Tag Archives: Helmet

Fluid-filled helmet protects your brain

Fluid-filled capsules inside a motorcycle helmet could prevent damage to your brain in a crash by acting like the liquid that surrounds your brain.

Fluid Inside has developed their Fluid Pods after 25 years of research into how the liquid around our brain helps protect it from impact.

Their first helmet is the Fox V3 motocross helmet (pictured at the top of the page) that includes the pods in the lining instead of the usual EPS foam.

This innovation may soon be coming to a range of other motorcycle helmets after Swedish brain safety technology company MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) recently acquired Fluid Inside’s patents.

Fluid Pods

Fluid Pods helmet
Fluid Pod

Fluid Inside head of product communication Mike Chiasson says the pods are filled with a low-viscous, organic, oil-based liquid that mimics the cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) around the brain.

It apparently disperses the impact in a crash to isolate the brain from crashing into the skull.

Such impacts have been known to cause serious brain damage.

However, the pods may also protect riders from memory loss, vision impairment and even Parkinson’s Disease by protecting the brain from the small and frequent impacts riders may cop when riding over bumpy surfaces or off-road.

The pods could be integrated into a helmet at production or inserted as an aftermarket addition to the lining.

They could also be used in other helmets for other sports such as cycling.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Readers support helmet scanning service

More than 70% of respondents to a survey have supported a $40 helmet scanning service to check for hidden fractures in your helmet.

The Helmet Doctors who developed the helmet laser-scanning invention say it would give riders peace of mind that their helmet is safe to use after a drop or crash, or whether it needs to be replaced.

The Sunshine Coast family business asked Motorbike Writer in February to publish a link to a survey about their service and received more than 430 respondents.

Federal funding

Brayden Robinson, who founded the venture with this father, Scott, says the Federal Government is considering some funding for the safety service but needed to know if it would be well received by riders, racers and the motorcycle industry.

“Just over 72% (of survey respondents) said they would be prepared to pay for the scanning service once a year or after every accident and some even said twice a year,” he says.

“We’ve had both really positive and negative feedback from people which is all very helpful.

“AusIndustry commercialisation advisors told us that if we received 100 responses it would be good, 200 would be convincing and 300 would be conclusive.

“Well, we’ve now had more than 430 respondents and the survey is still open.”

You can take part in their quick 10-question online survey by clicking here.

The scanning service has stalled while the Federal Government is in caretaker mode, but Brayden and Scott are confident even a change in government will not affect funding.

Crash starts study

helmet doctors scanning
Brayden is taken away in the ambulance

Scott and Brayden began researching a helmet scanning system after Brayden was hospitalised with a fractured skull from a motocross crash.

They developed their device with the help of a Belgian company and the Composites Research Group in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at The University of Queensland.

“We found this laser scanning technique can categorically guarantee that, if there is any damage to the helmet’s outer shell, our technique will identify it. It’s ground-breaking, proven science,” Scott says.

The Helmet Doctors have a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application that allows them to enter their patent application into any of 152 jurisdictions by 23 June 2020. 

At present the application has been examined by the international PCT body and all but one claim has been found to be novel over identified existing technology.

Need for scanning

Helmet Doctors laser scanning helmets
Helmet scanner

Scott says very few riders know exactly when to replace their helmet.

Manufacturing safety standards say a composite helmet has a lifespan of five years and, if used frequently, about three years.

But what if you drop it or have a crash?

“We have all heard how if you drop your helmet once you should replace it. But very few do this,” Scott says.

“No one knows how much impact a composite helmet can tolerate before the shell is critically weakened.

“Composite materials have many layers and tiny fibres that can be damaged in a fall.

“The impact energy is dispersed among the fibres and away from the brain which it is designed to do.

“This is why a dropped helmet may still look ok.

“However, the impact could have led to a small crack or splintering which you can’t see with the naked eye.

“Our device can view, read and record the helmet 100,000 times better than the naked eye and find if there are any cracks, splintering or deformations which would make the helmet defective and unable to withstand another impact.”

Helmet scanning scheme

Helmet Doctors laser scan helmets scanning
Helmet scan identifies a flaw

The Helmet Doctors plan to test their service first in South East Queensland.

