Let’s say you’re riding, free as a bird on the long highway, burning up the road over 80 miles per hour. The wind is in your hair, adrenaline in your veins, and the road under you. Everyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle knows how good this feels, how there isn’t anything like it. However, all this joy needs to be followed by one thing- safety.
You need to remember that the awesome feeling of controlling half a ton of metal carries with it a certain amount of risk. That’s why you have to do everything you can to be safe and to be protected. That’s why you simply need to get the best motorcycle goggles.
Now, you may be thinking- there are so many types, kinds, brands, how in the world am I supposed to choose? Well, just read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Dig in!
Our Top 3 Picks
- 4-FQ Adjustable UV Protective Outdoor Glasses
- Scratching Resistant & UV Protection
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Do you even need motorcycle goggles?
As we’ve already mentioned, one of the main reasons why every rider should wear motorcycle goggles is protection. These glasses prevent weather conditions from affecting how you view the road and can save you from any undesirable consequences to which heedless riding may lead. In other words, they can save you from crashing, by saving your eyes and vision during a ride.
Now, obviously, if you’re looking for motorcycle goggles, this means that the helmet you prefer (you are wearing a helmet, right?) doesn’t have a visor. You’re probably a fan of skull caps or ¾ helmets (or maybe just motocross helmets that don’t have goggles already). We mention this because if you’re not wearing a helmet, you definitely should. Riding without a helmet does not make you look cool, just irresponsible.
Regardless of the season of the year, the Sun is always an issue for everyone who takes part in traffic but doesn’t take care to protect their eyes. This may seem like a simple, even banal, issue, but believe us, accidents happen when you least expect them. Getting hit by the Sun from the wrong angles, at the wrong time, during busy traffic, is a recipe for disaster.
Even a second of looking away while riding could be the cause of an accident. Around 3,000 accidents that happen on the road in a year are estimated to be caused by sun glare, i.e. by blindness that the Sun rays create in traffic participants. Wearing motorcycle goggles helps you keep constant attention while riding and saves your reaction speed to everything that’s happening. The correct goggles can entirely eliminate sunlight as a potential risk in your riding and will help you keep complete control over your motorcycle.
Apart from a temporary discomfort that the Sun can bring to your eyes and thus make your riding less safe, there is a potential danger that does not have anything to do with road accidents, but which makes the sun equally harmful for a rider – ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays do not have immediate consequences as it is the case with sun glare.
However, if you constantly expose your eyes to them, your risk to develop some very serious diseases is significantly increased. Cataracts, pingueculae, and cancer are some of the most devastating among them. By wearing motorcycle goggles you do not only exclude the sun as one of the negative factors in traffic, but you also prevent it from impairing your eyesight and health of your eyes.
Although the Sun can have a negative influence on your riding, lack of sunlight can cause you much trouble as well. It is no secret that a large number of accidents happen during the night since there is less light on the road. This is where motorcycle goggles can come in handy. Many models are designed in such a way to enable you high visibility for your eyes even at night and maximal protection for you as a rider. Enhancing your view will certainly help you ride your motorcycle cautiously, but, at the same time, not worry about possible problems that may arise during the night ride.
Another situation in which this type of glasses may prove extremely useful is riding a motorcycle in strong wind. How many times did it happen to you that you need to rub your eyes because something got stuck in them? Whereas this does not have to be a huge problem if you are walking along the street, the situation with riding a motorcycle is a bit different.
It is highly important to be hundred percent focused while riding because the lack of attention – no matter how long it lasts – can bring about jeopardizing safety of all traffic participants. On the other hand, motorcycle goggles make you much more prepared for riding under windy conditions and improve overall road safety. Motorcycle goggles seal out wind and things that it can bring to your eyes, such as particles of dust, various insects, and so on. Honestly now, is there anything more annoying (not to mention dangerous) then annoying bugs in your eyes while riding? A good pair of motorcycle goggles can turn an annoying ride during the bug filled evenings into a pleasant and relaxing ride with a good view.
Types of motorcycle goggles and factors to consider when looking to buy the best motorcycle goggles available
Now that you know why you should get goggles and their benefits, let’s talk about different goggle types. A rider has a wide selection when it comes to the type of motorcycle goggles that he or she needs. The type of riding is a crucial factor which makes the difference between numerous types of goggles. In order to optimize the effect of your goggles and, therefore, make your riding safe and effective, it is necessary to determine the setting in which you will be using them for most of the time.
Off-road goggles – There are several features that every type of off-road motorcycle goggles should have.
