Britain’s Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) has released new ratings for motorcycle helmets, and some models by Shoei and Bell rate top marks.
But the popular Arai Quantum, an expensive helmet that is widely available in Canada, scores only three stars out of five.
"We estimate that 50 deaths could be prevented each year if all riders wore the safest helmets available. That is why I am delighted to be announcing new SHARP ratings today ahead of my visit to the Motorcycle Show next week. I urge anyone going to the show who is thinking about buying a new helmet to visit the SHARP stand to find out more," said Mike Penning, Britain’s Road Safety Minister. "By making sure that motorcyclists have access to the best safety information, promoting further training and safe riding, and reminding drivers to look out for bikers I hope that we can improve safety for motorcyclists and reduce the number of tragedies we see on the roads each year.”
Bell’s M1, M3R, M4R and M4R Carbon, M5X and M5X Carbon all score five stars for safety, while Arai’s RX7GP hits four stars and AGV’s GP Tech, S-4, T2, and Stealth models all get five out of five.
Harley-Davidson brand helmets ranged widely in the ratings, with the company’s FXRG full-face helmet getting four stars and its Laguna II getting only one star.
HJC was a solid middle of the pack runner, scoring from one to five stars; best of the HJC line was the HQ1 with five and worst was the CS-R1 with just one lonely star.
KBC, another brand known to many Canadian riders, scored poorly with their FFR, Force RR and Magnum helmets, which took down one star each. KBC’s XP3 scored four stars.
Several Nolan helmets scored well, with the N85 and N90 getting four-star ratings.
Shoei helmets ranged from mid-pack to leaders in safety, with the Qwest line getting five stars and the XR-1000 getting just three. The XR-1100 also scored top marks.
Across the range of helmets tested, the news is good: very few rated lowest possible marks, and quite a few rated three stars or more.
For information on SHARP’s testing methods and to search for your next helmet, let us Google “sharp helmet ratings” for you.