A helmet is the essential piece of safety equipment that nearly every amateur racer owns, but finding the perfect helmet is not always easy. When it comes to motorsports, discovering “the perfect helmet” is a complicated endeavor.
Questions you need to answer when helmet shopping include: What discipline are you competing in? Does the helmet fit your head? and Does the price fit your pocketbook?
Then you need the answer to all three questions to come in one package.
In early 2015, with the Snell SA2015 standard about to go into effect (rendering my HJC Motorsports AR-10 helmet useless for SCCA road racing competition due to its Snell rating aging out), I found myself helmet shopping. Once again, I opted for an HJC helmet, this time the SI-12R, which offers a lighter composite shell and a modern Snell rating due to its newer construction date.
But, while the SI-12R is an upgrade over the AR-10, one of my favorite features is available on both: a removable interior.
While passive racers may think nothing of a removable helmet interior, anyone who competes regularly in SCCA motorsports events knows that keeping a helmet’s interior clean (and fresh) is essential. With the HJC, when things get dirty, you just remove the interior components, hand wash everything, and reinstall the pieces. It’s simple and easily doable between events.
Fast-forward almost five years, however, and the interior of my SI-12R was not just dirty, but it was also showing signs of wear. Between road racing, autocrossing, and numerous on-track test days, the lining had had enough.
Physically, the exterior of my helmet was still in excellent shape, and more importantly, it had never had an impact, so the structure was sound. All it needed was a new interior; fortunately, this is something that is easily addressed with HJC’s replacement helmet liners and cheek pads.
For a fraction of the cost of a new helmet, I replaced the interior of the helmet in just a few minutes, essentially restoring it to new condition with little more effort than fidgeting with a few plastic snaps.
It’s important to note that if you have any questions about the structural integrity of your helmet, replace the entire unit. However, if your helmet is in great shape and the safety rating still valid for your form of motorsports, a fresh interior kit is a great way to spruce things up.