Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle helmet’

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Hitting Neutral:  Both the US, Europe as well as many other countries have their own standards on motorcycle helmet safety. This year the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) will issue new regulations on the testing of motorcycle helmets.

This will be the sixth version of the regulation and will go into effect 3 years after the regulations are issued. At that point it will become illegal to sell helmets that are not in compliance with the new version.

So just what does the new regulations cover?  (From the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations website)

Modular helmets – Helmets equipped with a movable or detachable protective lower face cover, will be tested with or without chin guard in position.

Sun shields – Sun shields cannot restrain or prevent the movement of the visor. On opening the visor, the sun shield can pivot in the working position. By means of a simple movement the sun shield must be able to be moved separately from the visor. Helmets placed on the market with a sun shield shall be tested with the sun shield in working position.

Reflective stickers – In order to comply with national requirements, the helmet may be required to have reflective materials. These materials can be delivered with the helmet, with proper instructions on where and how to apply them on the helmet.

Accessories – Helmets placed on the market with accessories shall be examined to make sure the equipment has no adverse effect and that the helmet and/or visor still comply with the requirements. Testing will be done with and without the accessory and its support with attention to energy absorption, sharp edges and field of vision. You are not allowed to modify the helmet from its original specification as manufactured. Accessories must be fitted in accordance with the helmet manufacturer’s instructions. Only accessories tested during the type approval procedure of the helmet keep the type approval valid.

High speed particle test for visors – To make sure visors don’t shatter when hit by something hard during your ride, they shall be tested with a steel ball at 60 m/s. The visor should not fracture or deform, and the visor housing should not separate into two or more pieces, or no longer be capable of holding the visor in position.

Brain injury by rotation – An impact test method of measuring rotational acceleration will be introduced, to test the impact on the brain when the helmet is twisted during an accident. To test this, the helmet will be allowed to fall, under specified angles and with a specified speed on to a rigidly mounted anvil.

My Take: As I am normally inclined, I am not a fan of regulations as too often it is a bureaucrat’s way of job justification that only adds to the expense of a product.  However, with the execution of one area, I do not see a problem with this update to the rules.

The problem I have is with the “Accessories” section.  I my mind I see accessory as anything placed on the helmet that was not sold by the manufacturer as part of the helmet.  I have a problem with that as it will be used as a cudgel against motorcyclists.

In Australia there is already a similar rule regarding helmet accessories.  Motorcycle riders are often pulled over and ticketed for have accessories on their helmet, click here for an example from “MotorBike Writer”. The primary culprit seems to be action cameras and Bluetooth communications modules. This new rule will infringe on the rider’s documentation and even their job.

 

Ride on, Ride Safe

recall

Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States, there is no way I could cover the entire world. But in the world of global manufacturing, if a motorcycle is being recalled in one country there is a good chance it is under recall in others. Also, this should not be considered a definitive list, check for yourself if you have any questions.

If you are US based use the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov. Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall.

If you are based outside the USA, use the appropriate website to locate recalls that may impact you.

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Manufacturer Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA

Components SERVICE BRAKES, AIR

Summary

Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (Yamaha) is recalling certain 2019 YZF-R3 motorcycles. The brake hose holder may come loose, potentially causing damage to the brake hose protector and hose, resulting in a brake fluid leak.

Remedy

Yamaha will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front brake hose holder, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 28, 2020. Yamaha customer service at 1-800-962-7926. Yamaha’s number for this recall is 990134. Note: Motorcycles in this recall are also affected by NHTSA recall number 20V-071.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

 

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Manufacturer Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA

Components SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC

Summary

Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (Yamaha) is recalling certain 2019 YZF-R3 motorcycles. The front brake hose my chafe against the horn lead wire when the handlebars are turned from left to right, potentially resulting in a brake fluid leak.

Remedy

Yamaha will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the front brake hose, replacing it as necessary, and reroute the horn lead wire, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 28, 2020. Owners may contact Yamaha customer service at 1-800-962-7926. Yamaha’s number for this recall is 990135.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to http://www.safercar.gov.

