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Problem with some HJC helmets.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by gix750, May 28, 2006.

  1. Looks like there has been a problem with certain HJC helmets.
    Some riders have had serious head injuries and they are looking into the helmet as the problem.
    I cant cut and past as its protected. Makes interesting reading.

  2. and here is the story

    Updated: Serious Head Injuries Lead To LRRS Ban On Certain HJC Helmets
    May 18, 2006

    Copyright 2006, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

    (Copyright 2006 Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. This original, copyrighted material may not be copied, cut and pasted, published or otherwise reproduced in any way in any medium, which means, don’t post this on another website or BBS. If you want somebody else to see this, send them a link or post a link to this page.)

    By Brienne Thomson
    Website Editor

    Last weekend LRRS (Loudon Road Race Series) officials announced that they have banned certain model HJC helmets from use in competition. The announcement caused quite a stir among many LRRS racers who are HJC helmet users.

    In an e-mail directed to HJC and copied to Roadracingworld.com, LRRS racer Matthew F. Guilbault wrote, “As a long time HJC consumer I urge you to take corrective action immediately to allow me to continue to buy and use HJC helmets as I have done for my entire road racing career.”

    LRRS Race Director Don Hutchinson told Roadracingworld.com that he banned the helmets because the last five racers to have sustained serious head injuries during LRRS events were all wearing HJC helmets. But Hutchinson said that only two HJC models have been banned. “The CS and CL, I believe,” Hutchinson said in a phone interview. “All the rest are fine with us, but until we investigate this and find out more about it, we’re not going to allow riders to use those helmets.”

    Hutchinson said that the ban is temporary, until more information is available on the HJC helmet models in question. He also said that a Massachusetts HJC distributor told him that the models in question were not recommend for competition use.

    But HJC Product Development Coordinator Steve Blakeney told Roadracingworld.com that the “safety” of the CS and CL models for competition use is not in question. Blakeney said that the Massachusetts distributor was probably referring to the “features” of these lower-priced model helmets that don’t have as many “racing friendly” options as some of the other models.

    In regards to the LRRS ban on HJC CS and CL models, Blakeney said that the models in question have passed all of the required U.S. safety standards.

    “The CL passes the SNELL and DOT, the CS passed the DOT only,” Blakeney said. “What testing we can do beyond that? There’s no guidelines for it.”

    Blakeney also suggested that LRRS ban all non-SNELL helmets instead of just two specific HJC models. Blakeney contended that HJC attracted the unwanted attention because it’s the top-selling helmet brand in the United States.

    “You get a higher percentage of guys running HJCs at any track for that matter,” said Blakeney. “In turn, people crash and people get hurt and the likelihood is that more of them are going to be wearing HJCs because there are more of them out there, period.”

    According to LRRS Safety Director Jerry Wood, none of the crashes in question appeared to be very serious and some of them were simple lowsides. In comparing the crashes to the injuries the riders sustained, Wood’s main concern has to do with the material the helmets are made from as opposed to the brand.

    “Plastic helmets were never SNELL approved before,” said Wood. “I’m not sure how they got SNELL approved. It used to be that all of the helmets that were SNELL-approved for racing were fiberglass or fiberglass composite helmets.”

    Because all of the helmets involved in the LRRS head injury accidents that led to the ban were plastic, and because, according to HJC, the CL series helmets are SNELL approved, it raises the question of whether or not a polycarbonate plastic-shell helmet is safe for road racing use.

    According to SNELL Memorial Foundation General Manager Steve Johnson, racing organizations that simply specify a helmet meeting SNELL standards are actually approving a wide range of helmets and not specifically the ones recommended for competition use. “We have two standards actually,” said Johnson. “We have an ‘M’ standard that is basically designed around motorcycling and we also say different kinds of motorsports. And then we have an ‘SA’ standard, which stands for ‘Special Applications,’ and it really is more the racing requirement for helmets. There are no plastic helmets that will meet the ‘SA’ requirements because it has a flammability test, first of all, and plastic helmets will not withstand that,” Johnson said. But most popular motorcycle helmets do not carry a SNELL SA rating, and Johnson said that the SA standard was really designed around automobile racing applications.

    "Plastic helmets have been around for a long time and they've really perfected the methods and they meet our standards," said Johnson. "We've been testing HJC helmets for a long time and they're a reputable company and remain in our program. We test these helmets again and again."

