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How to Wear Glasses With a Motorcycle Helmet

Guest post by Liz Hardy

Motorcycle helmets pose a special challenge when you’re as blind as a bat.

Actually, when it comes to getting glasses on inside a helmet, I’m more like a sight-impaired tiger.

I growl.
I snarl.
And I threaten to rip the head off any poor soul who’s brave enough to offer any “helpful” suggestions.

Wearing glasses and a motorcycle helmet at the same time is enough to turn anyone into a wild animal.

At first glance (if you could see anything, that is) you have 3 options:

1. Try and wriggle your glasses through your open visor.

If you don’t snap your glasses in half in the process, you’ll have to just live with them digging into your head at the wrong angle for the next 150 km.

2. Live dangerously and wear contact lenses.

If you’re lucky, no little speck of dirt will land in your eye.
That’s possible, of course.
But only if you’re not moving, and you have the helmet visor down.

It’s riskier when you’re flying along the road and some grit or insect splatter flicks onto your contact lens. You’ll be instantly blinded by a pain that feels like ground glass in your eyeball.

That’s not so good for the concentration.
And there’s one more option here…

3. Don’t wear glasses at all.

In my case, that would mean I couldn’t even find the bike to climb aboard.
Let alone venture out into the wide world on it.

None of these options are that appealing.
And number (3) is only even possible if you’re riding on the back seat of a bike.

So what do you do?

The Secret of Wearing Glasses and a Motorcycle Helmet at the Same Time

Finally, I’ve found a solution to this ongoing challenge.

Here’s my two-step process.

1. Invest in a flip up helmet.


What a difference!

Flip up helmets open up a whole new world of comfort.

I no longer have to spend 20 minutes cursing as I try to wriggle fragile expensive glasses in through the visor.

These days, I put on my glasses first.
And then I simply open the whole front of the helmet and pull it onto my head with my glasses already in place.

It’s life changing.

2. Get motorcycle-friendly glasses.

Like any self-respecting woman who can’t see more than 5cm in front of her, I have quite a selection of glasses.
But none of them were comfortable inside a helmet.

So I took my new helmet into the glasses store.
And I tried on glasses under the helmet until I found some that were light and flexible.

Yes, the other customers thought I was insane.
I didn’t care.
When people stared at me curiously, I would just start riding an imaginary bike around inside the store.

They soon stopped making eye contact.

Why Didn’t I Try This Motorcycle Helmet Before?

Of course, I’d seen flip up helmets around for years.
But I was hesitant to try them for three reasons – which are now pretty embarrassing.

I was worried about pressing issues like these…

Does my head look big in this?

I admit it: I have a gigantic head.
I wear an XL size motorcycle helmet.

What if my new motorcycle helmet made my already massive head look even bigger?
Then there’s the fact I have long hair.
That’s a whole other helmet challenge.

And for the record, yes; my head does look big in my flip up helmet.
But my head looks big no matter what helmet I wear.

So what?

Isn’t a flip up motorcycle helmet heavy?

These helmets are not exactly stripped down.
They have a lot of extra mechanisms and workings.
But I was surprised to find my neck doesn’t notice a few extra grams of weight.

What about the extra expense?

I have a Shoei Neotec.
It wasn’t what you’d call cheap.

But I’m a woman.
I can justify any purchase in the world.

In this case, the extra expense is justified by the huge increase in comfort and convenience.

And stepping up to this awesome helmet has other benefits: flip down sunglasses, and reduced wind noise because of the deluxe internal padding.

So I don’t care if my motorcycle helmet cost a little more, and makes me look like I might’ve been part of the moon landing.

The main thing is I can see the world in fine, beautiful detail from the back of a motorcycle. And I can do it in complete comfort.

I no longer have to struggle with my glasses, roaring in frustration like a short-sighted tiger.
Now I put on my glasses, pull on my helmet, and it’s the motorcycle that roars instead of me!

Picture credit: helenfield @

Author Bio: Liz Hardy is a freelance motorcycle writer, and the founder of, the only blog written from the back seat of a bike. When she’s not explaining why a bike looks great in your living room, she’s busy saving the world from ugly motorcycle t-shirts.