Motorcycle Helmet Facts So Interesting That They Will Blow Your Lid!
1. You could have been drinking from your EPS minutes ago
EPS or Expanded PolyStyrene is derived from Polystyrene which makes up your regular disposable coffee cup. It is also used in usual packing pieces for fragile items. However, Polystyrene granules are small. These tiny balls are heated and expanded using a blowing agent. The plastic that emerges from this process is molded into the EPS liner that protects your head during a crash. The energy is absorbed and accosted by the liner before reaching your head. Thank god for science!
2. Lawrence of Arabia, the helmet-free casualty who inspired helmet debate
T.E. Lawrence, the Lawrence of Arabia was a popular public figure who played a key diplomatic role in Arab revolt. On his way on a Brough Superior SS100, he dived into a dip in the road, only to encounter two boys on the other end . He swerved suddenly to avoid them and crashed. He was not wearing a helmet at the time. Hugh Cairns, a doctor who attended to him, started researching the blood-trail of helmetless casualties of two-wheelers. He was instrumental in sparking the discussion on need for helmets while riding.
3. Helmet law in US, that lobbying!
Federal authorities had issued a mandate to the state governments to make helmet mandatory in 1967. 47 states complied to this. The catch was that federal government strong armed states by refusing certain highway construction funds and safety programs in absence of helmet laws. In late 1970s the states lobbied to get Department of Transportation to stop financially penalizing the states without helmet laws. There is no motorcycle helmet law in Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire.
4. Invisible helmet, for bikes, yikes!
What could be the next step in helmet making? An invisible helmet that keeps you from worrying about helmet hair and uncool looks? And we present Hӧvding. It is not a Swedish delicacy. It is a Swedish wonder. Two industrial design students, kept vanity on the forefront and designed an accessory that you would be proud to hold. The Hӧvding is wrapped around the neck and zipped. It looks like a Hermès scarf while riding. You activate the “scarf”. It has sensors that evaluates movements 200 times/ second. When it detects a crash scenario, an airbag immediately deploys and wraps the biker’s head in a swathe of safety. Cool or what?
5. First full face helmet in autocross, Dan gurney.
Full face helmets were considered taboo in autoracing because of the limited visibility logic. The famed Dan Gurney was in an eventful ride that changed his take on helmets. In raging Ferrari, he watched stunned as a stone bounced by the rear tyres of a car ahead came flying through his windscreen at the speed of a bullet. Albeit unhurt, it was in that moment that he realized his face needed more protection. He watched some dirt track racing at Ascot Speedway and found the Bell Star full face helmets already doing that job. With his public image, Gurney brought the idea to the world’s notice.
6. The helmet debate, UK!
Being the country of TE Lawrence, whose unfortunate demise led to serious Helmet revolution, you would think that UK did not fight against mandatory helmet laws. Quite the opposite, sir. In 1973 there was a livid debate on the Motor Cycles Regulations in the House of commons. Enoch Powell, argued that wearing helmets is a personal decision and commands the same dilemma and consequence as any other such decision. But it was not for the House to curtail individual freedom by making such decisions on people’s behalf.
After all these years, helmet is mandatory in UK and most of the folks wear them anyway.
7. No helmet law for Sikhs
Sikhs wear turbans in observance of their religious tradition. The turban cannot be accommodated inside a helmet. In January, 1975 Sydney Bidwell supported the Religious Exemption of Sikhs to wear motorcycle helmets on the grounds that Sikhs in British Army were also not asked to switch turbans in favor of tin helmets. He proclaimed that Sikhs are a hard-working sect. So all prejudices must be put aside and the Sikhs must be allowed to retain their proud tradition of wearing the turban.
8. Repainting your helmet or oiling your vintage helmet? Petroleum will eat it away like it’s bacon.
The helmet shells are made of resins or other composite materials. Petroleum products(lacquers, thinners and spray paint )slowly eat away these materials compromising the integrity of your helmet as a whole. Even cleaning agents with petroleum base can be harmful to your lid.
9. The future is here. Counter-strike type statistics on your helmet screen
Skully realeased AR-1 will have a heads-up display that features statistic you need without hindering your forward view. More importantly, it also boasts of a wide angle rear view camera that allows you 180 degree visibility. Electronically tinting visors, Bluetooth connectivity, Skully’s own operating system, this helmet is the stuff of dreams. At a projected rate of $1500 a piece, it might actually just be a dream for most of us. If Skully delivers on all their promises then AR-1 will be the Leonardo di Caprio of helmets, only with an Oscar.