What is glancing off? Understanding the Arai concept
To get under the skin of what makes an Arai so special, the iconic Japanese helmet manufacturer has released a video which aims to highlight the often ignored and little known importance of glancing off.
We all know about the value of impact absorption. It’s the one thing that helmet manufacturers shout about when they release a new lid – and there’s no doubt it’s a pivotal part of any helmet. But Arai thinks there’s something else that’s nearly as important; glancing off. And it should know – it’s been producing some of the finest quality motorcycle helmets on the market since the ‘50s. There’s a reason Arai’s helmets aren’t dripping with oversized vents and spoilers – a strong shell with a smooth, round surface can help to alleviate impact energy. It might sound simple – but if you can help a helmet slide past obstacles, rather than snag on them – you’re on to a winner. That’s glancing off.
Most helmets feature a certain amount of glancing off potential – but Arai’s made it a priority. By assessing innumerable crashed helmets, Arai’s continually perfecting the glancing off abilities of its lids in an effort to improve the protection offered.
Interestingly, helmet safety standards don’t take into account glancing off; it’s tricky to quantify in any kind of consistent way. Instead, industry tests focus primarily on impact absorption. That’s great. But is it enough? Not according to Arai.