KIWI RIDER 11 2018 VOL.2 - Page 20

‘S upertech S-M10’ – there’s a clue there in the name. The ‘10’ bit – just as with Alpinestars’ Tech 10 boot, that number denotes top of the range. Alpinestars is entering the dirt bike helmet market at the top, with an ‘all bells and whistles’ offering that’s set to go head-to-head (of course) with the current market benchmarks such as the Bell Moto 9 Flex, Shoei VFX-W and Arai MX-V. Getting to this point hasn’t been an overnight process. At the launch of the helmet at Milestone MX Park in California, Jeremy Appleton, head of Alpinestars’ communications, explained the S-M10 is the result of a five-year development and testing process undertaken by their helmet specialists. Set against Alpinestars’ goal to continually pioneer in moto-safety, it does then come with every conceivable top-drawer protection facet on the market today, plus a few more. So what is the tech? Three-layer shell Carbon features, as you’d imagine. So there’s a high-density carbon outer layer, then a unidirectional carbon composite layer and finally an aramid fibre layer. So it’s super-strong, so strong it exceeds regulation standards by 41% for direct impacts and 48% for rotational acceleration–oblique impacts. There are four shell sizes too, so the helmet is always optimal for your head size. And with carbon being a light material this all makes for a comparatively light shell – 1260 grams for a medium helmet. Four section EPS liner EPS – that’s expanded polystyrene – is that energy absorption layer that we know is so important in reducing the forces that’ll reach your head in a crash. In this instance Alpinestars has specified four densities of the EPS to suit the different zones around the helmet. MIPS MIPS – here we go again, that’s Multi-Directional Impact Protection System – is fairly well known to us now as it exists in competitors’ top end helmets such as from Bell and 6D. Essentially it’s a slip layer between the comfort lining and the EPS, which allows the helmet to rotate very slightly on the head in an impact, thus reducing the acceleration stresses which lead to common brain injuries such as concussion. As a byproduct,