Protect your Noggin

Many people think of dirt bikes as dangerous but truth is anything a person can do is dangerous. With the proper protection like a good helmet, injury is reduced. If the helmet doesn’t fit properly, protection is reduced.

No idea how to measure your head for proper fitment?

To measure, use a tape measure and go around your head’s circumference (around your entire head), one inch above your eyebrows then compare the measurements to a size chart for the brand you are purchasing.

Measuring your head is just one thing that should be done. Here are more tips and tricks to determine if the helmet it one is the correct size.

It should feel snug but not too snug that it is uncomfortable or painful.

  • Tighten the chin strap then move your head in all directions, no movement should happen. If movement does happen, you need a smaller size.
  • Put your hands under the back of helmet and pull it forward. You should not be able to pull it off your head.
  • Check to see if you can put one finger between the helmets padding and your forehead, if you can, you need a smaller size.
  • The helmet should feel slightly snug on your head but you should not notice excessive pressure, this excludes cheek padding. If excessive pressure or causes pain, the helmet is too small.

When should a helmet be replaced?

A helmet will not last forever, even without a wreck. If a wreck does happen and you hit your head, replace the helmet immediately. Once a helmet has received an impact, it is no longer safe to use. What if you have no impacts? Just like your bike, wear and tear does happen to the helmet. The lining and pads can get wore down to the point of the safety being significantly reduced. I ride roughly 200 hours in a year’s time, so for me, one year is max! Just try to use your best judgment and if you really don’t know, ASK!

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Take care of your helmet! After every ride, clean the helmet and visor. Don’t forget about the sweaty smelling lining and cheek pads. It can be hand washed in the sink or use a helmet clean/care product. I like to use Motorex Helmet Care. It smells great and shines the helmet nicely. Also, do not store your helmet in a place where it could fall.

Now on to the biggest question most rider’s ask, what helmet should I buy?!

This is my opinion and everyone is entitled to an opinion. If you want an excellent, type of line helmet, I STRONGLY recommend the Fly Formula helmet. It fits good, its comfortable, ultra-light, AND it has the best protection available on the market. It is certainly worth the money. MSRP price is $649.95. This helmet comes with a Fly helmet garage and an extra visor. Below are key features to this helmet:

  • DOT/ECE Approved
  • 12K carbon fiber shell-Produces an extremely lightweight shell with superior penetration resistance
  • Impact Energy Cells-Made of RHEON, the Impact Energy Cells maximize absorption of low speed linear and rotational impacts, reducing forces transmitted to the brain.
  • Conehead® EPS Technology-Provides a softer liner whereby the cones help manage or absorb an impact force more efficiently. Six critical zones have been fine tuned for a progressive response to low-speed and high-speed impacts
  • Expanded volume EPS-Strategic areas of the helmet have more impact absorbing EPS, more suspension between your head and the ground
  • EPP chin bar-Expanded polypropylene creates an additional element of impact mitigation
  • Clavicle shell relief zone-Creates a soft zone filled with EPS and EPP to aid in reducing clavicle injuries
  • Lightweight Custom visor screws and titanium alloy D-rings
  • Comfort liner and quick release Cheek pads are made of a washable moisture wicking, anti-microbial material
  • True Functional Ventilation (TFV)-When in motion air is forced through multiple air intake vents, then passed through aligned vent channels in the EPS and exits out multiple rear exhaust vents.

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My next choice would be Fly F2 Carbon Helmet. Before the Formula got released, this was the helmet I had been wearing for the last three years. The MSRP price is $299.95. Below are key features for this helmet:

  • ECE/DOT approved
  • Carbon Matrix composite shell
  • Dual-density EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) liner
  • Custom rubber trim with integrated nose guard
  • Lightweight machined aluminum visor screws
  • Stainless steel rivets and D-rings
  • Removable and washable COOLMAX® comfort liner and cheek pads
  • All FLY helmets have TFV (True Functional Ventilation). When in motion air is forced through multiple air intake vents, then passed through aligned vent channels in the EPS and exits out multiple rear exhaust vents
  • Quad-vent above eye port draws air from goggle to reduce fogging

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A third option that I recommend is, Alpinestars Supertech M10. MSRP is $649.95. Below are key features for this helmet:

