At the outset of the MX helmet project, Alpinestars product philosophy was applied and a set of specific objectives set: Create the most advanced, protective and performance-enhancing helmet possible. Primary objective: protection – to create the most high-performance protection possible. Secondary objective: to give excellent ventilation, comfort and reduced weight.
Alpinestars approach to the creation of the advanced technology in the Supertech M8 draws on its depth of experience from over half a decade of world-class innovation across the spectrum of motorsports and especially, its deep-rooted commitment to motocross. As with all other categories of technology that Alpinestars has mastered, bringing a new, highly complex, product to fruition requires specialist experience and know-how and a project plan led by the best brains in protection development.
Hence Alpinestars Helmet Development Department was created and given the brief to research and develop the most protective and most comfortable possible motocross helmet. The goal was to allow riders to push the limits of performance, benefiting from confidence-inspiring safety technology, reduced weight distribution to minimise muscular effort in the neck, shoulders and back and improved physiological and cognitive performance with a supremely well-fitting and well-ventilated construction, optimizing comfort while riding.
The design is coherent to Alpinestars philosophy and shares distinctive themes with other products in the portfolio; a smooth, attractive, profile which is streamlined and free of any external channels and features that might act as a load point in an impact, or compromise the overall integrity of the construction. The surface curvature promotes reduced friction on impact, allowing deflection and the most efficient transfer of energy to protect the rider’s head from direct force to the skull and referred to the neck and spinal column. The aperture is designed to accommodate a wide variety of goggles and the air vents in the shell are located to maximize ventilation efficiency.
Shell construction utilises a highly advanced molding technology with a multi-composite combination: uni-directional carbon composite with aramid layer that gives significant radial strength around the shell, preventing compression but allowing controlled deflection for reducing transmitted impact energy, and providing critical penetration protection.
This combination of layers is given an even greater performance with an epoxy resin bonding that offers the best possible strength and energy management; limited outer shell deflection means the energy spreads wider and is better absorbed by the EPS liner.
The result of the unique shell lay-up process employed in the S-M8 construction results in extremely effective impact protection. With a fully equipped helmet testing facility, within Alpinestars Racing Development Center, an exhaustive impact research program has resulted in the Supertech M8 returning linear and oblique impact performance which far improves upon current helmet regulation standard limits. For direct, linear, impact by an average magnitude of 41% and for rotational acceleration, oblique, impact performance by an average of 48%.
The Supertech M8 shell construction is optimised to offer best fit across the range of four size options. Shell sizes are manufactured in small, medium, large and extra-large to ensure that riders have the correct fit which not only improves comfort but, most importantly, the effectiveness of the helmet in an impact.
The Supertech M8 liner construction combines with the shell to offer highly efficient impact energy management.
Formed with a multi-density EPS polymer, the energy absorbing layer gives an inner helmet profile which soaks up impact forces dissipated over the outer shell at the point of an impact and provides a shape offering a close and comfortable fit.
The energy absorption performance of the S-M8 is substantially improved by a four section construction that allows for specific densities of polymer to be prepared for different zones around the helmet lining. Not only is energy performance improved but also fit and comfort.
Patented A-Head fitting height and angle adjustment system.
The Supertech M8 incorportes a patented system to allow the helmet to be tuned exactly to the riders preference for the height and angle at which the helmet sits on the head. This unique technology allows for an ultra-specific set-up that can be adapted for the type of riding and the rider’s preference.
With a micro-adjustable pad that is connected to the helmet inner shell, it is possible to raise or lower the helmet fit and also, to tilt the helmet forward, or backwards.
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 rele