Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th January 2014, 11:22   #1
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,381
Thanked: 22,612 Times
Default Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Recreational biking on 'lifestyle' bikes like Harleys, Triumphs and Bullets is really growing in popularity in India. Along with these bikes also comes a pre-defined 'image' for the people riding them.

You gotta admit, this looks pretty bad-ass:
Name:  551608_10151399854893688_25469065_n.jpg
Views: 49603
Size:  154.1 KB

A small but significant part of this 'image' is the use of open-face helmets:
Name:  Pic3.jpg
Views: 40832
Size:  214.0 KB

But there's a problem. And it's a growing problem. Bikers are putting looks and comfort ahead of functionality and safety.

Common sense would tell you that open-face helmets are not as safe as full-face helmets; but without knowing the specific figures it's easy for bikers to say that they're willing to take that additional risk.

Research has shown the exact distribution of impact zones on helmets during bike crashes:
Name:  Helmet Impact Zones.png
Views: 52888
Size:  354.4 KB
For a more detailed break-up, see the original image.

Can you see where the highest impact zone is?
It's the chin area, and with 34.6% of all impacts, it is a whopping 16% more than the second highest impact zone!

The figures themselves answer the question of exactly how much safer full-face helmets are, when compared to open-face helmets:
Name:  Openfacehurt.JPG
Views: 44532
Size:  101.7 KB

And make that figure 44.5% more OUCH! if your open-face helmet does not have a visor:
Name:  hallofpain.jpg
Views: 53827
Size:  69.4 KB
image


Here's another true story from a bicycle rider (via VintageBMX forums):

Quote:
Trey, not that I want to discourage you from getting an open face helmet, but this is what I looked like the day after the last time I wore one. Echo helmet with brand new Haro mouthguard.
Name:  TheWreck.jpg
Views: 54899
Size:  17.6 KB
The mouthguard basically slid under my chin and my glasses went through my cheek. Mainly it was just scraped up face, but I did need 13 stitches to close up a few holes left from my glasses.

I suggest the Full face, which before that wreck I would never have said.

A Quick Reminder About Helmets:

• Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% in a crash.
• Helmets are estimated to reduce the likelihood of death in a motorcycle crash by 37%.
• Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of motorcycle crash death.
• Even when not fatal, debilitating head injuries can mean a lifetime of costly rehabilitation and severe trauma for those involved.
• Treating severe traumatic brain injuries costs 13 times more than non-brain injuries.
• Un-helmeted riders are 40% more likely to die from a head injury than someone wearing a helmet.
- Source


Useful Helmet Threads:

1
2 (Pictorial : Why you should wear a HELMET)
3 (Helmets : Facts you must know about their efficacy)
4

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 24th January 2014 at 12:46. Reason: Adding 4th useful thread
Rehaan is offline   (52) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 13:13   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,381
Thanked: 22,612 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Oh and one more thing. These helmets aren't really too different from each other:
Name:  skid2Blid2Bmotorcycle2Bhelmet.jpg
Views: 39167
Size:  57.9 KB
source

Name:  bucket2Bhead.jpg
Views: 39482
Size:  21.3 KB
source


Adding in this real-life experience from BHPian frozen Heat:
Quote:
Originally Posted by frozen Heat View Post
Hi all,
Relating about my accident.
I was on my way to matheran wit 4 friends and two enfields. On my way past mc donalds in panvel i saw a truck on the wrong side of the road and rammed into it. The accident turned out to be so bad tat i broke my jaw in 6 places, fractures my right hand, broke my front 4 teeth and ended up wit multiple glass pieces from my glares, in my eye. My eyelid was slit into half. One of my friend sitting behind me fractured his hand too. The driver fled the scene leaving the truck behind.

Luckily i had people around to help my other two friends. A big piece of glass was stuck in my eye which the locals pulled out on the street before taking me to Gandhi hospital in panvel. Later i and my friend were shifted to kokilaben hospital in Mumbai where the doctors weren't sure if i was going to make it. I had two major surgeries which went for 16 hrs at a stretch in which the docs removed 7 more small pieces of glass from my eye. My chances were slim but by god's grace i made it. The accident set my family back by 7-8 lacs.

It was a long 6 months recovery and a very stressful and painful one at that.

I couldn't remember how the event transpired. The impact was so bad tat i lost 15 mins of my memory of the incident. Only when a cop from panvel who came to my house for signing the statement, was i informed that the truck driver was caught and he confessed that it was his fault as he was driving his truck on the wrong side of the road. Later he was released on a bail of 5000 rs and the truck was given back to the owner. So basically it was not a big deal because i did'nt die. Sucks to be an indian.

Well, i repaired my bike n i still ride. But now i am left with a hillbilly eye and an asymmetrical face.









Quote:
Originally Posted by frozen Heat View Post
Yes. You are right. I was wearing a vega open face helmet.


cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th January 2014 at 20:56.
Rehaan is offline   (29) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 13:34   #3
BHPian
 
ashkamath's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Vasco-Goa
Posts: 345
Thanked: 310 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Oh and one more thing. These helmets aren't really too different from each other:

Attachment 1190655
source

cya
R
The guy is really a duffer or this snap is just for a few laughs. One can see a open face real helmet sitting pretty at the front of the bike.

