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Putting a lid back on it

March 12, 2010

The helmet is fixed

Notice anything not stuck in the open position on my helmet? (Orin O'Neill photo)

Portland seriously embraces the notion of reduce, reuse, recycle. If you don’t believe me, just count the old Subarus and Volvo station wagons on the city’s streets.

I was thinking this didn’t apply to motorcycle helmets until commenter Andrew A set me straight.

I got a very prompt reply from New Enough to my inquiry about the correct part number for an HJC CS-R1. Placed the order on Sunday, it shipped on Monday and arrived today. Here’s the kit:

HJC base plate repair kit

You’ll notice two sets of screws. One set has a single groove in the head, the other has two grooves in an X pattern. In both cases the grooves are dished and wide enough for a coin to be used to drive them. I went with a screwdriver. All the screws are a hard plastic. I suppose you could go to a hardware store and find identical metal screws, but I decided to use the ones supplied. Little risk of stripping out the threaded holes in the helmet that way, I’m thinking.

It was a broken screw on the right side of the helmet that caused the eyeshield to be stuck open. The head had broken off, but there was a hole in the middle of the shaft. I stuck the tip of a very sharp knife into the hole and turned it. I was able to turn the shaft enough for it to stick out of the hole far enough that I could spin it with pliers. Otherwise, removing the remaining screws was not a problem at all.

What's under the baseplate

Here’s what’s under the baseplate. The little white finger on the lower left goes into the extra hole in the left side baseplate.

Installation is the reverse of removal. I used a wide-bladed screwdriver to tighten the screws; the blade popped out of the slot when the screw was tight enough. You want to be gentle here, getting the screws tight but not too tight.

Install/remove the baseplate

I used all the new parts in the kit, and put the usable old bits into a Ziploc storage bag, which has a handy white patch upon which you can make a note about what’s in the bag. Very useful if you put the bag somewhere and don’t run across it again for months. Or years.

Upon reinstalling the face shield and operating it, it seems to open and close much more easily than when the helmet was new, so maybe something was wrong from the beginning. Whatever. I only had to spend 12 bucks instead of a hundred or so to keep my face from freezing off and my eyeballs from turning to cotton. That makes me very happy…

(My lawyer says I should remind you that if the reason your eye or face shield doesn’t work is because the helmet got whacked, you shouldn’t repair the helmet—you should dispose of it and get a new one. To paraphrase the old Bell Helmets ad, your head is certainly worth much more than 12 dollars.) Favicon

  1. March 13, 2010 9:28 am

    Dear Orin:

    I am delighted to see that you are riding with a full-face helmet. In my opinion, there is no other route to go.

    I have been riding with a full-face, flip-up helmet from Nolan for four years. I had a vicious, near head-on collision with a mini-van in 2006, in which I was ejected from the bike, landing on the hood of the mini-van face first, before bouncing off the bumper and hitting the ground. I hesitate to think of the injury my jaw would have sustained had I not been wearing a full-face helmet.

    Glad yours just required a few screws and a $12 investment to restore to better than new status.

    Fondest regaards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  2. March 13, 2010 1:08 pm

    Jack, I am also glad. I have heard the thought expressed that the currently tanked economy and a lowered standard of living in the future might see a return to consumer products that can be repaired. I would welcome that. My time as an art student, where I spent all my money on very expensive materials and supplies, made me into the cheapskate I am today. I don’t waste anything…

  3. March 14, 2010 4:23 pm

    Dear Orin:

    Through no fault of my own, I have been reduced to being a penurious writer… Once again. I sat outside a publisher’s door last week, only to have him spit in my tin cup as he kicked me to the pavement. Quite frankly, I was glad to get his spittle. There was a line of unemployed commercial writers behind me that thought this attention was a good sign.

    I am looking to repair a handful of items (from torn gear to some bent stuff) that I would have simply replaced a year ago. The torn seat cover on my Russell Day-Long saddle is one such item. I will ask a local craftsman to replace one of the panels on it, as opposed to going for a new cover. Thank God I bought this new computer, and put new tires and brakes on both the truck and the bike last summer, when I still had cash. I would be able to do neither now.

    This time last year, I was debating on disabling the bike to get some parts Jet-Coated black for mere cosmetic purposes (as if anyone would be looking at 15-year-old K75). Now I would regard that same expense as total frivolity. (I should have gotten the header pipes done at that time too.)

    The industry that I have served for the past 30 years is withering on the vine. I have no other choice now than to become a famous writer and have affairs with women half my age. What the hell, huh? How hard can it be?

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

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