How important are helmet standards? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Rider's Gear Discuss protective riding gear

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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How important are helmet standards?

Currently shopping for a helmet. There seems to be lots of conflicting information out there on helmet standards. In particular around the value of Snell approval which puts great importance on puncture resistance which requires a tough outer shell which is of debatable value in a crash. Also there is the Britsh Sharp rating system which rates helmets from 1 to 5. Loved the HJC RPHA 70 only to find it only had a 3/5 Sharp protection rating. The more I read the more it I seem to come to the conclusion most helmet manufacturers build helmets to meet minimal requirements of the helmet standards rather than enhanced safety even in the high end of the price range.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 11:38 PM
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https://billyscrashhelmets.com/top-10-helmets/

Check out this site. I was kind of surprised where some of the more expensive helmets placed. I was happy to see my Shoei RF 1200 scored well. I also have a Schuberth c3 pro. Didn’t score as well as I thought it would.



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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 04:03 AM
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Honestly, I won't wear a helmet that's not SNELL certified.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 05:54 AM
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I buy a helmet that is comfortable regardless of ratings. If it is not comfortable you will be miserable riding and who wants that?

I have found Bell Star and RS-1 Helmets to have the best fit for my head.

The most important part of a helmet is a great fit because that actually offers the best protection since you don't have gaps that have to be crossed before the crumple zones inside start absorbing energy in a crash.

Why they don't come out with helmets that you pump liquid foam in after you put the helmet on, that then firms up to form a nice comfortable fit to your head shape is something I would like manufacturers to look at. We did that with ski boots in the 1970s.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 08:44 AM
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I used to only buy helmets with the Snell rating. But after doing some reading over the years, I'm now agreeing with author/rider/safety expert David Hough - the different rating systems and helmet designs don't matter that much. They will all help in a crash that involves you falling and contacting the pavement. I've been there, done that. ...None will save you if you ride into a bridge abutment, or most anything else.

I now buy my full face helmets according to comfort, fit, ventilation, price and looks (somewhat). But I no longer consider it's rating.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 10:21 AM
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Yup, lot's of debate, particularly after some articles were published some years ago in the US that concluded that "softer" DOT-only helmets may be better at preventing closed-head trauma at typical street-speed crashes, whereas the "harder" Snell-certified helmets may allow too much force to be transferred to the brain. I think the current Snell standard, M2015, takes some of that into consideration. I don't think there was ever much argument that a Snell helmet would be better in a higher-speed collision or for track use. Me, I wouldn't wear a helmet that isn't either Snell or ECE (the Euro standard) certified. There's more to the standards than just impact resistance, too, such as retention systems, sliding friction, and visibility. But obviously any helmet is better than nothing, and a helmet that fits is better than a more protective one that doesn't, yadda yadda yadda.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 11:04 AM
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When we compare helmets, I'm reminded of when a cycle magazine (Motorcyclist...?) tested a bunch a few years ago, and gave the TOP rating to a ZR1 "DOT" helmet.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I buy a helmet that is comfortable regardless of ratings. If it is not comfortable you will be miserable riding and who wants that?

I have found Bell Star and RS-1 Helmets to have the best fit for my head.

The most important part of a helmet is a great fit because that actually offers the best protection since you don't have gaps that have to be crossed before the crumple zones inside start absorbing energy in a crash.

Why they don't come out with helmets that you pump liquid foam in after you put the helmet on, that then firms up to form a nice comfortable fit to your head shape is something I would like manufacturers to look at. We did that with ski boots in the 1970s.

The USN makes their flight helmets that way.....a form it fitted to a pilots head and foam is injected. The outer diameter is one of several sizes to fit canned outer shell sizes. Small, medium, large, etc......the injected foam is split and fit into the outer shell......and you have a custom fitted helmet. I'm not sure it the USAF does it the same way but probably.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 12:22 PM
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At an air show I recently attended, I had the opportunity to talk to a USAF F-35 pilot who was there to talk about the F-35 and all the incredible technology. He talked at length about the helmets and the injection process. So you are correct, Duffy! Of course there is much more to this $400,000 helmet. Read about them here!

The F-35's $400,000 Third-Generation "Magic" Helmet Is Here
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 01:38 PM
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Have never once thought about or purchased a helmet due to safety standards...Seems to me if you hit hard enough to test the limits of the minimum standard you'll probably be dead or wished you were...
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 05:38 PM
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Helmet standards are there to protect us from rip off artists - otherwise some enterprising manufacturer would put foam and lining in a construction hard hat mould and be selling them for 1/3 the price of a decent helmet.
The various industry standards are slightly different but all will guarantee a resonable "fit for use".
Better to find the helmet maker that fits your head best, and the size snug enough to provide the best protection without causing you any discomfort.
In a perfect world you'd be able to try on a helmet at the store which had its own wind tunnel.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 11:43 AM
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When I shop, I look for the Snell or ECE 22.05 standards. So far, it's served me well.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 12:15 PM
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The 3 standards I'm familiar with:

ECE 22.05 - for a helmet that protects your brain, not just your skull.
SNELL - for a helmet that survives a crash well, but may scramble your melon in the process.
DOT - for a "road legal" pot to piss in.

Some helmets are sold with both DOT and ECE ratings. Others are sold with the local rating only. e.g. DOT in North America, ECE in Europe, etc. I'm fortunate that Ontario Canada accepts ECE 22.05 as compliant to our CSA standards (which nobody acknowledges even exist!), so good helmets are sold here.

My current helmet is a Scorpion EXO AT950 with a DOT sticker, but it is sold in Europe as the ADX-1 with ECE 22.05 compliance. My previous helmet was an Icon Airmada which meets all world standards except for SNELL (which isn't a government standard, they are a testing body Snell Foundation - about ).
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