In January, 2023, helmet technology and safety company Mips (which stands for “Multi-directional Impact Protection System) hosted a safety symposium at Blackmore Ranch in Murrieta, California. The goal: To bring partners across the motorcycle world together to talk safety and technology as it applies to this thing that we all love. Mips already partners with multiple brands, so Alpinestars, Fox Racing, Thor MX, and Troy Lee Designs were also in attendance.
For those unfamiliar, Mips describes its technology as “a safety system for helmets, developed with the intention to reduce rotational motion to the brain in the event of a crash.” Rotational motion has been shown in studies to increase the potential risk of brain damage—and that’s what Mips is designed to address and prevent.
Incidentally, while the focus at this event was clearly on Mips in motorcycle helmets, the company also offers this technology for a wide variety of helmets, across multiple sports and industries. That includes bicycle helmets, snow sport helmets, horse riding helmets, climbing helmets, construction helmets—and the list goes on. Although the requirements for each type of helmet may be different, you will find very few individuals who want to incur a brain injury while doing either work or leisure activities.
Gallery: Mips Safety Symposium 2023
“Mips is fortunate to have manufacturing partners that share the same commitment to safety, and we’re pleased to see the different helmets they offer, showcasing the variety of ways to implement Mips technology,” Mips CEO Max Strandwitz said in a statement.
“When we come together in moments like this, collectively, we can create change by offering a different perspective when it comes to the choices consumers make when purchasing a helmet. We’ll continue to educate and raise awareness on rotational motion and helmet safety. Today we were fortunate to have the company of a great group of people and shared many interesting discussions on how the industry can evolve together,” he added.
Other attendees included 15-time AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross national champion Ricky Carmichael, freestyle motocrosser Carey Hart, Troy Lee Designs GASGAS Factory Racing Team members Justin Barcia, Pierce Brown, and Michael Mosiman, as well as Troy and Max Lee. Fellow Swedish motorcycle company CAKE also attended and brought along demo bikes for everyone to try—after all, it’s hard to experience helmets if you don’t have bikes to wear them on.
“We’re in the midst of arguably the most pivotal period of rider safety in the history of the sport of motocross. The motorcycles of today’s era are faster, more powerful, and more capable than ever before, which translates into a heightened element of risk for competitors. As a result, it is imperative that the protective equipment athletes wear also evolves to provide a higher level of safety,” Carmichael said in a statement.
“I’m fortunate to be a part of that with Fox Racing, who has partnered with Mips to place themselves at the forefront of that evolution for helmets. Helmets, like the Fox V3RS with the Mips safety system, are the single-most-important piece of equipment for riders and now possess new technology designed for safety. The importance for this technology to also be available to the everyday consumer cannot be understated and has fostered a revolutionary progression in the well-being of all riders,” he added.
Of course, Mips doesn’t just have its sights set on motocross. Its newest creation, the Mips Integra TX, will be seen first in Japanese helmet maker Kabuto’s F17 Racing Mips. This helmet will become the first Mips-equipped helmet to be introduced inside the MotoGP paddock.