Shok SpotR Motorcycle Helmet Damage Sensor
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com
| Owner Comments (Below)
How can you tell when a motorcycle helmet
needs to be replaced? Sure, there are the obvious signs, like when
pieces of the liner start blowing in your eyes, or when the foam turns
yellow, or when the chin strap starts looking (and smelling) like Swiss
I'll never forget an email message to a motorcycle list I read once.
This is a true story - the writer wanted to know when he needed to replace
his disposable earplugs. He had been using them for one year and they
were getting kind of crusty!
This is probably the same guy still wearing his plastic Sears helmet
that he bought in 1972. An extreme case maybe, and motorcycle
helmet shelf life is a debatable issue.
But helmet technology has been
evolving so rapidly that I'd say it's time to start thinking about a new one
about every 3 years. Maybe less if you don't wear a helmet liner and
you don't have a washable liner!
kidding aside, those examples are the extremes and they're very obvious.
What isn't so obvious is the internal damage a helmet might suffer from
something as simple as a fall from a shelf, or off the seat of a parked bike
(you don't rest your helmet on the seat, do you?).
Or have you ever
loaned your helmet to a friend? How do you know what happened to the
helmet when it was out of your control?
The Shok SpotR helmet damage sensor is a new product that can help you
determine if your helmet has suffered any damage.
The device is only 4 mm thick and it weighs an
imperceptible 7 grams (1/4 oz.). It's designed to be installed on the
centerline of the helmet towards the rear. It has a sensor that turns
red when the helmet experiences damage that could affect its performance.
The device is relatively inconspicuous, except for the "warning" sticker
on the back. If it weren't for that sticker, and if the body of the
Shok SpotR was made from a reflective material, you'd probably never know
that it wasn't part of the helmet.
We decided to give it a try with a hardly-used HJC open-face helmet.
We placed the Shok SpotR on the rear of the helmet per the instructions.
The device has double-sided tape on the back, and it takes only a few
seconds to peel the backing and attach it to the helmet.
dropped the helmet from 2, 4 and 6 feet on to a bare concrete floor,
directly on the top of the helmet. The shorter drops didn't affect the
device, but the Shok SpotR activated when dropped from 6 feet.
The Shok SpotR folks tell us that the device is calibrated for the weight of a
helmet on a human head, so dropping an empty helmet probably isn't a fair
assuming that this distance might vary, depending upon the size, weight and
shape of the helmet, which could affect the outcome due to the different
mass and impact.
But the Shok SpotR worked as advertised. You would probably know if
the helmet was dropped from, for example, a 6-foot high shelf, but perhaps
not if the floor had a vinyl covering or something that protected the helmet
from getting scratched.
Other than a couple of scratches on top and
some damage to the Shok SpotR, you'd never know the helmet was dropped and
it could easily be overlooked.
Shok SpotR suggests that the devices is also useful for a child's helmet,
which could sustain damage or a fall and the parent would have no way of
knowing if the helmet was damaged.
The helmet could be damaged
directly on the Shok SpotR itself, but if the device was damaged enough for
it to activate, then the helmet should be sent back to the factory for an
If your helmet sustains damage, or if you're unsure of the helmet's
ability to protect you, we recommend that it's sent back to the factory for an inspection.
In the meantime, the Shok SpotR can act as a monitor to help you determine if your helmet has
sustained enough damage to warrant further inspection.
By the way, the Shok SpotR is available through any motorcycle dealer
that uses Western Power Sports Distributing, or through any Kawasaki dealer
through Kawasaki USA.
Review: Shok SpotR Helmet Damage Sensor
Retail Price: $19.95
Comments: Indicator turns red when it senses motorcycle
helmet damage. Easy to apply. Light weight (7 grams).
Review Date: December 2004
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