Difference between DOT and Snell helmets [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Patricia
09-16-2004, 08:21
Anyone know?

Eyespy
09-16-2004, 09:14
Yes. But if I may summarize for the sake of brevity, the Snell Foundation testing standards are more stringent than the DOT standards.

Patricia
09-16-2004, 09:19
Ok. So I'm safer with a Snell?

Eyespy
09-16-2004, 09:26
Yes, all other factors being equal, assuming equally well fitting helmets, non-expired, undamaged, etc, you are at least as well protected in a Snell Certified helmet as you are in a DOT only certified helmet. DOT certification is essentially on the "honor" system, by the way.

Ned Ludd
09-16-2004, 09:35
Link re difference between DOT and Snell (http://dot-helmet.motorhelmets.com/)

I only buy Snell. No exceptions.

-NL

Patricia
09-16-2004, 10:03
Thanks Ned, that is exactly what I was looking for. Excellent article!

I knew Snell was better (my husband will only wear a Snell helmet) but I was curious why it was better. Looks like I'll be buying a Snell too.

Thanks all! :)

Eyespy
09-16-2004, 17:52
Originally posted by Sidearmor
Thanks Ned, that is exactly what I was looking for. Excellent article!

I knew Snell was better (my husband will only wear a Snell helmet) but I was curious why it was better. Looks like I'll be buying a Snell too.

Thanks all! :)

Sorry, I was getting ready to leave for work this AM, and I didn't have time to explain the differences in detail. The article that Ned posted is a nice explanation, and on cursory review, appears to be correct in its factual details.

Patricia
09-16-2004, 17:55
No problem. :) Do you guys recommend any particular brand? Are the more expensive ones necessarily better?

Ned Ludd
09-16-2004, 19:08
Price and safety are not related. Any Snell certified helmet will give you protection. Price and comfort (alas) usually are. I'd go to someone who does a lot of the same type of riding you want to do (and this is important) in the same places you want to go. They will give you the best advice.

-NL

nu2carry
09-16-2004, 19:23
Originally posted by Sidearmor
Ok. So I'm safer with a Snell?

Just don't get a helmut that is view and sound restrictive.
BTW, safe is relative to skill and ability.

Patricia
09-16-2004, 20:33
Originally posted by Ned Ludd
Price and safety are not related. Any Snell certified helmet will give you protection. Price and comfort (alas) usually are. I'd go to someone who does a lot of the same type of riding you want to do (and this is important) in the same places you want to go. They will give you the best advice.

-NL

Good advice, will do. :)

Patricia
09-16-2004, 20:37
Originally posted by nu2carry
Just don't get a helmut that is view and sound restrictive.
BTW, safe is relative to skill and ability.

I will be wearing a full face helmet. My husband insists. He's been riding for many years so I'm gonna trust him on that one.

I know he will agree with your 2nd sentence whole heartedley. I will be starting out slow and careful, under his instruction. :) Since I need to get a permit first, I've been reading through the AZ DOT's motorcycle manual. It actually has some great tips.

45acp4me
09-16-2004, 21:35
Originally posted by Sidearmor
I will be wearing a full face helmet. My husband insists. He's been riding for many years so I'm gonna trust him on that one.

I know he will agree with your 2nd sentence whole heartedley. I will be starting out slow and careful, under his instruction. :) Since I need to get a permit first, I've been reading through the AZ DOT's motorcycle manual. It actually has some great tips.

Modern full face helmets do not restrict your view of anything important at all. A vehicle would have to be traveling at a couple hundred miles an hour to smack you in the side once it's past your field of view.

As for sound, it's also not important. Lots of long distance riders even wear ear plugs to reduce fatigue. Wind blowing in your ears at freeway speeds can cause damage over time.

Good call on the full face, if you ever crash, your cheek and jaw bones will thank you. Not to mention they are a whole lot more pleasant if you ride in the rain. Take a look at the HJC AC-10 and AC-11. Both are a very nice helmet for the money. Arai and Shoie may be nicer, but there is no gaurantee they will be any better in a crash. I know my old HJC CL-12 kept my noggin in good shape when I went down.

