Tag Archives: Helmets

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

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 helmets ‘age disgracefully’

Aldi claims the gear they offer in their annual motorcycle gear sale is safe, but one Sydney reader says at least silver Aldi helmets don’t age well.

Ray Schriever bought a stack of helmets from Aldi in 2015 and all the silver paint has now crazed and become sticky, despite limited use.

We contacted Aldi for comment but have not yet received a reply. This article will be updated if/when they reply.

Ray says he bought a few spare helmets in various sizes and kept them in their bags in the garage for visiting friends.

Aldi helmetsAldi helmets Ray Schriever

He bought three silver/grey Aldi helmets – two full-faced and one open-faced — plus two black open-faced Aldi helmets.

“Having recently built a sidecar I thought I might go for a tootle with one of the open-faced helmets,” Ray says.

“To my surprise I had a devil of a time getting it out of the bag.

“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.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“I sprayed the helmet with isopropyl alcohol and it stated to remove the sticky coating with a fair bit of elbow grease.

“I soon realised that I was also removing the outer coating of paint on the helmet. That definitely shouldn’t be happening.”

Ray then checked his other helmets and found the same issue with all those with silver paint.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“All of my helmets (eight in all) share the same shelf in my garage so it isn’t an environmental issue as other brands and other colours are not affected, including my ancient RJays helmet that sits there unused and uncovered,” Ray says.

“The full-face helmets are untouched but sticky on both the grey section and the patterned sections of the helmet.

“The difference between the layers of paint can be clearly seen on the open-faced grey helmet.

“The top layer dissolves in either isopropyl alcohol or methylated spirits. Both are alcohol bases and shouldn’t affect cured paint.Aldi helmets Ray Schriever

“Pretty disappointing really. Never had anything like this right back to pudding basin days.

“Would have expected these barely used helmets to last instead of self destruct.”

Helmet safety

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 use.

In this case, the helmets have not had regular use.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Are race replica helmets still a thing?

With the absence of racing due to the pandemic lockdown and the waning of sportsbike popularity we wonder how many riders are still keen on race replica helmets.

They used to be very popular, but we haven’t seen as many in recent years.

Some riders wear them to announce their allegiance to a particular rider or motorcycle team while others simply want to look like a racer.

Most of these helmets are not made to the exact standard as worn by the racers, but are mass-produced cheap versions.

Some don’t even have the exact graphics and sponsor stickers.

Yet riders will pay more for the privilege of wearing them.

Italian helmet company AGV is known for its range of race replicas, in particular for nine-time world champ Italian Valentino Rossi.

Australian importer Link International has announced a “40 foot container” of AGV helmets has just arrived including two new race replicas.

AGV K3 race replica helmetAGV Valentino Rossi Race Replica K3 helmet

The latest addition to the K3 SV range is a tribute to Rossi.

It features “VR 46” on each side, Rossi’s initials and racing number in the customary fluoro yellow plus a black base and bright blue highlights.

The AGV K3 SV is an affordable version of the Pista GP RR and Corsa R helmets and even includes a similar aerodynamic rear spoiler to reduce wind turbulence at high track speeds.

Actually these spoilers are common on many sports helmets these days and the aero effect really only occurs at seeds above about 20km/h, so they are of no use at all on our roads.

A standard solid-colour K3 costs $349, while a multi-coloured helmet is $369 and the exact same helmet in frame replica graphics is $399.

K1 Mir race replica helmetAGV Joan Mir K1 Race Replica helmet

AGV also has a K1 Mir helmet in race replica helmet in honour of Moto3 2017 world champion Joan Mir (above) of Spain.

We can’t imagine too many Aussie riders inspired to honour the Spaniard.

However, they may be attracted by the helmet’s attractive camo design with its sharp lines and black, white, silver and grey along with bright, bold fluoro yellow highlights.

Also, the sponsor names, race number and other graphics have been deleted, so it doesn’t look like the usual race replica.

However, you will pay extra for it at $349, compared with $279 for solid colours and $299 for multi-colours.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad offers five-year helmet warranty

BMW Motorrad has extended its helmet warranty from two years to five years which is basically the suggested life of a helmet anyway.

Most helmet manufacturers suggest you swap a helmet over at fives years mainly because of the degrading of the interior lining.

Several other helmet manufacturers such as Shark, Shoei and Schuberth offer five-year warranties, while Nolan offers a seven-year warranty.

BMW warrantyBMW Motorrad motorcycle helmet life warranty

The BMW warranty will be backdated to the start of this year. The warranty applies to all helmets bought from a participating BMW Motorrad dealer.

