Aug 4, 2007

10 things that are making your helmet useless

  1. Neck Brace for motorcyclists by BMWBadly fitted helmets
    Forget the head/ear aches that badly fitting helmets can cause. If your helmet is flopping around on your nogging, it isn't going to be much use in a crash. The snug fit ensures that as little of the impact force as possible is transferred to your head when you hit something solid. A loose lid, then is like, useless.

  2. Hang it on the mirror
    Yes, it's the most casual thing to do at the end of the ride... even, road testers do it. But leaving you helmet perched on your rear view mirror is slowly compressing your impact absorbing layer of polystrene (the thermocol-like stuff) and reducing the impact-absorbing ability of your helmet

  3. Leave it perched on the seat/tank
    Do this often enough, and the helmet will land on the road with that sickening hollow sound that means your helmet just died. Keep wearing it and one day you will too.

  4. Stickers
    Oh yeah, we all want cool stickers on our lids. Even I do. But, stick non-helmet safe stickers on the shell and you're asking for it. Adhesives can react and cause the shell to delaminate destruct shatter explore spoil. Still insist on stickers? Use the rubber strip at the bottom, the plastic of the vents or the sides/top of the faceshield so that your vision is not restricted.

  5. Nolan N102 HelmetLeave it on the helmet lock and ride
    A helmet lock (that black rubbery thing with nuts that break off) is only meant to keep you lid safe when parked. During a ride, the shocks from the road will eventually break the jaw part of your full face helmet clean off. Or at least weaken it. So don't do that.

  6. Carelessly knock it against doors, walls and stuff
    You'd be surprised how easy this is to do. But, remember, a helmet is designed to absorb one giant bash. Many minor bashes erode that ability and one day, when you need it, it won't have that capability.

  7. Time
    Yes, like many other things, helmets age. Father Time shows little respect for the best of things and helmets certainly are not hard wearing. A glossy, well kept helmet will still be useless in five years time (Shoei recommends changing lids after five years). Our Indian ones? Two years, tops.

  8. Shoei X-Eleven Kagayama Blue ReplicaRiding with the straps not tightened and/or fastened
    This is just sheer reckless behaviour. If you were in the army, would you go into battle with your bullet proof jacket stuffed into your backpack? Wearing an unfastened helmet is the same. And wearing a fastened helmet with a very loose strap is also exactly the same thing. If you can pull your chin strap over your chin, it is too loose. And if the helmet comes off when you crash, you're in for a rough ride.

  9. Dirty helmets
    A dirty helmet is just stupid. Cleaning the helmet gives you a chance to examine the state of the lid. Accumulated muck can hide scars, react and render the shell useless and worse, dirty brown is a background colour and hide from an inattentive car driver. All of these are bad things. Don't do this to yourself.

  10. Not wearing it
    This is obvious. But if you have a crash when your helmet is worn around your elbow, mirror, helmet lock or even backwards on top of your head... Goodbye, nice knowing you.
Okay I accept I went slightly overboard with the helmet pics... sorry. And anyone who chooses not to wear one and knows what they're doing... please keep your comments to yourself – I'm not asking you to wear one.

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Dick said...

Informative post.
I choose to ride without one, and yeah, I already know what you think about my choice.

Sanket said...

my 2 cents on this
"Those who don't wear a helmet have nothing to protect"

Deaths Head Roy said...

""land on the road with that sickening hollow sound that means your helmet just died. Keep wearing it and one day you will too.""....Hilarious...

Rahul said...

"Leave it perched on the seat/tank
Do this often enough, and the helmet will land on the road with that sickening hollow sound that means your helmet just died. Keep wearing it and one day you will too."

Hahahahahahah! Thats some serious humour I tell you! And a great write up! Yes, helmets unlike the ones used by medieval knights need to be replaced.... I like!

theslayer said...

I don't do that...but still never knew that propping your helmets on the mirrors would compress the insulation and strip the helmet of what it was meant to do.. WHOA... how'd you know?

Awesomely informative post!

vibhu said...

Most complaints people make about helmets is that it is uncomfortable and causes hair loss etc.

per se, the helmet will no be that... but... what do people do.

most people dont carry around their helmets. so they leave it on the bike. the first to go is the visor with other bikes being parked like sandwichese around it. 2nd thing which happens is all the dust goes in. i even see people leaving the helmets out in the rain ! sheesh !

long time back i wrote on BN ... treat the helmets like your chaddis. do you wear a dirty, wet chaddi ? no ? Then why wear a helmet like that ?

The BATFAN said...


rearset seems to be quite good at physics with all his understanding of the Force. Though some of us actually do know what he does for a living and it is kind of similar to what physicists do ;)

well the simple fact is by observing. A helmet kept on a mirror has the whole weight distributed at a bare minimal contact with the mirror. The mirror being a solid surface presses onto the helmet which as we all know has insulation padding. Though not very similar the effect is something that a road has on a tyre. The tyre of course wears only with use but leave a punctured bike resting on the wheels for an extended (really long period of) time and I am sure the contact patch sheared between the gravel below and the rim or alloys above will have a noticeable difference from the rest of the wheel surface.

In one word Think!

The BATFAN said...

Guys I meant "rest of the tyre surface" at the end in the last line above.

Hmmm. I think it's time to revive my blog and every time I think again. The odo just tripped over 8500KM and maybe I can wait upto 10000 to start with ;)

Glifford said...

Thanks for this. Just tightened the strap day before after reading this post!

Had slackened with over 3.5 years of use. Also time to replace the helmet. Will do so soon.

theslayer said...

@the batfan:

I'm seriously going to have a complex if i realize all people around me know their bikes and their lids and their gear a million better than i do! Haha! Thanks for the info man! And yeah yeah, lucky few those who know what rearset really is! Doesn't mean I'm unlucky...atleast i get to own a P220, after months of torturous waiting :D Hehe.. Where's your blog btw? Link please?