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Motorcycles aren’t always the most practical forms of transport. They are brilliant at some things like city commuting or any sort of road that is at least mildly wiggly but for some things that are a bit lame. Moving house for example. No matter how well your Honda Goldwing or Harley Davidson Streetglide handles the miles it’s carrying capacity is never going to match a van. Of course not being able to help people move house is sometimes an excellent idea.

Motorbikes aren’t always about practicality, sometimes they are just about fun. Which is why people occasionally choose to ride things that aren’t terribly sensible. Riding motorbikes is almost always enjoyable, but you can do things that make it even more fun like buying some Halcyon motorcycle goggles.

Check out these bad boys
Check out these bad boys

Just looking at the goggles makes me smile and it has the same effect on other people. I think it might be because you look faintly silly, or perhaps because it reminds people of the sort of goggles fighter pilots wore in World War 2. Either way the reaction while wearing them is positive, it’s the exact opposite of wearing a tinted visor.

They are fairly practical too, in a silly way. They keep the water out of your eyes and while they aren’t exactly idea for winter weather you forgive them that because they are so much fun. On a lovely warm day, when you aren’t in a hurry they are just perfect. 
The only drawback I can think of is that putting them on makes me want to attempt some sort of land speed record on a bike powered by steam, or rebuild Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang as a motorbike.
In short, these goggles are excellent and you should by a pair right now because it will make the world a better place. They come in a range of colours and you can even get tinted lenses if you want to look like some sort of evil time traveller.

I’m sure we have all heard the urban myth about the squaddies wearing night vision goggles while driving a sports car with the lights off to avoid detection. The story goes that a lone policeman is watching the road with a radar gun and the gun goes off and reads some silly speed but the policeman can’t see a car. It happens a few times until they finally catch the person and find out that they are using night vision equipment (if you still aren’t sure what I’m rambling on about read this).

Well I’ve been thinking about this myth a bit and I think it might be possible to do on a motorbike, so in the name of science and quality investigative journalism I’m going to give it a go. Of course I’m not going to ride about on public roads with the lights out. That would be illegal and wrong but luckily I’m on a farm which means I’ve got a bit of land to scream around on where I won’t endanger members of the public.

The next problem would be getting hold of some night vision goggles to wear. Not so, I picked some up on Ebay a couple of years ago for more than I care to mention (lets just say that the Daytona fund would be looking a bit more healthy if I hadn’t) and so I have some military-grade night vision goggles.

The Night vision goggles and a cup of tea, what could possibly go wrong?

The Night vision goggles and a cup of tea, what could possibly go wrong?

I’ll need to wear a helmet when riding the bike and I’ve got an old one knocking about that was my dad’s and has seen better days. It will provide the mounting for the goggles, or at least will be modified a bit so the goggles fit properly.

A slightly knackered old helmet

A slightly knackered old helmet

So there you have it, everything is in place for some real scientific testing.

The goggles give you slight tunnel vision so I think that is something to overcome, but I don’t think it will be too hard once I have them focused. I should point out that I will be practicing first on a bicycle before I go anywhere near a motorbike and even then it will be low speeds only

Oh and don’t try this at home.

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