But point is well taken and what you have said earlier in this thread is an eye opener and going ahead, probably some one in this forum could make a life saving decision based on the facts laid down by you. Thanks
ashkamath is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 13:37   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
srishiva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 3,581
Thanked: 823 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Thanks for bringing the Chin aspect.
I watched a show just last week on motorcycle safety and was surprised to hear that Chin suffers injuries for the major part of accidents. The govt should mandate use of Chin protecting helmets plus a neck strap indicator
srishiva is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 13:40   #5
BHPian
 
Akhilash95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 141
Thanked: 61 Times
Default

I have been trying to convince my father to buy a modular helmet since the last the 3 months who is currently using a open face helmet without a visor. This should be a good read for him to convince himself to buy one.

Last edited by Akhilash95 : 14th January 2014 at 13:41.
Akhilash95 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 13:41   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
sagarpadaki's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 2,632
Thanked: 1,257 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Totally agree with you Rehaan . FFH offer the maximum protection . Along with added protection they give good insulation against wind and chill.

Now a days Modular Helmets or semi full face helmets are a fad. Example Vega boolean, studds ninja etc. While they look good and have a optional functionailty of flipping over when you need that wind in your face feeling, they score pretty bad on impacts. So if one is going for a modular helmet then the top quality ones from reputed brands must be bought.

Best is a FFH. Next best is a Modular from a top quality brand
sagarpadaki is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 13:46   #7
BHPian
 
Akhilash95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 141
Thanked: 61 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
Totally agree with you Rehaan . FFH offer the maximum protection . Along with added protection they give good insulation against wind and chill. Now a days Modular Helmets or semi full face helmets are a fad. Example Vega boolean, studds ninja etc. Best is a FFH. Next best is a Modular from a top quality brand
Totally agree with that a full face helmet provides the best protection. People who wear prescription glasses will know the need for a modular helmet. It makes wearing a helmet a easier task and prevent the spectacles from breaking easily. It's best we use it for that purpose and not for the wind in the face effect :-P

Last edited by Akhilash95 : 14th January 2014 at 13:48.
Akhilash95 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 14:16   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
n_aditya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Posts: 5,206
Thanked: 2,747 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Good thread and I'd also like to add that while we are advocating the use of helmets, it's imperative and critical that the helmet is properly secured with the strap.

A properly secured helmet ensures that on impact it does not get flung off and remains on the rider's head, thereby serving the sole purpose it was made or worn for.

A helmet should also be discarded when it has been subjected to any impact (even dropping it from a low height such as waist level) as it suffers structural damage which might not be evident to the naked eye. Helmets carry the one impact rule so please avoid using such helmets even for the neighborhood grocery shopping ride.
n_aditya is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 14:20   #9
BHPian
 
Cyrus_the_virus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 158
Thanked: 156 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhilash95 View Post
Totally agree with that a full face helmet provides the best protection. People who wear prescription glasses will know the need for a modular helmet. It makes wearing a helmet a easier task and prevent the spectacles from breaking easily. It's best we use it for that purpose and not for the wind in the face effect :-P
I have been using a full face helmets for the last 12Yrs. Not once has the helmet itself or the act of wearing and removing the spectacles broken or damaged my spectacles in any way whatsoever!

Not that you are doing this but in general.. anyone and I mean anyone who gives excuses like it will break my spectacles or that it feels claustrophobic or that it's not easy to hear the traffic horns or that impedes your vision and rides around without a full face helmet is...is.. well I can't even begin to describe their stupidity. Whenever I see someone riding without a helmet especially those 'heros' trying to cut through traffic, I keep telling them in my mind, wait till you get your face plastered on the tarmac and lets see how you ride after that!

I have had a collegue of mine who suffered horrible chin fractures to the extent that he needed reconstructive surgery. Needless to say, the way his toungue was injured made him a mime so to speak. I lost touch but never found out if he was able to speak properly again. All this thanks to the open face helmet he was wearing.

Anybody wearing an open face helmet assuming it will protect your brain from injury, all I'll say is - What good is your brain if you don't have a face to put on it?

Last edited by Cyrus_the_virus : 14th January 2014 at 14:23.
Cyrus_the_virus is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 15:14   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 406
Thanked: 577 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Thanks for a really useful and informative thread!

I would like to add my thoughts to your thread. There is a compromise available: the flip-up or modular helmet.

It offers the convenience of an open face helmet but better protection than it. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is as safe a proper full face helmet but with the chin guard closed, it's definitely much safer than an open face helmet.

A poor quality flip-up helmet would not have a strong hinge and lock mechanism and could break open in a crash, so don't skimp on buying a good quality helmet!

EDIT1: Other beat me to mentioning the modular helmet so my info above is redundant!

