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.