Head Protection: Huge Crash But No Injury

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke
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Hayden Gillim suffered one of the biggest crashes of the year, but Bell's Flex technology prevented head damage

head protection huge crash but no injury

Privateer Superbike/Superstock 1000 racer Hayden Gillim suffered a horrifying crash last August at MotoAmerica’s race event at the new Pittsburgh International Race Complex, culminating in Gillim ragdoll-tumbling into a tire barrier at high speed while his GSX-R1000 cartwheeled and bounced all the way over the fence. The race was immediately red-flagged, as Gillim surely would be requiring prompt medical attention.

Surprisingly enough, Gillim emerged from the crash mostly unscathed! He was helped to his feet at the scene and was able to walk to the awaiting ambulance. A checkup and CT scan at the hospital revealed nothing worse than bruising on various body parts and no sign of a concussion. That’s a testimony to modern rider safety apparel.

In Gillim’s case, his head was ensconced in the Flex liner of the Bell Race Star he was wearing. The innovative Flex liner is designed to reduce rotational-force energy from affecting a rider’s brain during a crash, similar in concept to the Multi-Impact Protection System liner in Bell’s Star MIPS helmet.

Bell Star MIPS Helmet Review

Following the crash, Bell dissected the helmet to examine how it performed for Gillim. According to Bell’s engineers, the Flex liner apparently executed its job as it was designed to do, allowing Gillim to get back up and race another day.

Bell Helmets R&D Lab Tour + Video

Bell’s video crew documented the dissection procedure to help illustrate the benefits of the Flex liner’s design and to educate riders about how it performed during the crash to help prevent serious injury. Take a look at the video below to see how this horrifyingly ugly crash turned out amazingly benign.

Kevin Duke
Kevin Duke

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4 of 14 comments
  • Jeff S. Wiebe Jeff S. Wiebe on Dec 02, 2017

    Due to my own history, this article on head injury prevention is very interesting to me. Thank you for posting it, and the video. I took the latter at face value, as a short explanation and rejoicing rather than an attempt at an in-depth analysis.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jeff S. Wiebe Jeff S. Wiebe on Dec 02, 2017

      Thank you for pointing out the link. Enjoyed that older piece.

  • Hipsabad Hipsabad on Dec 05, 2017

    of course, a one-off get-off proves nil. credible scientific testing is all about analyzing/corroborating from the many get-offs