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Flip front helmets and the law


Pete
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I've just discovered that it's illegal to ride with your flip front helmet in the open position (and no I wasn't stopped by the busys!). At first I was quite surprised, but I guess it does make sense. However I can't find a reference for the actual law and what the law says about it...all I can find is people on other forums saying "oh yes it's definitely illegal because the man in the pub told me so".


Anyone know where I can reference this?

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I've also heard it is... I've ridden slowly with a flip lid up in the past, but anything past snails pace I've always put it down due to comfort... don't fancy going 60 with it up, might rip your head off!

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I agree Rick. I've always ridden with the front up around town, certainly nothing above 30 and probably not even that.


Matt I was surprised too but when I read a bit more about it it turns out that many flip front helmets are tested as full face ones, so as soon as the front is lifted they're acting as untested helmets and so can invalidate insurance if you have an off with the front lifted up, however some flip front helmets (I think Roof and maybe BMW) are tested as open face ones so might be OK (or that's what I've read anyway). I'd like to reference all this though so I know that it's actually correct!


Also from a safety point of view I guess if you have the front up and have an off then the bit that's lifted up is a potential anchor and could catch on something and knock your head back far enough to do serious damage...

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I guess that makes sense. My instructor whilst training always rode with his up :?


Ive tried to find the source of the law on helmets and motorcycle. But in the road traffic act it doesnt say anything about different types of helmets. Just that it has to meet certain regulations...havent got a clue what they are though :(.

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The safety rating on a flip-front is only achieved when the front is locked down. Riding with it in the open position means you are not riding with a correctly fitted helmet.


Any other suggestions?

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The new caburg is the exception because it passed its safety check with the lid in the locked u position.


I am not 100% but I do think its for the reason para mentioned above, they are all tested with the lid locked.


The other exception of course is those with removable fronts rather than flip fronts.

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That does make the most sense, but then what really is the point of having a flip front one at all then?

 


I would suggest the reason is for ease of use once off the bike, talking to people, filling with petrol etc etc etc.

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There is no regulation that states that it is illegal to ride with the chin bar up, it is simply one of those urban myths that has circulated for years.


Whilst many of the flip fronts are tested with the chin bar in the locked position, they are actuallly designed as an open faced helmet and the flip front is an add on, and in fact this was the only way Shoei could get theirs through BSI before the introduction of the EC22/05 regs.


A flip front with the chin bar raised is no better or worse than wearing a conventional open faced helemet, a, and nothing has been addednd all the regulations state is that the rider must wear a securely fastened crash helmet at all times when riding the bike.


Bear in mind that the regulations were written in 1972 before the introduction of flip fronts, and nothing has changed much since the specification of the 1985 BSI standard was written or subsequently under EC22/05

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I love my flip front! I only keep it up when I'm doing less than 30 through a busy town. When I passed my CBT the instructor showed me a helmet that had been hit by a stone while riding! If the person in question hadnt had a visor to help slow down the stone they would of lost and eye.


That worries me a little but I tend to choose as wizely as poss when my lid is open.

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There is no regulation that states that it is illegal to ride with the chin bar up, it is simply one of those urban myths that has circulated for years.
Thanks for that - I wasn't too sure when I was writing my bit as I'm sure I have seen Plod riding with them in the open position, and as you will know, they NEVER break the rules!
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  • 5 months later...

I've never heard before that riding with flip fronts up is illegal. I love mine and will never be without one for commuting. I find it a lot easier to, as Akey said, talk to people off the bike like at the petrol station, etc. I find the flip front a lot easier to put on compared to a regular helmet as well, particularly since I wear eye glasses and don't have to remove them to put on my helmet.


I've regularly noticed people riding around at town speeds with the flip front up (scooter riders, scooter parking folk, cops and even an off duty cop who was on a bike safe course I did a while ago), but I don't at all see the point.


The roof helmets I imagine are specifically designed for riding with the flip up, since it wraps all the way over.


Some, maybe most, flip fronts aren't ACU approved for track use (at least my Schuberth C3 isn't). This suggests they either aren't as safe or simply aren't tested to the presumably higher safety standard required on the track. :scratch:

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  • 4 weeks later...

i have a vemar flip front helmet, i to was confused by the law and if you were allowed to ride with it up or down. was i went on a mission to find out. i first went to the police station and asked them to look into it. after waiting with a cup of tea they came back and said.... theres no law regarding flip front helmets. it just states your helmet must be road legal and has been approved and is bearing a stamp. also that your helmet must be strapped up at all times.. also the police do not have the power too caution you, fine or arrest you. ive been riding with it up in town for about 4-5 months now and i always pass the police, they do nothing, if anything they told me that like to be able to see the riders face.

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  • 2 weeks later...
after waiting with a cup of tea they came back and said.... theres no law regarding flip front helmets. it just states your helmet must be road legal and has been approved and is bearing a stamp. also that your helmet must be strapped up at all times..

 

This is the clincher, it must be road legal and approved off the top of my head I cannot remember, although I did have it explained to me on my cbt. There is two different stamps for approving helmets. One that is for open face and one for full face. If you can find out which sign is which ( i'm sure a google search or somesuch will provide said details) then you can find out which it is approved for. If for instance you helemt has the open face helmet approval then you can ride with it open, if it only has the full face stamp then open face riding is illegal. However the fact that no-one will know to check for this and not a chance they would tell by seeing you ride past means its a bit irrelevant. However do note that a stamp for full face helmet will not protect you how it was designed to if you do come off with it in the open position.


Hope this helps

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  • 3 weeks later...

Guess it makes sense that you should have to have it down while actually riding, they will have done all the approval tests with it closed.


Also I dunno about anyone elses lid but when mine's up it seems a lot more flexable so with the flip down it will increase protection a lot.

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  • 2 months later...
Roof Boxer helmets are classed as open face, so it's legal to ride with the chin piece up.

i am training to be a cbt instructor and i have been informed that most flips are tested as open face helmets

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Roof Boxer helmets are classed as open face, so it's legal to ride with the chin piece up.

i am training to be a cbt instructor and i have been informed that most flips are tested as open face helmets

 

The original roof boxer is classed as a open face, but the newest model is classed as a full face and therefore illegal to ride with the chin piece up.

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  • 2 months later...

i used to ride my 125 with my front up at around 55MPH down the lanes and stuff, i dont see why they would class it as illegal as it would still protect your head completely. i also passed around 18 coppers doing an escort from gloucester to chepstow once when some dunce in a lorry took a wrong turn and was far to wide for the road. and i had my helmet up as it was hot and he never said a word, infact he nodded smiled and rode on and he was on a police bike.

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the face is more easily accessible without removing the whole helmet.

 

I was struggling with this thinking why would you want your face to be more accessible :shock: :?:

I could only think of two reasons.............none of which were particularly appealing :lol: :lol:



Then I reread it and picked up on the "in an emergency" bit :lol: :lol:


Surely if your going to buy a flip front lid, then it should tell you somewhere in the gumph you get with it, whether it is adviseable to ride with the flip part up or not ?

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  • 5 months later...

Why would you want to ride with it up? or with an open face helmet? When riding around town you are more likely to have a SMIDSY and end up needing the helmet to do its job ie protect your head + face!!

30mph is enough speed to remove part of your face should you slide down the road!!

As you can probably tell i'm not a fan of flip up lids!! I know they're tested to the same standards but having a hinge and a split built in to the front of the lid just sounds like a weak point to me!!

Each to their own i suppose!! but i'll stick to my full face lid ta. My mugs not pretty but i'm attached to it!!

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