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Discussion Starter #1
Does any one know of if a safety study has ever been done on flip up helmets? What I am looking for is if the helmets have been tested if a rider is unfortunate to hit the ground on the chin-area (will the helmet stay together like a full-face helmet)?

Happy 2007!

Shane
 

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Flip up's

Shane
I don't know about any studies (funny how there are not any of these studies isn't it??? And isn't there a message in that) but I do have some first hand observations about two different brands of expensive flip front helmets.

1. Schubert flip up, I think it was called the C-1.
An expensive German helmet. Heavy, has the nice little pull down sun shade. I found that as that helmet loosened up (broke in) a bit from wear and pulling it on, that the latches began to fail - meaning it did not always completely latch. Often, it appeared that the flip down part was fully latched on both sides ----but they were not....only one side was latched. This was not a one time event. I wrote to Schubert and heard nothing back. I liked the helmet a lot so I got another one and it exhibited the same failure. I no longer wear the Schubert because of what might happen. I washed my hands (forever) of flip front helmets and I went to a full face HJC CL-SP (nice review of this helmet in Web Bike World.com), because this failure on the Schuberth was EXACTLY what I feared (and you are thinking about) what might happen with a flip front. I really like the HJC CL-SP. I wear glasses and I have no problem putting the glasses on after I put on the helmet.

#2. My significant other......
She selected a Shoei syncrotec flip front. What I found there is that the screws (more like bolts but they screw in) that hold the flip down part, were loose-even when it was right out of the box I tightened them up and several were loose and *keep* coming loose and this can (will) produce the kind of failure you appear to be (correctly) concerned about. I would suggest that anyone who has a Shoei syncrotec helmet re-check every bolt and screw on their helmet with regularity.

Me, I see no need to wear a flip front anymore and I am quite happy knowing that the business of a possible failure in that flip down mechanism has been eliminated by wearing a full face. We have enough to think about. And.....I am a big chicken........ I always wear Oxtar armored boots, Held or Revit armored gloves, either my Motoport full kevlar mesh, armored 3/4 jacket and armored pants....in warm weather OR my Aerostich one peice in cooler weather.

All this protective gear isn't going to keep me from the so called "Happy Hunting Ground", but I stand a "chance" vs not-so-much-of-a-chance of surviving the inevitable "get off".

Clearly the flip fronts are very very popular (hey I had two) but now that I realize I can e-a-s-i-l-y wear my glasses with a full face, I cannot think of a truly valid reason for wearing anything other than a traditional full face helmet......a good one and that does not necessarily mean an Arai.
Any decent full face will be more quiet and weigh less and be just as cool as a flip front.

And my parting shot.....if you have a flip front and you ride with the lower part of the helmet NOT down and locked, you are riding with the equivalent of a 3/4 and-are-playing-with-fire. (I urge anyone reading this to go read TowMotor's post: My Wreck) Some would go so far as to say you are not too smart because why did you pay for an expensive flip front if you are not going to use it correctly. Of course I would never say such a thing but you get my point. ATGATT. Remember the little abreviation: ATGATT. All The Gear, All The Time. How can you go wrong. Stack the deck in your favor.
 

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Frisky - agree with your analysis 100%. But my conclusions are a little different. I elect to use the flip front helmet just because I can flip it up for the short stops to converse with another, to open to have a quick drink, or to easy changing or cleaning of glasses. I do not feel my safety is compromised using a flip up, as a get-off violent enough to destroy the latch will likely be enough that a head encased in concrete would not survive. Likely a broken neck, acute internal injuries, whatever.

In other words, I have traded off what I would call some very marginal safety factor for some to me very real convenience. Something like putting zippers in a coat - they will leak air and water, but makes it a lot easier to get on and off.
 

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Shane,
There are no flip front/modular helmets that are Snell approved but there are several that meet the European safety standards.

I copied this directly from Snell's website.

Why won't Snell certify some types of helmets like flip up front designs?
Snell does not dismiss out of hand any helmet design that strays from the conventional. Snell does not point out any design specifications other than general requirements in our standards. We are however, always concerned with innovations and new designs that may effect the helmet's ability to protect the wearer, or in some cases the helmets potential to cause injury. At present the Foundation has not had the opportunity to test any of the flip up front type helmets for certification. We do not find any fault with these designs as long as they are used according to the manufacturers instructions and meet all of the requirements of the standard. We will also certify any size of helmet as long as it meets the same requirements as any other Snell certified helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WNGNUT,

Since many American riders look for the SNELL certification as a SAFETY STANDARD, I wonder why no manufacturers have sent Snell a flip-up helmet for certification? I guess I will wait until Snell certifies one. I still prefer CHEWING my food to STRAWS :shock:!

Happy 2007!

Shane
 

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Here is a real-life test example:

We were riding with another couple traveling on their GL1800 behind our bikes. They were wearing HJC Symax flip face helmets when they went down on the Interstate at approximately 65mph. Both of them landed face first on the pavement, before sliding into a grassy median area. The rider's helmet was gouged in the front and on both sides from where his head slid across the pavement. The passenger's helmet was impacted on two sides, if I remember correctly. Both helmets held up. The chinbars withstood the impact. None of the hinges sprung and the latching mechanisms still worked on both helmets. We were impressed with how well the helmets withstood the impact. Made us much more comfortable about wearing them (which we were at the time).
 

