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Marc Abbott  says:

MCN’s top 5 rated helmets

At MCN we pride ourselves on rigorous road testing of a wide range of motorcycling products, and helmets are no exception.  Save £££ on motorcycle helmets in the MCN Shop Yes, certain lids seem to fit certain shapes of head, so with helmets more than any other product, trying before you buy is important (see how here). But once you’ve done that,...

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  • Posted 4 years ago (17 December 2010 10:13)

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Dec 10

Posts: 12

shrewsred says:

Having studied the SHARP testing regime they are a VERY good guide as to how helmets will protect in the real world in real accidents. The testing is also identical between helmets and so gives an excellent comparison as to how helmets will protect in the same accident conditions.

There are many stories of how epensive helmets have saved people in an accident and also many tales of how cheap helmets have failed. There are also many tales of how expensive helmets have failed in an accident and cheap helmets have protected.

What you need to remember is that the price is largely irrelevant. That comes about due to manufacturing costs, image, sponshorship deals, artwork etc etc.

A cheap helmet achieving 5 stars will protect better than a very expensive helmet achieving only 2 stars in a very high majority of accidents (flukes will always occur that differ from the norm)

The fact that it is a cheap helmet may mean that the quality of lining materials may be lower ie become sweat sodden and stinky in a shorter time and not stand up to washing therefore requiring earlier replacement. It may mean a chin strap buckle may become rusty due to lower quality (although not structurally weaker) metal. The visor may be less scratch resistant than more expensive models etc

The SHARP rating does not consider cost of materials, paintwork, packaging, shipping, image or any other such thing. It is just a DIRECT measure and comparison of protection in identical circumstances.

Obviously a proper fit is key to how well any helmet will perform. The SHARP rating cannot control how well your head fits any helmet.

Please don't think you are getting better protection by spending large sums. Also remember that real world crash and accident types lead to very different head impacts than race track incidents. The SHARP testing fully considers the head impact types with data taken from large amounts of data from real world crashes/head impacts.

To all - get the best fitting helmet you can. Ride sensibly and lets just keep enjoying two wheels while the nanny state still allows it






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Aug 02

Posts: 2737

spondonste says:


SHARP ratings are based on a number of criteria with only some of them being relevant to motorcyclists. SHARP specifically looks at side impacts due to hitting anti-roll bars fitted INSIDE cars (history has shown that these types of helmet impacts don't occur on bike accidents due to position of shoulders etc). They don't look at chin bar sliding accidents which account for a significant proportion of helmet accidents for motorcyclists. There is no requirement to look at weight or noise fatigue issues and its a series of test which broad stroke various scenarios.


SHARP would have the public belief that they cover the widest span but they specifically don't tailor the test to the application. Car racing drivers actually have some different requirements for helmets from motorcyclists but once more its a case of get one test to give brush stroke results which have questionable real world validity depending on application.


Arai etc base their helmet development on rider feed back and real world bike accident investigations (rider/racer crash data etc). This for me is the correct approach. Designing a helmet to pass impacts with rigid steering wheels,interior car trims etc and not look at sliding issues is somewhat idiotic if the helmet is not to be worn inside a vehicle.

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Feb 09

Posts: 35

Z1100R says:

Spondon Rubbish

Sorry Spondon but your Arai plug is mis guided and factually incorrect.

Having been involved with the SHARP rating from the beginning through invitation as imorter as all importer/manufacturers were. The SHARP tests were specifically created for Motorcyclce Helmets and no others. All tests were developed working with information gathered over the years specifally on motorcycle accidents throughout Europe. Having recieved helmets from unlucky individuals who had crashed but were very happy of the helmets performance and how it protected them. Not one of the helmets we recieved (20+) had an impact on the front but impact were on the sides or rear of the head crown.

On a personal note, I am very sad in which Arai construct thier helmets. In my opinion (and many others) are the finest built helmets and the quality is 2nd to none. BUT!  The Arai phylosophy of having a extremely hard external shell with a one internal liner (although varible density - does this mean your head is equally as strong everywhere??? I think not.) is out of the dartk ages of motorcycle helmets and it at least 25 years behind the times. It is like the old cars used to build the car on a chassis, you could crash the car into a tree and normally because of this strength the car could be rebuilt.......but none of the energy had been removed and the occupants dead. Modern cars are built with a strucure that will absorb the energy of the impact, yes the car is destroyed and written off but occupants had a better chance of survival they same applies now with modern helmets. I enjoy a high quality item but I need to know that it will do its job when needed and know that there are better performing helmets out there!

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May 11

Posts: 2

Scamp8 says:

Aikido 5 Star

Shame the Nitro Aikido is not on the list, it is 5 star rated at a budget.  Very good build quality and beats the snobs with the "brand names" hands down.  With the Sharps test you can now find a decent budget safe helmet without the stupid prices associated with big brand names.

Don't buy BOX helmets,  I bought a BZ-1 as a replacement for my Aikido after an accident, but is the worst flimsy and noisiest helmet I have ever owned.  Customer service was as useful as a paper teapot.  Save your money and buy an Aikido.  BOX BZ-1 Rated and reviewd at -1 star :(


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Aug 11

Posts: 3

No44 says:


Ok guys come on, you want to tell me where you got that blue with white stripes agv helmet. Have looked everywhere and can only find white with blue stripes. Hope you ain't teasing me with stuff I can't buy.

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Jan 12

Posts: 4

StormPetrel says:

Lidl helmet or Arai?

A cruising mate recommended a Lidl helmet, so I went to the Thursday sale. They didn't feel comfortable and too many plastic catches, cogs and levers. Another mate who rode courier in London for ten years took me to Orwell Motorcycle in Ipswich and I tried on various lids. After unimpressed fittings he showed me an Aria Axiom. I said I'm not spending £260 on a helmet, that's more than six Lidl's. But the Aria fitted so sweet and in a daze I handed over Aria money.
Right or wrong? I'll let you know in six years when the cost of an Aria compared to six Lidl's has equalised.
The Aria is a beautiful white, without all the clips and levers, just a nice quality helmet. Why do Lidl only do grey or black?:wacko:

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Jan 11

Posts: 35

Nexx XR1R Carbon

This list is surely incomplete without the lid MCN says is the "Best Road Helmet I've Worn", the Nexx XR1R Carbon Nexx XR1R Carbon

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Sep 08

Posts: 264

Waddy24 says:

Box Helmets

someone on here(Scamp8) needs to get their facts right about Box Helmets, the Sharp rating for the BZ 1  is 3 star, not 1, other Box helmets, for the BX 1, BX 2 and BX 3 are all 4 star.

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