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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Mar 10th, 2008 1:11 pm
jorawro
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Thanks for the update Ron!
We will follow your search for the perfect MC helmet with anticipation .
Mar 10th, 2008 8:52 am
RonKMiller
I had a Mamba wrapped around my head yesterday.

Here's the lowdown:

The Pros:

1. When the Fed Ex guy handed me the box I thought they forgot to put the helmet inside - it is THAT light.

2. It is extremely well made with lots of attention to fit and finish. The carbon fiber is beautifully done.

3. The visor snaps shut with a very loud audible click, and can only be opened by pushing on both sides at the temples to release it.

4. It is IMPOSSIBLE to fog the face shield.

5. The interior foam pads that you bake in the oven help to get a better fit. The chin piece wraps around and contacts your jaw bone and chin. A very close fit but surprisingly not uncomfortable since it is so soft.

6. Peripheral vision is as good as an open face helmet.

7. Dead quiet. The adjustable neck gaitor really keeps the sound out. For riding in hot weather simply loosen the gaitor and pop the visor a bit it for excellent air flow without vents.

8. It feels like you are NOT wearing a helmet. What a great feeling.

The Cons:

1. The face shield fits so close that I could not wear my "flat" prescription Serengeti sunglasses. My non prescription "wrapped" sunglasses fit just fine, but I can only wear them with my contact lenses. This is not a design fault - it is simply the close tolerances they chose to use.

2. Due to the minimal amount of padding I'm not sure it is up to the level of G force reduction of a "standard" motorcycle helmet. The shell is an extremely important part of this equation. I have no doubt the carbon fiber can take quite a whack without fracturing - how this translates to saving your brain from injury is anyone's guess. Without definitive testing it is simply unknown.

3. The Fastex buckle is attached with velcro loop and has no nylon reinforced backing - this is a REALLY bad idea and a major weak spot in the design. The best helmet in the world is no good if it pops off on first impact. All it would take is $1.00 worth of load tape sewn in here during fabrication... Doing this would boost the attachment point from a couple of hundred pounds of tensile strength to a couple of THOUSAND pounds before breaking.

4. The deal breaker. The back of the helmet (once again by design so you can easily look up while in free fall) only comes down to the middle of your cranium - leaving your cerebellum totally exposed. Even though you have only about a 12% overall chance of whacking yourself in this area in a motorcycle get off it is simply too risky for me. I need my cerebellum for a while longer, although my wife thinks it left me a looonnnng time ago. Probably sometime in the early '70's.

The Verdict:

If they made this helmet just a little bit larger in the front, and extended the back farther down it would be my new helmet in a hearbeat. Riding with it was just plain awesome. For ANY other adventure sport where I needed general head protection it would be an excellent choice. A QUALITY product, but they really need to reinforce that buckle attachment.

It goes back today.
Mar 6th, 2008 9:20 pm
DanDiver
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Probably got to be a skydiver to understand that picture........ and they DO! Wish I had that on a sticker, I'd place it on the back of my Z-1!
Mar 6th, 2008 6:53 pm
RonKMiller
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Kewl link Dano - thanks!

Bonehead seems to have a pretty good rep - the lack of ventilation may be an issue. A few extra strategically placed holes should help that! Time to get out the high speed Tungsten Carbide bits to tackle that Carbon Fiber.

Oh well, here's all I have to say until it gets here:
Mar 6th, 2008 2:46 pm
DanDiver
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

I just got back from a quick ride around the block at around 25-30 MPH wearing my Z-1 skydiving helmet and I've got to say that the change in peripheral vision is amazing. Unlimited visibility. I did noticed two problems.

1. The tight fit caused fog to build up inside on the face shield. There is very limited ventilation in the helmet and this comes in handy on high altitude jumps. We run oxygen lines inside the helmet about 15,000 feet. For some reason, my mask has not fogged up jumping without oxygen. I don't have the face plate down, except right before exit and jumps lasts less than 5 minutes.

