Motorcycle Helmets (Arai, Shoei)


#21

Man.

I’ve been wearing the same helmet (never dropped from a height exceeding one foot) for 20 years now.

It (a Shoei) cost me about 300 Canadian dollars back then. That works out to just 15$ a year, which I felt pretty good about.

I don’t know why I never considered the likelihood that it had outlived its use.

Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure it’s still better than your standard plastic bucket available here.

Thanks for starting this post, Maoman.

I guess I’ll have to go shopping for a new one.


#22

It is true. All to do with putting tiny fractures into what is essentially a series of built in fault lines: a bit like the way a car is designed to crumple and buffer the impact to the occupants. If you have an evident scuff on your helmet you will not be able to wear it in an approved race.[/quote]
I’ve been doing some searching on this and can’t yet find any facts and figures. If anyone can find some hard evidence on the net I’d be very interested.

I believe that helmets are designed to absorb a heavy impact, once. After that their energy absorption capabilities are severely reduced, whether or not the outside has visible damage. Perhaps Wolf’s ‘common sense’ is him thinking about foam and such other soft materials. These of course are far too soft to effectively absorb energy. Looking over at the box of my AXO, I see that the construction materials are fiberglass, carbon fibre and kevlar composite. My own common sense tells me that these materials will absorb impact by deforming and will not ‘bounce back’.

Some kind of consensus among bikers would seem to be that if you drop a helmet once from about waist height it will reduce its effective lifespan and possibly its energy absorption capabilities in future impacts, but that this might not call for immediate replacement.
Repeated drops from waist height, or one of harder impact, would certainly be grounds for replacing the helmet.


#23

[quote=“twocs”]I am looking for a motorcycle communicator, from driver to passenger. In the US they are pretty easy to find, but in Taiwan it seems hard to even find saddle bags.

Does anyone know where to get a communicator like that, that cancels out wind noise. Nady makes some models (PMC-3 is the one I want).[/quote]
There’s an intercom F.A.Q. here;
faq.f650.com/FAQs/IntercomFAQ.htm

This one is an acoustic (non-electronic) intercom and by all accounts works well, as well as being very inexpensive:
backchat-vixen.com/pages/duo_clipper.html
User’s review on
members.madasafish.com/~fredohar … ckchat.htm


#24

There are some great looking pictures in the manual I got with my lid, which may explain why the materials in my Arai can’t take being dropped on hard surfaces and still perform 100% in a crash. But it’s all in Japanese.


#25

Twocs said [quote]but in Taiwan it seems hard to even find saddle bags. [/quote]

Yes, but the owner of a bike shop called SMJ (367 FuHsing Sth Rd, I think, between HoPing and HsinHai Rds) told me his mate makes all the Oxford brand saddlebags, panniers, tank bags etc. I have Oxford panniers and a tank bag (magnetic), and they are excellent, hard-waring and not too expensive (and I bought mine in the UK before I was furnished with this info)! Ask for Pat

They also sell quality lids in the shop.

Wolf, a quality lid might cost NT$10-20k, but what price do you put on your head? Gloves are sensible too. If you really have no imagination (nothing personal :wink: ), try to think of it in terms of lost wages from spending a couple of weeks in hospital after a nasty knock. Not much of an investment really. Oh, and then there’s your health, your rugged good looks, brain cells…


#26

Dog.

Good to hear the old what price your head.

Has anyone ever seen that awful snap of a motorcyclist sitting in an A&E with his face an unrecognisable red lump? Apparently the poor chap was wearing what in Australia is called a shitface (open face helmet).

Just spotted this on the Beeb. While I disagree with them doctoring up rhymes, this one does seem quite apt.

Medically correctnursery rhyme
Little Johnny rode his bike,
No helmet on his head.
He took a fall and split his skull,
His mother feared him dead. She rushed him to the ER,
Where they checked his neuro signs.
They noted a blown pupil
And inserted IV lines. They called the neurosurgeon,
Who came in and drilled a burr.
Now Johnny’s fine; he rides his bike,
But he’s helmeted, for sure.


#27

Quick note Huangy, that report was a tongue-in-cheek swipe at political correctness.

To be honest, I think the helmets (at four to five hundred quid fercrissakes!) must be able to take the rough and tumble of everday biking, but, y’know, it’s always a good idea to look after yer helmet :wink:

I got my lid at SMJ, and my boots.


