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Tough Turban: Alternative helmet in the works for Sikh motorcyclists

Toronto, Ontario – Pfaff Harley-Davidson, along with Zulu Alpha Kilo, and Spark Innovations are developing an alternative to the traditional motorcycle helmet called ‘Tough Turban’.

This new design will help to protect Sikh motorcycle riders that, because of their turban, cannot wear a helmet.

All 10 provinces and three territories in Canada require anyone driving a motorcycle or riding on one to wear a motorcycle helmet that meets designated safety standards. In 1999 Manitoba and British Columbia Sikh riders were granted an exemption to allow them to practice their religion–which requires wearing a turban. Ontario and Alberta granted Sikh’s an exemption in 2018. Other provinces have failed to adopt similar legislation.

This new innovation celebrates the freedom to ride, Harley Davidson says. It will allow the motorcycle community to grow and reach those who would benefit from an alternative form of helmet.

“Pfaff Harley-Davidson is proud to help champion an idea that celebrates the diversity of our ridership. We are honoured to help advance the cause of diverse gear and to help build awareness for the potential of the innovation amongst our vast community of riders across Canada and around the world,” says Brandon Durmann, Brand Marketing Specialist at Pfaff Harley-Davidson.

The preliminary design of the Tough Turban features emerging technologies in protective gear like non-Newtonian foam that hardens on impact, 3D-printed chainmail and a composite fabric used in bullet-proof clothing. Spark Innovations say they drew inspiration from Sikh warriors, who wore chainmail caps underneath their turbans when going into battle.

While still in the development phase of this product, innovators are working with members of the Sikh community, and the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario to test and improve design elements, says Chris Pearen, Design Director at Spark Innovations.

“Our members want the freedom to be able to ride from coast-to-coast-to-coast while wearing turbans,” says Jagdeep Singh, a spokesperson for the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario. “We welcome the freedom to ride message that the Tough Turban touts, however for now, it strictly remains a concept. The idea needs to be developed further and tested for practical daily wear.”

The full design prototype for Tough Turbans has been open-sourced and released online, meaning any manufacturer in the world can access the blueprint. This has been done to encourage smaller companies to make their own version of the Tough Turban available to riders in their region.

To view the design or learn more visit toughturban.com

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