The warranty covers material and manufacturing defects of the product.

However, BMW Motorrad communication systems are excluded from the warranty extension.

This means that the warranty expressly does not apply if a defect or damage is caused by improper handling, an accident or the improper installation of the system and accessories – even by third parties.

Scratches on the visor, sun shield, helmet shell or plastic parts are also not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Most manufacturers have similar warranty exclusions.BMW Motorrad motorcycle helmet life warranty

Helmet life span

The life of a helmet is about five years as the glues, resins and other materials used in construction lose their effectiveness and the lining deteriorates.

Be aware that your helmet may have sat on the shelf for some time before you bought it, so the life of the helmet may be shorter. Ask the dealer to prove date of manufacture.

However, the BMW five-year warranty is from the day of purchase, not manufacture.

Prolong helmet lifeBMW Motorrad motorcycle helmet life warranty

You can prolong your helmet if you store it properly when you’re not using it. Keep it in a cool, dry place and store it inside the helmet bag in which it came.

It’s not the outside that deteriorates, but the inside foam and fabric lining. If you notice the helmet getting loose or some of the lining coming out or it leaves little black flakes in your hair, then it’s time to retire it, whether it has reached the five years or not.

Frequent use, sweating in your helmet, having greasy hair or using a lot of “hair product” can all aid in compacting the foam and making the interior lining degenerate faster than normal use.

You can also prolong the life of your helmet interior by wearing a helmet liner, balaclava or scarf that keeps the sweat off.

Another good reason to replace your helmet every five years is that helmet technology is advancing all the time and a new helmet is going to offer more protection than something five years old.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle riding gear failures

Your motorcycle jackets, pants, gloves and boots that are supposed to protect you in a crash, can sometimes experience failures of the most basic test of simple wear and tear.

However, it is important to differentiate a product failure from a rider error.

Product failures

We recently bought a pair of motorcycle gloves (pictured above) that split the stitching at the cuff after a few weeks of normal riding.

The gloves had a one-year warranty and the shop contacted the distributor who replaced them.

Motorcycle riding gear failures glovesSame failure

Only a few weeks later the second pair failed in exactly the same way.

Obviously there appears to be an inherent design fault in the gloves.

This is not the only example of motorcycle protective gear failing the basic wear and tear test.

Dr Chris Hurren who researches protective materials for a living and worked with Dr Liz de Rome and others to produce the protocol used by MotoCAP for testing has also experienced basic wear failures.

While trying on a pair of protective denim pants in a store, the top button above the zip pulled apart and fell off.

“This was obviously a problem that the manufacturer knew about as the garment came with a spare metal button however in reality should the product have been in the market place in the first place,” he says.

“This failure before even leaving the store should be a quick indicator of the build product of a garment.”

It’s not Dr Hurren’s only personal encounter with a wear failure.

After spending $700 on a leather jacket, he found the zip failed after two years.

“I have since observed new jackets hanging in store from the same manufacturer with a zip that was corroded and already causing trouble during use,” he says.

“The addition of a low-cost zip to a high-cost jacket significantly reduces its working life.

“Closures like zips, buttons and clips often have higher loading due to body size and may be strained to failure during impact grip with the road in a crash.”

MotoCAP senior researcher Dr Chris HurrenDr Chris Hurren

Rider error

However, some complaints about protective clothing failures can be due to rider error, not product failure.

Waterproof claims are a classic example, says Link International product manager Ron Grant.

“You can have the best jacket in the world, but if you don’t get all the closures correctly positioned, ensure your shirt collar or cuffs aren’t exposed (which creates a wicking point for water entry) you will still get wet,” he says.

“The majority of wet claims I believe are mainly due to incorrect usage or fitment.

“If you wear gloves over your cuff, water penetrates through the jacket stitching in the chest and arms, runs down between the outer shell and the outside of the waterproof liner (so the rider is still dry) and drains straight into the gloves. This is not a glove issue but a rider fitment issue.

“Likewise with waterproof boots. I see riders buy ‘shorty’ waterproof boots and then complain they get wet feet.

Draggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pantsDraggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pants

“If you have a look at their rain pants when their feet are on the pegs, the rain pants may ride up just enough to allow water into the boots.”

Riders also have a duty to maintain and treat their gear appropriately.

For example, zippers can get dry from dust and bugs etc. An occasional rub over with a candle or an appropriate wax on the zipper teeth will help the zipper slide smoothly and last longer.

Likewise, screwing up a zip in waterproof liner and securing it under a couple of Occy straps can damage the waterproof coating allowing water to enter the jacket. 

