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Old 05-18-2005, 07:12 AM   #41
BMW4VWW
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Default Re: Snell vs. Motorcyclist

The people at Motorcyclist ought to be very concerned about pi$$ing off anyone who resets their own bones, and uses a combination of duct tape and Advil to prepare themselves for a 300 mile post crash ride home. John Wayne ain't got nutin on you pard. VWW
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:50 AM   #42
akcarlson
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Default Re: Snell vs. Motorcyclist Magazine

All the anecdotal evidence in the world ('My buddy went off at 120 at Fontana in an Arai, so that's what I'm buying...') doesn't serve to refute statisitical evidence.



It seems that Motorcyclist designed their test criteria with the best evidence possible: the only three major motorcycle crash studies conducted. Those studies led them to these conclusions, among others: (a) that most real-world impacts in crashes occur at a relatively low speed; (b) that most crashes involve head impacts on a flat surface; (c) that two impacts on the same helmet surface are too statisically rare to base helmet testing criteria upon. Ultimately, points (b) and (c), when taken in combination, amount to such an improbable circumstance as to be statisically insignificant. Further, to test helmets based upon such unlikely criteria is to place undue emphasis on an unrealistic circumstance, which, according to Motorcyclist's findings, makes Snell certified helmets less safe.



After reading Snell's response, it seems clear to me that they hold Dr. George Snively in such regard that the test methods he developed in the late '50s have never been called into question. But, Dr. Snively's methods were developed out of necessity: using extant equipment, he couldn't produce a sufficient impact to adequately test the helmets, so he impacted them twice. When he had modern equipment at his disposal, he still impacted them twice; and to this day, Snell impacts the helmets twice. Why? Because Dr. Snively did. Snell conducts tests based on outdated methods borne of necessity in the '50s to simulate unrealistic events, then uses anecdotal situations - that famous actor who slid into a curb - to justify their methods.



In addition to the two impact tests, they also use what may be an unrealistically high threshold of g transmission. They have lowered that threshold over the years, but they started from an arbitrary number established by the BSI - again in the '50s - and have lowered it arbitrarily in recent years. There is no evidence that can lead anyone to a conclusion regarding a safe g level for the brain. To err on the side of caution, then, we should strive to achieve the lowest level of transmission possible. Currently, Snell certified helmets do just the opposite. Ultimately, g forces harm our brains. In the interest of safety, why won't Snell use their influence to lower the acceptable threshold of G force transmission?



The ambiguity of truth in this matter is probably not possible to resolve. Two parties can easily spin one set of statistics to serve opposite purposes. Before I make any decisions about my next helmet, I plan to read the COST study, since, according to Snell, their findings refute the Hurt report's contention that nearly 75% of head impacts occur against a flat surface. My instinct is to believe that Snell is more likely to use numbers out of context for their own puposes, as they have a point to prove and a name to uphold, whereas Motorcyclist was simply testing hypotheses, but I will reserve judgement until I get all the facts.



The data upon which Motorcyclist drew their conclusions and designed their tests are uncomprehensive, but they used every study available. The sad fact is that not enough studies have been done, so the statistics are ultimately questionable.



The Snell organization has helped save countless lives in their fifty years. But, it seems they're too busy banging helmets together to look up and realize the world has changed.
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:20 AM   #43
pushrod
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Default Re: Snell vs. Motorcyclist

Head-on collision with a '91 Subaru on a 2000 Sprint ST. Totaled both vehicles.



Helmet: ARAI Signet GT



Injuries: Comminuted fracture of right forearm, spectacular bruises on crotch and left ankle.



Material damages: Joe Rocket Meteor Jacket - unmarked. Levi 501's - hole in right knee from pavement. Timberland boots - soles torn off (boots replaced under warranty).



Helmet - Sent it to Roger at ARAI for analysis. He called me, told me I had "gotten my money's worth out of the helmet", and asked what I had hit, and how. He said the helmet had no discernable exterior damage, and assumed I had hit something "soft". I related to him that I had gone backwards into the car's windshield. He told me that, in their business, windshields are "soft". He told me the helmet's inner liner was over 80% compressed in the back of the hat, and to about 50% on the top.



So, because of the performance of the Signet, combined with the difficulty fitting my odd-shaped melon, I now use a Signet GTR. Not available at a discount anywhere I've been able to find.



I don't consider the SNELL sticker as a safety item. It's a testament to the quality of the hat.
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:25 AM   #44
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Default Re: Snell vs. Motorcyclist

but think about it, the SNELL double-hit test is IMO bogus. I've had some gnarly crashes (90+mph) and yes, most of the time is spent sliding and even when on one occassion I was cartwheeling down the highway I wasn't hitting the same part of the helmet to matter.



If you design for rediculous assmptions you end up with a helmet that imparts WAY too much force to the head in the lesser and vastly more common situations. 99%tile is just fine. If you have a 1% crash that's just too bad and you're going to be suffering other major trauma anyway.
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Old 05-18-2005, 12:52 PM   #45
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Default Re: Snell vs. Motorcyclist

ditto for me. Guess it is part of a new marketing strategy to shift its audience to Gen Y.
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Old 05-18-2005, 01:32 PM   #46
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Default Re: Snell vs. Motorcyclist

Necessity is the mother of invention. Up here there are a lot of places that are quite remote. If you get hurt you have to be responsible for yourself



-sbp
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Old 05-18-2005, 02:53 PM   #47
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I see your point, but my original statement stands. You're the man!
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:09 PM   #48
gniewko
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Hmm.... How old are you? I think their new look is great. Motorcyclist's current average reader may be over the age of 40, but that's not their target market. They need to attract new, younger readers, and the old magazine just wouldn't cut it. Sorry, Motorcyclist didn't have you in mind with their redesign...



I really like the new layout, and I think that it was long overdue. The old Motorcyclist looked like an accounting company newsletter, the new one is actually interesting to look at. Motorcycling is fun and exciting, and magazines about motorcycling should somehow reflect that.



You old fogeys should quit complaining and just stick with Cycle World, where you can read (in large font) about choppers and crappy old bikes that nobody under the age of 50 cares about.



Well, actually there are a few good bits in Cycle World (especially that techincal column in the front) but the layout is so boring I have a hard time making myself read much of it.



Just for comparison, look at the racing coverage in Cycle World - which I suppose is OK in terms of content, but looks more bland than a Bunny Bread puree. Then compare this with racing news pages in British bike mags - big, colorful pictures, snappy writing. That's layout that makes you want to read the text. In general I find the British bike mags I read (Bike, T.W.O., Performance Bikes) to be far superior to anything in the US. At least Motorcyclist is making steps in the right direction.



Content isn't everything, good presentation matters. I'm glad that at least one US mag caught up with the times.
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:57 AM   #49
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Default Re: Snell vs. Motorcyclist Magazine

Ditto Carlson's comments above.



After reading the MC article (squinting all the way) and an equally careful reading of Snell's reply...well, more engineering "flamewars" are needed. In other words, I'm not convinced either way just yet.



Though as several have pointed out, versions of this argument have been going on for years. I believe MCN opined that DOT lids are just fine for the typical rider given full face, EPS on chinbar, etc.



I'd really like to see high quality, rigorous research done in this area - asap.



As for the folks complaining about MC's new format - did you read the letters section and Bohem's replys? Of course you didn't!
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:23 AM   #50
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Default Re: Snell vs. Motorcyclist

Sonny, never call anybody that can stand flat footed and pi$$ over your shoulder an old fogey. VWW
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