How Much Does A Motorcycle Helmet Cost – The stickers attached to the tanks of new motorcycles and the fine print on the racetrack flags tell us that motorsport is dangerous. This is of course true, but the history of motorsport is about categorical safety improvements. While open-wheel racing cars get halos and even the most muscular rally cars must have a logbook roll cage, motorcycles are unique in their lack of external safety measures. Riders and their clothing are responsible for safety. And without doubt the most important piece of safety equipment is a good motorcycle helmet.
Helmet technology has evolved thoroughly over the years of use, and there has never been a better time for Motorcycle Helmet Safety. But what makes one motorcycle helmet better than another? The best motorcycle helmet is not necessarily one with an FIM rating, but one with proven safety technology. Multi-density EPS foam construction and a carbon shell are tried and true, but a relative newcomer called MIPS is just as important. Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) technology focuses on rotational force instead of the direct impact testing used by government agencies and independent regulators. By applying a thin layer of movable plastic between the comfort pad and the helmet foam, MIPS allows for small rotational movements of the head inside the helmet during a crash. While DOT and Snell helmet ratings are aimed at high impacts, the low flex of MIPS can be the difference between a concussion or not in lower speed accidents. In addition, high-speed crashes tend to expose sticking points and rotational disturbances in aerodynamic helmets, meaning that MIPS is necessary to allow the rider’s head to dissipate the crash energy through the wheels.
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Created by the Swedish MIPS Defense, the technology has been around for more than 25 years and now name-brand helmets are very popular, from cycling to snowmobiling and motorcycles. When shopping for your next helmet, here are some of the best motorcycle helmets with MIPS technology.
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The Bell Qualifier is everything you want in a motorcycle helmet, with few creature comforts found in more expensive helmets. Coming in at a reasonable $279.95, the Qualifier DLX MIPS is the high-end version of the watch with UV-activated transfer protection included. Four active vents and a medium oval shape make this helmet comfortable for most riders. The helmet is DOT and ECE rated, as well as the trademark MIPS yellow lining.
Because of its entry-level price point, Bell decided to use a polycarbonate shell on the Qualifier, which could lead to a higher highway driving experience. In addition, the ventilation system feels cheap and prone to blockages from time to time.
But Bell has been one of the most vocal proponents of MIPS technology, and it has been implemented in Bell products across the powersports segment. While MIPS is available on more expensive street helmets and off-road oriented decks, the Qualifier is one of Bell’s most popular units. Whether you are a new rider buying your first helmet or a veteran rider looking for an inexpensive helmet, the Qualifier DLX MIPS is a great choice for cost, safety and subtle style.
Casual but protective motorcycle clothing. Known for armored jerseys and halo-inspired helmets, Icon continues to produce high-quality, yet easy-to-use motorcycle gear for those with an aggressive style. And the Airflite MIPS helmet is no different, with a price point of $333.
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One of its delightful features is the Airflite helmet protection system. Flip up the visor and unusually long breather, and you get an open sun visor that covers the eyes. Both the head cover and the sun cover can be customized according to your color wishes.
Icon’s Airflite doesn’t win any beauty contests, and it’s not the best helmet on this list. However, the appeal of Airflite is its price, safety and convenience. With the Qualifier’s reasonable price, the Airflite achieves DOT, ECE and PSC safety certifications, although it has the same polycarbonate construction noise. In addition, the Airflite is suitable for those with long head shapes thanks to the long oval interior.
With aerodynamics and a racing pedigree in mind, the Bell Star DLX is the pinnacle of the more traditional MIPS motorcycle helmets. Made with a carbon fiber shell, Bell markets this helmet as track-oriented, comfortable enough for the street, and this is true for real riding. The deck cut is suitable for riding leaning forward, for example riding a sports bike or an aggressive naked bike.
It would be correct to describe the Star as a very safe helmet as it earns a prestigious DOT, ECE and Snell rating. Just like the Qualifier DLX, the Star is equipped with a photochromic transition shield and an active ventilation system, although the Star locks the shield in place. Combined with a stronger shell structure, the Star’s protection system creates a much quieter ride.
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The medium and long oval head shape of the Star makes it suitable for a smaller group of riders and feels heavy at once. While the Bell’s safety considerations are the same as competing Shoei and Arai covers, the Star’s comfort and size may make it a less desirable choice depending on your head shape.
At this point, Klim is a common name for any two-wheeled adventurer. Based in Idaho, Klim makes practical gear that works for demanding adventures and morning commutes. After making high-end pants and jackets, the company has decided to make helmets – and some great ones at that.
Within Klim’s helmet lineup, the Koroyd F5 is the most track-oriented, although it is street legal and maintains DOT and ECE safety ratings. In addition to the safety rating and MIPS technology, what makes the F5 Koroyd unique is found in its name. Koroyd is another impact protection system that uses a geometric structure to absorb impacts laterally, like the MIPS between it and the comfort pad. By combining these newer technologies with dual density EPS, the Klim F5 is one of the safest helmets on the market.
In addition to safety, it is exceptionally light thanks to its carbon shell construction. It weighs only three kilograms at most. And with 18 air intakes and eight exhaust vents, the ventilation capabilities are second to none, even if they are a little noisy. For those looking to ride the fire road and any track day in and out, look no further than the F5 Koroyd Klim.
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You’re probably wondering why there are so many Bell helmets on this list and it’s not because Bell is sponsoring this. Rather, Bell is one of the only brands that takes MIPS seriously in its range. While brands like Klim and Icon choose to use MIPS selectively, Bell has embraced the technology.
Bell advertises its helmets as versatile, and the MX-9 Adventure MIPS helmet is the epitome of a stylish helmet for all disciplines. While its off-road functionality matches the Klim F5 Koroyd, the MX-9 is more versatile, with a nearby front shield and active vents. It is a relatively light helmet and can be modified in various ways to suit riding purposes. If you end up on a long highway, it’s relatively easy to remove the peak and minimize the wind buffet.
This brings us to the MX-9’s downsides, which are rooted in its many personalities. The protection system consists of screws, which means they can loosen over time and can also be over-tightened. However, the DOT- and ECE-classified MX-9 is an unbeatable value for off-road driving or city traffic, with wide peripheral vision and excellent breathability.
Safety ratings are just tests based on certain parameters that are supposed to replicate a real accident. Objectively, some impact tests use higher speeds or multiple impacts, making helmets more proven to penetrate. Additionally, the safety ratings are location specific, meaning the DOT rating applies to helmets intended for the United States, while the ECE rating focuses on Europe.
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Historically, the DOT was considered the lowest of the low helmets. The test includes a single impact, a puncture test and a strap attachment test. It’s not that the test itself is weak or inadequate, but the pressures and forces released in the test are high enough to nearly kill the user. Sure, a passenger can survive the worst case scenario, but DOT testing doesn’t paint a picture of most motorcycle accidents.
ECE testing is a much more representative metric that is frequently updated based on actual crash data. The test parameters were created by the European Economic Commission and are often considered more representative of how motorcyclists injure their heads. Although the puncture test has been discontinued, the ECE test considers low-speed crashes as well as high-speed crashes. An example of the modernity of the ECE classification is the move towards softer shells, as most motorcycle crashes occur at a slower rate and harder shells are less effective in these situations.
Finally, the Snell Memorial Foundation is a non-profit group
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