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IMHO.. flip up helmets are inheritly not as safe as the full face...

1st point... it would not be that difficult to snag the release .. then your face is no longer protected...

2nd point.. I have seen some riders with the face flipped up while riding
(i know .. not recommended) ..point i am making some do not always practice safety.. but my FULL face is always in place while riding.......

cosmic
 

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Shane,
You should buy and wear whatever helmet fits your wants and needs. I'm not trying to talk you into one style over another. I would suggest that you read up on the SNELL testing and the European testing and then you can decide if you want a modular one or not. There are SNELL approved open face helmets so the SNELL rating doesn't mean full face protection.

I can send you some more info. on the tests if you are interested.
 

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I choose to wear a full face. Check em all out. Let the comfort be your guide and buy what makes you happy. Don't drop that helmet,they all scratch easily.
 

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I went to a Symax earlier this year... (Too handsum to risk it any more).. :) The hinges and latches lock tight, and the catch is NOT easy to snag and open accidentally.. Its very easy to put on and off over glasses, keeps my headsets at a good distance from my ears, and is about as quiet as any helmet I've ever seen. I think it's very comfortable.

The only hazard I can see is riding with the face flipped up. You catch more wind with it open like that, so a cross-wind can snatch your head pretty easily. And of course, if you DO go down, it's like having a big handle attached to your head waiting to catch on something and jerk your head off your neck. Fortunately, this hazard is 100% preventable.
 

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I've always felt the my flip face may not be quite as secure as a full face,but the chin bar should take the initial impact before breaking.
At least there's more there than an open face.
 

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The reason no flip helmet is Snell approved can be demonstrated by looking at the design of the shell to accomodate the mechanism.. Squeeze the shell from the sides with the flip up then latched, and then try it on a FF.. You will see a very graphic difference.. Use your own judgment, most flips are very high quality, but they do wiegh quite a bit more and can be noisy..
 

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We have the Nolan Xlite X-1002 flip front helmets. One of the deciding factors on these units is the stainless steel latching mechinisim. We are both also in the habit of verifying the front is latched tight when we close them.
 

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bluewing05 said:
At the M.S.F. class that I attended last June , the instructor told us that the flip up style helmets do not afford any more protection than a open face helmet! And could be even more likely to sustain more injury in an accident because of the way they are made. ( the front piece could break off and cause more injury)
Did your instructor have any proof to back up this statement? I'd sure like to see it.
 

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I crashed with the older Nolan flip front.......damaged the helmet,face shield,and all my riding gear.......but the chin bar didn't open or break.... worked for me...so I got another one......I do like the convenience of taking a drink,talking to someone or just opening it at a stop.....I also don't think a MSF instructor should condemn a helmet that is DOT certified unless they happen to know a whole lot more than the testing labs,as I'm sure if they were that unsafe they wouldn't rate a DOT sticker.......joy
 

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On March 4, 1973 I was wearing what today would be called a $10 3/4 helmet with a flexible clear wrap around shield. I was carving 30 mph curves at 80 mph on my 1971 Honda 500 four till this curve yeild gravel and an on coming 2 1/2 ton Army truck.

I went off road right into a drainage ditch which kept my bike as I did my best as a human cannon ball. I landed on my back then my face and kept on tumbling in the wet grass and mud (snow melting) over and over.

I was medavac to our base hospital, after many x-rays nothing was found to be broken. I had no facial or head injuries, despite hitting my head and denting the gas tank just before being launched off the bike.

My "$10" helmet was gouged in many places and the clear plastic shield was all scratched up, but intact. The point is, this "$10" helmet did its job and I was able to return back to my barracks that evening.

Fast forward to President's day weekend 1990, my brothers best friend was riding his mid size Ninja a couple blocks from his NJ home. Witnesses stated he wasn't going any faster than about 35 mph when he ran over a man hole cover lost some control till his wheel hit the curb and was thrown off his bike. He died at the scene of a broken neck wearing his $400 Shoei full face helmet on his neighbor's lawn.

No helmet is a guarantee, so be careful...
 

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I would like to ask just one question about flip-up helmets...

why don't motorcycle racers use them ? every time I watch road racers
they wear full face helmets.. that should tell you which helmet offers the most protection... don't know about you... but I like my face intact...

cosmic
 

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... MAY not be as good in a crash as a full face helmet because the chin can come open on impact.
Question:
Are there any data to show how many flip-ups have popped open?
if not,
are there any news reports of flip-ups popping open?
... or, any other known "pop open" stories?

I'm not being argumentative, just trying to collect some information before I buy another helmet.

Thanks,
Dennis
 

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cosmic_chariot said:
I would like to ask just one question about flip-up helmets...

why don't motorcycle racers use them ? every time I watch road racers
they wear full face helmets.. that should tell you which helmet offers the most protection... don't know about you... but I like my face intact...

cosmic
Cosmic,,I am a full face helmet guy too..if I want a drink..I stop and take my helmet off and take a drink, If I want to talk to someone,,i either talk louder or pull down on my chin bar a little....I don't think racers have time to drink or talk is why they don't use them,,,,,I prefer a full face and that is what i am going to wear...as someone stated earlier...it isn't a guarantee,,,NOW..if only I could get my chlostrophic wife to wear a full face,,,I would be a happier man !!!!!!
 
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