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Manufacturer Akoury

Components EQUIPMENT

Summary

Akoury is recalling certain Boss67 motorcycle helmets, part number BFR CO, in sizes S, M, L, XL, and XXL. The helmets may lack proper impact protection. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 218, “Motorcycle Helmets.”

Remedy

Akoury will notify owners, and dealers will replace helmets or provide a credit for the helmet, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Akoury customer service at 1-514-824-0666.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

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April is Motorcycle Helmet Awareness month so how about an air conditioned helmet?

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The EPA Wants to VIOLATE your WARRENTY! The EPA wants to hep you do just that. – On March, 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would makes regulatory changes to allow year-round sales of E15 fuel. This action would put the owners of millions of motorcycles and ATVs at significant risk because the dangers of this fuel are not clearly identified at the pump, E15 can cause engine and fuel system damage to machines not designed for its use and use of E15 may void the manufacturers’ warranty.

The American Motorcyclist Association opposes the proposed change and we are urging you to take advantage of the public comment period for this regulatory change and tell the EPA to reconsider this move and protect American motorcyclists from this unsafe fuel.

I you want to help fight this you need to join the AMA or Motorcycle Riders Foundation

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Suzuki’s radar reflector – An interesting idea to hep motorcycles fit into the world of auto-piloted cars.

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Even a Rolling Stone can get robbed. Keith Richards, still alive BTW, was robbed of some classic off-road motorcycles including 1977 Maico 400.

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Motocross racer breaks his motorcycle in half landing a jump.

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Normally I put this list of motorcycle helmets together in January or early February. But, but this year I forgot and when I did remember thought that the Motorcycle Helmet Safety Awareness moth of April would be a good time to publish the list for 2018.

Not every year has a list of weird motorcycle helmets, sometimes there are not enough to get 9 good ones. If you are interested in checking out previous years “Winners” you can click these links:

2015                 2017

 

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April is Motorcycle Helmet Awareness Month so we are doing a series of posts to try and do just that… provide awareness! This post is about “things” you should consider in order to make your helmet last and protect you longer.

1 – Keep the exterior clean. After your ride take a moment to clean the helmet shell of bugs and road grit. If you use an open face helmet also brush your teeth.

2 – Keep the interior clean. Yup sometimes your helmet can get funky. BUT you must be

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Might take some work to remove the dog smell

careful about cleaning the interior. Follow your owner’s manual on cleaning the inside of your helmet.

3 – Don’t use odor masking or sanitizing sprays on the interior of your helmet. Some sprays can degrade the foam under your padding, which will degrade its ability to keep you safe.

4 – Clean your visor. You must see right, so follow your brands instructions on cleaning the visor. But, be careful when working on the inside of the visor, most come with an anti-fog coating that needs to be properly handled….. DO NOT USE PAPER TOWELS on either side of your visor.

5 – Don’t grab or carry the helmet by the visor. Yes, we all know not to do this, but we all have. Really, try not to do this as it will damage the visor and possible the hinge point.

6 – Don’t hang your helmet from the mirror. As you should know the main part of the helmet that protects your head is the foam liner. Hanging your helmet from the mirror can cause the foam to compress where it sets on the mirror. Also how are your going to admire yourself with only one mirror.

7 – Keep your helmet ventilated. No, do not drill holes to get better air flow LOL. After you ride store your motorcycle helmet in a manner that will allow a good air flow to dry things out. Don’t just toss it in the helmet bag and into a closet…. Let it breath like a good wine!

The last two I had never thought about until researching this post.

8 – Don’t store your gloves in the motorcycle helmet. A couple sites stated some obvious things like….The gloves will restrict ventilation and not allow the padding to dry. Also the gloves will add their own “STINK” to the lining.

9 – Don’t slide your arm though the eye hole. The idea is that if you do this a lot, in order to free your hand for a task, your motorcycle helmet will get worn faster. That your jacket sleeve will cause undue wear an might also damage the inside of the visor.

 

Have any additional ideas on how to make your motorcycle helmet last longer? Add those ideas to the comments below.

motorcycle-helmet-after-accident

It is time to check you motorcycle helmet.  At least once a year you should check your helmet to make sure everything is right and correct.  As the month of April is Motorcycle Helmet Safety month, now is a good time to do the checks.

