Custom Helmets

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12/14/2018 7:51 AM

In my 40 years of riding, racing, owning teams, collecting memorabilia, etc., I have never had my own custom painted helmet.  So in May I went overboard and lined up five helmet painters to knock me out a helmet.  I have no artistic ability whatsoever, so I only told them to use the Merge logo and colors somewhere on the helmet.  Otherwise do whatever they think looks best, just make it awesome.  None of the painters knew about the other four.  They each thought they were doing a custom helmet for me.  My hope was they would go in five different directions and I would end up with five unique looks.  Mission accomplished.

  Hellion
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Axcel
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Airtrix
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Tagger
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The Image One
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Things learned in the process:
1. The artists ask for direction, don't give them any. They are more talented than you could ever be. Let them do their thing.
2. Prices are reasonable. I paid between $500 to $1200. Well worth it for the creativity, detail and quality of work.
3. Custom helmet painters do not believe in the concept of time. They will tell you 5 to 6 weeks. Not happening. Jim at Merge says it is because of the paint fumes. You will get your helmet at some point, but no one knows when that will be.

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12/14/2018 8:06 AM

Wow, they all look awesome! I'd say you satisfied that itch for a custom helmet and then some!

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12/14/2018 8:21 AM

Axcel for the win. I really like that one. Please tell me it was the $500 one.

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We are the sum of a 1,000 lives. What we know is almost nothing at all.

12/14/2018 8:28 AM

I like the Tagger helmet the most. But only on one side lol. The flo checkers don't do it for me. Other side looks clean though.

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12/14/2018 8:33 AM

actually really like the Image1. well done and very cool idea/post.

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12/14/2018 8:36 AM

Never had a custom painted helmet.. So I got 5. Good times!

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12/14/2018 8:38 AM

I like the Hellion one the best. The ice treatment in the white/blue is really nice.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

12/14/2018 8:47 AM

JWACK wrote:

Never had a custom painted helmet.. So I got 5. Good times!

I might have a problem

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12/14/2018 8:50 AM

As someone who can paint but lacks any creativity whatsoever, I like them all. Hellion has a great mix of designs and colors and the finished product looks slick as can be. Axcel made great use of your logo incorporating it into the graphics. Airtrix mixing flat and gloss finishes with machine turned highlights had to have been pretty damn time consuming, not to mention making it all symmetrical. Tagger gave you a different custom job on each side. No way could I ever come up with something like that that actually works...lol. Creative, he is.

And did I mention symmetrical earlier? That Image One helmet is laid out to perfection. Pretty simple graphics, great color choices and clean as can be. Someone there must have a touch of the OCD...I can appreciate that.smile Looks great with the flat finish.

You did good, Michael, as did they all.

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12/14/2018 8:58 AM

-Always have wondered, how does the paint on the visors hold up??

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Current rides-
1988 RM250
2019 KX450

12/14/2018 9:32 AM

newmann wrote:

As someone who can paint but lacks any creativity whatsoever, I like them all. Hellion has a great mix of designs and colors ...more

Thanks Joe. And yes, Jeff at Image 1 is OCD, and a procrastinator. He came over the other night to deliver the helmet and spent an hour talking about the same points you covered on the other four helmets. Jeff was very impressed with what the others had created.

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12/14/2018 9:50 AM

Very NICE!

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12/14/2018 10:33 AM

I love all five of the helmets. Now be sure to get the first scratch in each helmet out of the way!

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12/14/2018 10:59 AM

All five of these are amazing and I'd be beyond proud to own any of them. If I had to choose one of the five as a favorite, I'd go with the ice blue Hellion.

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12/14/2018 11:45 AM

SKIDLID wrote:

I love all five of the helmets. Now be sure to get the first scratch in each helmet out of the way!

I am going to look silly riding around with bubble wrap on my helmet.

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12/14/2018 11:58 AM

Brushed gold leaf accents are timeless!

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12/14/2018 1:09 PM

Those look really really good Michael!!! Well done to the artist and i like how you went about it. Well done all around! ?

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-OC
"Feed The Bull"
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12/14/2018 2:22 PM

SKIDLID wrote:

I love all five of the helmets. Now be sure to get the first scratch in each helmet out of the way!

Holigan wrote:

I am going to look silly riding around with bubble wrap on my helmet.

Back in 89 I had Troy Lee paint a helmet for me. Got it in and wore my old helmet during practice at the next race. Put on my new one for my first moto. Got knocked down in the first turn and as you can guess, a bike went right over my head and ripped my visor clean off....
I was pissed to say the least....

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12/14/2018 2:47 PM

The thought of giving the artist free reign gives me anxiety, that's a good recipe to end up with a $1200 paintjob that you don't like. Fair play to you though.

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12/14/2018 3:13 PM

SKIDLID wrote:

I love all five of the helmets. Now be sure to get the first scratch in each helmet out of the way!

Holigan wrote:

I am going to look silly riding around with bubble wrap on my helmet.

moore433 wrote:

Back in 89 I had Troy Lee paint a helmet for me. Got it in and wore my old helmet during practice at the next race. Put on my ...more

Back in '85 the same happened to me at a Mike Kidd AX in Lubbock with a new JT helmet

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12/14/2018 3:24 PM

Wow, great stuff! If i had to, id go with Airtrix, then helion. But, the white face frame just doesn't do it for me.

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12/14/2018 3:43 PM

Tagger design´s are usually eye catching, but that Hellion one is awesome.

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Heavy Hitter

12/14/2018 3:43 PM

WOW !! Well Michael, if you're going in, go in BIG !!!!They all look great ,but probably like the Hellion and Airtrix the best. Love the colors ,etc on the Hellion, and the combo of flat,gloss and machine turned gold on the Airtrix is just sick. The Image one is certainly a very clean,sharp design. My least favorite is probably the Tagger,which is odd because I just got one a few months back ,lol. Anyway great job to all the artists and congratulations to you Michael for having the extra large balls to go about it the way that you did. By the way ,hows the restaurant project going ?

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12/14/2018 4:33 PM

OldPro277 wrote:

WOW !! Well Michael, if you're going in, go in BIG !!!!They all look great ,but probably like the Hellion and Airtrix the ...more

You probably are going to find this hard to believe, but I went too big on the restaurant design. Not enough room between the restaurant and the pond for the fire department, not enough parking for that size building, etc. This week I changed the design and both the architect and the civil engineer think it will work. Hopefully turn in plans to the city next month and start a couple months later. Mecum Auction in January for a few more bikes

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12/14/2018 6:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/14/2018 6:47 PM

Hi Michael, I really love the Hellion helmet. The contrast of the colors works great and the ghosted images look awesome! He does amazing work.

If you ever want to do anything in the future with the Bradshaw helmet I have, let me know. I’d still be interested in the Stanton helmet.

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