    Complicating matters, SNELL approval is specific to helmet models, and HJC, for example, doesn’t reveal on its website that only two of the four helmets in its CL line actually meet a SNELL standard of any type. However, Roadracingworld.com has seen no evidence that the company applies SNELL stickers to every helmet model in the CL line, nor that it sells production helmets that perform differently than helmets tested by SNELL.

    The SNELL website, http://www.smf.org/ , includes a listing of which helmets meet a SNELL standard.

    Another controversy regarding helmets revolves around media speculation that “softer” non-SNELL helmets will offer more protection against head injuries than helmets meeting SNELL specifications, even in racing applications. That speculation was based in part on a decades-old study of street crashes, which looked at injuries suffered by riders in those crashes.

    Roadracingworld.com knows of no studies of racetrack crashes that back up that theory.

  3. I've got a CL-14 Kast and I'm sure that it was Snell and DOT approved + Aust standards sticker. I checked the HJC web site and yep it lists it as meets or exceeds Snell and DOT standards. The back of the helmet has this sticker:

    Yet the snell website dosen't appear to list the CL-14 as an approved helmet? WTF? I bought the more expensive one cause it was Snell / DOT approved.

    :roll: Is it or isn't it? If it's not then HJC will have some explaining to do???
  4. Doggy,
    that is a very good question. And i have the same helmet as you so i am very interested.
    hmmmm, i'm going to have a look round the web now to see what else i can find out.
  5. The CL14 appears on this list:


    Along with my CL12 (which has been critised by quite a few people as being a "cheap and crappy" helmet... but hey it conforms to SNELL standards?)
  6. phew, just checked my model....
    I'm cool, mines an AC-10.
  7. That makes three of us. I bought the same helmet for my wife a while ago, complete with Aus Standards sticker. I intend to contact 'Helmet House' where I purchased it, and ask the question. If it is not approved then he can replace it with one that is.
  8. Oh well checked out the list above (link in "demuire"s post) and it's there. So I'm happy again.

  9. Hang on,
    that link Demuire gave is the "previous standard" and so presumeably not the current one. (?)

  10. :eek:hno: This is a bit of a concern.

    I've had 3 HJC lids and my girl is into her second. Most of my friends wear HJC too, it's not good to hear that it's so foggy if you have a safe lid or not. :(

    I like HJCs, as they are about the only brand out there that fits well. Going to check out the types of lids we have tonight and make sure they're on the ok list...
  11. Hmm, that's true, M2000 is a previous standard... I wonder how different M2005 is? I guess it's "better" to conform to an old standard than not to any standard at all, but it would be nicer to know that it conforms to the current standard too...

    Looks like the FG12 is the cheapest HJC helmet here in Australia (well, the cheapest model I can find anyway) that conforms to the current SNELL standard? Bikebiz have the solid color ones for $330...
  12. yeah it all seems a bit strange to me. There is obviously a bit of ambiguity there. I mean does the M2005 standard include all of the M2000 helmets PLUS some new ones? or does the M2005 list completely replace the M2000 list?

    Its not totally clear anyway, which is pretty average of you ask me.
  13. Is it just me or does that SNELL website strike you as being decidedly crappy for a professional organisation?
  14. When it's your head on the line why skimp? Just buy a Shoei or Arai.
  15. Well it's about as clear as mud! The first list has a date of 26/5/2006? :? So now I'm totally confused. In fact it's about as clear as an ATO memo! :shock:

    I bought a cheap helmet but I wanted the cheapest on that was still snell approved just for the extra piece of mind.
  16. As long as my FG14 is not mentioned I'm happy. For those of you guys who wear the CS and CL models I hope you find a better explanation from "Mr. HJC" or get your money back (if applicable) or better yet a recall/upgrade/replacement. Good luck.
  17. I found this site http://motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/motorcycle_helmet_review/index.html
    which tells you everything you did and did not want to know about helmets. It includes the following statement;

    "In a typical large motorcycle dealership you're likely to find helmets that conform to all these standards. Most U.S.-market full-face helmets made in Asia—Arai, HJC, Icon, KBC, ScorpionExo, Shoei, and most Fulmer models—are Snell M2000 or M2005 certified. (The Snell standard did not change substantially from M2000 to M2005.) Most helmets from European companies—Vemar, Shark, Schuberth, etc.—conform to the ECE 22-05 standard. "
  18. And to make it even more confusing, none of that means anything when it comes to Australian certification.
  19. Ignorace was bliss...
  20. I am with the outbreakmonkey if your worried about your head buy a arai or shoei Your heads gotta be worth more than 2 tyres and a service doesnt it :shock: