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Thread: Helmet testing (post crash)

  1. #1
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Helmet testing (post crash)

    I might as well have just sauntered in and started an oil/harley bashing thread for the flack i'm likely to accumulate by asking the following:

    is there any way of testing a helmet, post crash, to verify it's integrity?

    backstory: minor get off a few weeks back, nothing terrible, but i did come down on my head and right shoulder fairly hard after flipping over the bike.

    helmet: aside from a scrape where it hit, seems "ok" from a "well, it doesn't look like it'd been run over by a truck" pov. thing is, i'm a practical sorta fella, and very much not one to go throwing something away just because of a blemish or small defect. this also happens to be arai's top of the line lid (meaning $$$) and doesn't have a whole lot of mileage or years on it.

    bottom line: if it's going to protect me in a future crash, great, if not, fine, but i'd like verifiable proof as to such, rather than a lot of conjecture

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti View Post
    I might as well have just sauntered in and started an oil/harley bashing thread for the flack i'm likely to accumulate by asking the following:

    is there any way of testing a helmet, post crash, to verify it's integrity?

    backstory: minor get off a few weeks back, nothing terrible, but i did come down on my head and right shoulder fairly hard after flipping over the bike.

    helmet: aside from a scrape where it hit, seems "ok" from a "well, it doesn't look like it'd been run over by a truck" pov. thing is, i'm a practical sorta fella, and very much not one to go throwing something away just because of a blemish or small defect. this also happens to be arai's top of the line lid (meaning $$$) and doesn't have a whole lot of mileage or years on it.

    bottom line: if it's going to protect me in a future crash, great, if not, fine, but i'd like verifiable proof as to such, rather than a lot of conjecture
    Try contacting Arai, some companies will x-ray and examine a suspect helmet at little or no charge. Also I have been told some insurance companies will reimberse (spelling) you for safety equipment that has been damaged in and accident.

    Roy
    Roy G.
    85 K100RT Ol Ruby "Gone but not forgotten"

    02 K1200LTC Hoss

  3. #3
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    is there any way of testing a helmet, post crash, to verify it's integrity?

    Bubba,

    In todays litigious society I would be really surprised if you would find any company willing to step out on the limb and essentially guarantee that your helmet is still able to provide the degree of protection that it was certified to when it was manufactured. There's only so much that can be determined by x-ray or ultra-sound "inspections".

    The only test I can think of that would verify the integrity of the exterior shell would destroy the helmet in the process, since it has to measure the force required to actually penetrate the shell. The interior padding probably took a bit of compression as a result of the impact, and that's the part that provides most of the protection. Perhaps you could order new padding (foam). But again... product liability being what it is, Arai may have misgivings about selling parts to "restore" a helmet.

    I'm a practical guy as well (not to mention currently unemployed), so if the "damage" is basically cosmetic, I think I would continue to use it.

    Your call however. Obviously. My guide; When in doubt. Don't.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  4. #4
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Most insurance companies will replace a helmet that has been involved in an accident where your helmet hit the ground. Just a thought
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  5. #5
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lmo1131 View Post
    I'm a practical guy as well (not to mention currently unemployed), so if the "damage" is basically cosmetic, I think I would continue to use it.

    Your call however. Obviously. My guide; When in doubt. Don't.
    good points, i hit hard enough to go unconscious for a few seconds, but being my first real crash, i dunno if it was really all that bad.

  6. #6
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    If I dropped a helmet on the ground, I wouldn't think twice and would continue to wear it. If my head was in it when it hit the ground, I'd get a new one.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  7. #7
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    I wore a "tested" helmet for about a year after hitting a deer. Broke arm, but the helmet damage was mostly scraping on the chin and visor. Had no qualms about retiring it when I found a new one I liked, it was about 5 years old anyway. Never had the opportunity to retest it's integrity
    1987 K75S
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  8. #8
    ian408
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    if you hit hard enough to knock yourself out, I'd say it was time for a new lid.

  9. #9
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Money, I know$$$;

    These helmets are pricey and I've had nearly all of the brands. Us dirt bikers would be helmet POOR, if we went out and bought new helmets all the time and they do take a beating in dirt riding mishaps. I think its good wisdom to know your helmets well, however and one should take inventory of the type of falls occuring indeed. If you're leaving chunks of helmet behind or battle scars in the shell, you're likely in need of shelling out some more bucks for another lid! BUT, a lot of hits can be had to most of the helmets, "IMO" and I will not join those who think otherwise, buying new helmets with a bump and scratch. Its kind of a common sense issue in many ways, so be well, be swell and wear'em always. My latest is the CL Max by HJC(modular type) and I find it equally comfy and well built as my last Arai XT at three times the cost. Happy Trails, Randy

  10. #10
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    When i smashed my helmet on/along the highway i knew i would have to get a new helmet, but for kicks i took out the liner. The only thing from the inside that i could tell was different was the foam was spongy where the helmet hit and not as firm as the rest of the foam in the helmet.

    Pedro in OKC, OK

  11. #11
    Motorradfahrer
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    Buy a new one. Head injuries are a bit more costly than a new helmet. They also tend to last longer.

  12. #12
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    When I had my accident on the Beartooth Pass (a collision with another rider trying to use the only passing lane on the road and which had not been cleared of winter sand) it was probably a half hour after the accident before it I even thought "did my head hit the pavement?" Yes, it certainly did.

    I guess for most of us on the forum, wearing either a fullface helmet or a flip-up is just SOP. Without a helmet (which I believe is legal in Wyoming) I would have had a serious head injury.

    Would I loan this damaged helmet to a passenger for a short and very careful ride? Yes. But I wouldn't wear it myself or loan it to a long range passenger. If you have another accident wearing the damaged helmet, hitting the same area is indeed small. But it is there.

    Just my thoughts.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  13. #13
    hack'd chiba13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti View Post
    i hit hard enough to go unconscious for a few seconds
    Replace the helmet. Seriously. Just throw it out & get a new one.

    --chiba
    --
    - '05 R1200GS - '98 K1200RS + Hannigan Classic sidecar -

  14. #14
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    Well...Here's my $0.02.

    The way it's been explained to me is that it's the Styrofoam that absorbs the energy in an accident. So, while the shell might look OK, the big question is what does the Styrofoam look like. Styrofoam does not bounce back to its original shape. Since you hit the ground hard enough for a very brief bit of unconsciousness, I would assume that the Styrofoam is compressed and would not provide the same level of protection the next time.
    The helmet did its job, but it's now time to get a new lid.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  15. #15
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    Post drop testing

    A few years ago I dropped my Shoei. I contacted Shoei through their website and they had me send it to them for inspection. They checked it and sent it back as OK to use.

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