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Cobie Fair

Another New Fourm, Sprouting Like Weeds!

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There is a lot of information and technology in this area. We have had some good data show up in the tires section to start, Tuning should do that too, but would be good to get some up here too.

 

Here is one example of lack of information/wrong information: Talked to a student that was not allowed to continue his day, as he had fallen and the helmet had contacted the ground. Our policy, if the head and helmet hits the ground, he is not going back out that day.

 

In talking with this rider, he was asked his understanding of helmets and how they work. He went on to talk about the integrity of the shell being the big factor, and since it was a pretty minor scratch, he actually crashed twice more in that helmet. I pulled my jaw off the floor and then we went over the compression of the material on the inside. That is what cushions the head in an impact, and it's a one-time use deal.

 

I'm not a helmet expert, so that's a very rudimentary understanding.

 

The idea will be to get some good information up here, aside from general discussion on riding gear.

 

How's that sound to you guys?

 

Best,

Cobie

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Hey Cobie,

 

I like the idea of a gear discussion forum. There is a multitude of manufacturers, brands, and styles of riding gear out there and getting real world feedback on members' experiences would be useful. I'm also interested in more technical discussions; on where the technologies are going, what's working, what isn't.

 

A couple of years ago I bought a jacket with D3O armor. It's a great jacket over all; good fit, nice functionality, great rain and wind protection, however I can tell you I am not overly impressed with the D3O armor. I have not had to test it in anger but just banging my elbow into the wall (scientific testing) I can say I would rather ride out an incident with the old fashioned armor in my other gear. Does anyone have any experience with the D3O or knowledge that might be useful or just plain interesting?

 

Best,

 

Carey

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Hey Cobie,

 

I like the idea of a gear discussion forum. There is a multitude of manufacturers, brands, and styles of riding gear out there and getting real world feedback on members' experiences would be useful. I'm also interested in more technical discussions; on where the technologies are going, what's working, what isn't.

 

Best,

 

Carey

 

OK, I'll keep working to get some good resources up here. Don't know anything about that armor personally.

 

CF

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Which rating authorities have the toughest standards in general?

 

CE-approved?

 

UK / Euro brothers, what say you?

 

Ago

 

"CE"?

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BMW Motorrad and other, esp European apparel & helmet manufacturers, like Spidi back protectors advertise Communaute Europeene CE certification

citing it as typically a tougher standard than the US ones, like DoT or Snell.

Ago

post-22577-0-26404800-1329950199_thumb.jpg

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BMW Motorrad and other, esp European apparel & helmet manufacturers, like Spidi back protectors advertise Communaute Europeene CE certification

citing it as typically a tougher standard than the US ones, like DoT or Snell.

Ago

 

Got it, thanks.

 

CF

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Actually, most manufacturers (including US and Japanese) will also get their clothing and helmets certified to the CE standards.

 

Mind you, CE is a whole body of regulations/standards - name something you can buy, and there's probably a CE marking/standard for it.

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There is a lot of information and technology in this area. We have had some good data show up in the tires section to start, Tuning should do that too, but would be good to get some up here too.

 

Here is one example of lack of information/wrong information: Talked to a student that was not allowed to continue his day, as he had fallen and the helmet had contacted the ground. Our policy, if the head and helmet hits the ground, he is not going back out that day.

 

In talking with this rider, he was asked his understanding of helmets and how they work. He went on to talk about the integrity of the shell being the big factor, and since it was a pretty minor scratch, he actually crashed twice more in that helmet. I pulled my jaw off the floor and then we went over the compression of the material on the inside. That is what cushions the head in an impact, and it's a one-time use deal.

 

I'm not a helmet expert, so that's a very rudimentary understanding.

 

The idea will be to get some good information up here, aside from general discussion on riding gear.

 

How's that sound to you guys?

