“I would like to personally thank the entire Leatt company and design team for this wonderful piece of safety equipment which I can credit to saving my life”
I am writing this letter to thank the owners of and the design team at Leatt.
I was practicing for an upcoming race on Easter Sunday when, for some unknown reason, my bike flicked sideways badly. I was unable to correct it, and when I landed I was high-sided off the bike which in turn speared me head first into the ground.
I wasn’t going fast, however, I landed on top of my head which resulted in me breaking my C1 and C2 vertebrae (also known as the hangman’s break). The head Orthopaedic Surgeon said the only thing that saved me from fatal spinal damage was my Leatt neck brace and M2R helmet.
I have owned my Leatt neck brace for around five years and it has protected me from neck injuries many times, but mostly minor ones. I no longer ride my motocross bikes without wearing my neck brace as I would feel unsafe without it.
As the helmet compressed, it pushed down on my Leatt neck brace which prevented my neck from twisting and kept my head straight. If my head had tilted or cocked one way or another, it would have been catastrophic for me. The design of the brace allowed the helmet to compress straight down on it resulting in me breaking my neck. This, however, is a small price to pay as I am still alive and so thankful I was wearing this piece of safety gear. The jaw protection area and the side of the helmet broke in such a way that it took a lot of the force out of the impact.
Again, thankfully it was a relatively new helmet (less than 12 months old) with very good safety features.
I’ve added a few pics of my M2R helmet. As you can see, the top of the helmet wore the brunt of the impact. I received no damage or injury to the rest of my head apart from a few chipped teeth. In fact, I felt so good and had full movement and feeling everywhere that it took another rider that noticed the damage on the outside of the helmet to tell me not to move until medical personnel arrived. After the accident, I could stand up because I had been so well protected by the helmet and neck brace. I just didn’t realize how bad the break was.
A recent rule change by Motorcycling Australia has banned helmet cameras being mounted to the top of the helmet. As luck would have it, the impact zone was exactly where the camera was mounted so I am thankful this rule was brought in recently.
I’ve been told by various medical professionals (paramedics, doctors, etc.) that I could have ended up a paraplegic, quadriplegic – or worse have died, had I not been wearing it.
Once again, I would like to personally thank the entire Leatt company and design team for this wonderful piece of safety equipment which I can credit to saving my life – a statement I don’t take lightly!