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A heavy helmet is the last thing a motorcycle racer needs when going 200 mph. The speed alone can drag you backward or snap your neck in a turn. So Bell has designed a helmet that minimizes the toll of high-pressure rides. It’s the lightest motorcycle road helmet to meet U.S. safety standards, and still protects the brain in high-, medium-, and low-speed impacts.
Light, But Firm
The helmet is reinforced with an ultrathin carbon-fiber weave that weighs 125 grams. As strong as normal carbon fiber, it’s 20 percent lighter. Flat fibers that offer less room for resin buildup result in a lighter, stiffer body.
Brace For Impact
The liner handles impact like a suspension system. Three layers—expanded polypropylene, soft polyolefin and stiff polystyrene—work independently to absorb energy and protect the head.
Rock and Roll
Crushed jade inside the liner keeps the head cool. Jade dispels heat quicker than any other fabric additives, reducing skin-surface temperatures up to 10 degrees F. And jade is permanent—it won’t wash or wear out.
This article was originally published in the September/October 2016 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Safety At 220 MPH.”