Owning and riding a motorcycle is a big responsibility. That means riding in a safe and considerate manner on the road, but also doing your homework before you get out there in the first place, including researching and buying the appropriate accessories. And they don’t come much more important than motorcycle helmets.
So we caught up with Grant Sammut, National Manager for Ron Angel Wholesale, which imports and distributes motorcycle accessories. He told us about the business, the latest technology in motorcycle helmets, and why he thinks Nolan picked up our customer satisfaction award for motorcycle helmets.
Q) Ron Angel is a name synonymous with motorcycle sport in Australia. Can you tell us a little about the history of Ron Angel Wholesale and what the business is focussing on these days?
A) Ron Angel Snr started the company over 40 years ago. He was a top motorcycle racer in Australia and on the world scene – so the business was born out of passion – as most motorcycle businesses are. He used to import several brands of motorcycles and also had a retail store. Roughly 25 years ago, Ron Jnr took over the business and the focus has moved to purely an import / wholesale business with helmets, tyres, luggage and service parts like batteries, chains, sprockets and oils.
Q) Ron Angel imports and distributes Nolan motorcycle helmets in Australia. Nolan has recently won our customer satisfaction award for Motorcycle Helmets and achieved five-star ratings from consumers across all research categories. This is a remarkable achievement, what do you attribute this success to?
A) It probably sounds like an odd thing to say, but the main factor in this is that Nolan make their own helmets. Many helmet brands completely or partially rely on outsourcing the manufacture of their helmets or components, while Nolan helmets are 100% made in Italy – by Nolan. This means that the designs, materials, and machinery used to manufacture our helmets are all state of the art, and strictly controlled by Nolan so no shortcuts are taken. The end result is a product with very high levels of consistency, quality, long service life, and great features and value. This is also the reason that Nolan can confidently offer a five-year warranty on their helmets.
Q) In the last few years we’ve seen technology and innovation in bike helmets increase dramatically. Has Nolan brought any innovations to the Australian market recently? What developments do you anticipate in the future in the bike helmet market?
A) Nolan has always been at the forefront of helmet design and technology. They have pioneered things like flip-up front helmets, tinted internal visors, and they were the first brand offering intercom/multi-media/bluetooth systems that are completely integrated into their helmets. They have also lead the way in ‘multi-configuration’ helmets with removable jaw, peak, and visor so they can be configures up to 8 different ways to suit the type of riding you are doing.
Right now we are just releasing an N-Com Bluetooth multi-media unit that has a built in brake light. You can even hook it to your computer and adjust the g-force sensor levels for when the brake light will activate. It’s pretty cool!
As for the future? Safety enhancements like brake lights and visual safety enhancements could be an obvious avenue of development – but Nolan keep coming up with new things that surprise us – so I’m excited to see what they come up with!