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  1. #1
    N_C
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    Does the same group test motorcycle helmets.

    Do the same group or organization that tests & rate bicycle helmets also test motorcycle helmets? Do motorcycle helmets get a similar rating from snell/ansi as bike helmets do? I ask because I know nothing about motorcycle helmets. I know we have a few motorcycle riders in A&S.

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    In the states that require them, they must be, at a minimum, DOT approved (Dept of Transportation). Optionally they can be Snell approved. Currently Snell only tests and approves full face MC helmets. Though many may pass Snell testing, no flip up helmets have been tested. DOT approves most anything beyond the 'tupperware' the Hardley Abelson folks like to wear

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    There are three ratings organizations on the scene now for moto helmets - DOT, Snell, and ECE (a European rating). There was an in-depth article, and it seems that for the crashes most street riders would encounter, a DOT helmet offers better protection than a Snell rated one, based purely on the g forces transmitted to the skull. The ECE rating seems to be not a widely used/advertised here in the States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patman
    There are three ratings organizations on the scene now for moto helmets - DOT, Snell, and ECE (a European rating). There was an in-depth article, and it seems that for the crashes most street riders would encounter, a DOT helmet offers better protection than a Snell rated one, based purely on the g forces transmitted to the skull. The ECE rating seems to be not a widely used/advertised here in the States.
    That article you speak of was in the June 2005 issue of Motorcyclist magazine. The conclusion was that the Snell certification has little in common with what happens during the majority of motorcycle accidents. This was highlighted by the fact that the hardest test a Snell rated helmet has to pass is equivalent to dropping a 5kg stainless steel half sphere 10ft onto a helmet and then repeating again in the same spot. The first impact can only transfer 150J and the second should only transfer 110J. In well over 90% of accidents, a rider has a single impact with the ground then skids, tumbles, etc. The Snell scenario is akin to hitting a solid steel pole dead on and then hitting another pole in exactly the same spot.

    In order to pass this test, the helmet manufacturers had to decrease the amount of energy the inner polystyrene/EPS liner absorbed. This meant that in a perfect world, the helmet would still need to retain enough cushioning to pass the second impact. This is all great except for the fact that most riders will never need to worry about that second impact on the exact same point. To further complicate the matter is the fact that if you have to worry about 2 impacts on the same area of your helmet then it is likely the rest of your body has taken some serious trauma from the accident which will largely negate any benefit from the helmet (if you aren't already dead). The bulk of motorcyle accidents involve cars who fail to see/yield to a rider or involve instances where the motorcycle operator misjudges his/her speed/trajectory/ability and lays down the bike. Both usually happen on city streets where the speed is no more than 40mph.

    In these scenarios the safest helmets were determined to be the ones that had only passed the DOT standard. The inner lining crushed almost completely on impact while the outer shell remained intact. Essentially, the head in the helmet has more distance to slow down and the EPS can, in turn, take more energy away by not needing to be ready for a second hard hit.

  5. #5
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    I believe that in the US, it is the CPSC that verifies all bicycle helmets, not the DOT. www.helmets.org seems to have plenty of information including this page comparing the test methods: http://www.helmets.org/stansumm.htm

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    N_C
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    Would it make a differance if the DOT verfied bicycle helmets as they do motorcycle helmets?

    If bicycles are legal vehicles of the roadway why do they not verify bicycle helmets?

    Do you think it would make a differance in the way a helmet protects?

    Would the protective materials be differant & help protect more or better then current helmets do?

    Or do you think what we have today would be acceptable by the DOT?

  7. #7
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    Would it make a differance if the DOT verfied bicycle helmets as they do motorcycle helmets?

    If bicycles are legal vehicles of the roadway why do they not verify bicycle helmets?

    Do you think it would make a differance in the way a helmet protects?

    Would the protective materials be differant & help protect more or better then current helmets do?

    Or do you think what we have today would be acceptable by the DOT?
    And here lies the real issue in all this: The CPSC, in their lofty position of authority, have decreed bikes to be toys, thus falling under their purvue. That's why the CPSC approves bike helmets and we have the silly little required reflectors on bikes. Cyclists would be better served, I think, if the DOT covered bikes. Might even be easier to get bike facilites incorporated in roads.
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Tinker
    And here lies the real issue in all this: The CPSC, in their lofty position of authority, have decreed bikes to be toys, thus falling under their purvue. That's why the CPSC approves bike helmets and we have the silly little required reflectors on bikes. Cyclists would be better served, I think, if the DOT covered bikes. Might even be easier to get bike facilites incorporated in roads.
    I won't get into bike facilities , but I think the bicycle, in general, would be better served by the DOT than the CPSC for the sole reason that the CPSC generally deals with "consumer products" (things like toys, TVs, blenders, etc.) and not vehicles. As long as bicycles are considered toys, the target market will be considered children and safety products will be designed with children in mind. One problem (at least for helmet makers) is that in order to design a bicycle helmet to protect a rider in a crash that an adult cyclist might be invovled in, you'd end up with a motorcycle helmet. There's not going to be a very big market for those among cyclists.

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