Tag Archives: Helmet

Forcite Helmets seek test pilots

Australian motorcycle helmet startup Forcite is looking for riders to act as test pilots for their ultralight but ultra-hi-tech smart helmet.

The smart helmet revolution is coming with several hi-tech helmets or add-on units hitting the market in the next few years, changing riding forever. 

Not to be outdone by Silicon Valley and Asian tech wizards Michael Drysdale of Forcite Helmets in Sydney is working on a helmet that will include a lot of technology.

If you would like to be a test pilot, simply click here and request to join up.

Forcite helmetForcite smart helmet

The carbon helmet will have an integrated camera system, navigation, intercom and active noise-cancelling.

Their custom camera system is based on body-worn video used by the defence force.

They also claim Forcite has developed “a totally new way to navigate, get alerts and locate Police and speed camera’s through a combination of software and hardware technology”.Forcite smart helmet

Forcite helmets will include an electronically tinted visor that changes tint within a few milliseconds.

It sounds similar to the AGVisor system that changes tint in less than a second at the touch of a button.

Valentino Rossi with his special Pista GP helmet with AGVisor tinted visor forcite
Valentino Rossi with his special Pista GP helmet with AGVisor

The helmet is made of ultralightweight carbon fibre composite “unique to the Forcite range”.

They claim it will be lighter than most standard helmets even though it is equipped with a huge amount of technology.

“It has taken us three years of work to learn how to make this possible with the entire electronics package less than the size of a credit card,” he says.Forcite smart helmet

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

More Sikhs allowed to ride in turban

Sikhs in Ontario are now allowed to ride in a turban instead of a helmet, joining riders in three other Canadian provinces as Australian Sikhs seek the same exemptions.

The Ontario government has granted the rule waivers to Sikhs in recognition of their civil rights and religious expression after a bill presented by parliamentarian and Sikh Prabmeet Sarkaria.

“The wearing of the turban is an essential part of the Sikh faith and identity, and exemptions for Sikhs have been successfully implemented in other provinces in Canada and across the world,” he said.

Sikhs are also exempt from wearing motorcycle helmets in Indian, the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia, and the UK introduced the exemption in 1976.Turban Sikh sikhs helmet

However, Denmark is following France by cracking down on helmet exemptions that allow riders to go without a helmet if they obtain a doctor’s note or have a legitimate non-medical reason such as wearing a turban. 

Aussie Sikhs

Sikh Motorcycle Club rides for charity sikhs turban
Aussie Sikhs

The Sikh Motorcycle Club of Australia told us last year that motorcycle and bicycle helmet rules are discriminatory.

They are calling for an exemption for all cyclists and for motorcyclists and scooterists riding at low speeds only.

Founding member Daljeet Singh told us that while initiated male and female Sikhs must cover their hair with a turban, Sikh Motorcycle Club members wear a bandana-style scarf underneath their helmets.

The Central Coast of NSW Sikhs say they have campaigned to Coffs Coast Council for the right to not wear helmets on city streets signposted up to 60km/h.

However, the matter would have to be decided by the NSW Centre for Road Safety (CRS). Neither council nor the CRS can find any record of contact from the group.

There are about 126,000 Sikhs in Australia, according to the 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics census. It is the fifth largest religion after Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Victoria has seen the sharpest increase in the number of Sikhs with 52,762. The state with the second highest Sikh population is NSW with 31,737 Sikhs, Queensland 17,433, Western Australia 11,897, South Australia 8808, ACT 2142 and Northern Territory and Tasmania have under 700 Sikhs each. 

Turban symbol

Why do Sikhs wear turbans? Here is an explanation from Sikh Council of Australia’s website.

Unshorn hair (‘Kesh’) are also an essential part of the Sikh Code of Conduct. This makes Turban an essential part of a Sikh’s attire. Like the ‘Kirpan’ issue, this is another issue where the Government and its departments as well as the wider Australian community need to be informed about the importance of the Turban for a Sikh. More importantly, in order to tackle the hate crimes and discrimination based on the ‘looks’ the Australian community is being educated about the distinction between a Sikh and other members of the community who may also wear a Turban or cover their head or perhaps may look the same due to other items of clothing (for example the salwar and kameez for the women).

Hopefully the Government will introduce measures which will allow the wider Australian community to be more aware and tolerant and not discriminate against someone wearing a Turban and not assume that they might be a terrorist.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Jarvish offers smart helmet discounts

Taiwanese company Jarvish has launched a crowd-funding campaign and discounts to produce their X and X-AR smart helmets that include a host of technology as well as voice-only access to Siri, Amazon Alexa and OK Google control.

