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Discussion Starter #1
A question for some of the more experienced members.

Does anyone know of any info that has been compiled regarding the different types of helmets on the market today? I'm not talking about different manufacturers or DOT/Snell impact ratings, but about the actual safety in a collision of a open face helmet vs a full face helmet vs a full face hinged-jaw ( :?: ) helmet.

I use a full face to protect my precious mug ( I'm not that good looking to begin with and value the lower half of my face :!: ) but I am thinking of changing to one of the hinge-jaw types. It's a pain in the butt when you want to take a quick drink or a stick of gum when your wearing the full-face.

Anyone aware of any problems regarding this particular style of brain bucket?

Thanks in advance,

Bill
 

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Anything that covers your skull will be of considerable value. I got knocked down Sunday and my open-face helmet kept my noggin in perfect shape, even though my exposed elbow and knee got badly scraped. My "other" helmet is an flip up jaw version, and it would have done as well. I fell on my side, and there was never any real theat to my jaw or face.

If you hit a car at a good speed, and glass flies, then having your whole face covered would certainly be better than an open face helmet.

I haven't seen any studies on this verses that, so you'll have to use your own judgement. I mainly wear my hinge-up full face when it's colder outside, and my open face when it's hot.

Dave B.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Dave

I should have narrowed my question to just the full-face vs the hinged, full-face. The hinged one is really the only one that might interest me.

By the way........Just read your accident account ! OUCH!!!!!

Glad your OK!

Bill
 

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I have a friend at work who rides a harley and wears what I can only describe as a soupbowl on his head. I'm sure you know what they look like. With no windscreen and minimal face protection (just some goggle like things), I wonder how he would fair in an accident.


Not all accidents are big ones, but they can have a big impact. About 3 weeks ago when he came into the office, he was holding a swolen lip and claiming a big "june bug" had smacked him in the lip. Whatever it was left a stinger in there, and possibly a larger than normal amount of venom (or whatever).

Within an hour his lip had swolen up like a cartoon - literally. It looked like he was trying to swallow his face with his lower lip. Not to worry - the swelling went down with the application of ice and taking benadril (anti-histamine.) But he was still sore for several days.

He is not allergic to bees, but I can only imagine what would have happened if he was.
 

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Helmets

Bill---I don't about all the stats and tests---but---I went down in April-approx 50 MPH---Belly flopped on patch of fist sized rock-no slide-just impact---Shuberth Concept-flip up-shield saved my face---Get what you are comfortable with and enjoy---Luke
 

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I have 3 modular flip up helmets, being poor they are not name brand helmets that anyone ever heard of unless you happen to be chinese, but after examining all 3 very carefully, I feel very confident that any of the 3 would more than do it's job.

Anything that protects the brain pan is a help, even the "soup bowl" half helmets, but face coverage is, in my humble opinion, just as important. The idea of taking a bug, any bug, in the face at 70+ mph has no appeal whatsoever for me.

Find a helmet that fits well, is comfotable, & convenient & wear it. Having the best helmet in the world does no good sitting on a shelf. If you can't wear it comfortably for the amount of time required, then you probably won't, at that point you lose.
 

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The flip ups pass the statutory tests.
In truth I would summise (or just plain guess if you like) that a flip up must be weaker than a standard full face - all other things being equal (which they rarely are). The very best flip up will probably be a bit noiser and heavier than the very best full face.
I use and prefer a flip up because it is easier all round - just don't be tempted to ride with it 'flipped up'.
 

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Hard to have a smoke and drink your Pepsi while blasting down the road with a full face helmet on, that's why the flip-up's were invented (tongue in cheek).
:D
No, I don't smoke or drink Pepsi, but I know someone (who shall remain nameless) who does. :wink:
 

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.............It was coca cola - honest! :oops:
 

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Here's what I've used so far:

Nolan N100 flip-front (about 4 years old).
-Noisy behind stock windscreen except with visor up.
-Hinge/latch mechanism holds up well with time.
-Visor replacement is easy but not simple.
-Face-shield leaks in the rain, and water will seep into the forehead padding. Newer ones might not leak so much.
-Good ventilation. During one desert crossing (I-15 north of Las Vegas) I added a temporary cardboard&duct-tape exit airscoop which made 110F temperatures survivable. Works well in anything cooler than that.

Schuberth Concept flip-front (previous bike, similar windscreen coverage)
-LOUD!!!! Infinitely worse with the chin vent opened -- then it sounds like someone fired up a space shuttle booster right next to your ear.
-Ventilates nicely.
-Lots of wind noise.
-Very warm when closed up.
-Noisy.
-Handles rain well.
-Noisy.
-Near-magically-effective anti-fog coating, which will peel off if cleaned with anything more harsh than tap-water. Visor's aren't cheap either (but then, neither is the helmet).
-Noisy.
-Internal retractable sun visor is unbelievably handy (and means you don't have to carry an extra face-shield -- tinted or clear, whichever you don't have mounted on the helmet).
-Did I mention it's noisy?

Nolan N-41 3/4 helmet
-Very convenient face-shield (swings up under the baseball-cap-brim, and provides useful coverage in this position).
-Fairly quiet.
-Prone to collect fingerprints from flipping the face-shield up and down. Unfortunately, these fingerprints end up right in your line of sight with the face-shield in the up position.
-Ventilates well.
-Ok in rain (water will get in around the top seal but the padding won't get badly soaked unless you ride with the face-shield up).

