Twenty years ago the motorcycle world championship was still fresh. Everything was new; bike technology was still fitting its children shoes. But soon after that new road bikes had whiz bang sixteen inch front wheels and anti-dive suspension.
Things change, the bikes changed; racing suspension, engine management, serious rubber, it will not surprise anybody that a modern 500cc road bikes can beat a 500cc championship racing bike of about 10 years ago with not much problems.
If we just look at the technological achievements for the last 20 years we all agree that technology has come a long way. Sadly, our crash helmet hasn't made the similar march of technological progress. A couple of air vents, lighter materials, a fancy yank paint job and a new sticker don't make for radical new technology.
Basically the impact speed protection of our crash helmet has not increased as fast as say the horse power of our bikes. In the 20 years the horse power of a 500cc (4-stroke) racing machine has almost doubled. It is therefore fair to say that your crash helmet is probably twenty years behind your bike on technological level.
Lucky not everybody sits still, and a sophisticated new virtual skull is set to help researchers study evolution and design better crash helmets. The virtual chimp skull, designed by Dr Stephen Wroe of the Australian University of New South Wales and colleagues from the Australian University of Newcastle.
With this technology it is possible to test helmets with different specifications which could be virtually crash tested with a virtual skull inside them to help researchers work out the most effective combination of helmet materials to use. The research team has already built the world's most realistic virtual crash helmet yet.