Other features are a carbonfibre shell, front and rear 1080p 360-degree cameras, Bluetooth audio, active noise cancelling to reduce wind noise, a drop-down HUD screen, and integrated satellite navigation.

A range of those features has been promised in other smart helmets, but none promises all of them.

There are other points of difference:

  • The cameras will not only record video on 16 GB of internal storage plus a 256GB card slot but the rear camera can also be used as a rear view mirror;
  • Its head-up display screen is voice-activated to retract and deploy so it isn’t in your face the whole time;
  • Automated sensors turn the helmet on when you put it on and turns off when you remove the helmet;
  • Gyro, e-compass, accelerometer and ambient light sensors analyse the weather and road conditions to provide real-time alerts;
  • Access to Siri, Alexa and OK Google is voice activated without having to tap a button; and
  • Wireless charging.Jarvish X-AR augmented reality HUD smart helmet

Now they have launched their Kickstarter campaign with early bird pledge offers.

The full-featured X-AR is being offered at $US899 (about $A1230) compared with the retail price after the campaign of $US1599 ($A2190). It is scheduled for delivery in September 2019.

A “budget” X version without HUD and the rear camera will cost $US399 ($A545) for early bird backers compared with the retail price of $US699 ($A950). Delivery is planned for April 2019.

Shipping will be free in the UK and US, but $US100 (about $A135) elsewhere.

Jarvish promises to deliver

The Jarvish HUD promises to show “critical information” such as bike speed, local speed limit, time, weather, chance of rain, media, phone calls, fuel stops, compass, navigation, traffic alerts, and even “road slip notifications”.

That’s a lot of information available to overload the rider and possibly make the helmet very heavy.

However, voice activation means the rider can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the bars while  control the cameras, make a call, adjust the volume, play music and more.

Even with all that technology and capability, the ECE and DOT-approved carbon helmets weigh only 14.kg for the X and 1.7kg for the X-AR.

Battery life will be six hours for the X. The extra tech in the X-AR will drain the military-grade solid-state flexible type lithium ceramic battery in four hours.

There is also an Android and iOS app that comes with the helmet to widen its capabilities.

Smart revolution

There have been many smart helmets promised, but only a few have materialised and not with all the trimmings as this promises.

So it would be understandable if riders were sceptical about this product materialising as promised next year.

However, at least they are not asking for crowd funding as most others have, including the infamous Skully which squandered its funding on fast cars and fast women and was then supposed to be resurrected by now.

Skully HUD helmet fenix cheaper hudway Jarvish
Skully helmet

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Momodesign helmet fan keeps a cool head

Italian motorcycle helmet manufacturer Momodesign has added a fan that activates at low speed to keep the airflow going to your head in the hot summer months.

The Aero helmet features a Tornado Ventilation System that switches off at high speeds and only activates at low speeds thanks to a built-in GPS.

It’s not the first helmet with a cooling solution.

The Encephalon from Nando Logic has a fan, but it doesn’t seem to have gone into production yet.

Encephalon hi-tech motorcycle helmet events fan
Encephalon helmet

In August the air-conditioned Feher ACH-1 was DOT approved and began selling at $US599 (about $A820). It has not yet received ECE certification.

Feher ACH-1 air-conditioned helmet fan
Feher AC helmet

And AptEner Mechatronics hopes to release its BluSnap add-on airconditioner unit which simply straps to the front of a full-face helmet.

Airconditioner or full-face helmet - feher fan
BluSnap AC

Aero fan helmetMomodesign Aero helmet with fan

The Momodesign Aero helmet is ECE approved and will be available in four colours at €368 (about $A580, $US420).

Momodesign makes only one full-face helmet and this is open-face like the rest of their range with a full-length visor.

They don’t say how much the fan, battery and GPS weigh, but it must increase the weight.

The mechanism will also slightly increase helmet noise by 16dB which is the sound of rustling leaves.

It has a 3.7V lithium-ion battery with eight hours of life and a one-hour charge time.

Riders can choose to turn the fan on manually or use the Tornado Ventilation System app.Momodesign Aero helmet with fan

You can set the app to activate the fan below 50km/h when natural airflow is minimal or above a certain temperature.

The swirling blades simply assist airflow through the front and back vents.Momodesign Aero helmet with fan

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Haptic jacket warns rider of collision

Imagine a motorcycle jacket that vibrates when it senses you are about to have a collision or delivers that disco bass rumble in your gut when you play music in your helmet?

The Origin “haptic” jacket will come as part of a package with a Zenith head-up display helmet (HUD) when you buy the coming 240km/h Arc Vector electric motorcycle costing about £90,000 ($A160,000, $US117,000).

Click here for more information on the British Arc Vector.Arc Vector electric motorcycle with collision warning

The bike features “haptic” handlebars and seat that vibrate if they sense a crash or you try to merge into a lane where there is a car. Similar technology has been around in some cars for years.

