A helmet is protecting what’s most important. As such, it should be a high priority to get one that is best for your noggin. Check out our review and ratings for motorcycle helmets.
* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
Canstar Blue research finalised in September 2016, published in September 2016.
The most valuable protective piece in the motorbike world is undoubtedly the helmet. Whether you’re riding 500m or 5,000km, a helmet on a motorbike should always be worn. At any speed, too, a helmet should be your top priority, and a good quality one can quite literally come down to life and death. Beyond lifesaving protection, helmets also shield you from the elements and block out road noise.
In all circumstances you should be using a helmet bought new, rather than used. With a used helmet, you can just never know what it’s really been through. Plus, someone else’s sweaty noggin has been in there! Moreover, when you’re comparing helmet characteristics like durability, price, comfort and more, how can you be sure about which brand is the best?
At Canstar Blue, we’ve researched the opinions of Aussie motorbike enthusiasts to set the story straight about which brand they are most satisfied with. It’s a huge market with lots of competition, and with a rigorous surveying criterion, Shoei has taken top spot in our customer ratings.
Shoei dominated across most aspects of the survey criteria. The brand beat out many strong contesters, with Arai, Bell and Fox all achieving four stars overall. Keep reading to find out why Shoei achieved its five star rating from customers.
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You’ve just bought your shiny new red sportsbike. It’s a beauty, and cost a pretty penny, too. Then you realise that you’ll have to stump up for a helmet and protective gear too. The whole motorcycle buying process is not a cheap one by a long shot. According to our survey, Aussies spent an average of $308.99 on their last helmet, which is no mean feat. Many high-tech helmets range into the thousands. It can be tempting to just buy the cheapest one out there, or buy used, or to even use one that’s been in a crash; one in 20 (5 per cent) respondents admitted to using a helmet after a crash.
Helmets can be expensive, but with good reason. Here, the only company to score five stars was Bell, while Shoei, Arai, Fox, AVG and Rjays all scored four. Nolan and Shark helmets rounded out the list with a three-star rating.
Whether you’re riding down to the shops or across the country, it’s no good if your helmet quite literally gives you a headache. Helmet brands take comfort serious; it’s where they have the chance to shine. Factors like weight and ergonomics all affect comfort levels, so it’s important to try on a bunch of different helmets to get the perfect one for you. In 2016, three brands scored five stars for comfort – Shoei, Arai and Bell. Fox, AVG and Rjays each scored four stars. Rounding out the pack were Nolan and Shark with three stars for comfort.
Fit is inversely proportional to the amount of comfort the helmet has, but having a correctly fitting helmet is also a safety issue. A helmet too loose could prove detrimental in a crash, and one too tight is simply uncomfortable. In the survey, just less than one in five respondents (19 per cent) said they bought a helmet online. If you know what you’re after, this can be a good way to save a buck, but buying one without trying it on carries inherent risks for fit. In this category, Shoei, Arai and Bell all scored five stars again. Fox, Nolan and Rjays scored four, while towards the bottom were AVG and Shark with three stars each.
Helmets go through a lot. From bug splatter, to sweat, helmets see all kinds of matter in their lifetime. Another oft-overlooked consideration is the ease of cleaning your helmet. How easy are parts to remove? Is the liner up to a good soaking? These are some questions you should be asking yourself when buying a helmet.
Shoei was the only brand in our survey to earn five stars for ease of cleaning. Others in the chase were Arai, Bell, Fox and Rjays all with four stars apiece, while AGV, Nolan and Shark were trailing with three stars. Cleaning a helmet can be an unpleasant experience at the best of times, so it’s important to get one that makes cleaning it a snap.
As mentioned before, helmets go through a lot. It’s no use if your helmet withers away at the sight of the hot Aussie sun. Beyond crash protection – which is a given – a helmet that’s durable against the elements is an important feature. You’ve paid a pretty penny for your stack-hat, so you should expect to see some good life out of it. Again, Shoei was the only brand to achieve five stars here. A four star rating was awarded to Arai, Bell, Fox, Nolan and Rjays. With three stars, AGV and Shark rounded out the group. A brittle helmet is a headache (quite literally), so it’s important to get a durable one to protect your head for longer.
Again, not too dissimilar to the comfort category, a quieter helmet can mean the world for comfort levels. Beyond annoying road drone, the fact is, many bikes are noisy and repeated exposure to that beautiful Harley rumble could cause damage to your hearing over time. There are some manufacturers that go above and beyond to ensure superior noise dampening. Shoei was one of three brands to earn five stars in this category. The other two were Bell and Fox. In the mid-range with four stars were Arai, AGV, Nolan and Shark. Bottoming out on the list was Rjays with three stars.
Seeing where you’re going is pretty important, eh? While it’s a given that all helmets should offer some sort of visor to see out of, the truth is that some manufacturers offer better visibility than others. This can mean the difference between seeing that B-Double in your peripheral vision a second earlier or not. Plus, it’s great being able to see more of that beautiful winding mountain road you’re ascending. Two competitors scored five stars in this category here – Arai and Bell. In hot contention are Shoei, Fox and Rjays who each scored four stars, while AGV, Nolan and Shark each scored three apiece. Sit back and see more; purchasing the right helmet can open your eyes up to many different potential hazards.
Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 1,079 Australian motorcycle riders in order to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new motorcycle helmet in the last two years – in this case, 526 Australians.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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We ask a motorcycle expert why Nolan beat the rest to achieve our customer satisfaction award for motorcycle helmets.– Read more