FIM announces new racing helmet testing shake-up


New Track Helmet Standards for 2019

It looks like the FIM (or Federation Internationale de Motocyclism – otherwise known as the dudes who control worldwide motorcycle racing) have finally decided that they ought to have their own testing regime for motorcycle helmets used on the track.

After a chunk of consultation with helmet manufacturers and other involved bodies (Dorna, the Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers Association and others) they’re going to release a load of standards that crash helmets used in racing will have to meet from 2019 onwards.

To date, the FIM has relied on international testing standards – such as ECE 22.05 and DOT – to ensure helmets are fit for purpose. But that’s not really what those standards were meant to do.

They were set up to ensure minimum standards were met for helmets used on the road – which is not really the same as having an off at 200mph at Mugello!

So it’s undoubtedly a good thing they’re taking the issue more seriously.

Unfortunately, the only detail that’s been announced so far is that they’ll use state-of-the-art testing and that the test will include oblique testing. That’s something the best testing – including SHARP – already does.

But we can imagine super high speed friction testing to simulate helmets scraped down a track for 150 yards, would come in useful. So too will more consistent strapping mechanisms designed to stop Simoncelli-style accidents in the future.

And who knows, if all the manufacturers get on board, maybe we’ll see some more useful innovations being integrated into track helmets and ultimately crossing back over to road helmets?

Either way, improved testing and helmet safety has got to be a good thing so we’ll keep an eye on developments from the FIA with interest and look forward to them releasing the full standards soon.

Read all our tested crash helmets for use on the track here.


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