Helmet safety logic?

Discussion in 'General 1000RR Discussion' started by Muffking, Jun 26, 2021.

  1. Muffking

    Muffking God Like

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    Can't get my head around this one (pun intended).

    Searching for a replacement helmet as my HJC's are falling to bits,
    but it seems that the more you pay for better materials the worse the safety rating becomes.

    i.e.
    The lower to mid range HJC C70 at £100 made of polycarbonate has a good safety rating.
    https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/helmets/hjc-c70/

    The mid to high end RPHA 11 from around £200 made of composite fibre material has a poor safety rating, mainly on the sides.
    https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/helmets/hjc-rpha-11/

    The top end RPHA 70 from around £270+ made of carbon fibre has an almost as poor rating as the RPHA 11
    https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/helmets/hjc-rpha-70/

    Am I missing something here as I've always had the RPHA series as I was sold on the composite shell, but if the safety rating better on the polycarbonate models (a step up from thermoplastic) then why would I spend another £200?
     
  2. T.C

    T.C Senior Member

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    Before the EC22/05 self accreditation was introduced, BSI were considering upping polycarbonate shelled hats to the Gold type 1 standard and relegating the tricomposite shells to the lower standard.

    The reason for this was that the standard of polycarbonate helmets is consistent. They are injection moulded and the machine will turn out the same standard for every shell, whereas with the fancier materials they are laid by hand and there are inconsistencies which can occur for a number of reasons.

    However, the bottom line is that if a helmet is sold in this country, regardless of materials, they are safe and as I have said many times before and at the risk of repeating myself, a £50 helmet that fits properly is going to be far safer that a £500 helmet that fits badly.

    The safety ratings you get from the likes of Sharp are irrelevant, and they have been discredited by most of the manufacturers. Many are ex BSI employees who lost their jobs after EC22/05 was introduced.

    But to go back to the main part, the reason why polycarb helmets were not adopted as the type A grade standard (although back in the day Kiwi (remember that name?) did attain type A and ACU gold standard), is because in a slide the polymers can wear down quicker than a trilaminate construction, but not always as my old Police helmet is testimony to (worn through to the liner) in affect, the helmet can melt, but the protection levels are still there.

    What you are paying for with a helmet is -
    Materials used
    Labour intense (man made)
    Paint
    Quality of liner
    Quality of visors fastenings and fixings and the labour required to fit them.

    I was in China at the factor where the shells of a certain brand of very expensive hat are made (I am talking north of £500) are made and the finished shells are sold to the parent company for about 50p (yes, 50 pence) a pop.

    They are then constructed and so the final price is made up of construction, shipping, import, storage. Then there is the importers profit margin (usually about 50%) and the dealers margin which is also something between 30 - 50% bearing in mind that they are VAT exempt.

    So the bottom line is buy an approved helmet.
    Buy a helmet that fits.
    Ignore all the scaremongering by various people about 50p helmet for a 50p head type rubbish.

    Hope this is of some help?
     
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  3. Muffking

    Muffking God Like

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    Great info, thanks for that. It does make more sense and you make some very good points (which I had not seen before).
    I've ordered the C70. I don't know if the quality will be the same, but it does have some good reviews, so I'll give it a go on my next track day and see how it feels.
     
  4. Trackit

    Trackit Active Member

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    Makes a good read that. I went to superbike shop with the intention of buying an Xlite 803 or an LS2 carbon, both about £300. I wasn't that happy with the fit and ended up buying the HJC 70, it was the most comfortable.
     
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  5. Mattie660

    Mattie660 Elite Member

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    Very interesting.....and yes I do remember Kiwi helmets. My first decent helmet after leaving school was a Kiwi.

    Bought an AGV lid earlier this year, and on the box it said this....

    CASCHI DA CORSA DAL 1947

    (racing helmets since 1947) - when they were probably made of wood !! :D
     
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  6. T.C

    T.C Senior Member

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    If you want more information, I wrote these blogs for an insurance company back in 2018 when I was still working in legal as specialist crash investigator. Some of you may remember it from the first time around.

    It is still relevant and can be found here Crash Helmets – Why do we wear them and how are they made? | Bike Blog. (motorcycledirect.co.uk)

    It comes in 4 parts. The top one is part one.

    This is part 2 Crash Helmets – What helmet should I buy | Bike Blog. (motorcycledirect.co.uk)

    This is part 3 How to buy your lid | Bike Blog. (motorcycledirect.co.uk)

    And this is part 4 Looking after your lid | Bike Blog. (motorcycledirect.co.uk)

    I hope you find it helpful and beneficial to helping you get the right helmet for you
     
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  7. T.C

    T.C Senior Member

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    Moto Direct the UK importers of AGV have a collection of AGV helmets going right back to the very start and which includes all the original Ago and Barry Sheen hats.

    It is fascinating looking at how helmet design and technology has developed over the years. Even going back to my first AGV Ago in the 70's it is interesting to see how quickly things changed for the better.

    They also have the same set up for Arai which is the other brand they import, and that is equally interesting which is also coupled with ideas they are looking to introduce in the future.

    So not made of wood, but cork in most cases, but I understand what you are saying
     
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  8. Trackit

    Trackit Active Member

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    I read the blogs you wrote, interesting and straight to the point.
     
  9. bonjo

    bonjo Active Member

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    I tried a number of brands back in 2020: shoei, Xlite & HJC
    Ended up with RPH70 because the fit was best (for my head, snug but not tight), good vertical vision window for sportsbike riding, quite and aerodynamically very stable.
    In fact it can be also classed as sport touring helmet
     

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