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Protective Gear Question

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Knightslugger

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Protective Gear Question
« on: December 07, 2009, 12:26:58 am »
Hello everyone!

I'll be competing in the Amatuer Middleweight classes next year and have a quick question about tech as i'm sure they are a little more stringent that a trackday.

I took a bad tumble last June and it seems my helmet got a little scraped. i know it didn't hit the pavement hard, but some have questioned the soundess pf the helmet. Personally, i have no doubt in my mind that it took no hit and is 100% reuasable.


It looks like the epoxy got chipped away, and that's all.

What do you think? Will this pass tech or do i have to go get a new friggin helmet?

Also, i'd appreciate the tech soundness of my suit:

http://picasaweb.google.com/humphreycharlesa/ASuitCrash1#

thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 12:29:23 am by Knightslugger »
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hernan52

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 02:08:54 am »
I'm concerned to hear you are 100% sure that it's fully reusable.
For the look of it, it's not.
Do yourself a favor and send it to the manufacturer for inspection.
You have all winter.....
The issue is generally the inner foam (which is critical to decelerate the brain in case of an impact) not the shell.

Hernan
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Woofentino Pugrossi

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 02:28:54 am »
Charles, just buy a new helmet. Helmets arent something you want to skimp on.

As for the leathers, they look fine other than the hole in the arm which should be patched up (plug for Spyderleatherworks :) ). Alexa can fix it up.
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Burt Munro

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 02:42:40 am »
OK.....  here's where I'm coming from:  I work Tech in the Midwest Region and I speak only from my experience in the Midwest and Great Plains regions.  Tech rules should be consistant from region to region but like anything else, depend on the interpretation of the person doing the inspection.

From the photos of your helmet it looks like scratches are more than just 'scuffs'.  I know photos sometimes don't tell the whole picture.  But those scratches look like they go into the shell of the helmet and that would concern me.  Is it enough to compromise the strength of the shell?  I would hate to find out you're wrong the hard way!  Can you send it in to the manufacturer for a professional assessment?  How much did you pay for the helmet and whats it going to cost to treat a significant head injury?  Check out the thread on the WERA board on Zac Chapman http://forums.13x.com/showthread.php?t=224418 who was up walking around after a crash at VIR last August and is now in a rehab hospital in Texas.   Not the same situation as yours but a good argument for why you need the best equipment possible.

Is it worth taking a chance?  I've always been told that a helmet is not a place where you want to cut corners.

As far as your leathers, here again, pictures are hard to assess.  You've got one shot where it looks like the stitching is unraveled a little.   I can't tell if it's from being stressed when you went down before.  If it is - get it fixed.  You don't want any loose stitching at key points of contact: shoulders, elbows, lower back, hips or knees.
You also don't want any thin spots from previous contact.  If it wore halfway thru the first time, what if you go down on that same spot again?  No margin for protection is not a good thing.  Scuffs or very minor abrasions are not a major concern.  

Do you know someone who does leather repair?  Someone like Alexa at Spyder Leather who is one of the Moderators on this board will give you an honest, no question about it opinion on if you need repairs.  She's been doing leather repair for years, has seen all kinds or damaged leathers and can tell what will keep you safe and what won't.

Probably not the answers you wanted to hear - but why take a chance?

I do a lot of BS'ing on this board.  When it comes to safety equipment - I don't BS.

Rick
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 02:44:24 am by Burt Munro »
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skiandclimb

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 08:19:37 am »
As mentioned before- the inner foam is the key to helmet safety.  I don't know a motorcyclist anywhere who hasn't accidentally knocked his lid on the ground and found a nice chip in the paint, and thought, "Dammit!"  A knock like that typically won't comprimise the integrity of the helmet  though.  That would be a good example of "damage" that would pass a tech inspector.

Your lid appears to be a  carbon fiber shell, right?  That's some tough stuff, but from the pics, it looks like the damage is a bit more severe than knocking it off your tank.

Just my two cents, but I think it would be in your best interest to look towards the heavens and thank God you made a sound decision in buying a quality lid- which obviously saved you from a head injury.  Your helmet did its job.  They are (although unfortunately) expendable pieces of gear.

Another suggestion would be to look for a high quality, yet less expensive (example: solid color) helmet to race in.  Racing isn't a "will you go down?" proposition.  It's a "WHEN will you go down." proposition.  That being said- many racers stay away from expensive replica helmets, and high dollar carbon lids.