What are the things you need to check?  Here are the minimum things you need to look for:

1) Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?

2) Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?

3) The internal padding is connected and stays in place?

4) Remove the padding and check the foam.  Is it dented or have cracks?

5) While looking at the foam, most companies place a sticker printed with the helmet’s birthday. Is it over 5 years old?

6) Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?

7) Check the visor for damage that might obscure your vision can you see clearly?

8) Are the screws or other visor attachments tight?

9) Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below!

Checklist item 5 is the 5-year rule.  Most manufactures recommend that after 5 years you replace your helmet.  While the cynical among us will cite the “more money” theory of why they want it replaced there is evidence that the foam lining (the part that does most of the work in a crash) does deteriorate over time. It is your head, so it is your decision to replace or not if everything looks good.

For more you can check out HelmetCheck.org.

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Whether you’re just replacing one helmet due to age or degradation, or if you’ve found a stack of old helmets in your Dad’s garage, figuring out what to do with them after they’ve outlived their usefulness can be tricky. Motorcycle helmets can’t be resold or given away for future use as their safety can’t be guaranteed. So what can you do? Here are a few possibilities for dealing with old helmets.

Donate to Emergency Services

Perhaps the best way to dispose of an old motorcycle helmet is to find an emergency services department that might be interested in using intact helmets for training. They can use them to teach first responders how to safely remove a helmet from an accident victim who may be injured. Removing a helmet from a patient who might have a head, neck, or back injury can be difficult, as helmets are heavy and unwieldy. Emergency personnel responding to an accident need to learn to remove helmets without risking further injury to patients. However, there may be more helmets available than they need, and if you can’t find a department in need, there are still several other options.

If you aren’t donating the helmets to such a group, you should immediately cut the chin strap off completely to prevent someone from fishing it out of the trash and attempting to use it. Used helmets can be dangerous to use.

Upcycle as Decorations

Some creative types have found creative ways to use helmets as decorations. You can set up a decorative display of your old helmets on a wall, especially if they were custom painted. Others have taken motorcycle helmets and turned them into flower pots and planters for the garden. You can also buy a lamp kit and turn your old helmet into an interesting desk lamp or outdoor lantern

Check with Local Recycling Center

You can call your local recycling center to see if they accept motorcycle helmets for recycling. Don’t be surprised if the answer is “no.” Due to the different chemicals and materials used in manufacturing safe and sturdy helmets, many recycling centers are not equipped to process them. Those that are may request that you disassemble the helmet before recycling, so be prepared to pull out the padding and foam before you drop if off.

Dispose in Regular Trash

It’s not ideal, but if you have no other options, you can dispose of the helmet in your regular trash. Just make sure that you bag it appropriately, and that you have destroyed it before you do. In addition to cutting off the chin strap, you can also cut it in half with a saw or have some fun with your friends and try to beat it up with an axe or sledgehammer. Just be warned that trying to break a helmet with sheer force is sometimes impossible. After all, they are designed to withstand traumatic impacts at highway speeds.

Haul Away Service

It’s probably not cost effective if you have just one or two helmets to get rid of, but if you have a collection, you could call a rubbish removal service to come and pick them up. This is especially useful if you’ve discovered the helmets while cleaning out an old garage or barn; there’s probably a mess of other stuff you need to get rid of as well, and these services will pick everything up, and then they will do the work of sorting the items for recycling and proper disposal.

Perhaps someday there will be an accepted standard for what to do with used motorcycle helmets, but we’re not there yet. In the meantime, any one of the above methods is an acceptable way to dispose of an old helmet that is no longer safe to wear.  

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb and Populationof an online resources with information about businesses and demographic statistics of world population. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living. Her dad was a motorcyclist and he passed that passion on to her. Sarah loves to travel the world on her motorcycle and she hopes that one of her daughters will become her partner in the near future.

 

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With April set as Motorcycle Helmet Safety Month I thought I would write a few different posts on the subject.  I am going to try and cover several different areas around helmet safety just for us to think about.

