Which helmet is the safest ?
"random article from the net"
"OK, the first thing to realize is that the part of the helmet that protects your head isn't the shell, it's the thick
styrofoam inside (not the soft foam/fabric comfort lining, the rigid styrofoam between that and the outer shell).
The shell is there largely to keep the styrofoam together in an impact, and it also spreads the force out a bit and
protects against impalement.
Polycarbonate has been a staple of inexpensive motorcycle helmets for decades, and for the most part it seems to work
The main advantage of the various composites is lighter weight, although they may be stronger. The proper term for all
the composites is "fibre reinforced plastic," or FRP--different fibres, be they glass, kevlar, carbon fibre, or something
even more exotic, have different properties, but they are all held together by a "matrix" of plastic resin. Even if the
resin cracks, the fibres bridge the gap and prevent the shell from coming apart.
There is a fair bit of controversy over helmet design since Motorcyclist magazine released an article several years ago
in which they tested a whole bunch of helmets independently, and found that (using their criteria) the one they felt was
"safest" was actually the least expensive of the lot. What they were testing was how much force the helmet actually
delivered to the head in an impact. Many of the helmets which pass the Snell standard use a "hard shell," basically a
very rigid composite shell which spreads impact force over a large area, and doesn't deform easily--this makes for a very
tough helmet, but one that doesn't absorb as much impact force as a "soft shell" helmet which will deform more under
impact, and in doing so will absorb more of the impact. However, many of the soft shell helmets aren't "tough" enough to
withstand the Snell testing.
All helmets sold in NA must conform to the DoT standard, and have the DOT label on them; Snell is an independent testing body, and only some helmets are Snell approved. Many people will tell you to get a Snell approved helmet, but it may not be so simple (for example, my own helmet is not Snell approved, but it does meet ECE 22.05, a European standard that is different again). As you can see, this whole area is a complete morass, with lots of competing claims and differing opinions.
My advice would be to get a helmet that FITS well, and that you can afford. The main advantage of the more expensive
helmets is often lighter weight and perhaps better ventilation, etc., and of course there's a "bling" aspect to some of
The bottom line is, no matter how good a helmet may be, if it doesn't fit properly it won't work properly.
"Mario - Synergy Motorcycles"
Helmets are constructed of mainly 4 diffrent shell meterials, which are:
1. Polycarbonate Plastic - This plastic shell is normally from the cheaper helmet range.
2. Fibreglass Shell - Will absorb impact much better than polycarbonate as the fibres crumple inn, rather
than tear open as with a polycarbonate plastic shell.
3. Carbon Fibre - Stronger than a Fiberglass shell and also the lightest of all the helmet shell meterials.
4. Carbon Kevlar - Kevlar is used to make bullet proof vests, which goes without saying the strongest
of all the helmet shell meterials.
Okay so buying a carbon kevlar helmet means it has strongest shell, but does not necessarily make it the safest
helmet. There are many other factors to look at like the shape, chinstrap, basic craftsmanship and expanded polystyrene
(EPS) liner which actually absorbs the hit to a crash. It's very difficult for a normal customer to look up all these
specs to all the diffrent helmets. Fortunately there is a testing company called SHARP which does all these helmet
crash test's for us and Skilled staff working at Synergy Motorcycles which will help you explain everything you need to
know about all helmet properties.
Once again the helmet has to fit properly, In order for it to work properley !!! If you are not sure how to fit it
go to Fitting a Helmet.
If you see a helmet you really like just check out the Star Rating it was given from SHARP.
SHARP is the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme.
If you have any queries on any Biking accessories phone me Mario at 082 768 2468 or
012 584 9931.