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wnelms
02-20-2006, 02:42 PM
I just sent in my registration form and now need some help with the purchase of a helmet. That is, I will probably buy the open-face variety. However, I am seeking recommendations on a brand and local (Baltimore/Washington metro) sellers. I could also purchase using the Internet, but I would preferred to be fitted as comfort is a high priority.

Hopefully, this milestone means that my wife will "okay" many, many driving schools in my future! If it was not tax season, she would attend this one. Thanks.

SharkD
02-20-2006, 03:00 PM
Spend a Saturday at OG Racing in Sterling, VA -- buying a helmet over the net, unless you know exactly which brand, model and size fits you perfectly, is a bad idea.

They'll even let you rent, with the rental price going toward purchase.

Lastly, it's a matter of personal preference, but even in a tin-top, I like the extra protection of a full-face helmet. I've had pieces of rubber, insects and rocks fly in through the window while on track and, though none of them have ever touched me or my helmet, I would never skimp on putting another layer between me and the outside world.

1996 328ti
02-20-2006, 06:49 PM
My next helmet will probably be a full face with a drop down shield.
I had something get in my eye once and don't want to have that repeated.

mlytle
02-20-2006, 07:16 PM
what are the helmet rqmts for ncc schools? what year certification? i have an sa95 open faced simpson helmet that was literally used once by my wife and has been in its box ever since. size 7 1/4 i think.

1996 328ti
02-20-2006, 07:18 PM
what are the helmet rqmts for ncc schools? what year certification? i have an sa95 open faced simpson helmet that was literally used once by my wife and has been in its box ever since. size 7 1/4 i think.Up until the end of this, minimum SA95 and M95. Next year the minimum will be SA00, M00

wnelms
02-21-2006, 10:28 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys.

Hey mlytle. Where did you purchase the helmet?

It seems that most are against the open face format. Does debris fly around that often at the track?

Generally, I only open my rear windows when I need fresh air or use the A/C. This is not an autocross is it. Plus, does not the helmet simple compliment the multiple air bags in the car. What is more, I am not sure I would enjoy spirited driving with limited peripheral vision!

Make no mistake, my additional comments are just an attempt get as much information before I spend a couple hundred dollars for a helmet.

I truly appreciate the education!

Dirichlet
02-21-2006, 11:00 AM
Generally, I only open my rear windows when I need fresh air or use the A/C. This is not an autocross is it. Plus, does not the helmet simple compliment the multiple air bags in the car. What is more, I am not sure I would enjoy spirited driving with limited peripheral vision!


Your windows will be open, rain or shine (school rules). However, using the A/C seriously drains power from the engine = slow... I think you'll find that a properly fitted full face helmet will not reduce your peripheral vision - I know mine doesn't. As far as complimenting the air bags... I personally would not rely absolutely on any single safety component. The helmet is an integral part of a total safety package - and it protects the most important part of your body. Like someone once said to me - "...if you've got a $20 head, put it in a $20 helmet... I think mine is worth more than that."

SharkD
02-21-2006, 01:00 PM
It seems that most are against the open face format. Does debris fly around that often at the track?
Like I said, it's a matter of personal preference... Debris doesn't fly that often, but when it does, I'd rather have that protection than have saved a few bucks that now have to go toward stitches in my nose.

The closer you are to other cars, especially when in an off-line exercise, the more likely that a rock or 'marble' will get picked up and thrown. (I have a sizeable new rock chip in my windshield from an off-line exercise held on friday.)

Generally, I only open my rear windows when I need fresh air or use the A/C. This is not an autocross is it.
Your windows will be down, for the same reasons that they are at an autocross: less glass to break and easier extraction if something goes horribly wrong (which it rarely does, but still err on the side of safety). A/C on the track just saps your engine and doesn't do much to cool you down -- that's why you should bring at least 4 quarts of water each day. (There's an AutoCross/Drivers' School checklist thread somewhere around here.)

