Thursday 22 December 2011

Skid Lid Nirvana

Things are pretty quiet in the world of custom bike building and blogging, so I reckon it's time for a Christmas post on the subject of gifts... And this year my lovely missus the Dutchess, has decided I need a better quality (safer) open face lid than the el-cheapo Bandit Jet I got from Germany for about 60 Euros.

We've done the rounds, looking at Ruby, Bell (including the nice the Junior range just being imported - with a slimmer shell) and of course Brit lid-makers, Davida.

I'm usually not that excited about buying British, but these lids are rather lovely, and although the trim looks a bit like gaffer tape on some models (it probably is) they are made of quality materials, and the new Nintey-Two range has a very small shell size - the same as the non road legal Classic Jet & Speedster - but with British Safety Standard approval.

For reference, Davida make a few lids:

The Jet - UK Road legal (and massive)

Classic Jet - Legal in the US only

Speedster - not legal anywhere

Ninety-Two - Road legal, using the smaller Speedster/Classc Jet shell - but with Kevlar and hard-ass padding.

The Classic & Classic Race - an old school pisspot lid - not legal anywhere.

This is the Ninety Two. As the Shell looks pure Speedster, the main visual difference is the lining, which is breathable fabric instead of leather, but the fibreglass composite shell is reinforced by Kevlar (sounds tough to me), whereas the other two smaller lids are without the Kevlar.

Useful green sticker, below...

For shape comparison, here is Davida's original road legal lid on the left, beside the new ninety-two... The Ninety-Two makes the standard Jet look the size and shape of a large pumpkin. Not ideal for looks, but they are a lot more comfortable.

Bowling ball to the left...          ...custom cool on the right.

In typical British style the model options on the Ninety-Two are limited by bureaucratic red-tape as Davida were apparently only able to get Small & Medium sized models passed through UK safety tests... I'm told that there are melon headed people out there squeezing their heads into lids made for less cranially-challenged wearers..., to get the helmets through the BSS they fitted hardest cheek pads imaginable - however, thanks to a tip off from Anita at Victory Motorcycles in Camden (home to Untitled Motorcycles)

I discovered that Davida are cleverly making a batch of soft cheek pads that you can pop-in instead.

This padding swap probably makes them non BSS compliant, but the stickers are still on the lid, so hopefully there wouldn't be any issues with the long arm of the law should you be stopped by a well-informed and extremely pedantic traffic cop.

My nine year old went to town with her Xmas colouring pens...

The 92s are made in the full range of Davida paint options, (above) and I've gone for the classic silver with black racing stripe (see below, shown on a road-legal Jet).

...Hopefully that stripe will make me go faster.

Thanks to Colin at Gorgeous Bikes in Chelsea for supplying the lid, and sourcing those secret cheek pads - and thanks to the lovely Dutchess for the perfect Xmas gift..

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