2. The way the face plate hinges, it could easily rip off if accidentally left up while moving at highway speed. I really did like the increased vision. Hmmmmm. Now where can I find a DOT sticker to put on the back? Anyone need a Nolan?

For lots of user information on this and other skydiving helmets, go to www.dropzone.com you will need to register and can look at the forums and or gear for specific info. It is all skydive related.
Mar 6th, 2008 2:27 pm
DanDiver
We got a lot to talk about.....

Hi Ron,

Eloy and Paris Valley are considered Mecca when you live in the east... I jump at Z-Hills and started about the time you quit. I'll attach a picture of one of my last jumps with 104 of my friends.. I'll be out at Paris Valley this October for a 150-way record attempt of old guys. You might want to see how it has changed in the past 30+ years.

Let me know how the helmet works out. I've always wondered why I had such good peripheral vision (can't even tell I'm wearing a helmet, it is that good) with my skydiving helmet. I'll have to try mine today, if the rains let up, to see if it really is quieter. I was concerned about the foam vs. pad because all that I have read, alluded to it being the "shock absorber".
Mar 6th, 2008 10:22 am
hallzee
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Man, you're lucky! Here's the odds:
Yep, I know...
Mar 6th, 2008 10:06 am
RonKMiller
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hallzee
I wear the Arai 3/4. Like Ron said - better vision. Helmet is lighter, so much less fatigue after a long day in the saddle.

I've had two get offs, with chin still intact - BUT I am still looking for that elusive comfortable full-face. I have a hard-to-fit noggin, and have tried every one under the sun, it seems!
Man, you're lucky! Here's the odds:
Mar 6th, 2008 10:02 am
hallzee
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

I wear the Arai 3/4. Like Ron said - better vision. Helmet is lighter, so much less fatigue after a long day in the saddle.

I've had two get offs, with chin still intact - BUT I am still looking for that elusive comfortable full-face. I have a hard-to-fit noggin, and have tried every one under the sun, it seems!
Mar 6th, 2008 9:39 am
RonKMiller
Re: Soft pads - NOT FOAM PADDING

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
One more thing, the padding is not rigid, energy absorbing foam. It is made up of soft pads and one helmet (my Z-1) fits from small to extra large, the difference made up of soft pads. It is not DOT or SNEL approved. Any one wanting to try my large Z-! is welcome .........
Hey Dano:

I made my LAST jump (#100) in 1976 - so what do I know? Man, I sure do miss that T-10! I remember carrying that beast a half mile through corn rows since I would miss the DZ by that much!

I then took up something safer - technical rock climbing.

The Mamba comes in three different shell sizes, extra small, small/large, XL/XXL, so fitment should be not much different than most mc helmets. I've just got to remember not to put my head in the oven when I heat up the form fitting pads.

The current trend in helmet design is AWAY from rigid foam since it does a VERY poor job of keeping your brain at low G forces during impact. My $500.00 Arai is actually a dangerous helmet - and so are most of the top brands. Some of the cheapest off brand stuff is superior. The $199.00 Scorpion is # 1 at producing low G forces - and keeping your grey matter from splattering inside your skull like a bowl of jello.

The Snell rating is a joke - it is more or less a sticker purchased by the manufacturer to slap on the helmet to make it more marketable. It's similar to Motor Trend's "Car of the Year Award", except that's available to the highest bidder. 99% of all helments easilly pass DOT Certification - about the only ones that do not are the "novelty" chopper helmets - and even some of them do.

No doubt the Mamba is specifically designed for sky diving and may not be as "safe" as mc specific helmets. I'm interested in:

1. A high degree of protection - carbon fiber is simply superior to ANY polycarbonate or fiberglass material when it comes to overall strength. Whether or not it diffuses impact as well or better than polycarbonate I have no idea. Fiberglass - contrary to popular wisdom - is the worst.