Lenses are very important as far as off-road goggles are concerned. Clear and strong lenses have the purpose of enhancing your view while riding. For this reason, it is desirable that your lenses are able to sustain as many different weather conditions as possible. Good lenses should prevent the sun from interfering with your ride.
They should not allow the sun rays to hit you directly in your eyes and cause you discomfort while riding. Apart from this, lenses which are designed with high protection against harmful UV radiation make the motorcycle goggles that contain them a better option for the customer than the ones which do not share this quality. A large number of lenses have the anti-fogging technology, but it is always a good idea to check.
Strong and, at the same time, flexible frames are an essential part of useful motorcycle goggles. They should form a whole with your helmet and enable you to control your ride in the best possible way. Flexibility is also very important, as it helps them adjust to your head and thus to not (obviously) fall off. However, flexibility is also important, as the right amount can adapt to higher riding speeds and various difficult weather conditions while you ride. A good venting system is an advantage that every motorcycle rider should look out for while making a choice about buying off-road goggles.
Since riding exposes your body to both good and bad weather and since it requires spending energy, you can expect sweat pouring off your face. The role of vents is to neutralize its effect on your ride. Good face foam is also beneficial in this respect. It prevents sweat and moisture from blurring your vision.
The straps on motorcycle goggles can have a significant impact on your riding. If they do not remain steady, it could become a problem for you. Trying to set them to the right place is going to distract your attention from what is ahead. Silicone beading will make your goggles strongly fixed in the place where they should be, which is why you should make sure that the model you are interested in includes this characteristic.
Street goggles – The difference between the previous type and this one is probably the speed that you can attain by riding in these two settings. In other words, you tend to ride at much higher speeds when “on the road” compared to “off road”. With higher speed comes a slight change in the weather which implies more challenging windy conditions for you as a rider.
This is the reason why you should protect your eyes from the unwanted particles that may end up in your eyes and disturb you from riding in a safe way and enjoying your ride. For riding in the street, it is recommended to fasten your goggles firmly to your head so as not to allow the wind to affect your ride in the way that you do not want. And, in order to do this, you can use silicone straps which are mentioned in the paragraph above. If the goggles that you want to buy have such straps, you will not only save yourself from correcting them all the time, but you will also get rid of too much air in your eyes that may cause you some trouble.
Goggle color – color is not the characteristic that has much to do with protection and traffic safety – at first sight. However, you should bear in mind that color and light can have a considerable influence on your vision and, accordingly, you’re riding a motorcycle. With respect to a period of day in which you are going to be the most engaged in riding, you should make a decision about which color of lenses is the most appropriate for your goggles.
Grey is the color which is recommended because it neutralizes sunlight. Riding a motorcycle while being directly exposed to the Sun’s rays or while being insufficiently protected from them can be quite tricky. Grey lenses can be quite helpful since they make your ride in the sunlight less difficult and dependent on such weather conditions.
There are different types of gray lenses considering different hues of gray color. It is generally believed that darker hues of the lenses are the right choice for the riders who spend most of their time riding during the warmest time of day, whereas lighter gray lenses should be used by the ones who are not exposed to the sun to that extent.
Yellow lenses provide a good contrast when it is dark outside or, simply, when the day is not that bright. This is why motorcycle riders who spend less time in the sun should consider buying lenses of this color.
Lenses without color or clear lenses serve their purpose best at night or when the weather is cloudy. However, goggles with clear lenses are not advisable to wear in daylight since they do not provide the desirable protection against UV radiation.
On the other hand, the color red is an optimal choice for riding a motorcycle during the day because it enables the highest protection from ultraviolet rays.
Brown lenses are equally efficient as far as ultraviolet radiation is concerned. They also enable a sharp contrast between things that you see. Improving your perception is one of the most important things during riding your motorcycle.
Rose color gives you high contrast and is perfect for the daytime. It also tends to be very soothing.
Apart from the function related to protection and traffic safety, the color of motorcycle goggles is also characterized with the aesthetic function which is truly important for many people. The best thing that one can do while planning to buy goggles is to find the balance between their practical use and their appearance.
Another factor which should be taken into account when thinking about what lenses are a perfect choice for you is the material. That’s why we can divide the types of goggles even based on the material.
Polycarbonate (PC) is one of the most frequently used materials in the production of lenses. One of its biggest advantages is that it effectively neutralizes approximately one hundred percent of ultraviolet rays. Moreover, this material is quite affordable. Its drawback is that it can be easily damaged. For this reason, polycarbonate is usually covered with a coat that optimizes its use. Polycarbonate lenses can be shatterproof, which increases protection they guarantee.
