Car vs. Kart vs. Bike helmets - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
kaz
Registered User
 
kaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Downtown LA
Posts: 2,894
Car vs. Kart vs. Bike helmets

I've got Simpson helmet for track days that I love...bought another for karting (though I sometimes wear my track one). I had an AGV when I rode in college on the FZ.

How are bike and car helmets built differently? and I understand there are different crash ratings, etc. It seems car helmets are more expensive when I thought it would be the opposite since hitting your head on the ground seems worse than inside your car...and then when I think about it, perhaps a rollbar is far more dangerous than the ground???

My Ruckus is going to start getting built, just looking for a nice bike helmet...

2006 Elise : JFG | Nitrons | 2bular 8" Single | IMRP aero | TWRD carbon | K20/24 NA | DRS EFI/Cosworth dash and tuning
kaz is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 11:57 PM
Registered User
 
9and3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaz View Post
How are bike and car helmets built differently? and I understand there are different crash ratings, etc.
I can't say with any authority on construction but here's some info from Snell on rating criteria: What are the differences between the SA, M and K standards?

More info here: Snell

HethelSport 2014 Evora S IPS
9and3 is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 12:10 AM
anglophile in exile
 
Aedo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Oz
Posts: 5,446
It was explained to me many years ago that the biggest difference is that bike helmets are designed to take one significant hit on one spot (the second impact is likely to be on a different spot) but if you are in a rolling car your head is probably moving in a fixed arc hitting the same spot each time (probably part of the roll bar) and as such they need to withstand multiple impacts to the same spot.
There are other point such as they are designed with the possibility of being in a fire (the lining is fire retardant, the vents are covered with brass mesh (which stops flames), etc).

The cost issue though is simply volume - lots less people race cars than ride bikes.
Aedo is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 08:26 AM
Registered User
 
Chili Red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 2,202
I don't motorcycle helmets have Nomex inside, thus they are not fire resistant.

2007 Exige S - Chili Red
2009 Mini Cooper S - Chili Red
Gotham 265, Nitron Sport Pro, Moroso oil pan, RTVBrace, Volk CE28N/R888, Cup Wheels/A048, 2Bular Ultra 4", Rapfix II w/ Sparco P300, S111 CF Splitter, Ultradiscs, Pagid RS42, V-Force Harness Bar, Schroth PROFI II, Fire Extinguisher, Folding Tow Hook, Odyssey PC680, re-ENFORCER, LLumar 30% tint, Traqmate, DashDAQ, Chasecam, Alpine IVA-D100 w/ Backup Camera.
Chili Red is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
kaz
Registered User
 
kaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Downtown LA
Posts: 2,894
Thanks guys for the info...guess I'm really asking, am I less safe wearing a car helmet while on the road on a bike? I'd rather get another car helmet if it is safe -

2006 Elise : JFG | Nitrons | 2bular 8" Single | IMRP aero | TWRD carbon | K20/24 NA | DRS EFI/Cosworth dash and tuning
kaz is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 09:49 AM
JWA
Registered User
 
JWA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 6,810
Sounds like the helmet question has been answered - I'd like to hear about this Ruckus build .
JWA is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 10:23 AM
Registered User
 
milehitom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 3,405
Aside from the nomex lining found in auto helmets, another difference is the wider viewing angle of motorcycle helmets. They allow more peripheral vision, necessary in everyday traffic situations.

Tom
milehitom is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 01:31 PM
xtn
Registered User
 
xtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,981
Quote:
Originally Posted by milehitom View Post
Aside from the nomex lining found in auto helmets, another difference is the wider viewing angle of motorcycle helmets. They allow more peripheral vision, necessary in everyday traffic situations.

Tom
Well, they have a larger minimum viewing angle established.

Some SA rated helmets are sold with optional larger openings too. So it's not like you can't get a wide viewing angle in an SA helmet.

xtn

2006 McLareghini Bugatterrari, Storm Titanium... installed: air horn, Scroth 4-point ASM harnesses, Sector111 halon extinguisher and mounting bracket, Von Hep exhaust and rear panel delete, Pagid brake pads, red Volks CE28n wheels, Toyo RA-1 tires, Nitron SA coilovers, Sector111 (WorksBell) quick-disconnect steering wheel kit. awaiting installation: Scroth "pull-up" lap belts, Sector111 RTD Brace, Tony's heater bypass mod, and dropped steering rack mounting plates.
xtn is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 06:40 PM
anglophile in exile
 
Aedo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Oz
Posts: 5,446
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaz View Post
Thanks guys for the info...guess I'm really asking, am I less safe wearing a car helmet while on the road on a bike? I'd rather get another car helmet if it is safe -
As Tom and xtn mention there is a viewing port issue of a car helmet on a bike - but the bigger issue (here in Australia anyway) is that car helmets are not certified for bike use. So despite being as good or better unless your helmet is certified for its intended use you run a legal risk but probably not a safety risk (stupid - I agree ). Is this a big issue for you - perhaps not - but it is best to be informed
Aedo is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 05:26 PM
Registered User
 
...m...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,731
...when i visited the simpson factory, the particular helmet model i wanted was available with either an SA or M rating, yet it was literally the same helmet either way - they fitted me with an unstickered helmet off the factory line, then based upon which model i wanted, carried it back and affixed it with the appropriate sticker...

...now i'm sure that's not the case with every helmet - the SMF website notes that SA helmets require an additional flammability test, M helmets require a wider field of view, and SA and K helmets require an additional multi-impact test - but it's entirely possible for a single helmet to meet all three standards, with the sticker differences only being due to licensing...regardless, all SA helmets will meet K standards, some SA and K helmets will meet M standards, and some M helmets will meet K standards, but few M and K helmets will meet SA standards...

