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Old 08-06-2003, 04:14 AM   #1
Lowrez
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Default 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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Old 08-06-2003, 05:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Helmet Standard Question

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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Old 08-06-2003, 06:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Helmet Standard Question

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.



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Old 08-06-2003, 08:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Helmet Standard Question

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.
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Old 08-06-2003, 09:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Helmet Standard Question

yes and one wonders why the ama does not report any findings.
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Old 08-06-2003, 09:26 AM   #6
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Default 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.
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Old 08-06-2003, 09:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Helmet Standard Question

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?




http://dot-helmet.motorhelmets.com/
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Old 08-06-2003, 09:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Helmet Standard Question

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.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Helmet Standard Question

I guess I don't really greet this news with surprise anymore, just a prolonged sigh.
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Old 08-06-2003, 11:56 AM   #10
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Default 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.
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