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Lee Parks, in his book, Total Control, says: "Good eyesight is also vital for street riders." He goes on to say that his own vision had deteriorated to the point where he had to strain to read certain things. He went in for an eye exam and was fitted for glasses. He says, "I was shocked to see how much I had been missing. My very next race I dropped 1.5 seconds a lap."

He is right. For the past year I had suspected I needed another vision exam, as my eyesight seemed to have changed in the two years since my last one. My left eye could resolve fine detail, but my right struggled to do so, leading to eye strain. After 6 months of saying I needed to have a new exam, I finally did it. Sure enough...my left eye had actually improved, but my right eye had deteriorated, as I suspected. I had new glasses made and went out today for a ride. Holy sh*t!

First of all, instead of experiencing eye strain, I saw everything as if it were a high-definition video. My eyes relaxed and the world stood out in sharp relief. But the best was yet to come...

My riding actually improved by what I'd calculate to be 20%. Everything was better...corner entry, corner exit, sense of position, smoothness of inputs. I was relaxed and the bike and I were one. I had - as Lee said - a sense of shock at how much I'd missed, and how long I'd ridden, thinking this was as good as it gets. Nope...it gets - and got - a whole lot better.

Want to improve your riding? Consider a vision check. :grin2:
 

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People ask me why I'm so fast on the street. Its a lot of things. But like you have said fly. I always say its your vision. Being able to see well. And knowing where to look. Helps a lot on the street. People say about not knowing whats around the corner. I've never had problems with having to change line because of gravel or a stick or a car. Just do it in your stride. If you are looking where you should be. Its easy.
 

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Funny enough that this topic has come up, not so much as needing glasses and such but the general topic of sight. I am fortunate in the way I do not need glasses but I always find myself questioning if I'm looking where I should be, both on the bike and in the car ( I always pretend I'm riding and practicing proper techniques to and from work).
I feel that this subject can never be gone over enough, and I always feel like I come up empty handed when searching for tips and suggestions.
Great topic for discussion.
 

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@OP, I'm surprised you did not mention for the older folks, don't let any eye doctor talk you out of cataract surgery. Mine did for over a year and then I said F him! And had it done anyway.. I was 20/40 in my left eye. After the surgery, my uncorrected vision was better in the eye that just had surgery than the uncorrected vision of the other eye in the recovery room 5 minutes after the surgery. In fact, the uncorrected vision turned out to be 20/20. Needless to say I've never been back to the quacks that tried to tell me there would be no improvement. :surprise:
 

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@OP, I'm surprised you did not mention for the older folks, don't let any eye doctor talk you out of cataract surgery. Mine did for over a year and then I said F him! And had it done anyway.. I was 20/40 in my left eye. After the surgery, my uncorrected vision was better in the eye that just had surgery than the uncorrected vision of the other eye in the recovery room 5 minutes after the surgery. In fact, the uncorrected vision turned out to be 20/20. Needless to say I've never been back to the quacks that tried to tell me there would be no improvement. :surprise:
Cataracts are a fact of life for many older people, but the purpose of my post was not to deal with medical conditions but, rather, natural deterioration of vision due to age. Cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration would certainly impact a rider's ability to see clearly, and I didn't mean to overlook those conditions as being "irrelevant", but just wanted to say I had my prescription updated and suddenly improved my riding. Cheaper than a riding school!

:grin2:
 

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I just got my first pair of prescription sunglasses as I never wear my regular glasses (for distance) and holy crap do they make a difference!! Haven't ridden with them yet or tried contacts :surprise: Maybe I'd be seconds faster if I did!!

The only time i ever tried to use my glasses was probably over 10 years ago and my first reaction was that it felt scary to be able to see everything so crystal clear! LOL. Maybe it's time to try again?!

:nerd:
 

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Random question, but for the guys who wear glasses in your helmet, does it not bother you at higher speeds? I wear both contacts and glasses and I had to quit wearing my glasses in my Shoei because at higher speeds they would barely start to wobble. Talk about dangerous...
 

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Random question, but for the guys who wear glasses in your helmet, does it not bother you at higher speeds? I wear both contacts and glasses and I had to quit wearing my glasses in my Shoei because at higher speeds they would barely start to wobble. Talk about dangerous...
I wear Shoei RF-1200 and never noticed that problem. Not sure what speeds you mean, but up to 110 it hasn't been an issue for me (I don't know about higher speeds, but I don't get out on a track with my bike). Might be the type of glasses...or the helmet. Which model of Shoei?
 

