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How have helmets developed over past years?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by Rolly16, May 13, 2012.

  1. Hey, this is for a current research project I am conducting.

    What are your experiences on how the design and function of helmets have developed over past years?

  2. Lighter
    Ventilation has improved significantly.
    Background Noise levels have been reduced.
    Controlled deformation of liner materials have been introduced after studies of brain injuries after accidents.
    Visor change management is much easier.

    They are the things I have noticed.
  3. For me, who started with "jet style" open face helmets in the 1960s, and graduated to heavy, restrictive, excessively stiff-shelled (but oh-so stylish) Bell Stars, I and II, I think the move to lighter shells, better brain-protecting linings, more durable visors, and better ventilation have been excellent. I use a Nolan N102 flip-front, and the convenience and protection offered by that, for me, is the ducks guts in design evolution.
  4. Flip up. dual visors. Reevu
  5. I'd concur with most of cjvfr's list, although I'd put a question mark against "stronger". Less liable to brittle failure maybe would be a better term.

    Something else that seems to go in waves is the availability of open-face designs. Way back when, nothing else existed, until Bell started making the Star and it's descendants. Then, as open-face lids became less popular, it became very hard to find a good quality one at a sensible price. When I was looking in the late 80s it was rare to find a selection of more than two or three models, even in big retailers, which made finding a good fit. Now, with the cruiser and scooter booms, there's a bit more choice again.

    As noted, visor technology has advanced significantly. Early, and even not so early, full face lids had visors that attached with four press stud fasteners, the upper two acting as hinges and the lower two keeping the visor shut. Needless to say it was impossible to open a visor quickly. Visors were also available for open face helmets which attached in a similar manner but which couldn't be raised at all. A mate had a Shoei full face bought in late 1983 which had a press stud visor, so the system lasted a surprisingly long time. Press stud visors for OF helmets were certainly still around in 1990 and possibly later.
  6. Cheers guys, yor input is very much apreciated.

    From dodgey tests run by myself, I have receieved mixed results regarding the penetration protecting abilities of helmets.

    A 17yr old rf700 Shoei performed appallingly in the tests, however a Nolan n27 of similar year had out performed a Shark Rsf and received similar results to a 2011 HJC is-16.

    Looking forward to reading more experiences.

  7. TBH I'm not sure if the penetration resistance of a helmet is its most important quality. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of blows to the helmet are from single impacts to flattish surfaces (ie the road, car panels etc.) with the next largest group being to edges (kerbs, car window surrounds) and only a tiny proportion to anything spiky. Getting tangled up in the handlebars/controls is about the only likely scenario I can see here, although I guess running into trees/undergrowth provides some potential.

    Overall, a more penetratively resistant shell is also likely to be more rigid and may reduce the flattish surface impact protection. I'm not sure if that's really a good trade off.
  8. I luv Sienfelds take on Helmets.
    We evolved into a lifestyle where we kept hitting our heads.
    So instead of changing our lifestyle. We invent the helmet so we can keep our head bashing lifestyle.
    Sorry thought it was funny.
  9. I have some numbers for you.
    I have a Shoei S-12 that I bought around 1976. No, I wouldn't dream of using it, it's a relic.
    My current helmet is a Shoei TZ-X.
    Apart from the obvious differences in features, the newer helmet is bigger. About 6mm thicker than the old one.
    The S-12 still has a sticker inside claiming a weight of 1360g. Actual weight with visor is 1442g.
    The TZ-X has a claimed weight (according to their website) of 1400g. Actual weight with visor and optional 'Whisper Strip' (probably around 50g) is 1716g.
  10. PatB - I totally agree. Unfortunately proper testing equpiment was wayyy out of my reach so a penetration test was the only test available.

    Grange - Cheers mate. Those links were very helpfull. They were a great read!

    Algroover - Thats fairly interesting. So helmets havn't neccessarily gotten lighter?