A tinted motorcycle helmet visor is an awesome solution for riders who find themselves riding in bright sunshine on a regular basis. Helmet visor tinting has increased in popularity over the last few years, when at one time they were mainly only seen on racers.
Tinted helmet visors come in a range of colors, and different levels of shade, and it is even possible tinting helmet visor yourself.
Helmet manufacturers are now producing their own tinted visors for their helmets, alternatively, many helmets come with drop-down internal tinted visors.
* Tinted helmet visors reduce glare, heat, and eye fatigue.
* Tinted visors can be dangerous after dark, or even in overcast weather.
* Visor tinting can easily be done as a DIY project by most people.
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Pros And Cons Of A Tinted Visor
- Reduces glare when riding in low sun and/or if there is moisture on the road.
- Improves your vision while riding, reduces eye fatigue and therefore boosts your concentration.
- Dark tinted visors can also keep the sun’s heat out of your helmet quite a lot, which means you are kept cooler inside your helmet on hot days.
- No need to carry sunglasses with you, which in some motorcycle helmets wearing glasses can be particularly uncomfortable.
- A tinted visor can also be used in conjunction with a Pinlock visor so it won’t mist up.
- Some riders like the style of a tinted visor, with such a range of colors it is possible to match your visor to your helmet and/or your bike.
- You can also tint your visor at home yourself, which can be cheaper than buying the manufacturer’s tinted visor for your helmet, if they make one.
- A tinted helmet visor at night is problematic because it impedes your vision and it can be quite dangerous. Furthermore, a tinted visor at night can be illegal to use in some countries or states.
- A tinted visor can also be equally problematic if the weather changes, and it gets cloudy or rains. Rain is annoying enough when you have a clear visor but a tinted visor in the rain can be challenging.
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Are Tinted Motorcycle Visors Legal?
Each country has different laws when it comes to tinted motorcycle visors so it is best to check with the country/state that you are riding to confirm. However, here are a few countries and the law there to give you an idea:
USA – Tinted visors are legal in the US. It is worth pointing out that some states require those with full-face helmets to ride with the visor closed at all times; therefore you could come up short if the weather changes, or you ride out later than expected and it gets dark.
Australia – All visors are required to meet the AS 1609 standard.
Canada – Tinted visors are legal.
UK – Tinted visors are legal but the visor must have a light transmission rating of at least 50%. Further to this, tinted visors are illegal at night and in poor visibility situations.
To avoid riding illegally and always ride safely it is best to keep a clear visor with you where possible so that you can swap out if necessary. The only downside is making sure you have storage space on the bike for a spare visor, which is great if you have panniers but if you ride minimalistically on a naked bike this could be difficult.
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Tinting Helmet Visor
There are a few ways to tint your own motorcycle visor including spray on tinting and dyeing the visor in a bath. However, the most effective and professional way is to use helmet visor tint strips which is a very similar process to how car windows get tinted.
- Helmet/window/headlight visor tinting film
- Paper Towels
- Microfiber Cloth
- Lint Cloth
- Soapy Water
- Squeegee – One with a credit card type hard edge and a felt edge.
- Craft Knife
- Helmet Visor Cleaner or Glass cleaner
- Heat Gun or Hair Dryer
Where To Get Helmet Visor Tint?
Helmet visor tint film will be available from your local motorcycle dealer or hardware shop and is also available online.
For example this tint film on Amazon would be ideal for a dark tint; although sold as a headlight/window tint it is the same thing and will adhere to your visor; it is available in various colors and strip sizes.
How To Tint A Visor:
- Clean the visor properly using the helmet visor/glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth, dry off using paper towels or a dry microfiber cloth. Then use a lint cloth to wipe away any small dust particles, etc.
- Spray the visor with soapy water.
- Measure the visor, and cut out the vinyl, leaving a bit extra lengthways and widthways. Leaving a bit extra is always better than having not enough.
- Spray the visor once more with soapy water, then peel the back off the vinyl strip and spray both sides with water.
- Adhere the vinyl to the visor, starting off by placing the vinyl across the visor and pushing gently down in the middle.
- Take your time with this process being careful to cover the entire visor; use the heat gun to help mold the vinyl to the shape of the visor and stretch it out. Getting somebody to help with this process would be super useful at this point.
- Use the squeegee to gently push out any air bubbles toward then out of the edges of the visor. Then use the felt side to dry off the vinyl.
- Lastly, take the craft knife and carefully cut off the excess vinyl, being extremely careful not to cut the visor itself.
Here are a couple of videos showing how to apply the tint film to your visor. This first video is applying the tint directly to the face shield. In the second video he is applying the tint to the Pinlock.
It’s worth noting that not all tinted films require water to be applied in the process to adhere to the visor. Some films adhere to the dry visor but all the other steps in the process remain the same; just be sure to check the instructions of your particular tinting film before applying.
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There you have it. The tint film is cheap enough that if you mess up, end up with bubbles under the film or cut it wrong, you can try again until you achieve perfection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are tinted visors legal in the UK?
A. Tinted visors are legal in the UK in the daytime as long as they meet the legal requirements of allowing 50% light transmission through the visor.
However, they are illegal for use at night and in poor visibility situations.
Q. Can you tint a motorcycle windshield?
A. Yes, you can tint a motorcycle windshield using exactly the same process as tinting your helmet visor.
Q. Tinted visor with pinlock or tinted pinlock?
A. You can absolutely use a tinted visor with pinlock, providing the visor is pinlock enabled. The alternative would be a tinted pinlock insert. Which one is better really depends on the rider’s preferences.
The benefits of the tinted pinlock insert would be that it can be removed easily if the weather changes or you ride late into the dark, and the visor stays clear.
However, constantly removing and inserting your pinlock will wear it down more quickly; if you do go for this option you will need a lint free/silk type bag to store your pinlock as it is easy to scratch and damage. Also when you remove your pinlock insert it means that the visor will mist up as the pinlock is no longer there to stop moisture building up.
The tinted visor with a clear pinlock insert is a great option for those who will mainly ride in the daytime; else it comes with the same restrictions as a tinted visor without pinlock in adverse weather and night riding conditions.
The best option would be to go for a sun-reactive pinlock insert. The insert darkens in the sun and returns to its clear state when the sun disappears. This is a good option for riders who want sun protection but don’t want the hassle of switching visors at night etc.
I hope we have covered the subject of ‘tinting helmet visor’ to your satisfaction. If you enjoyed this article, take a look at the related reads below for some more interesting reads!