Regards,
Glen

Patricia
09-16-2004, 21:40
Thanks Glen, I will check those. :)

WERA49
09-17-2004, 03:47
Do you guys recommend any particular brand?
I used to wear Shoei until they chose to eliminate my helmet size. I now wear Arai. I've been very happy with both brands. Both have saved me several times.

Keep the rubber side down, either end! :)

Bandalero
09-17-2004, 07:35
Originally posted by Sidearmor
I will be wearing a full face helmet. My husband insists. He's been riding for many years so I'm gonna trust him on that one.I know he will agree with your 2nd sentence whole heartedley. I will be starting out slow and careful, under his instruction. :) Since I need to get a permit first, I've been reading through the AZ DOT's motorcycle manual. It actually has some great tips.

I recommend taking a MSF course in your area:

http://www.msf-usa.org/

Or the Harley Rider's Edge Course.

The basic course was the best thing I ever did and I will be taking the experienced rider's course soon. We took the course on Rebel 250s. As a bonus, in some states successfully completing the rider's course exempts you from taking the rider test portion to get the "M" endorsement on your license.

I wear a full-face helmet also - a Nolan 100-E flip.

nu2carry
09-17-2004, 07:49
Originally posted by 45acp4me
Modern full face helmets do not restrict your view of anything important at all. A vehicle would have to be traveling at a couple hundred miles an hour to smack you in the side once it's past your field of view.

As for sound, it's also not important. Lots of long distance riders even wear ear plugs to reduce fatigue. Wind blowing in your ears at freeway speeds can cause damage over time.

Good call on the full face, if you ever crash, your cheek and jaw bones will thank you. Not to mention they are a whole lot more pleasant if you ride in the rain. Take a look at the HJC AC-10 and AC-11. Both are a very nice helmet for the money. Arai and Shoie may be nicer, but there is no gaurantee they will be any better in a crash. I know my old HJC CL-12 kept my noggin in good shape when I went down.

Regards,
Glen

Glen, I usually don't take issue with someone when I know they are or maybe right, and you have a pretty good track record. But Sidearmor just look up issues on the internet regarding Helmut’s and you will see a wide range of statistics.

My ex-wife was an ER nurse and worked with a lot of motorcycle trauma and trauma MD's. The general consensus was that Helmut’s were beneficial in reducing massive head trauma but the crux was that aside from most of these riders complaining of having "not seen" or "not hearing" just before impact when the accident did occur, it was often broken necks that resulted from the accident.

Many of the neuro MD's deduced that the impact was transferred from the Helmut to the neck.

Now I am not trying to jack this thread and turn it into an anti-Helmut thing but the truth is that I have been riding motorized 2 wheel vehicles for 40 years and I have rode with and with out helmets. I have also worn full facers and in my personal experience I want to hear and see with as little restriction as possible.

Trust me when you hear a car rushing up behind you while in motion or sitting at a light or a stop sign you will understand what I am saying.

Put your full-face Helmut on and sit in your kitchen or living room and pick a peripheral point on both sides without turning your head. Then take the Helmut off and do the same thing and see what if anything you lose in perception.

Driving at highway speeds is but one mode and yes you can dampen noise by other methods if you choose to. But the real danger is in the city driving you will be doing if that is where you will be riding.

Hear is an article a friend sent me a while back.
http://members.tripod.com/~B_u_d/helmut.htm

Just take a really good motorcycle course like the MSF and ride like everyone wants to kill you and you will have years of enjoyment. Motorcycle riding ranks #2 behind flying in my favorite things to do. It is one of the most fun and enjoyable things you will do.

Stay well.

Patricia
09-17-2004, 08:18
Originally posted by Bandalero
I recommend taking a MSF course in your area:

http://www.msf-usa.org/

Or the Harley Rider's Edge Course.

The basic course was the best thing I ever did and I will be taking the experienced rider's course soon. We took the course on Rebel 250s. As a bonus, in some states successfully completing the rider's course exempts you from taking the rider test portion to get the "M" endorsement on your license.

