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Thread: Helmets are being questioned??

  1. #16
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ-J View Post
    A helmet may break your neck - a lot depends on how you hit the ground in the crash. In very many wrecks, a helmet was the life-saver. I'll take my chances.
    Spent 11 years as an ER tech at Memorial Medical Center (WI). Learned from the orthopedic surgeons in the ER that the amount of blunt force needed to force the cervical spine of a helmeted rider far enough out of alignment to fracture it would easily have killed you anyways if not wearing any cranial protection. Helmets don't break necks.

    It's an urban myth that, like most, will never die.
    Last edited by greenwald; 06-23-2013 at 09:46 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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  2. #17
    Registered User redsky49's Avatar
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    My concern in starting this thread is that people who should know better are perpetuating this falsehood:

    "There has been a lot of controversy about the effectiveness of helmets"

    I had hoped that the author of this statement would defend it publicly. With the zealot-like attention to ATGATT among BMW riders, it seems very curious that the foremost safety device would be so described.

  3. #18
    Registered User MTHelmet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GILLY View Post
    "I don't wear a helmet because I don't want to end up some vegetable in the hospital"

    Smash head = DEAD.


    The only helmet that may not help in those FAKE German Military Helmets!
    MT helmet
    [COLOR=Red]NO ONE ELSE ADMITS IT[FONT=Courier New]

  4. #19
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    I believe anyone with ANY exposure to MC training KNOWS that full face or flip-up helmets provide more protection to your brain (and face) than lesser helmets or no helmet. BUT...

    A lot of riding is about "image" - and I think that is just as true of BMW riders as all the other groups. Our "image" is a good helmet and full riding gear. Show up at one of local club "breakfast rides" wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a beanie and, probably, nobody would say a thing. But you would be a minority of one. Not comfortable. I can see Harley, Goldwing, and sports bike riders dressing as they do for exactly the same reason - you want to be part of the group. We're very lucky that our "image" fits with gear that enhances both our safety AND COMFORT. (No, I don't believe we are on average any smarter or less sheep-like than the riders whose garb we scorn.)

    Maybe another good reason to ride a BMW!
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  5. #20
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GILLY View Post
    "I don't wear a helmet because I don't want to end up some vegetable in the hospital"
    I suspect that there are quite a few people who ended up as a "vegetable in a hospital" becausethey didn't wear a good helmet. No broken bones, minor scrapes, but severe brain damage after a low speed crash. A better motto for these folks would be "I don't wear a helmet because I don't want my brain alive and my body completely ruined after a severe crash at a high speed."

    Makes more sense to me.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  6. #21
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRider View Post
    I suspect that there are quite a few people who ended up as a "vegetable in a hospital" becausethey didn't wear a good helmet. No broken bones, minor scrapes, but severe brain damage after a low speed crash. A better motto for these folks would be "I don't wear a helmet because I don't want my brain alive and my body completely ruined after a severe crash at a high speed."

    Makes more sense to me.
    Excellent point!
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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  7. #22
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    To the extent controversy exist it is not about the safety of using or not using a helmet. Rather it is what I often call the SUV effect. In the cage world the assumption is a SUV makes you impervious to injury when instead it just shifts the parameters of when and how severe injuries might be. In the helmet area the current questions center around what goes on inside the skull during a high speed deceleration.

    The neck injury legend goes back to the early days of full face helmets on track before they were street legal. I have never been able to track down the source story but it is a racing story goes along the lines that while the helmet saved the racer the first responder caused a neck injury while removing the helmet in the field. This apparent urban legend led to all sorts of misinformation that continues to this day. Improvements in design and first responder training make it much more important that they remove a helmet for access to your airway increase of other issues than any urban legend fears warrant.

    The helmet controversy is also fueled by a common secondary injury wearers may experience in a crash; a broken collarbone. The bottom edge of the helmet strikes the colar bone and the impact results in a fracture or break. Several versions of gear have been designed as part or research supported by BMW, KTM and others. Some have made it to market but aren't real popular for street use.

