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Motorcycle Helmet Standard – DOT VS ECE VS Snell VS ACU

Saleh Md. Hassan
February 6, 2018

Motorcycle Helmet Standard – DOT VS ECE VS Snell VS ACU. A motorcycle helmet is the most important safety gear for a motorcycle rider. It covers and enhances safety for the rider’s head and face which is the most sensitive part of the human body. Hence, in our country motorcycle users also getting more aware of their own safety.

Sequentially they are getting more habituated to using standard quality helmets. To illuminate more on the quality helmet & standard we are herewith Motorcycle Helmet Standard – DOT VS ECE VS Snell VS ACU. Let’s head into the discussion.

dot-ece-snell-acu-certified-motorcycle-helmet

Standard Motorcycle Helmet Type & Category

Like the old days, it’s not allowed to ride a motorcycle anywhere without a helmet. Again wearing a simple covering shield over the head also is not standard or authentic to ride a motorcycle.

At present, the motorcycle helmet standard covers various safety values. Considering the safety level standard safety helmets also have few categories. Accordingly there full face, motocross, flips-up, ADV, open face, and half helmets are available worldwide.

Hence considering the least safety margin the half helmets are now quite out of standard. It gradually is losing the authentication for motorcycle riders in many countries of the world. This type is now replaced widely with the open face or ¾ type helmets.

Whatsoever, considering the riding habit and terrain it’s safer to wear full-face type street or ADV helmets. And wearing at least the ¾ type helmet is the minimum safety requirement for riding a motorcycle.

Motorcycle Helmet Standard – DOT VS ECE VS Snell VS ACU

Motorcycle Helmet Standard – Manufacturing Standard

The standard motorcycle helmet follows some manufacturing standards. Following those standards manufacturers can ensure the quality and reliability of their products. Those also help to gain international standard certification.

Modern motorcycle helmet design and construction is far different from other purposes of safety helmets. Considering three core concentrations motorcycle helmet design and construction are also different. Modern motorcycle helmet design covers the three core feature of

  • Preventing penetration of pointed, sharp, or solid objects while riding or in time of the crash. Protecting from distortion caused by foreign particles or pressure from outside the Helmet.
  • Secondly absorbing the shock or vibration of crashing or hitting.
  • Maintaining the retention system even in the worst situation.

Therefore covering those three core features manufacturer R&D defines their design & construction material. Following those features, they determine the outer shell design &  material, inner layer type, and design, padding, retention or latching, ventilation, visor/sun visor type & size, rivets or attaching mechanisms, information labeling, etc.

Motorcycle Helmet Standard – International Standards

Hence after the manufacturing standard, there are also some standards that certify a helmet to be qualified internationally. Very frequently those are known as DOT, ECE 22.05, Snell, ACU, etc. These certifications ensure that a specific motorcycle helmet is manufactured maintaining that quality defined or standardized by the certification authority.

In parallel with those international certification authorities, there are also some local certification authorities. They are maintained locally within a specific region or country. Like AS in Australia, NZ in New Zealand, SG or JIS in Japan, TIS in Thailand, SIRIM in Malaysia or IS in India, etc.

Hence those local standard certifications cover the local rules and regulations considering their road & environmental condition. But often they may not meet the international standard or may overlap.

Coming to the international certification the DOT, ECE, Snell, or ACU very widely accepted. Though those certifications come from different regions or authorities they are worldwide considered and adopted standards.

standard-motorcycle-helmet-type-category

DOT Certification for Motorcycle Helmet

DOT certification for motorcycle helmets comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The authority is from the USA but it’s an international certification for the standard motorcycle helmets.

DOT follows the standards and regulations from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). DOT certification ensures the most basic and least margin of safety features. Hence those helmets which are not even DOT certified those can’t be considered as a motorcycle helmet.

DOT standard is very much concentrated on skull safety. The user’s face or chin safety is not under consideration of basic standards. Those are dedicated to full-face or ADV type helmets.