 

Best,

Cobie

 

hmm, I'm not a helmet expert either and certainly less expert than most in riding per se. That said, I never heard of the "one time use". It seems like it would be a matter of degree like most other things. It would make sense to disqualify the lid if you knew for certain that the helmet protection was compromised --shell or padding. But would a little scuff ("minor scratch") as a result of a fall where your head contacts the pavement disqualify that helmet absolutely? How many of us would trash can a $700 helmet for that? How many helmets have fallen off bikes and gotten scratched. There no head in it, in that case but still...

 

I am not suggesting we be cavalier with our head safety but there must be some reasonable way to decide that without a black & white, yes or no rule for helmet contact. I know Shoei (for example) will inspect your "damaged" helmet and let you know if it is still doing its job as specified and therefore safe to continue using. You don't see riders throwing away racing suits after an off (usually). I respect that you have your rules at Superbike and maybe you are right to have them. It just seems like DQ'ing a helmet for any contact is a bit extreme.

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There is a lot of information and technology in this area. We have had some good data show up in the tires section to start, Tuning should do that too, but would be good to get some up here too.

 

Here is one example of lack of information/wrong information: Talked to a student that was not allowed to continue his day, as he had fallen and the helmet had contacted the ground. Our policy, if the head and helmet hits the ground, he is not going back out that day.

 

In talking with this rider, he was asked his understanding of helmets and how they work. He went on to talk about the integrity of the shell being the big factor, and since it was a pretty minor scratch, he actually crashed twice more in that helmet. I pulled my jaw off the floor and then we went over the compression of the material on the inside. That is what cushions the head in an impact, and it's a one-time use deal.

 

I'm not a helmet expert, so that's a very rudimentary understanding.

 

The idea will be to get some good information up here, aside from general discussion on riding gear.

 

How's that sound to you guys?

 

Best,

Cobie

 

hmm, I'm not a helmet expert either and certainly less expert than most in riding per se. That said, I never heard of the "one time use". It seems like it would be a matter of degree like most other things. It would make sense to disqualify the lid if you knew for certain that the helmet protection was compromised --shell or padding. But would a little scuff ("minor scratch") as a result of a fall where your head contacts the pavement disqualify that helmet absolutely? How many of us would trash can a $700 helmet for that? How many helmets have fallen off bikes and gotten scratched. There no head in it, in that case but still...

 

I am not suggesting we be cavalier with our head safety but there must be some reasonable way to decide that without a black & white, yes or no rule for helmet contact. I know Shoei (for example) will inspect your "damaged" helmet and let you know if it is still doing its job as specified and therefore safe to continue using. You don't see riders throwing away racing suits after an off (usually). I respect that you have your rules at Superbike and maybe you are right to have them. It just seems like DQ'ing a helmet for any contact is a bit extreme.

 

I'm not an expert either, but I have read up on this, mainly researching whether the costlier helmets really provide any better protection than the mid-range helmets, so here is my understanding:

 

The problem is that the material inside the helmet is crushable, that's how it absorbs impact. After being crushed, it doesn't spring back to shape and thus has lost its ability to protect you in another impact. That crushable material is between the outer shell and the inner padding, you can't see it, so the ony way to check it is to send it (as you say above) for inspection by the manufacturer.

 

In a crash, the inner material is crushed by your head's inertia inside the helmet - so the shell hits the ground, but the crushable stuff between head and shell cushions the impact, slowing your head down and helping to keep your brains from slamming into your skull, and /or your skull crushing on impact.

 

Personally, if my helmet fell off a bike, I would be a little concerned about its protectiveness after that but I probably wouldn't junk it - since there is nothing heavy INSIDE the helmet to crush the inner liner in the fall. And yes, that could potentially scratch the helmet paint a bit, but in my limited experience, that does not look like the broader scuffs that occur from an actual crash impact.

 

However, if a student crashed, hit their head, and there was visible damage to the helmet, I would absolutely not think it was wise for that person to continue riding, it's too difficult to tell if someone has a head injury or not; they might think they are fine when they really are not.

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There is a lot of information and technology in this area. We have had some good data show up in the tires section to start, Tuning should do that too, but would be good to get some up here too.

