If you’re in the market for a motorcycle helmet, you’ve probably questioned the multiple rating standards that are out there. We are frequently asked which rating standard is the best. That question is not so easily answered. Here is a guide to five of the most common helmet standards used across the world.
The Snell testing procedure includes impact, position stability (roll-off), dynamic retention, chin bar, shell/face shield penetration, and flame resistance (racing helmets only) tests. The Snell Memorial Foundation routinely updates its standards, and the 2015 standards can be found on their website. You can tell that your helmet is Snell Certified by either an adhesive decal or cloth label that is usually affixed to the inside of the helmet.
The ECE R22-05 standard was set by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and is used in over 50 countries. The testing process requires the manufacturer to send in 50 helmets to be tested before it can be ECE R22-05 certified. This particular standard favors helmets that are shock-absorbent.
DOT FMVSS 218
The DOT FMVSS 218 standard was set by the United State Federal Government’s Department of Transportation (DOT), and is formally called the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. One of the most common helmet standards in the US, the DOT FMVSS 218 standard also favors helmets that are shock-absorbent, much like the ECE R22-05 standard. It is commonly referred to as simply DOT standard.
Another European rating system, SHARP requires its helmets to go through 32 different impact tests at three different speeds. The tests result in the helmet receiving a one through five star rating, five having the best protection. SHARP is one of two helmet safety rating systems in the world so far.
CRASH (Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets) is a helmet standard that was created by Australia/New Zealand, and is also known as AS/NZS 1698. The assessment looks at two major criteria: 1. the helmet must have adequate impact performance and 2. the helmet must remain on the individual’s head during the crash. In addition to looking at the two criteria, CRASH also has a five star rating system.
Riders Discount provides a vast variety of helmets to suit your riding needs. Our helmets are available at a variety of prices and safety standards. As always, Riders Discount is here to help you make every ride the perfect (and safest) ride. Visit our website to find the right helmet for you. Our expert sales team is here for you by phone 10AM-6PM ET M-F 1-866-931-6644 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.