FLY RACING FORMULA S CARBON HELMET | PREMIUM SAFETY MEETS CLEVER TECH

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Established in 1998 and now the brand behind some of the biggest names in off-road racing today, FLY Racing is committed to developing the highest quality apparel for all forms of motorcycling. Inspired by racing, driven by adventure, and crafted for performance, our Patrol gear has been thoughtfully engineered as a lighter adventure option, ideal for the warmer months in Australia.

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Fly Racing celebrates its 25th birthday with the outstanding Formula S helmet

I read in a science book that we each only get one head.

That’s right…heads are not replaceable and believe me, I was shocked when I found out too.

That makes your choice of helmet all the more important and it seems Fly Racing has just raised the bar on lid design so you can best look after your one and only noggin.

The Formula S Carbon helmet is as much of a statement from Fly Racing as it is a standout design. Fly has made some monumental leaps in the past few years and the Formula S Carbon is proof of that.

This is not your typical helmet review because this is not your typical helmet.

Fly Racing has moved mainstream helmet design into a new realm with the Formula S.

Offering an array of innovative safety features, the Formula S pushes things further with smart technology designed to keep you safe beyond the natural function of a top-shelf helmet.

The helmet not only protects you in the moment of impact but responds to your needs should a worst-case scenario occur after that impact.

Using an array of sensors within the shell and Bluetooth connection to your smartphone the Formula S can call for help (mobile signal needed), in a moment when perhaps you can’t do that yourself.

After sensing a crash, the helmet will use the connection to your phone to send a message with your location and status to selected contacts as well as emergency services.

The Impact Detection System is a product of a collaboration with Quin Design, which is a British company that specialises in smart helmets.

In the following section, we’re going to walk through how you set up the app and the many things it can do for you besides calling for help.

Then we’ll look at the helmet’s overall design and safety features. Get comfortable because there’s a lot to cover when it comes to the Formula S.

GETTING STARTED

You need to buy the helmet first. Go buy the helmet.

Download the free Fly Smart app from either the Apple Store or Google Play.

Fly Racing Fly Smart app for the Formula S helmet on the Apple app store



Establish an account and login details with your name, mobile number, email and password.


Input your emergency contacts – these are the people who will be alerted in a crash that you may need assistance. They will get a notification and will need to accept the invite.


On an iPhone, head to the Enable Location services on your phone and set it to Always for the Fly Smart app – this means you can be tracked, and it also unlocks the Ride Tracking feature. On an Android phone that path will be different so just follow the app’s instructions.


Charge the helmet’s computer by plugging it into power and then you can pair your phone to the helmet. It takes about 2 hours to charge and is good for approximately 45 to 60 days thereafter, depending on use.



The helmet becomes active just by lifting it – this is called the Raise to Wake feature – there is no on or off button. Remember, this helmet is smart.


Follow the app instructions to pair the helmet to your phone. It’s very easy and takes just seconds to complete.

APEX EXTRA FEATURES

You have now done all the set-up work but there is one more optional step.

The Fly Smart app is free but there are extra features if you opt to pay for the Apex membership tier.



The free version will show your helmet’s status (so you can check for any damage), it will send out crash alerts and also allow the use of the SOS button within the app – which does the same as the crash alert – and you can also track your ride.



Within the Apex membership tier, you can also access impact analytics, Q score analytics (consistency of key riding attributes), advanced ride analytics, helmet impact location (shows you where on your helmet may have sustained damage), crash analytics, crash location on a map, advanced impact data, pre and post-crash speed graph, and professional monitoring system integration.

TRACK YOUR RIDE

Hit the RIDE icon at the bottom of the app. Then click START. The app will now start collecting ride analytics (have to have your phone with you during the ride).

You can use the app to review the ride analytics like a ride map, speeds, elevation, hard acceleration and hard braking. The app will save the rides so you can view them at any point in the future.

Once the app is ready to roll with you, the main interface will look like this…

CRASH RESPONSE

In the event the Formula S detects it has been in a crash the light on the back of the helmet will flash red.

Your phone will alert you that it’s about to call for help and it will give you a countdown to cancel any call for help.

If you don’t cancel your emergency contacts and emergency services will be contacted with your location and your status.

You and emergency contacts can track the response post-crash in the app with status updates.
Once help arrives you or responders can mark you as safe and end the response.



After the crash, you can tap the CRASH PRO icon to view the analytics including maximum impact and rotational acceleration.

The Formula S knows the difference between being dropped or having been in a crash. But even after being dropped you can reference the app to see if the helmet has sustained notable damage.

Without a phone present, the helmet will still collect impact data that you can view on the phone later.

WELCOME TO THE AIS

The Formula S isn’t just about the digital and there are plenty of analogue safety features to highlight.

The helmet employs what Fly Racings calls its Adaptive Impact System (AIS), which is the coming together of three major components starting with the 12k carbon weave shell.

Carbon fibre is often used utilising a 3k, 6k or 12k carbon weave. As the numbers increase, so does the strength and the weight saving. So in general, a 12k weave is stronger and lighter than a 3k weave(the weave pattern and fibre thickness play a role as well).

The 12k carbon shell offers high strength with a light weight



Just below the surface, you have the Conehead EPS layer. Conehead tech uses clever geometry and a dual-layered structure to limit linear, angular and rotational impact forces.

A bit like a crumple zone, the EPS is designed with 6 critical zones that act as the second layer of absorption in both low and high-speed crashes.

Then you have the somewhat strange-looking blue blobs which are there to do a very important job. These blobs are impact Energy Cells made of RHEON which is a viscoelastic material, meaning it exhibits properties of both a liquid and a solid, like the T-1000 in Terminator 2.

At rest, it’s soft and flexible, allowing for a comfortable fit. However, upon impact, RHEON stiffens dramatically, absorbing and dissipating a significant amount of energy before it can reach your head.

In the Formula S, it is particularly effective in absorbing low-speed linear and rotational impacts, which of course reduces forces transmitted to the only brain you’ll ever have.

FLY RACING RAISES THE BAR

The Formula S weighs just 1290 grams (MD/LG sizing) so it’s a featherweight lid. It’s got a generous amount of ventilation intakes and exhausts and it looks bloody good.


Some have noted the fact that you have to have mobile service as a barrier and yes, we do ride out of mobile reach a lot on adventure bikes.

But, Fly Racing built this helmet to be future-proof with a brain more powerful than it needs to be right now because there are plans to expand the limitations of a mobile network right out to satellite use.

This would mean you can reach help from damn near anywhere on the planet.

For now, I’m all for any product that can make riding safer. This is not just a clever helmet, but a very well-built, safe, and premium-level helmet that I feel comfortable and comforted to be in.

If you’re less of a goggle wearer and more of a visor lover then you can also check out our review of the lower-priced Trekker.