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SHARP - Helmet ratings published


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Press Notice

Thursday 12 June 2008

Department for Transport (National)


World-first motorcycle helmet ratings could save 50 lives a year


Fifty lives a year could be saved by ground-breaking motorcycle helmet safety ratings revealed today by Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick. Ratings for 56 of the most popular full face helmets on the market were published after testing by SHARP - the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme set up in a world-first by the Department for Transport last year.

The SHARP tests - which award ratings of between one and five stars - showed that the safety performance of helmets can vary by as much as 70%. Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"Too many motorcyclists - 599 in 2006 - are dying on our roads. They account for just 1% of all road traffic, but for 19% of all those killed. "But if all riders wore the safest helmets available 50 lives could be saved each year. That is why we started the innovative SHARP scheme and are delighted to publish the first results today.

"Helmets from across a wide price range and from a variety of manufacturers have received four or five stars - so all riders should be able to find a high-scoring helmet in a size and style that fits them and at a price they want to pay."

All helmets must meet minimum legal safety standards but the SHARP scheme uses a wider range of tests to provide riders with more information on how much protection a helmet can provide in a crash. The objective advice will help riders to chose the safest helmet suitable for them. For more information about the SHARP programme, visit the SHARP website at http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/.

 

SHARP have released details of helmet safety.


Look up your helmet if they have done tests on it


http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/


Thanks to akey who got me interested in this site.

Edited by Korben
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There's a story about this on MCN website. Interesting how some of the most expensive lids (Arai RX7, Shoei XR1000) came off lowest and a fifty quid Lazer lid scored top marks...


However, the most important bit is always fit, never price...

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Hmmmm Id take this review with a pinch of salt. I used to have a shark s500. I now have an arai viper gt. According to this test my 50 quid shark was better. In terms of fit, finish, comfort and build quality, the arai is far far better. There is probably more to it than meets the eye. Hmmmzzzzzzz

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Hmmmm Id take this review with a pinch of salt. I used to have a shark s500. I now have an arai viper gt. According to this test my 50 quid shark was better. In terms of fit, finish, comfort and build quality, the arai is far far better. There is probably more to it than meets the eye. Hmmmzzzzzzz

 

Whilst not in any sense disagreeing with you about the importance of fit, etc, when you look at the tests involved, it seems a pretty thorough schedule..?

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uber_pimp, fit is up to you to try them on, some helmets will fit others better, and finish quality and build quality since when has that been a part of safety. looking at the results id be tempted with a lazer helmet if they fitted corectly. a helmet can look naff, and not be the most well finishefd but if it protects your head in an off nd saves ya life.


tbh most bikers i know will only buy AGV arai etc and its not because these are neserceilly the best its because they see motogp riders and other hardcore bikers wearing them, its like a fassion accessory.


It's like trainers and the like, runners will only buy nike and co because thats what people in the olympics and on TV, when most the time the 20 quid trainers are actually better but without the big advetising campaigns and the huge ammount of money spent to make them look good.


i have a shoei btw and it fits nice, looks good and was afordable. if i were to upgrade id try one of the lazer helmets with 5*'s and if they fit good id be tempted save myself a few hundred notes for better safety.

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Hmmmm Id take this review with a pinch of salt. I used to have a shark s500. I now have an arai viper gt. According to this test my 50 quid shark was better. In terms of fit, finish, comfort and build quality, the arai is far far better. There is probably more to it than meets the eye. Hmmmzzzzzzz

 

Yeh but in terms of safety the Shark has scored better, I think someone may just be a bit peed off that their £400 helmet isn't as safe as a £50 helmet :P

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uber_pimp, fit is up to you to try them on, some helmets will fit others better, and finish quality and build quality since when has that been a part of safety. looking at the results id be tempted with a lazer helmet if they fitted corectly. a helmet can look naff, and not be the most well finishefd but if it protects your head in an off nd saves ya life.


tbh most bikers i know will only buy AGV arai etc and its not because these are neserceilly the best its because they see motogp riders and other hardcore bikers wearing them, its like a fassion accessory.


It's like trainers and the like, runners will only buy nike and co because thats what people in the olympics and on TV, when most the time the 20 quid trainers are actually better but without the big advetising campaigns and the huge ammount of money spent to make them look good.


i have a shoei btw and it fits nice, looks good and was afordable. if i were to upgrade id try one of the lazer helmets with 5*'s and if they fit good id be tempted save myself a few hundred notes for better safety.

 

Absolutely spot on in my opinion.

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Still a lot to be tested, Caberg included.


Totally agree about paying for the name and stuff. To me some of the best clothing out there is Akito but peeps don't buy it cos they don't advertise and it's its not what Toseland, Rossi or whoever get paid a fortune to wear.

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Well my s500 didnt fit correctly and would of slipped around so much on my face in an off it would of probably given me friction burns. the size up was ridiculous and the size below gave me a headache. Viper gt is the best fitting helmet I could find thats why I bought it.


I seem to remember watching a youtube video about arai and shoei lids. it mentioned that their shells are extremely tough and can withstand crazy ammount of forces before they crack/give way


But this sharp test seems to be testing how much force from an impact that doesnt break the helmet is transferred through the shell to the riders skull. not that that isnt important, its very important lol

. or maybe the sharp test is scoring the helmets on what i mentioned above too? ive no idea what all the tests are only had a quick look at the video link


in any case, if it turns out my viper gt is geneuinely not as good safety wise vs a 50 quid helmet, i can say im not pleased. its saving grace is the fact its build quality and comfort is absolutely top drawer.