 

Here is one example of lack of information/wrong information: Talked to a student that was not allowed to continue his day, as he had fallen and the helmet had contacted the ground. Our policy, if the head and helmet hits the ground, he is not going back out that day.

 

In talking with this rider, he was asked his understanding of helmets and how they work. He went on to talk about the integrity of the shell being the big factor, and since it was a pretty minor scratch, he actually crashed twice more in that helmet. I pulled my jaw off the floor and then we went over the compression of the material on the inside. That is what cushions the head in an impact, and it's a one-time use deal.

 

I'm not a helmet expert, so that's a very rudimentary understanding.

 

The idea will be to get some good information up here, aside from general discussion on riding gear.

 

How's that sound to you guys?

 

Best,

Cobie

 

hmm, I'm not a helmet expert either and certainly less expert than most in riding per se. That said, I never heard of the "one time use". It seems like it would be a matter of degree like most other things. It would make sense to disqualify the lid if you knew for certain that the helmet protection was compromised --shell or padding. But would a little scuff ("minor scratch") as a result of a fall where your head contacts the pavement disqualify that helmet absolutely? How many of us would trash can a $700 helmet for that? How many helmets have fallen off bikes and gotten scratched. There no head in it, in that case but still...

 

I am not suggesting we be cavalier with our head safety but there must be some reasonable way to decide that without a black & white, yes or no rule for helmet contact. I know Shoei (for example) will inspect your "damaged" helmet and let you know if it is still doing its job as specified and therefore safe to continue using. You don't see riders throwing away racing suits after an off (usually). I respect that you have your rules at Superbike and maybe you are right to have them. It just seems like DQ'ing a helmet for any contact is a bit extreme.

 

I'm not an expert either, but I have read up on this, mainly researching whether the costlier helmets really provide any better protection than the mid-range helmets, so here is my understanding:

 

The problem is that the material inside the helmet is crushable, that's how it absorbs impact. After being crushed, it doesn't spring back to shape and thus has lost its ability to protect you in another impact. That crushable material is between the outer shell and the inner padding, you can't see it, so the ony way to check it is to send it (as you say above) for inspection by the manufacturer.

 

In a crash, the inner material is crushed by your head's inertia inside the helmet - so the shell hits the ground, but the crushable stuff between head and shell cushions the impact, slowing your head down and helping to keep your brains from slamming into your skull, and /or your skull crushing on impact.

 

Personally, if my helmet fell off a bike, I would be a little concerned about its protectiveness after that but I probably wouldn't junk it - since there is nothing heavy INSIDE the helmet to crush the inner liner in the fall. And yes, that could potentially scratch the helmet paint a bit, but in my limited experience, that does not look like the broader scuffs that occur from an actual crash impact.

 

However, if a student crashed, hit their head, and there was visible damage to the helmet, I would absolutely not think it was wise for that person to continue riding, it's too difficult to tell if someone has a head injury or not; they might think they are fine when they really are not.

I agree with your explanation entirely about how the helmet components are supposed to work. . BUT, still, isn't it a matter of degree? How much of a scrape on the pavement compresses the liner? How much compression is acceptable? My uninformed opinion is that a scratch like we're talking about here won't compromises the practical effectiveness of that helmet one little bit. I may be wrong here, but there are probably instances when the liner either is not crushed or is crushed in such a minimal way as to not matter. And if its your Shoei X12 with the little scratch are you really going to throw it away? I doubt it. I'm all for safety. We all are. But that's just too extreme for me. However I will bring my nice new, unscratched lid to a Superbike school!

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There is a lot of information and technology in this area. We have had some good data show up in the tires section to start, Tuning should do that too, but would be good to get some up here too.

 

Here is one example of lack of information/wrong information: Talked to a student that was not allowed to continue his day, as he had fallen and the helmet had contacted the ground. Our policy, if the head and helmet hits the ground, he is not going back out that day.

