HomeArticlesHelmet Technology: Improvements To Prevent Injury And Death

Helmet Technology: Improvements To Prevent Injury And Death

MIPS Helmet Technology

Helmet Technology: MIPS
Photo by MIPS

MIPS stands for multi-directional impact protection system.

Developed by KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, this patented safety model took 20 years of research to develop.

How It Works

Helmet Technology: How MIPS Works
Photo by MIPS

MIPS is a low friction layer built into a helmet during the manufacturing process.

In the event of an angled impact, this layer allows for a multi-directional movement of 10-15mm. As a result, this slight movement inside the helmet redirects the main force of the impact away from the head to reduce the risk of brain injury from the angled impact.

Models And Weight

Bell MX-9 MIPS Helmet

Troy Lee Designs SE 4 Helmet

Helmet Technology: MIPS Low Friction Layer
Photo by MIPS

Adding the MIPS layer to a helmet increases its weight by 25 to 45 grams, depending on helmet size and model.

According to the MIPS website, you can expect to pay an additional $13 -$66 for MIPS.

This is not a budget feature, MIPS is only found in higher end helmets, so expect to pay more.

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Moto Brands Using MIPS

MIPS is used by 140 moto brands including Bell, Thor and Fox Racing.

In addition to moto helmets, the MIPS helmet technology is also used in helmets for climbing, biking, snow sports, horse back riding and team sports such as hockey.



Conehead Technology

Helmet Technology: Conehead Technology
Photo by Strategic Sports

Developed and owned by Strategic Sports LTD, Conehead is on its fourth generation of development and improvement.

How It Works

Helmet Technology: How Conehead Works
Photo by Conehead Helmets

This ATV helmet technology consists of two layers, an EPS (expanded polystyrene) layer and the proprietary layer of “cone” EPS built into the helmet liner.

With this unique design, energy disperses sideways within the foam instead of towards the head. So, in the event of an impact, this results in a lower g-force to the head.

Compared to normal structures, the cone design reduces g-force by 25%. In addition, the cones are also beneficial to helmet size and weight as they reduce overall mass by 15%.

Because of all these advancements, each successive generation reduced both g-force and mass.

Conehead Advancements

1st Generation

Helmet Technology: Conehead 1st Generation
Photo by Strategic Sports

This original design reduced G-forces by 25% and overall mass by 15%.

Trigon

Helmet Technology: Conehead Trigon
Photo by Strategic Sports

Trigon Conehead further reduced G-forces by 4% and overall mass by 3% when compared to the original design.

Dual Side

Helmet Technology: Conehead Dual Side
Photo by Strategic Sports

Dual Conehead improved on Trigon with an additional 2% reduction of G-forces and a 6% reduction in mass.

Super (4th Generation)

Helmet Technology: Conehead Super
Photo by Strategic Sports
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This current generation of Conehead Technology improved on Dual Side Conehead with a 1.5% reduction in G-forces and a 1.5% reduction in mass.

Models And Weight

Kali Protectives Prana Helmet

Fly Racing Formula CC Helmet

One big benefit of the cone design is that it results in a smaller and lighter helmet without sacrificing safety. Overall, the Conehead design can reduce the overall mass of a helmet by 18.5%.

Unfortunately, all these technological advancements come with a higher price tag. As with MIPS, you can expect to pay upwards of $50+ for this premium feature.

Moto Brands Using Conehead Technology

Brands using Conehead technology include Kali Protectives, Motovan Vox and Foxhead.

Companies that use MIPS use MIPS branding, but with Conehead this is not the case.

A few companies rebrand Conehead with a different name. For example, Kali Protectives is using Conehead technology as Composite Fusion Plus.

Can’t say I disagree with the rebrand – Composite Fusion Plus is a whole lot sexier than Conehead.


Leatt 360 Turbine Technology

Helmet Technology: Leatt 360 Turbine
Photo by Leatt

360 Turbine Technology is the proprietary safety technology of Leatt, a South African based company specializing in moto and mountain biking safety equipment.

Leatt has a poignant, but significant origin story.

The weekend after Dr. Chris Leatt’s 4 year old son starting riding motocross, Dr Leatt witnessed the death of a fellow rider, Alan Selby, during an enduro race.

At the time, Dr Leatt was in the process of specializing in neurosurgery. But, he left his medical studies to turn his attention to developing safety equipment for moto racers.

How It Works

Helmet Technology: Leatt 360 Turbine
Photo by Leatt

Helmets are lined with a set of small disks (“turbines”) made of Armourgel, a non-Newtonian polymer, that can absorb energy.

These turbines allow the head to move slightly inside the helmet during a crash.

In a crash, the turbines deform and bend. This reduces rotation acceleration to the head and brain and absorbs energy to reduce the risk of concussions.

Models And Weight

Leatt Moto 3.5 Helmet

Leatt Moto 7.5 Helmet

With approximately 12 small disks per helmet, this technology doesn’t create any significant weight gain.

Currently their least expensive moto helmet is $190 with prices going all the way up to $550.

Helmet Technology: Leatt 360 Turbine
Photo by Leatt

Moto Brands Using Leatt 360 Turbine Technology

Leatt does not license their 360 Turbine Technology to other brands, so they are the only company utilizing it.


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Koroyd

Helmet Technology: Koroyd
Photo by Koroyd

Founded in 2010, Koroyd is an interesting entry into the helmet technology field.

The first products Koroyd released were military applications with their first contracts filled in 2011.

The company quickly expanded into snow sports and industrial applications in 2012.

In 2014 they got into the moto industry with the introduction of body armor, but it wasn’t 2017 until they finally advanced into the motorcycle helmet industry.

How It Works

Helmet Technology: Koroyd Direct and Angled Impact Graphic
Photo by Koroyd

In the simplest terms, this protective structure resembles drinking straws.

Tens of thousands of tubes made of co-polymer, a plastic material, are heat welded together to form a honey comb like structure.

This structure has several excellent benefits.

Helmet Technology: Conehead Crumple Zone
Photo by Koroyd

One of the best benefits is that this structure is 95% air which makes it incredibly light without sacrificing safety.

Also, the tube like structure readily allows for superior air flow.

Helmet Technology: Koroyd Crumple Zone
Photo by Koroyd

In the event of an impact, the Koroyd tubes crumple to absorb the force in a controlled manner to minimize the energy transfer to the head.

Koroyd can use up to 78% of tubes thickness to absorb energy while foam uses 60% of it’s thickness to absorb energy.

This means that a traditional foam helmet would have to have a thicker layer of foam in order to achieve the exact same level of protection as a Koroyd helmet.

Koroyd technology has been scientifically tested for both direct and indirect (angled) impacts. It is touted by the manufacturer as superior to other helmet technologies in both of these accident scenarios.

Models And Weight

KLIM F5 Koroyd Helmet

UFO ENIGMA Body Guard

Due to its hollow tube structure, this ATV helmet design offers a lightweight airy design.

Moto Brands Using Koroyd

Both Thor and Kilm produce moto helmets using Koroyd technology. The UFO Enigma motorcycle body armor and the Kushitani chest protector also feature Koroyd technology.


Testing For Rotational Injuries

Some of these safety advances tout their success with reducing rotational injuries.

But, DOT, SNELL, ECE and other certification programs don’t include rotational motion testing in their current safety tests.

This may change in the future as research and testing evolve and improve.

So, these helmet technologies are not required as part of the safety certification process with DOT, Snell, ECE, etc.

They are an additional feature that is added to a helmet for increased protection.


*Helmet weight varies by size. Helmet manufacturers will often state the weight of the smallest helmet size if size isn’t indicated.

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