Tag Archives: Helmet

Smart helmet calls for help after crash

Emergency call systems are coming to motorcycles and helmets with a French company the latest to release a helmet that calls for help if you crash.

The Kosmos Smart Helmet has sensors which detect a crash and then uses your paired phone and a proprietary app to contact emergency services.

However, just in case you’ve only had a small fall or dropped your helmet, the system first contacts the rider to check.

If the rider doesn’t respond to cancel within a certain time, the emergency call is placed and provides details on the riders location as well as relevant health information.

It’s not the first helmet with this technology.

Help helmets

Several other helmets that call for help after a crash are also being developed.

They include the Encephalon (Brain) from Nand Logic in the USA, the Indian-made Quin and even a Thai Helpmet. And in December, US college student Ty Uehara won $US2000 to develop his ConTekt helmet that will call emergency (911) if you have been in a crash.

Call bikes

These emergency call systems have been available in cars for some time and are now mandated throughout Europe with motorcycles and possibly helmets expected to be included in the future.

It also may not be long before it is mandated in Australia after an Austroads report last year found that motorcycles should be fitted with the automatic crash call technology to reduce emergency response times which are more lethal in our rural and remote areas.

It points out that motorcyclist deaths have remained stable in major cities over the past decade, but increased in regional and remote Australia by up to almost 50% in recent years.

BMW Motorrad was the first motorcycle company to offer an SOS button in Europe.

BMW's SOS button
BMW’s SOS button

It is not yet available in Australia because of an eCall hardware update and the lack of a nationwide rollout. Telstra also does not yet have the right hardware.

Germany tech company Bosch is the latest to join the hi-tech safety revolution.

The Bosch system uses an “intelligent crash algorithm installed in the vehicle’s inertial sensor unit” to identify a crash via the various sensors such as an accelerometer and lean sensor.

It pairs with their Help Connect phone app to send your location to a Bosch Service Centre.

All of these systems have similar failsafe

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Are modular helmets safe in a crash?

A Brisbane rider has sworn off modular helmets after his chin bar flipped up in a low-speed roundabout crash, causing facial injuries.

Mark Taylor says he swears he always confirms the chin bar on his Nolan N104 modular helmet clicks into place.

However, he says it opened on impact when a driver failed to give way to him on a roundabout.

“When I chose a modular helmet I went with Nolan as in the British test it was the only one that didn’t open on impact. Mine did,” he says.

“If it had stayed closed then I would have had no facial injuries at all.”

The damaged helmet still closes and locks, but Mark believes the force of the impact distorted or damaged the lock causing it to open.

Modular helmets

Mark Taylor - Are modular helmets safe in a crash?Nolan N104

Obviously modular, or system or flip-up helmets are not as safe as full-face helmets otherwise they would be used in racing.

The reputable UK SHARP helmet safety ratings system to which Mark refers shows modular helmets with similar ratings as full face helmets, although less than half received the full five stars.

The table below shows the percentages of helmets that scored various star levels from 102 modular helmets and 366 full-face helmets tested.

Helmet type 1 star 2 stars 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Modular 3.9% 9.8% 33% 42% 5.8%
Full face 4.9% 9.8% 28% 43% 13.6%

However, the SHARP system has been criticised for rating helmets high despite many failing the chin bar lock retention test.

It also fails to distinguish between partial and full unlocking in the one-hit crash testing procedure.

It’s a flawed testing procedure as, in real-world crashes, your head could hit the ground several times, providing more opportunity to open the locking mechanism.

The SHARP system also shows little correlation between cost and safety.

There is no dispute about the convenience of modular helmets. You can take photos, get plenty of air while riding in city traffic, talk to mates and even fill your fuel tank without having to take off your helmet. (Note that there are few helmets where the chin bar locks in the up position and legally permits the rider to ride with the helmet in this position.)

However, modular helmets have inherent design issues that reduce their safety levels.

Instead of the crash-resistant integrity of a full shell, they have two parts held together by a hinge and clasp mechanism that uses a combination of plastic, fibreglass and flimsy metal.

Mark’s Nolan helmet is one of five of the brand’s modular models tested by SHARP with all rating four stars.

Mark’s lesson

Mark Taylor - Are modular helmets safe in a crash?Mark in happier times with his BMW

After buying a top-line modular helmet, Mark says that when his insurance replaces the helmet he will opt for a full face.

Mark has been riding since 1969 and this was his first crash with another vehicle which simply failed to give right of way and merged on to the roundabout straight in his BMW R 1200 GSA.

