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      07-24-2008, 01:04 PM   #1
gadget
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Exclamation Helmet / Fire Suit Recommendations

Can you guys provide recommendations based on the safety gear you have.

So far I've noted that Sparco and Bell have the best products.

I like the F1 style helmet from Spare that comes in both a Carbon Composite (~1100USD) and Fiberglass (~650USD) I know the carbon is lighter but for the occasional track day, i think I'm OK with the Finerglass?

Thoughts on the importance of weight would also be appreciated.

Also thinking of getting a Hans, device? Is this overkill.


I'm planning on going up to the Mid-Ohio track. Do these events also require you to buy gloves ans racing shoes?
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      07-24-2008, 01:08 PM   #2
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Ironically I have a Bell Model "M3" helmet

I also have a Sparco 3 layer suit which when Im in my race car driving with NASA I don't need separate fireproof "underwear" I usually just roll some boxers and a t-shirt (to soak up sweat)

I bought my suit when it was a "last years model" and saved some dough.

When Im tracking a normal car (not my racecar) I just wear jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt with my driving shoes (OMP) and my Sparco gloves.

I always wear a baclava (sp?) to keep my helmet nice and sweat free. I know it suck in hot weather but thats what I do.

Its up to the organizing body as to what they recommend/require. Most schools just want you to show up with a safe car, a helmet and an open mind.

I have a HANS that I wear in my racecar. You can't wear that unless you have a minumum of an Autopower style rollbar and 5-6- or 7 point harnesses AND a race seat

/G
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      07-24-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euro View Post
Ironically

I have a HANS that I wear in my race car. You can't wear that unless you have a minimum of an Autopower style roll bar and 5-6- or 7 point harnesses AND a race seat

/G

Thanks for the info. Interesting point on the HANS. Is there a reason why i need all that stuff to be able to wear a Hans device. Just curious. Thanks.
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      07-24-2008, 01:38 PM   #4
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I prefer Arai to Bell, but they're more expensive. In general, better materials, adjustable fit and option for a peak visor instead of a shield on the GP-5W for enclosed cars, I wear glasses. Sparco makes a nice helmet, but I've been told they have a certain fit, worth a try on before purchase.

I use a HANS device, but you need the required harness, harness bar/roll bar/cage, which means you need a suitable fixed back race bucket seat with shoulder holes and an anti-submarine strap opening. This also means you'll lose your thorax bag and seat weight sensors which will need to be turned off to avoid a sensor warning. If your in a coupe then it makes your back seats even more useless.

Unless your drop dead serious about tracking your car a lot, I personally would stick with a good helmet, shoes (love Pumas and Pilotis), and bright or light colored gloves for moisture and clearer point by's.
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      07-24-2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadget View Post
Thanks for the info. Interesting point on the HANS. Is there a reason why i need all that stuff to be able to wear a Hans device. Just curious. Thanks.
The Hans device is held against your upper body with the shoulder straps. There are other devices you may look into, maybe the R3. If your running a harness you should consider a Hans since your front airbags won't do much good if your torso is strapped tight to a bucket.
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      07-24-2008, 01:41 PM   #6
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My helmet is Arai and Sparco gloves/suit. Puma shoes.
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      07-24-2008, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadget View Post
Thanks for the info. Interesting point on the HANS. Is there a reason why i need all that stuff to be able to wear a Hans device. Just curious. Thanks.
Heres the safety ladder as I can explain it...

You can't wear a hans without a harness... Thats the way the thing works, the two arms ride on your chest under the harness and it keeps your head from snapping forward past the pre-determined strap length.

You cant have a harness with a factory seat... There is no way a factory seat is built to accept a harness safely. A solid one piece non-reclining seat is mandatory for use with a harness in most racing org's. The factory seat WILL fail before the one piece does (when mounted properly).

you cant have a harness without a roll bar or a harness bar... (I wouldn't use a harness bar) There is simply no way to properly install the harness without this. The geometry is wrong if you are trying to tie it into the floor behind you or some other way.
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      07-24-2008, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by consolidated View Post
Unless your drop dead serious about tracking your car a lot, I personally would stick with a good helmet, shoes (love Pumas and Pilotis), and bright or light colored gloves for moisture and clearer point by's.
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      07-24-2008, 01:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Agreed 100%!!!!!!!
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      07-24-2008, 02:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies.

I don't want to put a role cage / harness/ racing seats in my M so Hans is out. My plan is to do a couple track days a year. No plans to make this a hard core race car.

Based on the reco's here I'll invest in a good helmet, trying for fit before I buy.

