What’s the best/safest helmet you can get, and are there any tests to prove it?

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12/9/2019 11:17 PM

I’m in the market for a new lid, but I’m confused 😐

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12/9/2019 11:48 PM

I don't know but Ping does apparently. Keeps alluding to 3 or 4 brands that we'd be stunned to see results of but hardly anyone releases results it seems and if they do they're apparently invalid.

Great for consumers!

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Cheers, Crush
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12/10/2019 1:27 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2019 1:41 AM

Until someone releases their own test results and test parameters, designs, etc. it will be hard to say which will be the "safest" or "best". What you can almost be assured of is that there probably won't be 1 specific helmet that out performs all other helmets in every category. Every top of the line helmet has it's own technology and own beliefs behind it. The best thing to do would be read up on all of them, and find the one that will fit your head the best and you will feel the safest in after reading or researching what you can about them (sometimes it's great to talk to someone at the company, a sales rep, or a highly educated dealer).


Things to take into personal consideration:


Fit of the helmet to your head. Straight off the shelf, or fit that you can achieve from different padding and such if it's offered. How the mouth piece/chin bar fits your head shape. How comfortable your helmet is will let you ride safer and less worried or distracted. (Potentially how your goggles fit, but when you are going for a high end helmet you are best to get the proper goggles after the helmet.)


For big impacts it is hard to go wrong with any high end helmet, but some MAY not perform quite as well at the low speeds. A lot of the brands are trying to address all speeds of crashes and levels of energy transferred to the head/brain, but a lot of the new technology on the lower speed stuff has just been tested in house in the different helmet brands and manufacturers. There is no standard YET for those speeds or rotational impacts and how each helmets technology may mitigate it. There is always the possibility that if it deals well with low speeds, you could potentially lose performance at high speeds.


Shell size and shape. Some manufacturers believe that the smaller the helmet the better as it will have less leverage and swing weight when it eventually makes contact with the ground or other surface. You also will have a bit more of a buffer zone between the helmet impacting something because it will be closer to your head, therefor farther away from the ground/object. Some believe a bigger shell will have more room to spread the energy out from the shell and inner workings before it gets to your head. Most high end helmets now come in specific shell and liner sizes so they will be best suited to rider's head size and not too big. We could probably touch on overall weight here as well. Of course a lighter helmet will be better when the eventual hit comes as far as force, but be aware of what might be missing in a lighter helmet that a heavier one may have for protection and/or comfort (liner, shell, or other). A lighter helmet will of course lead to less fatigue over a ride which can have a lot of safety benefits just in that. There are varying beliefs about the shape or shapes used in the shell and chin bar as well. Some believe that rounder is better so it will have a greater tendency to deflect or bounce off something in the event of a crash as opposed to augering in or getting hung up on the surface your helmet contacts. There is the opposing school of thought that without the rounded shape, you can create a flatter surface to disperse more energy when the hit comes, instead of potentially having a focal point for it with a round shell or part of the shell. The same could be said for the chin bar area and shape. Some companies focus a lot on how their chin bar may take energy and how it will disperse it, and you can also look at chin bar shape to decide what looks you like best or better yet, what might happened should you crash chin bar first into a bike, person, or ground. You can look into the materials that each company uses for their shell. Some believe in using something a bit more flexible, some use a stiffer shell. (this will sometimes affect the EPS density they use)



Your protection liner. Most helmets still use EPS. It will be combined with something else, or simply EPS on it's own. You want to look for something with multiple densities (at least dual) EPS liners. This should make sure that you have the right hardness or softness where the manufacture believes they should be placed. There are different style of EPS like "cone head" which will disperse the energy out differently then the normal EPS shape. Some manufacturers are using different types of foam (EPP for example), or other materials (Rheon, LDL, Fluid Inside, ODS etc.) in conjunction with the EPS. These are usually to deal with different speeds of energy in the helmet and/or rotational forces mitigation. MIPS can be considered in here as part of the "slip" liner to help with rotational energy. Once again this is your choice as to what you believe in. Most helmets will have their liners attached to their shell by adhesive, but some will have the foam blown directly into the shell. You can also review what each helmet uses in their chin bar for protection.


Visors. Most companies now have visors, that will bend, shear off, or pop off in the event of a crash. This is what you want so it will not twist your helmet and head more in an impact. Of course each company has their own take on it, and some companies have built their visor to now fit seamlessly with their shell, and some are still separate and detached from the shell apart from their mounting hardware.