Warranty

If your riding gear has experienced a genuine product failure, you may be due a replacement or repair under warranty.

Click here to find out more about warranties.

Have you ever had motorcycle gear fail a basic wear test? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Helmet Scratch Repair – 5 Top Tips

If you have been riding for any time then chances are you have managed to scratch your motorcycle helmet – more than once!

In this article we look through five top tips to help identify, repair or reduce the prominence of scratches on your helmet.

Disclaimer: Consult a qualified expert or retailer if you have damaged your helmet. If there is any question about the structural integrity of your helmet from a road accident, dropping or impacting your helmet you may have compromised its safety performance. Always consult an expert to ensure your personal safety and legal compliance. This article is provided as a guide only for minor cosmetic scratches. We do not advocate modifying your helmet. Following any part of this guidance is done at your own risk – use common sense or live with the scratch! We accept no liability for your action or inaction.

If you are a perfectionist or a fellow OCD sufferer like me, then you like to keep your bike and riding gear in top condition – scratches and imperfections are the enemy.

To repair or improve scratches on your motorcycle helmet there are a few key steps to follow:

  1. Identifying if you are dealing with a scratch or a scuff.
  2. Consider your options for scratch repair carefully – they are:
      • 2.1 Do nothing – Consider leaving it as you may make it worse!
      • 2.2 Renew your gear or get it repaired by a professional – Easiest but most expensive option.
      • 2.3 Tactically place a sticker over it  – Cheap and effective where scratches can be concealed.
      • 2.4 Use a suitable permanent marker – This may not work or endure weathering.
      • 2.5 Apply touch-up paint – Effective but potentially tricky blend of art and science.
  3. Test a small inconspicuous area before you bring any chemicals into contact with your helmet to check for any ‘reaction’ with the helmet surface. You have been warned.
  4. Clean your helmet surface to ensure good adhesion of stickers, pen or paint – if you choose any option other than #1.
  5. Ensure colour match. Before you paint your scratch, test a small inconspicuous area. Colours may change or reflect light differently when they dry so select carefully and don’t rush it.

1. Scratch VS. Scuff – The first question to answer

There is a world of difference between a scuff and a scratch. The top search result on YouTube for ‘helmet scratch repair’ shows a guy demonstrating how a ‘scratch’ can be removed by rubbing cotton wool doused in lighter fluid! This is, in fact, a scuff which he removes, not a scratch.

A scuff is when you rub up against a surface such as painted wall  and the paint rubs off on to the helmet. A common scenario is walking though a doorway and bumping your helmet on the door frame. Fixing a scuff like this is simply a case of selecting a suitable cleaning agent and carefully rubbing off the scuff, taking care to not damage the paint or surface of your helmet.

A scratch is very different. A scratch is where something hard, sharp and abrasive removes some helmet paint or clear coat.

To see if you have a scratch or scuff, gently move your thumbnail over the mark.

If your thumbnail dips into the mark and makes an audible high-pitched clicking sound, it’s likely a scratch. If it sounds dull, it’s probably a scuff.

To remove scuffs, try a gentle rub with your finger or a quality microfibre cloth to see if you can remove it. If not, try a cleaning agent that is suited to the helmet’s shell material. Start with a mild specialist helmet cleaner before trying any stronger options. Be careful as solvents are not recommended and can not only spoil the finish, but damage the helmet shell’s integrity. Take particular care with matte or satin finishes. Always spot check in a small inconspicuous area where possible.

WARNING: Never use strong solvents like Cellulose thinners, Xylene or Acetone. They are likely to compromise primary paint and helmet construction materials.

(Note: In the video I used acetone, a thinning solvent, on a matte finish. This is generally a bad idea unless you are experienced or comfortable with the risk of marring. I had already tried specialist helmet cleaner to no avail on the scuff, though I probably should have tried methylated spirits first which is less harsh than acetone. However, I moved quickly and lightly to minimise marring though as you can see in the above image under bright light I did introduce slight marring. Overall though I was happy with the result.)

2. Consider your options for scratch repair – carefully

If there is one thing worse than a scratch it is a bungled of shoddy repair attempt. You can easily make a scratch far more prominent.

Always consider these options before doing anything:

Option #2.1 – Do nothing.

Most people can live with it; I just don’t understand how. Fellow OCDers may need to consult a suitable psychologist, scream into a pillow or seek solace in an alternative means of distraction to avoid the inevitable twitches and sense of discomfort knowing that you have a scratch that has not been dealt with. Alternatively, you may just determine that the scratch is so unbearable, you can afford option 2.2.