FITMENT

I am not going to try the case of wearing or not wearing the helmet.  But if you do wear a helmet you should make sure it fits properly.

The first thing, in my opinion, you should do is look at the sizing guides for the helmets you are most interested in. Every motorcycle helmet manufacturer has a slightly different way of sizing your head both in measurements and shape.

Sizing your skull

When you measure your head, wrap the tape measure starting about ½ inch above your eyebrow, loop around your head (at the largest point) keeping it above your ears.  I recommend that you have a friend help you with this to get the correct measure.  I also suggest doing it three times and then averaging the three to get the size of your noog’n.

If your melon falls between the two sizes, go with the smaller size.

 

 

Shape of your skull

This one is a lot tougher to deal with.  Most motorcycle helmet makers really, truly do not take into to account that our brain-cases are the same shape.

While all heads, for the most part, are oval some are rounder then others while some are more elongated.  The shape of your skull will impact how the helmet fits.  You will have to try on the helmets you are interested in to see how they fit your dome.

Trying the Helmet On

Does your new candidate helmet fill a little tight?  That is good!  Feeling a little tight or slightly uncomfortable is ok but if it should not be inducing any pain to the back of your gourd, your temples or your forehead. Any hotspots or uncomfortable pressure points will be a guarantee of a miserable ride.

Now try turning the helmet left and right and tilting forward and back.  If the helmet moves over your skin freely it is to big, try a size smaller.

If it seems to fit well, try to keep it on for at least 10-15 minutes.  Does it still feel ok?  When you take it off are there any hotspots or rub marks, if not maybe you have a winner.  If you are having comfort issues the helmet just might be the wrong shape for your head.

Try to Pull the Helmet Off

Last step, if everything else seems to be a-ok.  Reach over your head and grasp the bottom/back of the helmet.  Try and pull it over and off your head.  If it comes off, try a different size.

While these are my recommendation please do your own research on the fitment of motorcycle helmets.  There are many other suggestions out there, these are just the ones that I use. Just use these suggestions as a way to get started on assuring a good fit.  Look for other suggestions/recommendations on fitment of helmets.  Never trust just one website, look at as many as you can to make sure you fully understand. 

Also, you can use these fitment techniques as a starting point to determine if your current motorcycle helmet is still good to go.  Can you pull it over and off your head?  Might be a good time to replace your primary safety device.

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Example of bad fitment!

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Here in North America and in many other parts of the world, our motorcycles are coming out of their winter hibernation.  Along with the all of our riding accessories including helmets.

So what does that mean to you and me, the average motorcycle rider?h7

It means that you need to perform the safety checks for your motorcycle (tires, brakes, etc.).  You also need to check the condition of your helmets.  Some ideas on checking your motorcycle helmet:

  • Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?
  • Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?
  • The internal padding is connected and stays in place?
  • Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?
  • Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below!

While your helmet might look clean and shiny it does not mean that it not ready for replacement. Worse yet, a single drop to the ground might be enough to cause you to consider replacement, according to the manufactures.

Here are some industry guidelines regarding your helmet:

  • Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 3 to 5 years, h6depending on use, to ensure optimal protection.
  • Over time, UV rays, internal adhesive and component aging can deteriorate a helmet’s protective qualities by degrading the interior protection layer.
  • Exposure to gasoline, insect repellent, cleaning fluids, exhaust fumes and excessive heat can degrade helmet materials.
  • If a helmet has been dropped or suffered an impact, it should be replaced immediately.
  • A helmet is designed for only one impact, even a small one. An impact may fracture its outer shell as well as compress the inner liner, neither of which may be visible.

Now it is your head so you need to make the decision, but you should at least check out your lid to make sure there are no major issues.

When you get your lid out for the 1st time this year, or if you have let it set for while you might want to make sure nothing has crawled in there.  In the 1st photo that is a poisonous Black Widow spider.  How bad would it feel to get bitten at 50MPH?  Oh and in the second pic that is a miniature Mountain Lion, I am sure you can all see the danger in that!!!!

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Check your lid! That is a Black Widow Spider!

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Look! A cat!