Thursday, March 21, 2013

Will Head-Shape Study Get Helmet Makers' Attention?

Click over to webBikeWorld to read its report of a recent German study that has concluded what helmet-wearing motorcyclists already know: human noggins aren't all the same shape!  wBW has been all over this issue for many years, and has compiled what must be the world's most comprehensive data on helmet models and corresponding head shapes.  Arai, which has for years made and marketed helmets for a range of head shapes, seems to be the only helmet manufacturer who publicly admits to understanding the head-shape issue . Sure, a very few helmet models by makers other than Arai have deviated towards the more extremes of head shapes on the pencil-thin to basketball spectrum, but those seemed to be almost by accident, as evidenced by the fact that none have been marketed for specific head shapes.

Of course, helmet manufacturers have known just as well as their customers that not all brain-cases fit the same into a given internal helmet shape, and that disparities between head and helmet shapes can cause undesirable results, such as painful "hot spots," excessive air gaps, buffeting, etc.  Its also painfully (pun intended) obvious that money concerns factor heavily in the helmet makers' decisions to not develop and sell a range of shapes. Though I haven't seen a study regarding the issue of reduced crash safety in a helmet ill-shaped to the rider, it certainly doesn't seem to be worth the risk.  Perhaps studies such as this one, and market pressure by riders, will someday sway some makers, perhaps the larger ones (looking at you, Shoei!), to get on board.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Equinox to Equinox Rally

Even the non-Druids among us are certain to enjoy this event -- a photo bonus rally hosted by the same fine (and only somewhat twisted) folks who produce the awesome "anything and everything moto-related" The Pace Podcast. Participants will collect as many points as possible between the Vernal (March 20) and Autumnal (September 22nd) equinoxes by visiting locations/finding items corresponding to categories that will be revealed at midnight on the 20th.  The typical rules apply, i.e. documenting each visit with a photograph, which must also include the rider's motorcycle and rally-issued ID number.  That's about it for rules, which seems in keeping with what appears to be an event designed to encourage riders to get out on their bikes and have fun, rather than emphasizing the competition-factor. So whaddya waiting for?  Click over to The Pace's Equinox to Equinox Rally page for more rally and registration details.

(Thanks to FuzzyGalore for making me aware of this event.)

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