Motorcycles are cool. They give adults the chance to be really flashy and stylized — like kids on new bicycles writ large — while also remaining anonymous inside a helmet and what equates to a leather flight suit. I’ve ridden since 1983 and have long adored the bad-ass anonymity motorcycling offers. It can be a great stress reliever. Adding to the external sparkle, a lot of sport bikes come in bold colors and patterns. When track-racing-style motorcycles such as the Kawasaki Ninja appeared in the U.S. in the 1980s and ’90s, I said that some of the standard color schemes looked more like Eddie Van Halen’s guitar than anything we’d known as a motorcycle.
These days you can also get inexpensive accessories that add flash and flair (some would say silliness) to your riding ensemble such as this pink mohawk that attaches to your helmet. You can also get cloth cat ears that attach in a similar way.
Now a Russian company called Nitrinos Motostudio offers what it calls Neko Helmets. They have cat ears built into the design, and some also have paint schemes that resemble felines. Have a look:
Here’s what another model looks like when worn by a human:
Here’s what I call “the jungle model” with a big kitty-cat smile on the face guard:
Here’s another cat-human hybrid on a Honda CBR:
And another jungle model — this one looking extremely calm. The fur inside the ears is a really nice touch.
Okay, here’s where it starts to get silly for me. I know a number of women who ride, and although any of them might buy a helmet like this, not one of them would ride in high heels like the person below. I’m sure it’s been done, but I’m also sure it would be tremendously difficult. At the very least, a rider would be in great danger of losing the shoes and would have a hard time balancing the bike during stops.
Here’s a purple model (that Eddie Van Halen might like).
Below are two more variations — and a rider in footwear that is at least believable.
I can hear some of you asking: “Hey, Cat Dandy, why don’t YOU get a helmet like this?”
Well, two things. A helmet is a big investment for me (these start around $500), and my current one has some life left in it. Also, I prefer high-visibility bright yellow, not only because it matches my motorcycle, but also for safety. I know from experience, bright yellow helmets stand out in traffic.
Also, I’ve never heard of Nitrinos and don’t know the quality of its products. There’s a lot of junk out there in the land of moto-gear, and when it comes to my “brain bucket” I want to know it’ll protect me in a crash. I do hope the Neko Helmets are good quality, though, because they’re hilarious — and they’d be a great way for motorcycling cat guys such as myself to “wear their colors,” so to speak.
About Keith Bowers: This broad-shouldered, bald-headed, leather-clad motorcyclist also has passions for sharp clothing, silver accessories, great writing, the arts, and cats. This career journalist loves painting, sculpting, photographing, and getting on stage. He once was called “a high-powered mutant,” which also describes his cat, Thomas. He is senior editor at Catster.