Riders would take their helmet to a participating motorcycle dealer where they would leave it and pick it up a few days later.

The helmet would be sent to the nearest scanner depot where it would be scanned, assessed and returned.

Scott says the Federal Government is considering some funding for the safety service but needs to know if it would be well received by riders, racers and the motorcycle industry.

“As you could imagine this experimental laser camera is very expensive, but our goal is to make this service accessible and cheap enough for everyone to use it,” Scott says.

If the project is successful, they hope to extend the service to other states and overseas.

If you have a few minutes, click here to take this short 10-question survey and help the Helmet Doctors.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Does your head crush like a cabbage in a crash?

If you believe your head will crush as easily as a cabbage if you crash, then this video of some helmets being crushed will be of interest.

Crush test

The video from the “Hydraulic Press Channel” on Youtube shows a cabbage in several types of helmet including half and full-face motorcycle helmets, an army helmet and a cycle helmet.

Advance to the 4:20-minute mark and you will find the full-face motorcycle obviously holds up the best to the 150 ton (136 tonne) hydraulic press.

It doesn’t really tell us anything useful about impact resistance, but it’s good to know there is some protection if a 136-tonne truck runs over your head in a crash.

If you want to know the real-world safety rating of helmets, we suggest two sites.

The NSW Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) crash-tests 30 helmets a year and releases the details every November.

It is not as comprehensive as the similar British SHARP helmet safety scheme which has tested and rated hundreds of helmets, almost all of which are now available for sale in Australia.

Click here if you want to know if helmet safety is related to the cost of your helmet.

Crash stats

Icon Airframe Statistic motorcycle helmet modular crush
Icon Airframe Statistic motorcycle helmet shows impact areas by percentage

Meanwhile, the Icon Airframe helmet (above) shows the percentage chance of parts of your helmet suffering an impact in a crash.

The crash statistics come from the 1981 Hurt Report and show that the most common area of impact on motorcycle helmets is the chin at 19.4%.

The least vulnerable place is the very top of the head at 0.4%, as shown in the crushing video above for the half helmet, although it is the cabbage that crushes before the helmet!

Both the video and the statistics helmet are good arguments for wearing a full-face over an open-face motorcycle helmet.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bargain Biltwell Gringo helmets tested

Biltwell retro Gringo helmets have been around for about six years and have only now received Euro approval that allows them to be sold in Australia.

The American motorcycle helmet manufacturer sent me their Lane Splitter urban/enduro helmet last year which was their first to be Euro approved.

Biltwell Lane Splitter Rusty Butcher retro motorcycle helmet motorcycle safety
Lane Splitter

Gringo bargain lids

We loved the helmet, so Biltwell’s Australian distributor, Monza Imports, sent us an antique white visorless Gringo ($249.95) and a gloss black Gringo S ($299.95) with a clear flip-up visor to review.

Like the Lane Splitter, the quality of finish is beautiful.

The gloss paint is thick and lustrous like much more expensive helmets than these bargain lids.

And if you can’t find a colour or graphic to suit your taste, then you really are fussy as there is a big selection.

Biltwell Gringo S
Biltwell Gringo S

Visors

We did have a problem with the clear visor delaminating on the inside after fogging up.

Monza said they had a faulty batch of visors, so they sent me clear and tinted replacements which have had no such problems.

In another bit of good news, there is a host of scratch-resistant visor styles and colours available and they won’t cost you a fortune like some other brands.

Standard Biltwell visors in clear, tint or iridium are just $49.95 and the trendy bubble visors are $59.95 no matter whether they are clear, tinted or iridium.

While the base model doesn’t come with a visor, it has five press studs to attach a fixed bubble visor which will only cost you $39.95 for clear, tinted or iridium.

Biltwell Gringo visors
Biltwell Gringo visors

Otherwise, you can wear it with goggles.

We found motocross and ski goggles were too big for the visor aperture and even some of our other goggles were a tight fit.

Unless you can find some slimline units like our Aviators Retro Pilot T2 goggles or the special Biltwell goggles at just $54.95, you may prefer to wear riding sunglasses such as Barz Optics.

