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View Full Version : Interesting story about wearing a Helmet.


Low
04-27-2004, 09:52 AM
On my Ventures through the Internet, I found this interesting reading. So I figured I would share.
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Why should you wear a full-face helmet?
by Jeff Dean

http://jeff.dean.home.att.net/swisherhelmet1.jpg



Ask 1.2-million-mile BMW rider Dave Swisher, of Bowling Green, Virginia. That's his helmet after he suffered a crash in West Virginia. Dave came out of it just fine—thanks to his full-face helmet. No facial reconstruction was needed. In fact, because Dave was wearing full gear, he was able to ride home!

What would have happened had he been wearing a three-quarter helmet or, worse yet, a “shorty?”

http://jeff.dean.home.att.net/helmet-impact.jpg


The diagrams above show the impact areas on crash-involved motorcycle helmets. (Source: Dietmar Otte, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Abteilung Verkehrsunfallforschung, Germany.) Note that 35% of all crashes showed major impact on the chin-bar area. This means that if you ride with an open-face helmet, you are accepting only 65% of the protection that could be available to your head.

If you ride with a shorty or half helmet, you are accepting only 39% of the protection you could obtain. You are literally throwing away 61% of the protection you would have had had you chosen a full-face helmet.

And, of course, if you ride wearing a “novelty” helmet or no helmet at all then you have none of the protection you could have chosen.

Squeaky
04-27-2004, 12:23 PM
I've often wondered why, if you're going to make the decision to wear a helmet, you wouldn't just get the full face. The protection is the best you can get, and not to mention the wind, bugs, rocks, and anything else (including cigarette butts) that come flying at your face. :eek:

Thanks for the technical info that often gets overlooked. Yes, an open-face helmet offers more protection than no helmet at all, but that's like driving with an airbag without fastening your seatbelt!

Be safe everyone. How else am I going to get around to meeting all of you on future rides? :mrgreen:

U-Turn
04-27-2004, 01:45 PM
It's mostly a matter of choice. Shorties are worn by those who wouldn't wear
a helmet if it weren't for laws or hounding relatives.
I rode without a helmet for 16 years. Never thought twice about it. Then, I
got rear-ended and bounced my head off a curb. I've worn a full-face helmet
since.
Open-face are typically worn by folks on big touring rigs. They want the
protection of a helmet but still want access to their cb mic and their big coffee
mug. Also, it's kinda difficult to smoke that big cigar if you're wearing a
full-face helmet.
The full-face is for those of us who learned the hard way or don't want to
learn the hard way.

Valker
04-27-2004, 05:53 PM
And a 3/4 helmet is for those of us with severe claustrophobia! Most of the time my full face is all right (Shoei TZ-1), but on a lot of days, my Shoei RJ Air is all I can stand. Yes, I know an MSF Trainer should always wear the most protective gear-I do when I can. I NEVER wear less than a premium 3/4 though. :shock:

Tourmeister
04-27-2004, 11:49 PM
:tab It is interesting that you mention claustrophobia. When wearing my full face Shoei, I don't really see any of the opening edges when I am looking straight ahead. And if the faceshield is actually bug free, I don't really even notice that it is right in front of my nose. To me, the helmet feels wide open visually. However, I have very very mild claustrophobia and it is usually brought on by being under water in tight places (like scuba in the dark), or in crowded areas like malls. I hate being around huge crowds. I avoid the mall around holidays like they are infested with the black plague! I don't like getting down in Houston traffic, or any big city for that matter, in the car or on the bike.

Adios,

EricJRW
01-11-2005, 11:36 AM
Speaking or airbags, I thought I would share this find.

Appolgies if it's already been done, but a search did not find a hit for halolab.

Airbags for motorcycles: http://www.halolab.com/

I'm new the board, and am catching up on my reading. This post reminded me of the product.

ps. Not sure if the site has changed (it seems like less info), but the videos are still there.

STrider
01-11-2005, 11:50 AM
When wearing my full face Shoei, I don't really see any of the opening edges when I am looking straight ahead. And if the faceshield is actually bug free, I don't really even notice that it is right in front of my nose. To me, the helmet feels wide open visually

It takes about 2 secs for me to forget i have mine on (KBC VR-1).