“I sounded the airhorns which also makes the driving lights strobe,” he says.

“It had no effect on her. All the time she looked straight ahead. Not once did she look to her right.

“The police report says she claims to have not seen me.”

The woman has been charged with “enter roundabout when not safe to do so”.

Mark says he is lucky most of his gear protected him from serious injury.

Mark Taylor - Are modular helmets safe in a crash?

“My big decision now is do I get back on and ride or walk away,” he says.

“I thought this decision would be hard to make but I reckon I will be back on two wheels soon, but will have another think about motorbikes at 70 which is three years away.”

I would like to know what other older riders think about this.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bell helmet recalled for missing label

The Bell MX-9 Adventure DLX helmet has been recalled simply because the European certification label is missing from the chin strap.

Under Australia rules, helmets must have an ECE22.05 label on the inside of the helmet.

You can actually remove the compliance sticker from the outside of the helmet, but it must still have a compliance label stitched into the inside of the helmet.

Missing label

E1 helmet compliance labelA Euro helmet compliance label

However, the label is missing from the Bell MX-9 Adventure DLX helmet, but only those fitted with the Transition Lens and sold between 19 May 2019 and 29 June 2020.

The official notice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has not yet been listed on their website.

However, TeamMoto and Motorcycle Accessories Supermarket have already alerted customers on their email data bases to return the helmet for a full refund or a replacement/swap using the original purchase price as credit.

Customers are warned not to dispose of the helmet.

Helmet recalls

While there are dozens of motorcycle recalls each year, helmet recalls are rare.

The last was an O’Neal helmet last year for a failed Fidlock clasp.

O'Neal 3 Series Hybrid Fidlock Helmet BuckleO’Neal 3 Series Hybrid Fidlock Helmet

We have to go back to 2013 for the previous recall when four cheap Chinese helmets were recalled.

The only other helmet recall by the ACCC was all the way back in 1978.

Most recalls are issued voluntarily and posted online by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Even though motorcycle, helmet and accessory manufacturers and importers usually contact owners when a recall is issued, the product may have been sold privately to a rider unknown to the company.

Therefore, Motorbike Writer publishes all motorcycle-related recalls as a service to all riders.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike, helmet or motorcycle product that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle or product has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia

• USA

• New Zealand

• Canada

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ulka Gear jacket becomes handy backpack

Carrying your helmet around with you can be a pain, but the Ulka Gear motorcycle jacket transforms into a handy backpack that also holds your lid, gloves, goggles and more!

These Indian-made jackets come in a Hakkit Forever touring and Hakkit V2 city version, both suitable for the hot Indian climate.

Prices are quoted in Indian rupee and translate to about $A170 to $A210 plus postage.

Handy jacket

Ulka Gear is the brainchild of company founder and former national circuit racer and trainer Shahnawaz Karim.

“When hitting the open roads, the biker’s gears including helmet, jackets etc. is of paramount significance thus offering maximum functionality,” he says in the official press release.Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacket

I understand the pulse of the motorcycle bikers and aim to provide with a motorcycling experience.

“We designed a convertible jacket which has weathered the test of time and aim to become one of the most iconic items of clothing for motorcyclist.

“I am optimistic that we would emerge in times to come as India’s most efficient rider’s apparel brand and global brand to reckon with.”

Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacketHakka V2 city jacket

The handy Ulka gear jackets are available in different sizes from XS to 3XL and they say they are unisex with an adjustable waist.

Other features include CE-approved back, shoulder and elbow armour and abrasion-resistant Cordura material.

Ulka Gear GHakkit Forever handy jacketHakkit Forever touring jacket

If you are riding in the rain, the pockets are “water-resistant” which is not the same as waterproof but there is a waterproof rain cover you can wear over the jacket. U can also wear it inside for warmth.

Hakkit Forever also has a pocket on the left forearm for your mobile phone.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Gizmo uses light to sterilise your helmet

Taiwanese company Lucky International has launched a GermBuster gizmo that uses ultraviolet light and ozone to sterilise and deodorise your motorcycle helmet.

In the wake of the panic over the pandemic, company spokesman Billy Chao contacted us to see if we were interested in selling their GermBuster through our website.

President Donald Trump would love it as he seems to think that along with injecting disinfectant we could also shine light inside people to cure them of COVID-19.

By the way, you can check the date of this story; it’s not April 1!

