Hey, everyone! A short while ago I made a blog about motorcycle helmets and why one helmet could be worth more than another. I didn’t cover all of the reasons why a helmet could be worth more, so this is part two of: Motorcycle Helmets – Cheap Vs Pro!
Last time I covered the helmet’s purpose- how the job of that helmet can affect how much it’s going to cost be it a basic, bare bones beginners lid or a sleek, pro racing lid designed in a wind tunnel for pure speed and besting the competition.
I also covered the shell material – the materials used, the properties of those materials and how they are used can affect the cost of a helmet. From a machine pumping molten plastic into a mold to skilled craftsmen expertly building the shell layer by layer.
Continuing on from there the next point that could affect the value of a helmet is the EPS liner or whatever liner/protection system that helmet has. The cheapest of the cheap helmets will have a singular piece of foam all around the inside of the shell to absorb all of the impact. Some helmets have multi-density foams that apply foams of different strength to selected areas of the head according to the most vulnerable areas.
Others brands, like some Bell Helmets, even have a Flex system. It uses three layers of differing densities for low, medium and high speed impacts and slows the head down in rotational impacts to disperse transfered forces and help prevent brain trauma. Some helmets now even use the patented MIPS, Multi-directional Impact Protection System, another advanced bit of helmet tech to help reduce the risk of brain trauma in an accident.
A good padding in a motorcycle helmet can make a world of difference and it’s also sadly overlooked when people bundle a more expensive helmet in with a cheaper one and claim they’re the same. In a lot of cheap helmets you can find that the padding is fixed- glued to the inside of the helmet so that it can’t be taken out. A small step up from that is a basic liner that can be removed, using a system of poppers so that you have the freedom to wash the interior of your helmet and keep it fresh.
Meanwhile up in the more expensive range of padding there are helmets where the padding has different riding configurations, emergency removal systems or even magnets! There are paddings stitched with silver to make them antibacterial, odour eliminating or even sewn with specialised fabrics that can regulate temperature such as Bell’s Virus Cool Jade Power Mesh Liner. There’s a lot more going on in a top tier helmet’s padding than you think.
Starting with the bottom end, in cheap helmets the visor will be as basic as can be. It’ll have passed tests so that it can withstand chippings from the road flying up and hitting the visor but that’s all you’re getting- a simple barrier against the wind and a light spray of gravel. But when you start to pay more for your helmets you see a whole load of new features that suddenly make the visors really cool. The visors start to have anti-fogging treatments or are Pinlock ready to combat fogging. They move up in classifications for optical perfection so that there are no distortions that can lead to eye strain, Max Vision visors that are a little bigger and let the rider see more.
There are quick release visors, tinted visors, even photo-sensitive transitional visors, there’s loads of them and every step up from the basic, clear wind barrier I mentioned earlier adds to the value of the helmet this visor is on.
Believe it or not, everybody, I still haven’t gone through all the points that can add to a helmet’s value so it looks like this may end up being a three-part blog entry. So in the next entry I’ll cover other aspects that include extras like internal sun visors, ventilation, fastenings, the finish, graphics and, lastly; ratings and qualifications. Until next time!
-Matt W at Ghostbikes.com