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Thread: DOT, Snell, Mattel?

  1. #16
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    When (a few years back) I decided to go for a "higher value", (ie: IN MY OWN MIND) better protective helmet, I took a look at what the pro level, and other racers were wearing. I decided to buy an Arai helmet. Good enough for them, good enough for me. This was after a not-so-bad crash in which I flew over the car I'd broadsided, and landed safely on my head while wearing my Davida "Pudding Bowl" helmet. Also after my buying a Nolan "flipper" helmet, which was horribly ill-fitting on me. After my experience at The Service Pavilion, http://www.theservicepavilion.com/ where they meticulously fitted my helmet to MY head, I was convinced I'd done the right thing. Never before had I had any helmet actually FIT.
    I agree that lots of money may go into fit & finish. However, Arai is a smaller company, family owned & operated. (according to the ON article a few years back) Probably by now, you can get a comparable lid for less... BUT a company like Arai is exactly the kind of operation I'd choose to support here at home, so throwing them a few extra bucks doesn't bother me.

    To add a side note about protection...

    I work in the Entertainment Industry. We do things that combine heavy industrial techniques & equipment with heavy construction type material and sensibilities. Our methods defy categorization and understanding, in many ways. When I buy tools or gear, I look for the highest levels of certification, typically ANSI rated & OSHA certified stuff ( I think((?)) that OSHA does NOT "rate" equipment but certifies, or recommends it, based on outside ratings?) . Like DOT and SNELL certs, ratings, & classification, these are the go-to standards for safety, strength, and protection. If a helmet carries BOTH DOT AND SNELL certifications, this means it meets certain standards, which are set thru rigorous testing, both nationally, and internationally (IF I'm not mistaken on this point). I'll take that as my own standard, too- thanks very much.

    ALSO-
    I've heard various arguments about helmet weight & forces generated in a crash, V neck injuries resulting from whiplash etc. In my mind, if there's any argument FOR a lighter helmet -and if you look, helmet weight differences from "light" to "heavy" aren't grand- this is it.
    SO even tho there is absolutely zero question that helmets offer protection enough to save lives... Can anyone elaborate on G-forces, whiplash affects, or neck injuries?
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  2. #17
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    Take a hard look at the game of FB and the exercises done to exercise & strengthen the neck muscles & thus avoid injury. The weight of the helmet alone(in USA FB) takes a toll on the neck , if not strong. Wind pressure can cause neck soreness for MC riders. If a rider takes a tumble off a MC, best to have muscle tone in all the right places to avoid more serious injury. That's why aggressively serious off road riding is for those who are fit.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  3. #18
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Thumbs up thumbs up for 883815's answer

    Quote Originally Posted by GKman View Post
    As far as impact protection is concerned, I'm curious about how much can really be done by manufacturers with that 1" of helmet between my head and and the pavement, brick wall or Humvee bumper. The extra hundreds can add a little comfort, convenience and I can donate my vig in financing a team at Daytona but what am I getting in protection? A helmet is a really good thing to skid down the road on and at non-race speed I would expect anything but a toy to survive that. My Levi'ed knees and bare elbows did as a kid. Beyond that I really wouldn't expect to survive a helmet breaking crash although it sometime happens. Them's the breaks.

    Does anybody really KNOW of anything in that inch that results in a significant difference?


    Quote Originally Posted by [B
    marchyman;883815][/B]The extra money pays mostly for less weight, styling, comfort, and paint. Paint alone can add an extra $100 to the price. From a pure head protection point of view that $30 helmet that honestly meets FVMSS 218 may be no worse than the 1200 carbon fiber helmet with integrated communications. Look at the sharp link that Kurt posted. Five star rated helmets vary in price from 59 to 499 pounds.
    I think marchyman has the correct answer here but for sure it's better to have an inch than none at all....

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  4. #19
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    I guess to me the OP question is kind of confusing. Yes there are multiple standards, DOT, Snell and European, and of those three any one will protect your skull from most impact dangers, and protect your brain (the FAR more important helmet function) from most G-loads from impacts. NO helmet of any standard is a 100% garauntee for survival. But of the three most common standards, they'll each do the job of protecting your brain from the common crashes motorcycles have endured for the past 30+ years.

    In that record, it seems to me that yes, there IS plenty of known data about what current helmets can do and protect.

  5. #20
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyatheart View Post
    You sound like one...or the other. Am I close?
    I'll take that as a compliment. But no, I am neither.