Motul motorcycle helmet cleanerNow, we know helmets get sweaty and grotty inside and can smell funky. But we usually just use a dedicated spray to deodorise them or pull out the removable pads and liner and give them a wash.

Click here to check our tips for cleaning your helmet.

Sterilise the hi-tech wayGermbuster is claimed to sterilise your helmet

However, that is not hi-tech enough for some.

So lucky for them, Lucky International has developed their GermBuster.

I can’t vouch for it and when I asked where to get it and how much it costs, the contact Billy Chao just wanted us to buy it via email.

I also couldn’t find any reference to the company or the product online.Germbuster is claimed to sterilise your helmet

However, I thought you might get a good laugh out of the press release they sent:

Wear a dirty and bacteria motorcycle helmet that caused hair loss and bald.

Due to sweating, dirt, food particles (I am not sure how you get food in your helmet!) and air born (sic) bacteria getting rubbed into the helmet padding and breeding in the warm environment, it is possible that your scalp may become infected. If so it could impact on scalp health and even hair growth

Bacteria in your helmet may also affect your hair growth

Your helmet becomes a breeding ground for air borne bacteria due to sweat, dirt and food particles that could infect your scalp and cause hair fall. It could also affect growth of new hair.Germbuster is claimed to sterilise your helmet

What you can do

The total solution, use GermBuster UVC + OZONE sterilizer and deodorizer,

Helmet sterilizer. Available all kind of helmet.

They say it comes with a free “adjust stand”, is USB rechargeable and can also be used to sanitise shoes, masks and nail scissors.

  

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

McQueen would wear this NEXX helmet

The new NEXX X.G10 Saloon open-face helmet is a vintage motocross style that resembles helmets worn by the legendary Hollywood actor and bike fan Steve McQueen.

He was an accomplished motocrosser who represented America in the international six-day enduro trials in 1964 where he rode with a Bell Jet helmet that looked very much like this NEXX X.G10 Saloon.

Bell Jet Steve McQueen NEXXMcQueen at the enduro wearing a Bell Jet helmet

While an open-face helmet can never provide the same protection as a full-face helmet, the makers claim this has their X-Matrix 2 construction comprised of 3D organic fibres and special weaving to improve protection and comfort.

NEXX helmetNEXX X.G10 Saloon open-face helmet

The vintage-style features six different layers for impact and penetration protection while keeping the shell light and breathable. The ultralight shell is tougher, stronger, and stiffer that results in impressive high-energy impact management.

NEXX helmets usually rate three out of five stars in the highly acknowledged SHARP helmet safety ratings

The entire production process of NEXX helmets is done in Portugal and not outsourced to other countries as many other helmet manufacturers do.

They boast a team of more than 160 workers skilled in helmet shell sculpture, leather manipulation, stitching, paintwork and engineering. Every helmet has to pass more than 50 control steps.

The NEXX X.G10 Saloon also has a cool interior thanks to their X-Mart Dry technology that provides a soft, breathable and water absorbent liner.

NEXX claims it dries twice as fast as cotton while also providing extra warmth.

The interior pieces are removable to be washed and are anti-allergic and anti-sweat.NEXX X.G10 Saloon open-face helmet

It features a rear leather clip holder for goggles, the traditional D-ring chin strap, PC Lexan flat-shield and comes in three shell sizes (XS-L, XL, and XXL-XXXL).

There is no word yet on prices in Australia, but they are available overseas for €242 (about $A395).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Best Motorcycle Helmets in 2020

You can’t live without your head, so you need to protect it with the best motorcycle helmets. However, shopping for a motorcycle helmet has never been a walk in the park. Sometimes you have to weigh up cost versus comfort. Should buying a helmet leave your pockets empty? Of course not!

Do you need a full face, modular, custom or adventure motorcycle helmet? Let’s delve into the best motorcycle helmets in 2020 in this guide to choosing a motorcycle helmet.

Best Motorcycle Helmets

1. Shoei RF-SR Helmet

Best Motorcycle HelmetsShoei RF-SR helmet

The Japanese Shoei RF-SR carries the day on our helmets list. “You get what you pay for” has never been more true than with this full face helmet. From the blending of style to safety, the Shoei RF-SR is one of the best motorcycle helmets in the market. This is a premium helmet, but it’s worth the money.

Safety

Quality is never an accident. The Shoei RF-SR helmet is engineered with Advanced Integrated Matrix Plus technology (AIM+).

