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Tough Turban makes motorcycle riding safer for Sikhs

Riders wearing Tough Turbans
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June 19, 2021 - 8:00 PM

Sikh motorcyclists will no longer have to choose between their beliefs and road safety.

Pfaff Harley-Davidson has developed a “Tough Turban,” a turban that uses the same fabric used in bullet-proof clothing to keep riders safe. It was conceived and designed by Toronto’s Zulu Alpha Kilo, the dealership’s creative partner, which developed the turbans using impact-resistant materials to better protect motorcycle enthusiasts.

“The Tough Turban further empowers Sikh riders to protect who they are,” said Zak Mroueh, founder and chief creative officer of Zulu, in a press release issued by Harley-Davidson.

“The idea came from the team of Dan Cummings and Vic Bath, who is from a Sikh background.  He was inspired by his father, who grew up in a small village in India and dreamed of owning a Harley-Davidson, which to him was the ultimate symbol of freedom,” he said.  

The Tough Turban features non-Newtonian foam that hardens on impact, 3D-printed chainmail and a composite fabric used in bullet-proof clothing.

The full design considerations for the prototype have been open-sourced and released online, enabling any manufacturer in the world access to the virtual blueprint to make their version of a reinforced turban for riders in their region, according to the news release.

The Tough Turban is still in the early stages of development and the companies have partnered with the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario to test and improve the design elements.

Helmet exemptions were first granted to turban-wearing riders in British Columbia and Manitoba in 1999. Close to 20 years later, in the fall of 2018, Ontario passed Bill 194, exempting Sikh motorcyclists from Ontario’s helmet laws. Alberta passed legislation to allow Sikhs to ride motorcycles without helmets.

READ MORE: Alberta third province to allow Sikhs to ride motorcyles without helmets

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

To learn more about the Tough Turban, visit its website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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