Assembly and fit and finish. Most helmets are made in large helmet manufacturing plants where multiple brands will be made. There are a few brands (notably the Japanese ones) that are manufactured and inspected in their own facility almost entirely by hand. This can mean better quality control, but can also mean that technologies and strategies may not be shared. You can usually tell the difference in quality control when you got to a dealer or get to see and check out a helmet in person. It is incredible sometimes the difference in the details between the high end helmets out there. Once again though, it is personal choice on what you are looking for and what you are putting value in.


Venting. This seems to be a more important selling feature as years go on. Of course staying cooler in your helmet will lead to less fatigue, as will a reduction in weight.


Emergency release systems. How safely and easily can the helmet be removed in the event of a crash. Most have really good cheek pad removal systems and most are able to accept the "Eject" system. This is worth looking into, but may not sway your decision as much as the other points.


Do you want your helmet to mainly protect you from the outside, inside, or both? Some companies believe in dealing with most of the energy in the shell first, then the outer EPS and moving inwards. Others seem to focus more on whats closest to your head, then moving outwards from that. Some will use both in their philosophy.


The big thing here is that you cannot predict the kind of crash you have, or where you might need to most protection in that time. So in that case you have to make the decision on what you will be happy with and feel comfortable in making your purchase. Maybe you have never had any head injuries and are worried about that one huge crash. Maybe you are susceptible to concussions and want to make sure you don't get them in small or minor tip overs or crashes. How fast do you ride? Do you ride moto or trail? Do you race? What types of races are they, how long, and what level? What might some potential obstacles or hazards be to take into account?


Please buy a good helmet. The amount of money between a low end helmet and the high end ones may be high, but it's way more cost effective than even missing a couple days of work, let alone something worse. In between the high end ones it's not as much of a discrepancy in cost, so choose which you believe in regardless of price difference if possible,


I believe what I have said to be as close to the truth as possible, but I am sorry if this information seems to be inaccurate to anyone that works at a brand or may have more official education in this than I do. I have been making my own inferences after spending a lot of time researching all this stuff myself and trying to take bias out of it.

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12/10/2019 1:35 AM

..Keefer feels safest in a 6D, JT/Steve say the new Fly helmet is super advanced with safety technology, Arai doesn’t need new design because it’s round and built so well..I haven’t seen any real test comparisons so who really knows lol

I use a Bell Moto9 and an LS2 Subverter in the summer, but I go so slow I could probably wear a Schwinn bike helmet and be ok

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12/10/2019 2:27 AM

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

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12/10/2019 4:16 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

I avoid Snell helmets and stick to ECE rated lids.

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12/10/2019 4:22 AM

I will only let my son ride with 6D, Bell, and the most recently the new Fly. The Fly has some very impressive advancements. As dealers they sent us a display that shows a cut out of the helmet with a little pad and a metal ball to bounce the off the cushion to feel how much dampening it has, pretty cool!

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12/10/2019 4:27 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

I strongly disagree regarding Snell rating. I would not buy a Snell helmet in 2019.

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12/10/2019 4:34 AM

Bell moto 9

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12/10/2019 4:41 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

Motofinne wrote:

I strongly disagree regarding Snell rating. I would not buy a Snell helmet in 2019.

The new fly helmet, bell moto 9, and shoei lids are no good then? Interesting.

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12/10/2019 4:42 AM

I made this post because I listened too the latest WT whit Jessie, the things Pingree said made me rethink the whole helmet thing. Was going to go for a Bell Moto 9 flex maybe a shoei, running a FOX V3 and a shoei now🤷‍♂️

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12/10/2019 4:46 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

Tuna wrote:

I avoid Snell helmets and stick to ECE rated lids.

Why not Snell? Did the standard change?

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12/10/2019 5:13 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

That is the worst thing to do.

Snell testing is considered to tough for street bike helmets which crash much faster than we do. What you don't want in a helmet is a helmet that looks good after a crash that your brain is jello.

My suggestion is to use something with anti-rotational technology. 6D is the most well known but Leatt has their own, Fly has their own and MIPS is licensed out to many brands. Any of those are better than a Snell helmet designed for roadracing crashes.

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12/10/2019 5:32 AM

Good studies never list brands, even the one fly did won't tell you the exact placing of the other brands, only that theirs won. I will say this though, since I started wearing a MIPS helmet, low speed tipovers where I smack my head no longer result in headaches or fuzziness. There is something to this move away from Snell and towards ECE and rotational damping.

