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I seem to remember reading somewhere that polarized sunglasses were not good for motorcycle riding. But I can't remember the rationale. I looked at some today. Seems like a good idea. Comments, ideas. I did search and did not find any reference.
 

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EricSuz said:
I seem to remember reading somewhere that polarized sunglasses were not good for motorcycle riding. But I can't remember the rationale. I looked at some today. Seems like a good idea. Comments, ideas. I did search and did not find any reference.


Hey Eric:

Wear 'em all the time for driving and flying. Absolutely the best option, period. Prescription or not.

Just don't expect to look through a polycarbonate (OEM or National Cycle) windshield with them on - you'll think you are hallucinating! :crazy:

Never had a problem with viewing through Acrylic, my only problem is that it is 20 times WEAKER than polycarbonate for impact resistance - and explodes into sharp daggers. :eek: Not on my scoot - no way.

I'm sure Daved Shealey can elaborate on why we get psychedelic rainbows through polycarbonate! ;)
 

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Looking through polarized lenses on a motorcycle will result in some funky interference patterns on the windshield, instrument panel and a gps screen (if you have one). On the LT in particular, replete with its acres of plastic, the effect is quite noticeable and can result in difficulty reading instruments or a gps. An argument can also be made that the patterns on the windshield could potentially pose a safety hazard. :cool:
 

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EricSuz said:
I seem to remember reading somewhere that polarized sunglasses were not good for motorcycle riding. But I can't remember the rationale. I looked at some today. Seems like a good idea. Comments, ideas. I did search and did not find any reference.
The problem with polarized lenses are the following. Road surface conditions are distorted, eg . fluids such as water. oil may not be perceptible. A wet surface may appear dry. Polarized Lenses with brown, Grey green(G-15) are the least discriminate to detail. Amber polarized lenses give you a reasonable read of the road surface. All polarized lenses distort instrument and gps viewing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That is interesting. I did take a sample (demo) out to the bike and did not notice any problem with reading the GPS or the dash. This was about noon with sunshine. I didn't know about the rainbows in the windscreen so I didn't check. I have the aero flow windscreen.
 

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murray said:
The problem with polarized lenses are the following. Road surface conditions are distorted, eg . fluids such as water. oil may not be perceptible. A wet surface may appear dry. Polarized Lenses with brown, Grey green(G-15) are the least discriminate to detail. Amber polarized lenses give you a reasonable read of the road surface. All polarized lenses distort instrument and gps viewing.
Granted, but "glare" is still by far and away the biggest distraction and potential issue... fatigue from glare is also a major safety issue. Serengeti Strata drivers for me or nothing... IMHO Corning still makes the BEST lenses on the market for driving/flying sunglasses, and I include Nikon, Zeiss, Eagle Eyes, Oakley etc. and all the other wannabees in the mix.
 

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EricSuz said:
That is interesting. I did take a sample (demo) out to the bike and did not notice any problem with reading the GPS or the dash. This was about noon with sunshine. I didn't know about the rainbows in the windscreen so I didn't check. I have the aero flow windscreen.
Should not be an issue looking through the Aeroflow - it is acrylic.
 

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RonKMiller said:
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I'm sure Daved Shealey can elaborate on why we get psychedelic rainbows through polycarbonate! ;)
Not just polycarbonate, but often with acrylic also. Any polymer that has stresses in it will do that. If the material is not fully stress relieved after forming, the stresses themselves will affect light transmission and reflection within the material. Polarizing filters will allow light in one plane through with little affect, but will cause gradual reduction of light transmission as the angle of the rays moves from the plane of little restriction toward 90 degrees to it, where the light will be GREATLY reduced.

I won't use polarized lenses for driving or riding. Even looking through many windshields, and tempered glass will cause the "mottled" look.

On the bikes, another issue is that some helmet face shields will look mottled through polarizing lenses.

Polarizing lenses are GREAT for glare reduction on snow, and on water, but I used them for driving in the '60's for a while, no longer will do that.
 

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Last time I ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses I told the clerk I did not want them polarized because of the problem with the rainbow effect when looking thru my windshield. She said the glare free coating that they can put on would take care of it and they could still be supplied as polarized. I said I would try it and found right away that that coating did nothing to eliminate the rainbow effect. I took them back and they re-made them un-polarized and problem solved - no rainbows. The effect is really annoying.
 

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dshealey said:
Not just polycarbonate, but often with acrylic also. Any polymer that has stresses in it will do that. If the material is not fully stress relieved after forming, the stresses themselves will affect light transmission and reflection within the material. Polarizing filters will allow light in one plane through with little affect, but will cause gradual reduction of light transmission as the angle of the rays moves from the plane of little restriction toward 90 degrees to it, where the light will be GREATLY reduced.

I won't use polarized lenses for driving or riding. Even looking through many windshields, and tempered glass will cause the "mottled" look.

On the bikes, another issue is that some helmet face shields will look mottled through polarizing lenses.

