Global – FIM pioneers oblique testing for helmets –The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) Technical and Circuit Racing Commissions have stated that they very proud to announce the launch of the new FIM Racing Homologation Programme (FRHP) for helmets.
According to FIM, up to now, they have referred solely to existing international standards for the approval of helmets for use in its competitions.
The FIM has decided to use the FIM Racing Homologation Programme for helmets, the programme has been established with the collaboration of the helmet manufacturers, in order to define a new test standard that goes above and beyond existing ones – e.g. Europe -ECE 22.05 – USA – Snell M2015 – China – JIS T8133).
The aim of the Programme is to improve riders’ head protection and to respond to the need for a more objective evaluation of the safety performance of protective helmet systems for racing.
FIM Racing Homologation Programme for helmets now features the latest state of art testing methods and sets more innovative and demanding requirements to be met, in addition to compliance with international standards.
This homologation will be a mandatory prerequisite to be entitled to access FIM competitions, starting with Circuit Racing in 2019.
The helmet response to medium severity oblique impacts, among others, will be assessed in FIM approved laboratories such as the Impact Laboratory of the University of Zaragoza. The oblique test constitutes the most novel and modern aspect of the testing method and reflects a very common scenario occurring in accidents, although never addressed in international standards so far.
Vito Ippolito, FIM President: “The homologation will allow the FIM to ensure a more complete and high-end protection for its riders and in particular to better track and control helmets used in FIM competitions. The FIM is also hopeful that the new testing protocol will serve as an inspiration for disciplines other than Circuit Racing, and cascade to international standards for road use.”
Cristiano Silei, Dainese Group CEO: “In Dainese Group we constantly endeavor to increase the safety of our AGV helmets. The introduction by the FIM of a standard which entails oblique impacts represents a giant leap in this direction.”
Alban Rojas, SHARK Helmets Research & innovation manager: “SHARK Helmets has promoted motorcycle racing as a focus of brand development ever since its creation. Our brand’s ethos is always to push the technical boundaries and innovate to ensure the highest level of protection for all riders. We are very proud to work close with the FIM Racing Homologation Programme for helmets.”
Xavier Cadens, MatGroup R+D+I Manager: “A step forward on helmet safety at a global level”.
Robert Reisinger, 6D Helmets Director of Engineering: “6D Helmets is excited to see advancements in a formal test standard that incorporates rotational testing and lower energy mitigation that the FIM has developed. We look forward to future advancements in helmet testing definitions and the positive results that it will bring for consumers and racers alike.”
What this means for road going motorcyclists if anything, will be improvements in the helmet you buy, though we haven’t researched too much into this.
However in the UK the Government Department for Transport (DoT) consumer information programme “SHARP” helmet testing, which is separate and independent from helmet manufacturers, includes – 2 oblique impact tests. The oblique impact test is carried out to assess the surface frictional properties of the helmet that can lead to rotational acceleration injuries.
SHARP comment that for this test, the testing follows the requirements of Regulation 22.05 completely and according to a paper – Proposal of a new motorcycle helmet test method for tangential impact – IRCOBI Conference 2016 – “Only ECE R22.05 EU  motorcycle helmet standard considers a tangential impact condition.” perhaps therein lies a story.
The above mentioned paper concludes that this present study constitutes a proposal for a possible evolution of the current ECE R22.05 motorcycle helmet standard, which we know is being discussed and moving forward.
“It is expected that the evolution of the standard helmet test method will enable advanced helmet evaluation and optimisation against biomechanical criteria under more realistic impact conditions.”
Information – A New Oblique Impact Test for Motorcycle Helmets – 2001 “…….oblique impact test for motorcycle helmets is described, simulating a fall from a motorcycle on to the road surface or the windshield of a car. An instrumented headform falls vertically to impact a horizontally-moving rigid rough or deformable surface. Both the impact site on the helmet, and the vertical and horizontal velocities, can be varied , while linear and rotational accelerations of the head form are measured.