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Its the X-14, which I have no complaints about. It's likely the frame of the glasses, although they do fit in there fairly tight. And I'm mainly talking speeds in excess of 100, but even hitting a rough patch of road around 75 could be enough to do it.
 

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This might be completely missing the mark, but I've noticed that at the tail end of a long ride (100+ miles) I may experience some fatigue that causes me to grip too tightly on the bars. This transmits road imperfections right up the skeletal chain, and I'll find my eyeballs rattling! Normally this doesn't occur, but if that's what you're doing - even subconsciously - it can make your vision go haywire and you'll think it's your glasses.
 

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I wear glasses and I've never experienced them moving ever. Now if your helmet does not fit correctly - and that includes the cheek pads then sure it is possible.

My helmet is tight putting on and extremely tight removing - no pressure points that make wearing it uncomfortable. I used to purchase helmets and the fit was snug I found those helmets were actually too loose.

Also on track you really want the helmet as tight as it can be without discomfort.

As far as speed goes I get the RR rolling up to 160 mph at a few of the tracks I go to - to chicken to go any faster at those tracks.
 

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I've been nearsighted all my life, from childhood.....up until a couple years ago. I went to the eye Dr. because I couldn't read printed material very well or at all anymore (fancy script in menus in a dark restaurant are a nightmare...). Turns out I'm now slightly far-sighted! I just totally need reading glasses now, which sucks. I have a pair or the old school bifocals with the line (HATE the lineless/progressive bifocals), and have ridden with these for at least 6 years now. I used to just have just regular non-bifocal glasses for distance, but it made reading the maps on my tankbag or my instruments almost impossible. So, I got bifocals and they work great in that regard, now I can easily read my maps and instrument cluster. I have the photogrey lenses, which means I can use just a simple much cheaper non-tinted vs. tinted or super-expensive photogrey shield. I only use the glasses for riding, hate wearing them anywhere else. Since I got the impact-resistant lenses, I like having the extra layer of protection from wayward objects and wind/bugs. And, since the glasses are photogrey, I don't need to carry sunglasses, plus now I can read the menu when I stop for food. WINNING! :)
 

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Random question, but for the guys who wear glasses in your helmet, does it not bother you at higher speeds? I wear both contacts and glasses and I had to quit wearing my glasses in my Shoei because at higher speeds they would barely start to wobble. Talk about dangerous...
What I think is far more dangerous is the fact that your helmet is too big if your glasses are wobbling around. Get the right sized helmet. My glasses don't move at all.
 

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What I think is far more dangerous is the fact that your helmet is too big if your glasses are wobbling around. Get the right sized helmet. My glasses don't move at all.
I went and got fitted for my Shoei at the store before ordering it, and it is very tight to the point I have to push my ears up with my fingers when putting it on or else they will just fold over onto themselves. It's also snug enough to the point where when my hair grows out a little more from my buzz cut it gets even more difficult putting it on. It's not the helmet. Must be something with these frames. I'll have to play with it more to see what's really going on.
 

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I see better with my glasses than my contacts. However, I only ride at the track with contacts. I do find that wind buffeting on my helmet above 150 mph will cause my glasses to do sort of a high frequency bouncing that impairs my vision. Because I really don't like that, I only wear contacts at the track.

The downside of contacts at the track is that on a few occasions with a prior helmet I would catch a gust of wind in the helmet that dried out or moved a lens at high speed on a straight that left me unable to see out of one eye. This, of course, means that you have lost much of your depth perception at the particularly bad time of hard braking into a corner at the end of the straight. As is true of most things, there is no perfect solution for me.
 

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I see better with my glasses than my contacts. However, I only ride at the track with contacts. I do find that wind buffeting on my helmet above 150 mph will cause my glasses to do sort of a high frequency bouncing that impairs my vision. Because I really don't like that, I only wear contacts at the track.
This is exactly what I'm talking about. That and or under full power accelerations the glasses will do the high frequency bouncing where everything just gets fuzzy.
 

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Random question, but for the guys who wear glasses in your helmet, does it not bother you at higher speeds? I wear both contacts and glasses and I had to quit wearing my glasses in my Shoei because at higher speeds they would barely start to wobble. Talk about dangerous...
I used to wear glasses back when I had my 08 daytona, but then i got lasik some years later, and its a HUGE difference in how process info on the bike! :eek:
 
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