Another factor you should keep in mind is polarized goggles. These goggles underwent a process where a series of crystals have been put inside the lens themselves so that it blocks glare. This is not a coating over the lens, but actual structural modification of the goggles.
Plastic is the material which is not regarded as the most useful one because it does not provide sufficient protection from dangerous sun rays. However, not all plastic lenses are of the same quality, there are many variations among them, and you should check with your local dealer for more detail.
The best motorcycle goggles reviewed
These are, in our humble opinion, the top ten best motorcycle goggles you can find on the market. They are not ranked in a particular order, so we guarantee that you won’t go wrong with choosing any one of these goggles.
Oumers TMS WWII Raf Vintage Goggles
These gorgeous glasses have extra soft and close-fitting padding, which guarantees comfort on those long rides. They are also very lightweight and the strap is highly adjustable. The frame is an elegant chrome color, while the lens color varies.
Oumers made their lenses (which are scratch resistant) in a variety of colors, like mixed and transparent, as well as smoke colored. However, where they truly shine is that these goggles have this old, vintage look. They are styled on the goggles old World War II Royal British air force pilots used.
The sun resistant tint on these glasses can save you even from the most stubborn Sun glare. Their snug fit will save anyone who has trouble with dry eyes, as the wind will definitely not come through.
4-FQ Adjustable UV Protective Outdoor Glasses
Now, 4-FQ’s goggles are something special. Their lenses are both resistant to scratching, UV but also collision. This reinforced glass can save your eyes from everything and anything the road can throw at you.
The frame offers excellent ventilation, helping you keep cool even on the hottest of days. The straps are made from elastic and durable silicone. Their slick design covers only your eyes while leaving your face open and uncovered, another factor that helps you keep cool.
Bobster Cruiser 2 Goggles
Do you need your glasses? And not just for reading in the evenings, or for fine print, but to actually see well enough so you can ride? Then these are perfect for you. Made by Bobster eyewear, these goggles have prescription ready lenses. If you get RX lenses, then these can be exchanged with the ones already found in these goggles.
The goggles, while not completely fog resistant, are anti-UV and are shatterproof. Unfortunately, you can’t wear prescription glasses under these goggles. The foam is quite strong, and the goggles fit neatly on your face, keeping your eyes safe from the wind and the elements in general.
Freehawk Adjustable UV Protective Outdoor Glasses
The modern and stylish design of the free hawk goggles is not just for show. These goggles have special lenses that are resistant to UV rays, scratching and collision. Very sturdy lenses that can take a beating are also complemented by a durable silicone strap. The cotton that makes up the frame has special exhaust ventilation that keeps these goggles very comfortable and keeps you consistently cool.
The outer lens is 100% polycarbonate, which basically guarantees that at least the lenses are of a high quality. Also, the goggles cover a wide part of your face.
This may be attractive to some, and annoying to others. However, just the added benefit of protecting a wider area of your face should certainly be a plus if you’re concerned about having dry, wind-burned skin.
Cycle Clear ZX1 Motorcycle Glasses
Cycle Clear’s durable goggles are a force to be reckoned with. Slick and aerodynamic, these goggles fit extremely well because of their foam padding, being both comfortable and resistant to wind. However, what makes them special are the lenses.
These lenses guarantee that rain or sun, snow or dust, you will definitely see the road when you have these on. They are specially coated to be very fog resistant, not to mention resistant to UV rays. The goggles are also a bit wide on the sides of your face, which doesn’t affect how tight they fit, but does give you a bit more peripheral vision than the regular kind does.
Fitting so snuggly on your face saves you from fog and wind, but makes it impossible to wear prescription glasses beneath these goggles, so obviously, don’t use them if you can’t see without your glasses.
Eliminator goggles by Global Vision Eyewear
These goggles have lenses made from polycarbonate. They also boast an impressive UV400 filter, which will save you even from the most dangerous UV rays. While you can’t wear these and your prescription glasses, they have a lot more to offer.
They can withstand rides in areas that have wind blowing sand at 30 miles per hour, or more.
This would sandblast most other types of goggles into nothing, while the eliminators polycarbonate lenses won’t even have a scratch even after long periods of use. The tint is good at saving you from glare and too much sunlight, without being overly dark.
Global Vision Eliminator Motorcycle Goggles v2
This series is similar to the first type, but with a different design.
The goggles seem more streamlined, and the strap is stronger and more durable.
