Big helmet test 2005

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Big helmet test 2005



Big helmet test 2005

Big helmet test 2005
Strong arguments

Not all helmets are the same? even if the models hardly differ from the outside at first glance. What’s important is what’s inside. And that’s exactly what MOTORRAD took a closer look at with 20 full-face helmets from different price ranges.

Holger Hertneck


If a motorcyclist comes into the shop and says, “I would like a helmet.” Says the salesman: “Here, take this. Costs 500 euros. «Does the biker mean:» And what is the difference to this model for 100 euros? «He replies
Salesperson: “The price!” Fortunately, not all salespeople give such simple answers, but provide much more well-founded information. Nevertheless, it makes the purchase decision easier if interested parties think in advance what they expect from their helmet. It is hardly true that there are good reasons why some helmets are significantly more expensive than others
doubt. To show how big the differences actually are, MOTORRAD has selected 20 full-face helmets from four
worried about different price ranges and put to the lack. Namely five models each from the price segments around 100 euros, 150 euros, 250 euros and over 400 euros. Almost all well-known manufacturers are represented in this way and face the most complex helmet test in MOTORRAD history.
Unfortunately, a model from the Japanese manufacturer Arai is missing from the test field. MOTORRAD was very surprised when the Arai European headquarters were canceled. The editors regret the decision, but have to accept it. The reason for the rejection was that the planned shock absorption tests as well as the tests on aerodynamics and aeroacoustics in the laboratory or in the wind tunnel of the helmet manufacturer Schuberth should be carried out. However, this existed for everyone
Manufacturers the opportunity to personally attend these test series? 16 of the 20 participating companies made use of this. In this way, they were able to convince themselves on site that all tests were carried out in an absolutely reliable manner. In addition, one of the leading helmet experts in Germany, Peter Schaudt from TuV Rheinland, as an independent and competent expert, ensured that the
Tests carried out in the Schuberth laboratories closely based on the
currently valid helmet standard ECE-R 22.05
and the test equipment used complied with the guidelines. And of course he accompanied
Author of this story all tests
in wind tunnel and laboratory.
Arai’s rejection is therefore not understandable. MOTORRAD will do everything in its power to carry out a separate test (with ECE tests at TuV Rheinland) with a helmet model from the premium brand from Japan in the near future.
But back to the present test. In addition to the extensive test series at Schuberth, MOTORRAD had the visors of all test subjects in Braunschweig at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) first cut into small samples and then scraped them-
sensitivity or scattered light density and their tendency to fog up
investigate. The enclosed Pinlock double discs were used for this test
(Lazer, Nolan, Shoei, X-Lite), other double panes (Dainese) or anti-fogging foils (Takai) installed.
To round off the helmet test, apart from the more or less sterile laboratory tests, of course, practical impressions also had to be compiled. The most important part was the almost one-week test drives by three MOTORRAD employees. On a 20-kilometer stretch with a non-speed-restricted section of the motorway, they were able to concentrate extensively on all the test criteria relevant to practice. More on this from page 60.
Finally, a few tips on buying a helmet. In order for a helmet to develop its full protective function, it has to fit. A head protection that is too tight is just as unsuitable as a one that is too wide. It has to sit tightly, but where is the line between too big and too small??
You can quickly feel whether a helmet is too tight. After just a few minutes on the head, a helmet shell that is too small leads to unbearable pressure pain. It is more difficult to tell when a specimen is too big. Initially, no
Fingers fit between the helmet shell and forehead or temple. In addition, the head protection must not tilt to the side or
let twist. Careful fittings (around 15 minutes) or, even better, a test drive, as offered by good specialist dealers, prevent bad purchases. Speaking of buying: Anyone who travels a lot by motorcycle should treat themselves to a new hat at least every four to five years.

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Strong arguments

Not all helmets are the same? even if the models hardly differ from the outside at first glance. What is important is what’s inside. And that’s exactly what MOTORRAD took a closer look at with 20 full-face helmets from different price ranges.


All test candidates own
the ECE-R 22.05 seal and
should therefore have no problems with shock absorption. Theoretically. But how does it look
in practice? And how is
it is about further safety-
relevant criteria?