 

In talking with this rider, he was asked his understanding of helmets and how they work. He went on to talk about the integrity of the shell being the big factor, and since it was a pretty minor scratch, he actually crashed twice more in that helmet. I pulled my jaw off the floor and then we went over the compression of the material on the inside. That is what cushions the head in an impact, and it's a one-time use deal.

 

I'm not a helmet expert, so that's a very rudimentary understanding.

 

It would be great to get a helmet (like Shoei) manufacturer to comment here

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I agree with your explanation entirely about how the helmet components are supposed to work. . BUT, still, isn't it a matter of degree? How much of a scrape on the pavement compresses the liner? How much compression is acceptable? My uninformed opinion is that a scratch like we're talking about here won't compromises the practical effectiveness of that helmet one little bit. I may be wrong here, but there are probably instances when the liner either is not crushed or is crushed in such a minimal way as to not matter. And if its your Shoei X12 with the little scratch are you really going to throw it away? I doubt it. I'm all for safety. We all are. But that's just too extreme for me. However I will bring my nice new, unscratched lid to a Superbike school!

 

I'm not quite sure if you are talking about the school policy, or personal preference - so just to be clear, in Cobie's example, the student crashed and hit his head, at the school. Therefore he was not allowed to keep riding that day, that is school policy. The school cannot safely determine if someone is ok to ride after head impact; it wasn't like Cobie just randomly noticed a scratched helmet and told him he couldn't ride.

 

Obviously in other circumstances, only you would know what sort of history your helmet has, and it would be a personal judgment whether to continue using one that had been in a 'minor' fall. Personally I'd rather ride in a $200-$400 helmet that has never hit the ground than a $700 one that had been through a crash... Since racing rules require a new helmet at least every 5 years and recommend it every 2 years, I just stopped buying $700 helmets! Anyway, I think it is free to have a helmet manufacturer check your helmet, that would be a good way to be sure it still offers maximum protection.

 

Something to consider - in reading up on helmets I remember that the major head impact from a motorcycle fall (assuming you don't hit an obstacle) is from the HEIGHT of the fall, not sliding fast on the pavement. Sliding is a less damaging thing and handled by the shell, but the fall from riding height has to be absorbed by the helmet lining material to protect your brain from trauma. I suppose, based on that, a helmet could appear to be almost undamaged but still have a crushed inner liner.

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I know a guy that hit his head hard enough to crack the skull, and there wasn't that much apparent damge to the lid.

 

We are just in an area that we don't have an expert in. Likely this might be something that the helmet guys don't want to get into...I believe a sizable portion of the helmet costs these days is for liability, I knew some numbers once upon a time, but they are way out of date (and I don't recall them exactly).

 

I'll see what I can find.

 

Best,

Cobie

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Here's a bit of trivia you can take as you want ;)

 

- Cheaper helmets are often safer than high cost racing approved helmets. Cheap helmets tend to use polcarbonate shells that are more flexible than CF used in most high-end stuff. Also, IIRC, racing helmets must be able to absorb a blow to the same spot twice. Hence the crushable material cannot destroy itself fully in order to absorb the first - and virtually always - blow.

 

- Some years back, MOTORRAD put a 13 year old, very well worn Jeb's helmet through the EU standard safety test for current helmets - and the helmet did pass the test! This suggest, but does not guarantee, that sweat plus dropping the helmet on the ground every now and then doesn't significantly impair the helmet's ability to protect yer noggin.

 

- Since helmets are made to absorb pretty heavy blows, a gentle touch/scrape on the ground is unlikely to impair the helmet's safety.

 

However, do you want to find out that you should have replaced that lightly grazed helmet after you suffered avoidable head trauma in your next spill, or do you play it safe and replace it immediately? The choice is yours.

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seeing as how the SNELL M2010 standard actually revolves around the ECE 22.05 standard, I'd buy the cheapest known brand helmet that meets said ECE standard and fits comfortably.

 

composite lids now come in at 250-400 USD in my woods so hey , everyones a winner when theres competition ^^

 

 

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Here is a page with good info from Snell:

 

http://www.smf.org/h...#aDroppedHelmet

 

Something I read recently said you should not hang your helmet on a side mirror or handlebar, because it puts pressure on the inside and can crush parts of the foam lining. I had never thought of that.