  6. #21
    iscream-stop
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    ONE Inch? If any of you are fans of racing, just look at the technology or the race cars. They have gone thru the aluminum and steel roll cages to now just a thin layer of carbon fiber. The speeds have sky rocketed and crashes have become more violent. But when some one dies it is a major thing now days when back in the day it was very common. They take the same tech as the guys building these 250 mph cars and putting it into the shells of a helmet. If you believe that the plastic shell of a $30 helmet is capable of protecting as well as a $600 Carbon Kevlar shell, maybe you need to go into car design. I am sure that if they could just inject a plastic tub out for an race car that would take the crash test as good as the Carbon fiber tub they would not be spending millions on them. The fact is, thru testing, they can layer the fibers in ways that it will deflect the impact thru the shell instead of a direct blunt force in one area. This allows the more productive venting in the interior along with a layered impact liner instead of an injected styro liner that will just pass the test which is cheaper to produce.
    The fact is, if a company knows that people will actually pay the price for a helmet that has been designed and tested to be a better helmet, they will spend the money to make sure it is a better helmet. A company that just wants to produce helmets and sell them as cheap as they can will look into processes to make them cheaper and faster that all it has to do is pass testing. As long as people say "Well this helmet passed the test! Why should I pay so much for that one?" they will keep producing helmets as fast and cheap as they can. But hey, It's your head!

  7. #22
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i-scream-stop View Post
    ONE Inch? ......They take the same tech as the guys building these 250 mph cars and putting it into the shells of a helmet. If you believe that the plastic shell of a $30 helmet is capable of protecting as well as a $600 Carbon Kevlar shell,......they can layer the fibers in ways that it will deflect the impact thru the shell instead of a direct blunt force in one area. This allows the more productive venting in the interior along with a layered impact liner instead of an injected styro liner that will just pass the test which is cheaper to produce.
    OK, so once you've designed the Kevlar shell with proper interior bracing to achieve the desired "crumple zone" performance under the critical loading criteria, whatever that may be, you might want to consider that the warped spheroid is sticking out in the wind, like a sore thumb, for most riders. The drag load on that spheroid is only proportional to the square of the local velocity and the spheroid cross-sectional area. Accordingly, bigger isn't that great and forces the design to include functional aerodynamic shaping to be viable. In addition, the sound pressure level due to turbulent flow on that Kevlar shell will likely prompt you to install some noise reducing liner material to isolate the riders ears or damping material will have to be added to Kevlar shell to limit it's radiation efficiency. Light, strong and hollow is a great recipe for building bells, as in church or Liberty.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  8. #23
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Find out how these certifications (Snell, DOT, BSI, European) are awarded. You might be surprised.

    Some are awarded after the the initial helmets are tested. What keeps the helmet manufacturer honest in that case?

    Some are awarded on batches of helmets tested. If a sample fails, the who batch gets written off. Sounds logical.

  9. #24
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Post A couple of interesting articles

    On Snell and other standards- a comprehensive look at Snell, DOT, and ECE standards from the folks at WebBikeWorld.com.
    Admittedly older news, but informative none the less.


    Snell 2010 Standard:

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...0-standard.htm

    Part 1: How to Make a Motorcycle Helmet- Nolan Factory Tour

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/eicma-2010/nolan-helmets/

    Part 2: DOT vs ECE Helmet Safety Standards

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/eicma-20...-standards.htm

    excerpt from Part 2 DOT vs ECE:

    " Introduction

    A huge amount of information -- or should I say misinformation -- exists regarding the differences between worldwide motorcycle helmet safety standards.

    Unfortunately, even with all that information, there isn't a consensus among motorcycle riders on which standard provides the most protective, or "safest" helmet. Even the experts don't agree (and apparently don't really know) which test and what type of forces will optimize protection for the rider's head.

    Another facet of this controversy is that many of the tests have apparently been developed without solid scientific evidence or backing for their efficacy, which has resulted in differences among the standards, such as the maximum G force over time that are called out. This is the source of some of the confusion; surely the criteriae and testing procedures among the standards would be similar if the data and evidence was available (and everyone agreed)?

    Thus, the subject of motorcycle helmet safety standards is highly complex, so it's no wonder the general riding public is confused."
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  10. #25
    rangerreece rangerreece's Avatar
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    Never underestimate the potential of one inch of protection. Our army Kevlar helmets are about 1/4" thick
    and stop bullets up to 7.62mm. The right materials and engendering can do wonders. I was the ALSE officer who did the inspections on the HGU-56 flight helmet when my good friend Caz was wearing when he went down in an OH-58D over srebrenicia Bosnia on January 20th 1998. His helmet is in the USAARAL center on display now, it represents what a helmet can do in a non-survivable crash. He survived he is an airlines CPT for delta now and rides ducaties at his home in Germany. I wear a schuberth, ever time I ride I highly recommend this helmet.
    2005 R1200RT
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  11. #26
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    A key aspect of helmet design is to slow the rate of deceleration of your brain. Much serious damage is done when your brain slams into your skull at say 70 MPH. Anything that can be done to lessen that impact increases you chances of you living and doing so in control of your faculties. A helmet is similar to the Safer Barriers being used in Nascar. Spreading the deceleration over a greater amount of time is what it is all about.
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  12. #27
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Ever wonder what is done to a Schuberth C3 helmet to have it go from an ECE certification to a DOT certification?

    Well according to Schuberth and an e-mail from them, an extra layer of material which I assume to be shell material. According to them it also increases the weight a tad for the same sized helmet.

    I wear an ECE certified C2. I have more confidence in Euro safety standards than those out of the US. Just look at automotive crash testing for example.

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