Motorcycle Helmet Standards

Motorcycle Helmet Standards – In the early days of motorcycling, helmet options were a bit more limited. The first helmets are made out of leather and cowhide diapers which were so effective that it saved many board track racers’ lives.

Nowadays, because of the enhancement of modern technology, helmet production has also improved. The safety measurements and standards for helmets evolved, too. Most of us may know that the risk in riding a motorcycle is higher so therefore, these standards were implemented to help motorcyclists be safer.

Helmets can provide more protection than other protective gears. And in order for you to check how safe and effective a motorcycle helmet is, you should find a way on how to prove it.

Before you decide on picking the best helmet for yourself, it is recommended to do some research first about its safety standards. You should find a helmet that meets the motorcycle standards as well.

Motorcycle Helmet Standards

However, this might be a little confusing for beginners. Each helmet safety standards have different schemes of tests, procedures and requirements before a helmet can carry its safety certification.

So to help you understand more about it, here are the helmet standards and procedures that are applied to all kinds of helmets around the world:

DOT Helmet Standard

In the US, a DOT certification is all that you need. This stands for ‘Department of Transportation ”, and is considered the most basic among all of the helmet standards. However, it is vital to understand that DOT is not a testing facility instead, a government regulatory agency.

The DOT standard which is the FMVSS 218 or ‘Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #218’ is applicable to helmets sold in the U.S for on-road use. It is because the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) applies this to helmets intended for on-road use only. Although, using a certified helmet for off-road purposes is certainly recommended, too.

The purpose of FMVSS 218 is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths to motorcyclists caused by head impacts. It has set standards divided into three areas of helmet performance:

  • Impact’s force reduction – This testing procedure measures the increasing speed of the head form on the interior of the helmet when released from a fixed height onto a spherical and flat-surfaced heavy steel.
  • Penetration resistance ‘ In this test procedure, they drop a piercing test striker from an established height to the helmet. The striker should not pierce so hard to avoid contact the headform.
  • Reservation of system effectiveness ‘ This testing procedure involves placing the retention straps of the helmet under load in pressure.

Helmet Standard

ECE 22.05 Helmet Standard

This is the safety standard applied for European countries. This stands for ‘Economic Commission for Europe.’ This is a combination of Snell and DOT tests and other ‘more up to date’ tests.

This certification is granted before helmets arrive in shelves and after the helmets undergo batch testing. The ECE approach aims to lessen the impact absorption in small helmets and also assumes that there is a far lower average collision speed stated in their case studies.

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Snell Helmet Standard

Snell is a private organization. This organization implies testing and certification to helmets. Moreover, the SNELL Memorial Foundation is considered to be the gold standard in the helmet industry.

The main goal of Snell is to test the impact absorption caused by a motorcycle crash. It also makes sure that your face and head are protected from any foreign objects that could possibly hit and create a puncture in any area of the helmet, including the visor.

The testing procedure includes ‘materials deflection tests’ and stress tests when helmets are frozen, hot or rain-soaked. Snell also wants to make sure that helmets would stay in their place when a crash happened.

SHARP Safety Scheme

SHARP Safety Scheme

A British government quality ratings scheme, SHARP was established in 2007 to improve motorcycle safety on UK roads.

Also known as The Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme, it is the first organization that went beyond ‘pass/fail’ certification for helmets. In this procedure, the seven models per helmets are tested. It uses 32 tests and issues ‘star rating.’

The rating for helmets is from one to five stars (with five being the highest) and states that if a helmet is five-rated, it offers good levels of protection. It is because this rating has a goal to measure the helmet’s ability to manage energy and protect the brain when great impact happens.

Indeed, helmets are not just helmets. They perform a major role, especially to motorcycle riders.

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Other Helmet Standards and Certifications (Local)

Big thanks to the measures set by the Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell), Department of Transportation (DOT), Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) and Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). It’s because the safety ratings of motorcycle helmets are being consistently developed from time to time.

For this reason, there are some countries who have implemented laws and certifications that should be followed by motorcycle riders as well. It is necessary to be aware of these so that your helmet will be compliant with local laws.

Therefore, your insurance will not be voided and you can also avoid expensive fines. See the chart below:


There are many factors to consider before buying a helmet and selecting one with an appropriate safety certification is a must.

The motorcycle helmet standards and certifications that are mentioned above are worth following. These things were implemented to ensure every rider’s safety. Moreover, it can be used to judge a helmet’s effectiveness in case of an accident.

The best helmets are made not just out of quality but most importantly of high safety standards. Remember that the main purpose of a helmet is to protect your head and to save your life. And you, as a rider, should be mindful and responsible for picking a helmet that can contribute to a safer and more comfortable ride.

Visit where helmets are quality-made and pass all the SG or JIS standards (Japan standards) Therefore, we can ensure you that our helmets are efficient, comfortable and safe.

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