Steelbird Hi-tech India (SBHT) has revealed the new “Blauer BET” helmet line. The most notable feature of Blauer BET helmets is that they comply with the new European Safety Standards-‘ECE 22.06’. It is also worth noting that the new European Safety Standards-ECE 22.06 will become mandatory in India and around the world in January 2024.
With the launch of the Blauer BET series, Steelbird will become amongst the first brands to support the initiative by launching these helmets with the new safety standards way before they get implemented in India.
To give a background, ECE 22.05 was replaced with ECE 22.06 in June 2020; the .05 or .06 pertains to specific revisions and amendments to the No. 22 regulation.
The standard required a helmet to pass a series of tests called HIC (Head Injury Criterion). A dummy’s head wore a helmet that had accelerometers inside to analyse the maximum acceleration to calculate the damage suffered by the head in the event of an accident. The test involves shock absorption, retention systems and unseating of the helmet.
A similar situation for the visor must ensure protection and quality of vision. The manufacturer carries out the tests and then submits the reports for checks to an external certified laboratory.
The changes will affect the impact test and how the impact occurs. Currently, the weight that impacts the helmet occurs with a pre-set speed and affects the front, top, back, side & chin guard. With the new standard, other points of impact will be added, not only on the centerlines but also an extra point per sample, different from each other.
With ECE 22.06, the impact speed will also change, & in addition to that already established, it will be slower. ECE 22.05 envisages impact against a flat anvil and ‘kerbstone’ in the shape of the pavement, from a height of 7.5meters for a speed of 7.5m/s (28km/h), which becomes 5.5 meters. With the new ECE 22.06 norms, the impact will be at 5.5 and 8.5meters.
Helmet accessories such as integrated sun visors will have standards that they will need to meet to pass testing. The testing procedures themselves have been overhauled with the latest science being applied to the process.
The impact tests will see harder and faster impacts being created and low-speed impacts. There will also be a new angle rotation introduced to the impact test. The EPS is also in multiple densities hence providing much more protection at a lesser weight.
The new regulations will come into effect from January 2024, which gives manufacturers time to produce helmets to meet the new standards.
After January 2024, riders can still legally wear their ECE 22.05 helmet, but any new helmet supplied by a manufacturer to a distributor or retailer will have to be certified as ECE 22.06.