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Is my helmet stuffed?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Duffman, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. So, last night i took a '98 600 Hornet for a bit of a test run. Very nice bike. It has suddenly jumped to the top of my list for when i upgrade. But this is not the point of my post....

    After the ride i put my lid on the ventura rack while i took the rest of the gear off. Now i know full well that i shouldn't have put it where it could fall off and i never do, i usually lay it carefully on the ground, but i guess in the excitement from the ride i overlooked this.

    Predictably it came crashing down. I looked over in horror to see it falling in slow motion onto the bitumen. The damage appears to be just scratches and it appears to be only in the top gel coat layer (I hope :cry: )

    So the question is, what sort of fall can a helmet sustain before it should be replaced? Now i know the idea that they are only designed to take one good hit, but what about the relatively minor hits?

    At this stage i'm just leaning towards replacing it just to be sure. But thought i'd check anyway.

  2. your head was not in helmet when it dropped. So the foam inside was not crushed/compressed. so its still useable.

    The outside is only to prevent abrasions and sharp edges.

    In my opinion its still good. but its your head!
  3. I would buy another to be safe.

  4. :grin: :grin: :grin: yeah thats pretty much what my old man said. "Nah its fine, dont worry about it......but its your head" :p
  5. :WStupid: Im of the belief if a helmet is stuffed after a realtively small fall like that (with no head inside it) it wouldnt do much of a good job of saving yer head in a serious crash. :wink:
  6. Taken directly from the motorcycle council of NSW website :

    What if you drop your helmet?
    There is also a lot of fear mongering about dropped helmets.

    This is a problem because no one can ever guarantee that a helmet has not sustained any damage in a drop. How many 'little' drops affect the helmet' s ability to protect the wearer in the event of that one major impact?

    Manufacturers and safety authorities are bound to err on the side of caution and to advise that the helmet should be replaced if it has sustained an impact. This is because they cannot take the risk of saying 'that it is alright to re-use it after the drop'.

    Use common sense
    If you drop your helmet or it fell off your bike (stationary), then there would be little chance of damaging the outer shell or the inner shell which actually absorbs the energy on impact. However, if you throw your helmet against a wall or down the road in a fit of rage, then you could damage the outer shell and affected the helmet's ability to protect you (Gibson, 2004).

    back to top of page

    link to the site : http://www.roadsafety.mccofnsw.org.au/a/74.html#drophelmet
  7. I read about 5000 pages on thsi topic in jan when i bought my helmet - your would most likely have taken a damaging hit.

    Helmet tests dont involve speed, they involve impacts. most impacts you will suffer as a rider are similar to falling from a standing position flat onto your head and this is what helmets are designed to protect you from, once.

    I forget the actual math, but at certain height the G force is predictable and increases predictably as you raise the height.

    Sadly there is no way to measure the damage of that hit now - you will have to use your judgement - the industry and the standard keepers are divided on this topic so dont expect any clear answers.
  8. That is inacccurate. According to the people who spend thier lives testing helmets and reporting on it.

    See the current Australian Road Rider mag (i will scan post it in tonight) and there is a huge study that was done recently that is avilable on the web, i will try and find it and post it today.
  9. It also keeps the foam padding where it's supposed to be - if the outside cracks open after the first impact you may not have any protection against any subsequent impacts that may occur. Always difficult to tell how much force is required to damage fibre composites since it depends on how/where it's applied. It might be okay, then again it might crack open first time you really need it - up to you whether you want to risk it.
  10. keep it and talk it to the bike shop and find out what is the go, if hed butted a door hard and mine is still fine
  11. The issue is the compression of the lining. A helmet falling without your head in it (unless it's from a height high enough to damage the shell - and that's not as easy as you'd expect) does not compress the lining which is where the protection is.

    The English magazine Bike did some tests (they're somewhere on the web) and found it was much more difficult to damage a helmet than the helmet manufacturers claimed. I forgot to bookmark it and I've had trouble finding it again. Ultimately though you have to feel comfortable with your decision...

    There's a good generic article on helmets and testing etc here

  12. I would do the following.

    Lay helmet on a solid surface.

    Locate the imapct area

    Press on the outer shell at the impact area

    If it doesnt flex then the foam has not compressed and I would still use it.

    Thats me though, with my head, you may feel differently about it.

    But as someone said, if it fails after a minor 3 foot drop then its ability to protect you in a serious off is unlikley.
  13. i believe what vic said is correct
    i know that helmets are there to save your head... im sure they should be able to withstand a drop like that with out too much damage..
    but i would be saving up to get a new one.....
    just incase :grin:
  14. thanks for the info guys.

    its an interesting question i reckon. and i guess there will never be a definite answer cause as someone said – the manufacturers are going to cover their arses and say “get a new one” but on the other hand not every little bump will stuff the helmet.

    Vic – I think I’ll go along with what you said and keep using it. But I’ll also do what Troy said and start putting away some pennies for a new one. Ahhhhh another $600 to spend. GREAT!

    Maybe I’ll just keep it for passengers to use??? :p j/k
  15. Ah, don't bother; all this helmet exaggerations are in place because of the helmet manufacturers, who are more than happy for you to buy another helmet because you held it without wearing protective gloves (else the urea from your sweat glands can corrode the helmets outershell then wind erosion will work at the inner foam leaving your head more exposed than if you were not even wearing a helmet at all!!! its true, my friend's friend had it happen to him)