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Helmet safety.


Rpstk

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I am shopping for a new helmet and being a snowmobiler for many years I paid attention to safety ratings for helmets having been educated by a fellow snowmobiler about the importance of a good Snell rated helmet should the unexpected occur.

It seems that riding a mororcycle puts you more at risk should the "unexpected occur" since now you are dealing with cars and trucks and who knows what but it seems there is not much discussion about safety rating , only what helmet is the most comfortable , I want to be the best protected should the worst case scerio unfold and want to be well educated about the best helmets out there.

All input welcome: thanks...

Bob

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I am shopping for a new helmet and being a snowmobiler for many years I paid attention to safety ratings for helmets having been educated by a fellow snowmobiler about the importance of a good Snell rated helmet should the unexpected occur.

It seems that riding a mororcycle puts you more at risk should the "unexpected occur" since now you are dealing with cars and trucks and who knows what but it seems there is not much discussion about safety rating , only what helmet is the most comfortable , I want to be the best protected should the worst case scerio unfold and want to be well educated about the best helmets out there.

All input welcome: thanks...

Bob

 

You may be quite surprised that Snell may not in fact be as good as you may have thought!

 

Check this out....

 

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/motorcycle_helmet_review/index.html

 

Bob.

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Bob, I'm not sure what your requirements are in a helmet, but if you want low noise and confidence that your skull will be protected go with a Schuberth C2. But that would be like telling you to plant tulips instead of roses in your garden. Just try several on and what ever is in your price range and feels good is what you need... Because no helmet can protect you from unforseen accidents .... whatever that means eek.gif

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Bart Anderson

IMHO, the safest helmet is the one you're most likely to wear, which is why comfort and convenience are paramount. If it's uncomfortable, or a PITA to deal with, you're more likely to leave it at home "just this once" for the quick trip to the hardware store.

 

If it can be purchased, it's at least DOT certified. I believe the real-world safety differences between the helmets today are marginal at best. Buy whatever you will wear...every time you ride.

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...the real-world safety differences between the helmets today are marginal at best

 

Don't think I would agree with that statement.

 

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DOT Approved

 

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Snell Approved

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs
...the real-world safety differences between the helmets today are marginal at best

 

Don't think I would agree with that statement.

 

I think that that comparison is weak. It's like comparing a RT versus a Ninja 250. These helmets are also only DOT approved, but it's interesting that so many of us wear one. Maybe not you, but you shouldn't scare the thread's author away from considering a DOT only helmet.

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. Because no helmet can protect you from unforseen accidents .... whatever that means eek.gif

I have been away from motorcycling for awhile,

I rode 20 years ago and went down once at 70 MPH,

I know now that it can happen and although nothing can protect you against all possible scenarios obviously having the best protective gear puts you in a better position than some people I see riding in shorts ,a shorty helmet and a Teeshirt.

 

Bob

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TracerBullet

when I started looking for a helmet the first thing I did was look at what the racers on the circut were wearing. ThaI satrted to do my research because everyone knows if you are being paid to wear something then you will advertise that product. I did find out there are companies that do not pay for a rider to wear their product. Anyway once I found out what the racers were wearing I started trying tose helmets on. when I found one that was comfy that is what I bought. It can be expensive but its only mony, and what is $600 in the scheme of a $15,000 bike, or a $1000 riding suit. you get my drift. I figured itf the professionals thought they were good it was good enough for me.

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Buenos Dias Bob,

 

Helmets have somethings in common with alpine ski boots, namely, once purchased they'll never get any tighter, only more loose and they come in different shapes as well as size.

The "never get any tighter" statement implies that buying a helmet that's just right (fit wise) usually means it's too loose after break-in. General belief is that helmet should not move (that is, not move relative to head) when you violently twist head left & right.

The "different shape" statement is important as some head shapes are oval (looking down on head from above), others more circular.

A good ski boot fitter (in Taos we have "the boot doctor") is familiar with each brand offered and which brand is better fitted for high arches, for example: so it is with helmets.

I don't know of any "helmet doctor"; it's up to you to try on different brands in order to find the one best matching your head's shape.

 

Wooster

 

when they gave out heads, I thought they said beds so I asked for a soft one

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If it doesn't fit right, it won't protect.

 

Here ya go:

Guidelines for getting the best fit in a full-face helmet.

There is much to be said about going into a Motorcycle shop and physically trying on the helmet you are considering. Even if you plan on buying online, knowing what size you need will save much time and aggravation. Cheaper is not cheaper if you must exchange by mail repeatedly, or end up with a helmet that doesn't fit well, or worse, is painful to wear after 30 minutes.

 

I took what I was taught and put it to paper to share. I believe it is based on the Arai fit method, but is applicable for all makes. This is what I was taught while working in a MC dealer. I have tweaked it in an effort to make it understandable in print. I have also added details that I have learned through experience in an effort to make it as helpful as possible.

