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Old 18 Jan 2008
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New Uk Helmet Testing Authority!

I think this deserves it's own thread -

1. The UK Department of Transport will be responsible for these new IMPACT TESTS. The Organisation will be known as SHARP

2. Every helmet on the UK market will be tested for IMPACT.

3. Helmets will be rewarded up to 5 stars.

4. Helmets will display these stars to show the test result for that helmet.

5. All scores will be published on a website - SHARP - The Helmet Safety Scheme

GOOD NEWS FOR ALL OF US........ Including bikers outside UK who can check the website for their make of helmet. Heres what it will look like - Tests : Results : SHARP - The Helmet Safety Scheme

Pass on this website link.....


Why SHARP?

Motorcyclists are our most vulnerable groups of road users - making up just 1% of traffic in the UK but accounting for 18% of all deaths; the Government has already committed £1.5M in 2007 to educating motorcyclists and other road users about better behaviour that could reduce casualties.
There were 599 motorcyclist fatalities in 2006 and our research shows that approximately 80% of motorcyclists killed and 70% of those with serious injuries sustain head injuries. Scientific analysis has shown that we could save up to 50 motorcyclists' lives a year if all riders wore helmets scoring highly in our proposed rating.
Laboratory tests have shown that there are real differences in the safety performance of motorcycle helmets available in the market. While they all satisfy the minimum legal requirements, we believe that by providing objective advice concerning the level of protection a safety helmet provides will assist riders when making this very important purchase decision. We have seen that differences in safety performance do not necessarily follow price trends.
We'll test the most popular helmets first and aim to publish the first ratings as early as Spring 2008. It will take time to build a complete database, but in the future we hope that there would be a rating for every helmet available.
There is no comparative rating system available for motorcycle helmets anywhere in the world!


SHARP is the Safety Helmet and Assessment Rating Programme - it's the new helmet safety scheme for motorcyclists.
SHARP will enable riders to more easily select a helmet which matches their needs. It will provide consumers with an independent assessment of the safety performance of helmets sold in the UK. The SHARP RATING reflects the performance of each helmet model following a series of advanced tests in our lab and will rate helmets from 1-5 stars.
Laboratory tests show there are real differences in the safety performance of motorcycle helmets available in the market. While they all satisfy the minimum legal requirements, providing objective advice concerning the level of protection a safety helmet provides will assist riders when making this very important buying decision.
We have begun testing motorcycle helmets to our advanced assessments and from Spring 2008, SHARP will offer you a single, easy to understand rating for helmet models available within the UK.

We believe that a helmet that performs well when assessed against our new procedures will offer users a significantly increased level of protection. Our research has shown that up to 50 motorcyclists' lives could be saved every year if everyone wore a helmet that scores highly in the SHARP testing system.
Look for the SHARP logo and be sure to check out the SHARP rating when you think about getting your next helmet!

Our Tests - What's Different?

We have brought together some of the best aspects from the standards currently in use around the world and defined more rigorous tests and assessments than are currently in use for Regulation. We'll be testing protection across a much wider range of speeds.
We have not just looked at impact energy management, but also considered the areas of the helmet most likely to be struck and the risk of brain injury from that impact. In-depth real world accident studies have allowed us to link specific laboratory impacts with real world injury so that our tests address specific risk of head injury. We will impact helmets against anvils to represent both flat surfaces and kerbstones, testing protection over the whole helmet not just specific points.
We have developed a suite of enhanced test procedures and assessment criteria for helmets, so that a helmet performing well when assessed against it would offer real and significant increases in head protection. Our tests are:
Linear impact tests - Energy absorption tests
The helmet is placed onto a test head form and dropped from a certain height onto different types of anvils. Acceleration is measured at the centre of gravity of the head form. We measure the energy absorbed by the helmet at various locations and speeds.
Oblique impact tests - Rotational acceleration by friction
The helmet is placed onto a test head form and dropped from a certain height against an inclined anvil with a very rough surface. Rotational acceleration is measured in the test head form. Limit values allow us to assess the risk of brain and neck injury.
The results from 22 different impacts will be combined into a single easy to understand star rating and published to provide consumers with comparative information to assist them in making informed purchase decisions.
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Last edited by kentfallen; 18 Jan 2008 at 19:47.
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Old 28 May 2008
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I have read (in this weeks MCN) that both Arai and Shoei are bitching about the results of these tests which are due out by the end of this month on the Sharp site above. Other helmet manufacturers are happy with their results including AVG, RST and Lazer. The whole thing stinks of "sour grapes" because Shoei and Arai originally supported the new tests.

Arai's top of the tree helmet the "Corsair" is apparently only getting 3 stars out of 5! There must be a few ring pieces in that company getting rather tight! Brilliant, the customer is hitting back. As I said all along, price doesn't necessarily provide the best level of protection.

Rumour has it that many mid-range helmets manufactured by lesser known companies have beaten the likes of Shoei and Arai hands down!

But the whole project seems to have been handled appallingly from the outset because for the past 2 months the website has been telling everyone that the full results will be posted SPRING 2008. Well June 2008 is certainly NOT Spring.

Everyone needs to keep a close eye on the website because the full test results should appear by the end of this week.

It's certainly very good news for all of us. At last a reliable method to compare different helmets.

As I thought there are a few red faces.... Some of the big boys have been cut down to size. Brilliant!
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Last edited by kentfallen; 28 May 2008 at 18:52.
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  #3  
Old 28 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
2. Every helmet on the UK market will be tested for IMPACT.