 

You really have to be careful with Snell. They are a paid group (which inherently nothing wrong) that makes money off of certifications. However the problem is that their last certification before the current one had a /LOT/ of problems. The M2005 has a ton of problems - even enough that Snell admitted they had to update their standards - which they did to M2010. However, there is a lot of confusion in the marketplace as many helmets are still standardized to M2005 and not M2010 (and it's not that easy to tell them apart). The M2005 standard is still applicable and you can still manufacture (and test) to that standard.

 

The controversy actually got a Motorcycle journalist fired. He wrote an article in the New York Times as a freelance author about the issues, and the helmet manufacturers demanded that he be fired from Motorcycle because he also wrote for them. Otherwise they would pull all advertising. That is some pretty serious clout to threaten to pull advertising for something someone wrote in /another/ newspaper. . .

 

Anyhow you can read about that article here.

 

Sorting out differences in Helmet Standards

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/automobiles/27SNELL.html

 

 

 

 

 

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Great idea for another sub-forum!

 

On the subject of helmets: another good tip is to not rest your helmet on top of the fuel cap/tank. Reason being that fuel vapours will likely rise and can eat out the foam insides. Maybe not an issue for short periods, but if my bike was in storage or sitting for weeks at a time I would not leave the helmet on the tank...

 

The local track day organiser here in Brisbane will actually cut the helmet straps off if a rider had an obviously big impact and is going to hospital etc. Which I think is a good idea. It's not worth the risk of someone else (or even the same rider) trying to use the helmet again. That would be like riding in a set of leathers that have a hole worn in backside... Helmets are just another wear item, and it's good to keep that in mind when deciding how much to pay for one. (Just talking about obvious big impacts here... for example if the rider is K.O'd, no way they would go around cutting everyone's helmet straps after a small spill. tongue.gif )

 

I know that alot of people say "how much is your head worth? Cheap helmet = cheap brain." or something to that effect. My very first helmet was a Shoei X1000, definitely not cheap... but then when you have to buy another the choice could be an entirely economic one. Or if you're a frequent crasher you may think twice about spending $1,000 on another helmet a month after you just bought one... Personally I am comfortable with cheaper brands like KBC. They still have the appropriate certification, they are well within my budget so I'm happy on all fronts. I'd rather ride those 3 or 4 track days instead of having to skip them to afford an expensive helmet.

 

I think it's safe to say that the main difference with more expensive helmets will be comfort and features. I've noticed that cheaper helmets are more noisy (they let more wind in), are bulkier (a consideration if you ride in traffic alot and your helmet touches your shoulder each time you try to look around), the fittings on the vents & buckles etc. are usually a bit more tedious (my KBC is very difficult to remove the visor, whereas Shoei are very easy, Shoei also has super-easy buckles but KBC is a bit more fiddly).

 

But in the end it may just come down to fit. Some people will only fit a certain brand because of their head shape, some people just have very large or small heads that are only accommodated for among more expensive brands. So in the case of fit, cheaper or expensive is irrelevant - you've just got to buy whatever fits your head.

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Cobie, great idea on the helmet sub forum. It's been 4 years since I went head first, so to speak, into helmets. That's when I got back riding after a 4 to 5 years of caging. While using an old Shoei that was out of date I researched like mad to help my decision on what to buy. Now after reading this topic on helmets it has me thinking and looking again. I will post links etc.. as I stumble across information again.

 

Quick read on DOT regs: http://www.nhtsa.gov...pages/page2.htm

The DOT regs with pictures: http://www.fmcsa.dot...spx?reg=571.218

Easier to read version posted at webBikeWorld and it goes further with links and explanations of a few testing and rating methods: http://www.webbikewo...OT-standard.htm

 

Snell website http://www.smf.org/home

Helmet standards http://www.smf.org/stds It covers all the areas that they are involved in and goes back quite a few years.

