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Helmet Standard Question

7525 Views 24 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  obandoj
Minor clarification

CE (French - Conformité Européenne) is not a Bristish racing standard, but is the mark required for all products available for sale in Europe. The CE Markings Directive dates back to '93 and guarantees that a product meets the agreed upon laws and standards for its given product type. Cell phones, motorcycle helmets, and childrens toys all have CE markings. It saves companies the hassle of dealing with dozens of different standards testing.

One of the big "features" of the current CE helmet mark is that it requires random batch testing along with new design testing to insure the helmets produced match up with the prototypes.

Now, is it better than Snell 2000? Is DOT worthless? From what I can gather, there is little debate that the CE standard is very difficult. If only because those pesky German insurance companies keep doing research into helment effectiveness and want helmets that will save their customers (and in return their pocket books). There is less agreement, though, that this actually makes for a better helmet.

I would also note as something of a tangent, in other helmet related sports (bicycling, snow boarding, rock climbing) people tend to ignore Snell ratings and look for the CE mark.
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Back in the 80's one of the mags did an extensive test of helmets using a certified testing stand and came up with some highly unexpected results.

They discovered that Snell standard helmets were likely to transmit more force to the rider's head in a collision at or near freeway speeds (under 100mph) than a Snell Racing Standard helmet. Of course at speeds above 100 mph the Snell helmets afford better protection. This is because the Snell helmets use a harder lining than plain DOT helemts. In any case if you didn't ride at insanely extra-legal speeds you were often worse of in a Snell helmet than a simple DOT.

They also found absolutely no correlation between cost and protection. There were wide variances, but the final results were illuminating to say the least. A $60 helmet from JC Whitney may be just as safe as a $400 Shoei.

This data is 20 years old and helmet technology improved. Still, it'd be interesting to see this test repeated today, if just to seperate the ad copy from the truth.

Comfort was not part of the test. It was simply raw data on the transmission of force to the skull during a collision.
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Too bad you don't know what type of crash you might be involved in. That would make picking the right helmet a lot easier.

Buy the best helmet that you can afford as the more expensive helmets usually get higher ratings for comfort, ventilation and wind noise.

Also the Snell rated helmets tend to give better protection from second impacts.
I personally think, that the DOT should do random tests on all of the helmets that are sold in the USA. That would answer many questions for the enthusiast and the industry alike. It is long overdue.

Just my two cents.
yes and one wonders why the ama does not report any findings.
Re: DOT Standards

My MSF instructor and the video we watched claim that the DOT certification is no gurantee of ANYTHING. This is because DOT certification is based on signed documents ONLY, and not actual testing. The DOT has created a set of standards which manufacturers who want the seal sign a statment saying they uphold, but are never tested.

In other words having the DOT cert is just a promise that your helmet meets DOT standards, not an actual proof.

At least that's what the MSF chick said.
And apparently the nice lady at the MSF class was correct. According to this:

DOT Approved Helmets

How can you tell a helmet is DOT approved? Typically a sticker on the rear of the helmet with the letters "DOT."

How does the DOT monitor compliance with FMVSS 218? Would you be surprised to learn it's based on the honor system? Yes, you read that correct. The government relies on the manufacturer's word that the helmet was tested and passed!

Does the government do any testing? Yes, they do very, very limited testing of helmets. How limited? In 2001, they tested 40 helmets. Under the honor system, we shouldn't have to test any helmets.

What if a helmet fails? They publish the data and rely on the manufacturer to bring the product into compliance. In 2001, 20% of the tested helmets failed the performance tests. Helmets manufactured by AFX, Fulmer, HJC, M2R, NEXL and THH. At a 20% failure rate, do you think there are others out there that might fail the performance test?
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You are surprised that the USDOT is either unconcerned or incompetent (or probably both)?

Govt regulation is an expensive scam. It's only trusted by the mentally insufficient.
I guess I don't really greet this news with surprise anymore, just a prolonged sigh.
Off thread...but you guys started it!

Has anyone signed up for the "do not call" list, and has it worked?

Be nice to see something the Govment do, work.
Well, for good or bad my decision is easy. With the shape of my melon, only an ARAI Signet GT fits. Dunno if they are CE compliant.

'Course, I just came out of a head-on with a Subaru in pretty great shape. ARAI did the inspection on my hat, and they said "You got your money's worth out of this one!".

Now, if I can only find one to buy. Kinda tough since ARAI abolished mail-order.
Arai meets and exceeds all standards. That said, people should less focus on standards compliance and more to a very simple rule: the ONLY helmet that's going to protect your head the way you want it, is the one that FITS best. You can buy the best, most expensive helmet money can buy, if it don't fit 100% correctly it will not do it's job like you want it too.
Ehhhhh, What are helmets?????
Re: Off thread...but you guys started it!

I signed up two months ago and I still get loads of rings with no one answering when I pick up, which is a telemarketting computer dialing my number. Also got a call from some scumbag last week.

I guess it takes several months for the list to take effect. I'm not holding my breath.
A helmet is something that you need to wear if you are not lucky enough to be born with a rock for a head !
While we're on the topic

What do people think about the Schuberth Concept helmets? I know they pass DOT, but not Snell (although someone commented that this was due to Snell not knowing whether to test as open-face or full-face). Do they stand up to CE?


Re: Off thread...but you guys started it!

The national do not call list is not supposed to go active until October. They are simply taking the numbers now.
Re: Off thread...but you guys started it!

If you set your phone up where it doesn't accept blocked calls it cuts out about 90% of telemarketers.

I'm assuming you have call ID.

The way mine's set up is if you call my house from a blocked number you have to enter your area code and phone number before the call goes through.


Re: While we're on the topic

To be sold in the EU they have to be compliant. But if my memory is correct in Britain they pass as an open face only. Don't know much about them except it's a courrier favorite in London along with Nolan, Shoei and X-Lite. Hope this helps.
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