must have ran over something metal, because I heard a metal clanging sound, and I looked down and to my left to see what it was. I counter-steered just enough to scrape the guard rail, then bounce off of it, and down I went at about 65 MPH. I had no helmet, and was wearing only jeans, T-shirt, and boots. I slid across the pavement on my back , my side, and my right arm. Luckily I had a Grab-it Pack on, and It took the brunt of the slide on my side. I got nasty road rash on my back and my right arm. The arm by the elbow was ground almost to the bone and the knuckles on my right hand WERE down to the bone. As I slid down the road, I remember consciously thinking to myself as I was scraping the guard rail, that this can't be happening. This is like a F'n nightmare! And then I thought (excuse my French), "OH FUCK, I'M GOING TO DIE!" Then came the pavement, and the slide. My next two thoughts were "keep the head up. & Please God don't let my head hit the pavement." I stopped, and couldn't believe I was alive. I could not believe what had just happened. I could not believe no one ran over me. I couldn't believe what my arm and my hand looked like. It took a while for the pain to kick in due to the adrenaline, and partial shock. After a while it was pretty extreme, but I knew I'd have to deal with it. I had no choice. Moment's later people came to help get the bike out of the road, and make sure I was O.K. I thanked them all for stopping. I was lucky in a sense that this was a busy road, because what had happened to me did not go
unnoticed. I tried to use my cell phone to make a call to my wife, and tow truck, but my cell phone was in the Grab-it Pack, and was crushed from the impact. A short while later a State Trooper arrived on the scene to help me. He was a great guy, and rides motorcycles himself. He was compassionate, helpful, kind, and caring. I used to have a grudge against most cops in general, till this moment. I realized that they aren't all out there to "nab" us and give us tickets, but that they can, and will also help in a time of need. (By the way. I have a quote that says..." May all your encounters with the law start with the words, "Nice Harley!") Yeah, he said it.

The tow truck came, I actually helped him load my bike on the flat bed, and rode home with him to my house, and dropped off the bike there. It was a day the bike shop was closed. My wife was home when the tow truck backed up the drive. She saw me, and thought at first that my bike just broke down or something until I hopped out the cab of the tow truck and she saw all the road rash. I said at that point, "Yeah, I'll wear a helmet now. " She never even asked me to stop riding, ever. Bless her heart. The one time I declared I would stop riding, I said it on my own free will. Stupid me. What was I thinking. While recovering, people would ask me, "Are you going to stop riding?", That's like asking someone who doesn't ride, who has had an asthma attack, are you going to stop breathing? My response... "I'll stop riding when they bury me." Motorcycle accidents suck. Don't get me wrong. For those of you who have never had one, I hope you never do. For those of you who have, and continue to ride. You know what I'm saying. For those of you who have crashed, and gave it up. Well I guess the riding bug never bit you as hard as it bit me. I've ridden more years than not. It's not just something I do, It is part of who I am.

Needless to say, I did say I'd wear a helmet now, so this brings me to my quest again for the perfect helmet. Mind you, riding without a windshield makes a huge difference on what you can and can't wear comfortably without feeling like you head is going to be torn off at anything over 55 MPH.

I hate full face, so that was out. I hate mushroom head, so that limited my choices. I bought two different Novelty style half helmets, and thy didn't fit very well, and were made poorly so all they did was shift, and catch wind. These suck! IMO. Add them to the collection of worthless helmets. So let the quest continue.

