By Tayla Adams
For the past month I’ve been getting more and more into thrifting. If I’m free on a Sunday morning, I like to head to a flea market and browse. Over the weekend I went to the Rose Bowl flea market and it did not disappoint. I spent more than four hours there and I didn’t even see all they had to offer. I spent the majority of my time in the vintage and antique sections of the venue.
There were more vendors selling motorcycle gear than I had originally anticipated. I mean, it is a specialty item and not as many people keep gear once it’s worn. However, that was not the case at this flea market. I saw quite a few helmets ranging from the 1930s to the 1970s. Of course, I would think to put these kinds of items on display in my apartment as decor. Most manufacturers recommend replacing a helmet you are actively wearing every 5-7 years, regardless of how it is stored or how often it is worn.
Your helmet is truly a life saving piece of gear. You want to make sure it is DOT certified and if you really want to go the extra mile, get a Snell or ECE approved helmet as their standards of safety are stricter. Sure these helmets don’t come cheap, but this is not an item of gear you want to skimp on.
A guy I know recently bought a really nice Honda Shadow 750 for a steal, but he wears a vintage helmet from the 70s because he thinks it looks cool. I get on his case every time I see him with it, but my warning goes in one ear and out the other. While I was browsing around one of the motorcycle stands I picked up a vintage helmet. The inside padding was practically non existent, and it was scratched up pretty bad already. Other shoppers near me didn’t seem put off as one guy was trying on the helmets.
Today’s football players don’t play in gear from the 70s because it looks cool, instead they wear the newest gear possible because each edition provides more and more safety. The same is true for motorcycle gear. Granted being a motorcyclist and a football player is not the same thing, but I think I prove my point with the comparison.
So if you’re a collector, or you just like the look of vintage helmets, great. Perhaps, put them on display in your home or decorate the garage with them. Just don’t put your life in more danger by riding with it on.
Stay safe in these streets!