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Driving Techniques Discuss things like how to launch your car, or turn in points, correct steering position, etc.

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Old Apr 2, 2007, 01:27 PM   #1
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helmets: what's the difference between motorcycle and car helmets?

Hi,

Am looking into doing my 1st HPDE soon and have a couple motorcycle helmets, but not one meant for car use.

Are there major differences between the 2 types of helmets so I'd want to buy
one for automotive events? Thanks.
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Old Apr 2, 2007, 02:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by HobieKopek View Post
You wear a car helmet when operating a car. You wear a motorcycle helmet while operating a motorcycle or moped.

Boy, that was easy!
Yeah that and not to mention that car helmets are lined with nomex so when you are knocked out inside your car that is on fire your face/head is being protected.
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Old Apr 2, 2007, 02:24 PM   #3
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fire safety...
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Old Apr 2, 2007, 03:40 PM   #4
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Old Apr 2, 2007, 05:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by straylight9 View Post
Hi,

Am looking into doing my 1st HPDE soon and have a couple motorcycle helmets, but not one meant for car use.

Are there major differences between the 2 types of helmets so I'd want to buy
one for automotive events? Thanks.
Hey Stray,
Your best bet is to indeed get a new helmet meant for High Performance Driving as I am imagining thats what your event is going to be in... unfortunately I will now explain why... feel free to ignore the rest of this reply...
1) Let me first say to get a helmet that is SNELL certified which would mean that it has gone through some rigorous testing (atleast rigorous in terms of helmet testing) which would hold it to higher standards.
2) All helmets go through routine testing that would ideally simulate the normal stresses a praticular helmet would go through. For instance, all helmets that are SNELL certified will go though a test which would assess how well it distributes energy from an impact. However, certain helmets go through more or less rigorous testing depending on the use.
3) For car racing helmets in particular, SNELL will go through an extra flammability test which motorcycle helmets will not. Racing helmets will also go through a rollbar impact test.
4) I also "believe" that autoracing helmets have a thicker shield, but this I am not positive of.

I am no professional driver, but I took a course while I was persuing my engineering degree that hit briefly upon the subject of analyzing testing methods for helmets. All this information can be found on the SNELL website and I would imagine would also been on the DOT website as well.

Just remember, it's always your safest bet to go with a SNELL certified helmet that was designed specifically for what you are going to use it for.

Hope this helps.
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Old Apr 3, 2007, 01:52 PM   #6
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Thanks guys... that was very useful info. I'm planning to buy a Snell
certified car racing helmet now!
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Old Apr 3, 2007, 01:58 PM   #7
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The M rated helmets are typically designed for one major impact. The SA rated helmets are (as biomedman stated) designed for roll cage impacts, namely multiple major impacts as your car is flipping through the air.

There are other issues, such as visibility, that come into play, so a SA rated helment may not work for motorcycle applications because of a smaller eye opening.
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Old Apr 3, 2007, 07:13 PM   #8
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If you plan on tracking a good bit and like your head find a SA2005 that you will be able to use for years to come. I know some places have loaner helmets for your first day or two so you can make sure you like what your getting into. How many track days see folks leave half way in and never come back? Why buy a new helmet unless your sure?
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Old Apr 4, 2007, 07:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straylight9 View Post
Hi,

Am looking into doing my 1st HPDE soon and have a couple motorcycle helmets, but not one meant for car use.

Are there major differences between the 2 types of helmets so I'd want to buy
one for automotive events? Thanks.

As long as the helmets are DOT and snell 2000 approved you are fine. I ride/race cars and Motorcycles on NHRA events and that is what they look for.

You can get them from $90 and up and full face cover from $120 and up.

Carlos
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Old Apr 5, 2007, 12:19 PM   #10
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Where at.. any good places online where one could look at helemets and purchase.. also if possible.. any place that can produce a custom helmet.. reffering to drawing only.. not specs.. just thought it be cool to customize my own helmet with my design.
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Old Apr 5, 2007, 05:01 PM   #11
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Try www.speedwaremotorsports.com

They also have a custom helmet painting service.

If you want more of a custom-fit helmet, check out www.subesports.com and look at the Stand 21 helmets. Just be prepared to spend big $$$$.
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Old Sep 25, 2013, 05:11 AM   #12
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Hi guys,

I know the topic is quite old, but please let me make a comment.
I am a helmet graphic designer, and I am a fan of helmets. I used to design on different types of helmets, and I know from my customers, that motorcycle and car racing helmets are quite different. So I think safety is first, and helmet should be taken seriously.

By the way, I read about designs, if you are interested, please take a look at my website, I created more than 40 designs in 3D, and I would be happy for any critics or comments by you

http://www.barthdesigns.hu

Thanks!
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Old Sep 30, 2013, 02:20 PM   #13
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hey i am from Hungary too , but i am living in the states cool website you have
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 03:11 AM   #14
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Wow that is fantastic! So good to read that!

And thank you very much for your kind words regarding my website
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Old Mar 22, 2014, 06:05 PM   #15
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Your helmet choice will depend on your racing club's' guidelines. Usually something like a solo event/ autocross only requires DOT certification. Anything racing bumper to bumper or with crashes a possibility usually want SNELL or ECE ratings current.
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Old Mar 22, 2014, 06:05 PM
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