We’ve had a Shoei modular helmet several years and it’s been one of those love/hate things. We love that it wraps our noggin in a way that makes us forget what could happen if we slammed said head against the pavement. We appreciate the flexibility of raising the front end and letting our face breathe and get some sun.

We hate the fact that it’s so good we don’t want anything to happen to it. Then it did.

While a small group of us were doing some canyon riding two weekends ago, we came up on a solo rider and single car accident after the fact. The rider was on the ground about three yards from the front of the car that hit him — conscious, but clearly in pain. His crotch rocket was another five yards behind him, leaking oil and gas and with smashed parts scattered all around. The car was a late model Dodge Charger that had a perfect V shape caved in the entire front end. The driver was unhurt.

Flash forward about 30 minutes, and a Life Flight helicopter lands nearby to take the rider to the nearest hospital. Several of us were tending to the rider and had forgotten to secure our gear. As the rotors of the helicopter kick up more and more dust, debris, etc., we see said Shoei helmet bouncing down the asphalt like a soccer ball after a Reynaldo kick.

Now many, less expensive helmets might have been destroyed under similar conditions. Not the Shoei. It sustained some scrapes and the visor was scratched. But there wasn’t a crack to be found anywhere – including on the visor.

Sadly, the same couldn’t be said of the rider. We know he survived, but his back and hip were probably broken or at least badly bruised. Thankfully, not only was he also wearing a Shoei, but he also had on full leathers. A reminder to us all of the power of good gear.