The main task of a motorcycle helmet is to protect the head in the event of an accident. And to determine whether a model meets certain minimum requirements, there are shock absorption tests according to the currently valid standard ECE-R 22.05. Only helmets made in advance of the series-
production pass this test, receive the ECE sticker, which must be attached to the helmet (usually on the chin strap) in a clearly visible manner. Random samples are also taken again and again during production in order to verify ECE conformity-
check. As part of the helmet test, MOTORRAD carried out the shock absorption tests in the Schuberth test laboratories based on ECE-R 22.05. Two helmets in size M and two in size XL were used for each test participant.

Shock absorption
The test is carried out with two anvils at
different temperatures. The test helmets are used for the so-called Kerbstone test with the edge anvil
(one in M ​​and one in XL) initially heated to plus 50 degrees Celsius for four to six hours. Subsequently
takes place within five minutes (ECE-
Specification) the inspection at five points of impact (forehead, left side, crown, back of the head, right side).
During the shock absorption tests with the flat anvil, the test helmets must be at minus for four to six hours
Store at 20 degrees Celsius. According to ECE, the chin part is an additional point of impact here. The impact speed during the chin part test must be at least 5.5 m / s
at all other points of impact the minimum speed is 7.5 m / s. During all tests, sensors record the accelerations that occur (limit value according to ECE: 275 g) and transmit them to a computer
further. The calculated from the course
the HIC value (Head Injury Criterion; limit value: 2400) of the acceleration curve. This is considered a measure of the expected traumatic brain injuries.
Special inspection points: MOTORRAD has ?? quasi as an on-top rating ?? two further test points selected and subjected to shock absorption. A third size M helmet had to be used for this. the
The first special test point was exactly between the top and side points prescribed by the ECE, the second between the back of the head and the side impact.
The two points were diagonally opposite each other ?? i.e. on the right or left side of the helmet, so as not to influence each other. These special points were checked at room temperature (around 20 degrees Celsius). The Schuberth S1 delivers the best values ​​in shock absorption. At the bottom of the list is that
Vermar VTX Alkon with most one-
individual values ​​outside the ECE standard.

Important security criterion that is split into several sub-items.
Field of view: How big is the visor cutout? Is the view to the front and to the side guaranteed, or do high cheek pads or chin parts disturb the view??
Scattered light after scratch test: This criterion was determined by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig. To do this, the visors are clamped on a turntable and three kilograms of standard sand are sprinkled with them. Then the scattered light value is determined, which according to ECE may not be higher than 5.0 cd / m2lx. Too high a proportion of scattered light reduces the contrast and can lead to a reduction in the recognizability of details and thus to a deterioration in visibility.
Fog-free time in the laboratory: also determined by PTB. The ECE demands a fog-free time of 20 seconds. The test takes place in a kind of measuring chamber in which there is saturated water vapor at 50 degrees Celsius. the
Sight sample is placed on an opening and shone through by a laser beam. As soon as the radiation power reaches 80
Percent of the initial value drops, the test is aborted. The measured time corresponds to the freedom from fogging according to ECE. Shine with perfect coatings
Vemar and Suomy.
Fog-free practice: How much fog up the visors while driving?

Further accident protection
There are other criteria for the safety of a motorcycle helmet, some of which are also laid down in the ECE.
Stripping test / twist angle: A maximum of 30 degrees twist angle is permitted according to ECE. This is to prevent the helmet from being thrown off the head in an accident. Vemar has big problems at this checkpoint.
Chin strap elongation: According to ECE, the elongation must not exceed 35 millimeters? so that the helmet stays on the head under load. The only outlier: Takachi, whose belt is a bit too slippery.
Visor strength: The visors, cooled to minus 20 degrees Celsius, are checked for penetration resistance and their tendency to crack. None of the test candidates gave rise to criticism.
Reflection in the dark: Unfortunately, only a few helmets have reflective material.
Helmet removal: How easily can the helmet be removed by two helpers after an accident? How high are the forces required and how painful is the procedure for the helmet wearer? BMW SportIntegral, Schuberth S1 and Shoei XR 1000 WSK rank in the lower ranks here.
Weight: the heavier a helmet, the more
The loads are higher, especially in the event of a fall. Lighter helmets reduce the energies that occur considerably (see table on page 56 below). Definitely too difficult: Marushin. Exemplary: Uvex.

Aerodynamics and aeroacoustics

Quite a decisive influence
The wind forces on the head and
Tugging the neck. There can also be high driving noises in the helmet
worsen concentration and damage your hearing.