You can also fit black or white sunshade peaks to the Gringo for a mere $19.95.

Comfort

We loved the interior of the $459 Lane Splitter and didn’t expect these helmets at half the cost to be quite as plush, but we were wrong.

The removable, washable and hand-sewn and diamond-stitched liner has a nice suede look and feel.

Sizing is a little askew.

Our Lane Splitter was small (55-56cm), so we ordered the same in the Gringos.

While the Lane Splitter feels a bit loose, the Gringos are very tight.

We always recommend trying on a helmet in store, so we suggest you try a size up in the Gringo.

The helmets don’t have any vents, but you don’t need it on the Gringo unless you have a visor fitted.

They also allow a lot of air on to your face through the gap between the visor and the aperture, plus there is no chin spoiler so you get plenty of air.

The liner is also breathable and the cheek pads have open-cell foam for air flow.

Biltwell Gringo
Biltwell Gringo

It’s not great in winter, but they are quite cool in warm conditions.

Safety

The seamless shell is Biltwell’s proprietary Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene plastic which has no true melting point and is the strongest of all plastics.

Its impact resistance doesn’t vary with temperature and it ages well. It can also be recycled.

They also feature a very thick shock-absorbing EPS inner shell and a secure double D-ring chin strap.

Biltwell hasn’t been assessed by the UK’s SHARP helmet rating system, so we can’t vouch for its safety level.

Noise

As expected, the Gringo without a visor is noisy.

The Gringo S also has a large gap that allows air on to your face, but I was surprised at how quiet it was.

Ok, it’s not super-quiet, but a lot quieter than I expected.

Biltwell has been making helmets in Temecula, California, since 2005 for the midrange market.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is this the smartest helmet yet?

A British company has claimed it will unveil the smartest augmented-reality helmet yet at the London Bike Show in September 2019.

Apart from the usual intercom with phone capabilities, it will also feature a GPS, music streaming, heads-up display, photochromic visor, LED brake light, crash warning system, a 360-degree camera and “A whole host of other features”.

Adam Wilson from the Resolve Group contacted us recently about the helmet after we published an article about a patent pending on a full-length airbag suit.

Resolve Group airbag leather suit patented smartest
Resolve Group’s patented airbag leather suit

He said they would also have their full-length airbag suit at the bike show, along with the helmet and another product which they have not yet revealed.

“We are not looking for funding as we have invested our own funds into the projects,” he says.

“The helmets are being made as we speak. The suits will start to be manufactured in a few weeks.”

Smartest helmet

We have published numerous articles recently about smart helmets with head-up display, GPS, crash warnings, brake lights and even Honda’s idea for a helmet with facial recognition to act as a remote key fob for your bike.

honda helmet key fob radar smartest
Honda’s helmet key fob patent drawing

It seems a new wave of smart helmets is definitely coming.

The first generation of the Resolve Group’s helmet is a guarded secret until the launch in September.

To minimise unauthorised leaks Adam only supplied CAD photographs and said there might be some “small changes” during production.

It will have ECE.22, TUV and DOT certification and Adam anticipates offering the first generation helmet at below the £1000 (about $A1880, $US1300, €1175). 

The first generation will be made from polycarbonate shell with an eps inner moulded to accommodate spectacles.

Resolve Group smartest helmet
CAD of Resolve Group’s helmet

The visor is photochromic which means it changes tint with ambient light. It will have a built-in GPS, voice activation and voice prompts.

Cameras offering 360 degree panoramic views will provide an early audible/visual warning system of an impending collision.

It will also feature LED lighting on the front and the rear light will be activated by deceleration to act as a brake warning light.

“Other functions are a guarded secret,” Adam says.

“Safe to say it’s the most advanced helmet available.”

We look forward to testing this technology and see how much it weighs.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

inVIEW helmet light shows brakes, turn

This inVIEW helmet light not only indicates when brakes are applied or a rider slows down on the throttle, but also shows a rider’s intention to turn.

There have been several products designed to attract the attention of tailgating motorists such as Cosmo helmet light.

