"I pulled you over for Speeding. Do you have any idea how fast you were going?"

Regardless of what you ride, even if you don't ride at all, EVERYONE is welcome here.

Mr. Motorcycle

I am

My photo
I live at 1 Frozen place in, Minnesota, United States
My real name is Mark. For many years now my wife has called me Mr. Motorcycle. When I started my Blog I was looking for a catchy blog name, so I went with it. I'm happily married and I'm also a father of 6 children. I have two human offspring, one dog, two cats and one custom Harley. I believe that makes 6 children. When I'm not doing my real full time job, or going for a ride, I like to do art, custom paint jobs, and of course BLOG. If you would like to contact me, my e-mail address is phonetically spelled for avoiding spammers. (I actually do use the number 1 in the beginning.) 1mrmotorcycleATgmailDOTcom

*****This is my Bliss*****

*****This is my Bliss*****
Depending on your settings, Click, or Double Click on the image for full size photo.
The photo above is my ride :
"Kenny" started life as a stock '97, 883 Sportster. It's been a work in progress since the day I bought it many years ago. Its mostly custom with a built, "slightly juiced up" 1200 motor.
The Metal Fabrication, bodywork and custom paint was done by me.

How the Hell did I come up with a name like Kenny for my bike you ask?...... Most people who name their rides, go with chick names. I of course had to be different. I think bikes look tough, cool and masculine; not feminine. Plus, my father "Ken" has helped make me who I am today. Therefore with a little twist on the name, my bike was named "Kenny".


Come check out my custom paint! Click on the logo above to go to my custom paint blog.

Friday, August 22, 2008

DOT Vs. Snell approved helmets

What is the difference between Snell and DOT approved helmets?

This is really interesting. I thought you should know.

First off, for this post anyway (SMF) will refer to the Snell Memorial Foundation, NOT Stupid Mother F*cker. LOL!

There are two key differences between a DOT and Snell approved helmet.
First, is the testing standards the helmets go through, and second, is the verification of the results.

The Snell Memorial Foundation (SMF) was founded in 1957 just after William Snell, A.K.A. Pete, died from massive head trauma from a race car accident. (SMF) is a non-profit organization that focuses on learning more about the components of head injuries, & how to prevent them by using helmets. Through their research (SMF) has developed the Snell standard for approving helmets. It is continually tested and updated every five years.

Although both testing processes are very similar, (SMF) requires their certified helmets to withstand a greater impact and absorb more force than the DOT approved helmets.
Both (SMF) and DOT standards drop the head forms on flat and round shaped anvils in order to simulate different types of impacts. However, Snell also uses an edged anvil that specifically tests the integrity of the helmet's shell.

DOT and Snell test each helmet two times at four different impact zones. DOT drops their helmets from 6 feet on the flat anvil and from a 4.5 feet on the round anvil. Snell drops the helmets from 10 feet and 7.5 feet on both anvils, which simulates a more severe impact.

While there is no guarantee that a DOT approved helmet has actually been tested, the purchase of a Snell approved helmet ensures that the product has been evaluated under scrutiny. A Snell-certified helmet also meets and exceeds the DOT standards.


B.B. said...

Great post. Thanks for the info. The helmet I wear right now is a full face and is DOT and Snell approved, but I never really knew what it all meant. When I get my own bike I want to go with either a half or 3/4 helmet, so this info will be usefull when I go looking for one. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

So, I'm hopeful that your helmet (which you will wear all of the time) will be Snell approved. Or, we could get doors for the Harley... your choice ;)


Ann said...

LMFAO!!! I love your wife's comment! :) I'm guessing she doesn't ride?

Thanks for posting this, Mr. M. I will be in the market for a helmet as soon as I go back to work. I'm hoping to find a halfshell that's Snell approved.

Lady R (Di) said...

Thanks for the info. I didn't realize that, but the Snell approved products sound like they're a little more tested and safer (if that's possible). It nice to be aware.

FLHX_Dave said...

Thanks for the info. A Snell approved helmet saved my life. No joke. DOT helmets are not even inspected. If a manufacturer says they are in compliance, it's just assumed they are. It's sort of an honor system.

Anonymous said...

Excellent topic Mr M! I have always wanted to either post about this myself or read a post about it. I was surprised when our Head Road Captain told me the difference. I thought I was pretty safe wearing a DOT approved helmet. My next helmet will be SNELL certified.

Kano said...

I used to go lidless in Tx. but I know live in a mandatory helmet state and have got used to it. I even wear a Snell certified full-face helmet on longer rides because it seems to reduce fatique from wind blast and I wear it when it's really cold, a lot warmer than my 3/4 helmet!

"Joker" said...

Very informative; I knew nothing about this. I always thought DOT was the final word - I've never heard or seen anything about Snell any place before now. Maybe Snell isn't greasing the Massachusetts politicians enough and they don't have them here? I'm going to start looking around for Snell from now on and see what I can find.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

For all who thanked me for the information, well that is what friends are for. When we find something good, we gotta share.

I just recently found out what the differences were myself when doing helmet research, in my quest to find what is right for me.

-Connie said...

Thanks for posting this!!! I need to buy a 3/4 helmet for the BRC, and the half-helmet I have now has been dropped several times. Not by me of course, by my father-in-law's crazy ex-- don't ask... LONG story. Anyway!! Thanks again!! I need to keep a sharper eye out for Snell, so far I've only seen DOT.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

The hardest part of Snell is finding them.

Anonymous said...

As far as states that mandate helmets, has anyone had any issue using a DOT approved helmet? Or will I receive a ticket for using DOT approved only? Anyone know more about this and the specific states requirements?

I'm located in Florida if anyone's up to date on that law...

Thanks! :)

Mr. Motorcycle said...


Florida's law: Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218....,


including it's amendments: http://home.tampabay.rr.com/ourplace/Biker/amenment.htmFederal

clearly state that the helmet must be DOT approved.

Anonymous said...

A question that might need to be asked is whether the extreme-impact performance of Snell certified helmets make them safer for mild- to medium-impact crashes, which are more common on the street. Some studies have been done to compare DOT-only versus Snell/DOT approved helmets in a more normal range of impacts, and DOT-only helmets perform better. So watch out, the DOT-only approved helmets are quite possibly safer AND cheaper!

Here is the abstract of a paper about these studies:

Here's a whole paper if you've got the patience (or just skip to the discussion):


Mr. Motorcycle said...

Thanks for chiming in Mel.