Motorcycle Helmet Impact Zones: Know the Risks
Author: Team Adventure Moto Date Posted:26 June 2019
A while back we wrote an article on how to properly fit a motorcycle helmet, and mentioned a few of the big-ticket items to do or not do while drilling in the idea that a proper fit is key to safety. We can all use a safety reminder at times, so we’ve put together a few little factoids on motorcycle helmet impact zones too, to re-stress the importance of always using a well-maintained, modern helmet.
Don’t leave your melon vulnerable. A half helmet or an ill-fitting, old helmet is downright dangerous.
According to the United State’s CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), helmets reduce the risk of head injury by nearly 70%, and the risk of death by nearly 40%. Seems obvious enough but…
Ever wonder why we don’t sell half helmets?
As an adventure motorcycle company, it would be imprudent to support half helmet use after the release of the 1981 Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures Volume 1: Technical Report, nicknamed the “Hurt” report by co-authors Hurt, Ouellet, and Thom.
Professor Dietmar Otte at the Hannover Medical School in Germany later came out with this visual representation of helmet impact zones, which you may have seen floating around the web. The motorcycle brand Icon even came out with a motorcycle helmet sporting Otte’s graphics.
As shown, you’re over 40% likely to faceplant if you crash your motorcycle. Is it worth risking?
Think of it this way:
Would you walk around with just the top half of your shoes strapped to your feet, leaving your soles exposed? Would you wear assless pants under your trousers? Gloves gaffer taped to your wrists, flopping around in the air willy-nilly? We think not. So why ride with your face, the most likely part of your head to be damaged (and the prettiest, we have no doubt), uncovered? At that rate, you may be better off wearing a welding mask (no… no you wouldn’t).
Think of the main body of the helmet as the supporting structure, the framework if you will, for the most important part to protect: your mug!
Try a modern full face helmet, for full-time safety
Keep in mind that motorcycle helmet safety ratings all assume a modern, properly fit helmet, so ditch the old tattered one you’ve had knocking around and spend the money on one that is proven to significantly increase your chances of survival in a crash. Don’t forget to save some portion of your budget for riding gloves, pants, jacket, and boots, too. And remember, not all riding gear is created equal, and knockoffs are out there.
Because Australia gets ridiculously hot, counterbalance the heat with a high tech helmet with great airflow instead of an open face helmet. Live to appreciate how great -- and safe -- modern adventure motorcycle helmets truly are.
We’ll always love the KLIM TK1200 Karbon Modular Helmet ECE/DOT and the Klim Krios Karbon Adventure Helmet ECE/DOT with transition lens. But of course, it’s your head, and it’s all about what fits best.
A quick helmet fit recap:
- A great fitting helmet comes first and foremost. The look and stylish qualities of your helmet are always secondary.
- When buying a new helmet, always re-measure the circumference of your head with a soft tape measure or string. Who knows, maybe your hair has thinned out since the last helmet!
- When possible, try the helmet on. And if you can’t, at least we have a great return policy.
- Head shape matters. Uncle Bob has a huge round melon, while Aunty Jane has a small oval noggin’. If they’re following proper helmet fitment rules, they won’t be purchasing the same helmet.
- Used helmets are high risk. Nuff said.
- Long hair, thick hair, and headwear, beware: Use extra fitting caution to ensure the snuggest, best fitting helmet.
- Your old, loose helmet isn’t necessarily “better than nothing.” It may actually be just as bad as nothing.
- Don’t always trust the bloke behind the counter, trying to sell you that helmet they’ve had on the shelf all season.
- The brain is the most complex organ we have, and it’s the only brain you have, so spend the extra money to protect it!
- Do your research, and armour yourself with knowledge when shopping around. If it’s too good to be true… it probably is. Beware of cheap knockoffs.
If you missed our sage helmet-fitting advice, read the full post, here.
Find answers and expert help from one of our Adventure Moto shops in Sydney or Brisbane.
And remember: No matter how good the helmet is, you gotta do up that strap!
Save your face and Happy Riding,
Your Adventure Moto Team