Aerodynamics and aeroacoustics are not only an important topic in the big helmet test, but also at many biker get-togethers. The quiet helmet
it still doesn’t exist, even
when Schuberth is a very praiseworthy he-
results achieved. Noise development
on and in the helmet are used by numerous
Influencing factors. First and foremost on the driving speed, then on the driving and head posture, the type of motorcycle (disguised, undisguised), the driver’s stature (large, small), the clothing (tight leather suit, fluttering textile suit, scarf, balaclava), the head shape and position ears, to name a few. The situation is similar with the forces acting on the helmet, which are inevitably passed on to the driver’s neck.

In the Schuberth wind tunnel, identical test conditions can be created for aerodynamic investigations. The forces acting on a motorcycle helmet differ depending on the helmet model. These differences in the resulting forces acting on the driver’s neck are noticeable at two wind speeds (100 and 160 km / h)
determined with the help of a dummy. In the neck area of ​​the dummy there is a load cell that registers all forces occurring in the three spatial directions and transmits them to a computer. During the measuring cycle, the dummy automatically moves to predefined head positions (up, down, to the right / left
turning, looking in the mirror) in order to record the resulting forces in different driving postures.
Buoyancy: Anyone who has ever driven at high speed on the autobahn and was almost strangled by the chin strap of their helmet knows how unsightly-
too much buoyancy.
Ideally, there should be slightly negative lift (downforce) or neutral lift. BMW shows how it is done.
Total force: It is calculated from
the resistance force, the resulting side forces and the buoyancy and is a measure of the total force that is required of the driver’s neck muscles.
Practical evaluation: In order to not only incorporate laboratory values ​​into the assessment of the aerodynamics, three MOTORRAD employees carried out tests on naked bikes (Honda CBF 600, Kawasaki Z 1000, Suzuki
SV 650) for all 20 candidates
the forces occurring on the road.
The test speeds were 100, 150 and 180 km / h. That is particularly negative Probiker up, the top, led by Shark and Uvex, is close together.

Most of this series of tests was carried out in the wind tunnel under identical conditions.
Acoustics 100 and 130 km / h: A dummy fixed rigidly on the motorcycle with integrated ear microphones records the noises inside the test helmets at 100 and 130 km / h. The mean value of the volume levels recorded for the right and left ear microphones in dB (A) is a measure of the evaluation. An increase in the dB (A) value by ten on the scale corresponds to a subjective doubling of the volume ?? there are obviously huge differences among the test candidates.
Acoustic ear microphone at 100 km / h: The
The author himself stuck pen microphones in front of his ears, pulled all the helmet candidates over his head and was allowed to sit in the wind at 100 km / h.
Perception of the environment: Can ambient noises still be heard or is the helmet wearer completely isolated from the outside world? Due to their strong insulation, BMW and Schuberth do poorly here, but they (especially Schuberth) diligently collect points in all acoustic ratings, as they are pleasantly quiet when driving.

Practice evaluation

What use is the best thrust-
attenuation values ​​and the perfect
Aerodynamics in the laboratory-
if the helmet is in the
Not good practice? The visor cannot be closed properly, the fit is poor
off, the lock is hooked…