Cosmo Connected emergency brake light and crash alert
Cosmo helmet brake light

We also sell a unit that activates your bike’s rear brake light when the rider slows

Smart brake system
Buy the Smart Brake System

However, this is the first we can find that also includes indicators.

The stick-on bluetooth units are available from Third Eye Design in America for $US249.95.

It features an accelerometer that activates the brake light even when just slowing down on the throttle which many riders do.inVIEW helmet Brake light and indicator

We can’t see why they would be illegal here as they do not replace the motorcycle’s brake lights or indicators.

However, Victorian police might take a dim view of this product since they still believe any addition to a helmet is illegal.

Some might think this is a great idea as it lifts these important lights higher where drivers are more likely to see them.

It could also be a good safety feature with its brake light that illuminates when the rider slows down on the throttle, rather than the brakes.

How inVIEW works

The inVIEW unit has bright LEDs and is powered by two AAA batteries that they claim will last for months.

Riders get a warning when batteries are low or if there is a problem with the system. 

inVIEW helmet Brake light and indicator
inVIEW comes in red or clear lens

It snaps on via a 3M hook and loop mounting system that Third Eye Design claim is unobtrusive when the unit is not attached and snaps off in the event of a crash.

There is also a small transmitter that can be located close to the rear brake light and indicators.

They say it draws “almost no power and works on all motorcycles, including those with CANBus electrical systems”.inVIEW helmet Brake light and indicator

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Wipey promises clean helmet visor

There has been no shortage of inventions over the years to keep the rain off your visor and now there is Wipey which is a portable windscreen wiper.

Wipey is a snap-on device which fits in seconds to your visor and uses a small electric motor to wipe it clean like a car’s windscreen wiper.

The Slovenian product is not yet in production but will soon go to a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign.

It snaps into a tiny plastic guide which can be fixed to the visor with two M2 screws or double-sided tape. wipey visor

Victorian police might take a dim view of this product since they still believe any addition to a helmet is illegal.

They also object to novelty helmet covers because they “have the potential to impede vision through the visor”, so this may be deemed illegal.

Visor cleaning inventions

Wipey follows many inventions trying to solve the same problem of rain on a helmet visor.

The simplest solutions are sprays such as Rain-X, gloves with a small wiper blade on the forefinger, or the glove-mounted Visorcat washer/wiper that washes as well as wipes your visor. 

Visorcat helmet visor cleaner and wiper
Click here to read our review of the Visorcat visor washer and wiper

However, there have also been automated wipers like Wipey around for a long time such as this Turbo Visor that “spins the rain away”.Visor wipey turbo wiper

The closest to Wipey is Rainpal which raised money through a crowd-funding campaign a couple of years ago yet has still not gone into production.

We can’t tell you more about Rainpal as we have been threatened with legal action.

Rainpal wipey visor
Rainpal

Wipey is a little different because it is small and portable and quickly snaps on to any visor.

How Wipey works

You can put the small 55g unit on the top or bottom of your visor and there is a big black button to push to activate it. One push gives one sweep, but a longer push starts the intermittent wiping.

While it’s on, press again to go from a one-second intermittent wipe to three seconds snd again for six seconds.

One long push of the button then turns it off.

Seems awkward, but an optional Bluetooth handlebar-mounted remote will also be available.

wipey visor
Bluetooth handlebar remote

They say it does not impede the anti-fog function of a Pinlock visor insert.

It looks like it could easily be dislodged, but they say it has been tested at 130km/h.

A 3V battery will last up to three hours of continuous use or 12 hours intermittently. You can also use 3V rechargeable batteries.wipey visor

There is no word yet on price, but the Kickstarter begins soon with a 50% discount offer to early supporters.

It will come in yellow or black with a one-year warranty and the wiper blade can be replaced.

wipey visor

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Grab a bargain on motorbike review gear

My wardrobe is bursting with motorcycle helmets, jackets, boots and pants l’ve been reviewing and Mrs MBW says it’s time to get rid of some of the surplus gear and pass on a bargain or two.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is jackets are only large, pants 34” waist and helmets small (55-56cm). Also, I will only sell helmets to anyone who comes to my place in western Brisbane to try it on first. That’s a safety and fitment issue!

To contact me about any of the gear, click here and send me a Facebook personal message.