Re: Motorcycle airbags-- I like it! Ugly & probably hot, but hopefully effective.
Problem: Great. Something else Big Brother can use to protect me from myself. (see the helmet law thread)

bluedogok
01-11-2005, 12:58 PM
Would a flip-front helmet help with the claustrophobia? Being able to open the chin bar when you feel it coming on and closing it the rest of the time might help.

I know you aren't suppose to ride with them up, but I figure they are pretty much the same as a 3/4 or open face with it up. I guess the only difference would be there would be more to snag in a slide with it up. But it seems like it would be a good compromise.

Just wondering.

TexasFatBoy
01-11-2005, 02:41 PM
I've often wondered why, if you're going to make the decision to wear a helmet, you wouldn't just get the full face. The protection is the best you can get, and not to mention the wind, bugs, rocks, and anything else (including cigarette butts) that come flying at your face. :eek:

I ride with a 1/2 helmet most of the time because one of the reasons I ride is to experience the wind, not to block out as much of it as possible. Am I aware of the risks associated with the various helmets? Yes. I have seen those diagrams in other places and I'm well aware of the risks associated with my decision to wear a 1/2 helmet and I accept those risks freely.

So others may ask why am I wearing any helmet at all? Because it does provide some level of protection, albeit a lesser level than a full face. This sport like so much of life is about balancing risks. What experience are you looking for and what levels of risk are you willing to accept to have that experience. The key is that we are able to make those choices for ourselves.

Texas T
01-11-2005, 02:44 PM
Would a flip-front helmet help with the claustrophobia? Being able to open the chin bar when you feel it coming on and closing it the rest of the time might help.
I'm in the market for a flip-front but after seeing that 35% of the hits are to the chinbar I'm a little concerned about the strength of the unit and staying in place when the impact happens. Anyone have any feedback on this? The units I've been looking at are the Nolan N100e and the HJC CL-Max.

TexasFatBoy
01-11-2005, 05:20 PM
One of the reasons Snell has not yet certified a flip-up is exactly the issue you mention - the chin bar is more prone to being destroyed/dislodged than in a full face, so I'm not sure any of the flip-ups have passed the Snell certification testing.

bluedogok
01-11-2005, 05:35 PM
I have heard differing stories on the Snell certification of flip face helmets and I have no idea which ones are fact or fiction. Some have stated that the helmets have never been Snell certified because the rules of the Snell Foundation don't allow for flip-front helmets, not sure about that one because I read somewhere in the last month about a model that has been certified. Another is the manufacturers have not submitted them for testing, therefore no Snell certification. I don't know what stories are accurate.

Here is a test on those helmets done by Motorcycle Cruiser magazine in the April 2003 issue: Seven Flip-Face Motorcycle Helmets Compared (http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/accessoriesandgear/fliphelmets/). They tested the Arrow Mono Convertible, HJC Symax, Lazer Century, Nolan N100, Schuberth Concept, Shoei Syncrotec, and Zeus ZS-508.

Here is an article about a Snell Labs Tour (http://www.timberwoof.com/motorcycle/SnellLabsTour/)

Tourmeister
01-11-2005, 07:09 PM
:tab Cool article, thanks for the link! Looks like I will get the Shoei if I ever break down and buy another helmet. Seeing as how I wore the last one for five years and nearly 150K miles, I think it will be a while since I just got a new RF1000.

Adios,

kurt
01-11-2005, 07:18 PM
I have an Arai shaped head. I liked the RF-900 I had (and crashed in) and replaced it with a RF-1000, which surprisingly fit completely different. It's a mixed bag for me, I like Arai's fit and finish along with the removable liner. I liked the Shoei's visor and reduced cost.

I bought a 3/4 Arai for my Harley thinking I would like it behind the big winshield and I wore it to Huntsville and a couple of times around town and on the Llano ride. I'm just not comfortable in it. I still get bugs, and cigarette embers and don't feel at ease with the open face design in the event of a crash. I'll sell it cheap. :roll:

bluedogok
01-11-2005, 08:26 PM
I have that same problem, I have had good luck with the fit of Shoei helmets over the years (RF-900 for my XXL head). While I like the Arai helmets, they just are not comfortable, I tried on everyone I could find before I bought the RF-900. The only other one that I found that fit well was the KBC Racer-1 helmet.