For the practical evaluation, several MOTORRAD experts with the 20 test helmets retired into quiet rooms for days and then swung on their bikes for almost a week. The handling table on page 62 shows the results obtained.
Fit / comfort: clearly criterion number one. First of all, the good piece has to fit. Otherwise it will not be able to provide effective protection, and besides, it is not fun to drive a badly fitting one. Renowned manufacturers use for
Almost every continent has different inner shells, as the head shapes are different
differentiate between Asians and Europeans, for example. Only when the helmet fits evenly and without pressure points all over the head, your chin and nose are not bumped and tight
Cushions ensure a perfect fit, that’s the maximum number of points. Since not all European heads are the same, of course, a dozen MOTORRAD employees were involved in the fit tests. As a result, the ratings in the table are average grades. The testers felt most comfortable in the Shoei. The Probiker met with little approval.
Put on / take off: size M is not the same as size M ?? at least when it comes to comfort when taking off and taking off your helmet. The same applies to all other helmet sizes. Almost all candidates with a narrow entry and those who bite their ears at the company (for example BMW and Schuberth) prove to be uncomfortable when putting on and taking off. Scratchy inner linings (those on the
Settling leads to chafing) and sharp edges or bulging seams.
Drafts: In the long run, drafts are very annoying-
runs despite closed visor and closed ventilation. The eyes are constantly watering, and flies or dust particles can get inside. As an antidote, almost all helmet manufacturers now include or pre-assemble so-called wind deflectors. But
Depending on the design, even these are no guarantee of draft-free interiors. Takachi is particularly windy.
Perfect: BMW, Schuberth and Shoei.
Rainproofness: MOTORCYCLE detected in the wild due to the lack of standard rain
this evaluation point with the help of a wind nozzle (80 km / h) and conventional water nozzles in the test laboratories of
Schuberth. Each helmet had to be simulated on a dummy for ten minutes
Endure the downpour. The helmets were previously lined with absorbent paper-
clothes to prevent water ingress after-
to assign. In most of the candidates, the visor seals turned out to be extremely vulnerable. Only the Marushin got full marks.
Ventilation function: a tiresome topic, as previous helmet tests have shown. Most models don’t even get a gentle touch on the scalp. And yet BMW, Schuberth and Shoei show how good ventilation can work.
Operation ventilation buttons: They should be large, easy to find and one
have exact locking. There are still far too many “mini-switches” that can hardly be operated with gloves.
Processing: Frayed inner lining, large gaps, saggy switches and buttons as well as paint defects lead to deductions.
Suitability for glasses: Apparently there are hardly any employees with glasses in the development departments of the helmet manufacturers. In any case, only a few of the tested ones are suitable
Models for people who wear glasses. Very good: Shoei and Suomy.
Actuation of the lock: How long does it take to open and close, and how easy is it to operate the lock? Ratchet and click locks have advantages over double-D designs.
Adjusting the chin strap: annoying with most click locks. The thing slips optimally with double-D locks.
Chin strap securing device: Is there a push button or tab that fixes the end of the chin strap in place?
Chin strap padding: how does it turn out? soft, long enough, well fixed? Particularly positive: Lazer and Schuberth.
Visor change: do you need special tools? How long does a change take and how fiddly is it? Most of them work without any problems. At Takai and above all Suomy takes longer.
Visor operation: can the visor be operated cleanly even when wearing gloves? How big are the handlebars or nipples on the visor? How high are the operating forces?
Visor detent: How many detent positions does the visor have? Is there a minimal
open position for low air supply? How exactly does the visor lock into place??
Visor lock: It is used to ensure that the visor does not open unintentionally in the event of an accident or when turning the head at high speeds. Only Shoei and Suomy are convincing in this criterion.


The voltage increases. Shock absorption tests, wind tunnel, sample-
rides, fit tests ?? thousands of data have been collected. And which of the 20 helmets can
now in the end most of the points
book for yourself? No less interesting is how the different price ranges fare.

A huge 1000 points, spread over five main criteria, were awarded in the largest MOTORCYCLE helmet test of all time. They could do the lion’s share
Collect 20 candidates in the practical evaluation, after all, the best “laboratory helmet” is of no use if it is not suitable for daily use for motorcycle riding. MOTORRAD rated shock absorption as the second most important criterion, which in some cases delivered terrifying results and therefore led to severe point deductions for some models. A follow-up test of these helmets will follow
shortly. The remaining points could
in the less heavily weighted criteria such as further accident protection, aerodynamics /
Aeroacoustics and vision are collected.
And who is ahead now? It is the S1 from Schuberth that is close
placed in front of Shoei’s XR 1000. The 100 euro models from Nexo, Ixs and Probiker bring up the rear. The Air-
stream Course Plain by Dainese does not (yet) receive a MOTORRAD judgment. Organizational difficulties meant that no shock absorption values ​​could be determined. The shock absorption test of the Dainese is carried out together with the re-tests of all helmets with exceeded limit values ​​?? then there’s the overall Dainese rating still outstanding.
With a few exceptions, the high-priced models do better than the cheaper ones. Step out of line
only the Agv Ti-Tech and the Vemar VTX Alkon, both of which had massive problems with shock absorption.
Nevertheless, if you invest more, you have great opportunities, a better helmet
to get. The actual hurdle is not so much shock absorption. Even »cheap helmets« (see Takachi) achieve very good values ​​in this regard. After all
The same limit values ​​apply to the ECE standard as to expensive specimens. Rather, it lacks practical criteria such as handling, fit and ventilation. And most of them are
responsible for active safety when riding a motorcycle, which should not be underestimated. Because only
Anyone who feels comfortable driving can also react quickly and correctly at crucial moments.

Weak imagination

Comment from Holger
Hertneck, head of department
Service, to the sobering shock absorption results.