This spring I was at the annual Spring Flood Run and took some pictures. Remember that Old Skool chopper? It had an old skool helmet hanging off the handle bars. I thought to myself "That ain't so bad. I might be able to wear one of those." It looked pretty cool, and might just be the ticket. So I did some research on line. I found a Fulmer 3/4 open face Old skool bobber style helmet that IS DOT approved! It is low profile, fits nicely, looks cool, no mushroom head, and is I believe the ticket for me. It is very hard to find a perfect helmet if you can't test ride with them, so I believe many of you also have a collection of helmets you don't use. I did a lot of research before going out and buying one of these. It does fit snugly, does vent-breathe, is extremely lightweight,, and has very little drag, (even at 80 MPH!) and comes with a snap on visor, and you can purchase optional bubble facemask. You won't find them in most stores. You have to go to a dealer that sells Fulmer helmets, have your head measured, and special order it. I've had mine for a few weeks now, and I love it. I had to buy riding goggles though because the helmet changes the course of wind flow by your eyes, so shades don't work so well, unless you don't mind dry watery eyes. The color selections are fabulous! Since it's 3/4, it can be warm. This can be good and bad. I guess it depends on the weather. If you are into old skool, this might just be the ticket for you!

If you want to see pictures of them, read other reviews, etc., just Google "Fulmer V2 helmet".
This will bring up lots more information. By the time I was done researching, reading great reviews, etc., I was 99% sold on this helmet. All that was left was to see someone with it on. Since I couldn't find one at a store, I couldn't find out what they looked like on my head. I had to rely on the internet for this. So I searched for images of it. I did have a problem finding pictures of people actually wearing the helmet. Everyone showed pictures of the helmets, but I wanted to see for myself if the claim of "No mushroom head" held any merit. I was only able to find one YouTube video of a guy wearing it while riding that sold me on it. I figured for anyone interested, here is a couple of pics of me with it on my noggin.



Dean "D-Day" said...

Glad you're still around to tell the tale my friend.

Once I stop being stupid and decide to wear a helmet, I'll check one of these out.

Looks pretty good. I think you should've gotten the red-white & blue Captain America helmet they make though.

sherrypg said...

Glad you are okay.

I had two people start to pull out in front of me yesterday. The first old coot screeched to a halt, let me pass and then pulled out and almost hit my husband riding behind me. Luckily, we were back in town and not going too fast so we both could react in time.

Canajun said...

That's a helluva scary story.

Up here in Ontario, helmets have been law for as long as I've been riding, which is a very long time! Now I am so used to wearing one that I feel extremely uncomfortable when I don't. I was in the US last year and tried to ride without one just to see what it felt like. I lasted about 5 minutes. Wimp, I know, but it's what I'm used to so it's not really so bad.
Anyway, all of that to say I also share your frustration in finding just the right helmet. Once you do you'll be reluctant to give it up even when it's time because you know it will be hard to get a comfortable replacement.

mq01 said...

I've been down, I still ride, and you put me right there in your crash. I lived the chanting of "head up" while grinding into the center divide. I'm glad you're here and ok.

thanks for this post!!! i struggle with helmets too. i'm an XS and hate being a bobblehead. i have metal in my head and face and really should wear a full face but cant stand them. i am seriously looking at this helmet to add to the collection :)

Baron's Life said...

First time I read the story I just couldn't bring myself to comment..What a story, glad you 're OK though and survived to tell the story. be careful and calculative in your rides...and remember to always wear a helmet mushroom head for next time may not be so kind.Thanks God you're OK man

B.B. said...

First let me say....you have an amazing wife, go kiss her now and tell her that. :)
I'm glad that you decided to share that story with us, it was very scary, but we all learn from others' experiences.
And thanks for the info about the helmet, I'm getting ready to ditch my full-face and looking for something that I still feel comfortable with.

FLHX_Dave said...

Yeah, I have slept on my stomach for a couple of weeks myself...more than once.

I look like a dork in my brain bucket. Does it bother me? Not really, I guess because I don't really care what I look like. I'm done impressing anyone, however, I understand where you are coming from.

I dig that topper. Sorta going back to the whole easy rider thing. I have a huge head. (just wished it was full of brains). I'm gonna look stupid no matter what I wear.

I'm sorta enjoying the whole retro look that the younger riders are shooting for. It's sort of a 50's, 60's and 70's look all mixed together. It's their generation...good for them. Have at it.