2. Light weight which dramatically reduces rider fatigue over time - literally one third the weight of my Arai.

3. The ability to have quality stereo - which is VERY difficult to achieve in mc helmets. I don't listen to music or chit chat when I'm riding in active traffic - same goes for flying on takeoff and landing. On the super slab good tunes make the miles evaporate.

4. My most important concern is excellent peripheral vision - which is a "safety" aspect that is hard to quantify. What I have now with my full face is marginal.

In my professional world (I've been a Commercial Pilot for 26 years) peripheral vision is absolutely critical. Keen situational awareness is what has kept all of us older mc riders from disaster. Anything I can do to increase it may help to compensate for my slower reflexes.

I have no idea if the Mamba is going to fit the bill, but I thought it is worth a shot. In the past I've found literally dozens of products that are designed for other uses that work as well or better than mc specific products - many times at a fraction of the price.

It arrives Saturday. My head (I mean my helmet pads...) goes in the oven Saturday afternoon at 200F for 30 minutes. I go riding on Sunday. The Mamba may be going back on Monday.

Then again I may take up skydiving once more - Eloy is only 45 minutes away.

Here's my current stable of helmets - two Arai's, the wife's new Scorpion, and my David Clark for getting upside down:
Mar 6th, 2008 6:32 am
DanDiver
Soft pads - NOT FOAM PADDING

One more thing, the padding is not rigid, energy absorbing foam. It is made up of soft pads and one helmet (my Z-1) fits from small to extra large, the difference made up of soft pads. It is not DOT or SNEL approved. Any one wanting to try my large Z-! is welcome .........
Mar 6th, 2008 6:15 am
DanDiver
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

I regularly jump with one almost like the Mamba, a Z-1 and I can tell you from hundreds of skydives, it is much quieter than my Nolan, has awesome peripheral vision and is lighter; weighs about 1 1/2 pounds. I too have wondered about using it on the bike except for one thing, it ain't going to protect you!

It is designed for bumps on the air frame or another skydiver, not a slide or impact with the road.... Falling at 120 MPH, it is quiet. Course I wear ear plugs most of the time. DON'T use it on your bike, if you want protection. It ain't going to work.
Mar 6th, 2008 1:43 am
BMWclubber
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

And fluid flying up from other cars!
Mar 6th, 2008 1:43 am
BMWclubber
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Full face all the way. Too many dirt trucks and gravel trucks nowadays. Man that really bums me out.

Rob
Mar 5th, 2008 4:07 pm
living_free
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

As an ex-skydiver I am familiar with these helmets. You may like it, but I don't think it will work well on a bike. They are generally designed to be used with head in a more up position, imagine laying on your stomache and looking straight ahead. The back does not go all the way down to the neck like a moto helmet.

They are not quiet. You only have a minute of free fall during a skydive, so noise isn't much of a concern. The visors don't open on some models. The "audible pockets" are designed to fit audible altimeters, usually rectangular in shape.

I personally would not use one on the bike.

These helmets are used mostly for protection against hitting other skydivers in the air. We are traveling at pretty good speeds up there, and getting kicked in the head could easily knock you out.

Tony


Tony
Mar 3rd, 2008 7:01 pm
Chick
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
HAHA - yeah, the flat top would be great for Herman Munster!

I busted a move and ordered the Mamba - looking forward (no pun intended) to better peripheral vision, LIGHT weight and those internal ear pockets. If the speakers fit, my Bose QC3 Noise Cancelling headset is going to be cannibalized shortly.
Ron:

With my pointed/bald head I would really appreciate hearing from you on how "form fitting" the Mamba is. Could be the solution I have been searching for.

