This article has not discussed helmets, but a good helmet is vital. A helmet is the only piece of riding equipment that can actually save your life in a crash. Even better, it can be difference between spending your life in a wheelchair sucking meals through a straw or living a normal life. I am always amazed at riders who say they are less comfortable riding without a helmet than without one. As our article on picking a helmet points out, if you spend the time and money to buy and adapt to a comfortable full-coverage helmet, it will actually make riding more pleasant by reducing fatigue and noise, protecting your eyes, sheltering you from rain and bugs, providing a controlled flow of air on hot days, making your head warmer on cold days, and keeping the wind and sun from dehydrating you. Riders who have spent the time to try a lot of helmets have all found some that fit them very comfortably, and I don't know any who are more comfortable at speeds above 45 mph, with a good helmet than without it. We have noticed at big cruiser rallies that more riders have stopped following the flock and wearing no helmets or non-DOT novelty beanies and are choosing instead to wear real DOT helmets with actual protection.