Good post and I can dig in deep and relate to what you threw up here.

Learning to Golf said...

Getting into the post it didn't seem all that long, but that happens when you "live" the written words.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Maybe it will wake me up and I will look into one of these Fulmer V2 brain buckets.

Willy D said...

That’s a good-looking skidlid. You’re right; I’ve got 4 I don’t wear. Accidents happen. I’ve had my share. I’m with you, as long as I can I’ll ride.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Thanks, That really means a lot.
And I did consider the Captain America helmet, but it's just not subtle enough for me. I like subtle.

Thank you. I'm glad those two boneheads didn't ruin your day!

I know what you are saying. I am starting to get really used to wearing this thing. I kind of like wearing it now. I think how naked I would feel without it. Then again I like NEKID! LOL! I know when it gets really hot, that's when I'm going to have a hard time keeping it on full time. Time will tell.

Mrs. M,
I'm glad you are a crash survivor, and not the other way around. You are the real deal then too. I respect that. I also have a small head. The helmet is an XS. It fits very comfortably. I think if you are seriously looking at another one, you should try this. It is very reasonably priced too. about $80.00 average.

I agree totally. Mushroom head or not, I will likely choose to wear one now.

B.B., I already did kiss my wife for that. Thanks! I think you would look good in one of these! You don't look half bad in that full face, except we can't tell it's you under that face mask.

FLHX Dave,
I remembered reading your post about your road rash, and thought of you while I was writing this post. You clearly can relate to shat I'm saying here. By the way, I like your helmet. I even tried one on. I had major mushroom head with it. You are a bigger guy, and look good with it on.

Arizona Harley Dude,
I appreciate the compliment. I must have written it well then. My wife an english major, and Joker too, could likely pick it all apart, but that's O.K..
Grammar isn't what it was about.

Just an FYI to all. This post was also not supposed to be a Pro helmet post. It is just about the reason's why I am now choosing one for myself and why I've tried in the past, and my struggles. I did this because I know that I can't be the only one out there who is looking for the right helmet, who has the same desires, wants, and needs in a helmet as I do, and have just not been lucky enough to stumble upon the right one yet. I think this is it. So far I'm really happy with it.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Willy D.,
It is very comfortable, so much so, I'm comfortable with it on for now. We'll see when it's really hot. It does breathe nicely though.

T. Shawn said...

Hell of a story man! Thanks for sharing. I don't like having to wear helmet, but I do like my brains and don't want to leave my kids too early. I have actually been eye balling those Fulmer helmets for a while now. The USA theme is cool, but it may not go over so well on a metric bike. White is probably what I'll get, visibility and temperature control.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

T. Shawn,
Thanks for dropping by and leaving me your thoughts! I really appreciate it. Stop back again and visit will ya?

As far as the USA theme. If that's what you want, who cares what others think, metric or not. You are riding, and you are in the USA. F'm if they don't like it. If that's the one I wanted, I would get it.

Chessie (Chesshirecat) said...

Oh my gosh! That helmet reminds me of the helmet my dad had from back around 1963! Serious! I can't believe the memories you've brought back with that helmet!

Big Daddy said...

Those of you who read my post's know I hate helmets.
But then I also go out of state occasionally and need to wear one.
I have actually been looking for the helmet your wearing...I had one back in the 70's
The mushroom head helmets trying to pull your head off sucks and the full face is confining and I believe limits both your hearing and sight...
Thanks for the info.
BTW you've had enough scrapes for a liftime...So no more OK?

Mr. Motorcycle said...

If that's the case, then Fulmer pulled it off! I do believe that is exactly the intent. Glad it brought back memories.

Big D.,
Yeah I know you hate helmets. I'm not a huge fan either, but I'm going to try to keep a lid on for safety anyway. And I am getting used to it, and I am also starting to get comfortable with it as well. They've copied the retro look to a T. But have added in modern technology in safety and comfort. Plus it is extremely light weight. This helmet rocks. I'm not trying to convince anyone who doesn't wear a helmet to start wearing one, or to go and get one. I'm just puttin it out there for those who are looking for what I was.

