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Author Topic: Helmets - race, motorcycle, skiing, etc - pro and con  (Read 9420 times)
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Seldom Seen Slim
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« on: January 01, 2014, 11:44:28 AM »

Here is the newest thread on landracing.com's Forum.  We've had a good number of discussions about this, that, and the other concerning helmets, and while some are fine right where they are, there are some that sholdn't be going on (the current one on the Michael Schumacher coma is the example to which I refer).

So - you're welcome to go on here about helmets - whether you think they're safe, if you've got a recommendation, if you've got a certain helmet and wonder if it'll be accepted when you get to XXX (whatever) race track.  Put that stuff here and let's get busy with talking about them.  Thanks. grin
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 12:45:11 PM »

Oh good, I get to do a helmet rant.

Every year the Love Ride is a charity motorcycle event on Los Angeles with thousands of participants.

Not one wearing a full face helmet. Interesting how your own personal safety is overridden by desperately wanting to fit in with the culture.

The helmet is a device that narrowly extends the brains ability to take damage. Easy to overwhelm that edge. The brain just won't tolerate high-G deceleration, and does nothing for rotational injuries. A couple of years ago a Le Mans car spun out and was sitting sideways on the track. His team mate hit him on the rear corner and spun him like a top. He suffered a broken jaw. There wasn't a mark on the helmet, it came from rotational force.

As far as Michael Schumacher, if you see film from the 70's, skiers sedately made their way down the slope with nothing more than a sharp turn or two.
Today, everyone watches YouTube and sees the aerial stunts and heads out to duplicate them.
Risk management doesn't exist for a huge number of skiers, snow boarders, off and on road motorcycles, skate boards, parkour . . .
Schumacher was skiing out of bounds on ungroomed snow. Makes sense for a risk-taker to want more than conventional slopes offer. But the risk goes up, and the risk was taken.
Sonny Bono, Natasha Richardson, even Sarah Burke, a four-time X Games superpipe gold medalist who was fatally injured two years ago while skiing in Park City, Utah.

Quote
“There’s a push toward faster, higher, pushing the limits being the norm, not the exception,” said Nina Winans, a sports medicine physician at Tahoe Forest MultiSpecialty Clinics in Truckee, Calif. “So, all of those factors — terrain parks, jumping cliffs and opening terrain that maybe wasn’t open in the past — play into some of these statistics with injuries.”

The population most susceptible to that culture is the one that is dying, statistics show. Seventy percent of snow-sports fatalities involve men in their late teens to late 30s, according to the ski area association. That is the same population that most often engages in high-risk behaviors like driving fast. Head injuries remain the leading cause of deaths in skiing and snowboarding, Shealy said, with about 30 in the United States each year.

New York Times article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/sports/on-slopes-rise-in-helmet-use-but-no-decline-in-brain-injuries.html?ref=sports&_r=0

Take your dune buggy out? At Glamis dunes in California on busy weekends they position THREE ambulances there.

These injuries cost tens of thousands of dollars. Guess who gets to pay for all of the injuries?
[/endrant]
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 01:09:45 PM »

I read today the his helmet had a good size crack on it.
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 01:12:01 PM »

Those bikers are playing with fire.

Those helmets only look like helmets.

They say if you've got a ten buck head wear a ten buck helmet. wink

Buy the best and don't compromise, period.

I've used both Bell and Simpson.

The Bell (XFM1) saved my life in 82. Even though not a bike helmet I crashed a bike at 180Ks and never even had a headache.

Current helmet is a Simpson Speedway Shark T38. I like the fit better than the Bell.
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 07:26:09 PM »

This is something that just happened so I am not real comfortable talking about it.  The info might save someone an injury.  Here it goes.  Werner was on his brand new Triumph on the Marine base a couple of weeks ago.  He was wearing his protective gear and traveling at night on a two lane road.

Some clown was traveling the other way in a big Ford F-150 with only the dome light on and no headlights.  He went over into Werner's lane.  Werner slowed down and flashed his lights.  The other guy did not see this and he hit Werner head on doing about 60.  Werner had slowed down to about 20.  Werner flew up over the truck and traveled a long way before he hit the deck.  The bike and his combat boots were under the truck.

A lady driving by called the cops and the meat wagon.  They took Werner to Scripps Hospital and did what they could.  Rose went down to Pendleton and got him.  He is mending here for a month or so before he goes back on duty.  He is sorta a pain in the azz so that means he is getting well.  A good sign.

His injuries are some broken foot and toe bones and cuts and bruises.  The impact pulled him out of his boots and this trashed his feet.  They cut off his helmet at the hospital.  It was the full face one he wore at BUB when he set his record.  The doc said it saved his life.

Werner has a square shaped head.  It is common for his Dutch and German ancestry.  It was very, very hard to find a helmet that fit him.  My feelings are the helmet quality and fit were crucial to him being alive.  We talked about this.  He agreed. 
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 08:02:45 PM »

Any comments on the Simpson Avenger helmet? Price doesn't reflect normally high quality helmets.
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John
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 08:10:31 PM »

Bo, I can see why you're kind of hesitant to talk about Werner's crash.  I was afraid, as I read your post, that you were going to say that he wasn't wearing safety garb.  I know that the Air Force - and I assume the other branches of the military - requires all airmen to wear safety equipment - or lose medical coverage.  In other words, if he hadn't been wearing a helmet he wouldn't have insurance.

