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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those that haven't been following, I crashed back in October on the racetrack. I had a nice high side that flung me a good 60 feet through the air. The thing is... I was in tall grass and and pretty much Superman'd my flight. I landed on my chest and hands, followed by knees and toes only a fraction of second later. My head never impacted the ground. My brand new, never worn before HJC RHPA 11 Cal Crutchlow Monster Energy helmet suffered minor surface scratches from whizzing through the tall grass. And by minor, I mean it barely marred the clear coat - you can only see it if you turn the helmet in the light just right. My riding buddies all say the helmet has to be replaced - only good for one crash. But like I said, my head never hit the ground and for all intents and purposes, it still looks like new.

Am I just trying to justify not spending another $400 or is the helmet likely okay? Is there a way to have it checked for structural issues?
 

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+1, No impact, no issues.

My Shoei, OTOH hit the ground pretty hard, big gouges and it ripped the face shield off the hinges. Insurance got me a new one, thank goodness. $699!
 
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Most guys that come by the shop to get a new helmet after an accident were really surprised when they saw the scratches on their helmets, because they never felt their head hit the ground.

So, how do you know your head/helmet never hit the ground? You landed on grass or soft surface, so that didn't damage the outside of the helmet.
But how about the inside?
Have you pulled out all the padding to take a really good look at the foam on the inside? And with a really good look, I mean with an LED light checking every inch of the foam for even the smallest indentation.

I think you're trying to get out of spending another $400 on a new helmet that WILL protect you the next time something goes wrong.
It's just my opinion, so if you want to keep using a helmet that already took a hit but MIGHT still protect you a little the next time, be my guest.

I would get a new helmet.
 

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If there was even the question, I would drive myself crazy not knowing if it was good, or not.

Doesnt hjc use black foam, inside the helmet? Bell does. I know it's not foam, exactly, but the hard liner? I think the black finish is supposed to show marks, or cracks after an impact. If you don't see any cracks, or dents, it hasn't been hit sort of thing.

The helmet that saved me didn't really show any internal damage. The outside was missing from when it slid on the pavement.
 

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RC, that black finish will also show scuff marks of the padding rubbing against it, so it's not the best way to tell if an impact was absorbed or not.
 

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I'm not too familiar with HJC but pretty sure RHPA 11 uses a composite shell, similar to Shoei and Arai. If a composite shell took a significant hit, you can easily see the impact area where the composite material had cratered or indented. Composite shell absorb energy by each of the successive layers breaking on impact, starting from the outermost. Quite often you'll see the reinforced fibers (glass, carbon, etc.) physically broken on the painted surface. If all you see if paint scratches, there were likely no impact hard enough to make the shell have to absorb energy by breaking up the composite matrix.

I know Shoei offers a service where you can send in crashed helmet for inspection, and they'll return it to you with a verdict. Pretty sure Arai has the same. If you have any doubt, you might call HJC to see if they offer it too. I wouldn't just chuck an otherwise brand new premium helmet that hasn't sustain any visible damage, purely out of an abundance of caution.

That said, in a crash, you the rider cannot always "feel" if your helmet has touch the ground. In my two latest offs, I felt helmet impact in only one of them. This, despite both helmets showing signs of contact with ground, though the impact damage were minor in both cases.
 

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RC, that black finish will also show scuff marks of the padding rubbing against it, so it's not the best way to tell if an impact was absorbed or not.
I'll have to look at mine. Thats a good point about the liner. Unless it was dented, there might not be anything to see?

It's never been hit, and its going to drive me nuts until I can look at it, tonight .....thanks for that, Kevin....like I didn't have enough bothering me already....lol

I've cleaned the liner, but since it wasn't hit, I never paid much attention to the real parts. That's not very smart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Number 1 - I know my head didn't impact the ground because the whole incident is very clear in my mind. It's funny how time slows down in these situations. I distinctly remember saying to myself, "This isn't going to end well" when the rear slid out a second time and I couldn't bring it back. The sound the bike made when it caught and then launched me, followed by the silence immediately afterward are still fresh 3 months later. And the really weird thing that happens when your mind is trying to process an overload of input - my sight was the only sense that worked. I had no sense of my extremities nor did I hear, feel, smell, or taste anything... until I hit the ground and it all came back! Because I had no sense of my hands and feet, my initial thoughts were that I was going to land on my face. Near the point of impact I remember thinking, "this is going to hurt". But my face never hit the ground and I felt and heard the impact of my chest and hands followed by my lower torso as I then continued to slide down a slight embankment in tall, damp grass. Everything that touched the ground was wet and dirty... my helmet was perfectly clean. I think the fact that I was thrown down a slight incline is why I walked away mostly unscathed. The fact that the ground was falling away from me let me ease into the dirt instead of smashing down directly.

