All of a sudden summer has arrived here in Minnesota. As recently as May 22nd the low temperature was 39 degrees F in MSP, and by the next day we had highs above 80 and lows above 60 (and even hit 97 by the 28th). Motorcycling season for the wimpy is finally here. I love to ride, but have no interest in bundling up to keep warm - part of the joy is being out in the open as much as possible. If it isn't above 60 degrees or so it is hard to keep warm, and so it isn't much fun to ride to work until winter's icy grip has finally loosened and the days start out at a comfortable temperature.
My bike is nothing too special, but it is not your typical crotch rocket either. It is comfortable and smooth and quiet, and since my wife thinks it is 'pretty' she likes it too (and it has a trunk, so it is actually useful for commuting, rather than purely fun). It is an '89 Honda Pacific Coast:
One of the reasons that I was especially anxious to get on the road again this spring was to try out my new helmet. I have always had an open-face helmet, which works quite well behind a giant windscreen, but had been thinking I'd like to try a full-face helmet. They provide more protection, which is the only reason to put up with a helmet in the first place, and I was hoping it would cut back on the wind noise too. My wish came true last Christmas when my wife got me a spiffy Arai Astral-X helmet, and I've been impatiently waiting for a chance to see how it works for me. Nothing says luvin' like a premium brain bucket for your sweetie!
I've only been able to put on around 200 miles with it, but so far it is working out great. It is comfy and quiet, and not even too hot (it has great ventilation). At first I thought that the vents might be making a fair amount of wind noise, but eventually I figured out that there is quite a lot of ambient turbulence and noise, and with the helmet generating so little of its own, I can hear that ambient noise.
Now I just need to find some time to ride other than on my commute so I can get out and enjoy a peaceful traffic-free country road.