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Racing Helmets...


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Just an interesting one... but can a racing helmet be used on a motorcycle? I'm not familiar with the 'standards' of motorcycle helmets so any guidance on the markings required would be dandy.


Admittedly I've budgeted £300 for shelling out on a new lid anyway but I'm curious as I can then start getting my gear sooner rather than later.

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No, I have a Bell helmet that I use in single-seater racing on circuits (currently about to start testing in Formula Jedi when the cash comes!) and so my question is if they are suited to the purpose of motorcycles as well.


I believe the helmet Snell SA2005 homologated and obviously FIA approved - but I imagine they're not suitable for road use?

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At the moment there is actually no legal requirement for a helmet to meet standards on uK roads. That is to say if old bill pull you they won't look at your helmet, unless of course it is obviously not a helmet.


However helmets sold in the UK must have the ACU gold sticker. Some bike examiners inspect the lid for this sticker.


However that doesn't mean lids with stickers from other standards are inferior. snell is a good standard.


It is also possible to buy a top lid from Japan by Shoei or Arai for £200.00 cheaper and it is identical to the lids sold here but doesn't come with an ACU gold sticker.


You can't do a track day in this country if your lid doesn't have a gold sticker.


As a footnote gold stickers can be bought off flea bay for about a tenner.


and... yes I have bought a lid from Japan when I have been to Japan, I got a Kagayama rep Shoei x spirit, and I bought a sticker off ebay. The helmet is absolutely the same as the ones sold here less a sticker.

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Thanks for the info fella - well the way I see it is if I trust an £800 lid to protect my head in an open wheel car doing 140mph (admittedly in conjunction with a HANS device) then I'd trust it to protect my head in an accident on the roads.


The only difference being circuits are designed to obviously cater for you coming off the track - roads aren't as forgiving! I may look into a second helmet anyway, but for the time being, it looks like I can get away with it and save some cash till the next paycheque.


Any experience of ordering from Japan rather than actually picking one up in person? Wondering how it works out as against the UK prices. If anyone has done it then I'd be interested to hear. I've ordered a lot of stuff from HK before (airsoft gear and the like) so have a rough idea of cost - but direct exp of ordering helmets / recommended stores would be good.


Cheers!


Matt.

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I asked this question of the Stig's helmet makers.


Their answer was No - a car helmet is not suitable for bikes. The type of impact is different and a lot of the technology has gone into making them flame proof, which we don't need on bikes as the risk of fire is minimal.

Edited by Anonymous
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Thanks for the info fella - well the way I see it is if I trust an £800 lid to protect my head in an open wheel car doing 140mph (admittedly in conjunction with a HANS device) then I'd trust it to protect my head in an accident on the roads.


The only difference being circuits are designed to obviously cater for you coming off the track - roads aren't as forgiving! I may look into a second helmet anyway, but for the time being, it looks like I can get away with it and save some cash till the next paycheque.


Any experience of ordering from Japan rather than actually picking one up in person? Wondering how it works out as against the UK prices. If anyone has done it then I'd be interested to hear. I've ordered a lot of stuff from HK before (airsoft gear and the like) so have a rough idea of cost - but direct exp of ordering helmets / recommended stores would be good.


Cheers!


Matt.

 

How much faith do you have in baggage handlers and couriers not to drop your lid? Even once?


I'm sure they'd wrap it up in bubble wrap and stuff but i don't think i'd trust it atall. And worse you'd never know. I'd always buy a helmet in person.

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I asked this question of the Stig's helmet makers.


Their answer was No - a car helmet is not suitable for bikes. The type of impact is different and a lot of the technology has gone into making them flame proof, which we don't need on bikes as the risk of fire is minimal.

 

That is an important distinction. I was reading in the comic recently about the new safety standard tests, and lids are designed for specific identified impact points which are very different on a car lid to a bike lid.


I would definitely advise getting something bike specific.

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Thanks for the info fella - well the way I see it is if I trust an £800 lid to protect my head in an open wheel car doing 140mph (admittedly in conjunction with a HANS device) then I'd trust it to protect my head in an accident on the roads.