Why, I ask myself after this test, was ECE-R 22.05 brought into being? It is supposed to guarantee that helmets that have been tested according to this standard in the event of a possible
Withstand accident minimum requirements. Regardless of how useful the test procedure according to ECE-R may be or how relevant to practice (test at minus 20 degrees Celsius), helmets with the coveted ECE sticker must comply with the limit values. Ultimately, buyers rely on the promised protection.
And now these alarming shock absorption results.
Dear helmet manufacturer, it shouldn’t be you
Offer models that sometimes pass the norm and sometimes don’t. Surely it must be possible to deliver consistent quality and to comply with the limit values, which, in the opinion of a number of accident researchers, are in any case far too high. In my opinion, those who fail this hurdle have no business in the motorcycle helmet market. And I wonder to what extent I am testing the tests-
institute can leave. Because actually it cannot be that a helmet has an ECE sticker and then does not pass the shock absorption tests.
If, in individual cases, too high values ​​can still be explained by measuring tolerances or inaccurate settings in the examination arrangement, then with candidates who increasingly attract attention with “slip-ups”, something constructive is likely to be rotten. If the poor results are confirmed in the subsequent tests that MOTORRAD will carry out shortly, action must be taken. The general rule is: Complete production batches in which Stich-
samples that show defective helmets have to be removed from the market.
In the automotive sector, public pressure has long since led to entire fleets being called to the workshops for checks or retrofitting at the slightest suspicion of problems with driving safety. It is high time for us two-wheelers to think more about safety? because no other road user is more at risk. And the motorcycle helmet is the number one safety equipment. Defective products are not to be tolerated. MOTORRAD stay tuned and keep you, dear readers, up to date.


Uff, it’s done. Granted, there was one in between
couple of failures and
Doubt whether everything will work out on time. But the efforts have paid off, and the
big helmet test 2005 is in
dry cloths.

There is a lot of effort behind most of MOTORRAD’s stories, just think of a comparison test with four or more motorcycles. Nevertheless, a helmet test with laboratory and practical tests is far more difficult to accomplish? and therefore appears less often.
The first preparations for the big helmet test in 2005 were already under way in winter,
the hot phase began with the final selection of the test subjects in April. And then we started collecting, because MOTORRAD drew the candidates
by hand from the warehouses of
Importers or manufacturers. In around three weeks, an employee covered thousands of kilometers for this purpose, including performing the Be-
supply tours to Belgium and Italy. 200 helmets, ten for each participant, came together in this way.
But how do you get 20 test candidates through the complex test course of the wind tunnel and shock absorption in just under a week? Very easily:
by the entire test team involved (around 15 people) working at least twelve hours a day. Without the active support of the Schuberth employees, it would be a hopeless undertaking.
The lab tests were only part of the big puzzle, however. The testers collected further data on test drives lasting several days and during intensive “dry tests” in the editorial office. And already
they took their toll. The constant putting on and taking off of the helmets led
bloodshot ears, abrasions on temples and forehead and others
Signs of wear and tear. More than a painful curse echoed through the editorial offices during this time. With the criterion of helmet removal after an accident, the first test person even had to give up after only three helmets because they could no longer endure the agony. Fortunately, a volunteer was found who endured the not entirely pleasant procedure with an attitude, red nose, tears in his eyes and bent ears. always
again the participants had to take care of themselves
motivate and persuade well. “Only
15 helmets. Only ten helmets left. Only three more … «Checking every single point 20 times simply takes a damn long time.
The essence of the weeks of “research” fills two huge files. Among other things, it contains at least 200 A4 sheets of paper with tables and lists with a total of over 20,000 (!) Individual values. There are also around 1000 values ​​from the shock absorption test and around 500 data from the wind tunnel-
attempt. To ask? The data analysis alone took three long days on the PC. That took even more time
Fill the 18 page layout with text. Around 50,000 keystrokes had to be written.
Speaking of writing: During the entire preparation and test period, a total of around 500 e-mails were sent. About as many phone calls were necessary to select helmets, query data, coordinate appointments, collect results, analyze values, clear up ambiguities, calm nerves ?? and to put the family off.
What did a concerned contemporary recommend to the author? “After the test you have to take a few weeks vacation first? for relaxation. «Good tip, but unfortunately extensive follow-up tests are already waiting. Well then: get to work.

Shock absorption diagram

The two curves clearly show the differences between two shock absorbers. A flat curve with low acceleration values ​​(green) is desirable. The red curve with extremely high acceleration and HIC values ​​would have potentially fatal consequences for the helmet wearer

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