This Shoei helmet is made up of five fiberglass layers. It is tried and tested by Snell, and has attained the elusive M2015 certification.

The Shoei RF-SR also features an Emergency Quick Release System (EQRS). The EQRS is designed to automatically pop out the cheek pads in case of an accident. Inside the helmet is a multi-density shock absorbing liner. The EPS liner absorbs even the most micro of shocks a rider may encounter.

Ventilation

The Shoei RF-SR takes pride in its ventilation capabilities. The chin vent is the star on this hard hat. The chin vent is V-shaped at the bottom with two vents on the upper façade. A pair of vents is also conscientiously placed at the brow. The vent sliders are impressive, with the metallic cuff and click.

Towards the shield, the hard hat comes with a breath guard to direct fresh air to the rider. Remember the EPS liner? Air flows through the holes in the ship from the upper air vents.

Sizing/ Weight

The Shoei RF-SR helmet comes in six sizes. Extra-large, Large, Medium, Extra-small, and Extra-extra-large are all available for his armor. The EPS lining is scourable and antimicrobic. The XX-L helmet weighs only 1780 grams. The close to lightweight design is superb for its aerodynamics and thrust.

Noise Levels

More vents, more noise? You’re wrong! The upper and lower vents have minimal noise infiltrating through them. The cheek pads also deter a substantial amount of noise around the neck area.

Design

The Shoei RF-SR helmet is available in seven shades; Basalt Grey, Black, Matte Black, Matte Blue, Tangerine, Matte Deep Grey, and White.

2. Arai XD4 HelmetBest Motorcycle Helmets

This Arai helmet is among the best adventure motorcycle helmets. With the Arai XD4 helmet, the shield and peak are detachable. Improved aerodynamics and large cowl vents characterize this monster hard hat. The Arai XD4 helmet can be used as a motocross, adventure, or full face helmet.

Safety

The American Arai XD4 masterpiece is fully certified by Snell, as well as ECE 2015 and DOT endorsements. The helmet is lined with multi-density polystyrene liner for magnificent shock absorption. The Arai XD4 shell is engineered with a Complex Laminate Construction. The CLC is made of high-quality fibers to offer you maximum head protection.

The Emergency Quick Release System is also incorporated in the Arai XD4 hard hat for a quick abrupt response. In the SHARP helmet tests, the Arai XD4 scored 3.5/5. Not too bad for a multipurpose helmet.

Ventilation

The Arai XD4 has five vents: two brow vents and three at the chin bar. At the top, there are several vents as well. All these vents are slidable. The top and front vents are quite brittle. The chin vents are mesh-reinforced to deter fogging. The rear vents on top of the helmet refresh the helmet by exhaling the air inside the hat.

Sizing/Weight

The Arai XD4 is generally oval molded. The X-large helmet weighs 1640 grams—ideal for drag and thrust. The Arai XD4 comes in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Extra-large. The cheek and foam pads are washable and easy to dry.

Noise Levels

With more vent holes that its predecessor, the Arai XD4 has higher noise levels. Nevertheless, the amount of noise solely depends on how fast the rider is pushing as well as the prevailing wind conditions.

The Arai XD4 is not fully streamlined hence offers some drag resistance. The adjustable chin bar, however, reduces the noise up through the rider’s neck.

All in all, the Arai XD 4 helmet can be tweaked to your type of track. For a motocross/off-road experience, some level of noise will spruce up your thrust and revs.

Design

The Arai XD4 is available in four colors: Frost Black, Frost Red, Frost Orange, and Frost White. If you are after aesthetics, there are the Mesh, Desert and Route designs to select from. 

3. AGV Unisex-Adult Full Face K-1 Motorcycle HelmetBest Motorcycle Helmets

The AGV K1 Helmet is a basic sports bike helmet with immense aesthetics and a thermoplastic shell. The AGV K-1 helmet can be tweaked into a modular helmet, full face helmet or open helmet. The AGV K-1 helmet is the entry-level hard hat of the AGV racing technology.

Safety

The AGV K-1 helmet as it is made of a thermoplastic shell and scored four stars in the UK Thermoplastics rating. Engineered to a broad shield, the AGV K-1 gives you a wide-angle of vision. The face shield is fitted with an anti-fog lock for a crystal-clear view.

The inside of the AGV K-1 consists of four polystyrene liners for a great fitting on your head. The cheek pads are pulpy to cushion you in the event of an accident.

