Thursday, May 19, 2011

Types of Motorcycle Helmets

Any responsible motorcyclist knows that the exhilaration of taking to the open road should be combined with the safety of a proper motorcycle helmet. Too many motorcyclists make the sometimes fatal mistake of assuming they'll be fine, nothing will happen to them and that they're invincible from harm while on a short journey to the corner shop to pick up some cigarettes. Just having the fashionable Honda bikes. is not enough. Not wearing a helmet when going on a very short journey can kill. Wearing a helmet can save your life, and it has to be the right one.

This article will discuss types of helmets you can wear and how, depending on your motorcycling activity, you might need a specific type of helmet to stay safe.
Types of helmets are

Full face - this type of helmet covers the entire head and most of the face, leaving a section of the eyes and nose covered by see through plastic. This is THE safest helmet you can buy; it's used in rallies and competitions around the world, and will give you the best protection against head injury in the event of a crash. However, you are very much at risk of injury to your neck in the event of strong winds if you are not careful, this helmet is also the heaviest type of helmet you can wear.
Three-quarter shell - again, this will grant you a significant amount of protection for your skull and forehead. As the name suggests it covers less of your vital areas but is less heavy.
Half Shell - The half-shell or "beanie" helmet, as it is widely known amongst bikers, is made to cover the top of your head and come down to your ears. It literally is half a helmet and will give you half the protection in turn. They are usually seen as a compromise between wearing a full face helmet and nothing at all.

Two very good brands of helmet around at the moment are Arai and AGV; these helmets are the type used in motorcycling rallies around the world and in the most prestigious competitions. The designers of Arai helmets pride themselves on not making specifically different helmets for celebrity competition entrants, saying that one head is not worth more than another. Instead, they make all of their helmets at an exceptionally high standard. AGV helmets are also world renowned and used at major rallies.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Airbrushed Motorcycle Helmets

Enough of the depressing posts about crashes and the importance of helmets. We all know your motorcycle helmet need not only be protective, but it needs to look good. One way to know you look good and to make your helmet your own is to get it Airbrushed. 
These amazing artists can take an image-whether it be from their head or a photo-and reproduce it with amazing accuracy. These artists have taken their skill and applied it to ever medium imaginable. Custom airbrushing can be found everywhere, such as airbrushed T Shirts, airbrushed batting helmets, airbrushed shoes, airbrushed jeans, custom airbrushed motorcycles, airbrushed motorcycle helmets, even airbrushed bodies!
Some of the most impressive airbrushing can be found in the form of murals. Some of these artists could be called the modern day Michelangelo's, turning plain vehicles into mobile Sistine Chapels. There are many websites available to people wishing to learn this craft, and the equipment is fairly inexpensive. There are also many video's available for people wishing to learn the craft.
There are many amazing artists and if you just search "custom airbrushing" you'll be able to see these amazing works. The art of airbrushing has also carried over into many other industries such as tanning and finger nail art--just to name a couple.
If you want to get started airbrushing here are a few airbrush brands and airbrush paint brands you may want to take a look at: Iwata, Paasche, Badger, Aztec, Badger, Master Series, Grex airbrushes, Createx, Auto Air, Golden, Com-Art, Aqua Flow, and House of Kolor. You will also need an air compressor of some sort of air source. Some good airbrush compressor brands are (my personal favorite) Silent Air -- which makes very little noise while working.

You can also purchase an awesome airbrushed helmet from

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Evidence of why Motorcycle Helmets are important

Motorcycle Helmet Testing Standards

A few weeks ago I posted about motorcycle helmet testing. Then I found this great article that explains helmet testing and safety standards in a really easy to understand way, so I thought I would share!

DOT and Snell Motorcycle Helmets: Understanding DOT and Snell Ratings

A number of factors come into play for a rider when considering a new helmet purchase. One factor all riders must consider, and the number one reason to wear a helmet in the first place, remains safety.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2003, when comparing mile for mile, motorcycle riders faced a 32 percent greater likelihood of dying in a wreck compared to drivers in a car. In fact, the simple practice of wearing a helmet can dramatically reduce the number of road fatalities for cycle riders. The NHTSA estimates that between 1984 and 2004, nearly 11,000 motorcyclists would be alive today if they were wearing a helmet while riding.
Snell and Department of Transportation (DOT) ranking remain an industry standard by which customers can judge the safety "effectiveness" of a helmet. But what do the DOT and Snell standards mean for the average rider?
For starters, these ratings were created to offer objective criteria for certifying helmet safety. As a result, instead of relying on what a manufacturer or dealer might tell a buyer, now the buyer can identify real criteria in judging the measure of protection offered by a particular helmet.
But what testing procedures are employed in determining that criteria? Let's begin with the DOT rating.
DOT Rating
The DOT performs a straight forward impact test. Using a simulated head placed inside a helmet, testers drop the helmet from a height of ten feet. The head cannot receive more than 400 G-force units on impact. A G-force unit measures the force of gravity exerted against an object in motion.
Now here's the kicker with DOT rated helmets--manufacturers don't need to test their helmets in order to claim a DOT rating! A helmet manufacturer simply needs to feel that a helmet is meeting the DOT specifications to brand it as "DOT rated." The DOT might occasionally pull helmets to perform testing, but the majority of helmets sold as DOT certified do not undergo any level of testing.
Snell Rating
The Snell certification stands in rigorous contrast to DOT specifications. Helmet manufacturers voluntarily submit their products to the Snell evaluation service and pay for the testing procedures. These procedures are extensive and include seven test types, from impact to shell penetration tests to flame resistance testing. The type and degree of testing is dependent on the type of helmet and its application.
Snell cites the following areas as critical in helmet safety:
  • Impact management: how well the helmet protects against collisions with large objects;
  • Helmet positional stability: whether the helmet will be in place, on the head, when it's needed;
  • Retention system strength: whether the chin straps are sufficiently strong enough to hold the helmet throughout a head impact; and
  • Extent of protection: the area of the head protected by the helmet.
Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. ( 2005). 2005 Standard for Protective Headgear, 4.
In short, Snell offers the highest certification standards regarding helmet safety. But a buyer will pay a higher price for Snell certified helmets, as the added costs of production and testing add to the overall value of the helmet.
Safety Matters
A number of points exist in the mind of a buyer when considering a helmet purchase. Style, color, fit, and comfort are extremely important factors when purchasing a helmet. Price is also a consideration for many buyers. However, safety should be paramount when purchasing a helmet. If you scrimp too much on price, you might get a nice looking helmet that unfortunately doesn't hold up in those critical moments. So take the time, do your homework, and find a helmet that will keep you alive and allow you to keep riding for years to come.

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