2005 Federal Elise | Touring | Storm Titanium
...85,000 miles and aging beautifully...
...m... is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 05:47 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26
FAQs about Snell and Helmets

FAQs]FAQs about Snell and Helmets about Snell and Helmets

also the visor is thicker on SA and K helmets 1/8th"

r
Racing Slick is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 02:44 PM
Registered User
 
TimMullen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chantilly, VA
Posts: 12,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedo View Post
It was explained to me many years ago that the biggest difference is that bike helmets are designed to take one significant hit on one spot
<...>
The cost issue though is simply volume - lots less people race cars than ride bikes.
Nope - Snell rated SA and M helmets (Special Applications, aka Car, and Motorcycle) have to meet the same series of tests consisting of sustanining repeated impacts from a flat plate, a cylinder, a sphere, and a cone (point).

The SA helmet has to withstand an additional impact test simulating a Roll Bar (which shounds like another version of the cylinder impact).

The SA helmet has to meet a minimum flamability test (fireproof).

The M helmet has to meet a requirement for a larger "viewport".

Note that a helmet can meet both standards. A M helmet can have a fireproof liner, it can meet the "Roll Bar" test. An SA helmet can have a large viewport that exceeds the requirement for a M helmet.

And you are correct, the tests are very expensive and are spread over the number of helmets that are sold. Since many more M helmets are sold, they tend to be cheaper, and testing for both standards will increase the costs, and not really sell more helmets, so they tend to be certified to only one standard, even though they can often meet both standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaz View Post
Thanks guys for the info...guess I'm really asking, am I less safe wearing a car helmet while on the road on a bike? I'd rather get another car helmet if it is safe -
It all depends on the helmet. A SA helmet is not really safer than an M helmet, and as noted before, the SA helmet COLUD have a smaller viewport limiting you view that is necessary to see when driving a bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milehitom View Post
Aside from the nomex lining found in auto helmets, another difference is the wider viewing angle of motorcycle helmets. They allow more peripheral vision, necessary in everyday traffic situations.
Yep. That's probably the two biggest differences (keep in mind that a M helmet could have the fireproof lining, and the SA helmet could have a big viewport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedo View Post
As Tom and xtn mention there is a viewing port issue of a car helmet on a bike - but the bigger issue (here in Australia anyway) is that car helmets are not certified for bike use. So despite being as good or better unless your helmet is certified for its intended use you run a legal risk but probably not a safety risk (stupid - I agree ). Is this a big issue for you - perhaps not - but it is best to be informed
Probably not an issue in the US - usually states only require that a helmet meet DOT standards, not Snell, and you could probably meet DOT standards with a construction site hardhat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ...m... View Post
...when i visited the simpson factory, the particular helmet model i wanted was available with either an SA or M rating, yet it was literally the same helmet either way - they fitted me with an unstickered helmet off the factory line, then based upon which model i wanted, carried it back and affixed it with the appropriate sticker...

...now i'm sure that's not the case with every helmet - the SMF website notes that SA helmets require an additional flammability test, M helmets require a wider field of view, and SA and K helmets require an additional multi-impact test - but it's entirely possible for a single helmet to meet all three standards, with the sticker differences only being due to licensing...regardless, all SA helmets will meet K standards, some SA and K helmets will meet M standards, and some M helmets will meet K standards, but few M and K helmets will meet SA standards...
Yep. But any specific helmet MAY meet any/all of the standards, but not be tested to the standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racing Slick View Post
FAQs about Snell and Helmets

FAQs]FAQs about Snell and Helmets about Snell and Helmets

also the visor is thicker on SA and K helmets 1/8th"
Yep. The whole Snell testing proceedure is there - it describes the tests in detail. Most of the standards for the different certifications differ in only a couple of the details (like the extra "Roll Bar" test, etc.).




Tim Mullen --- There is no such thing as Touring suspension or Touring wheels.

I love being married. It's so great to find that one person that you want to annoy for the rest of your life. - Rita Rudner


Chantilly, VA http://members.cox.net/elans4/
05 Lotus Elise - Chrome Orange - No Touring - No LSS - No Hardtop - Lotus Driving Lights - Lotus "Chin Guards" - plain and simple.
94 Miata R Package - Black
72 Lotus Elan Sprint - Colorado Orange/Cirrus White
TimMullen is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 05:05 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6
So guys... would it be OK if I use a motorcycle helmet for karting?

~I got an Arai Vector SNELL2005 rated helmet for my kart races
F_Alonso32 is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 05:36 PM
Registered User
 
sb67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Santa Monica
Posts: 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by snell
The SA and K standards include a rollbar multi impact test while M standard does not.
My understanding has always been than this is the biggest difference between the two; an automotive helmet being made so it can withstand all the bumps against your car/rollbar while driving, and remain intact every time your head hits something if you were to crash. A moto helmet is good for ONE impact -- this includes the idiots who place it on their handlebar or seat, and then knock it to the ground. Dead helmet. My Pyrotect auto helmet has the same visibility field as my Shoei moto helmet, though presumably it has the fire-retardant lining that moto helmets don't have.

I've had a few friends that have sworn by Scorpion helmets for moto, if you wanted a cheaper alternative to use karting (if it's allowed) or to have an extra helmet around. They run about a hundred bucks, and are supposedly fog-free.

2006 Exige "LotusBee"
2008 BMW 135i M-sport (the DD)
2009 Ninja 250R (for sale)
sb67 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community > Motorsports > Safety

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome