New helmet technology - MIPS


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WingAdmin
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New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:52 am



I have been reading more and more about this new technology coming soon. Called MIPS, for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, it reduces rotational brain injury.

When a helmet hits the ground at any kind of speed, it is rarely a direct impact - instead, it is a "glancing" impact, where the helmet hits while moving. This can cause the helmet to violently rotate on impact. Existing helmets absorb that impact energy, but transmit the rotational force directly to your skull. Your brain lags behind as your head rotates, tearing blood vessels and connective tissue and causing tremendous damage. Existing helmet designs try to mitigate this by making the outside of the helmet smooth and slippery, and by having any protrusions (i.e. vents) easily sheared off.

Incidentally, this is why it is SO dangerous to mount so-called "action cameras" to your helmet. The cameras must be mounted very securely to the helmet in order to stay in place, yet they then provide an actual LEVER, which MAGNIFIES this rotational injury upon impact. An impact that could be easily absorbed without injury on a standard helmet, could in fact be lethal if the camera hits the ground and violently wrenches the helmet around. Helmets are safety devices, not camera mounts.

Brain injury with and without MIPS
Brain injury with and without MIPS

Several attempts at making helmets absorb rotational impacts have been made, including putting a second layer of EPS in the helmet, separating the two with elastomeric nodes, as was done in the "6D" helmet released a couple of years ago. This allows the inner liner to move and rotate relative to the outer layer:

6D helmet with elastomeric nodes
6D helmet with elastomeric nodes

But the technology which has seemed to have won out is the MIPS standard. This employs a slippery layer inside the helmet that allows the outer shell to rotate relative to the inner liner upon impact:





This technology has now been given a tremendous boost: FIM has declared that any company that sponsors a rider competing in MotoGP, Moto 2, or Moto 3 starting with the 2019 season must have their rider wearing a helmet that protects against rotational injury. They have created a standard and testing protocol that helmet manufacturers must meet, and conforming helmets will wear a holographic sticker with a QR barcode:

FIM holographic sticker
FIM holographic sticker

The new FIM standard exceeds Snell, ECE, and JIS protection standards, which means it will also exceed DOT. Helmet manufacturers are expected to carry over the MIPS design from their racing helmets to their consumer helmet lines, so we should be seeing FIM-compliant MIPS helmet start to emerge from the leading helmet manufacturers within the year.

Bell MIPS helmet
Bell MIPS helmet




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Andy Cote
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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by Andy Cote » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:11 pm

Great news!! Will be pricy at first but like everything, volume of sales and competition will bring price down.
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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by Sadanorakman » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:59 pm

Excellent article, and fascinating technology. Thank you Wingadmin.
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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:56 pm

So while I was at the Cleveland Motorcycle Show this past weekend, I made a point of talking to Arai about their plans regarding rotational injury prevention, and FIM compliance.

The rep knew all about the new FIM standards, and told me something that surprised me: he said that Arai didn't need to include any rotational or sliding liners inside their helmets, because their helmets were already designed not to rotate on impact.

On one hand, I can see how he can state this: Arai helmets are very smooth and shiny, and VERY round on the outside, so they are designed to glance off of things. Exterior features like visor pod covers, vents and so on are all designed to easily shear off on impact, to prevent imparting rotational energy to the helmet.

But...what about when you get an oblique impact on the chin bar - which is the most common point of impact on street crashes?

So I'm on the fence about Arai's plan. I will still buy Arai helmets, because they are the only helmets that fit me, and they are supremely comfortable. My current helmet is fairly new, so for now I guess I'll take a "wait and see" approach to see what happens over the next couple of years.

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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by samellring » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:31 pm

Like to hear of new techie items that help protect riders and their passengers. Will definitely be sharing with our MMSP Director and RiderCoaches.
Sincerely,
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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by kenvil1 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:13 pm

By using the basis of the MIPS technology, I can almost imagine a two-part helmet where an inner layer with a slippery shell is first fitted and fastened by the user with the usual chin strap, and then a second, strapless clamshell-type layer (ie: Vozz Helmet) is fitted over top. In this manner the inner part could be custom fitted to the users head shape, and a selection of outer clamshells could then be purchased for different types of riding modes, or weather patterns.

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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by Sadanorakman » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:44 am

kenvil1 wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:13 pm
By using the basis of the MIPS technology, I can almost imagine a two-part helmet where an inner layer with a slippery shell is first fitted and fastened by the user with the usual chin strap, and then a second, strapless clamshell-type layer (ie: Vozz Helmet) is fitted over top. In this manner the inner part could be custom fitted to the users head shape, and a selection of outer clamshells could then be purchased for different types of riding modes, or weather patterns.
VERY interesting concept! Allowing for replacing the liner if it wears out, or buying several different style/colour shells to swap out when riding different bikes.

Quick, patent it!!!
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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by samellring » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:06 pm

kenvil1 - I like the concept you are stating, however, in order to exceed Snell and ECE you would still need to use a full-face, full-face modular or a 3/4 helmet to give your face the most protection in the event of an accident. As the picture of the German Helmet study shows (attached), most accidents with helmets contacting the ground or other foreign object is in the chin area. My point is that though this device would allow the head to swivel to allow the brain/head to keep pace with the blow to the helmet, the outer shell would still need to be present as a barrier, otherwise, it could still be game over. Just my thoughts...
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Sincerely,
Scott Mellring

"Everyone has the power to impact the outcome of his life. The way to do it is to focus on today...Today is the only time you have. It's too late for yesterday. And you can't depend on tomorrow." ~ John C. Maxwell

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Re: New helmet technology - MIPS

Post by kenvil1 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm

samellring wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:06 pm
you would still need to use a full-face…
A clamshell helmet is a full-face helmet. Vozz Helmets make an example of what I meant.

http://www.vozzhelmets.com



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