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What is The Difference Between an Auto Racing Helmet Vs. Motorcycle Helmet

What is the Difference Between an Auto Racing Helmet Vs. Motorcycle Helmet?

On the lookout for a helmet? Learn about the difference between auto racing helmet and motorcycle helmets.

Helmets first came around in 1914, and since then, they have been considered arguably the most important safety gear for a driver or racer. A Snell certification is considered the standard when it comes to recognizing and approving a helmet. For any helmet to be recognized by racing bodies, it needs to meet all the standards of Snell certifications.

If you’re helmet shopping, you’ve come to the right place as we’ll guide you on the differences between auto racing helmets and motorcycle helmets.

Fire Test Rating

Helmets go through fire testing. Auto racing helmets are required to pass fire testing because car drivers can get stuck in a burning car. Hence, the inside of these helmets has Nomex lining, which is a fire-retardant material. The lining surrounds these helmets’ visors melts, acting as a barrier that keeps the flames out.

Motorcycle helmets, on the other hand, are covered by other kinds of nylons. This is because motorcyclists rarely get trapped on a bike, or the bikes rarely catch fire.

The Impact

These helmets also differ because of their impacts. If a person is hit in a car, the impact is different than when a bike crashes. Due to this, a motorcycle helmet is tested for the impact caused by crashing and abrasion because of sliding. In a car, on the other hand, the driver’s head may hit the steering wheel, roll cage, roof, or side window, but there is no sliding. Due to this, the impact is of rollovers.

Emanuele Pirro auto racing in a  Lamborghini Essenza SCV12

Provision of HANS Device

The Frontal Head Restraint (FHR), also known as the Hans Device or “Racing Neck Restraint” has been inserted in auto racing helmets by Snell to ensure the driver’s neck and the head are safe from the impact of a collision. This device allows the head to stay in place and not snap. Due to this, there are fewer chances of neck and head injuries or basilar skull fractures. When a person is faced with a basilar skull fracture, they could die instantly as it's the same as being hanged where the spinal joint is broken.

It wouldn’t make sense to put a HANS Device in a motorcycle helmet as motorcyclists and car drivers sit in very different positions, and on a bike, you are required to move around your head.

Helmet Approvals

A racecar helmet will have Snell SA2020 certification, FIA 8859 rating, or FIA 8860 “super helmet” standard approval. A Motorcycle helmet, on the other hand, will have an ECE 22.05 rating (for use in Europe), DOT certification (for use in the USA), SHARP certification (for use in Great Britain), or other country-specific requirements, just to name a few. Each standard has a specific set of requirements and testing procedures.

Other Properties

Other things relating to these helmets are the shape, aerodynamics, noise, ventilation, and noise.

Motorcycle helmets have more vents, so the rider doesn’t feel hot, and the eye ports are wider. They're also more aerodynamic, so they can cope with the outside elements. Motorcycle helmets also cancel out the noise.

At Fast Racer, we offer auto racing helmets online along with other helmet accessories. We deal in quality racing gear and apparel. From bell racing helmets to high-end carbon fiber helmets, we provide various kinds of protective driving gear online. Buy driving helmets now or visit our website to learn more.


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