 

1. Do NOT look at prices first. Fit is most important. If Arai (generally the most expensive) fits, then that will provide the BEST protection, if an HJC (generally a less expensive make) fits, then THAT will provide the best protection. For this ‘fit test’ do not buckle the chin strap. If you wear glasses, or sunglasses while riding, don’t forget to have them with you for the fit test. Note: At a helmet seminar offered by Arai, those in attendance learned that about 60% were wearing helmets too BIG for best protection. Recently, I learned that I've evidently been wearing a helmet TWO sizes too big, while shopping to replace my "crashed in" Arai helmet. For fit-trying helmets, a Sliks helmet liner, or other snug fitting "do-rag" is VERY helpful, especially if you've got multiple ear piercings or thick hair, etc.

 

2. Choose a size that looks close (you gotta start somewhere). Pull the helmet on over your head by holding the straps. It should go on with a bit of work, but NOT so tough it feels like your ears are being scraped off your skull. If the helmet goes on with little or no effort, try the next size DOWN. Tilting your chin slightly down should ease neck strain in doing this.

 

3. Flip up the face shield. (If trying a helmet with flip up chin bar, ONLY flip up the face shield.) Now, push the helmet around on your head. Have someone watch your face, or look in a mirror, while you do this. Your scalp and eyebrows should move around with the helmet padding. If it doesn’t, try the next size down OR a different make of helmet and repeat from #2. If your scalp does move, close your eyes and think about how the padding feels around the crown of your head. You should feel snug EVEN pressure all around, like a good firm handshake - no ‘hot points’ at forehead or ears. Some helmets give a sort of "chipmunk cheek" feeling. Remember, the padding will compress with wear, so snugness is good in a new helmet, rather than a ‘just right’ fit, or it will become too loose with wear. Some helmet manufacturers offer thinner cheek padding if this is your main concern. (If you feel a hot point at forehead, you probably have an ‘oval profile’ head and should try one of the Arai models.)

 

4. Now tilt your chin down to your chest (still unbuckled) and take one hand and push UP on the bottom of the back of the helmet. You should NOT be able to push the helmet off, or part way off. If you can, then try another make helmet - "flip face" helmets are more likely to fail this step, which should not be disregarded. (If the chin strap fails, or you forget to buckle... )

 

5. Once you’ve gotten to this point, wear the helmet around the shop for at LEAST 5 to 10 minutes. This is where using a full service shop is worth it. They should encourage you to wear the helmet for some time before buying. You don’t want to find out after you plunk down $$, that the helmet you thought fit you is agony to wear for more than 30 minutes. If you are indecisive about two different helmets, make sure you WEAR the 'most likely candidate' last, before purchase. If this is it. Buy it. Get the box and packaging for the helmet, if at all possible. THEN, take the new helmet home and wear it while watching TV or 'surfing the net' for an hour or two... it can be tough to really get used to the fit, when somebody is staring at you (don't think about pink elephants right now), so wearing it while doing something else is probably the best way to make sure the fit is right. If you have any fit "issues" after this last at home test, RETURN the helmet. A reputable shop should have no issues with taking an ill fitting helmet back.

Other NOTES:

A) Motorcycle Helmets should be retired/replaced EVERY five years, or at a maximum of seven years from date of manufacture (month/year usually imprinted on chinstrap or on label inside). When buying a 'clearance' helmet, the low price is often because the helmet is already 2-3 years old. No way to tell how well or poorly a helmet has been stored. (One reason ARAI no longer allows ANY retail helmet sales online, or by discounters. Arai now insists that their helmets be FIT to the wearer. This must be done in an authorized shop.)

 

B) No matter how well taken care of, a helmet that has been dropped should be replaced. A helmet that has been in a crash MUST be replaced for your safety (your insurer may cover replacement of your helmet and/or other safety gear). http://tinyurl.com/4muc9

 

C) Always make sure you have a clear face shield (visor) available for your helmet. Carry one in your tank bag. If you find yourself out later than planned, or if the weather should change, it is dangerous to ride in low-light conditions with even the lightest tint visor. You won't realize what you are not seeing until it is too late.

 

D) NEVERNEVERNEVER use any paper product (paper towels, tissues etc.) to clean your face shield. The tiny wood fibers will create microscratches in your visor over time. Use only cleaners made for plastics to clean your face shield. Products such as Rain-X and Windex contain amonia and will cause the plastic to yellow and become brittle.

 

Happy riding and stay safe!! LL

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Bart Anderson

I don't disagree that the Arai full face is more safe than the "shorty." But this difference is clearly at the margin when compared to wearing no helmet at all.

 

I'll say it again: buy whatever helmet you will wear, every time you ride. If it's "too hot," or "hurts my head after a while," or "I don't look cool in it," or you believe some of the ABATE idiots who are worried they'll "run out of oxygen" in it, then you're more likely to blow it off altogether.

 

BTW, the white Arai you pictured is what I wear 99% of the time...but when the temps in MN are in the 90s with dewpoints in the 70s and I'm just heading down to Betty's to swap lies over a cup of Joe, I'm glad I also own a Shoei RJ-Air because without it I'd be really tempted to blow off the Arai "just this time."

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