“Buy Once, Cry Once”
For a long time, people have been led to believe that all motocross helmets are created equal. Common misconceptions, like they’re just foam, painted with wild colors that look like your Uncle’s old ski boat. This is just not true by ANY means. When you think about it, I mean really think about it, how many people do you think are as educated as they should be in helmet technology? Definitely not enough for sure. The fact is when you buy any protective equipment, especially a helmet, there’s one rule I’ve always lived by; buy once, cry once. To break it down, the more you spend on a product almost always directly corresponds with the level of technology you receive back in said product.
Cream of the crop
Alpinestars isn’t a new kid on the block. We’ve seen so many newcomers to this sport as of late and sad to say, a lot go un-noticed. But with Alpinestars, you come to terms with the fact they’ve been a leader in rider tech longer than many of those others combined. When you’ve been in the game for the long haul and seen how our sport has come up, it reflects greatly in your development. The thing about being at the forefront of new technologies is that it has disadvantages, such as like-minded competition. However, the positives outweigh the negatives immensely. Competing manufacturers push each other to be better day by day, to shakedown the next upper-hand approach. Realistically though, this all comes down to best attributes that a company showcases in advances they bring to the market. This my friends is where Alpinestars cuts its teeth.
The crown is heavy at times
Inherently, with a name as synonymous in motorsports such Alpinestars, the pressure builds on upholding your standard. With wolves at the door always trying to take the throne, you always have to be innovating and stay ahead of the pack. This has almost always been the case in the boot world with Alpinestars. I looked forward to someday getting them as a kid, and that influence never changed even up until this day. But the world has changed and allowed the evolution of the company to carry out new missions in protection. The last couple of years gave way to the slightly steeper priced, but highest of technologies Alpinestars Supertech M10. But with the need for a more affordable option, the safety mogul had to create yet another benchmark while keeping that same level of protection, tech highlights, and design. Enter, the new Alpinestars Supertech M8.
Innovation comes of necessity
First and foremost, Alpinestars has a strong-willed product philosophy when bringing a new helmet idea to market that everyone should strive for. It’s simple; “Create the most advanced, protective and performance enhancing helmet possible.” That is no small task to accomplish in any sense, no matter how established you are. But to further the budding idealism there were two objectives established on the road to the SM8:
- Primary objective: Protection – to create the most high-performance protection possible.
- Second objective: to give excellent ventilation, comfort and reduced weight.
In order for these aspects to come to fruition, they created the Alpinestars Helmet Development Department. This was a way to explore everything needed to develop the most protective and comfortable possible motocross helmet.
A hitlist of technology standards
Some of the ideas Alpinestars used in creating the new SM8 Radium, Triple, Contact, and Solid model helmets are brow-raising. They understand the need for comfort goes farther than what we’ve known as normal. The SM8 utilizes MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) that reduces damaging gyration on the brain. Clavicle protection, rarely seen in helmet design, is sculpted as a relief section to clear the collarbone. The ERS (emergency release system) allows the helmet to be removed without putting a load on the rider’s spine after a crash. The 1360g weight works for you in allowing less fatigue on the neck and shoulders. While ventilation, a key design feature on the SM8, improve direct airflow to keep you comfortable, reducing heat stress. With all parts playing into one common purpose, the SM8 raises a new standard in what helmet technology needs to be.
It’s apparent what speed you have to be traveling if you want to get in this race. The direction we’re headed in the next 10 years, gives precedence to how little we’ve known before, and what we might be capable of. As a rule of survival in this industry, to stay a big dog you have to make big dog moves. Even companies well known, worn by us and professionals alike, have gone the way of the dinosaur. Some technologies, of course, can be beneficial to absorb. Others perhaps meaningful to add under a wing. But some, just can’t compete with big-budget progress of names like Alpinestars and a few others.
This is not a bad thing for us consumers, however. The furnace will always breed new life to motorsports, and with it new companies to be forged. The mere fact that we can depend on a company that’s so deeply rooted in the sport only creates a better outcome. The safer, lighter and stronger we are, the better we become. The farther technology gets pushed by competing manufacturers, the more accessible it is for us as the consumer. In my opinion, I’d say we aren’t exactly getting stuck with the runt of that litter.
- Unique, patented, visor release system is another key attribute incorporated into the design of the Supertech M8.
- Visor release is a key part of overall protection performance in the helmet and a major influence on the distinctive, flush, design of the outer shell profile.
- Alpinestars has developed a unique visor release system which, while ensuring the mounting is held securely in place for riding over the most extreme terrain and any track conditions, provides exactly the right level of resistance to ensure the visor detaches from the helmet shell if it is subjected to a significant impact – no matter what the angle.
- The S-M8 visor release mechanism is conceived to avoid the inherent weaknesses in other types of anchoring systems. Maintaining shell integrity is vital for safety and with the possibility of multi-directional forces impacting on the visor, separation at the critical point of loading reduces potentially damaging leverage and rotational accelerations that refer injury to the rider’s neck and spine.
- Ventilation is a key feature of the Supertech M8.
- Heat mapping tests have resulted in specifically designed ducting which produces a positive flow into the helmet over and around the rider’s head, improving comfort while riding and reducing the onset of heat stress in extreme conditions.
- The visor design of the S-M8 is also an integral part of the ventilation system as it is profiled to direct airflow, acting as a channel to concentrate and smooth the flow into the shell. The Supertech M8 liner design is formed to optimize airflow channeling around the rider’s head before being extracted from the S-M8 through rear exhaust vents to ensure positive pressure is maintained with constant airflow while riding.
- Hydration system compatibility.
- The Supertech M8 helmet lining design includes canals which allow a tube to be incorporated on either side of the shell. This is a feature extensively tested by Alpinestars rally raid and enduro riders enabling convenient fitting and connection to a hydration system.
- Interior lining comfort.
- Removable liner cover is washable and features a cool-max fabric interior and anti-bacterial talent yarn for long-lasting freshness and quick-dry performance between riding sessions.
- The helmet features TPE coating washable surfaces to improve maintenance and increase durability.
Don’t wait, order your Alpinestars S-M8 helmet before your next ride. To see the collection, visit btosports.com or click here