#28

[quote]I got my lid at SMJ, and my boots.
[/quote]
Is that the place selling that black Bonnie and a silver Tiger?


#29

I get my helmets form the Shida night market for about 180NT and get a new one whenever the visor gets scratched up or it gets stolen.

Brian


#30

I also own an Oxford tank bag and the quality and features are very good.
I need a pair of ‘sport’ saddle bags with clearance for a high exhaust pipe, for an upcoming ride round the north at C.N.Y.
I fear that’s too little time to make Pat and his friend’s aquaintance, though, so I’ll probably just get them from Demon Tweeks in the UK where they’re on special offer now anyway.
Next time I’m in Taipei I’ll pop in to SMJ - sounds like a good place.


#31

There are basically two different types of helmet material, PC (polycarbonate) and GRP (glass reinforced plastic). When new they have similar impact characteristics.

However PC helmets need very careful handling as any minor impact can induce stress cracking - which may not be seeable. They are also adversely effected by solvents - eg gasoline.

A GRP helmet is far more durable because of the nature of construction. Interwoven glass fibres are not over effected by impact and solvents will do no more than affect the paint job. They will take minor knocks.

I doubt that there is much difference in the safety qualities of a 2,500 Penguin helmet and a 15,000 Shoie. With the Shoei you are paying for higher quality construction, better materials and above all, design comfort. As far as safety goes, probably 5-10% safer. All these helmets are 1,000,000% safer than the 200 NT helmets bought at the roadside.

The most important aspect has been mentioned before - a good tight fit. One of the worse causes of injury is rotation of the head during the accident which can cause permanent brain damage.

As an aside - would anyone agree that the introduction of the “must wear a hat law” was commercially, rather than safety driven?. Surely any responsible government would have ensured that all hats had to comply with an appropriate international standard.


#32

[quote=“sandman”][quote]I got my lid at SMJ, and my boots.
[/quote]
Is that the place selling that black Bonnie and a silver Tiger?[/quote]

They had a black bonnie in there last time I looked.


#33

i’ve been looking into the 2004 Shoei XR1000 lid that has met with some high praise indeed in UK based bike magazines… unfortunately my local helmet shop, gochen.com.tw , despite claiming they are now the biggest bike and apparel shop on the island, say they won’t have them until mid 2004 :unamused:

in the interim i went with a HJC which is Snell approved, well made, light, very quiet, with removable lining, good venting, excellent visor quick release and airtight seal, anti misting mask and chin cover… all for only NT$6K… no doubt there’s a fair difference between the Korean made HJC and the NT$17K Japanese Shoei… but i feel confident the HJC will do a good enough job…

I was tempted by the Daijiro Kato memorial lid by Shoei, but as cool as it is, and as awesome as Kato was, it seemed a little macabre…


#34

I wouldn’t want to go around in a dead man’s lid…


#35

. … especially a helmet named after a chap that died of head injuries.

HG


#36

Are you a recreational driver? I drive 14 kilometers every day in Taipei. I can’t imagine putting on such “armor” each day.

I still stand by my original post. Dropping a helmet (what are we talking about? Two or three feet from the ground?) does nothing to weaken its integrity. It’s not an egg for Christ sakes. Today’s polymers and technology would certainly be advanced enough to accomplish this and manufacturers would never produce a product such as a helmet that could not withstand a three-foot drop without failing. And wouldn’t there be a warning on the product if this were the case? “WARNING: Dropping this helmet from two to three feet onto a hard surface will render it useless. Do not use if dropped. Buy a new one.” Yeah, at US$300-US$500 a pop. Give me a break!


#37

Are you a recreational driver? I drive 14 kilometers every day in Taipei. I can’t imagine putting on such “armor” each day.[/quote]
It’s a jacket. The armour is in pockets in the elbows and shoulders. So I put on my jacket and boots, as I said, when riding anywhere, including to the supermarket.


#38

Joesax wrote: [quote]I also own an Oxford tank bag and the quality and features are very good.
I need a pair of ‘sport’ saddle bags with clearance for a high exhaust pipe, for an upcoming ride round the north at C.N.Y.
[/quote]

You can borrow mine if you can’t get hold of any - they have zaust protectors (I have underseat cans). Send me a PM before Wednesday or in Jan.