Polarizing lenses are GREAT for glare reduction on snow, and on water, but I used them for driving in the '60's for a while, no longer will do that.
...and - an interesting article is here: http://www.aoa.org/x1865.xml

I thought the statement in the article that glare causes decreased night vision was especially interesting... especially transitioning from bright sunshine to dusk it could be an even bigger problem.

I've never seen a "rainbow" effect through an acrylic windshield - on a bike or airplane. I HAVE seen the mottled effect through side windows on a car, but not anything in the last ten years - I wonder if the glass manufacturer's figured out a way to defeat that? :confused: or maybe Corning lenses just don't do this? I've worn them for 20 years with nary a problem...
 

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EricSuz said:
I have the aero flow windscreen.
Then you already have plenty of distortion to deal with. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
True, but at a much lower level on the screen. With this one I look over the screen when riding solo. The main distortion now is about 10 feet in front of the bike. A little confusing when stopping in traffic at signal lights. But compared with my previous screen, which had distortion in the top 2 inches and gave me too much wind unless I looked through that top 2 inches, I am a happy camper!

The comment about wet roads apearing dry through polarized lens sounds scary. I think that idea was what I was remembering and my brain filed it as "don't get polarized sunglasses for riding".
 

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I often use that first 10 feet when lane splitting, so that alone was a deal-breaker for me. Glad the screen is working for you.
 

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Yeah ... what all the others said about the rainbow effect and distortion. I had a pair of prescription sunglasses made that were polarized. Was told to give them a try and bring them back if I did not like them. One Sunday ride was all it took to know they were going back.
 

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EricSuz said:
I seem to remember reading somewhere that polarized sunglasses were not good for motorcycle riding. But I can't remember the rationale. I looked at some today. Seems like a good idea. Comments, ideas. I did search and did not find any reference.
It's a great idea if you don't like to see where you're going! :eek: Most face shields and windscreens are made out of materials that significantly distort visually when wearing polarized glasses.
 

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RonKMiller said:
...and - an interesting article is here: http://www.aoa.org/x1865.xml

I thought the statement in the article that glare causes decreased night vision was especially interesting... especially transitioning from bright sunshine to dusk it could be an even bigger problem.

I've never seen a "rainbow" effect through an acrylic windshield - on a bike or airplane. I HAVE seen the mottled effect through side windows on a car, but not anything in the last ten years - I wonder if the glass manufacturer's figured out a way to defeat that? :confused: or maybe Corning lenses just don't do this? I've worn them for 20 years with nary a problem...
I have worn nothing but Serengeti Drivers for the past 30 years. I wore them most of the time when flying, funny, the article states issues with Serengetis that are there with ANY sunglasses. Don't know why they stated Serengetis in the article.

You are right, windshields normally are not bad with polarizing glasses, but some do have a little mottling affect. Rear and side windows are much worse (As I stated, Tempered glass can often cause it), and the worst is the plastic windows in convertable tops!

I did grab an old pair of polarized sunglasses once when I could not find my Serengetis to ride the LT, and glad it was not a long ride! The stock BMW shield is bad with polarizing glasses.
 

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RonKMiller said:
Granted, but "glare" is still by far and away the biggest distraction and potential issue... fatigue from glare is also a major safety issue. Serengeti Strata drivers for me or nothing... IMHO Corning still makes the BEST lenses on the market for driving/flying sunglasses, and I include Nikon, Zeiss, Eagle Eyes, Oakley etc. and all the other wannabees in the mix.
Agree there is a significant preceptable reduction in glare with polarized lenses,,, And Fatigue.. I use amber polarized lenses in all conditions from night driving to bright sun. I have learned to identify various road surface conditions. Another benefit for ones eye wear is the addition of anti reflective surface coatings to the front and back surface. At night the light travels through the lenses reflects off the eye orbit resulting in a glare image on the rear of the lenses.
 

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The following is just my experience:

I wear Bolle' polarized non-prescription sunglasses. I do experience the "rainbow" effect with my GW windshield (kinda "cool" looking and not a problem since I look well over the shield) but not my HD windshield. A small corner of both my Roady XM screen and my Timex watch also gives me the rainbow effect. Otherwise no problem with any of my gauges, GPS screen, Nolan clear faceshield, GW status screen. I also have not experienced any problem in regards to "wet" road surfaces while riding.

regards
 

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Polarized or not, like everything else, is up to the individual. I have ridden with both types, and I think the polarized lenses are definitely better for fly fishing. My choice for riding however, is non-polarized, with a G-15 tint. The polarized lenses interfere with reading the LT's radio display, as well as the Sirius, and more importantly, make reading the road surface dicey. Wet surfaces, regardless of liquid, are very difficult to discern.

Others have mentioned the various anti-glare coatings, and with one very important exception, these have worked well for me. The exception is that the anti-glare coatings don't accept anti-fog preparations worth a damn, at least, not for me. YMMV.

-tom
 

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Thanks for all this great info folks. I've been riding with polarized sun glasses and have wondered what that rainbow effect was along the curve of my windshield. One post mentions Seringettis and later on Corning - are the Seringettis made with Corning material?

Thanks again.
 
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