Number 2 - I crashed a 10 year old motorcycle that broke every piece of plastic, twisted the subframe, smashed in the tank, wrapped the exhaust around the swingarm, and bent several pieces of the handlebar mount and controls. Reporting it to insurance would have resulted in a totaled bike and not enough compensation to replace it - not to mention an inevitable rate increase. So I sucked it up and paid out of pocket to rebuild the bike. And with that, any gear replacements will also be out of pocket. Now if the helmet was damaged at all, I would have no issue and just find the money to replace it. But unnecessarily replacing a literally brand new helmet, only worn once, that has no visible damage would be a tough $400 to swallow after how much I spent to restore the bike.

I personally feel comfortable just keeping this helmet and I feel that it is not damaged. But people who care about me want me to be sure. So I guess I should be thankful for that. :)
 

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You walked away from the crash... that's all that matters.

When I totaled the VFR1200F, I felt the front wheel hammer the curb head-on... Time didn't slow down. None of the "whole life flashed in front of me". I barely got through starting to think: "Oh Sh..." The next thing I knew, I was getting up from the ground looking back at the bike that was 10-20ft behind me.

Progressive has a "Large accident forgiveness" perk for Diamond Level Loyalty customers. Worth staying with them just for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It sounds like you made your decision before posting. I hope the rebuild goes well.
You're right. I hadn't given it a second thought until other people were questioning the soundness of my decision. I thought I'd toss it out there and see if there was anything I hadn't considered or if there was a way to have the helmet checked. I am going to see if HJC has any kind of program for checking them. If not, I have to wrestle with economics of how much my brain is worth... $400 or $800... 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You walked away from the crash... that's all that matters.

When I totaled the VFR1200F, I felt the front wheel hammer the curb head-on... Time didn't slow down. None of the "whole life flashed in front of me". I barely got through starting to think: "Oh Sh..." The next thing I knew, I was getting up from the ground looking back at the bike that was 10-20ft behind me.

Progressive has a "Large accident forgiveness" benefit for Diamond Level Loyalty customers. Worth staying with them just for that.
I have been with Progressive for 8 years now. They were the only ones who gave me a reasonable quote (well, somewhat reasonable) after GEICO decided that they didn't want my money. Of course, I had my first crash within a few months after switching. They came out, estimated the damage including gear, and cut me a check on the spot. Never raised my rate and actually decreased it significantly a few years later. I don't know what it takes to be a Diamond Level member... but they did me right as a new customer.
 

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IIRC, it's after 5 yrs continuous.
 

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Everyone's accident recollection is different. I only know about mine through friends who saw it. No recollection at all from riding the Al-Can highway to wondering why I was in what looked to be a C-T scanner. Even after that, 3 ambulance rides and an airlift back to the States, all kind of fuzzy. Not whacking your head seems to be a key to memory retention.

Having walked away from a crash and been carried away I must say--walking is better!
 
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Sounds to me that there's no damage to your helmet. If there's no visible damage to the exterior shell, and the foam inside is not compressed, it's fine. IMO there's a lot of over blown info on impacts to helmets. My first Shoei I accidentally dropped from chest high onto a cement garage floor directly square on top. It bounced about 3 feet in the air after impact. My wife insisted on a new helmet. Before disposing of the "damaged' helmet I tore it apart to see if the shell and liner were damaged on the inside. They were not. No de-lamination, no compression of the polystyrene foam. It would have been fine.
 

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Dropping them is no big deal. There's no weight inside to smash the foam.

I would think that some helmet company would be able to offer us some statistic for twice crashed helmets? I've never seen anything. Just lots of advertising nonsense without any supporting evidence.
 

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Most guys that come by the shop to get a new helmet after an accident were really surprised when they saw the scratches on their helmets, because they never felt their head hit the ground.
This.... I low-sided a bike years ago in a parking garage at less than 10mph (oil on the pavement). I picked the bike up and rode home. I called the insurance company and the first thing they told me was to check my gear. My helmet was scraped pretty badly down the left side and I didn't even realize my head hit the ground! Crazy.
 
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