What to sell

Working out what to sell is difficult because I have a wide variety of gear and sometimes I need the right gear when testing various types of motorcycle.

So I need adventure gear for testing adventure bikes, plus cruiser gear, track wear and even hipster outfits!

But I have so many that I don’t get around to wearing or that have been superseded.

So while none of this gear is faulty or not fit for purpose, it is simply surplus to my needs and not a reflection of my opinion on their quality. You can read my original reviews by clicking on the names.

Jeans

Saint Unbreakable Technical Black Denim Slim Fit Jeans
Saint Unbreakable Technical Black Denim Slim Fit Jeans

There are several pairs of riding jeans with and without kevlar lining in my cupboard that I can’t wear anymore because I’ve put on a bit of a gut from fine wines, and bad beers.

It’s easier to flog them than stop drinking!

They are all 34” waist and include Draggin’, DriRider, Harley-Davidson, Icon, Neds, Saint and Shark Leathers.

Shark protective riding cargo jeans
Sjark camos

They are black blue, grey and camo and ranged in new price from a couple of hunjee to $700!

Just send me a Facebook messenger note and we can discuss individual prices.

Helmets

AGV Sportmodular carbon modular motorcycle helmet
AGV Sportmodular modular helmet

I have two AGV Sportmodular all-carbon-shell modular (flip-up) helmets, but I can only wear one, so the red white and black is up for grabs.

They cost $1099 new, but you can have it for $790 with clear and tinted visors. It weighs just 1295g which makes it the lightest modular helmet available.

It has the same impact protection as AG Pista SGP-R helmet as worn by Valentino Rossi.Harley-Davidson Vintage Stripe Bell Bullitt retro helmet Sportster Iron 1200

The Harley-Davidson Vintage Strip helmet is basically a Bell Bullitt made for Harley with their logos. It costs $539 new and I’ll let it go for $200.

Both are less than two years old.

Boots

Any pair of boots on offer will walk out the door for just $50 a pair if you pay postage. They are all size 11 or 45 Euro.

There are Stylmartin sneakers, TCX Street Ace Air hi-top sandshoes, AXO Freedom waterproof adventure boots and Johnny Reb ankle boots.

JacketsGoldtop leather jacket bargain

This Goldtop 76 armoured brown full-grain leather jacket is a 42 large.

It’s the genuine British-made article with gold satin lining.

The jacket costs more than $600, but it’s yours for only $290.

It’s in perfect condition with traditional details such as original ball-end zippers and diamond-pattern stitching. It also has double-stitched seams.

Finally, there’s a genuine Belstaff Gangster waxed cotton jacket from the North Circular Road Collection that cost me $1000 several years ago.Belstaff waxed cotton jacket bargain

It wasn’t a review item, but something I bought because I always wanted one.

I used it a bit, but I got a bit fat for it and it’s easier to sell it than go on a diet.

It’s yours for just $650, you hipster, you.

Features are a removable quilted liner, Belstaff buttons and zips, CE shoulder and elbow armour, large size, no rips.

Time to buy

To contact me about any of the gear, click here and send me a Facebook personal message.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda facial-recognition helmet acts as key fob

Honda has filed a patent application for a facial-recognition helmet that would act as a key fob to unlock your motorcycle.

It features a camera on the inside that identifies your face and then activates the motorcycle.

Don’t expect that this will happen any time soon. It’s sort of an answer to a question no one has asked.

And no, it’s not still April 1!

This patent filing simply shows that Honda is looking to the future and tying down patents for all sorts of ideas.

It follows recent Honda inventions and patent applications for a leaning trike, a hydrogen-powered bike, a cooling/heating seat, a self-balancing motorcycle and an air-conditioning unit for a motorcycle.

Honda's self-balancing motorcycle - short season damon last
Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle

Remote key fob

Remote key fobs are almost universal in cars, but only a few luxury motorcycle brands offer them.

Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout please reduce
Most Harleys have remote key fobs

They can be handy for riders.

How many times have you put your gloves on and then had to take them off to dig your keys out of your pants pocket?

It’s hardly an inconvenience, but anything that seems to add convenience is an extra selling point for a vehicle.