As far as enough scrapes for a lifetime. I think one is MORE than enough. I hope it never happens again, but If it does, so help me God, I hope I have a lid on if I need it.

Ann said...

I'm really glad you shared this story with us, thanks. I'm also really glad you're ok. Everyone knows I'm with Big D on the helmet thing...I hate them. However, when I start riding my own, I will wear one. I just have to find the right one to wear. Thanks for the info on the V2 helmet...I'll have to look into it.

"Joker" said...

I finally had time today to sit and take this all in. Of course you know that I understand about going down and coming back up again. What I don't understand though is why that State cop didn't call you an ambulance. What's this driving you home crap? Am I the only one who's ever heard the phrase internal injuries?? Seriously man, that wasn't the smartest move. I mean, I wasn't there and I can't know how you felt, but I have to say I think you should've gone to get checked out and properly treated.

I suppose it doesn't matter now, it's over and done with, and I'm glad you ended up being alright. I don't mean to lecture, but I went to the ER when I went down and I still had to go back the next day because the stupid assholes missed my broken ribs! I could barely friggin breathe! It's a damned good thing for me one of them didn't stab into an internal organ or something. However, just because those hacks messed up that particular day with me doesn't put me off of getting checked if I should ever crash again. Just look at that actress Natasha Richardson a few months ago. Falls in a skiing accident. Says she's fine. Get's a headache...the next day she's dead. That's some scary shit!

Ok, off the soapbox. I'm a half-shell guy myself and windshield on or off it fits well, is comfortable, doesn't have "kite syndrome," is DOT approved, and doesn't give me mushroom head. It just worked out that way - I can't say I planned it. I'm with you on hating the full faces. I have to say that 3/4 you have there looks good. It's retro, but at the same time it doesn't look like the football helmet so many of the old ones did. Good choice.

Enough of this crashing shit. I'm done.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

You know, I was so caught up in the moment when writing this post, that I forgot to mention the ambulance. They did arrive. They were there just moments before the State Trooper arrived. The ambulance E.M.T. gave me a quick spot check, and I said I was fine. I refused to go in the ambulance. I chose to ride home with my bike and the tow truck. Hind sight being 20/20, maybe it wasn't so wise. Even though being really stiff and sore the day after, and the road rash being all that was wrong, I could have had internal injuries that I was not aware of. I also wouldn't have had to wait two hours at the E.R. to be treated. My road rash was scabbed over almost by the time they got to checking me out and cleaning it. They had to re-open it all to get all the sand and gravel out.

As far as you being able to find a half shell that works good for you, that's great. I haven't been so lucky.

And Oh yeah, I'm with you. Enough of this crashing shit.

Mr. Motorcycle said...


Thank you.
I'm not huge into helmets either. I think most people who have ridden without would prefer to keep it that way. However, I am learning to like this one. I think the key is finding the right helmet. Everyone who wears a helmet has different wants, needs and desires of what a helmet will do for them. Just like the bikes themselves I guess.

If you do get a helmet, and you are looking into one of these, I hope this puts you in the right direction.

Unknown said...

I had to let this one sit for a day or two before I could read it. GLAD you came out the other side.

Have you taken ERC yet?

Lady R (Di) said...

Shew! I'm glad your alright too. Mercy! I'm kind of in shock reading this, as your writing most certainly did put us right there with you... going down and praying "head up, head up" along the way.

I grimaced with empathy when you talked of your rash and I can only imagine the pain that caused.

I'm so amazed at your understanding wife (one who does not ride!) to be so understanding. She's a wonderful, loving woman. God Bless her.

