A tear is a thin plastic film, usually clear, applied to the outside of the helmet visor. When the viewfinder gets dirty, the rider pulls or tears off the film, leaving a clean viewfinder underneath. Tear off, do you get it? They are most commonly used in racing applications, both for motorcycles and open-wheel car racers. MX racers are well acquainted with tears, but the tears are specific to their goggles.
Tear offs can be applied to any viewfinder, regardless of the tint, as long as the viewfinder is equipped with tear-off posts. Some Arai, Shoei, and HJC visors, among others, may be available with posts, while some AGV and Shark helmets are so equipped out of the box. The HJC RPS-10, and possibly others, can accommodate both tear off and pin lock anti fog inserts through a shared post and pin assembly. For visors where the posts are not available, a generic set could be installed, but you would do so entirely at your own risk. The visor must be thick enough to support the posts, and the positioning is absolutely critical.
Application is simple, straight forward. There's a pull tab on one end of the tear. The user must decide which hand he would prefer to use to remove it. I suggest pulling with the left for us motorcycle riders. The tear is mounted over the post on the right side, then pulled over and mounted over the left post. Most of the posts are attached in an excentric manner, so a slight tension can be applied by rotating the posts to ensure that the tear is laid flat and snug across the viewfinder. There must be no wrinkles in there.
Depending on the optical quality, tears can be stacked. Two or three conventional style tear-offs are the most I'm going to stack during the day, and certainly not more than two at night. Optics is going to be slightly compromised, more so at night. I notice the twinkling headlights in the dark from the coming traffic.
Selecting the correct tear-off style for your helmet shield can be confusing at times. Some styles are similar, and some fit a brand of helmet shield, but only some models, while others fit the rest.
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