The only difference being circuits are designed to obviously cater for you coming off the track - roads aren't as forgiving! I may look into a second helmet anyway, but for the time being, it looks like I can get away with it and save some cash till the next paycheque.


Any experience of ordering from Japan rather than actually picking one up in person? Wondering how it works out as against the UK prices. If anyone has done it then I'd be interested to hear. I've ordered a lot of stuff from HK before (airsoft gear and the like) so have a rough idea of cost - but direct exp of ordering helmets / recommended stores would be good.


Cheers!


Matt.

 

How much faith do you have in baggage handlers and couriers not to drop your lid? Even once?


I'm sure they'd wrap it up in bubble wrap and stuff but i don't think i'd trust it atall. And worse you'd never know. I'd always buy a helmet in person.

 

My mate bought a mail order Arai Corsair from Japan. Saved about £190.00 and it arrived perfect. He reckoned it was well packaged, and he asked the dude to mark the package birthday present and didn't get charged any tax. But thats a lottery.

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My mate bought a mail order Arai Corsair from Japan. Saved about £190.00 and it arrived perfect. He reckoned it was well packaged, and he asked the dude to mark the package birthday present and didn't get charged any tax. But thats a lottery.

 

Certainly is.

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Yeah I had a feeling about race helmets not being suitable which is why I thought I'd ask, similar to how you can't use race suits for karting (racing is built for fire resistance and karting is built to take abrasion)


To be quite fair, I have budgeted to buy a new lid around the £300 - £400 mark and so I have no issues in shelling that out to give me some chance of survival if anything DOES happen.


Thanks guys - top advice!

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I have friends that race karts (125 & 250 gearbox). They use normal, off the shelf helmets that you would buy for motorcycling. Another friend progressed into the Clio cup a few years back and it was all different with the helmets.

I'd suggest going and getting a bike specific helmet from a local dealer. That way you will get one you want and it will fit correctly.

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Get a bike specific lid - as stated car/kart are designed for different disciplines and the R&D that goes into them differs.


Gold ACU is not a legal requirement for road use - just for track use.


Get into a bike dealers/clothiers and try a few on - even the lower end price bracket are OK but consider weight, venting (keeps you cool but makes them noisy).


You don't need to go for the top race lid (i.e. Arai Corsair - nice lid though, I have one!) when the next model down is more 'road' orientated.


Top price ones tend to be race lids - not always best for road - noisewise

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Just had an overwhelming urge to correct some of the incorrectness being bandied about on this thread (i'm making the assumption this is all referring to the UK).


Having taken the CBT only 6 months ago, i was informed that all motorcycle helmets for use on the road MUST meet the standard for use in Europe: ECE 22.05. That is a legal requirement. And i've heard it said elsewhere too.


To quote the highway code 2006 "On all journies, the rider and pillion passenger on a motorcycle, scooter or moped MUST wear a protective helmet. Helmets MUST comply with the Regulations and they MUST be fastened securely. It is also advisable to wear eye protectors, which MUST comply with the Regulations".

The regulations it refers to are the ECE 22.05, which will be marked on all helmets which have passed the standard. Personally, i've never been stopped and had my helmet checked, but you never know :wink:


The Gold ACU is a requirement (i don't know if it's legal requirement, but you do need it) for use of the helmet on a racing track. I do not know if helmets for these use also need to have the ECE 22.05 standard there too or not. According to my local shop assistant at Hein Gericke (so not on a reliable authority), the ACU gold standard is mainly a waste of time anyway as all it means is an approved body has checked that there's nothing dangly off it to tear your head off (the sort of assessment that i assume is common sense).


Snell is an American standard, therefore has no standing in the UK.


Personally, i'd think about how much my head was worth, then go and buy an approved motorcycle helmet, for use on a motorcycle :wink:


The recently released SHARP ratings system could very useful to you if you're buying a helmet. You can buy a 5* helmet for ~£70, or for a few hundred quid. Some helmets were rated surprisingly low (e.g. Arai Condor, £200 a pop, only got 2*). http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/search/

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