 

I read this an hour or so ago. http://www.smf.org/stdsDiff

This quote I have a problem with. It is taken from the standards difference.

"The other problem is, how much helmet you will wear. A good motorcycle helmet will generally provide more protection than just about any other helmet, but they are heavier and do not provide as much venting. This is OK for riding a motorcycle because you are not exerting as much physical energy as you would be on a non-motorized vehicle."

I take that as an excuse to purposely design the standards for motorcycle helmets to a level that is not representative to the real world of motorcycling.

Don't rant, Don't rant......... That makes me think of what I have to deal with every day with my job (industrial construction and maintenance).

 

more to follow.

Jeff

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That part about motorcycle helmets not proving much venting... I think they're just saying that if you're cycling you don't require as much protection from a helmet (it takes much less to protect from a 20km/h impact compared to a 200km/h impact), and so you can have more ventilation. I think for Average Joe, the helmet standards & ventilation do a good job in the real world. For example, cruising down the highway you're not going to heat up so much that you wish for a really ventilated helmet (or there are open face helmets if you really do want ventilation).

 

The extreme case is sports/track riding where you are exerting quite a lot of energy, especially in summer. But I would wish for better ventilated leathers sooner than a helmet. Not that it would make much difference when you're crouched down over a machine that is doing it's best to pump out massive amounts of heat.

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I handle and treat my helmets like an egg. Or as a British phrase used during WW2 when handling explosives "Fragile like Eggs"

Remember, you can drop an egg and it not bust. It is cracked and not as strong as it was before it was dropped.

How many times can this happen before it lets the guts out?

 

 

This is from HJC

http://www.hjchelmets.com/

helmet technology / helmet usage

helmet technology / helmet care

 

Short version:

From usage:

It has suffered an impact. Your helmet is only designed for ONE impact. An impact may fracture the outer shell or compress the impact absorbing liner. You may not be able to detect this damage. Any impact in a crash or a drop from as low as 4 feet is enough to damage your helmet.

 

• Never drop your helmet – Dropping your helmet may crack the shell or damage the protective foam. The damage may not be visible. Your helmet is only designed for ONE impact. Refer to "Helmet Replacement for more information on what to do after helmet has been dropped.

 

From care:

Do Not Modify Your Helmet

• painting;

 

 

That is custom paint jobs folks!!!!!

Why?

Simple.

Unless you use the same paint and process as the manufacture you could damage the integrity of the shell.

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Shoei

http://www.shoei-hel...ndlingCare.aspx

 

WHEN SHOULD A HELMET BE REPLACED? careofhelmet_05.jpg The life of a helmet depends on how it is used. A helmet should be replaced if one or more of the following points apply:

 

1. There was a fall that resulted in an impact on the helmet. <This is open for interpretation. Is that a fall off the bike or a fall - aka crash?>

2. The helmet fits looser than when it was purchased due to frequent use.

 

3. The EPS liner has come away from the helmet shell.

 

4. The EPS liner shows signs of wear and is beginning to break up, or if it has been exposed to heat or a solvent and has melted.

 

SERVICE: SHOEI helmets are covered by a five-year, limited warranty, and SHOEI will repair or replace the helmet if it is found to suffer from flaws in materials or workmanship.

 

Shoei offers a free impact and safety inspection service for any SHOEI helmet.*

 

To have your helmet inspected, please send it to:

Shoei Helmets

3002 Dow Ave, Suite 128

Tustin, CA 92780

Attn: Inspections

 

Be sure to include a letter with a brief description of the issue with the helmet, as well as a daytime phone number and return address. Once we receive the helmet, it will take 1-3 business days to complete the inspection. Upon completion, the helmet is returned to you with a letter stating the findings of our inspection. Your helmet is returned to you whether it passes the inspection or not. There is no charge for the inspection, and the UPS Ground return shipping is free.

 

You can also see our video explaining how to ship your SHOEI helmet for impact inspeciton service.

 

*For residents of US and Canada only.

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