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Old 02-06-2008, 06:37 AM   #1
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Same helmet for track and motorcycle?

I'm considering buying a motorcycle and also starting to do some DE and auto-x.

Anyone know if an autoracing helmet such as the Bell M4 would be appropriate as a regular use motorcycle helmet? I'm looking auto helmet for the SA rating.

http://www.soloracer.com/bellm4.html

Thanks for the feedback.

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Old 02-06-2008, 06:55 AM   #2
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Maybe,
Check with your local DE organization (PCA, POC, SCCA) to see what they require. Most track events now require Snell SA rating.

The differences:

Snell SA rated helmets are fire resistant and designed to protect you in a multi- impact collision. They are usually a little heavier and have less visibility than M rated motorcycle helmets. (recent Snell SA2005 rated helmets from Zaamp and Pyrotect are good quality for a lot less $$)

Snell M rated helmets are designed to protect you in a single impact collision, are not fire resistant, are lighter weight and have the best visibility.

Good hunting.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:00 AM   #3
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SA it is here (Barber Motorsports Park).
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:23 AM   #4
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You might want to consider how much of each planned use you'll be doing. I have the Bell M4 for several years, and it's a really great helmet for Auto-X, Track, and DEs.

But, imo, it's way too heavy for regular use on a bike. I have a Shoei helmet for riding my bike, but have tried using the M4. The M4 is not only too heavy (for all but the shortest rides), but not as well ventilated, and has a tunnel-vision effect compared to the Shoei. It severely cuts down your traffic awareness causing you to turn your head much more, increasing neck fatigue.

If you plan to DE, Track or Auto-X more than ride the bike, you may be OK. If the opposite is true, you may want to revisit your decision, or plan on buying a dedicated helmet for each.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:55 AM   #5
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Thanks - that's exactly what I wanted to know. Looks like I'll start with an auto helmet then get a dedicated bike helmet if I go the motorcycle route.

I was looking at the m4 since the Mag series (open face) doesn't seem compatible with a shield (for motorcycle riding). Given that is no longer an issue what are your thoughts on open vs close faced for auto-x/DE?
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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Personally, I prefer an open face helmet for Auto-X and DE. The windshield will keep most everything away from your face and I recommend a good pair of polycarb sunglasses, much cooler and generally better visibility. A closed face can get a little warm waiting for your runs - great when there is some airflow, but nasty when it's still.

I have the closed face because of other racing that I do. I had a Bell Mag 5 which I used for Auto-X and DEs, but I stupidly set it down in the paddock area and some unscrupulous jerk decided to give it a good home, forcing me to finish the season with the M4. I'll most likely get another open face this spring.

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Old 02-06-2008, 11:21 AM   #7
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While I like the visability of an open face helmet, the idea of busting my teeth/jaw on a steering wheel in an accident makes me wear a full face.

As mentioned, SA vs M ratings. Most car sactioning bodies require an SA rated helmet.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #8
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that's a good point. But I still have the OEM airbag steering wheel so it doesn't concern me as much. In my cars w/o the airbag, it's always full face.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #9
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In a car with airbags, an open face helmet should be fine. Certainly more comfortable and with much better visibility.

If you will be tracking a car without airbags, then I agree completely with Racer Dave... go full face.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:06 PM   #10
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My pal has a Ducati Monster and I was using his passenger helmet, I think it was SHOEI and no one ever inspected my helmet. I have a Bieffe F1 now, great helmet I was just karting with it the other day.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:13 PM   #11
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Not really hijacking the thread, because it's relevant to the author's question, sort of

But, there has been a great debate in the Moto community re. the validity of the Snell M standards as compared to ECE or DOT ones.

While I don't think there is a better existing standard for Automotive or Track helmets than Snell, their Moto standard seems a bit wanting. I have worn an ECE 22.05 rated lid for a few years and will continue to do so.

It'll be interesting to see if any of the modified Moto criteria for the M2010 rating will spill over to the upcoming SA2010 (Automotive) rating. If interested, you can read more here: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/motorcycle_helmet_review/.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil bastard
Not really hijacking the thread, because it's relevant to the author's question, sort of

But, there has been a great debate in the Moto community re. the validity of the Snell M standards as compared to ECE or DOT ones.

While I don't think there is a better existing standard for Automotive or Track helmets than Snell, their Moto standard seems a bit wanting. I have worn an ECE 22.05 rated lid for a few years and will continue to do so.

It'll be interesting to see if any of the modified Moto criteria for the M2010 rating will spill over to the upcoming SA2010 (Automotive) rating. If interested, you can read more here: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/gearbox/motorcycle_helmet_review/.
Very interesting study on Motorcycle helmets. I agree with their conclusions. It sounds like Snell has some homework to do.

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