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Nov 19, 2018

​ASMA President Apologizes On Facebook For Specific Comments “Discouraging Anyone…From Using” Icon Helmets

An Icon Alliance helmet, which is made with a polycarbonate outer shell.

Copyright 2018, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

By David Swarts

Racer, racetrack owner and Arroyo Seco Motorcyclist Association (ASMA) President Roger Heemsbergen has apologized to Icon Motorsports for some of the remarks—which he said were supposed to be humorous--he made in an initial ban of the company’s helmets announced last week.

On November 12, Heemsbergen posted on ASMA’s official Facebook page: “As of today, Monday November 12, 2018, Icon helmets are no longer allowed in ASMA Motorcycle Roadracing Competition. We have seen too many head injuries with this brand of helmet and as a group we voted to exclude them from the list of acceptable helmets. Icon joins KBC as the only brand of helmets that are on this list. We do require ECE or Snell 2010 or newer certification for racing purposes. We are also discouraging anyone considering track days, riding on the street, or playing in a sandbox from using these helmets.”

The next day, November 13, Heemsbergen clarified and expanded ASMA’s helmet ban to include all helmets made with a polycarbonate (a.k.a. molded plastic) shell, not all Icon helmets.

That post on ASMA’s Facebook page read: “Upon further discussion, ALL polycarbonate helmets will be banned from ASMA Competition use, not any single brand. One thing not discussed is the fact that many times when a rider hits his head in a poly helmet, it can do damage to the inside foam without really showing any damage to the outer shell because the plastic bounces right back. All helmets used during competition for 2019 will need to be fiberglass or carbon based hard shells. We will be closely watching the FIM certification list as well. In addition to having one of the following certifications, no polycarbonate helmets will be allowed in competition in 2019: ECE 22-05 P, JIS T 8133, Snell M 2010 or newer. This is the correct way to make the rules fit what we are looking for as a group to protect ourselves and each other.”

Then on November 14, Heemsbergen issued an apology via the ASMA Facebook page to Icon Motorsports for parts of his initial comments about Icon helmets, specifically where he discouraged anyone from using Icon helmets, even when “playing in a sandbox.”

“We would like to offer an apology to Icon helmets for the joke at the end of our statement covering our racers decision to ban their brand of helmet,” read the November 14 post on ASMA’s Facebook page. “All of our racers know we like to joke around, even while covering important subjects. We have since amended our statement that was meant only for our little group to only include polycarbonate helmets and no specific brands. We have been attacked because there is no actual scientific evidence behind the decision, but we made our decision as a group of racers with a vote and although wording needed to change, the basic decision to not allow the cheaper plastic helmets remains no matter the brand.

“I did speak with Justin Knauer, General Manager of Icon yesterday [November 13] and he assures me he is a rider and wants the same protection as the rest of us and truly believes in his product. They do make a helmet without a polycarbonate shell, and if the certifications meet our new rules they will be welcome in our series. In addition, he assured me they are also working with all helmet safety standards, and he is also watching the new FIM helmet standard homologation tests as well. I hope they are able to bring a helmet to market that meets these new standards as all of us can use the best protection we can get, both on the track and on the street.

“Roger Heemsbergen” has reported on ASMA’s initial helmet ban, the ban’s expansion and clarification, Icon’s written response, and now ASMA’s apology for specific language used in the initial announcement of the ban, language ASMA now says was supposed to be humorous. Our coverage can be traced in the links provided below.