TORONTO, June 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Freedom – freedom to ride – is at the heart of a new innovation championed today by Pfaff Harley-Davidson. The Tough Turban was conceived and designed by Toronto’s Zulu Alpha Kilo, the dealership’s innovative creative partner, who developed this breakthrough using impact resistant materials to better protect motorcycle enthusiasts.
“Pfaff Harley-Davidson is proud to help promote an idea that celebrates the diversity of our ridership. We are honored to help advance the cause of team diversity and help raise awareness of the potential for innovation among our vast community of motorcyclists in Canada and around the world, ”explains Brandon Durmann, Brand Marketing Specialist for Pfaff Harley-Davidson.
Since 1903, Harley-Davidson has helped shape the identity of millions of motorcyclists around the world and represents a lifestyle and emotional bond. Harley-Davidson attracts a growing community of motorcyclists, including those who want to try an alternative form of head covering, other than the helmet.
“The Tough Turban further empowers Sikh riders to protect who they are,” shares Zak Mroueh, founder and creative director of Zulu. “This initiative combines many things that we are pleased to focus on at Zulu Alpha Kilo: inclusion, innovation, and our core tenet that the world needs more creativity. I’m always excited when a team member creates an idea inspired by their own personal heritage or experience. In this case, the idea came from the team of Dan Cummings and Vic Bath, who are of Sikh origin. He was inspired by his father, who grew up in a small town in India and dreamed of owning a Harley-Davidson, which for him was the ultimate symbol of freedom. ”
To bring the idea to life, Zulu turned to Spark Innovations for the preliminary design of the Tough Turban. It features emerging technologies in protective gear such as impact-hardening non-Newtonian foam, 3D printed chainmail, and a composite fabric used in bulletproof clothing. Full design considerations for the prototype have been opened and posted online, allowing any manufacturer in the world to access the virtual blueprint to make their version of a reinforced turban for riders in their region. Details are available on a specially created mini-site to support the Tough Turban concept at: ToughTurban.com
“We welcome the opportunity to share our experience in creating protective gear to develop a turban application,” says Chris Pearen, Design Director at Spark Innovations. “Working with a Sikh consultant, we learned about warrior culture and created a chainmail-like matrix that could be incorporated into the traditional feel of a turban. Just seeing how committed the riders are to the prototype is certainly inspiring! “
COLLABORATION WITH THE ONTARIO SIKH MOTORCYCLE CLUB
Pfaff Harley-Davidson and Zulu Alpha Kilo acknowledge that the Tough Turban is still in the early stages of development, so they have partnered with the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario to test and improve the design elements.
Inclusion of all Sikh cyclists has yet to be achieved across Canada. Helmet exemptions were first granted to turban-wearing motorcyclists in British Columbia and Manitoba in 1999. About 20 years later, in the fall of 2018, Ontario passed Bill 194, which exempted Sikh motorcyclists from Ontario helmet laws. However, all other provinces in the country have not adopted similar legislation.
“Our members want the freedom of being able to travel from coast to coast in turbans,” says Jagdeep Singh, spokesman for the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario. “We welcome the freedom to ride message promoting the Tough Turban, however, for now, it remains strictly a concept. The idea needs to be further developed and tested for practical daily use. “
“Meanwhile, Sikhs should have the same freedoms to travel in Saskatchewan, Quebec and the eastern provinces. We appreciate the support to fight for these more inclusive rights and the ability to expand the benefits that come from the charity attractions run by our club. “
The Sikh Motorcycle Club considers motorcycling to be both a hobby and a means to have a positive impact. At the start of COVID-19 last year, the Ontario chapter only made nine motorcycle trips to 35 different first aid sites to recognize the efforts of frontline workers. The club also distributed thousands of meals to vulnerable families affected by the pandemic and held protests in support of farmers’ rights in India. In the past, the club has also held attractions to fight cancer, as well as to support people with diabetes and substance abuse problems.
Safety concerns are most frequently cited in discussions of helmet exemptions, but 22 years of riding with turbans has produced precisely zero fatalities among Canadian Sikh motorcyclists.
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