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A helmet is the greatest invention for protecting motorcyclists every day. But not all helmets are equally safe. Best-designed and well-made helmets save lives, and some of them may just appear safe, while in fact, they are just shiny helmet-shaped objects that may shutter the second they touch the ground. Our in-house tech expert Michael Grayen wrote an article explaining the difference between some of the most common types of helmets made from different materials.

Any motorcycle helmet has three main layers of protection – an outer shell, the foam layer, and the inner liner. Since all liners, padding and Styrofoam layers don’t change much throughout the whole spectrum of helmets on the market, we will focus our attention on hard outer shells. The materials used in their manufacturing process range from simple thermoplastics to advanced composite fiber varieties. More details in the full article at the link below. Reading time – approximately 7 minutes.

What Material Choices Are There in Motorcycle Helmet Construction?

Some of the helmets featured in the article as examples:

NEXX Helmets® - X.G100R Motordrome Full Face Helmet - MOTORCYCLEiD.com


X-Lite® - X-803 Nuance Ultra Carbon Full Face Helmet - MOTORCYCLEiD.com


Cyber Helmets® - US-39 Solid Full Face Helmet - MOTORCYCLEiD.com


Click on the image to enter the product page for more information.
Click the button below to browse the catalog of full-face helmets at MOTORCYCLEiD.com

 

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A lot of riders don't know that the life of a crash helmet is five years from the date of manufacture, including any shelf life.

At our LSR meetings helmets are looked at by the scrutineering team along with your bike and leathers etc. As well as condition and conformity, Snell or ACU, the date label is checked. Over five years and you don't use it.

A discussion about this often generates a lot of debate from riders who's favourite helmet is in "perfect" condition, never scratched or dropped but maybe ten years old. They are surprised when the deterioration of the expanded polystyrene inner liner is revealed as the reason. Compression from years of wearing the helmet plus hardening from both airborne contaminants and contact with the rider's head means it's no longer going to absorb the shock when your head hits something hard, like the road. Instead of decelerating your head in a way that means you survive your brain smashes into the inside of your skull - meaning you probably won't.

A bit of a pithy topic but well worth the time to read, it may even save your life. A dealer friend of mine is quite hot on this and also dissuades customers from buying cheap helmets. He says "if you've got a cheap head then buy a cheap helmet". Wise words.
 

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Wow your regs are tighter than ours, my Snell 2010 expires at the end of this season
but in saying that one of the associations i race under (FIM )requires there new standard , so i brought one to suit , and there is no doubt its a step up from my old Shoei, lighter, more aerodynamic, even on the road at moderate speed i can feel the reduced effort on my neck
helmets have come a long way in 10 yrs
 

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So marine craft would be unsafe after 5 years with all that salt water and UV Light? After all there are multiple lives at risk. The number one danger from sinking is hitting low floating objects.
 

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Wow your regs are tighter than ours, my Snell 2010 expires at the end of this season
but in saying that one of the associations i race under (FIM )requires there new standard , so i brought one to suit , and there is no doubt its a step up from my old Shoei, lighter, more aerodynamic, even on the road at moderate speed i can feel the reduced effort on my neck
helmets have come a long way in 10 yrs
I pensioned off my old Shoei in the summer of 2018 and bought an X-Spirit 3. Just as you say OzBooster the new helmet is much lighter and the aerodynamics have improved too. I wore it for my 221mph pass and it was perfect. New too are the little red tabs at the side which allow medics to take out the cheek pads and this helps with the safe removal of the helmet if needed.

Five years of life might not seem like much but I think of it this way: It's less than the cost of one beer a week to wear a top quality helmet.

This image, me at over 200, shows how beautifully the X-Spirit 3 fits into the streamlined shape formed when you're in a tuck.
 

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Technology does improve dramatically in 5 years. The difference in comfort and performance is worth the money. Most of the trouble with composites have been solved, the chemicals are now very stable, no delaminating, no UV light deterioration and some helmets have replaceable internals, not like the old days where the fear of deterioration came from.
 
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