Helmet all the time. If for no other reason than shyness. Busa attracts too much attention...It's like tinted windows, I just feel more secure behind the mirrored visor.
The only time I do not wear the lid is like some of the others, a little spin through the neighborhood. I've hit my head on the asphalt enough times when I was young on the bicycle, the idea of doing it at 40-50 MPH is nightmare enough to convince me. Besides, the wind rushing past my ears is to freakin loud without the lid.
I also wear gloves 100% it is the other piece of gear I absolutely feel nekid without. Basically I never leave the house without all my gear on. Why risk it, the full perf leather keeps the bugs and road crap off me, the helmet keeps my head comfy and the gloves protect the hands from the sun and above mentioned road crap.
As for not wearing the gear because it's too hot...Simple, as my Granddad said when he put me on my first dirt bike..."If it's too hot for a helmet, it's too hot to ride." True enough, your lookin at heatstroke if it's really "Too Hot".
My last complaint is the riding a passanger without getting them in the right gear. This is just plain warped. We may understand the risks involved in riding, we accept them and move on, but to assume this kind of responsibility for anothers safety is just plain wrong. Besides, the mental images of my wifes road rashed booty or god forbid damaged brain makes sure this never happens. When something as simple as suiting up could prevent injury or save your loved ones life, (or Booty) you gotta be high not to do so...Sorry I am beating this horse but it makes me freakin psycho when I see the Harley or Sportbike A**Hol*s with some little lady on the back riding around in short sleeves and shorts...Grr
Sorry if I stepped on some toes...not my intent...really, but it is a pet peeve...IF you brief your lady ahead of time, show her a couple of crash videos and a couple of pics of a roadrashed squid, then explain how Gary Busey was FUBAR for about a year after a 40MPH crash. Then let them make an educated decision...Explain the realities of the ride, not just the BS Freedom or Image Side of things. If you do this and she is still up for it, then by all means, carry on.
What was the original question again? Oh yeah, I wear a Helmet. Buy a good one, and you may find it to be more comfortable than going without...Keeping the sun off your head can make a big difference.
Sorry for the extended REV remix version of a post here...Nothing but Love....