Helmets coming off in accidents
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Thread: Helmets coming off in accidents

  1. #1
    Still defying gravity... Array Thumper 8's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
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    Question Helmets coming off in accidents

    I noticed that in 2 recent accidents - the rider who died on 8th Avenue in New West and the rider down at Lions Gate Bridge yesterday, both riders lost their helmets during the accidents.

    I always thought that if the helmet was put on correctly, it would stay on during most impacts. I cannot remember seeing a helmet come of during any recent road races on TV where speed is much higher but equipment is top-notch with obviously experienced riders.

    Any thoughts on why riders are loosing their lids... improper fit of the lids (buy a used helmet that may not fit with a used bike), the lid not put on correctly, riders not knowing how to properly wear a helmet, or just plain bad luck? I don't know if the local riders had full face or open face or beanies.

    Just wondering why the lids are popping off...

    aka Tony

    My WMRC/Pitt Meadows and other bike photos are at Thumphoto.com - follow on Twitter and connect on Facebook


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  3. #2
    . Array dhouldsw's Avatar
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    Hard to say without knowing what types of helmets those two had. Most beginners feel that a properly fitting helmet is too tight. Most shops are pretty good about helping people find the right size, but if someone borrows a helmet or gets a hand me down, then it may not fit properly. I've had some students grab an Large helmet and I go back and wind up giving them a Small.


  4. #3
    Doesn't register Array Mutate Now!'s Avatar
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    "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
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    You know, I was thinking exactly the same thing last night...

    This post is simply the opinion of the poster and is not to be construed as instructions or advice. Your mileage may vary.
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  5. #4
    Moderator Array Mighty Kentor's Avatar
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    As far as I can tell, riders sometimes purchase lids that are too big. The Helmet will then "peel" off the head from rear to front. Like how a shirt comes off. It's important to have a very snug fit with a helmet. A loose one can create twising problems in a crash which plays havoc with a neck.

    Perhaps some riders are not adjusting the strap tightly also?

    This info comes from a training session I did with Arai a few years ago while working in the m/c industry.
    Reformatted to fit your screen.

  6. #5
    Old Dirty Bastard Array masonjarz's Avatar
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    When I went to buy a lid after years of being out of motorcycling, I was all set to buy a large.

    Thanks to a savy staffer at Western, I now wear a small.

    I'm glad I took the time to ask someone for advice instead of just thinking I knew what was right.

  7. #6
    Bohica Array Madman's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
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    ... improper fit!

    I've seen a few folk buy lids purely on looks with no care in how they fit. It's too bad some retailers just want to make the sale.
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  8. #7
    Twin A Array Jaybo's Avatar
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    i've been involved in an accident where a riders helmet flew off when he crashed. Found out later he was a noob who apparently did not do the strap up properly. He's lucky to be alive.
    Some people are like Slinkies ...
    Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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  9. #8
    It is very important to have the strap tight and to check it to be sure it doesn't get loose, even then some designs can come off in a crash. Crashing can be very violent so it isn't all ways the riders fault.

    Seatbelts have similar faults. Lots of times seatbelts come off and people have been thrown from cars even though they had a belt on. Chevy (and other makes) had seat belts that would unlatch when subjected to sideways forces. They refused to admit that for many years (and cops just said no seat belt was used) but they have since changed the design. Lots of those seat belts are still in use, my Isuzu had a set.

  10. #9
    Registered User Array grant's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Almost certainly it's because they're wearing beanie caps or too large helmets.

    One scooter fellow i knew bought a helmet too large on purpose, so he could put it on/off without undoing the straps.

  11. #10
    builder of bikes Array cosworth's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    The Island
    This was discussed not long ago. And yes, it is buying a helemt that is the wrong size.

    I spoke with a girl here and she told me that her helemt was teh right size even thought she could fit a balaclava on under it. Wrong. I have a helmet that is now relegated to car racing for me. My fireproof balaclava fits under it. BARELY. Makes my face hurt. Without the balaclava the helemt is FAR too big. And I mean it's dangerous.

    I lost a friend to a helmet coming off. Had his helmet stayed on would he be around? Who knows....

  12. #11
    Administrator Array adamantium's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    I wish.
    Corey (of whom I think Cosworth is talking about) lost his helmet. I'm 90% sure his helmet was fitting properly. The indents in his face at the local White Spot proved it. I would almost guarantee you that it was done up properly, and yet it still came off and he passed away because of it.

    I think they're meant as protection when fitted properly, but arn't the be all and end all of head saftey. The little thing in your brain the tells you to slow down and use your common sense is probably more useful.
    BCSB- Administrator

  13. #12
    builder of bikes Array cosworth's Avatar
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    I watched Corey put his helmet on a lot and always wondered why he bought such a big helmet. Looking at his picture right now I see why. I have a large jaw and helemt fitment was always a jaw related comfort issue.

    Corey's really big smile forced him to buy a helmet that fit his face, not his head. Once I stopped doing the same, going from an XL HJC to a Medium KBC, I was changed.

    Adam you have a very slight face and I'm sure you have always bought helmets to fit your "head" not your face. You're lucky!

    I really cannot stress enough proper helmet fitment.

  14. #13
    Wannabe Array
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    If only there were more helpful people at the bike shops to help fit helmets. I had a really tough time and had to go to three different motorcycle shops before finding a salesperson who seemed to have a clue what proper fit of a helmet should be.

  15. #14
    Gear Driven Cams Array Spike's Avatar
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    I wonder... I've got a large head too, with a slightly more prominent ridge down the top of my head than most people (or at least it seems like nobody else is shaped this way). I've also got a large jaw. So far, the only helmet I could find that fit me was an XL HJC CL-12 or CL-14. This past weekend I happened to try on a Shark XS800 at RMS, and found that the XL in that fit *tighter* than the XL HJC, but was just as comfortable. I think I might be spending $300 on a new helmet.
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  16. #15
    Moderator Array flowrider's Avatar
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    Damn this thread has me thinking now. I went from a medium HJC to a large Shoei. I've tried on the medium Shoei but found it too small but now???? Hmmm.

    By the way does anyone know how the Shoei X-11 shell sizes run? Is there a different shell size for every helmet size or is it a case where the medium and large share a shell size?
    Last edited by flowrider; 05-02-2005 at 10:51 PM.
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