Option #2.2 – Replace the helmet.

Other than wear and tear, a scratch is a solid excuse for buying a lovely new shiny, satin or matt lid. Consider giving away the compromised (scratched) article to a more relaxed family member, friend or colleague. (Please make sure if you are giving away gear that it first correctly – helmets need to fit to protect you properly – or just throw it in the garbage, or display it on a shelf and hope the dust will cover the scratch with time).

Option #2.3 – Tactically place a sticker

Some scratches are in a spot where you can easily cover them with a sticker. Be careful though as sticker adhesives vary. You need to ensure that they are compatible with the composition of the helmet shell.

Manufacturer-supplied stickers that often come in packets with your new helmet should be fine.

Be aware that some stickers may cause head rotation and spinal injury in a slide down the road. For these reasons I am not a fan of aftermarket stickers.

Option #2.4 – Use a permanent marker

There is a wide range of permanent markers or “sharpies” available at office supply stores that may mask the attention-drawing effect of, for example, a white scratch on a black helmet. However, the effect may not last. Think lip-stick vs facelift.

Make sure you clean the helmet and allow any cleaning agents to completely dry. Test on a small area to see if the marker matches the required colour.

Some black inks may appear quite different with a white background. White primer can show through in a scratch on a black or dark-coloured helmet. In this is the case and the pen doesn’t work, simply remove it with a suitable cleaning agent, ensuring not to remove or damage the original paint.

Option #2.5 – Apply touch-up paint

Touch-up paint is one of the most effective and durable options for repairing a helmet scratch. However, care and skill is needed in colour matching; cleaning and preparation of the scratch; priming the scratch (for example spray paint may not adhere to the scratch); and judicious application of paint to avoid runs.

TouchupPaints

A benefit of a touch-up pen is that you often don’t need to apply a primer. However, you may struggle to find a colour match in a touchup-pen. In which case you could try auto spray paint. I suggest spraying a small amount into the spray can lid or a clean plastic container and use a small applicator to dab on the scratch.

Small artist paint brushes, cotton earbuds or a match stick cut to a angle can be very effective for accurate paint application:

3. Test any chemicals or paints you intend using on inconspicuous area

There are many different materials, coatings, graphics and paints used in motorcycle helmet construction and decoration. There is a significant risk associated with applying chemicals, including cleaning agents, solvents, paints, abrasive products and scouring pads and cloths. You should approach using anything to clean your helmet or repair scratches with great caution to avoid problems.

Find a suitable test area that cannot be readily seen such as behind a lining, under the chin or where the visor would cover in normal operation. Use a cotton bud to apply a small amount of any chemical you intend using to check how the surface material reacts. Leave it overnight and review in the morning for evidence of discolouration, bubbling or any other form or undesirable reaction.

4. Clean and prep your scratch

It may not be easy to see, but your helmet will probably be covered in many contaminants such as grease from your hands, wax from cleaning products and particulates from riding.

Clean your helmet with a suitable helmet cleaner.

Then clean out the scratch with a pre-paint wipe or cotton bud dipped in cleaning solution, ensuring that you don’t leave any cotton wool fibres on the scratch which can interfere with paint application.

Avoid using harsh solvents as they may strip paint and graphics, or compromise the integrity of the helmet shell. Consider using less harsh options as far as possible.

5. Colour match your helmet

This is where the art comes into play. Matching colours is notoriously tricky. Buy a couple of touch-up paint options and test dab on a piece of scrap plastic, allow to dry and hold up alongside your helmet in a good light to ensure a match. They have the added benefits of not necessarily requiring a primer or clear coat.

Alternatively, you can use aerosol cans given the range of colour options and spray into a lid or small container before applying.

Some paint shops will mix up to your sample. However, they usually only mix significant minimum quantities and matching results can be variable. The paint may also require a clear coat which adds hassle, cost and complexity. In my view, this is the least appealing option.

Painting

Once you have your paint colour-matched, you are ready for painting. Follow directions for prep and application on any paints used and make sure you:

  • Apply paint in a well-ventilated place free from dust as far as possible;
  • Apply paint at a suitable temperature 20-25C degrees;
  • Do not apply paint or dry under direct sunlight;
  • Have cleaned and dried the scratch;
  • You are working on a stable surface; and
  • You apply paint under good lighting.

Once applied, allow the paint to dry in line with instruction on your touchup or spray can; clean any brushes immediately.

  • Please share on our Facebook page your before-and-after shots and anything that worked well or failed spectacularly!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com