DOT vs Snell vs ECE vs BSI

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ThatOtherGuy, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Been here awhile

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    I know that in the United States the DOT is the standard that a helmet has to pass to be legal for use.

    What I don't get is the difference between ECE, BSI, and Snell ratings.

    Could someone please explain the difference or link me to an article that does?
    #1
  2. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    Tell me how you are going to crash & I'll tell you what type of helmet to wear.
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  3. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    Motorcyclist Magazine had a great comparison in their June 2005 issue. It used to be online, but I can't seem to find it now.

    If you can find a copy of that issue, though, it contains a great article on the subject.
    #3
  4. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Been here awhile

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    I see...
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  5. Kbetts

    Kbetts Long timer

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  6. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Been here awhile

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    Thanks, good links. :clap
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  7. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    good links indeed.

    now i think i understand why the june 2005 article is no longer on the motorcyclist magazine website.

    and i know i will never read or trust anything that magazine publishes again (meaning the original article hit the nail on the head, but motorcyclist pulled it for unethical reasons...and so i no longer trust in their objectivity).
    #7
  8. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    This is why the only subscription I have is for Motorcycle Consumer News. They have no advertising. I prefer the Brit magazines, anyway. More expensive, but they have a lot more content for the dollar.
    #8
  9. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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  10. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    :1drink
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  11. Kbetts

    Kbetts Long timer

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  12. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    Good info......I'm looking into a new helmet this spring, I'm gonna keep all this in mind. Makes me feel a little better about my DOT approved helmet.
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  13. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Absolutely nothing wrong with DOT or Snell or any other nationally recognized rating. Like Dakez said, just buy one that fits correctly (I see way too many people wearing helmets that are way too loose -- it is supposed to be snug to tight on your cheeks!) and wear it every time you ride.
    #13
  14. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    As far as unethical motorcycle magazine behavior. All I can say is Duh!

    I was a young lad when I bought a motorcycle that was so highly rated.by ALL the magazines. An 82 Honda VF750 Sabre.

    It is with out a doubt the worst motorcycle I ever owned. Now Honda did eventually make good V4. This was NOT it. I hated it.

    Now I make up my own mind. All the magazines pan the Telelever suspension. Well, it feels different, but pay attention, feedback is there. It is really pretty darn good, and then stick on an Ohlins. Once you learn it, I really do not want anything else. The writer can not ride a bike a bit, and know it. When when they can get fired for telling the truth, sigh.

    Re.helmets. Fit/comfort/venting/faceshield is most important. Any decent full face helmet is so much better than no helmet, the difference between brands is slight. Sure, IF your helmet were to fail, and somehow the rest of you survived, it would be bad. It happens, not often, but I am sure it happens. And we will never know if the low cost brand failed, if the expensive brand would have saved you, it might have been worse.. Compared to the no helmet carnage, huge improvement with any helmet.. Spend the extra $300 on training, tires, gas, armor and have some fun.

    Rod
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  15. thistle66

    thistle66 Been here awhile

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    Looks like they just quoted verbatim from whatever spin Snell gave them.

    And lol at this logic fail:

    "The chief virtue of the Snell M2010 standard is that it will enable a “world helmet” which will provide Snell levels of protection to riders in Europe as well as in North America."
    #15
  16. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    ^^^ This ^^^

    Spending the money you save on training is far more likely to pay dividends.
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  17. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    I won't argue that that wearing any helmet is better than no helmet...this goes without saying. However being an informed consumer helps me make a decision when purchasing anything. I want the best I can get for my money and that doesn't always mean the most expensive. That's the point the article makes the $80 DOT helmet was safer than the $400 Snell helmet so knowing that you can save that money and spend it on something else....like training.

    So no I'm not going to slap just any bucket on my head because its better than nothing. I'm gonna do a little research, try on the ones that I think will work for me so I know they fit right and give myself better odds than,...."better than nothing".
    #17
  18. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    yes, any helmet is far, far better than no helmet.

    but, a helmet that absorbs impact energy is definitely going to be better than one that transmits it to your head.

    it's the same principle as crumple zones in modern cars...which make them much safer than older cars without them in collisions (even though being in any car is far, far better than being a pedestrian in a collision).
    #18
  19. helixblue

    helixblue Daredevil Clutz

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    I found this site to be useful in comparing impact ratings between helmets with different and or multiple standards ratings:

    http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/

    The most interesting, but probably least useful feature is seeing the severity of impact for different parts of the head for each helmet tested:

    [​IMG]

    It would be nice if there was an equivalent site for helmets that are only sold in the US however. My Scorpion EXO-700 does a pretty decent job by their tests. Like the current standards, It is worth noting that the SHARP tests do not take into account rotational injury, so superskin helmets like the Lazer Solano see no advantage on them.
    #19
  20. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    Here's the actual Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, called the DOT standard, in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations section 571.218
    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/get-cfr.cgi?TITLE=49&PART=571&SECTION=218&YEAR=2001&TYPE=PDF

    One thing about the FMVSS218 standard is that it only tests the top of the helmet, so half-helmets can qualify for the DOT approval.

    This shows the small number of helmets that NHSTA tests, and the ones that fail for functional reasons, not just labeling or something.
    http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/testing/comply/fmvss218/

    This and following pages of this link shows where the Snell M2010 standards meet and where they differ from ECE and DOT standards.
    http://snellm2010.org/testingM2010.html

    One think I find impressive is the limit on shock the helmet is allowed to transfer to the head, 275 Gs for Snell & ECE vs. 400 Gs for FMVSS218 (DOT). The harder the brain is allowed to bounce around inside the skull, the more brain damage occurs.
    http://snellm2010.org/morePeakAcceleration.html

    Snell M2010 helmets are available from about US$100 and up. As said above, and well documented by webbikeworld.com, helmet interior shape to match the rider's head shape is a critical part of proper helmet sizing and fit and safety.
    http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/motorcycle-helmet-shapes.htm
    #20