Author Topic: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice  (Read 5636 times)

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Offline Ride4MS

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Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« on: March 21, 2023, 12:07:58 PM »
Recently a long time MSTA Member sent a link to us about helmets. It is very interesting in how they talk about all styles of helmets and which is the right choice for you. This link gives examples of the four main styles of helmets, and the differences in construction and safety. They also talk about the different types of testing of helmets, as well as the ratings.

https://americansporttouring.com/the-truth-about-modular-helmets/

If you know someone that does not read the MSTA forum or they are not a MSTA Member and they ride motorcycles, forward this link to them. This will help them decide what type of helmet is best for them when they go to buy a new helmet. If they are racers, they will have a Snell rating that they will need to adhere to for their helmet.

I wrote an article last year for the Dan Clark Safety Program, about the different helmet laws in Central America. It was very interesting to note, that in Costa Rica, a country that is probably not as tough on some laws, but still they require a full face helmet. Keep in mind, that most cycles in Central America are of small single cylinder type. We did not see any sport touring or large cruisers, but maybe a few 2 cyl. bikes, but they were the small type. Nothing that would be capable of high speeds.

ATGATT
Carl
Carl Wieman, 2016-2022 MSTA Dan Clark Safety Program Coordinator,    2022 Vanderhall Venice, 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate 
1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2023, 02:18:53 PM »
Good article...thanks for sharing the link.
Geoffrey Greene
MSTA Ride For Kids Coordinator, MSTA Secretary (retired), TN-STAR and Tri-STAR Coordinator (retired)
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Offline Ride4MS

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2023, 02:24:59 PM »
Thanks for the compliment Geoffrey. I have always tried to help people understand what safety really means, and to prepare for the unknown situations. Many people are not familiar with the difference in helmets, and the reasons.

A friend pointed out to me that in the above link to the article on helmets, that there are several other links to more good information on helmets that are worth reading. One thing that is mentioned is that currently there is NO Modular helmet that has obtained the Snell Certification. They mention that they do not meet the Chin Bar Test or the Shell Penetration test as well as the side impact test.

The Snell Certification is used world wide in many forms of racing making it much simpler for the sanctioning bodies. This was the case when I was involved as a Tech Official for SCCA Pro Racing in MX-5 Cup, Trans Am, and World Challenge. Also, when I was with F4 which is a world wide series, and Formula E cars which are only raced in New York for the USA, but many other countries in the world. That meant that drivers did not need to have a different certification for the helmets as well as suits in other countries.

Another item to think about when purchasing a helmet is the Peripheral vision. Try a helmet on and check to see if you can see to the sides easily. The first full face helmet that I had in the early 1970's had very little side vision. That is one of the reasons that I have heard many times for not wearing a full face helmet. That has changed through the years, especially if it is Snell Certified.

When I was racing snowmobiles in the early 1970's, at first, if I remember correctly, only a helmet was required in the Stock classes. Then when I went to the Open Modified Class with a snowmobile that I built from 3 different brands and 4 different years of parts, they required a full face helmet. At the time, they did not require the Snell Certification. As time went on, Snell was required for all helmets in all classes for safety. Which meant the open face helmet was no longer eligible for racing.

I hope this information helps everyone when they go to purchase a new helmet. They can then decide what helmet to purchase as well as how safe they want to be for when the critter or parked car jumps out in front of you. Just ask anyone that has had an accident, if they were expecting the crash? If they had, they might have worn safer gear, whether it be helmets or clothing.

Carl


Carl Wieman, 2016-2022 MSTA Dan Clark Safety Program Coordinator,    2022 Vanderhall Venice, 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate 
1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2023, 08:06:08 PM »
I have asked my MSF class participants if they'd wear their helmets even if they knew they wouldn't be involved in an accident on a given day. It's been mostly positive, but occasionally get a "No." But when you ask if they would wear their gear when they don't know (as it is always the case), it's far and away a resounding "yes!" Just trying to make them think.
Geoffrey Greene
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Offline Ride4MS

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2023, 10:45:23 PM »
That is a good way to get them think about safety.
When I started riding, and at that time in Minnesota, if under 21 yr old, you were required to wear a helmet. I would have worn it anyway. Well as it turned out when I went to lunch that day, I was riding in town, on a 4 lane road. I see this guy with his signal on and thought, he sees me. He did not and turned and hit me on the left side throwing me off and I rolled and hit the curb with my helmet. The people standing there had to stop him and told him you hit someone. He said, oh is that what that thump was. I tried to get up and thump him, but everyone told me that I was hurt and the ambulance was on the way. Cracked the bones in my left foot arch, where he hit me. 350 Honda was totaled. Helmet also had a crack were it hit the curb.

After that, I have told many people about that incident when they say they don't need a helmet in city riding. I tell them that everything is solid in town, so it is just as important to where a helmet. And, you should see my helmet.
I kept it for many years to show people how important a helmet is. It cracked and saved my head.
Carl Wieman, 2016-2022 MSTA Dan Clark Safety Program Coordinator,    2022 Vanderhall Venice, 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate 
1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Offline stevegrab

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2023, 12:27:09 PM »
A simple tip over at no speed could result in an impact of your head with the ground that could cause plenty of damage without a helmet. One of my brothers slipped on some water making a turn at an intersection once, went down and hit his head. He was out when people came to help, without that helmet he is in far worse shape.

If I could guarantee I would not crash on a given ride I might consider going without some gear. But I'd feel naked without a helmet.
Steve Grabowski
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Offline Ride4MS

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2023, 11:15:46 PM »
I totally agree with you Steve. This past week there was a news item on Minneapolis, MN TV where a teenager was riding his bicycle and hit a pot hole, leftover from winter and he fell. It did not say what he hit. But he died from the head injuries. He did not even have the unlucky experience to be in a coma or live on life support in the hospital. He died at the scene.

The parents are now encouraging everyone to wear a helmet with their bicycles.

Spring is finally here in Minnesota. That means many Police Departments give away bicycle helmets to young kids.
Carl Wieman, 2016-2022 MSTA Dan Clark Safety Program Coordinator,    2022 Vanderhall Venice, 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate 
1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Offline Ride4MS

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2023, 09:05:59 PM »
I just read the information below about helmets on LinkedIn. WOW! Looks like you can't even trust the helmet makers to do the proper testing and label helmets correctly.
I thought I would pass this on to everyone so that they do some good research when purchasing a new helmet to make sure it meets the certification that the helmet maker is claiming. And it looks like the only way to make sure it meets those standards is if you have proof from an outside source that certify the helmets, such as Snell Foundation. If not, you might be buying something that is not worth putting on your head.
See also the link at the end of the article.
Carl


The most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that the number of helmets labeled as DOT certified but have failed to meet the FMVSS 218 performance standards is even higher than previously thought. A significant number of helmet test reports from CY2019, as well as for CY2017, 2018 and 2020 recently added to the NHTSA database increased the failure rate. Overall, nearly two-thirds of the added reports told of helmets that failed to meet the FMVSS 218 safety standards on physical performance. There is a more than four in ten chance that helmets labeled as “DOT Certified” with no other certification, will not protect the rider to the level required by the FMVSS 218 standards. What’s worse is the fact that even if a helmet passes the FMVSS 218 performance requirements, it won’t provide the same level of protection as helmets certified to Snell Memorial Foundation, ECE 22.06 or FIM standards. There is a way consumers can improve the quality of their head protection. Check it out here: https://lnkd.in/guiWitWX
Carl Wieman, 2016-2022 MSTA Dan Clark Safety Program Coordinator,    2022 Vanderhall Venice, 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate 
1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor

Offline tunerider335

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Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2023, 10:12:55 AM »
Really good information.  Thanks for the post.


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Offline OSU55

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2024, 08:31:15 PM »
I will only wear a full face helmet. I've had 2 crashes over my 55 yrs of riding that would have ground my face off with on open face. Photo of one of them below.

A modular may well have held up to this crash, as there wasn't much impact, just grinding, but I want my helmet off when I stop anyway. I just don't trust the modular type.

As for certifications, you can find descriptions of all the different tests, etc., but you might want to watch this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76yu124i3Bo


Offline Patmo

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2024, 11:54:25 AM »
I just saw something interesting regarding helmet certification labeling….

I was investigating the SENA Stryker helmet because they had 40% on many Sena units, including that helmet, the last week of 2023. The information on the Sena site, and the video review done by Revzilla, showed that it was DOT certified.

BUT…..a video review on YouTube that was done by a bloke in England clearly showed it with a ECE certification sticker and not a DOT certification sticker on the back of the helmet.

I’m willing to bet that they are the same helmet, built in the same factory, and only have different stickers put on it depending on what market it is being sent to. I suspect that might be SOP for other helmet companies too.

Bottom line to me…..we are all adults here and need to make up our own minds on what we choose to wear or not to wear. It’s your head, you choose.

« Last Edit: January 04, 2024, 12:03:43 PM by Patmo »
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Offline NinjaBob

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2024, 12:11:02 PM »
My Bilt and Sedici  modular helmets from Cycle Gear have both DOT and ECE stickers.
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Offline Ride4MS

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Re: Helmet Styles and What is the Right Choice
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2024, 09:17:59 PM »
I read the article below today about helmets. Some of you may already subscribe to these articles from The Twisted Road Blog with Austin Rothbard. He has published a few articles that I wrote and sent to him in the past.

https://www.twistedroad.com/blog/posts/how-to-select-a-motorcycle-helmet?utm_source=365%20Engaged&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Lane%20Splitting%20%2801HWNB2ESA679PW5ZXQ70FH8Z8%29&_kx=v6g_ObwvHKpYzUZNrazIE3k_7ZZSN1xbPsfs9bA4ja0.VRRuwv

Austin talks about when choosing a motorcycle helmet, and there are several factors to consider, including safety ratings, fit, comfort, and style. Before you start shopping, you should determine what features are most important to you and what your budget is.
He also mentions the two main testing standards used in helmets. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Snell Memorial Foundation.

I mentioned in a previous posting that the Snell testing is the only testing that is done by an independent foundation, where as any helmet company can test and say that their helmet passes DOT standards and install a sticker. And, it may not meet the DOT standards.

If a company wants their helmet tested for Snell standards, they send a request to Snell Foundation, they in turn go purchase a few of that model helmet at random and test them so that there is no cheating.

Bottom line, the safest helmet is a helmet that is Snell Certified. But, after reading the article, are you purchasing a helmet to be as safe as possible, or comfort or style, or price.
That is a decision that only the person buying the helmet can decide.
Carl Wieman, 2016-2022 MSTA Dan Clark Safety Program Coordinator,    2022 Vanderhall Venice, 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate 
1986 Honda VF500F Interceptor