MIPS might sound like the name of a character from the Muppet Show, but this amazing new technology has nothing to do with entertainment. Instead, it can increase your chances of avoiding both mild and severe brain injury during a motorcycle crash. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, a technology developed by scientists and brain surgeons. This technology, integrated into your motorcycle helmet, can significantly reduce your risk of brain damage in case of a crash.
Slip-plane System to Protect Your Head
MIPS is an integrated slip-plane system that helps protect your head against rotational forces which occur during a crash if you hit your head at an angle. According to statistics, we rarely hit our heads in a linear fashion. Instead, most crashes occur at an angle, causing anything from mild concussions to severe brain injury. With MIPS, the slip-planes inside the helmet move with the angle of the impact protecting your head from sudden, severe movement.
This technology mimics our natural protection from impact. Our brain inside the skull is naturally protected from impact by a layer of fluid, which allows for slight movement inside our skulls to disperse the forces of impact.
Slick Marketing Trick or a Lifesaver?
Motorcycle helmet manufacturers are constantly coming up with new designs, features, and technologies, launching impressive marketing campaigns which urge riders to upgrade. MIPS, however, was not conjured up by a helmet company. Instead, this technology was developed by medical and scientific researchers and brain specialists to create the best protection system available.
Most helmets are tested by dropping them vertically on a flat surface using varied force. But according to research, that’s just not how we fall: during most motorcycle crashes, we experience both linear and rotational, or angled impact. MIPS has been created to help prevent brain injury by counteracting this mixed impact during an accident.
Why You Want MIPS in Your Next Helmet
MIPS has grown exponentially in the last few years, largely thanks to mounting new medical research and constantly evolving technology. Not all motorcycle helmet brands have integrated MIPS into their helmets yet, but those that have been seeing a lot of interest from riders both in the United States and globally. Because MIPS has grown so fast, the price range has now become accessible to any motorcycle rider.
So what’s the bottom line? MIPS has not yet become a standard technology to be integrated into every helmet, which means it’s up to you whether you want to try it or not. Comfort-wise, there is no difference between a regular helmet and one that has MIPS. The slip-planes are integrated beneath the padding, so you won’t feel them. It also does not add much weight. Depending on the model of the helmet, MIPS may add anywhere between 25 and 45 grams of weight.
And if MIPS can reduce the risk of brain injury, even if by a little, it sounds like it may be worth making sure your next helmet has it.
Written by: Alisa Clickenger @motoadventuregal