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12/10/2019 5:39 AM

Surprised no one has mentioned Leatt 5.5?

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12/10/2019 5:46 AM

Motogoof wrote:

Surprised no one has mentioned Leatt 5.5?

I mentioned the Leatt and that's the helmet I run.

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12/10/2019 5:56 AM

I question the Arai. I just watched a great video on the newest one and was surprised at the lack of new technology and yet still steep price tag. No MIPS or something similar because the “shell is round enough.” It still only has an EPS liner.

Not saying it’s a bad helmet, I just don’t think it can possibly be on the same level as some of these new high end helmets in that price range. I like the build quality and countless sizing options for a perfect fit but from a safety stand point it seems dated.

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12/10/2019 6:10 AM

Pretty obvious which I lean towards but regardless, I would highly suggest a "new generation tech" helmet. The more recent studies showing the benefits of softer shells for low speed impact can't be overstated. That's where most of the improvements have been made by everyone.

There are a several quality products out there which is a great thing for consumer safety. The FLY Formula is my favorite (biased yes), given the past few years of helmet education I have lived through. I still think the weight advantage of the Formula is what sets it apart more than anything else. Helmet technology is changing every day but to have a helmet with Rheon, Conehead EPS, 12K carbon, breakaway visor, etc and STILL only weigh 2.79 lbs (1290 grams), that's an easy win even for a bad salesman like me.

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12/10/2019 6:21 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

McG194 wrote:

That is the worst thing to do.

Snell testing is considered to tough for street bike helmets which crash much faster than we do. What you don't want in a helmet is a helmet that looks good after a crash that your brain is jello.

My suggestion is to use something with anti-rotational technology. 6D is the most well known but Leatt has their own, Fly has their own and MIPS is licensed out to many brands. Any of those are better than a Snell helmet designed for roadracing crashes.

You know the fly helmet is snell rated right?

Id rather have the puncture protection of snell combined with anti rotation tech such as mips...

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12/10/2019 6:24 AM

Jt$ wrote:

Pretty obvious which I lean towards but regardless, I would highly suggest a "new generation tech" helmet. The more recent studies showing the benefits of softer shells for low speed impact can't be overstated. That's where most of the improvements have been made by everyone.

There are a several quality products out there which is a great thing for consumer safety. The FLY Formula is my favorite (biased yes), given the past few years of helmet education I have lived through. I still think the weight advantage of the Formula is what sets it apart more than anything else. Helmet technology is changing every day but to have a helmet with Rheon, Conehead EPS, 12K carbon, breakaway visor, etc and STILL only weigh 2.79 lbs (1290 grams), that's an easy win even for a bad salesman like me.

I really like the Formula, but I run FOX kit, and that just doesn’t FLY.. pardon the pun🙊

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12/10/2019 8:30 AM

https://www.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/Motorcycle-Helmets-are-Obsolete-One-Hit-Wonders,1364629?page=2

Some good conversation and information in this thread.

Kali Shiva 2.0 stands out as non Snell, advanced rotational protection with a small shell, light, and multi impact capable,,

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

12/10/2019 8:32 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2019 8:39 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

McG194 wrote:

That is the worst thing to do.

Snell testing is considered to tough for street bike helmets which crash much faster than we do. What you don't want in a helmet is a helmet that looks good after a crash that your brain is jello.

My suggestion is to use something with anti-rotational technology. 6D is the most well known but Leatt has their own, Fly has their own and MIPS is licensed out to many brands. Any of those are better than a Snell helmet designed for roadracing crashes.

kb228 wrote:

You know the fly helmet is snell rated right?

Id rather have the puncture protection of snell combined with anti rotation tech such as mips...

"Bullet proof" helmets are too hard for concussion protection.

There is also a strong trend toward downhill Mountain bike helmets for extreme and hard enduro due to their superior cooling and light weight.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

12/10/2019 8:35 AM

I feel safest in the Troy Lee TL4. Not a ton of new technology but more foam between your head and the shell. Super light.

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12/10/2019 8:48 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

McG194 wrote:

That is the worst thing to do.

Snell testing is considered to tough for street bike helmets which crash much faster than we do. What you don't want in a helmet is a helmet that looks good after a crash that your brain is jello.