Some gloves (Good point on the bright gloves, hadn't tough of that.)
and a good fire suit with shoes.
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      07-24-2008, 09:09 PM   #11
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Don't invest in a really expensive lightweight helmet if you'll track occasionally. Don't spend too much on this stuff if you'll track occasionally. It's like any other hobby; you can spend way too much as a beginner. Who wouldn't want to be as safe as possible? But, that would require significant modifications to your stock car. The safety systems built into your M3 combined with a decent helmet that fits you well is a reasonable measure against the safety risks a mellow track day poses. If you get to a point where you are more aggresive, then you can think about upgrading and modding your car or getting a dedicated caged track car.
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      07-25-2008, 01:45 AM   #12
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HJC makes the best CF litewieght helmet. it about $700. as far as cost? how much is your brain and spinal cords worth to you? the lieghter the helmet the lower the forces on your head and neck in a crash. the HJC is pre drilled for the HANS also.

GRM rates some helmets and the HJC is the only one that got rated 10 out of 10.

http://www.hjc-motorsports.com/hx10.htm
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      07-25-2008, 02:20 AM   #13
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There is no need for an expensive helmet, dearer usually means less weights and the reason for the less weight is the amount of lateral Gs modern race cars produce, it's a killer on the neck muscles. Your M3 will produce no more than 1.3s at best so get the most comfortable helmet for the cheapest price, invest the rest in decent gloves, shoes and of course suit.

Sparco for the suit, something like a Bell Sport 4 helmet or Mag 6 open face, Sparco Tech Light suit, Sparco Twister Gloves and Alpinestars Tech 1-T Race Boots. All in white of course.

Now you are the Stig and that is sure to give you the advantage over the rest.
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      07-30-2008, 02:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW-M-Mexico View Post
My helmet is Arai and Sparco gloves/suit. Puma shoes.
I use the exact same setup as you, but I'm looking at oakley, puma, and ARD suits, oakley gloves, and oakley or asics boots for my 2009 track wear. I'll probably go with the ARD suit because it can be custom fitted/ordered. I have a short inseam length and I haven't come across customized oakley or puma suits yet, but I really like what I'm seeing from them. The puma shoes are kinda tight on me so I'm looking to try another brand.
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      07-30-2008, 03:09 PM   #15
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I recommend Arai for helmets and Puma for driving gear - suits, shoes, gloves, nomex, etc.
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      07-30-2008, 03:47 PM   #16
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I have had several helmets over the years. For me, I now wear a Bell Mag 4 which is an open face helmet for under $300. After years of having nicer closed face helmets, I learned that they are HOT as hell, can fog up, and are pretty much overkill in a modern car. That's what I would recommend.....YMMV.


Yeah, they look a bit dorky...lol. I don't care anymore. I would rather be comfy than look cool with a $1,200 helmet. Oh yeah, I also went to the open faced as when I was instructing a lot, I was getting sick and tired of shoving the mic and earpiece up into my helmet. MUCH easier and comfy with an open face! Plus, it doesn't sound like you are in a tuna can when you talk.

As for suits, I only wore one when karting...never used it in the car. Again, overkill IMHO.

Shoes...whatever fits and feels good. The ones mentioned previously are great shoes. I have been wearing a set of G-Force shoes for a few years now...fairly cheap...but they work fine. Again, I am more interested in being good than looking good, so $50 shoes are cool with me as long as they function well.

Last edit: Whatever you do, try on everything first! Find a good shop and try on a variety of helmets, shoes, etc. Make sure they fit you properly and that you aren't going to be uncomfortable wearing them!

Bell Mag 4:
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      07-30-2008, 06:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euro View Post
Ironically I have a Bell Model "M3" helmet
Have the same one as well, not bad at all
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      08-07-2008, 10:09 PM   #18
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I use a Simpson (www.TeamSimpson.com) Speedway Shark sans the aero package. It's full face, not too expensive and great to ahve when you get to drive/ride in an open car.

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      08-26-2008, 01:10 PM   #19
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I just got the HJC Si-12 and it is VERY light weight considering it's not carbon. It's about 1/3 of a pound heavier than the HJC carbon helmet (not much at all). I just completed 3 days of track driving and my neck never got tired. The helmet is about $630 and well worth it for sure. SA2005 of course.

http://soloracerdotcom.stores.yahoo.net/hjcsi12.html

http://www.hjc-motorsports.com/si12.htm
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      08-26-2008, 01:15 PM   #20
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Nice buy and thanks for the info AW325
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      09-27-2008, 04:33 AM   #21
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Question

Has anybody here any experience with this product:
Pyrotect Helmet - Open Face SA2005 (http://soloracerdotcom.stores.yahoo....penfacesa.html).

Looks like the Bell but even cheaper. I mean for 3-4 track outings a year...
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      09-27-2008, 07:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTROIS View Post
Has anybody here any experience with this product:
Pyrotect Helmet - Open Face SA2005 (http://soloracerdotcom.stores.yahoo....penfacesa.html).

Looks like the Bell but even cheaper. I mean for 3-4 track outings a year...
I purchased that exact model helmet for my weekend at the track last week. I didn't have any problems with the helmet. Can't say that I would recommend it with my limited experience but there were no obvious or overt problems with the helmet and nobody had any negative stories to tell me about the helmet.
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