Joe cools, jeepers creepers where did you get those peepers? Or as we called them in the service—catch me, “feel” me-glasses. I’m paraphrasing on that last one. No matter what you call them we all depend on, and use, some sort of eye protection when we ride.
If you’re like me sunglasses are downright necessary. I, along with about 25 percent of you out there, have a condition known as “photic sneeze reflex.” It’s easy to diagnose; if sunlight makes you sneeze you have it, too. Don’t be alarmed. Other than sneezing, there is no acute or chronic effect. Deemed harmless by the medical society, there has been very little research done on this malady. The military was briefly concerned for their pilots that exhibited this condition because even a momentary loss of sight, or coordination could be disastrous. Research revealed that sunglasses were a cure almost 100 percent of the time—it works for me.
I was pleased when our friends at 7eye let me to try out a pair of their latest motorcycle specific glasses. They let me pick from their lot of the new DARKshift lenses, as well as frames from their AirShield collection that allow the use of contact lens. I have to admit there was a little sticker shock when I saw the price, but upon receiving the eyewear the quality was obvious.
Along with the glasses came a lanyard, removable foam insert, microfiber bag and cleaning cloth, a hard case and they even throw in a sticker to put on the toolbox. I wore them at night they worked just fine plus they cut down on glare from oncoming traffic. I timed them, and they went from clear or their least amount of tint to shaded in about three minutes out in bright sunlight. The foam piece snaps into the backside of the frame, and stops light from coming in behind the lens as well as dirt and debris. There are several vents that allow airflow to help with heat buildup and prevent fogging on the inside of the lens. Everything seems well thought out.
I chose the “Churada” model frames, one of the newer offerings from 7eye. With impact resistance lens and wrap around-hand polished-gloss black frames, they have the quintessential biker look. They fit in my full-face helmet well, and were just fine under my half skid lid, and even without a helmet they never felt like they would blow off. I wore them in place of my goggles when I was riding my dirt bike on the motocross track, and they kept the sand from getting in my eyes, so I think they will handle anything the street can throw at them.
I have three months and approximately 1,000 miles on these glasses plus the seven, or eight laps around the MX track, and they always seem to have the right amount of tint for the light conditions—and not once did I get anything in my eyes. I have always carried sunglasses for daytime, and clear eye protection for night riding plus spares because I usually buy cheap, but with these glasses I just carry one pair.
7eye offers replacement foam for all their frames and are available online at or in retail outlets, and at some Harley dealerships. They have many styles. Panoptx has a repair program, offers a one-year manufacture defect warranty, and claims some relief of dry eye. Overall, I am pleased with this product. They have met every challenge I threw at them, and they look good doing it. Check them out online or at your local eyewear outlet. 4
If you’re as keen in the brain as you are behind the wheel, look for three essentials when choosing driving sunglasses: (1) Polarized lenses to reduce glare and filter appropriate light levels; (2) curved lenses to protect in front and to the sides; (3) thin temples to free up peripheral vision.
It would seem to me that looking thru a face shield with polarized glasses on would create visual problems.