Until now, the FIM has referred solely to existing international standards for the approval of helmets for use in its competitions.
In order to take account of a more complete and demanding evaluation of performance, and give specific and exclusive recognition to helmets that meet more demanding criteria, the FIM Technical and Circuit Racing Commissions have now launched a pioneering and unique programme, the FIM Racing Homologation Programme for helmets (FRHPhe), which features the latest state of art methods of testing.
Under this programme, the FIM grants helmets a homologation certificate and labels, which are a mandatory prerequisite to be entitled to access FIM Circuit Racing competitions.
To obtain such homologation, the helmet have to meet the high performance and quality standard set by the FIM, in addition to be approved according to selected international standards.
The helmet properties are evaluated through a test protocol which aims to trigger the development of helmets offering an optimal protection for riders. An optimal protection is understood as providing a minimised risk of skull fracture and of the multiple forms of brain damage, as well as a measured and controlled mechanical performance of the protective padding and the shell.
The helmets are homologated per Size and per declared Combination of accessories (e.g. aerodynamic devices).
The FIM test approach first assesses the helmet response to very high and medium-low severity linear impacts, randomly in 13 out of 22 pre-established locations distributed all over the helmet surface. This aims at evenly assessing the level of protection against skull fracture and at featuring the mechanical properties of the protective padding (or liner).
Innovatively, the FIM test procedure pioneers the assessment of the helmet response to medium severity oblique impacts, aiming at evaluating the level of protection against brain injuries generated by critical rotational accelerations. The oblique test constitutes the most novel and modern aspect of the methods of testing and reflects a very common scenario occurring in real world accidents, although never addressed in international standards so far.
In addition, a penetration test is included in the protocol and used to check the shell resistance to impacts against sharp objects.
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