Ventilation

The AGV K-1 has five slidable vents: three on the forehead and two at the chin bar. The double rear exhaust vents exhale the air inside the hat. The AGV K-1 is one of the best motorcycle helmets with the Integrated Ventilation system (IVS). The IVS ventilates fresh air into the helmet and around the polystyrene liners. The EPS liner has four openings that duct air onto the rider’s head.

Sizing/Weight

The AGV K-1 helmet comes in six sizes: Extra-Extra-Large, Extra-Large, Medium-Large, Extra-Small, and Medium-Small. The Extra-Extra-Large hard hat weighs up to 1520 grams. It is relatively light. The thermoplastic shell much attributes to its superior drag and aerodynamics.

Sound Levels

The thermoplastic shell is exceptionally aerodynamic, thus truncating wind resistance. Reduced wind resistance, in turn, cuts down the amount of wind noise. The chin curtain at the front façade of the K-1 helmet eliminates turbulence motion, thus creating a quiet riding experience.

However, with the open face tweak on, the amounts of noise increase significantly.

Design

Black, White, and Matte Black options are available. The AGV K-1 isn’t particularly attractive, unlike some of its successors, which have a touch of glamour. The AGV K3 and K5 have a stunning graffiti theme.

4. Bell Qualifier Full face Motorcycle HelmetBell Qualifier Full face Motorcycle Helmet

The Bell Qualifier DLX is made of a polycarbonate shell with a sleek, meticulous design. The Bell DLX takes pride in its unique color schemes as well as a light-reactive shield. Not to forget, the Bell Qualifier DLX comes with a Double-D ring fastener.

Safety

A great forte of the Bell Qualifier DLX is its light-reactive shield. The shield has a natural anti-UV and anti-fog coagulant infused—no more obscurity at low temperatures. The Bell Qualifier polycarbonate hard hart has bagged in the elusive ECE and DOT recognition globally.

On Snell’s test, the Bell Qualifier lost narrowly on the side-impact tests.

Ventilation

The Bell Qualifier is exceptional when it comes to ventilation. The Bell Qualifier is equipped with a couple of vents, both the chin, brow, and top vents. What else could you ask for? The lower chin vents are slidable for the humid climates. The chin vents open into the horizontal chin bar blowing a load of air inside the hard hat.

The four brow vents gush air into the top of the helmet. The double top vents rush air into the polystyrene liner into the biker’s head. The Bell Qualifier is also crafted to four exhaust vents at the rear of the helmet. These exhaust vents serve to exhale the dense air inside the helmet. The exhaust vents are also mesh-covered.

Sizing/Weight

The Bell Qualifier comes in seven size variants: XXX-Large, XX-Large, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. Bell Qualifier’s EPS Liner is also washable and moisture-wicking. The XX-Large weighs 1596 grams.

Noise Levels

The Bell Qualifier helmet is a bit noisy due to the open top and rear exhaust vents. On the flipside, the cheek pads and the taper mitigate the noise across the lower part of the helmet. Towing along some earplugs will do the magic for you on this helmet.

Design

The Bell Qualifier helmet outshines all other helmets you could think of on matters aura. The 13 hues in the market are a bang. The Flare Gloss Black/Red, Flare Matte Black/Grey, Honor Matte Titanium, Integrity Matte Black, Orange Camo, Raid Matte Black, Gold Flake, Stealth Camo Matte Black, Solid Black, and the Stealth Camo Matte White simply define the Bell Qualifier’s theme.

5. GLX Unisex-Adult GX11 Motorcycle HelmetGLX Unisex-Adult GX11 Motorcycle Helmet

GLX has proven to be a hard nut to crack on its rivals, the Arai and Shoei helmets. The GLX GX11 helmet is very pocket friendly and when it comes to performance, it rivals the best in the market.

Safety

This is a very safe helmet. The GLX GX11 offers a lot of great safety features, and has Snell and DOT certifications. The GLX GX11 shell is made of polycarbonate. The polystyrene liner (EPS) on the inner of the helmet provides superb shock absorption. The GLX GX11 helmet also incorporates the Emergency Quick Response System for a better accident reaction.

Ventilation

The GLX GX11 is fully armored on the top with vents. The top vents ventilate the rider’s head furnishing a cooling effect. With these top vents, forget about sweating on your skull. There are two pairs of exhaust vents at the rear façade of the GLX GX11 hard hat. These exhaust vents exhale the dense air on the inside of the EPS liner.