    On going research into head trauma suffered by football players and other athletes brings helmet injuries into the news; creating new myths and urban legends in the process. In early studies in this field some research seemed to indicate some sports helmets possibly increased the possibility of head injuries due to their design. What is being missed in the casual discussions of that link sport helmet sound bites to motorcycle helmets:

    - Frequency of hits. Professional athletes sighted in stories may have experienced helmet strikes in the several thousands of times range and these repeated head blows may be what the atheletes are experiencing in latter years.
    - What the injuries in the early helmets were caused by. The difference in design of chin straps, interior webbing failures are extremely different than motorcycle helmet design. Jack Nicholson may have worn a football helmet in Easy Rider but they never passed DOT muster.

    What motorcycle helmet manufacturers and standards writers seem to be learning from the athletic studies is how to better design helmet interiors to help the brain deal with rapid deceleration during impact.

    Wearing a helmet does not make us impervious to brain injuries but for my money significantly increases the odds that not wearing one is not an option.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

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  8. #23
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    I can see how a helmet can cause a broken collarbone, or improper helmet removal can aggravate a neck injury, or perhaps the weight of the helmet might increase a whiplash injury. But I have trouble imagining a likely scenario where these things happen without the helmet having already protected the rider from a greater injury.

    So I do not ride without a helmet, nor do I ride with others who are not wearing a helmet. I do not argue about it. Those who disagree with me fall into the category of self-correcting problems.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  9. #24
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    I think it is a waste of time to even discuss this. My head goes into a helmet before I sit on a bike. Period.

  10. #25
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    It's indeed an inane waste of time.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #26
    Registered User PeoriaMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's indeed an inane waste of time.
    Well, yes, perhaps in this forum. Still, one thing might be said. While a helmet will save your life under all conditions....crushing chest injuries for one...it very likely save your personality under any number of less-than-fatal encounters. I just tell the helmet skeptics that I've grown attached
    to the personality I have and don't want to break in a new one at this point in my life. Then I relate the accident of a women I know who was
    thrown from the back of her boyfriend's bike. No observable physical injuries...but she was ten years old mentally from that time on...
    Mac
    1986 R80RT, 2005 R1200GS
    Livin' Large On The Lake

  12. #27
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's indeed an inane waste of time.
    Yes, but it's an inane concept perpetuated by our brethren in the motorcycle community. No outside entity or government agency, just our brethren.

    Accordingly, when discussing within the "community" one has to be "PC" and respect the idea that helmets may not work...........
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
    Helmets will break your neck in a crash, haven't you heard?
    Not only that, the people with loud pipes say that helmets keep you from hearing emergency vehicles and other sounds of traffic.

  14. #29
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Yes, but it's an inane concept perpetuated by our brethren in the motorcycle community. No outside entity or government agency, just our brethren.

    Accordingly, when discussing within the "community" one has to be "PC" and respect the idea that helmets may not work...........
    Actually helmets always work - up to the limitations of their design and the forces that are acting upon them.

    Helmets were never designed to make you invincible when it comes to head trauma. Many who argue against their 'effectiveness' like to stumble down that convoluted path of rationalization.

    As MSF instructors, we struggle to find ways to communicate the effectiveness of helmets to novice riders, usually employing 'anecdotal war stories,' cliched commentary or creative examples.

    If a particular student is adamant about not wearing one once he/she leaves my class, I suggest they lower their head and run into the classroom's brick wall as fast as they can (for humans, a 7-10 mph collision) to demonstrate the resiliency of the human cranium. So far, no takers.

    Above 5-10 mph, your head striking any hard object will have dire consequences. Invincible protection? Never.

    But do they work for what they were designed for? Every time.

    Since I plan to ride above 10 mph, wearing a helmet was never a 'decision or choice.'
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
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  15. #30
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Yes, but it's an inane concept perpetuated by our brethren in the motorcycle community. No outside entity or government agency, just our brethren.

    Accordingly, when discussing within the "community" one has to be "PC" and respect the idea that helmets may not work...........
    Don't "have to" and won't. Stupidity NEVER deserves respect.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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