Thanks
Mar 3rd, 2008 6:43 pm
jorawro
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Thanks Ron - I will hold off ----if you REEEAAAALLY like it there may be a possibility of ordering one from www.KonTourSeat.com
Mar 3rd, 2008 5:49 pm
RonKMiller
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorawro
I had the same issues with my helmets. My solution was to remove the flip-front from my BMW System helmet, thusly making it a "more protective" 3/4 helmet because the cheek areas extend further down to my chin.
Not the total answer but it is one step closer and makes my facial "target area" a little bit smaller.
I do like what you have found Ron ----- may have to try it out .
I just ordered one Roy - I'll report back here before you pop for one...
Mar 3rd, 2008 5:48 pm
RonKMiller
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted
Ron -

You find the coolest stuff! - The camera helmets are interesting, too - thx!
HAHA - yeah, the flat top would be great for Herman Munster!

I busted a move and ordered the Mamba - looking forward (no pun intended) to better peripheral vision, LIGHT weight and those internal ear pockets. If the speakers fit, my Bose QC3 Noise Cancelling headset is going to be cannibalized shortly.
Mar 3rd, 2008 5:48 pm
jorawro
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

I had the same issues with my helmets. My solution was to remove the flip-front from my BMW System helmet, thusly making it a "more protective" 3/4 helmet because the cheek areas extend further down to my chin.
Not the total answer but it is one step closer and makes my facial "target area" a little bit smaller.
I do like what you have found Ron ----- may have to try it out .
Mar 3rd, 2008 5:30 pm
Ted
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

Ron -

You find the coolest stuff! - The camera helmets are interesting, too - thx!

Wonder how quiet they are..
Mar 3rd, 2008 5:21 pm
ahpd1992
Re: Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

I like the looks, but it is pricey considering it isnt certified. Consider that if you travel through a helmet law state, it isnt DOT certified so you misght as well go without from a legal standpoint.

Im wonder what exactly a skydiving helmet is supposed to protect you from, perhaps secondary landing injuries. It certainly isnt gonna protect you from a 5000 ft fall. I too wish the helmet industry gave us more variety is styles, but they dont.

your parameters are pretty specific, I would feel fine in a 3/4 helmet. Maybe a motocross helmet would give you what ur looking for
Mar 3rd, 2008 4:45 pm
RonKMiller
Helmet dilemma - full face, 3/4 or a Mamba?

I love the protection my full face helmet provides, but I am not getting the full safety benefit of peripheral vision that comes with a 3/4 face helmet. After several hours on the highway I also seem to develop "tunnel" vision from the full face from the combined fatigue of buffeting and weight.

I seriously think that especially riding in heavy traffic the 3/4 is far superior since I can "sense" vehicles better to the sides, and get a better overall picture of traffic. Unfortunately the high probability of landing on my chin in a get off keeps it in the closet, virtually unused.

I've been looking for a compromise for years but have never found one until now. DOT and Snell issues aside, this helmet seems to have a lot going for it. Besides the terrific view, I especially like the carbon fiber build and heat formed liners for a custom fit. It only weighs 1.4 lbs. versus up to 4 lbs. for most mc full face helmets! It's called the Mamba and is made in the USA by www.BoneheadComposites.com - a leading supplier to the skydiving and extreme sports industry.

The MAMBA features dual internal audible pockets on the inside of the helmet, great peripheral vision, a heavy neoprene neck liner to help with fogging lenses and noise, a FASTEX chin strap closure with padded strap, front Chin-Dam wind deflector to keep unwanted wind flow out of the inside of the helmet and a shape that allows full head movement and the ability to see and locate emergency handles.

The MAMBA comes standard with BH's ingenious Thermal-Fit liner, chin-strap closure and also comes with
the lens coated with anti-fog direct from the factory.

The liner components go inside your oven for a while until they soften up, then you put the helmet on and they conform to you noggin. BRILLIANT!

I wonder why the mc guys can't come up with something like this that IS DOT and Snell certified... or maybe there is and I just have not seen it yet.

I may just give my uncertified head a Mamba for $295.00.

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