According to DOT standards, the half-size helmets also can be used for motorcycles as chin protection is not a basic concern. But again rest of the three core manufacturing concentrations of a standard helmet considered according to the category of the helmet.

ECE 22.05 Standard for Motorcycle Helmet

The ECE 22.05 certification comes from Economic Commission for Europe. The ECE certification comes under clause no.22 of the United Nations Agreement of 1958. Afterward, five series (05) of amendment enhanced the regulation and standardized it for a wide range of locality and it accepted worldwide.

Coming to the regulation, the standard, and testing procedure of ECE 22.05 is very similar to DOT regulation and standard. But there are few differences between them where some of those are significant.

For example, the DOT certification of the motorcycle helmet comes for a specific part of the helmet. But under ECE regulation the total helmet covers under the same certification like chin protection or visor protection etc. Moreover, ECE regulations are quite wider than the DOT regulation. Thus ECE or DOT with ECE certification is more preferred.

Motorcycle Helmet Standard – DOT VS ECE VS Snell VS ACU

Snell Standard for Motorcycle Helmet

Snell certification is another international standard certification for a motorcycle helmet. The standard is very specific and focused on the racing type of motorcycle helmet. Snell certification comes from the nonprofit and non-government organization that is the Snell Memorial Foundation. It’s completely a voluntary organization that works for the safety of racing or sporting gear.

Accordingly, certification on the helmet the category is very limited for the motorcycle helmets. They standardize for more safety issue that is a very significant term in hardcore racing or sporting. For example, other category or street type helmet may get DOT certification but can’t get the Snell as DOT may not consider chin protection but Snell of-course covers that.

ACU GOLD Standard for Motorcycle Helmet

ACU Gold is another certification for the racing type of motorcycle helmet. It comes from UK based Auto-Cycle Union (ACU). ACU gold certifies those racing legal helmets which essentially maintain the standards of ECE 22.05.

ACU Gold certification is very concretely focused on safety in racing and sports. Accordingly in the United Nations any type of racing or motorcycle sports like Tourist Trophy (TT) the rider must use ACU Gold certified helmets.

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So, guys, those were the brief on the motorcycle helmet standard, type, and certification. Coming to the point which is better for whom and what the differences are those need more detailed discussion. Hope we will come in the future focusing on those corners. Until then ride safe, stay safe, and stay tuned with us. Thank you all.

FAQ- Frequently Ask Question

What is DOT Certification for the Motorcycle Helmets?

DOT certification for motorcycle helmets comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation. DOT follows the standards and regulations from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). DOT certification ensures the most basic and least margin of safety features.

What is ECE 22.05 Standard for the Motorcycle Helmets?

The ECE 22.05 certification comes from Economic Commission for Europe. The ECE certification comes under clause no.22 of the United Nations Agreement of 1958. Afterward, five series (05) of amendment enhanced the regulation and standardized it for a wide range of locality and it accepted worldwide

What is Snell Standard for the Motorcycle Helmets?

Snell certification is an international standard certification for a motorcycle helmet. The standard is very specific and focused on the racing type of motorcycle helmet. Snell certification comes from the nonprofit and non-government organization that is the Snell Memorial Foundation. It’s completely a voluntary organization that works for the safety of racing or sporting gear.

What is ACU GOLD Standard for the Motorcycle Helmets?

ACU Gold is a certification for the racing type of motorcycle helmet. It comes from UK based Auto-Cycle Union (ACU). ACU gold certifies those racing legal helmets which essentially maintain the standards of ECE 22.05. ACU Gold certification is very concretely focused on safety in racing and sports.

What is Motorcycle Helmet Standards?

To ensure the quality and safety features internationally and in some regions there follow some manufacturing standards. These are the motorcycle helmet standards that describes the quality and safety level of a specific helmet. The most known helmet standards are DOT, ECE, Snell, ACU Gold, etc.

 

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