A motorcycle helmet often called a crash helmet is a type of safety helmet worn by motorcyclists to protect the head from further injury in case of a crash or other circumstances. Therefore a motorcycle helmet is the most essential safety gear for a motorcycle rider while riding a motorcycle on the road or on any type of even or uneven surfaces.
A perfectly designed helmet significantly covers the most sensitive part of the human body the head and face, thus it enhances the safety level and ensures comfort to the rider. Hence at present, globally it’s mandatory wearing a helmet when someone riding a motorcycle.
History says the concept of the motorcycle helmet developed in 1914 by a British physicist, Dr. Eric Gardner. He observed many motorcycle riders suffered from head injuries in race tracks and even in usual rides. After research, he developed the idea to make a helmet for the motorcycle riders by shellacked canvas to cover the head to save them from injury in crashes.
The innovative idea got an initial abolition and discouragement from the nearby racing concerns of Brooklands Circuit, Weybridge in Surrey, England. Later, Dr. Eric Gardner approached the idea to the Isle of Man TT authority that accepted and the authority made it obligatory to wear motorcycle helmets in the 1914 races and it continued.
Later, after several incidents and accidental cases especially after the expiry of British archaeologist, army officer, diplomat, and writer, T. E. Lawrence in 1935 the habit of wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle came in significance both in the army and to the civilians. Subsequently from 1941 wearing a helmet became compulsory to the motorcycle riders in the British Army, and in the Second World War, the regulation adopted in many departments in many other countries.
Modern Motorcycle Helmets
In the earlier time, helmets used to make of rubber and cork or in some cases thick padded leather skull caps and goggles were considered enough as a helmet for protection. But after the accidental expiry of the British Colonel T. E. Lawrence, the issue taken more seriously, and later motorcycle helmet design developed in phases.
The concept of modern motorcycle helmet structure came in 1953, when a researcher of the United States Air Force, Charles F. Lombard, patented a motorcycle helmet designed with rigid shell outside and comfortable padding inside. Following that core design concept, modern helmet design developed over time.
Later, much research, experiment, and development came on the production material, helmet design, manufacturing steps, quality control, and quality tests. Thus modern helmets developed with the most advanced design & features, top-notch quality material, modern technology, premium comfort, and maximum possible safety.
Further, modern motorcycle helmets qualify for several quality tests and certified with predetermined regional and global safety certifications. In the design, feature, and using purposes modern helmets are also categorized in multiple categories. Commonly five basic categories of motorcycle helmets are currently standardized as modern motorcycle helmets.
Accordingly, full-face, motocross/off-road/adventure, flip-up, open-face, and half-helmet/skull cap designed helmets are considered as the standard helmets in modern motorcycling culture. Hence, every type of helmets is designed and featured for the different surface ride, riding purposes, and of course coping with local government road safety regulations.
Modern Motorcycle Helmet Manufacturing Standards
In manufacturing, modern motorcycle helmets are manufactured sharply following some manufacturing standards and steps. Further, production material and technology also pre-standardized upon proper R&D on helmet category, using purpose, and helmet standard range.
Thus manufacturers can ensure the certain quality and standard of their manufactured products and that helps to gain regional and global safety certifications by the related authorities. Hence modern motorcycle helmets designed and manufactured upon considering three core safety features. Those are:
These are the integrated three core features and standards those acceptance and materializing define how carefully and effectively a manufacturer design and manufactures their helmets. Subsequently, a helmet manufacturer determines the outer shell design & production material, mid and inner layer design & type, comfort padding, and retention or latching system.
Further, the secondary or enhancing features like the ventilation system, visor or sun visor type & size, aerodynamic characteristics, rivets or fasteners, information labeling, etc. also determines and enhances the certain helmet feature, quality, and standards. Thus every manufacturer develops and produces its own designed motorcycle helmets.
Helmet Safety Standard and Certifications
A quality motorcycle helmet is designed and manufactured under a certain set of predesigned and pre-standardized manufacturing standards. Accordingly, those also should qualify in certain or multiple safety certifications tests and hold the certification badges.
Globally many safety certification organizations both government and non-government designed their quality testing module for helmets and certify upon qualifying in predesigned extensive testing procedures. Thus a quality-made helmet should carry those safety certification badges to ensure the quality, standard, and safety level.
Accordingly, globally the accepted and most recognized helmet safety certifications are US DOT, European ECE 22.05, Japanese JIS, Universal SNELL, ACU Gold, SHARP, etc. These global certifications are recognized both globally and regionally but there also have some other regional certifications to qualify in certain regions.
The regional safety certifications are recognized regionally as the local government requirements that make a certain product to be eligible to get in certain regional markets. The certifications are like Chinese CNS, Australian AS, New Zeeland’s NZ, South American NBR, Canadian CMVSS, Indonesian SNI, Thailand’s TIS, India’s IS, etc. Hence those safety certifications and qualifications determine helmet quality and standards.
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A motorcycle helmet often called a crash helmet is a type of safety helmet worn by motorcyclists to protect the head from further injury in case of a crash or other circumstances.
A full-face designed motorcycle helmet that ensures global safety certifications and also has a good SHARP rating is commonly recognized as the best motorcycle helmet.
Globally many safety certification organizations both government and non-government designed quality testing modules for motorcycle helmets and they certify a certain model of helmet upon qualifying in predesigned extensive testing procedures. These are the safety certification for motorcycle helmets.
Globally, US DOT, European ECE 22.05, Universal SNELL, ACU Gold, SHARP rating, etc. are the most appreciated global safety certifications for motorcycle helmets.
DOT certification for motorcycle helmets is the safety certification from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The authority is from the USA but it’s an international certification for the standard motorcycle helmets.
ECE 22.05 certification for motorcycle helmets is the safety certification from Economic Commission for Europe. The ECE certification comes under clause no.22 of the United Nations Agreement of 1958, later, five series (05) of amendments enhanced the regulation and standardized it for a wide range of locality requirements and it accepted worldwide.
Snell certification is another international standard certification for a motorcycle helmet that comes from a voluntary nonprofit and non-government organization that is the Snell Memorial Foundation. Their testing standard is very specific and focused on the requirements of the racing type of motorcycle helmets.
SHARP is the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Program, a scheme that describes the safety level of a certain model of motorcycle helmet after an extensive range of tests to help motorcyclists make an informed choice when buying a helmet. It’s a British government quality rating scheme for motorcycle helmets.
Commonly five basic categories of motorcycle helmets are currently standardized as modern motorcycle helmets, those are full-face, motocross/off-road/adventure, flip-up, open-face, and half-helmet/skull cap designed helmet.