The Dark Continent of Africa for Stage 3 offered an opportunity for technical advancement in adventure motorcycling gear and equipment, possibly changing gear from what the entrants had used on Stages 1 and 2. Trolling the internet found several motorcycle accessory suppliers, manufacturers, and consultants willing to design a motorcycle helmet specifically for Africa. The result of numerous reviews of opinions from self-described adventure motorcycling experts, including two of “the world’s foremost adventure motorcyclists” and months of motorcycling research was the SAFARITOURO helmet pictured above.
Lighting far and above that of the motorcycle was built into the SAFARITOURO to reflect the multitude of photographs of African animals published and described in Africa trip reports. The helmet designers felt the extra lighting was needed to prevent the wearer from hitting an animal standing on an African road at night. To insure the lighting was bright enough to show an elephant or giraffe at 300 meters, both side mounted lights on the helmet were 220 volts. The top “bullet sized” light is a pencil beam that focused a 12 volt spot on the road 100 meters ahead. The bullet beam was to blind or disorient snakes so they could not target a strike at the motorcyclist as they passed over or around the deadly serpents.
To both video and audio record adventure moments, a smart phone is attached to the top of the helmet with not only its own internal battery, but also electrical feed from a portable charger affixed to the back of the helmet. Voice activation can turn On or Off several other apps on the smart phone, thereby replacing the need for cameras or a GPS.
The yellow ball on the helmet is a GPS unit that sends and receives signals so the rider’s support team can monitor where the adventurist is at all times, a safety device that is sun powered. At night it receives its power from the helmets portable charger.
The blue unit on the opposite side of the helmet is a unique electronic device designed to detect untruthful audio inputs by measuring tonal levels while verifying facts through the smart phone. This was felt as needed to supply data to argue against claims by officials of not stopping for Stop signs, excessive speeds and false directions or motorcycle adventure information given by unsavory or untruthful characters. The unit was dubbed the “BD1” by the design team, reportedly an acronym for Bollocks Detector #1, and was reportedly successfully tested during recent political campaigns using 12 different languages.
When the designers of the helmet presented it to Dr. G just days before the start of Stage 3 of the rally he only said three words, “WTF?” before the two person design team thought there might be something amiss.
After studying the SAFARITOURO helmet for a minute, he slowly asked, “How am I supposed to get 220 volts to this thing?”
The team leader said, “From the extension cord plugged into the back leading to the truck following you. The truck has a 220 volt power unit running off the engine, and we are even supplying you with 100 meters of electric extension cable.”
Dr. G tried to remain calm, and then asked, “And what if I just don’t happen to have planned for a support vehicle to be following me for the 7,000-10,000 kilometers I’ll be doing in Africa?”
Design team member #2 piped up, “Not a problem, merely add a running gasoline 220 volt generator strapped on the rear of your motorcycle and plug into it.”
Dr. G reminds himself that Buddha taught, “Be cool,” as in do not lose face by going bat-shit crazy when dealing with fools.
As he tried to be calm, he said, as his voice slowly became elevated, “Ahhh, I see where you two have have come from……you boyo from the planet Mars, and your partner there from the planet Venus. And while you’ve been doing all this electrical and digital designing for the helmet, did you ever think to ask me why I would need so much light since only a fool would ride a motorcycle in Africa at night, or did you just think I am a fool? And did either of you two ever think to factor in gravity, like how in the name of professional adventure motorcycling could anyone, including The Terminator, keep this 30 kilogram helmet upright? Maybe you two don’t have air up there on your planets but at 5 kilometers per hour down here on planet Earth the air resistance would be trying to rip my head off.”
The team leader started to cry. While team member # 2 looked at his sobbing partner he mumbled, “Does this mean you’re not going to wear it?”
Dr. G looked down at his boots for a moment and then shook his head in amazement. He then looked skyward for several more seconds, before saying, “You two claim, pimp and promote yourselves at BMW shops and motorcycle shows as being the world’s foremost adventure motorcyclists. If you and your dream company ToRideTheWorld can get me, my motorcycle and this electronic boat anchor SAFARI f****** TOUR O ho-ho-ho helmet to the moon with some oxygen, I’ll wear it. If not, I’m going to have to borrow the words of a famous American television personality who has recently taken his business and marketing acumen successfully into the political world and say, “You’re fired!”
Manning up to his mistake of believing the published and internet claims of ToRideTheWorld, Dr. G started begging a number of his moto-journalist and adventure motorcycle acquaintances around the world for advice about what was the best motorcycle helmet he could secure for The Dark Continent and Stage 3. Days before the Grand Rally Soft Butt Master in Cape Town started handing out the sealed envelopes with the Stage 3 documents, the helmet pictured below arrived, a Nolan N44EVO.
Having happily used a similar helmet from the same company before, Dr. G posted a humble “Thank you!” to his global advisors with an added footnote that read, “While my doppelganger Ozzy Osbourne is rumored to have recently checked himself into a sexual addiction rehabilitation program, I should be checking myself into a Motorcycle Reality Institute for a course in “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It,” and “Don’t Believe Internet Fake News Or Self-Aggrandizement Claims Of Motorcycle Adventure Superiority.”
[Publisher’s Note: This post is a work of fiction, authored for educational and entertainment purposes only, based on some published facts and claims. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental, with the exception of “Dr. G” and “Ozzy Osbourne”. The image of the Nolan motorcycle helmet, model N44EVO, is real, as are references related to it.]