Dirt Bike Helmet Technology
A dirt bike helmet is the most important piece of protective equipment you’ll ever have to buy, and in recent years, we’ve seen manufacturers take leaps and bounds with the technology that they’ve developed.
It can be a bit overwhelming deciding on which helmet and its accompanying technology to go with, so we’ve created this guide to give you a clear understanding and comparison of Australian standards of the biggest players in the market.
Regardless of the model or types of helmet that you add to your safety gear, always confirm that your helmet fits correctly and that it meets helmet safety standards as you never want to take your chances with this full-face item of protective gear. From entry-level shells made from polycarbonate through to kevlar, fiberglass, and carbon fiber, make sure your helmet is snug around your cheek pads and your chin strap is firmly fastened.
MIPS stands for Multi-direction Impact Protection System, and this the most popular helmet technology that has been adopted by a number of major brands.
The technology is essentially a slip-liner that’s found inside the helmet between the comfort padding and the EPS foam.
It basically allows the head to move inside the helmet which can reduce the harmful rotational motion otherwise transferred to the brain.
According to the MIPS website, statistics show that when you fall and hit your head, it’s most likely at an angle so reducing the forces of this kind of impact will decrease the chances of brain injuries occurring.
Falling at an angle creates rotational motion and science has shown that our brains are very sensitive to rotational forces. In an angled impact, these forces may transfer to your brain, which can cause severe head injuries. The MIPS can reduce rotational motion and reduce the risk of brain damage.
Fluid Inside is pods of fluid that are strategically placed in the helmet liner which are designed to protect your brain by mimicking Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) – your body’s natural protection.
The pods make the helmet ‘float’ on your head, and each independently and simultaneously manage the linear and rotational forces that come as a result of hitting your head in a crash.
The FLEX system is a three-layer impact liner engineered to manage energy in low, mid, and high-speed impacts.
It acts as a ‘slip zone’ within the impact liner, allowing for subtle movement between the inner layers where it’s designed to reduce rotational energy transfer from angular impacts.
The FLEX system also boasts a segmented construction which automatically conforms to a rider’s head shape for a better fit and more predictable energy management.
6D Omni-Directional Suspension:
6D Helmet’s Omni-Directional Suspension system was one of the most pioneering helmet technologies to hit the market in the last decade and subsequently prompted all motocross helmet manufacturers to go even further with their developments.
The ODS technology acts as an in-helmet suspension and kinetic energy management system, and much like the other technologies, it’s designed to reduce energy transfer to the brain over a much broader range of energy demands, from low, mid and high energy impacts.
Built with a dual-liner assembly, it will displace and shear omni-directionally when suffering an impact from a crash.
Basically, it provides significantly improved performance against both linear and angular accelerations - meaning it offers maximum protection for impacts from all different angles and speeds.
Shoei is renowned for its premium helmets, and it recently updated its VFX-WR line with the all-new MEDS technology.
MEDS is short for Motion Energy Distribution System, and while it’s designed to provide the same results as some of the above technologies, it does so in a different way.
The MEDS technology utilises varying densities of foam for impact absorption, where the insert liner, anchored by a centre column, produces an effect that reduces rotational acceleration energy 15 percent compared to its previous models.
Fly Racing AIS:
Fly Racing shifted itself into the premium helmet category when it introduced its Adaptive Impact System (AIS) inside a carbon fiber outer shell, which is available in its Formula lid.
The AIS is made up of three key factors: Energy cells, Conehead technology, and expanded volume EPS liner.
The impact energy cells maximise absorption of low speed linear and rotational impacts, with their unique shape and maze-like structure allowing them to compress and shear.
The Conehead technology acts as a crumple zone, and absorbs and dissipates impact forces more effectively than traditional EPS helmet liners. It produces more progressive energy absorption through a broader range of impact scenarios.
To help combat impacts to common zones on the helmet, the expanded volume EPS means strategic areas of the lid have greater impact absorption, and more suspension between your head and the ground.
M2R X-Halo Shield:
The M2R adds a fourth layer of defence against impact in its X4.5 helmet, where it combines with the dual-layer EPS liner under a quad composite outer shell to a provide a strengthened and more reinforced level of protection.
The X-Halo Shield material changes at a molecular level during an impact and they essentially lock on impact, successfully absorbing and dissipating an impact’s energy.
The system provides up to 12 percent improved impact protection when in critical halo position, and during an impact, superior protection and shock absorption are achieved without compromising the shell or weight of the helmet.
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