The cheek padding also permits some air into the inside of the helmet. This padding is fully washable and moisture-wicking.

Sizing/Weight

The GLX GX 11 is available four sizes: Large, Medium, Small, and X-Large. The GLX GX11 weighs, on average, 1587 grams.

Sound Levels

The GLX GX11 is prone to noise through the exhaust vents, owing to the fact that the rear vents are not lockable. However, the GLX GX11 has an inflated face shield that blocks substantial noise from infiltrating into the rider’s ears. The face shield is fog and scratch-resistant.

Design

The GLX GX11 is currently available in Matte Black shade. Much detail has been paid to the paint quality. That matte finish is impressive.

How to Choose a Motorcycle Helmet

When choosing the best motorcycle helmets, attention to detail matters. Deciding on the ideal helmet for your head has always been an uphill task. There are several factors that you need to pay attention to when buying a motorcycle helmet.

What type of helmet do you need?

The six main types of helmets are: Full faced, Modular (flip-up chin bar), Half shell, Open-Faced, Off-road, and Dual-Sport helmets.

A full-face helmet shields the whole head and features a fixed chin bar to protect your jaw.

An open face helmet leaves your face open. They cover the sides, top, and back of your head. Open face helmets are deprived of the chin bar. Scooter riders often open-face helmets.

The modular helmet is a hybrid of the full and free face helmets. The visor and the chin bar can flip up, opening the front.

The half shell helmet (or half helmet) only shields the forehead and the top part of your head. With these helmets, you are assured of excellent airflow.

Off-road helmets are engineered for dirt use i.e., motocross and dirt bikes.

Dual Sport helmets are a hybrid of full face and off-road helmets. Examples include the ADV, Enduro, and Crossover. Akin to the off-road helmet, the dual-sport offers a large visor but enhanced padding on the interior.

Safety Features

Before buying a helmet, acquaint yourself with its safety ratings and certifications, if any. Snell, DOT, and ECE rated helmets offer more excellent protection to your head and chin. Rated helmets are often expensive, but guarantee you ultimate safety.

The material forming the helmet’s shell also contributes to its safety performance. Is the shell made of fiber or polycarbonate? A hard shell is desired to provide maximum protection. The best motorcycle helmets are often safety certified by Snell or ECE.

Cost of Motorcycle Helmets

The cost of a helmet solely depends on its materials and design. Should buying a helmet leave a big hole in your pocket? No! There are affordable yet high-quality helmets you can choose from.

The price of the helmet also depends on its size. X-Large and XX-Large helmets are often dearer. For a harder shell and better interior fabric, you’ll need to invest more.

Ventilation

There’s nothing as unpleasant as riding in a stuffy helmet. When selecting a helmet, scrutinize the type of vents available thoroughly. Does the helmet have top, brow, and rear exhaust vents? If so, proceed and get your hands on it. Probe thoroughly on the vents, especially the top vents. Some designers just fix aesthetic vents that run nowhere.

A visor that can be rolled up a few inches comes in handy in ventilating you as you ride.

Size and Fitting

You don’t need an under-sized helmet just to save a few bucks. A helmet should fit on your head precisely, with minimal coercion. To get the right fit for your head, measure the circumference on your head, and find a suitable match. An over-sized helmet could be lethal in the case of an accident. The cheek pads and chin bar will not optimally protect you from fracture.

An extra-taut helmet, on the other hand, imposes undue pressure on your skull. Therefore, it’s best to fit out the different helmets at the store before making a purchase.

Usage

What will you use the helmet for? Is it riding for leisure? Track racing? Dirt riding? For bike racing purposes, you might need to consider a full face crash helmet. The full face helmets are often padded and made up of hard outer shells. For leisure riding, the open face helmets will do the magic. As you cruise around, you’ll need to enjoy nature’s beauty as well as some relaxing air, hence the need for the open face helmets.

Helmet Addons

If you are going the open helmet way, look out for the three pushbuttons. These three buttons at the front aid in hooking up a visor at a later time. Peruse through for other features such as Bluetooth compatibility, microphone hookup, dash camera slot, and pin-lock peaks.

In case you need to wear earplugs, survey for a helmet with a recessed façade around the ears. A cap clasp is also vital to deter your cap from blowing off. You should also audit whether the inner EPS liner and cheek pads are washable and moisture-wicking.

Helmet Weight

A lightweight helmet favors aerodynamics such as thrust, drag, and lift. A helmet should not impose a substantial loading on your head. You should be able to move your head optimally with zero strain. The scantiest of the shift of gravity would have lethal effects on your spine and cervical vertebrae.

