"Nürburger": Into the Sun

Nürburger

Never blinded by the sun again and clear vision nevertheless: We tested whether the new sunshields by SUNAX live up to their manufacturer’s promise in practice.

Every motorcyclist knows the problem – especially when the sun is low, you can see hardly anything and your eyes get tired faster. In theory, sunglasses or a tinted visor help, but in situations of constantly changing light conditions they darken the view too much.

With its patented sun and anti-dazzle shield, SUNAX offers a special non-distorting filter that is adapted to the human eye under a wide range of conditions. All three versions of the sunshield are made of flexible, unbreakable Makrolon foil and is inserted into the gap between the outer and inner lining of a full-face helmet. Next to the standard protection ‘classic’ version, which has been available for quite a while, there is now a BX version available as ‘darkspeed’ and ‘silverspeed’. According to the manufacturer, compared to the ‘classic’ BX reduces dazzle by a further 50 percent without impairing the view on shady stretches of road. The silver version has an extra bronze/aluminium coating, which reflects another 18 percent dazzle and is therefore particularly suited for sensitive eyes and tours in mountainous regions.

We tried out both the new BX anti-dazzle inserts. The test begins with the fitting. It works for about ninety percent of all full-face helmet models and for many jet-helmets. No tools are needed. It was really easy to fit the SUNAX sunshield to our HJC and Uvex test helmets. The Velcro strip stoppers complicated it a little bit, but prevented it from slipping later. At just 13 grams the device is light as a feather. There is no risk of injury, and the protective function of the helmet is not at all affected. The device can be adjusted individually by inserting it into the gap of the helmet to a greater or lesser extent. In everyday use it we noticed right away that both ‘darkspeed’ and ‘silverspeed’ allow an undistorted view and filter the light of low morning or evening sun for normally sensitive eyes sufficiently without cutting out other contours in the field of vision. We would recommend the ‘silverspeed’ only for riders who can’t get on at all with the ‘darkspeed’ version.

The transition between light and dark at the lower edge of the shield is unfamiliar for the first few kilometres, because unlike sunglasses or tinted visors only part of the view is darkened. Riding in town with the ‘darkspeed’ version, we noticed that under certain circumstances the signal effect of the red traffic light couldn’t be fully perceived. However, we rode the same route with sunglasses and a tinted visor under virtually the same light conditions … surprise surprise – subjectively at least, the effect was just as strong. SUNAX, however, has its limitations. Bikers with extremely light-sensitive eyes will still need a good pair of sunglasses in very bright sunlight to cut dazzle from the asphalt. And in early dawn or late twilight SUNAX, like any other sun visor, has a darkening effect, as one would expect. But in this case you can look out under the sun shield, which is not possible with a tinted visor.

A pleasant side effect of the SUNAX is that the eyes are well protected against draught and the visor can be left open more often. The SUNAX sunshield is produced in co-operation with workshops for the physically disabled in Göttingen. Due to the use of the latest laser cutting, cleanroom and coating technologies, the foil is free of distortions right to the edges.

The outside, but not the inside, is coated with a scratchproof seal, and cleaning should be carried out accordingly with lukewarm water and washing-up liquid. The SUNAX sunshield is available at Louis, POLO, Hein Gericke and in well-stocked specialist stores. Currently, the BX is only available from Louis.

Prices from 19.95 Euro. Information at www.sunax.de.

Author: 
‘Nürburger’, No. 5, May 2007
Nürburger Test