Icon x Dietmar Otte

Dailies -



Need a demonstration as to why full-face helmets are a good idea? The numerical illustration created by Dietmar Otte, based on a research study he did on motorcycle safety, has always worked pretty damn well. Otte found that only about .4 percent of impacts occurred to the top of the head — the area covered by open-faces — while around 40 percent are face plants. But why paint Otte’s numbers on an Icon helmet?

Icon agrees that there’s a lot of problems with the Snell safety standard. For instance, it dictates two major impacts to that .4 percent circle, and only tests chin bar strength by dropping a 5 pound weight directly on the front of the chin bar, ignoring both sides of the jaw that receive large percentages of impact. The only helmets that meet both Snell and the lighter, softer, arguably-safer ECE 22.05 standards, Icon took Otte’s data and ran with it, reinforcing the chin area of the shell with an extra layer of material. The most common impact area receives extra protection. Makes sense, right?

On the Icon Airframe Construct, on which this custom one-off design was painted, you can actually see that extra layer in the exposed weave. Extra safety is extra neat.

  • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

    Doesn’t “chest chin bar strength,” huh? Guess someone has actresses on the brain.

  • 10/10ths

    Shoot, after viewing the “Dumbest Stuff on Wheels” marathon on Speed over the holidays and watching face-plant after face-plant after face-plant, I could have told you that.

    What is really amazing is the number of face-plants that happen at zero miles per hour. Awesome.

    Oh, yeah, Icon……Good on ya!

  • cookinginpawleys

    I would love to have that paint job on a helmet.

    • Braden (Griso 8V, SV650)

      I second that, what a great idea and conversation starter.

    • Gene

      Me too actually. I’d pay some extra bucks for that.

      Edit: Forgot to mention the guy on a 916 this morning in 44F weather w/o a helmet or even much of a jacket. WTF? I guess it was the alcohol keeping him warm…

    • Gingerbeard

      At first I thought it was a new design Icon was selling. I don’t really need another helmet right now, but I could go for that.
      I might like to see some group totals, though (if they don’t clutter the design)—half helmet (looks to me that .4% spot is smaller), 3/4 helmet, both chin parts, face, full – 3/4, full – half, 3/4 – 1/2.

    • aristurtle

      I would buy a new helmet if they were selling it with that paint job. (Well, shrink the number on the visor, I guess.)

    • Knife

      I’d certainly buy one. It’s the only thing I’ve ever seen on a helmet that’s informative.

  • Tony T.

    I would rock that helmet so hard. My father-in-law does the Harley-half-helmet thing so he can smoke while he rides. Classy.

    • Knife

      Nothing much uglier than a rider down with his lower jaw ripped completely off. Well, Whoopee is uglier, but that’s another topic.

  • Ax

    Uhm, 3/4 helmets cover a bit more than that .4% at the top of the head. Hell, even a beanie helmet covers more than that.

    • Alejandro Zapata

      What’s considered open face helmets are half helmets, 3/4 cover more of the side and so on, also there is a big difference between cover and protect, while 3/4 or modular helmets are better than half, they do not offer the structural rigidity and impact protection that a full face, non modular helmet does, that’s why most motorcycle safety institutions recommend full face, non modular helmets

      • Knife

        Seems to me I saw a study of modulars and the Caberg Justissimo rated as highly as the full face. That’s why I bought that model. It was the highest rated of all modular helmets tested at that time. It’s got an ECE stamp, but no DOT (it used to be DOT certified, but it is no longer sold in the USA, but may be sold here again soon).

  • Cockroach

    Ax, I dont think it’s about coverage, but the likelihood of a rider impacting the top of his head in a crash

    • Ax

      True. My comment was disputing that open face helmets only cover the very top of the head.

      • jp182

        but the article doesn’t say that open face helmets only cover the top:

        ” — the area covered by open-faces — ”

        Only is used while talking about the likelihood

  • rohorn

    Darn – when I first saw the picture, I thought someone made a full faced “Phrenology” helmet…

    • robotribe

      Me too. Now THAT would be awesome.

  • Taco

    0.4% Wow.
    Now every time I see video of a helmet test where they drop a weight onto the top of the helmet, I will laugh at the nonsense.

  • Lacubrious

    I didn’t see the ghosted skull until the second take. Sic

  • Gingerbeard

    So an open-top helmet would be reasonably safe?

    • Sean Smith

      I would say at least as safe as a $900 Snell rated Arai ;)

    • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

      I got the rag top down so my hair can blow.

      • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R