Wof wrote:

I wear armour every day too on my commute. And boots. Most accidents happen within a km or two of your home. It can be a bit uncomfortable if you read the weather wrong (leather in 30 degrees is “uncomfortable”!)

Tonygo wrote: [quote] I doubt that there is much difference in the safety qualities of a 2,500 Penguin helmet and a 15,000 Shoie. [/quote]

Possibly, but I haven’t seen the Penguins being sold overseas and am suspicious of the quality…I’ve never picked one up and thought how reassuringly solid it was. Still, in the UK, the cheapest “A” rated lids are about 100 quid (NT$5,000ish), after which incremental cost is more about the paint job and the brand, so you might be right. I’d still buy an Arai or a Shoei any day of the week. Anyway, why take the risk?


#39

Thanks for that kind and generous offer. I’m probably in Taipei this weekend and may not be up there again before C.N.Y., though, so it probably wouldn’t work out.
I’ll probably bite the bullet and go for these base-level ones;
demon-tweeks.co.uk/catalogue … E=OXFOF414

[quote=“dog”]I wear armour every day too on my commute. And boots. Most accidents happen within a km or two of your home. It can be a bit uncomfortable if you read the weather wrong (leather in 30 degrees is “uncomfortable”!)[/quote]You’re spot on with the accidents near home thing.
Have you looked at mesh jackets? My Triumph Raptor mesh jacket is actually medium-, not light-weight, but the perforated Cordura shell lets in plenty of air once I’m moving.
The Taichi jacket I just bought is much lighter but doesn’t have the perforations. I don’t know how cool it will be yet. Although it’s made from some abrasion-resistant material and the elbows are reinforced, I’m not sure how well it would hold out in a slide. It might really be a one-time use only thing. In contrast, the Triumph has taken one slide fairly well and is still perfectly wearable.
There’s a review of ten mesh summer jackets here:
motorcyclecruiser.com/access … r/Meshjax/
But I would suggest that the Marsee gear might be better still:
marseeproducts.com/cgi-local … 1076848395
Marsee’s mail order service is efficient and reliable.

[quote=“dog”]Possibly, but I haven’t seen the Penguins being sold overseas and am suspicious of the quality…I’ve never picked one up and thought how reassuringly solid it was. Still, in the UK, the cheapest “A” rated lids are about 100 quid (NT$5,000ish), after which incremental cost is more about the paint job and the brand, so you might be right. I’d still buy an Arai or a Shoei any day of the week. Anyway, why take the risk?[/quote]I don’t remember seeing the Penguin brand. As I’ve said before, though: M2R full face helmets have Snell approval and cost around 3000NT. They’re a little heavy, but offer pretty good protection for a budget price. I still wear my M2R for day-to-day city riding, just because I don’t have to worry about losing 10,000NT if somebody walks off with it.


A MUST READ if you ride a bike or scooter
#40

You are welcome Joesax. I’m off on holiday on Thursday, but let me know if you can’t get your panniers and I am sure we can come to some arrangement. Otherwise let me know when you next come to Taipei and we can hook up for biking yarns.

I am a relatively new convert to the joys of the mesh jacket and heartily recommend them, especially if you normally wear 60s disco stuff. Ok, I don’t, but my silver mesh jacket is a bit spangly. Still, the wind whistles through and it feels a damn site more protective than a T-shirt, even if not as reassuring as a regular armoured jacket.

I also have one of those exoskeleton, cockroach-like body armour kits which does “feel” like it offers more protection than the mesh jacket and is awesome in mid-summer. However, I am concerned that the mesh’s strength has been seriously compromised by Taiwan’s extremely hostile climate. In fact, the average life expectancy of almost any kit is more than halved simply by being in Taipei. Gloves are eaten up in no time, even good quality leather gloves, while anything with rubber trim or plastic corrodes within a year or two.

Still, it’s worth getting decent kit so that you are both safe and comfortable, and also have no excuse for not getting up off your arse and sampling Taiwan’s stunning coastal highway and the breathtaking moutain twisties. Point taken about not getting your lid nicked though…been there, got the T-shirt (but that’s all 'cos the fockers took my jacket too)!