I notice the shark rsr2 is a 5/5, that was my second choice helmet almost bought that one. doh! :(


in any case, im not trying to say the test isnt accurate and that more expensive helmets are better than cheaper ones, im open minded about the whole thing

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Still a lot to be tested, Caberg included.


Totally agree about paying for the name and stuff. To me some of the best clothing out there is Akito but peeps don't buy it cos they don't advertise and it's its not what Toseland, Rossi or whoever get paid a fortune to wear.

 

Ive bought a few bits of akito. Trousers, gloves and boots. Binned them all, waterproof? Aye right. And stitching that bursts after a months use. Wasnt impressed with akito at all, but mind you I only spent like a 2 pence for the lot, cant moan

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Well my s500 didnt fit correctly and would of slipped around so much on my face in an off it would of probably given me friction burns. the size up was ridiculous and the size below gave me a headache. Viper gt is the best fitting helmet I could find thats why I bought it.


I seem to remember watching a youtube video about arai and shoei lids. it mentioned that their shells are extremely tough and can withstand crazy ammount of forces before they crack/give way


But this sharp test seems to be testing how much force from an impact that doesnt break the helmet is transferred through the shell to the riders skull. not that that isnt important, its very important lol

. or maybe the sharp test is scoring the helmets on what i mentioned above too? ive no idea what all the tests are only had a quick look at the video link


in any case, if it turns out my viper gt is geneuinely not as good safety wise vs a 50 quid helmet, i can say im not pleased. its saving grace is the fact its build quality and comfort is absolutely top drawer.


I notice the shark rsr2 is a 5/5, that was my second choice helmet almost bought that one. doh! :(


in any case, im not trying to say the test isnt accurate and that more expensive helmets are better than cheaper ones, im open minded about the whole thing

 

To be fair, I do feel for you, you would expect that with such a good brand and price tag that it would score highly, and then to spend all that money and find this out must be a bit of a kick in the nads. I'm dreading the score my Caberg will get, as I've only just bought it.

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Isn't the key point of all this malarky that the tests are flawed :roll:


There's no way on god's green earth I'd trust my bonce to any cheapo lids!


:D

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I can't find a link, but Arai were complaining the test focuses too much on side impact, they believe this is an unlikely secenario as your shoulder will hit the deck first (this is one of the differences between car racing lids and bike ones apparently) *This is all from memory though so take it with a pinch


I mean, seriously, how dare they design the test to check areas Arai don't design to pass! :roll:


Quite surprised the XR1000 came out lower than the Raid II - I thought they were the same shell, just with different vents, spoiler, etc. Oh well glad I bought the Raid II then - 4 star and a perfect fit will do me :D

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Will be interesting to see what the manufacturers think of the tests and their results!

I'm guessing the tests and their accuracy are as usefull as the vastly over rated 'Which' mag :roll:

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  • 2 months later...
In what way flawed?

The sharp test tests for imapacts at a point on or just above the ear.

Which is where all arais have their visor cover bit which would come off fairly easy when hit, and then the visor would come off easily exposing half your face, which makes them lose a lot of points in the test.


However how much money and experience do you think arai have to test helmets vs the government testing, and do you think that they would make helmets with a supposed design flaw such as that? And how likely is it that your ear would ever hit the ground (your shoulder would 'guard' it). And the test allows for manufacturers to reinforce to test point but leave the rest of the helmet weaker, or as no doubt many do also, keep the proven impact points strongest and leave the parts which rarely get impact minimal to improve comfort/noise levels etc.


How many crashed helemts (or pics of them) have you seen? Where is the damage normally? All I've seen are on the areas front, back or around the top but not quite on it, sort of like a wide badger stripe with a bald patch (hard to describe).


And how much better is a 5star than a 1star? would a 1star let you die at 50mph and a 2star save you? It all seems meaningless to me.


Unless you are unlucky enough to slide or ride into a car or brick wall, most crashes would be-

fall off bike (4 to 5 feet), bounce/roll a few times, slide a little (and if you're still alive or consious you may be propped up on your hands a bit here so the helmet has done its job already), then stop.


So the major points for helmet construction are -

Impact resistance: how much does the helmet take the force before your skull takes the rest of it, and,

will it stay in together while you slide and after it's been hit. ie, it grinds along the ground not your face.


I don't trust that the government has the resources or knowledge or experience to compete with the makers in testing.

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uber_pimp, fit is up to you to try them on, some helmets will fit others better, and finish quality and build quality since when has that been a part of safety. looking at the results id be tempted with a lazer helmet if they fitted corectly. a helmet can look naff, and not be the most well finishefd but if it protects your head in an off nd saves ya life.


tbh most bikers i know will only buy AGV arai etc and its not because these are neserceilly the best its because they see motogp riders and other hardcore bikers wearing them, its like a fassion accessory.


It's like trainers and the like, runners will only buy nike and co because thats what people in the olympics and on TV, when most the time the 20 quid trainers are actually better but without the big advetising campaigns and the huge ammount of money spent to make them look good.


i have a shoei btw and it fits nice, looks good and was afordable. if i were to upgrade id try one of the lazer helmets with 5*'s and if they fit good id be tempted save myself a few hundred notes for better safety.

 

sorry have to disagree, Arai , Agv Shoei arent fashion accessories. Arai were (maybe still are) the only manufacturer who have different size shells for each size.


Arai were also the only company to apply the old style of tests to the entire helmet...not just the crown. Their lids exceeded the test even on the chin piece.


Cant work out how they do so bad...all i can say is the test must be flawed. No two ways about it , i had a quite expensive shark years ago and it was crap compared to the arai...im not on my third and wouldnt buy anthing else....no matter what some faceless government body says .

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