  • Weight of S-M10 is 1240g for size Medium (ECE) - 1340g for size Medium (DOT)
  • Heat mapping tests have resulted in specifically designed ducting which produces a positive flow into the helmet over and around the rider’s head, improving comfort while riding and reducing the on-set of heat stress in extreme conditions.
  • Post-crash protection mechanisms are also a key feature of the Supertech M10 design, allowing rapid and safe intervention if the rider has suffered a major impact.
  • MIPS is incorporated into the Supertech M10 to reduce rotational motion energies that impact the helmet causing damaging gyration force to be transmitted to the brain.
  • Visor release mechanism is conceived to avoid the inherent weaknesses in other types of anchoring systems. Maintaining shell integrity is vital for safety and with the possibility of multi-directional forces impacting on the visor, separation at the critical point of loading reduces potentially damaging leverage and rotational accelerations that refer injury to the rider’s neck and spine.
  • The base of the S-M10 has been sculpted to give a relief section, where the bottom profile is raised to clear the collarbone (Clavicle). Also, incorporated into the area of the base pad, where it sits over the rider’s collarbone, is an energy absorbtion pad; a more flexible compound rubber section which allows deflection when it contacts the Clavicle.
  • The Supertech M10 chin-bar is formed with polypropylene which, by allowing for a degree of lateral deflection, further improves impact protection for the collarbones.
  • A low friction ‘slip’ layer is incorporated into the Supertech M10 helmet, between the comfort padding layer and the multi-density polymer energy absorption shell. When energy is impacted upon the helmet, causing a rotation force, the MIPS layer allows for movement of the inner absorption layer to damp and re-direct the energy before causing significant acceleration stress to the brain. This mitigates the causes of brain injuries, such as concussion.
  • The side cheek padding of the S-M10 can be extracted efficiently and safely, while the helmet is still on the rider’s head, to allow ease of removal by trackside support and medical staff.
  • Along with the ERS padding removal, ‘Eject’ allows for emergency removal of the helmet, without putting load on the rider’s spine.
  • The visor design of the S-M10 is also an integral part of the ventilation system as it is profiled to direct airflow, acting as a channel to concentrate and smooth the flow into the shell. The Supertech M10 liner design is formed to optimize airflow channeling around the rider’s head before being extracted from the S-M10 through rear exhaust vents to ensure positive pressure is maintained with constant airflow while riding.
  • The Supertech M10 helmet lining design includes canals which allow a tube to be incorporated on either side of the shell. This is a feature extensively tested by Alpinestars rally raid and enduro riders enabling convenient fitting and connection to a hydration system.
  • Removable liner cover is washable and features a cool-max fabric interior and anti-bacterial talent yarn for long-lasting freshness and quick-dry performance between riding sessions. Helmet features TPE coating washable surfaces to improve maintenance and increase durability. Additional cheek pad set offering increased thickness of +5mm, for tighter fit adjustment – available separately.

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Alpinestar Supertech M8 is also an option. MSRP $499.95. Key features are below:

  • Collarbone protection is an important design feature of the Supertech M8 helmet shell base profile.
  • The base of the S-M8 has been sculpted to give a relief section, where the bottom profile is raised to clear the collarbone (Clavicle). Also, incorporated into the area of the base pad, where it sits over the rider’s collarbone, is an energy absorption pad; a more flexible compound rubber section which allows deflection when it contacts the Clavicle.
  • The Supertech M8 chin-bar is formed with polypropylene which, by allowing for a degree of lateral deflection, further improves impact protection for the collarbones.
  • Post-crash protection mechanisms are also a key feature of the Supertech M8 design, allowing rapid and safe intervention if the rider has suffered a major impact.
  • Multi-Directional Impact Protection System: MIPS.
  • MIPS is incorporated into the Supertech M8 to reduce rotational motion energies that impact the helmet causing damaging gyration force to be transmitted to the brain.
  • A low friction ‘slip’ layer is incorporated into the Supertech M8 helmet, between the comfort padding layer and the multi-density polymer energy absorption shell. When energy is impacted upon the helmet, causing a rotation force, the MIPS layer allows for movement of the inner absorption layer to damp and re-direct the energy before causing significant acceleration stress to the brain. This mitigates the causes of brain injuries, such as concussion.
  • Emergency Release System (ERS).
  • The side cheek padding of the S-M8 can be extracted efficiently and safely, while the helmet is still on the rider’s head, to allow ease of removal by trackside support and medical staff.
  • The Supertech M8 is also designed to allow a helmet ‘Eject’ inflation system to be fitted into the inside crown of the shell.
  • Along with the ERS padding removal, ‘Eject’ allows for emergency removal of the helmet, without putting load on the rider’s spine.
  • Chin-strap: Wider than certification requirement: 26 mm for comfort and produced with a woven poly yarn to give a soft ‘hand’ feel that connects securely with a double D-ring.
  • Weight: Reduced by design while allowing the Supertech M8 protection to be class-leading.
  • Weight is both a factor in riding performance and safety in a helmet and to ensure the S-M8 offers the ultimate in weight saving performance enhancement, the material selection, preparation and construction of the helmet has been rigorously analyzed for weight to strength and energy absorption properties and a strict analysis of all the components used in the Supertech M8 finishing.
  • Weight of S-M8 is 1300g for size Medium (ECE) - 1360g for size Medium (DOT)
  • The Supertech M8 Certifications.
  • The Supertech M8 helmet versions conform to both DOT certification and ECE homologation for use worldwide.
  • The DOT 218 standard prescribes specific impact penetration protection over the crown of the helmet area and hence, for the US and Canada markets, the Supertech M8 will feature technology that substantially exceeds the minimum safety requirements.

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I know that is a ton of info to take in but when it comes to spending that much money on something, I find it is best to do your research. When wanting to cut back on money, do not cut back on your safety!

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