4. Helmets will display these stars to show the test result for that helmet.
I don't really see what was wrong with a helmet that reached the old ACU standard.
Testing for impact is mostly bollocks and is like a placebo... The BSI testing included an impact test with a weight with a pointy end on it. The helmet had to withstand a 35mph impact without failing.

Most helmets fail through faulty fit, worn or incorrectly fitted straps or just age.
While some helmets do fail on impact, its usually quite a substantial one.
The old 35mph test is not much cop if you think about it... how many times will you hit a sharp(ish) object, square on at that speed? If what you hit is moving at 35mph as well, its curtains.
Bit like seat belts. Dunno if its still the case but they used to be rated for a 70mph impact. Thats 2 cars doing 35mph...

John
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Old 28 May 2008
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me2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redboots View Post
The old 35mph test is not much cop if you think about it... how many times will you hit a sharp(ish) object, square on at that speed? If what you hit is moving at 35mph as well, its curtains. Bit like seat belts. Dunno if its still the case but they used to be rated for a 70mph impact. Thats 2 cars doing 35mph...

John
Every time I get on my bike I’m dressed in about 800 pounds worth of kit, 400 of which is the lid. I’ve always figured that two things moving at just 35mph is enough to get the copper with the hat off at your wife/mums door.

Will keep my eye on the site, be nice if my Arai scored well prob not...

Shaun
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Old 28 May 2008
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Originally Posted by ukiceman View Post
Will keep my eye on the site, be nice if my Arai scored well prob not... Shaun
Likewise... and Schuberth...

John
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Old 28 May 2008
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I possess 3 helmets -

1. Shoei X-Spirit (Lawson) which I purchased 2 weeks ago for £100 at the BMF in Peterborough! BARGAIN OF THE YEAR!

2. AGV X3000 Valenza £90 purchased in 2002. A great little lid.

3. Nitro MX417 Offroad helmet purchased for £30

I wonder which make will come out tops? Hopefully the cheapest one... Damn that Shoei wasn't such a good buy afterall...

I'm thinking of getting one of these for hot weather - AGV Blade White Matt XS
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Old 29 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redboots View Post
I don't really see what was wrong with a helmet that reached the old ACU standard.
Testing for impact is mostly bollocks and is like a placebo... The BSI testing included an impact test with a weight with a pointy end on it. The helmet had to withstand a 35mph impact without failing.

Most helmets fail through faulty fit, worn or incorrectly fitted straps or just age.
While some helmets do fail on impact, its usually quite a substantial one.
The old 35mph test is not much cop if you think about it... how many times will you hit a sharp(ish) object, square on at that speed? If what you hit is moving at 35mph as well, its curtains.
Bit like seat belts. Dunno if its still the case but they used to be rated for a 70mph impact. Thats 2 cars doing 35mph...

John
The trouble is that you could buy ACU stickers by the handful and these were stuck on any old helmet. The ACU went along with this knowing full well what was going on.
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Old 29 May 2008
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I think this is a small improvement. Shoei etc. are bound to have a problem in that £400 of polystyrene covered in graphics is very unlikely to be much of an improvement over £200 of the same with different paint.

What I'd like to see is some practical testing of how a helmet is used. In 14 years of riding I've never tested the impact protection except on the odd open cupboard door. I have however had visors that fall off, helmets that change shape and hurt your head, helmets that mist up, helmets with the view you'd see out of a tank, helmets that are horribly noisy and so forth.

Protection starts with active features like vision (which you can test by trying the lid on) and not misting up (which you currently only find out about by buying or talking so someone who used one). Impact is only part of the equation and is used after everything else has gone wrong.

I'd like to see a four or five point list for each helmet, resulting in a star score. I'd give up a star on impact for an extra one on say misting. The scores need to be comparative too, to drive improvement. A helmet that gets 5 now should be down to a 4 in a couple of years if the manufacturers all improve.

Andy
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Old 29 May 2008
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I'd like to see a four or five point list for each helmet, resulting in a star score. I'd give up a star on impact for an extra one on say misting. The scores need to be comparative too, to drive improvement. A helmet that gets 5 now should be down to a 4 in a couple of years if the manufacturers all improve.

Actually thats a very good idea...
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Old 29 May 2008
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I used an Arai TourX on my trip and I thought it performed well for 5 months of constant, sweaty, use.

However, the strap is now nearly useless. The weave of the strap has gone "soft and loose" so its a real bitch to get undone... I prefer the Double-D straps.
The lining has also gone loose and when putting it on I have to stick my fingers inside to reposition the cheek pads.

Wonder if its worth sending it to Arai ans saying I think its poor for a helmet with about 22k kms usage... probably not.

John
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Old 29 May 2008
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Redboots,

How old is the thing? If it's only 5 months old then I think you might have a good case. Forget the miles used. Don't undermind your position by telling them the amount of miles travelled.

Sounds like a straightfoward case of NOT fit for purpose (law of contact).

I see you're in France. This law only applies to the UK. France may have even better consumer laws though?

I'd go for it...
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Old 30 May 2008
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I see you're in France. This law only applies to the UK. France may have even better consumer laws though?
The lid is about 18 months old now... bought from Ireland via fleabay....

Ha! No chance in France. It almost seems as if everything is "sold as seen" here. Some places wont even give you your money back for failed items, just a credit note.

I think it would be more trouble than its worth.

Cheers,
John
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