Helmet Interior

What material is the interior of the helmet made from? A good helmet should be padded with a washable liner. The EPS liner and cheek pads should also wick moisture. The helmet’s interior ought to be comfortable and relaxing to the skull.

The top vents should also be waterproof. The fastener type should never create strain around your neck.

Warranty and Aesthetics

Any helmet should have an agreement that spells out the terms and conditions of aftersales service in case of malfunction. When dissecting the warranty, be keen to scrutinize the scope and maintenance policy.

Matters color, bright helmets make more sales due to ease of visibility at night. Themed helmets are more expensive than their ugly twins.

Conclusion

Helmets not only provide safety to your skull but also protect you from excessive wind. Burn rubber, not your soul. We hope you found the perfect product for you in this roundup of the best motorcycle helmets. Before purchasing a helmet, scrutinize it meticulously against the above checklist. Safety comes first!

(Contributed post for our North American readers)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

HJC makes first retro flip-up helmet

The retro helmet fad has boomed in recent years, but this HJC V90 with bubble visor is the first we have seen in a modular or flip-up helmet.

These vintage-style helmets are usually worn by touring riders (and many BMW riders!) who are more interested in the flexibility of the practical design than in fashion or style.

That’s why most come in solid colours.

So does this. It is available in solid white, grey or black only.HJC vintage retro flip-up modular V90 helmet

The modular helmet costs €319 (about $A520) but there is no word yet on availability here.

Flip-up chin barHJC vintage retro flip-up modular V90 helmet

HJC say the flip-up chin bar can be secured in the up position.

We don’t know if this means it was certified that way, but if it was, then you should be able to legally ride with the flip-up front open. Otherwise, it is illegal, even though many police officers ride with the front up!

Since it’s modular, it is practical and unlike many other retro helmet designs, it includes large air vents front and back.HJC vintage retro flip-up modular V90 helmet

Apart from retro styling and the practicality of the flip-up chin bar other features include an integrated anti-fog sunvisor, fibreglass composite shell, removable and washable cheek and forehead pads, plus Silvercool “moisture-wicking” liners with anti-bacterial fabric.

It is also suitable for the Smart HJC integrated bluetooth communication system.

Like all HJC helmets it comes with a five-year warranty which is the usable life of a helmet anyway.

The V90 comes in sizes XS (53-54cm) to XXL (63-64cm) with just two shell sizes covering the six sizes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aldi confirms annual motorcycle gear sale

Aldi Australia has confirmed its annual motorcycle gear sale will return, but has not yet named a date nor confirmed whether the pandemic will delay the sale.

The sale is usually held on one of the first Saturday’s in August, but was pushed back to the end of the month in 2019.

An Aldi Australia spokesperson says their motorcycle Special Buy theme “continues to return every year as a result of its popularity and following from motorcycle enthusiasts, who are after quality gear for great prices”.

“Like with all our products, we continue to improve our range by making necessary changes,” they say.

They would not confirm a date nor say whether the pandemic would cause a delay.

We will publish the sale date and list of products and prices as soon as it is available.

Sticky situation

Aldi helmets Ray SchrieverRay with the sticky helmet

It follows a recent claim by Sydney rider Ray Schriever that the silver paint on Aldi helmets he bought in 2015 had crazed and become sticky, despite limited use.

“The helmet was sticky all over. I took it to the sink and gave it a wash but the sticky mess just congealed or balled up,” he says.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

The Aldi Australia spokesperson says:

Before 2016, a different type of paint was used on the motorcycle helmets and after listening to our customers feedback we learnt that the helmet would sometimes become sticky if stored in damp conditions for a long period of time. As a result we worked with our business partner to improve the paint and the new formula was introduced in 2016. The safety of the helmet has never been impacted, the sticky surface was an aesthetic fault only. It does not damage the shell, the EPS liner or the structure of the helmet. Our helmets come with a 12-month warranty.

We do not suggest this paint issue would also affect helmet integrity in the event of a crash.

However, we do note that most helmet manufacturers recommend you replace your helmet after five years of regular use, anyway.

In Ray’s case, the helmets had not had regular use.

Aldi claims all its rider gear meets proper safety standards.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

More pressure on American helmet laws

Despite the US introducing helmet laws more than half a century ago, only 19 American states require all riders to wear helmets and now Missouri may relax their helmet laws.

