The crash helmet, which is definitely the most important accessory to wear on a bike. Although mandatory in most countries since the mid 70s, there are still many places where it is not the case. So, either you have to or you are willing to wear one, very quickly surfaces the question to have “the” helmet matching your classic bike style.

The “Basin” is the natural choice as being genuinely contemporary and this is my choice for 35 years now, although I acknowledge that for a safety perspective, I always wear a “Jet” when I ride a modern bike (1). If you own an old “basin” today, it might be either an original CROMWELL or similar and you are certainly very much attached to its patina. However these are rare and expensive, so the question to buy a replica such a DAVIDA (2) is likely to become the only affordable alternative if you want one. Remain the question of the safety, as the basin is not compliant anymore to the latest EU and DOT standards, and you need to know that.

Alternatively there are many alternative brands Jets from the affordable Bell Custom 500 (3) to the very high-end Ruby (4). Starting from scratch, you have numerous choices to make your new helmet your own. Personally it took me some time to mature my design and I will stick to it forever. What about you? Does racing style inspire you? How did you age your “Basin” over the rides? Post a picture and I will add the most creative to the album. As a starting point, here are a few themes largely inspired by the Continental Circus pilots and some other gathered on the web. But remember, there was only one Mike-the-Bike!

The Goggles are not only essential to ride; they also complete the look of your basin. The CLIMAX (5) are still available but in limited choice. If the 500 remains “the” classic choice, you might want something a bit more specific. In that case, the two main brands of choice are HALCYON (made in UK) and BARUFFALDI (made in Italy) beside NANNINI , AVIATOR GOGGLES and numerous Chinese imports. However bear in mind that the lenses will be one inch away from your eyes, so polycarbonate mandatory.

HALCYON (6) proposes a wide choice of 23 models in a wide variety of colors. Once you got that there are two styles, with bevel lenses or curve lenses and that the finish is either synthetic or leather, you have only the pad color and the frame color to determine! BARUFFALDI (7) proposes also a wide range of products. Although they propose an entry level (Vintaco), the rest of the line-up is in the upper tier of the market. The “259” is a quite unconventional design for motorcycle. Very light and available in 3 variants they fit well the face. However the Supercompetition is closer to the standards define by the Climax 500.

Philippe Guyony © 2013

Definitely very feminine, a few touches of red, included the lipstick almost coordinated with her Triumph SpeedTwin and this unknown rider became "The Lady in Red".
Definitely very feminine, a few touches of red, included the lipstick almost coordinated with her Triumph SpeedTwin and this unknown rider became “The Lady in Red”.
The Original Cromwell of Mike Hailwood, in 1968 he will substitute the dual flag by a caricature
The Original Cromwell of Mike Hailwood, in 1968 he will substitute the dual flag by a caricature
1967 Phil Read's Cromwell, was sold on auction in 2009 for $3,021
1967 Phil Read’s Cromwell, was sold on auction in 2009 for $3,021
I did not find color pictures of John Surtees basin as he switched to Formula 1 in 1961 and subsequently was always wearing a Jet. But here is how his basin looked
I did not find color pictures of John Surtees basin as he switched to Formula 1 in 1961 and subsequently was always wearing a Jet. But here is how his basin looked
Jack Findlay (Australian Kangaroo)
Jack Findlay (Australian Kangaroo)
Famous John Cooper basin, the black and white pictures sometimes make us forgot that his helmet was bright red.  Replica by Davida (document Davida)
Famous John Cooper basin, the black and white pictures sometimes make us forgot that his helmet was bright red.
Replica by Davida (document Davida)
Renzo Pasolini adoped the moon eye as well subsequently
Renzo Pasolini adoped the moon eye as well subsequently
Luigi Taveri (Swiss flag) Replica by Davida (document Davida)
Luigi Taveri (Swiss flag)
Replica by Davida (document Davida)
Geoff Duke (Lancashire flag) Replica by Davida (document Davida)
Geoff Duke (Lancashire flag)
Replica by Davida (document Davida)
Daredevil inspiration,  note this was a Vincent rider ! Lewis Leathers store - London
Daredevil inspiration,
note this was a Vincent rider !
Lewis Leathers store – London
Cromwell, Climax and white scarf, a touch of class.
Cromwell, Climax and white scarf, a touch of class.
One notch above Bell, Davida proposes also a large choice of colors with a better finishing. Document Davida
One notch above Bell, Davida proposes also a large choice of colors with a better finishing.
Document Davida
If you want to wear a "legal" classic helmet, Bell is one of the most affordable brands available from $99 in numerous colors.
If you want to wear a “legal” classic helmet, Bell is one of the most affordable brands available from $99 in numerous colors.
So Basin, Jet or flu face, make your choice. © Kevin Dean Photography
So Basin, Jet or flu face, make your choice.
© Kevin Dean Photography
Just fount Jack Findlay's basin.
Just fount Jack Findlay’s basin.

More pictures on:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.505419532881564.1073741869.439034106186774&type=1&l=45aba83299

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3 thoughts

  1. In July 1975(a very hot summer) I bought a cromwell pudding basin helmet (new old stock!)in a small shop near the Nürburgring not to suffer from hyperthermia wearing the fullface helmet that were stylish in those days.It was a manifestation.Iam still wearing this very helmet today 40years and many 100 000 miles later! 3years after I bougt a second one to change the helmet if the lether had got wet in rain .Inthose days I had no car and rode motorcycle every day (solo and sidecar).Asthere were no helmets of this type left in the shops I had to take very much care to preserve these two helmets in agood usable condition, but this is possible!I do not like jet helmets because the goggles do not fit windtight at the sides.Iused the Fospaic L45 as used in racing in old days ,later whwn they prooved unrestaurable ,the

    1. Royal Air Force type with split lenses (real laminated glass like the Fospaic,is there any car windscreen made of plastic rubbish?)were agood reflcement(fitting the Fospaic spring headband. …Ihave some pictures of my long time worn helmets,but how can Isend them?

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