EDIT2: The impact injury diagram also reminds me to say that to make sure that your helmet sits firmly on your head and doesn't easily move up and down over your chin. Buying a loose fitting helmet is inviting injury in a crash!

Last edited by Motard_Blr : 14th January 2014 at 15:19.
Motard_Blr is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 15:19   #11
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,381
Thanked: 22,612 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhilash95 View Post
People who wear prescription glasses will know the need for a modular helmet. It makes wearing a helmet a easier task and prevent the spectacles from breaking easily.
No doubt it's easier, but from the little i know about the modular helmets, they are still nowhere near as safe as a full-face helmet.

Another issue is that the helmet testing isn't done according to these impact areas. So even if a modular helmet meets the needs for certification, it's unclear how safe they actually are. See below:
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://rideapart.com/2012/01/icon-x-dietmar-otte/
But why paint Otte’s numbers on an Icon helmet?

Icon agrees that there’s a lot of problems with the Snell safety standard. For instance, it dictates two major impacts to that .4 percent circle, and only tests chin bar strength by dropping a 5 pound weight directly on the front of the chin bar, ignoring both sides of the jaw that receive large percentages of impact.
Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
I watched a show just last week on motorcycle safety and was surprised to hear that Chin suffers injuries for the major part of accidents.
Given that the top suffers only 0.4% of impacts, perhaps some kind of opening / vent there could be incorporated in future designs to aid cooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
Good thread and I'd also like to add that while we are advocating the use of helmets, it's imperative and critical that the helmet is properly secured with the strap.
This +10000!

Wearing a helmet but not clipping it on tight is like pulling a seat-belt across your chest but not clicking it in!

The first thing that will happen on an impact is that your helmet will fly off. Unforunately I've seen this happen right before my eyes, and the biker was going at just 40-60 km/h. His helmet flew off, and he hit his head and suffered brain injuries. He succumbed to them a few days later in hospital.

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th January 2014 at 15:26.
Rehaan is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 15:37   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
comfortablynumb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,299
Thanked: 904 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Another couple of related links: http://www.smf.org/home, http://msf-usa.org/downloads/helmet_CSI.pdf

Of particular interest is this link: http://www.smf.org/helmetfaq#aWhyReplace

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 14th January 2014 at 15:38.
comfortablynumb is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 15:48   #13
Distinguished - BHPian
 
saket77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 3,192
Thanked: 4,254 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Rehaan, this thread is an eye opener. And probably has busted a lot of myths when it comes to full face/ open face helmets.

I have been using an open face helmet but the statistical data on the chin area is really high...so high that it simply cannot be ignored. Thanks for the valuable information.

Regards,
Saket
saket77 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 15:59   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,103
Thanked: 1,498 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
Best is a FFH. Next best is a Modular from a top quality brand
Agree. I have a first hand experience of Vega Boolean modular helmet in family, and I will definitely recommend it to people who must have the open face flexibility. Other brands like Studds are quite fragile when it comes to modular.

For me, I will never trust any helmet other than full face. Have tested the safety of the chin guard first hand . Had it not been my trustworthy helmet taking the brunt, I would have a broken chin with a few missing teeth now.

That's why the new Yamaha helmets or Fastrack helmets launched in much fanfare fail to impress, because they are open face ones with colourful top.
ani_meher is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2014, 16:09   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
sagarpadaki's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 2,632
Thanked: 1,257 Times
Default Re: Open Face vs. Full Face Helmets : How Safe are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
Agree. I have a first hand experience of Vega Boolean modular helmet in family, and I will definitely recommend it to people who must have the open face flexibility. Other brands like Studds are quite fragile when it comes to modular.

For me, I will never trust any helmet other than full face. Have tested the safety of the chin guard first hand . Had it not been my trustworthy helmet taking the brunt, I would have a broken chin with a few missing teeth now.

That's why the new Yamaha helmets or Fastrack helmets launched in much fanfare fail to impress, because they are open face ones with colourful top.
I have used Vega boolean and i was not satisfied with it. It is good for low speeds. Anything more than 60 and you will feel the helmet trying to take off from your head!

Good quality modular helmets come from brands like Bull, Shark, Nolan etc .They are engineered to high quality. The local ones like vega, studds don't even make the cut!

But FFH anyday for the complete protection it offers.

FFH or modular - No use if you don't buckle up the helmet. Buckling up is not sufficient. One has to ensure that the strap is fastened tightly across your chin and not dangling below the chin like a swing!
sagarpadaki is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Face to face with an angry tiger drkakkilaya Travelogues 49 22nd June 2012 18:46
Full face-helmets not mandatory in US xingamazon Motorbikes 28 8th March 2011 23:21
Safari Vs Sumo Grande - A face off, how they stand... shatrughna Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 54 11th August 2010 23:09
Open open open Sesame!! VJ_MAVRICK Shifting gears 12 10th January 2008 15:24
Why it's advisable to have coloured helmets or stickers on helmets ? mithun Motorbikes 12 9th January 2007 16:51


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 17:26.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks