Saturday, December 24, 2011

Arai Tour Cross II helmet.. After 4 years..

After 4 years I have been using the Arai Tour Cross II helmet, its condition is still considerably good and solid. The cushions still could hold onto my face / head although it is already worn by 25%.  Not bad if I consider I have been using it for the past 4 years in many types of weather conditions, crashes, doing almost everyday on long ride (+600km per day)..
The first time I used the Tour Cross II helmet when I had the Aprilia Pegaso Strada (fcuking crap bike, trust me!).. it didn’t have tall windscreen and I survived using the Tour Cross II with its long chin enduro helmet design and helmet cap at high speed.. At first, I didn’t feel comfortable at high speed especially when I needed to do shoulder check maneuverings.. Furthermore at high speed, Tour Cross II helmet can give you a hell of neck pain if you don’t have a strong neck muscle..

Also at high speed, I need to keep my head steady because a small turning movement could make the helmet vibrate rapidly, thus making me having bad headaches..

Then I sold the CRAPrilia (did I spell it correctly?) bike and bought Kawasaki KLR 650 (2010 model).. The KLR 650 is such a great, brilliant and lovely bike.. It’s tall, big and it has the aggressive enduro look with 21-inch front multispoke rim, wide handle bar, long front suspension (although it’s too soft), comfortable seat and big 22.1 liters of fuel tank. Although my current ride, the 30 Years Anniversary R1200 GS Adventure, has 33 liters of fuel tank (excluding the 4-liter of reserve), I still consider the 22.1 liters tank is big for this 650cc, high torque @ low-rpm thumper engine.. With a full tank of fuel, I can easily do ~430km of mileage on this superb 1987 bomb-proof-engine KLR 650. This is one of the reasons why the US Marine Corps uses the KLR 650 as one of its fleet.

Anyway, back to the Tour Cross II helmet.. Although the KLR 650’s windscreen is not a tall and big as the BMW GS Adventure’s, it didn’t give me any trouble. The KLR 650 is not a fast bike as it gets wobbled if it is ridden at the speed of 150 km/h.. In fact, the KLR 650 struggles to achieve 150 km/h speed barrier.. It handles well below 140km/h, thus making the Tour Cross II feel at its comfort zone.. Therefore, I never encountered any problems with the Tour Cross II helmet and I loved the helmet every moment I used it with the KLR 650. They both are such perfect combos!

In December 2010, I had the opportunity to buy the BMW “30 Years Anniversary” R1200 GS Adventure.. My business had been doing very well and I’ve been dreaming to own a GS Adventure. The R1200 GS Adventure has been my dream bike ever since I grew interests on dual-purpose bikes.
Anyway, the GS Adventure model comes with larger windscreen and front screen spoiler. These two contribute a lot on the front wind hitting on the rider and also protect from being hit by stone chips. They are so large that make me feel hot when I ride in a hot day. Hence, I removed the Arai Tour Cross II visor and use a pair of Scott Goggles. These goggles give more air to flow inside the helmet, on the face area.

Wearing the Goggles also gives lots of advantages. On a foggy day, the mist does not enter the goggles and this is very helpful for those who wear power-glasses when riding, like me. The mist does not even get on the glasses; thus, no fog is developed on them as no warm exhaled-air gets onto the glasses.
Secondly, it is guaranteed no dust or sand can get into my eyes. I really hate when this happens. With the goggles, you can say goodbye to the dust and sand.

The only disadvantage of using the goggles is during heavy rainstorm. The big particle of rain will hit on my face especially on my nose and upper lip. They can be pain in the arse! The only way I can avoid this is by sit slightly closer to the big windscreen, to get protected by it. Or sometimes, I tend to cover the mouth with my left hand, but riding with one hand on the throttle is dangerous on heavy rainstorm.
Conclusion, I really love the Arai Tour Cross II helmet. It suits me very well with my style of riding and also on enduro design outfit. I would recommend this helmet if the user rides below 150 km/h of speed (without big & tall windscreen) and has strong neck muscle.

No doubt the Tour Cross II is proven and widely used by over-landers around the world. It also has been documented on Charlie and Ewan McGregor’s Long Way Round and Long Way Down documentaries.


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