Vector is also integrated with the Zenith head-up display helmet.

No further details are available, but there are several HUD helmets hitting the market with different functions.Zenith HUD helmet Arc Vector electric motorcycle with collision warning

Haptic collision warning

Their Origin jacket takes collision warning even further with haptic pads that vibrate.

It features different modes including “Dynamic” to “amplify the sense of excitement during a dynamic ride”.

Another is called “Euphoric” that produces that deep bass rumble.

While these are entertainment modes, Arc founder and CEO Mark Truman says the normal haptic mode that responds to crash threats can be used to “augment mirrors as a threat detection system”.

Riders will experience a buzz in their back or one shoulder to indicate the presence and direction of another threatening vehicle.

Origin jacket Arc Vector electric motorcycle with collision warning
Vibrating haptic pads

“The haptic jacket and high-tech helmet are designed to help meld man and machine into one,” Arc claims. 

Mark says it allows the rider to keep their eyes on the road ahead. However, we would argue that a shoulder check is always advisable.

“People ask me if this could be distracting, but it is actually designed to be the total opposite,” Mark says.

“The tech frees you and your senses because the distractions have been removed.

“It allows you to concentrate on the road and your oneness with the bike, to just enjoy the moment knowing the bike is looking out for you and the information you need is right in front of you.”

So why provide entertainment haptic modes?

Arc VectorArc Vector electric motorcycle with collision warning

Meanwhile, the 95kW Arc Vector has a top speed of 241km/h (150mph) and accelerates to highway seed in 2.7 seconds.

Range is claimed to be 190km (about 120 miles) on the highway or 274km (170 miles) in the city.

Only 355 bikes will be produced.

It features a lightweight carbonfibre swingarm and a new type of battery that makes the bike a chimed 25% lighter than its competition.

It also comes with custom Ohlins dampers and Brembo brakes mounted in the 6 o’clock position.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle helmet sticker fine withdrawn

Victorian Police have withdrawn a fine against a rider for not having an external compliance sticker on his Australian-approved motorcycle helmet.

But don’t get too excited just yet that VicPol has seen the light and understands the rules which say a helmet only needs an internal label.

Rider Alasdair “Ted” Cameron challenged the $371 fine and took the issue to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

Senior associate Katie Minogue said she was confident her client had a “strong enough case” and was looking forward to their day in court.

However, at the last minute, VicPol have withdrawn the fine.

That means the issue has not been dealt with in court so no legal precedent has been set.

Police harassment

So police are still at liberty to use their erroneous reading of the rules to issue fines and harass riders.

Ted says he felt harassed as soon as he was pulled over in April 2018 on his 2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider S about 200m from his Geelong home by one of two police officers patrolling on dirt bikes.

“I hadn’t done anything wrong, so I asked, ‘what’s up?’.

“The cop says ‘you’re riding a motorcycle in Victoria’, so I knew this guy was not up for a chat!”

The officer then told him his helmet was not compliant because it did not have a sticker on the outside.

Helmet laws sticker
Australian Standard sticker

“I just agreed with him and didn’t enter into much conversation or argue with him,” Ted says.

While Ted politely accepted the ticket without argument, he decided he wanted his day in court.

Fine withdrawn

However, he has now received a phone call to say the matter has been dropped because it was “trivial”.

“The copper that picked me up rang and I didn’t answer as it was a private number, so he left a message saying who it was from the Solo Unit,” Ted says.

“He said something like ‘the matter has been not authorised, it will just disappear, you do not have to do anything, it was just being trivial’.

“He was clearing his throat a couple of times so he must have been struggling to say it.

“That message just threw me.”

Ted contacted his lawyers who have contacted police to ask for the official notice of the withdrawal.

“I feel a bit better now and want to thank you (Motorbike Writer), Guy (Motorcycle Council of NSW helmet law expert Guy Stanford) and the lawyers for everything you’ve done to help me,” Ted says.

“But I wanted my day in court. It would have been good to really stick it up them.”

(Maurice Blackburn Lawyers took on Ted’s case pro bono – no charge.)

Sticker advice

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

While there is still no legal precedent, Guy Stanford advises that there is no need for an external sticker so long as there is an internal sticker or label.

It doesn’t matter if the label has faded with wear.

Read the full details of helmet legality here. 

Helmet label sticker withdrawn
Obscured label still legal

Ted says his internal label was difficult to find, but was shown to the officer who still issued him the fine.

Katie says the Victorian Road Rules state that an approved helmet must be marked with the official standards mark.

“It does not specify where this mark needs to be,” she says.

“We say there is no obligation in the rules that the sticker needs to be on the outside of a helmet.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com