I'm glad to hear your adjusting nicely to wearing a helmet. I like the Captain America idea, just from the standpoint... you think you can fly like him, so why not! LOL! I understand... it's not your style. ;)

I have two helmets myself. My "mushroom" half helmet, and a 3/4 VEGA - Vista XVP. It also has the detachable face shield, which is extremely nice when the temps are around 40 degrees. I decide which one to wear, according to the weather.

Once again... glad you're able to have another chance to figure out which helmet you like.

Mr. Motorcycle... ride on old skool!

Lady R

Webster World said...

Mark it's good you are ok. I have worn a helmet for years even in states I did not have to. I wear one that looks just about like the one you have. The half helmets pull on your head and neck BAD. I used to bounce in a biker bar. I know a fist a wrest a body gives. A curb a guard rail they do not give. So I wear a helmet. When asked by a A.B.A.T.E person I brush it off. I am my own man. I wear one period.

Biker Betty said...

Wow, When I started reading, it wasn't that long. So glad you shared this and very glad you're okay. I was on the edge of my seat reading it. Wearing helmets is a personal thing for each person. I have a full-face helmet that I don't mind wearing at all. Every time a rock or bug pings off of it, I'm very glad it's there protecting me. I hope to never be in an accident to test it for the purpose it was created.

I've been away for a while working and doing the part-time college thing and now playing catch-up with my fellow bloggers. If you visit me, blogger has, at the moment, marked me as spam and threatened to delete my blog in 20 days. Not sure why, as I did a post like I always do, but it sounds like they will unblock the spam message sometime this week..hopefully. Has Blogger done this to you? I've been out of the loop for more then three months.
Anyway, hopefully I will still be in the blogosphere still.

Wishing you a Happy Memorial Weekend :)

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Thank you. I'm glad I came out of this O.K. in the end as well. And, No I have not taken the Experienced Rider Course, but I should. Have you?

Lady R.,
Thanks. Yeah, It was scary. Writing this put me back in that moment myself. I'm am adjusting to the whole helmet thing though.
Re: mushroom head. Just because you have one of those helmets does not mean you will have mushroom head. Not everyone does. Some people look just fine in them. I just happen to be one of those who don't.

Webster World,
I'm glad that you can do this for yourself, no matter where you ride. If it gives you comfort, and peace of mind, that's all that matters. Good for you for "being your own man".

Biker Betty,
Thank you. I'm glad to hear from you again. Re: having the thought that you are glad you got it when a bug or rock hits the helmet, I hear you! I think that myself. Except I don't have the full face part. I think it would be nice when I feel the raw sting of something hitting me in the face though. But then I think I would miss the wind in my face as well.

Blogger hasn't threatened anything like that to me. I did hear "rumors" which now sound like there may be validation that if you don't post at least once a month they might do something. I have nothing to back this up though. Some folks are checking into it. Like I said, at least for now, "RUMORS".

Baron's Life said...

Don't forget to claim your AWARD

!Teq-uila Del Zapata said...

Wow! that's some bike, i wish they have something like this here, all we have are toy bikes. :(

the rider said...

Nice blog, interesting read and I will follow with interest. I am a South African biker, we have no choice as far as helmets are concerned - have to wear them. One of my goals is to come and ride over there one day, maybe Sturgis or Daytona. Check out my blog; www.braaisbeersandbikes.blogspot.com and see what we get up to.

Unknown said...

I think you can have as much fun "designing" a helmet as you can a bike--stickers, paint and whatever makes the helmet more fun to wear. Anyway, I'm glad you're doing well, I'm glad you got a helmet on and I just want you to know that my lovely wife would give me a seriously nasty case of road rash with her own two hands if I left the house without my helmet! It helps when you don't have a choice!

Awesome post.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Thanks for the award buddy!

!Teq-uila Del Zapata,
Thank you!

The rider,
Thank you. I'll be sure to check out your blog too.

I agree. I keep thinking of neat things I could put on the helmet, but it already came with more than just black, so I don't want to gaudy it up too much. As for your wife and road rash. Too funny.