I wear a full-face helmet also - a Nolan 100-E flip.

Thanks, I've looked into the MSF course. Unfortunately, I thinkt he closest is 140 miles away, and the course is 3 days long. I would like to make the time to take it, we'll see.

Patricia
09-17-2004, 08:32
nu2carry, I'll admit I have zero experience riding, but I don't think I could ever feel comforatable riding without a helmet, just like I don't drive my truck without wearing my seat belt. I only skimmed the article you linked, but frankly, their data does not seem complete. They don't take Snell helmets into account, and they don't seem to compare apples to apples. It is one thing to compare the number of riders without helmets that were involved in accidents, to the number of riders with helmets involved in accidents, but what I'd really like to see is a comparison between what happens to riders with and without helmets in similiar accidents. But no matter, I'm sure that we could have a very long thread going concerning a with vs without discussion. I will be wearing one, so in my thread, the point is kind of moot.

As my husband tells me, your first and most important safety device is your brain. He would agree with your "ride like everyone wants to kill you". He has told me how important it is to remain hyper-alert 100% of the time.

45acp4me
09-17-2004, 09:00
Originally posted by nu2carry

My ex-wife was an ER nurse and worked with a lot of motorcycle trauma and trauma MD's. The general consensus was that Helmut’s were beneficial in reducing massive head trauma but the crux was that aside from most of these riders complaining of having "not seen" or "not hearing" just before impact when the accident did occur, it was often broken necks that resulted from the accident.

I must respectfully ask, how is this different from any accident? "I didn't see them" is what cops always here when filling out accident reports, otherwise the boner wouldn't have made the move they did. If you are riding properly, you are scanning far enough ahead for boneheads ready to make stupid moves. When you stop doing this, you will get in trouble.

I also don't buy the "not hearing" bit. Sealed up in a car you don't hear much of anything, you depend on your eyes. The only thing you might need to hear that will be tougher is an emergency vehicle in the distance.

Many of the neuro MD's deduced that the impact was transferred from the Helmut to the neck.

And what would have happened with the helmet not there? Crunch goes the cranium.

Now I am not trying to jack this thread and turn it into an anti-Helmut thing but the truth is that I have been riding motorized 2 wheel vehicles for 40 years and I have rode with and with out helmets. I have also worn full facers and in my personal experience I want to hear and see with as little restriction as possible.

I can't make any arguments here, this is a personal preference thing.

Trust me when you hear a car rushing up behind you while in motion or sitting at a light or a stop sign you will understand what I am saying.

I just never stop looking at my mirrors at lights. I'm darn near fixated on my mirrors until I see a couple cars stop behind me for some protection. Even then I still glance down at them now and then.

Put your full-face Helmut on and sit in your kitchen or living room and pick a peripheral point on both sides without turning your head. Then take the Helmut off and do the same thing and see what if anything you lose in perception.

I can see everything I need to just fine. I would be totally my fault if I got hit from the side, I wasn't looking far enough ahead if it happens. For something to start traveling and hit me after it's passed my field of view, it would be moving like a bullet.

Hear is an article a friend sent me a while back.
http://members.tripod.com/~B_u_d/helmut.htm

I agree that helmets should be a choice, not mandatory. While the article may talk about deaths, they don't go into severe injury. A GT member had to have her jaw and ear reconstructed after her crash becase they were torn off. A full face helmet instead of a half helmet would have allowed her to come out with fewer injuries. The worst part was she was in a coma for weeks, who knows how much safer she would have been with a full face. The only downside to a full face in this situation is trying to remove it when the head is swollen and there are possible spinal injuries.

Just take a really good motorcycle course like the MSF and ride like everyone wants to kill you and you will have years of enjoyment. Motorcycle riding ranks #2 behind flying in my favorite things to do. It is one of the most fun and enjoyable things you will do.

Stay well.

I agree 100% that the MSF course and putting time into dirt riding are the best ways to learn.

