I love a simple but good idea. In today’s ever-growing climate of distracted drivers, we need something to draw attention to motorcyclists. Like many runners, I relied on bright and/or reflective equipment to increase my visibility. However, they all depend on the light that hits them, in particular, on retroreflective materials. In addition, the driving equipment does not say anything about the current dynamic state of the motorcycle and its driver. That’s why I first noticed the brake light of the helmet without a brake. Another inspection led me to try the product.
In the past, I installed additional taillight and even brake light blinkers on my bike (now some bikes on the European market are equipped with this function as standard), but they still had to be connected to the motorcycle. To work without a body or wireless connection to your motorcycle, Brake Free intelligently uses a combination of gyroscope and accelerometer to detect when you slow down – and not just when you brake. This is more necessary now than ever, since most people drive cars with automatic transmissions, which use engine brakes much less than in previous generations. However, this fuel-saving technology means that drivers are becoming less and less aware of the engine braking of other vehicles, since they themselves have less of it. The differential is especially important on motorcycles, where engine braking can be profound. This is how Brake Free’s sensors and algorithms detect any deceleration of the helmet on which it is mounted.
Mounting without a brake is easy for many helmets with the included brackets and templates. Realistically, I spent less than five minutes mounting the device on my Arai Contour X, although I left it overnight to get a full grip. Since the device is easily removable, riders with several helmets can attach additional brackets to make it easier to change. However, some helmets pose special challenges due to the shape of the back of the helmet, while others are impossible. (See list of challenges below. ) I ordered the model-specific bracket for my Shoei RF-1400 and the installation was only slightly more difficult.
It is difficult to test a device that is attached to the back of your headset and therefore is not visible. Fortunately, another rider made my job easier when introducing Harley CVO Road Glide/Street Glide. After noticing the free brake on his helmet at the beginning of the ride, I spent about half a day following him to see how the device works.