The venerable Shoei RF-800 has a problem; humans breath and being equipped with what one could deem an “insta-fog” visor means that they can’t actually see much of where they are going. This problem is worse for the winter rider, whose in-traffic excretions almost guarantee a foggy visor. Enter Pinlock, an easily removable anti-fog visor insert from Pinlock.
The Pinlock comes in two forms, the first is a kit which finds you drilling two small pins, responsible for holding the Pinlock insert in place, into your visor. For the fainter of heart, myself included, a second kit simply includes the Pinlock insert and a pre-pinned visor, which replaces your current one. The visor’s plastic is moisture absorbing and similar to other offerings in this genre spreads the moisture evenly across the surface, creating a thin clear layer of water rather than fog.
The system works exceptionally well. Despite our best efforts in the worst of weather the Pinlock resisted fogging. Breath as heavy as you want, it will do no harm, though we don’t really need to hear the details of your own experimentations, our therapist is busy enough.
The Pinlock has served us for the spring, summer, fall, and now winter riding seasons, and has resisted fogging through cold, sleet, fog, mist, cow-floating rains, and even a bit of mud thrown at it over the course of our Buell Ulysses test. That it’s relatively easy to remove for cleaning is a boon; bend it a little, then pull the Pinlock from the middle and it pops out. That’s a great improvement over offerings such as the Fog-City Proshield insert, which uses a visor-marring adhesive.
Care and feeding were not covered in the manual that accompanied the insert, so we went with the standard dish soap and micro-fiber cloth cleaning with no discernable ill effect. The insert itself is best treated with care during cleaning as it scratches easily, and after about a year and 50,000km worth of rough treatment during our test season, it is ready for replacement. We’ll be gunning for the contrast-improving amber insert next.
There are a couple issues with the Pinlock insert, though these are deficiencies in most inserts. At night it is prone to star-bursting oncoming traffics lights, distracting at best. On bright days it provides a reflective surface for the interior of one’s helmet. The positioning of the insert and its silicon gasket around its edge will interfere with your view on sportier fare such as the GSX-R 1000 or Ducati 999. Though it’s nowhere near as intrusive as a fogged visor under these circumstances, and is fine on bikes with less extreme seating positions where you tend not to look through the uppermost portion of the visor.
If your helmet is prone to fogging then the Pinlock insert may well be part of your cool weather riding essentials. The Pinlock is easy to install, easy to remove and clean, doesn’t damage your visor and most importantly providing clarity of vision that is essential for riding in adverse conditions.