My suggestion is to use something with anti-rotational technology. 6D is the most well known but Leatt has their own, Fly has their own and MIPS is licensed out to many brands. Any of those are better than a Snell helmet designed for roadracing crashes.

kb228 wrote:

You know the fly helmet is snell rated right?

Id rather have the puncture protection of snell combined with anti rotation tech such as mips...

I did not know that it was Snell rated. That would take it off the list for me.

In the mid 00's Motorcyclist magazine had a rather lengthy article discussing pros and cons on the Snell rating and it sold me that Snell had just gone too far. Cliff notes version is Snell decelerates the brain far too rapidly. You could encase your head in roll bar material and the helmet could survive any crash but brain would be mush.

My understanding of things that need to happen to minimize brain injury:

1) Stop the head and keep things from puncturing the skull.
2) Slow the head down in a controlled manner within the helmet.
3) Hopefully the head is slowed down enough that the fluid surrounding the brain can do it's job and slow the brain down from banging into the skull.

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12/10/2019 8:54 AM

Leatt posts all of their testing results for their helmets on their site. I think they're the only ones who make this info easily accessible to the public. The Fly helmet is great, but they're using the same technology and construction Leatt has been using for almost 5 years. 6D, in my opinion, is the best technology for protecting against rotational forces but the overall size keeps me from purchasing one.

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12/10/2019 9:19 AM

My old moto 4 has as much rotational slip as a newer lid with mips.

There is slip between styrofoam and shell and a tad between liner and foam which is held in with a few spots of velcro.

There is no fancy name for the slip though. So they didnt add $$$$ for something already there.

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12/10/2019 9:27 AM

aeffertz wrote:

I question the Arai. I just watched a great video on the newest one and was surprised at the lack of new technology and yet still steep price tag. No MIPS or something similar because the “shell is round enough.” It still only has an EPS liner.

Not saying it’s a bad helmet, I just don’t think it can possibly be on the same level as some of these new high end helmets in that price range. I like the build quality and countless sizing options for a perfect fit but from a safety stand point it seems dated.

I have yet to see any of this stuff is any better. The amount of concussions today is worse and far many more.

I feel just as safe in my old moto 4 as a new lid.

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12/10/2019 9:37 AM

kb228 wrote:

First thing i look for is a snell rating. 2nd thing is mips or a similar system. Obviously a reputable brand is important too. Shoei, Bell, Fly, etc...

I run a shoei RF1200 on the street and a Bell moto 9 flex MC replica for the dirt. The shoei i have ive had before mips was big but i still feel safe in it.

McG194 wrote:

That is the worst thing to do.

Snell testing is considered to tough for street bike helmets which crash much faster than we do. What you don't want in a helmet is a helmet that looks good after a crash that your brain is jello.

My suggestion is to use something with anti-rotational technology. 6D is the most well known but Leatt has their own, Fly has their own and MIPS is licensed out to many brands. Any of those are better than a Snell helmet designed for roadracing crashes.

kb228 wrote:

You know the fly helmet is snell rated right?

Id rather have the puncture protection of snell combined with anti rotation tech such as mips...

No sir, that is incorrect.

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12/10/2019 9:42 AM

McG194 wrote:

That is the worst thing to do.

Snell testing is considered to tough for street bike helmets which crash much faster than we do. What you don't want in a helmet is a helmet that looks good after a crash that your brain is jello.

My suggestion is to use something with anti-rotational technology. 6D is the most well known but Leatt has their own, Fly has their own and MIPS is licensed out to many brands. Any of those are better than a Snell helmet designed for roadracing crashes.

kb228 wrote:

You know the fly helmet is snell rated right?

Id rather have the puncture protection of snell combined with anti rotation tech such as mips...

Jt$ wrote:

No sir, that is incorrect.

Had to double check because i was 110% sure i saw a snell rating.

F2 helmets are snell rated. Not the formula.

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12/10/2019 9:42 AM

WhatchaWant wrote:

I have yet to see any of this stuff is any better. The amount of concussions today is worse and far many more.

I feel just as safe in my old moto 4 as a new lid.

Science would highly disagree with you.

My opinion is that the overall speeds are MUCH higher today. A 450 has nearly 60 HP stock. A Bell Moto 4 was what, mid 80's era? Those bikes had less than 30 HP in many cases (250 2 stroke). That's not apples to apples. The crashes today are much faster, much more violent, and much more dependent on impact protection.

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