Helmet Norm in the USA - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 7:47 am Thread Starter
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Helmet Norm in the USA

Guys, month for month the time for my USA trip is getting closer and I go more and more into details

You guys have the DOT norm in the US. Here in Germany and Europe we have the ECE-R 22.05.

Since I bought me a brandnew Schuberth J 1 which fullfills the EU regulations, I wondering if I will have any problems with my helmet in the US since I do not have any DOT approval for it. Well, it is the same for all other riders in our group.

best regards from Bavaria

Rudy
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post #2 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 8:14 am
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

I don't think you will have any issues.

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post #3 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 8:45 am
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

I've been using a Caberg with the ECE rating, but no DOT rating, for a few years now. Been all over the USA and never once has it been questioned by anyone. The only time I wasn't allowed to wear it was when I attended an MSF course (they require DOT). My understanding is that the ECE rating meets or exceeds the DOT rating. You shouldn't have any problems. A cop would really have to have it in for you if you're cited for no DOT sticker.

I believe it's also a requirement at Track Days courses.

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post #4 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 10:56 am
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

In the US there are many states that do not require a helmet so any helmet, even a large cooking pot taped to your head, will not be challenged by law enforcement. In the states that have helmet laws the only challenge you might face would be in court by some lawyer, if you supplied that helmet, to a third party and they were injured while wearing it... and they sued you.

Wear what you are comfortable with so you can have a good time and maybe come back for another vacation.

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post #5 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 11:08 am Thread Starter
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Sounds exellent!!!

Thanks for your assistance in this case. I am sure, I will have some more issues to deal with

best regards from Bavaria

Rudy
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post #6 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 11:09 am
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

I have been riding for 30+ years here and have never been questioned about a helmet even during the few times I have been stopped by law enforcement. No one is going to give your helmet a second look unless you are doing something really stupid and then follow it up with a bad attitude. Enjoy your trip.

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post #7 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 12:05 pm
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

If it would give you any peace of mind, you can purchase a DOT sticker off the internet and apply it to your helmet. It may not be legal to do but........
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post #8 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 2:29 pm
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Here in California which typically is about the strictest state ( Anal if you will ) on rules and regulations.

Pretty much near ALL outside of the touring/sport bike crowd run around with 1/2 shell skid lids on. Really doubt those are DOT rated and like others have said a frying pan seems to pass as a helmet

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post #9 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 3:21 pm
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Rudy,

As many have noted, and you're already aware, helmet requirements in the US vary from state to state. Most, if not all, states that do require helmets stipulate that the helmet worn must be DOT certified. That said, this is something rarely enforced. You should, in reality, have no problem riding in the US with a quality helmet with a European standards specification. But, technically, at least in some states, it's not a "legal" helmet."

For your amusement.....here's a chart with the various motorcycle requirements by state:

http://www.abatewis.org/docs/msfstates2007.pdf

Enjoy your trip!

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post #10 of 24 Old Sep 21st, 2011, 5:22 pm
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Have a great trip. Where are you planning to tour?

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post #11 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2011, 3:12 am Thread Starter
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Thanks so much for your kind assistance. Well - sometimes laws are curious. Doesn`t matter in which part of the world they were created and announced

To answer the last question:

We will start in Vancouver, BC, heading for Corvallis, OR and pick up my LT. From that point we will start the trip. Will be a 5 - 6 Tsd. Miles trip. We will start on May 13th and return back to Germany on June 9, 2012.


best regards from Bavaria

Rudy
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post #12 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2011, 11:15 am
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

I have never heard of any law enforcement officer enforcing the DOT sticker rule for riders who wear a quality European helmet. They won't ask. Your chances are higher that you will be hit by a falling NASA satellite.

In the unlikely event that you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer, be aware that the law enforcement officer has concerns about his or her personal safety. Keep your hands in sight. Don't move your hand in front of your jacket or unzip your jacket where your body blocks the view from behind; it might appear that you are reaching for a weapon.

Riders and officers are still debating the best, least threatening behavior for a rider who is pulled over. Should you lower the kickstand (which shows that you aren't planning to race away)? Should you dismount? Should you remove your helmet so the law enforcement officer can see your face?

My personal advice is that you should shut off the engine with the handlebar kill switch, lower the kickstand with your foot, lean the bike on the kickstand, take your right hand off the throttle (but keep it in sight), and wait quietly for the officer to approach. When he/she is near you and can see what you are doing, you can begin to remove the helmet. I believe that allowing the officer to see your face and having a face-to-face conversation helps. Be polite and courteous.
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post #13 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2011, 12:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Thanks for your advice.

best regards from Bavaria

Rudy
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post #14 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2011, 1:59 pm
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winghunter
Thanks so much for your kind assistance. Well - sometimes laws are curious. Doesn`t matter in which part of the world they were created and announced

To answer the last question:

We will start in Vancouver, BC, heading for Corvallis, OR and pick up my LT. From that point we will start the trip. Will be a 5 - 6 Tsd. Miles trip. We will start on May 13th and return back to Germany on June 9, 2012.

The helmet issue is really an non issue...enjoy the ride. I live about 30 miles from Corvallis Oregon. If you need local help (PM me here) I'm willing.
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post #15 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2011, 2:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Thanks Patrick. Just keep an eye on my postings regarding the trip. May be there is a chance to meet each other along the road.

best regards from Bavaria

Rudy
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post #16 of 24 Old Sep 22nd, 2011, 9:28 pm
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winghunter
Thanks Patrick. Just keep an eye on my postings regarding the trip. May be there is a chance to meet each other along the road.
You'll be circling around the Pacific North West Region, so you might also want to post your plans on the regional "North West" forum. They are a great bunch to have on your call list should you need assistance or camaraderie. Maybe we'll hook up when you get stateside in 2012.
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post #17 of 24 Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 3:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

thanks Patrick. I will leave a posting in that part of the Forum. Good idea. Looking forward to meet some of you guys

best regards from Bavaria

Rudy
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post #18 of 24 Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 12:34 pm
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winghunter
Thanks so much for your kind assistance. Well - sometimes laws are curious. Doesn`t matter in which part of the world they were created and announced

To answer the last question:

We will start in Vancouver, BC, heading for Corvallis, OR and pick up my LT. From that point we will start the trip. Will be a 5 - 6 Tsd. Miles trip. We will start on May 13th and return back to Germany on June 9, 2012.

There are much better (scenic and fun) roads in California than what you have highlighted. Try to get on Highway 1, known as Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and you will be thrilled.

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post #19 of 24 Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 12:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Yes, I am told about. The guys those travel with me, wonna see the major National Parks along our route. I am sure the HW No. 1 must be fantastic but we have to setup a focus for our trip. Time is limited - like always.........much too short for the trip.

From corvallis we would like to go to the LAssen Volcanic Park and from the heading for the LAke Tahoe. Always hard to make a decision what will be best.

best regards from Bavaria

Rudy
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post #20 of 24 Old Sep 25th, 2011, 2:02 am
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Rudy,


I have friends and family all along your route. IŽll give you a list of names and numbers before you go. For starters one daughter in Reno, another in Denver. My son-in law in Reno is a police officer...just in case LOL


The only time in over 30 years riding in the US anyone asked the see the DOT lable was when taking a riding test in Texas.

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post #21 of 24 Old Sep 25th, 2011, 3:06 am Thread Starter
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Wolfgang, thats very kind of you!!!!

best regards from Bavaria

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post #22 of 24 Old Sep 25th, 2011, 2:13 pm
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Hwy 101 north of santa rosa, ca might be a speedier alternative to hwy 1 with the added attraction of a short side trip through Avenue of Giants, which almost parallels 101 up in northern calif. Check it out online to see if you are interested.
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post #23 of 24 Old Sep 26th, 2011, 1:58 am Thread Starter
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

Avenue of Giants is now on our list. Thanks

best regards from Bavaria

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post #24 of 24 Old Oct 19th, 2011, 12:44 am
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Re: Helmet Norm in the USA

About a month ago the VFW had a bike ride here for charity - We have a bucket law - Guess what our local leo's did - they set up a road block for an inspection - They wrote 4 tickets for none DOT buckets! A week later it was anounced that all the tickets were cancelled? Never seen a bike check before - I guess dollars are just hard to come by - Maybe the VFW had some pull. - Of coarse the the guys who got tickets were HD guys - I always felt the law was the law - I have wore a helmit so long I could't ride anyother way.
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