I would send it back to the manufacturer.  If they say it's ok- it's ok, as they will not sign off on a potential liability.  If it IS compromised- just get a new one, and again- thank God that it served it's intended purpose.

I'll get off my soapbox now!

Best of luck, and welcome to the addiction!!!!!!

-Ski
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limy_1

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 08:23:40 am »
The best suggestion that there is goes to anything safety related from safety wire to your gear.

If you have to question it, just do it.  :spank: :spank: :spank:

In this case get a new helmet and have your leathers checked.
If the leathers check OK all it cost you is the freight, if not it could have cost you your a$$.
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Knightslugger

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 09:49:54 am »
I only question it from a tech perspective because there is a lot of OHMYGOSH YOUR HELMET HAS DAMAGE and everyone says to replace it, it's compromised, blah blah blah. Again i believe that there is nothing wrong with the EPS. I've taken it apart, there is zero internal damage. My belief is that if the shell had taken some ANY impact (enough to compress the EPS even just a smidgen) the epoxy on the shell would be annihilated and the CF would be soft. neither of these is the case.

as for the leathers, i think it's a good idea to get the second stitch re-done as well.
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George_Linhart

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 10:26:39 am »
With all due respect - if you already made up your mind on this, why bother to ask the question?

We tried to give you advice and guidance, both from a tech inspection perspective as well as from a big picture perspective.  You don't like the answer and dismiss it  because it differs from your belief...  I just don't get the purpose of posting her to start.

Let us know if there is any advice you need where you have not made up your mind and are willing to listen.

Geoge
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duckracer996

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 10:34:01 am »
You are still looking at it the wrong way. The carbon shell may look and feel solid, and it may be fine. But the impact faom inside is the issue and you can't just look at that and call it good. I would get a new lid. Your brain is worth more! As the saying goes "$10 head, $10 helmet! And if that is the Icon or KBC carbon lid, I would for sure replace it!!!!!!
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Knightslugger

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2009, 10:48:53 am »
HJC Has an email. My only question is in regards to something i can't control, which is the technical aspect of CCS Racing, something i have never experienced for myself nor spoken about to anyone else.

honestly, it barely touched the ground sliding at 40 MPH. and it's garbage... can't race with it... wont pass tech.

Christ, maybe i should get a new lid with a PVC shell. that way it's just looks like it really is... just a scratch. though i guess even a scrtch (or a pock mark for that matter) goes into the shell and it's done for :rollseyes:
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 10:59:03 am by Knightslugger »
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Eric Kelcher

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2009, 11:18:16 am »
By no means is this the be all end all answer to this but these are two criteria that will fail a helmet

if the mesh fiberglass of helmet has been ripped compressed or cracked, ie the helmet stucture not the gel or clear coat

If upon inspection of interior foam spider webbing is evident, the EFS is spray painted and when compressed breaks the paint surface

now I have a helmet that I would never compete on again that shows no visible damage fiberglass shell gel coat is not chipped interior foam shows no compression but my injuries tell me it is DONE, landed on top of my head broke collarbone and scalp split open. Would it take a low side impact most likely and I never plan to highside again so I guess I can keep using it  :ahhh:
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Eric Kelcher
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spyderchick

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Re: Protective Gear Question
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2009, 11:27:35 am »
First, we can fix your leathers for less than $80 most likely. (Unless we find something else not in your photos.)

Second, on the helmet issue, Refer to Burt Monro's response as he's the tech guy 'round these parts.

My take on the helmet: ask yourself this one question: What if you're wrong and this helmet is compromised? You are not an expert or you would not be asking the forum for an answer. Don't want to spend money on a new helmet? Get the current one checked. If it's done, put it in the trophy case and be happy it did it's job.

If you need a new helmet, then ask yourself what you feel your brain is worth. If it's only worth $75, then by all means get a $75 helmet that will pass equipment rules. Otherwise, do the research and get the best you can afford, even if that means putting off a track day, set of tires, or entry fees for an event or two. IMHO, I personally would rather miss an event and have great equipment, than go racing with marginal gear and have a worst case scenario come to pass.
 
For the record, that's more than a pock mark or scratch. The G forces generated in a 40 mph crash are fairly significant. I wouldn't diminish the fact that the helmet very well may be unusable.
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