Saturday, July 16, 2011

Helmet Paint - A Project Delayed

I bought my Shoei X11 helmet almost 2 years ago. I had been planning on buying it in yellow, but at the time, they were closing out the X11 and there weren't any yellow ones to be had.

So I ended up trying a red one and hoping it was bright enough to be seen. It's a nice helmet and I enjoyed it all last season as a red helmet, but the red just didn't stand out visually enough to suit me.

Even before I chose the red, I played around on the computer on how I might paint it,if needed.

My original plan was to put the helmet away for the year at Halloween and have it finished by the new year. I guess that didn't happen.

After my experience with the "egg yolk" helmet paint job, I decided that I wanted to avoid painting the vents and switches, so that they wouldn't get stuck with the paint. That was the starting point of my graphics design.

I went fluorescent yellow to match my air bag vest and to maximize my visibility. The graphics try to be interesting while providing enough bright color to be seen from any angle. I like the contrast of red against the yellow.

Originally, I expected that some thin black accents would make the color transition "pop", but as you can see, I should have saved the effort. It's amazing how hard the black and red are to tell apart.

Overall, a far from perfect execution, but I'm happy to have it back on the road, even if it's 6 months later than I expected. By the way, the fluorescent yellow really does glow in low light.

You will notice that I had to use a neutral background color to photograph the finished helmet. Even with the neutral beige carpet, the yellow reflects light into the carpet and I had to crop the photos pretty tight to avoid the carpet looking too green in the pictures.

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