Regards,
Glen

nu2carry
09-17-2004, 10:18
Quote;
“I must respectfully ask, how is this different from any accident? "I didn't see them" is what cops always here when filling out accident reports, otherwise the boner wouldn't have made the move they did. If you are riding properly, you are scanning far enough ahead for boneheads ready to make stupid moves. When you stop doing this, you will get in trouble.

I also don't buy the "not hearing" bit. Sealed up in a car you don't hear much of anything, you depend on your eyes. The only thing you might need to hear that will be tougher is an emergency vehicle in the distance.” End quote

That is the point exactly, being involved in an auto accident has obvious advantages over being involved in a motorcycle accident. Not that either one has any appeal over the other. In an auto accident you have a lot more protection around you then if you are riding a motorcycle. Not being able to hear in a car will more then likely not have the dire consequences that not being able to hear and see while perched on top of a motorcycle would potentially have.

Heightened sense of awareness, skill, ability, proper training, and constant vigilance in regards to all other drivers, road conditions, obstructions and unrestricted vision and hearing is what will swing the odds in your favor for a better chance of accident avoidance.

BTW, I posted the article as simply another point of view. I in no way advocate not using a helmut. I wear one religiously even while riding in states that don’t have mandatory helmut laws. As I stated previously this was not about helmut vs. not wearing one, rather wearing one that offers you full unrestricted ability to hear and see.

Sidearmor only you can make the decision that is best for you. Training, time and experience will aid in that decision, just weigh all your options, maybe buy both types of helmuts and see which one you are comfortable with.

Glen, the very hypothetical accident you mentioned with massive head and spinal trauma was one that my ex had the unfortunate circumstances in attending to. A young guy with a full facer had exactly those kinds of injuries. Turns out he was exiting off a ramp when some idiot passed the Semi that was behind the motorcycle on the shoulder (auto driver was “in a hurry” to get off and just couldn’t wait for the semi to clear the exit) so he took the shoulder at highway speeds and slammed right into the rear end of the motorcycle who was exiting properly.

Needless to say the biker had horrible injuries, barely survived and left crippled for life. Cutting off the full facer was but one of the problems they encountered in the process of saving his life.

Hey Sidearmor, do you guys have the same illegal alien driver problems that plague much of the southwest? I was in Phoenix last year and it is epidemic! If so, really be careful!

Patricia
09-17-2004, 10:27
Originally posted by nu2carry

Hey Sidearmor, do you guys have the same illegal alien driver problems that plague much of the southwest? I was in Phoenix last year and it is epidemic! If so, really be careful!

We moved from Phoenix to Flagstaff over a year ago. If I still lived in Phoenix, I would not even consider riding a motorcycle. Even in a 3/4 ton Dodge truck, I hate driving in the Phoenix area. Cutting off other drivers just seems to be the norm for a lot of people. To be honest, I never related it to any particular group of people. It seems to cross age, gender, and race.

Researcher
09-17-2004, 10:40
There are many different brands of helmets, arai, shoei, hjc, suomy, etc. As long as they are snell and dot approved they will basically protect you in the same manner. The higher end helmets will just offer nicer ammenities such as lighter, better ventilation, nicer graphics, nice padding. A $150 hjc will protect you as well as $700 suomy.

nu2carry
09-17-2004, 10:41
Originally posted by Sidearmor
We moved from Phoenix to Flagstaff over a year ago. If I still lived in Phoenix, I would not even consider riding a motorcycle. Even in a 3/4 ton Dodge truck, I hate driving in the Phoenix area. Cutting off other drivers just seems to be the norm for a lot of people. To be honest, I never related it to any particular group of people. It seems to cross age, gender, and race.

That's a fact! I just remember the guy at the car rental counter explaining to me that there were a lot of illegals driving there with no insurance. But hey I guess that is no different then Detroit.

I gotta get back to work. Good luck and have fun on that bike! BTW, what will you be riding? I should add that when I ride dirt I wear a full face helmut.

have fun on that bike! Our riding season up here is coming to a close in the next month or so. I usually put mine up Nov,1st. You probably have a litle longer riding season before the snow flies?