However, the problem with a helmet that acts as a key fob is that after about five years you should replace your helmet and we expect this lid would be quite expensive.

The other drawback is that it would add weight to the helmet.

Upcoming smart helmets already have a lot of included technology such as head-up display, 360-degree cameras, bluetooth units and more.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders wearing badly fitting helmets

As many as one in four riders may be wearing a badly fitting helmet, resulting in the helmet coming off in a crash.

A recent report from the UK Transport Research Laboratory says 25% of motorcyclists wear a helmet that is the wrong size.

More than half wore a helmet that was too big and in 20% of cases where those had an accident, the helmets almost came off.

Motorcycle Council of NSW helmet expert Guy Stanford says he is not surprised by the findings.

“In Australia, around 11% of helmets come off in a crash,” he says.

Internet buying

Both the TRL and Guy blame internet buying for many helmets fitting badly.

In the UK, 25% of motorcyclists now buy their helmets on the web and only 3% try a helmet before buying.

In 2017, the MCC of NSW launched three YouTube videos about helmets, one of which was a guide to figment.

One of the key recommendations was to never buy a helmet over the internet because it could be a fake, may not be correctly certified and may not fit.

“Never buy a helmet you haven’t had on your head,” Guy says.

“Many newcomers to motorcycling (and old hands) have absolutely no idea about why a helmet is useful, other than that you need one or you get a ticket,” Guy says.

“Fitting the wrong type of oil filter is as idiotic as wearing the wrong size helmet.

Sometimes I despair at the stupidity and naivete shown by otherwise apparently sensible people.

“The same people would whinge if the replacement part they ordered online didn’t fit or caused poor performance or caused the engine to blow up.

“In many cases, they simply don’t know what they don’t know and make poor assumptions, too afraid to ask in case they look silly.”

Guy Stanford Youtube videos helmet legal issues easter fitting
Guy Stanford

Proper fitting

Guy says buying from a shop means you can try the helmet on.

“The great thing about most good shops is that the staff are usually keen to share good information and a simple question can lead to revelations and confidence,” he says.

Yet the UK report found only 40% of riders had their heads measured at the time of sale.

“This suggests a serious failure at the point of sale, and a lack of understanding by both the sales staff and the purchasers,” the report found.

It also found 30% of riders have had issues with helmet fit, often because a particular brand or range is the wrong internal shape.

“The majority of riders have the chin straps slightly loose, and can pass either one or two fingers beneath the chinstrap and their chins,” the report says.

Too-small helmets can cause headaches, double vision and fatigue.

Too-big helmets can swivel and vibrate which can also give double vision or blurring through the visor. They also have less impact protection and can come off in a crash .

Learn about helmets

Guy Stanford - Mobile phone while riding - darrk visor helmets tinted visor youtube withdrawn
Guy Stanford

Guy says riders have a lot to learn about roads, traffic, riding skills, motorcycles and riding gear such as helmets.

“There’s always something new to learn,” he says.

“We love the most that which we understand the most.

“Helmets are not made as a fashion item, although they can be made fashionable with colours and stickers.

“But, like an oil filter, it firstly has to be the correct fit and flashy paint jobs/stickers come second.

“There are those individuals who are shallow in their character and only value appearance as important.

“These buy stickers and flashy paint jobs and have no regard for whether the item actually works. They just like to be seen.

HJC releases Star Wars and Marvel helmets Ironman fitting
HJC’s Ironman might look flash, but is it the right helmet for you?

“It’s a pretty immature approach when compared to those riders who love what they do and deeply understand the value of a helmet.

“I say ‘value’ because that is what you get. The price is what you pay.    

“The value is in having a helmet that will work for you when it all goes pear shaped.

“Buying a helmet takes patience, to try them on and learn how your head shape simply doesn’t fit some of them.

“It is difficult to get the fit right by yourself, as you need someone else to push the helmet around on your head while you stand there.

“Get help for this. Professional training in this is provided by helmet manufacturers who train shop staff.   

“Buying online is a perfect storm for getting it wrong.

“The price might look good, but there’s little real value.

“Never buy a helmet you haven’t had on your head.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com