Unorthodox motorcycle helmet test shows cheap is bad


Sound editing is truly a lost art. Right now, it’s kind of a tossup between “crying kid” and “tv left on in the adjoining room” as to which is more annoying.


Guy just bashed $300 of helmet for our entertainment and education, I don’t need him to hire Danny Elfman to score it.


No, it just costs money and time and people will complain unless it’s perfect.

The end user has a great solution to the problem on here of just muting the sound, it’s not like hearing the hammer hits really tell the story.


I seriously doubt that second helmet meets and US safety standards or those of any country that has such standards.

Not sure that it is really useful info in the video unless you live in a country where such helmets are popular, probably countries where motor scooters and light motorcycles outnumber cars?

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Bad? BAD? $20 says I could have brought down my fist on that cheap knockoff and broken through its candy shell. And the thinness of the underlying styrofoam has to be seen to be believed.

It’s not inexpensive if you pay ANY amount of money for stuff that’s going to fall apart in an instant.

That Bell Bullitt TT looks nice, but I’m wondering how safe it actually is. That plexi is going to tear off going face first, and then you have a HUGE hole that offers no protection.

Regardless, I use to ride with something similar in the '80s but open faced with a bubble that my dad had since the '60s (I’m assuming). No chin protection at all. I’ve moved to full face since then and while I’d love the huge opening that I had with the other, I needed the safety over looks.

It is as safe as a DOT approved full face helmet. It has a solid chin bar and the face shield is going to crack and break like any other face shield. None of my other full face helmets have a smaller view hole.

I can not understand your criticism. I’d prefer SNELL or EU ratings but studies have shown the differences to be minimal for the type of riding I do. I am not tracking my Triumph Scrambler or BMW R75/5 very often. The R75/5 has enough stability problems on the road.

But expensive might not always mean better protection- according to the UK Department of Transport ratings, this £295 helmet performs worse than this £60 helmet. Not sure what kind of hammers the DoT use to test them, though.

Yep. If you use a modular, like this one:

You get a few things. You can flip the face up when you’re not riding, so you can talk to people, air your face out, eat, drink, etc. And modulars make it so much easier to put the helmet on if you are wearing glasses. Taking your sunglasses/glasses off every time you put on or take off you helmet is a pain. With a modular, you just open up the face and slide the headpiece onto your head starting from the crown being careful over your ears where the glasses arms are, then flip the face down. No annoying glasses problem.

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I used to have a Roof Boxer, evidently the only OPEN and CLOSED rated helmet (still??) If you wear many of the other manufacturers helmets “open” I believe they lose their DOT/SNELL rating. The Roof is EU rated only. I never had a problem in the several thousand miles I wore it.

It was loud, but super comfortable. I did not like being encouraged to open it tho. The reports are clear, most impacts are on the chin/cheek area of a helmet and you’re gonna grind your face on the ground in 30-35% of accidents.

I am not sure how valid that test is anyway. Sure the cheaper helmet doesn’t take the hammer very well, but the impact force is being applied to a small area. In a crash situation the force would be applied over a much larger area and the helmet may well work as intended.
That said if I was going to wrap my legs around an engine and race down the highway with nothing between me and the cruel world but some PP gear then I would not scrimp on the quality.

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That would definitely put me off the cheap helmet (though I care enough about my safety to, you know, not ride a motorbike), but I’d be wary of judging safety equipment in general by this sort of demo. People used to think a safe car was one that wouldn’t be damaged by a crash, until they realised that actually a safe car is one where you wouldn’t be damaged by a crash, even if (in fact, because) the car is smorshed like a ripe melon.

Isn’t smashing a hammer into any helmet
enough cause to never again trust its integrity?


I might have to see it up close, but it really does look like a HUGE opening! As for DOT…this isn’t hard to get. The $50 helmets that you posted about as being bad are generally DOT approved. Then again, when I was wearing these, I had a bike similar to yours. I kept it under 55 most of the time. My Vstrom, however, likes to be going much faster.

Err…if I ever get it back on the road. Some jackhole tried stealing it last year and for the life of me, I can’t get it rewired from where they cut it to hotwire everything. I’m missing something and its already the end of May…I should have been on it for the last two months :frowning:

I believe I have that one. Some of the testing I saw on the modulars scared the sh*t out of me, so it now sits on the wall of my garage as a trophy waiting for me to need it for some reason (a big headed girlfriend going riding with me???)

Ended up picking up a pricey Shoei that I had read reviews on. Nothing fancy, it just works. Other than it being a pain in the butt to put on my glasses through the visor.

I like the idea of modulars, but they scare me. Which is funny when I remember being a teen driving with sneakers, shorts and a tshirt and not much more. Getting old sucks…you start to realize how many things can actually kill you pretty damn easily!

In any motorcycle helmet thread, I have to bring up one of my favorite pieces of journalism:

This article was responsible for changing the helmet standards in the US from hard ones that could absorb 2 blows in the same spot to softer (more protective) ones that would only absorb one blow in each spot. The chance of 2 hard hits in the same spot was statistically relatively low, and being softer means the brain gets less g-forces (which is important even if the scalp or bone is never damaged).

Anyway, the article pissed off most of the magazine’s advertisers and got the journalist fired. But, amazing courage for what could have been a fluff piece.


Correct. Not sure how it is where you live, but where I come from it was illegal to paint your helmet, as the paint is said to weaken the plastic. Apparently fibreglass was ok.

But how about a $40 RZO + $5 worth of duct tape?

keep riding. take up club (on track) road racing. you will soon develop opinions of what a ‘good’ helmet is.

DOT? is simply a fee paid to the US DOT for certification.
Snell - at least they do SOME testing.

Actually SEEING get-offs at the track, and how the helmets hold up? will help you form a real opinion.

is a $700 helmet better than a $250 helmet? no, but it is more comfortable on the inside

at the moment? I’m a big fan of the Scorpion EXO 1100 series for street. Shoei X12 for track, and I am eagerly waiting for GIVI to pay off the DOT, so they can sell their “Tourer” to me for dual sport rides…

That Bullitt is cute, it looks like the old Bell Star 2 Evel Knievel used to wear. I’ve never seen one at the track.