Plus, does not the helmet simple compliment the multiple air bags in the car. The airbags don't help so much if your head hits the roof, or the door, or the B-pillar, etc. There's been some noise made over the "danger" of airbags and full-face helmets, but it's been largely discredited. The more helmet = the less of your head exposed.

What is more, I am not sure I would enjoy spirited driving with limited peripheral vision! Limited vision! HAHA! You want limited vision? Put in a roll cage, a window net and wear a HANS device -- that's limited vision. ;)

Seriously, that's what your mirrors are for -- aim them once you've got the helmet on. Additionally, some manufacturers make helmets with larger eyeports for glasses wearers, but the larger opening means a (slightly) higher likelihood of debris entering your helmet.

Make no mistake, my additional comments are just an attempt get as much information before I spend a couple hundred dollars for a helmet. And you're asking the right questions, but I honestly think that the best way to get exactly what you need is to go to a shop that at least sells 3 brands of helmets, has their entire lines in stock and will allow you to take your time, try on a bunch and even sit in the car with the helmets on. OG's one of the few shops in the area that meets all that criteria... In addition, you can swing by All Sports GP for a few family laps of the cart course. (And maybe even drop by the Air & Space Museum, if you have a real need for speed.) ;)

wolfgang20878
02-21-2006, 07:32 PM
Great advice, I'm also a newbie and had the same questions.

Also--If we plan to go no further than drivers ed and a few autocrosses in a stock E36, is it necessary to go with Snell racing rating, or will M-rated provide adequate protection?

OwnedbyDuncan
02-21-2006, 08:10 PM
Great advice, I'm also a newbie and had the same questions.

Also--If we plan to go no further than drivers ed and a few autocrosses in a stock E36, is it necessary to go with Snell racing rating, or will M-rated provide adequate protection?

How much is your brain worth if something unfortunate should happen? You didn't cut corners and buy an Acura you bought a BMW. Brain injuries can have long term and lasting effects. Is it worth it? Go for an SA rated helmet. Never go cheap or try to save money on safety equipment no matter what the sport or event. Somewhere in the archives this discussion has happened a few times before. And the issue has come up at numerous board meetings. If you can afford a BMW and drivers schools you can afford a SA helemt instead of a M rated one !

Dave Apker

Rafgar
02-22-2006, 12:23 AM
Great advice, I'm also a newbie and had the same questions.

Also--If we plan to go no further than drivers ed and a few autocrosses in a stock E36, is it necessary to go with Snell racing rating, or will M-rated provide adequate protection?

As you see from Dave's reply, there are some very definite opinions on what you should use for safety equipment. I'm not arguing with Dave (and yes, I have an SA rated helmet). However, the current minimum requirement for participation in NCC schools and autox is for either an SA 95 or an M 95 rated helmet.

As was mentioned in a previous reply, your best bet is to spend some time at OG Racing trying on different helmets to see what fits. If you're concerned about the initial investment, they rent helmets.

AlfaEric
02-22-2006, 09:33 AM
As you see from Dave's reply, there are some very definite opinions on what you should use for safety equipment. I'm not arguing with Dave (and yes, I have an SA rated helmet). However, the current minimum requirement for participation in NCC schools and autox is for either an SA 95 or an M 95 rated helmet.

As was mentioned in a previous reply, your best bet is to spend some time at OG Racing trying on different helmets to see what fits. If you're concerned about the initial investment, they rent helmets.
Just remember that 95 is the minimum standard for this year. It will probably be switched to 2000 for next year.

---Eric

woodym3
02-22-2006, 10:01 AM
Also--If we plan to go no further than drivers ed and a few autocrosses in a stock E36, is it necessary to go with Snell racing rating, or will M-rated provide adequate protection?
There is no such thing as a "Snell racing rating". Both M and SA are Snell ratings and some will argue that an M (motorcyle) helmet is sufficient for autocross and driver schools. After doing several events, you may, like others, find tracks events are your passion. I like Dan Smith's advice.