Patricia
09-17-2004, 11:08
Originally posted by nu2carry
I gotta get back to work. Good luck and have fun on that bike! BTW, what will you be riding? I should add that when I ride dirt I wear a full face helmut.

have fun on that bike! Our riding season up here is coming to a close in the next month or so. I usually put mine up Nov,1st. You probably have a litle longer riding season before the snow flies?

Thanks. :) I'll be riding a Honda 599. My husband just bought a Honda 919. When I first met him, he rode a Kawasaki Ninja (ZX11 I think). That thing was a rocket! I recently started riding a Honda 100R dirt bike that we are going to buy used from a friend. I think I need a bigger and brand new one someday soon though. ;f

We had our first snowfall in the 1st week of November last year, but we don't usually get much, and it doesn't stay on the ground very long. Our city lays down cinder though, which I'm told is very hard to ride a motorcycle on. I was telling my husband last night that he is going to have to be very patient with me, cause I'm going to want to do a LOT of practice riding on side streets and some other less traveled open roads before I get on any major roads. There is a group of people up here in Flag that ride down to Sedona every Sunday and we are hoping to join them one day too. :)

Researcher
09-17-2004, 14:41
Remember don't get ahead of yourself and only move onto to riding in the street and what not when you are comfortable. Don't feel pressured to ride if you don't feel ready.

jpa
09-19-2004, 08:03
Welcome to the biker clan! Glad to see you've been bitten by the bug too. I've been riding for 2 years now, I was taught by my dad going up and down the alley behind their house until I got the whole clutch and throttle control thing down. After that, I got my permit, started practicing in parking lots. Little stuff like figure 8's, cornering, etc with him standing there watching me. That was pretty much the extent of my knowledge last season. I ventured onto the street once in a while, but usually only late at night or in the evening when traffic was lightest. I avoided the highway like the plague.

This year I got to take the MSF class and got my license. That was absolutely the best thing I could do. Find out where they are offered in your area and take it! There were so many bad habits I had developed and gotten used to doing that the instructors pointed out and gave me pointers to fix. There were people in the class that ranged from never having been on a bike to riding for years without a license. By the end, we had 1 person drop out and everyone else passed with flying colors. Even the most inexperienced rider who couldn't even stop the bike without dropping it the first day was riding like a vet on the last day.

As for helmets, I use the same strategy as for body armor for work: get the one you'll wear. None of them are going to do you a lick of good in a closet. Full-face are best with a face shield, IMHO. I went on a ride a couple weeks ago through the country and got pelted with gravel, bugs, plus the wind blast was horrible. If you don't have adequate face protection or eye protection, your eyes will tear up at higher speeds and all the debris blowing at your face could hurt and possibly distract you enough to cause an accident. Also I recommend a good pair of boots and gloves, you'll appreciate them if you take a longer ride.

Good luck! :)

Patricia
09-19-2004, 09:40
Thanks jpa. :) Great story, great advice. :)

blueiron
09-20-2004, 00:19
One important fact is that every helmet manufacturer fits their helmets differently to a given size. I bought a Shoei and while its a nice comfortable helmet, its a bit oversized for me. The Arai Quantum/f fits my noggin the best. Some folks have a skull that is round, oval, or a long oval. I recommend wearing it inside the house for at least one hour before ever using it. You can find out if it has hot spots or any uncomfortable problem areas. If it doesn't fit, exchange it, because you'll hate the induced headaches that it will give you.

Patricia
09-20-2004, 08:18
Our son will be going out riding with us on short trips too. (Definitely not as my passenger though). He wears a youth size dirt bike helmet, but we want to get him a street one too. I'm having trouble finding any Snell rated youth helmets though.

Eyespy
09-20-2004, 09:10
Originally posted by Sidearmor
I'm having trouble finding any Snell rated youth helmets though.

I'm not sure you will find one for street use, just for MX. In fact, HJC is one of the few helmet manufacturers that offer full face street helmets in youth sizes, specifically, the HJC CS-12, which carries a DOT-218 rating. I am not aware of a youth full face street helmet with a Snell certification.