There are many motorcycle helmets that are manufactured nowadays. A motorcyclist looks for a motorcycle helmet that can keep him safe on the road. One important thing to consider in buying a motorcycle helmet is its ability to absorb impact and the effectiveness of its retention system. These are tested by the performance standards for a motorcycle helmet. These performance standards include some private organizations and government standards.
The Helmet Tests
Motorcycle helmets are tested, designed, and manufactured to comply with the performance standards. These tests include placing an object that serves as a head inside the helmet. The object is weighted and holds instruments that determine the G- forces and the liner velocity. Then they will slip the helmet down a rail at an extreme speed to hit an anvil. The anvil is shaped based on the particular test that is being used. Once the impact is done, the G-force that is applied on the object is measured. Then the test is recapped on the impact point to ensure that the helmet can shield from numerous impact. These are done by helmet standards such as the ECE.
The ECE 22.05 Helmet Safety Standards
The ECE or the Economic Community of Europe 22.05 is created by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. This is the most common helmet standard that is used globally in over 50 countries all around the world.
The ECE 22.05 helmets are approved for competitions conducted by FIM, MotoGP, Formula USA, AMA, CCS, and WERA, among others. These helmets are also used by professional motorcycle racers in competition for off-road events, motocross, and championship racing.
The ECE 22.05 standard requires mandatory batch testing of helmets before they will be released in the market. It is also similar with the Department of Transportation (DOT) standard that is applied in the United States. This standard includes a peripheral vision of 105 degrees from the midline of the helmet. It also allows peak acceleration energy at the head form of 275 Gravity Constant.
The impact absorption testing involves a drop test from an elevated height on a steel anvil that has a head form that is fitted inside. This measures the energy that is transmitted. The retention system is also tested with a free-fall drop test of 22.0 lb. weight from a fixed height of 29.5 inches. This is connected to the secured chin strap. The displacement of the attachment point must not be more than 1.37 inches.
The strap material and the chin strap buckle system are also tested. The strap material must have a tension failure load that is not less than 674.4 lb. The chin strap buckle system is examined for slippage under load. They will also check the durability and the ease of release of the buckle system.
Other ECE standards include a projection from the helmet that would not exceed by 2mm. The severity of the helmet is also assessed by calculating the deformation of the shell of the helmet when a load of 141.6 lb. is applied.
In addition to these, the ECE requires of presenting of up to 50 sample visors/helmets to a particular laboratory that is working for the government that uses the ECE standards and a batch sampling when production starts.
The ECE standards use the following codes: “NP stands for a helmet that has a non-protective lower face cover; “P for the helmet that has a protective lower face cover, and “J” for the helmet that does not have a lower face cover. These are stated as ECE 22.05NP, ECE 22.05P, and ECE 22.05J.
Helmets that are approved by ECE or the Economic Community of Europe provide maximum protection. Furthermore, these helmets offer comfort because they are light weight. This standard is familiar with the Department of Transportation and Snell Memorial Foundation. And it would likely qualify the DOT tests and vice- versa.