Rusty J
AN650K5 (Blue)
 

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I recently purchased one of the new Schuberth C2 helmets. (My Arai gave it's life valiantly for me). Being someone who wears glasses, I absolutely wanted a hinged helmet. I looked at the Nolan, HJC, Schuberth, Scorpion, Shoei, and some other off-brand at the local BMW dealership (they had the best selection). I chose the Schuberth C2 because it was the best fit. The Nolan was close, but just didn't "feel right". Instead of $175, I spent $525 for my helmet. Is it worth it? Well, I only have one head and the local stores don't carry spares ;-).
I am very happy with my selection. Yes, it is noisier than a 1-piece helmet, but the new C2 is substantially quieter than the original "Concept" helmet. Personally, I don't find the noise offending-- even with the chin vent open. I know Schuberth work to quiet the new helmet, so I suspect it worked. The new C2 also has so many ventilation options (especially with the front screen) I rarely get hot-- even in the heat & humidity where I live.
In choosing a helmet, go for the best fit first. If several fit well, then choose your favourite between them for options. I chose to ignore price for the safety & fit. I am very happy with the options that came along with the helmet. Hope this helps.
 

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There are no Snell-rated flip-up helmets on the market, so I don't wear them. Snell has stated that they will test them and certify them if they pass. I think the explanation on Schuberth's site as to why they don't submit their helmets for Snell testing is BS.

As stated above, they have points of weakness that conventional full-face helmets lack, and until that weakness is tested against a consistant standard (that dates from more recently than the mid-70s), I won't take the chance. There are many accident types that both helmet types will protect you from, but I'm not going to gamble on not having an accident that puts the chin-bar to a stress test that the flip-up might not pass.
 

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If they pass all the Euro and Brit standards - whats so special about SNELL?
 

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Three things - well, all of them related.

-I was not able to find any information on what testing is required for the ECE-R 22.05 standard, which is the only one Schuberth reports them meeting on their site. Admittedly, I didn't look too hard, because of the two below.
-Whatever standard the German helmet was designed to meet, I wouldn't be surprised if it had to be tweaked a little to be DOT approved. Certainly, DOT is such a lax standard that it might have been for a small thing, like a field of visibility being in inches rather than centimeters - but that's a possibility. And they wouldn't have to back-certify the US-spec helmets - it meets DOT, their job is done.
-Snell does random sampling tests. DOT doesn't, and I don't know if ECE-R 22.05 requires them, but per #2, US helmets wouldn't be subject to them anyway.
And it still rubs me the wrong way that Schuberth won't submit those US-bound helmets to Snell testing.

Snell is the best umbrella standard I have come across yet for US-spec helmets. It costs extra for manufacturers to have the helmets initially tested and to be random-sample tested, and they will pass that cost on. I'm happy to pay that extra to know that what's on my head meets that standard.
 

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There seems to be some misinformation here.

1. DOT does require random testing. It's done by independent laboratories to DOT specifications.

2. Motorcyclist magazine did a pretty comprehensive test reported in their June issue. One of the most interesting findings was that some fairly inexpensive DOT-only approved helmets transmitted significantly less energy to what would be the head. The Snell helmets, because of the way the test parameters are established, did a better job preserving the integrity of the outer shell of the helmet.

Since brain injury results directly from the amount of energy delivered to the skull, one must choose between preserving the helmet or preserving the skull.

3. The Snell Institute response to the article is so completely lacking in substance or rationality that it brings their whole approach into question.

Read the article and the response with an open mind. You may be very surprised by their findings.
 

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It was my understanding that there was no body that pulled random helmet samples off of store shelves to determine that they comply with DOT standards.

I read both the article and Snell's response thoroughly, and I side with Snell. I think the magazine wanted to stir a controversy, and biased how they tested to generate it.
 

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Update on Schuberth Concept Helmet
I'm on the road, and visiting the friend who I left my Concept with (I'd staged a bit of luggage here on the way to CA, bought the Nolan N-41 mentioned in my earlier post while down there, and didn't have enough room to pack it back home with me). So, I'm actually able to test it on my new bike.

While the Schuberth was noisy behind the fairing of my BMW R100RS, it's actually moderately quiet behind the Burgman's fairing.
Stranger still, it's quietest with exactly the opposite ventilation settings than worked best with the BMW. The RS fairing's airflow was noisiest with the chin vent open and the visor in the "city" (clicked forward on the hinges) setting. On the Burgman, it's quietest with the visor pulled back snug to the seals and the chin vent open. Additional ventilation is best provided by opening the visor.

So, I'm much more pleased with the Concept helmet on the Burgman than I was with it on the Beemer.

I'm going to leave the Nolan N-41 here (so I have a decent hot-weather helmet for my next visit) and take the Concept home (I'll need it this fall).

YMMV -- mine did.

Rusty J
Blue AN650K5 on the road, silently.
'81 BMW R100RS back at home
 

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Confusing postings here regarding helmets!!! I used to be a fan of SNELL rated helmets. Firstly, after reading about the European testing and what one of the major American motorcycle publications reported ...I believe Motorcyclist ), the SNELL standard is outdated and totally unrealistic. Many of the DOT only approved helmets seemed to outperform some of the SNELL approved lids. Surprising and actually disappointing because I used to purchase my helmets because of the SNELL rating.

I will not place much faith in this standard anymore after educating myself about the specifics of SNELL 2005. From my understanding, SNELL was designed for high force, high impact such as found high speed accidents. Historically, this standard came from the racing world. They even test the helmet so that an impact is applied twice to the same area of the helmet. Does that make sense? Since when does someone involved in a motorcycle accident hit at 300 G's twice during the course of an accident. Also the G forces are set too high.

If you are involved a minor accident the SNELL approved helmet will transmit alot of the force because it is designed for a higher G force. These are just examples of outdated and unrealistic standards!! The Europeans have a more realistic approach and practical approach to their standards.

As for the Schuberth C2, I thought it was designed to be quiet. Its one of the only helmets designed to be quiet (86 DB at 100 kms/hr). No one else even publishes the noise level claims.
 
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