Bobster Bugeye Goggles
The bobster bugeye goggles have a sturdy, molded plastic frame, with polycarbonate lenses. Now, all this means that these are some sturdy goggles that will last you for a long time.
However, perhaps the best addition is that these are “Rx-able” goggles, meaning that the lenses are prescription ready. You won’t have to turn to eye surgery or contacts, just get adjust and turn in you prescription glasses for these goggles and enjoy your riding.
Red Baron Motorcycle/Aviator Goggles
These are some old school style goggles. They are supposed to be reminiscent of classic aviator eyewear, giving you that vintage look and style when you ride your motorcycle. It goes perfectly with a brown leather jacket and someone riding along in your sidecar.
Now, the goggles themselves are both shatterproof and scratchproof. These things sure can take a beating, and they even offer UV protection. The padding inside is soft foam that traces your faces, staying both snug and comfortable. They will block and keep out all wind and dust particles from your eyes, while not being too tight and this ranks them high on our best motorcycle goggles list.
Pacific Coast Airfoil Padded ‘Fit Over Glasses’ Riding Goggles
These are one of those types of goggles under which you can wear your prescription glasses. They come in black and silver smoke lenses. These lenses are 100 percent UV resistant and of a polycarbonate blend.
Durability and style, resistance and looks, you can find them all in these goggles. The polycarbonate blend ensures durability, while the sleek lines and curves of the goggles will make you feel confident in your choice of motorcycle eyewear.
Even the glasses that you wear can be a part of this accessory, looking good under these goggles. The extra resistance given by the lenses of these goggles will also help protect your glasses, and in turn, your eyes.
Prescription motorcycle goggles
Now, you may be thinking about something very important, namely, your glasses. If you wear prescription glasses, and definitely if you really need them, then you can’t wear the typical motorcycle goggles. You have a couple of options. The first one is to obviously either get eye surgery or contacts. The other, less invasive option, is to get prescription motorcycle goggles.
You can get special goggles that let you fit your glasses under them, but you need to keep in mind that the goggles must fit snuggly, but also that they don’t interfere or damage your prescription glasses. The other option is to get some prescription goggles, which tend to be very expensive.
I got myself one of the best motorcycle googles available. What should I know about maintenance?
Now, this is one of the more frequently asked questions, and rightly so. Honestly, what’s the point of having these goggles when they’ll fall apart after a week of use? First, you need to wash them every day. The best way to do this is by taking some mild soap, a soft washcloth, and warm water.
Don’t use any detergents or strong chemical cleaners, as this will destroy the foam, and may damage and blur the lenses after repeated washings. You can use a microfiber rag to wipe them down. Another option is to let them soak in soapy water in some kind of tub or sink, gently wipe them down and then let them air dry.
Next, storage. Remember that you should never leave the goggles to stay out in the sun. This may seem obvious, but some people simply let their brand new goggles melt in the hot sun.
Even if they don’t seem damaged or altered on the outside, the goggles may well fall off during the ride in the worst situation possible. Also, a lot of people like to keep their goggles either hanging from somewhere or put into a box during a ride. This can seriously damage the lens after some time (though you can buy a specialized case that will help you avoid this).
I want to wear the goggles (or glasses) and wear a helmet – how?
Now, this mainly depends on the helmet type. There are five types: the skull cap, the ¾ helmet, motocross helmet, full face and modular. The skull cap only covers the tops of your head, the ¾ the top and back of your head (also called open face helmet). Full face obviously covers your head entirely, including your jawline area (a part the open face one neglects). Modular can change from full face to open face, and motocross has a special, ridged and angular design.
For example, if you ride with the 3/4th one on your head (or a half helmet, i.e. a skull cap) , you may want goggles that are extra secure and tight around your head, as you will be exposed to the wind a lot more than usual.
For a full face helmet, you don’t really need goggles. It’s better that you invest in a visor of a higher quality, with the characteristics, color, and protection you want, than to force goggles under the helmet.
What are “tear-offs”?
Tear off are perfect for off-roaders. They are basically a small, translucent strip that you put on your goggles and can then tear off whenever you want. This is very useful, as off-roaders (though anyone can use them) tend to get their goggles dirty quite quickly. If you get into a situation where you can’t see because of the dirt, and wiping the goggles isn’t enough, having the strips already on is a godsend.
So there you have it folks. If you wanted to know how to maintain your goggles, how to choose them, what to look for, you came to the right place. All the information is here, all you have to do is read the article and check out our list for best motorcycle goggles. Now, remember people, keep your gear clean, your eyes on the road and your head safe, and most important of all- enjoy the ride.