Have you ever been out on your motorcycle riding with the sun on your face, the cool breeze keeping you refreshed only to find you have a sunburn?
As a rule of thumb, your motorcycle helmet visor does not offer any absolute UV protection, and it is advised when riding on days with a high UV index, you wear sunscreen and invest in a UV protection helmet visor.
Do helmets protect from the sun?
A helmet itself will protect your head from the sun, but where your face is exposed, you will get sunburn, mainly on high UV index days.
Here is the problem: well-known helmet manufacturers claim that their visors can protect you from 100% UVA and UVB, but when it comes down to putting it to the test, some riders are still experiencing sunburn!
They may provide some additional protection, but it is always best to wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn when riding on a nice day.
UV should be a genuine concern for your eyes, and you will need to decide if to use a tinted visor that may not provide adequate sun-shielding or wear sunglasses.
With most tints wearing sunglasses is not an option. It’s just too dark, especially if there is cloud cover and the brightness is reduced.
However, there are visors on the market from reputable companies that are worth investigating but keep in mind if you use a tinted visor for UV protection, it will not be suitable for use at night.
Which visor is best for night riding?
Using a clear visor is the best for use at night. Clear visors let the maximum amount of available light enter through the visor, giving the rider the best visibility.
For some riders, clear visors are not aesthetically pleasing, but the reality is you need to see clearly when riding at night.
If you are out for a whole day riding, then it would be a good idea to take your tinted visor for daytime use and carry a clear visor with you in your backpack that can be swapped over at dusk.
Are dark motorcycle visors legal?
The laws for tints may seem ambiguous regarding helmet visors, but you need to know it is the same as for car windscreen tints but with an amendment!
This means your motorcycle helmet visor must let through a minimum of 50% of the available light.
Mirrored visors are technically illegal in the UK unless your helmet is BS and ECE rated. It seems a little confusing, and it is.
Here is the strange thing about the law, you can have a mirrored visor on your helmet, and it is legal, but only when it’s in the upright position, which defeats the object of having a visor.
The police have varying attitudes when it comes to enforcing tinted visor laws. It’s up to you if you wish to run the gauntlet, but you should comply with the law at all times.