I'm glad to hear that he's on the mend.  Please send our best wishes to him for a happy new year -- and one for you, two. cheers cheers
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 12:21:50 AM »

I buy a new helmet almost every year. I bought a Snell 2010 certified helmet just for this past BUB event. But what really bothers me is that the narrow opening while in the tucked position does not allow much forward vision. The top of the opening interferes with eyesight when I am in the head-down position. When I call  the various dealers (Helmet City, etc.) they admit there are no helmet specs for being able to see while tucked. The opening sizes are not published.

This is a safety issue. Does anyone know of a brand and model that does allow forward vision while tucked down?

Thanks
Don
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 01:02:01 AM »

Just out of curiosity have you tried contacting any of the helmet manufacturers directly. I don't know if it would do any good but it certainly couldn't hurt. You just never know.

Pete
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 08:20:19 AM »

I buy a new helmet almost every year. I bought a Snell 2010 certified helmet just for this past BUB event. But what really bothers me is that the narrow opening while in the tucked position does not allow much forward vision. The top of the opening interferes with eyesight when I am in the head-down position. When I call  the various dealers (Helmet City, etc.) they admit there are no helmet specs for being able to see while tucked. The opening sizes are not published.

This is a safety issue. Does anyone know of a brand and model that does allow forward vision while tucked down?

Thanks
Don

You never said what make you bought. Shoei or AGV top of the range bike helmets are better than most for tucked vision.
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Seldom Seen Slim
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2014, 09:29:59 AM »

I've had the same issue -- not being able to tilt my head back enough to be able to see very far down the track because the top of the face cut-out (for lack of a better word) is too low.  And I got pretty much the same feedback when I questioned manufacturers, racers, dealers, and so on.  They all said that their helmets meet the safety standards as they're stated, and while it might be possible to enlarge the top of the face cut-out - there's not a lot of request to do so.  And there is certainly not nearly enough impetus to enlarge that to make it worth the while to spend the money to design, manufacture, and present to the safety certification group for acceptance.

I was therefore pretty much on my own to find as many helmets as I could and try them on/ask the owner about the height of the field of vision.  Some helmets do have a little more than others, so then it was see if I could get one of them to use.  I don't remember, I'm sorry to report, which helmet brands and models were the best, but I did end up with a KBC something-or-other model, and it's not bad at all.

Then there was the issue of my bifocals.  Because I had my headed tilted up to see down the race course -- I wasn't able to see the gauges on the dashboard because the reading part of the lens was too far down.  You should have heard the eye doctor and his staff asking me why the heck did I want the reading lens part of the glasses to be dang near in the (vertical) middle of the lens, and not at the bottom like they're "supposed" to be. evil  I got 'em done my way -- and viola, I could see the track and the dashboard.
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Jon E. Wennerberg
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 10:15:17 AM »

Bo,
 Look at Arai helmets for fit options. They have the largest selection of helmet shapes. Prices are premium, but so is fit and quality. They also use strand type foam inside that helps in protection with multiple hits in the same spot.
Dale

PS-I think they raised the eye port opening a few years ago in the Corsair.
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 10:21:51 AM »

To add something else...

A couple of years ago one of the motorcycle mags performed comprehensive testing of a bunch of helmets.  While I don't have the magazine right in front of me, what they found was that helmets certified to Snell transmitted more force than those certified to DOT only.  In fact, the forces transmitted exceeded those recommended, although I can't remember the details offhand.  A friend has the magazine if anyone wants more information on this.  Based on this testing I purchased the helmet that transmitted the least force for riding on the street.  My race helmet meets Snell of course.  I don't expect any changes but found it interesting that Snell didn't seem to be the best choice.
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 10:36:51 AM »

I buy a new helmet almost every year. I bought a Snell 2010 certified helmet just for this past BUB event. But what really bothers me is that the narrow opening while in the tucked position does not allow much forward vision. The top of the opening interferes with eyesight when I am in the head-down position. When I call  the various dealers (Helmet City, etc.) they admit there are no helmet specs for being able to see while tucked. The opening sizes are not published.

This is a safety issue. Does anyone know of a brand and model that does allow forward vision while tucked down?

Thanks
Don
Simpson told me that they would build a helmet with the opening "cut" for motorcycle tuck. That may mean going by Simpson in New Braunfels, Texas for custom fitting and probably $$$. At least some of the NHRA PS Bike folks are doing this.

Rouse
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 10:44:56 AM »

As Jon said "...requires all airmen to wear safety equipment - or lose medical coverage.  In other words, if he hadn't been wearing a helmet he wouldn't have insurance."

Just wait 'til Obamacare kicks in--

1. You are required by law to have insurance.
2. Injuries cost $ to the system.
3. The whole system, like Social Security, is a Ponzi Scheme. There will never be enough $ to support the system.
4. Costs must be reduced.
5. Ban activities that result in injuries.
6. Government bans racing, skiing, motorcycles, hot rods, skin diving, sky diving, lowers speed limits to 35mph, etc.
7. Gotcha!  shocked

Regards, Neil   Tucson, AZ (flame suit on)
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Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
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