A large proposed transportation bill before government includes a provision to allow riders aged 26 or more to ride without a helmet so long as they have medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility.

It is not the first time the bill has been attempted.

Missouri voted in May 2019 to repeal its helmet laws.

Governor Mike Parson vetoed the Bill in July 2019, but only because of a provision to confiscate licences of people who don’t pay fines for minor traffic offences.

The Governor had no qualms with allowing riders over 18 to decide whether they want to wear a helmet or not.

In fact, Parson supported repealing the helmet rule as a legislator.

Missouri is not the only American state considering a reversal of helmet laws. There have been several in recent years including Nebraska which last year finally rejected the idea.

American laws

crash accident helmet Sturgis insurance claim

US helmet laws were introduced in 1966 when the feds withheld 10% of states highway construction funds unless they introduced certain safety regulations, including helmet laws.

Within a decade, 47 states had complied.

But in 1975, Congress amended the Highway Safety Act to prevent the use of federal highway funding as leverage against states.

Despite evidence of helmets protecting riders form death and severe head injury, 28 states have repealed their helmet laws with more likely to follow.

It seems strange to Australian riders since we were the first nation in the world to make helmets compulsory in 1961.

Most American states introduced compulsory helmet laws in 1967, but there is a growing movement toward “more freedom” for riders with a strong civil liberties lobby actively fighting the laws.

In recent years, states such as Michigan have relaxed their helmet laws and the latest to consider the move is Tennessee, despite the overwhelming evidence that helmets save lives.

Safety

As Dudley (William H Macy) tells Woody (John Travolta) in “Wild Hogs”: “62 per cent of all motorcycle fatalities could be prevented with the use of an approved DOT helmet.”

Liberal helmet lawsWild Hogs

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for every 100 motorcyclists killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 could have been saved had they worn helmets.

Yet, the use of motorcycle helmets in the US continues to decline to about half from 71% in 2000.

So the temptation when you visit America is to try some of that freedom for yourself.

I must admit to having tried it a few times, usually at slow speeds around town, but on one occasion at the speed limit on an Indiana highway.

While I felt very vulnerable, I have to admit it was absolutely exhilarating … but also deafening.

The wind in your hair is one thing, but the wind in your ears is another.

It also blows your hat off! I’m surprised Billy in Easy Rider could ride without getting his cowboy hat blown off.

Liberal helmet lawsMotorbike Writer in Indiana

State laws

When you are again able to fly to the United States, maybe for Daytona Bike Week in March or the Sturgis Rally in August, don’t get too excited about not wearing a motorcycle helmet.

As soon as you get off the plane in California, you will have to wear a helmet to ride. In fact, 20 states, mainly on the west and east coasts of the US, have compulsory helmet laws.

American states with motorcycle helmet laws for all riders are: Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Only three states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire) have no helmet use law.

The remaining 28 states have varying laws requiring minors to wear a motorcycle helmet while six of those states require adult riders to have $10,000 in insurance and wear a helmet in their first year of riding.

About half the states also allow you to ride a low-powered motorcycle such as a 50cc bike or scooter without a helmet.

State Riders Required To Have Helmets
Alabama All riders
Alaska 17 and younger
Arizona 17 and younger
Arkansas 20 and younger
California All riders
Colorado 17 and younger and passengers 17 and younger
Connecticut 17 and younger
Delaware 18 and younger
District of Columbia All riders
Florida 20 and younger
Georgia All riders
Hawaii 17 and younger
Idaho 17 and younger
Illinois No law
Indiana 17 and younger
Iowa No law
Kansas 17 and younger
Kentucky 20 and younger
Louisiana All riders
Maine 17 and younger
Maryland All riders
Massachusetts All riders
Michigan 20 and younger
Minnesota 17 and younger
Mississippi All riders
Missouri All riders
Montana 17 and younger
Nebraska All riders
Nevada All riders
New Hampshire No law
New Jersey All riders
New Mexico 17 and younger
New York All riders
North Carolina All riders
North Dakota 17 and younger
Ohio 17 and younger
Oklahoma 17 and younger
Oregon All riders
Pennsylvania 20 and younger
Rhode Island 20 and younger
South Carolina 20 and younger
South Dakota 17 and younger
Tennessee All riders
Texas 20 and younger
Utah 17 and younger
Vermont All riders
Virginia All riders
Washington All riders
West Virginia All riders
Wisconsin 17 and younger
Wyoming 17 and younger

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com