Tourmeister
01-11-2005, 11:06 PM
My RF-800 fit better than the new RF-1000. I also had to go a size larger in the RF-1000. I guess my head must still be growing... :-|

Dragwn
01-12-2005, 12:01 AM
With the new addition, your head is expanding thinking about all the extra expenses, and rewards :mrgreen:

EricJRW
03-18-2005, 03:43 PM
I've been thinking about that "impact area" diagram for a while. While it seems to be compelling evidence, it seems that a correlation to injury type is required. For example, while the chin takes the brunt of the impacts (~35%), and I'm sure it would be a heck of an injury, does it result in death as much as say the 0.4 to 1.8% areas at the top?

I just can't help but to wonder why (US) police officers do not wear full face helmets (I think they do in Europe).

Eric

Bayou Boy
03-19-2005, 10:46 PM
I just can't help but to wonder why (US) police officers do not wear full face helmets (I think they do in Europe).

Eric

Must be the same reason most of them ride Harleys while the euro LEOs ride sport touring bikes. Nothing against Harleys, but I'd like to see one try to keep up with me trying to flee. Not to mention jumping curbs and stuff on my VStrom. I would be laughing shaking my head.

Not that I would do that. Just speaking from the law breaker point of view.

Cagiva 549
03-20-2005, 06:51 AM
My RF-800 fit better than the new RF-1000. I also had to go a size larger in the RF-1000. I guess my head must still be growing... :-| I bought a RF 1000 to replace my old 800 than had to buy new cheek pads the 1000 has a lot thicker pads than the 800 and was too tight on my face, than had to buy the breath guard witch doesent work because the chin bar is fruther away from my face and it wont seal, not to menthion the extra noise in the 1000 . After several tryes to make it work as good as the 800 I gave up and went back to the 800 . about outrunning LEO on his harley dont bet on it I have ridden with some, they do things with those bikes you wouldnt believe possible . Suns coming up time to go ride . SEYA

bluedogok
03-20-2005, 10:29 AM
I just can't help but to wonder why (US) police officers do not wear full face helmets (I think they do in Europe).

Eric

Must be the same reason most of them ride Harleys while the euro LEOs ride sport touring bikes. Nothing against Harleys, but I'd like to see one try to keep up with me trying to flee. Not to mention jumping curbs and stuff on my VStrom. I would be laughing shaking my head.

Not that I would do that. Just speaking from the law breaker point of view.

I have seen more of the APD and Travis County Sheriff Moto-Cops right with flip-front helmets although I still see a few with the half-helmets. There also seems to be a larger number of bikes other than H-D out there now, I have seen several of the BMW police bikes with both departments and Lonestar even had a former Fort Worth BMW Police bike for sale. I have seen several doing escort for funeral processions on black BMW, Honda ST and Gold Wing Police models. In fact I saw one yesterday that was heading up north Lamar with a Gold Wing and a BMW both in black. Maybe they are buying these on there own and hiring themselves out for processions and parade duty.

kurt
03-20-2005, 10:53 AM
Parade and escort duty in Travis and Williamson Counties requires individual purchase of a bike.

I've heard that Travis County SO was looking into ST1300's, but haven't found a motor deputy to ask yet. Harley's are on their way out at APD and TCSO. The training they undergo is fantastic, and far beyond any street oriented course you and I can take, including riding those hogs up and down stairs. If you think running from the police is a good idea over a traffic violation, give it whirl.

Even if you are in the small percentage that does get away, it can't be worth the anxiety of wondering who is ringing your doorbell for the next year, or wondering if ALL those cops are looking for your type of bike. LEO's have long memories.

Chirpy
03-23-2005, 09:49 PM
Which is why I always steal a silver SV650 and ride it to Georgetown when ever I want to stir up trouble.

:mrgreen:

We were so ready to sing Happy Birthday to you last night. Your cake was pretty good by the way.


Back to the topic...

Motor cops in the US came from horse patrols, and tradition is what has kept them horribly ill-equipped. Supposedly the public wants to see the face of the guy writing the ticket. :huh:

The expense of injuries will probably drive modernization. Flip face helmets and the LEO Aerostitch are probably on the way. I mean if the SWAT guys can run around looking like SAS operatives while driving their armored cars, I think John Q can handle getting a ticket from someone who looks like they got lost during a 50CC