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Australian Standards, Or How I Learned To Love The Import

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by Gurbachen, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Ok thread title is just a joke, I in no way know anything about importing and all that jazz which is why I'm creating this. I just had a few questions about it all. I only just bought my helmet a few weeks ago, but I'm not super satisfied with the fit. It fits fairly well around the head, but I find with my strong masculine jaw i'm often 'kissing' the from of the helmet from the inside, which is not altogether comfortable. So in my pipe-dream world I was looking at the Shark Evoline Series 2, which is a gorgeous helmet particularly in the black with glowing white circles (http://www.bikebiz.com.au/products/Shark-Evoline-Series-2-Moovit-Helmet-Black{47}Lumi.html). The prohibitive cost (relative to how much disposable income I currently have) has turned me off, but I've found stores online from America that sell them for hundreds of dollars cheaper (eg. http://www.cli-maxridinggear.com/servlet/the-Helmets-cln-Shark/Categories). Now I did search about the forum, but I still wasn't entirely clear on it all. I know Takamii said that Australian Standards are the toughest in the world (I think that's what he said), but I was wondering if the helmets that pass the AusStandards are any differently made to the US ones (given the exact same brand and model). Is it like my RE and they only make a certain number of higher quality units to ship out here for import? Or do some brands have the same quality regardless and just don't bother getting them certified? Interested especially to hear Takamii's take on this, being a professional and all. I'm not looking to dodgy import to save $$$ and put fake stickers on or any of that shit, I fully understand the importance of compliance and keeping my noggin' safe and secure, but was just curious. Thank you for your time and sorry for the rambling wall of text :)

  2. In a nut shell - there can be differences in helmet models depending on market they are produced for

    My own helmets should they be only for the european market or countries accepting the ece standard could be 300 grams lighter as they would not need to have built into them the ability for penetration resistance but rather only impact resistance which the ece standard favours.

    Now 300 grams lighter would equate to 23% less mass in the helmet - 23 % less would definitely mean it is a different model helmet as its total composition would change.

    The outer shell would not need be as strong as it is to resist the penetration spike but would rather become more like a protective covering for the eps liner against the elements more than anything else.

    Each standard has its own requirements - for example the amount of g force transference allowed during an impact test - currently ECE has the toughest there allowing 250 gs max - SNELL has adopted this for its 2010 standard where as As1698 allows 300g.

    Penetration testing is not done under ece but is under SNELL and DOT and AS 1698 - where they differ is in impact point selection and placement as well as the number of impacts utilised eg. AS1698 wants two impacts in the same area with no more than 6mm separation between the impact points done in 4 different locations on the helmet.

    Then there are standards applied for the testing procedure such as head form shapes and weights to be utilised.

    Other factors between the standards have to do with the quality controls and batch testing of performance of the helmets by choosing random helmets to be re-tested against the applicable standard to ensure continuing compliance. Each standard has its own guidelines - for example the ece one has 1% batch testing requirement for every 6000 helmets ( If i recall correctly) - basically means 60 in every 6000 produced must be randomly chosen and tested as a batch indicator of continued compliance.

    With the AS standard it is up to the certifying body but it generally is that 10 in every 500 produced are randomly chosen for testing to ensure continued compliance this is 2%

    DOT allows for manufacturer self certification and ongoing batch testing - ece and as1698 calls for it to be done by independent accredited third parties.

    Standards are more than just the performance of the helmet in testing procedures - it is also about management and quality controls.

    Overall each standard has its pluses and minuses - AS1698 originally closely followed BSI but has grown to incorporate attributes of BSI SNELL and ECE - it is never discussed a lot because we are such a small market with our own standard where as the kings of hype and self promotion being the USA have always pushed the SNELL standard.

    Then we get into even more standards such as FIA where we introduce requirements such as fire proofing and resistance - lets not go there it hurts my head just thinking about it

    disclaimer - its 6.30 am - I haven't had coffee my brain is in neutral ( as opposed to its normal reverse mode ) - I may have made some minor mistakes in writting this.
  3. for the sake of posting an opinion from someone without any commercial interests, namely myself.
    in a nutshell, if it's a helmet of the same make/model that is sold in Australia with the AS sticker, then it is exactly the same helmet. all helmets of that make/model were manufactured to meet the specifics of the standards in the countries they are marketed in.
    they are batch tested in house to meet or exceed the requirements of any all countries they are available for sale in.
    for example a shoei, arai, shark, icon, nolan, hjc, blah etc make/model available for sale here will undergo batch testing to meet or exceed the requirements of : DOT FMVSS 218 (US), ECE 22-05 (EUROPE), SAI AS1698 (AUSTRALIA) & SG (JAPAN) safety and testing standards.
    one in house test for all.
    however, it cannot be shipped to Australia with AS1698 labelling affixed unless purchased from an authorised dealer here.
    they do not make separate special batches on the production line just to send here.
    ours is a very small market and our heads are not that special.
    batch testing in house is pretty basic and rudementary anyway. like let a weight hanging of a piece of string fall on it, dose'nt damage it, then the production line is running well.
    if you want to view independant and more thorough/extensive testing of helmet makes/models, visit the SHARP website.http://sharp.direct.gov.uk/
    you generally get what you pay for in a helmet, like anything else. but if you really
    want peace of mind, choose a helmet that is marketed globally and meets all global standards. the big names with the big reputations.
    if you opt to pay a fair an honest price by purchasing from o/s it is in your best interest to affix an AS1968 label to it yourself, plus the small sticker on the visor.
  4. still a good grasp of it though monkey

    Attached Files:

  5. true, but the pigs only care about the sticker.
    the label is easy enough to stitch into your helmet lining.
    but no sticker just gives them an extra reason to harrass you.
  6. exactly ( re police ) - but you have to make your own label - and with helmets that have non removable headlining such as the shoei xr1100 ?

    whats with the rsvp signature ( that place bans me all the time )
  7. and truth be told the carbon fibre helmets being manufactured in Thailand are easilly as good as any others, if not better imho.
    so we're very lucky that niche importers such as yourself can make them available for sale here for fantastic prices.
    if i wanted carbon fibre your helmet would be my pick. and not because it's the only one available for that price, but because it's better.
    and if you do track days, then carbon fibre helmet is the ultimate. don't be needing no heavy composite brick on your head at 180 kph+
  8. Two things: How do you know the Shark helmet will fit?

    While you're in the store trying it on, you can haggle with the salesperson & get a price pretty close to the US, especially if you factor in shipping

    & I've heard if you're in an accident a receive head injuries whilst not wearing an "approved" helmet, you may be in trouble with regards to TAC cover.

    Not sure if it's true, but it wouldn't surprise me...
  9. Thank you Takamii and Monkey, you're both highly knowledgeable. So Takamii do you agree that they're the same model and are all tested to the highest standards or will the US ones be less quality and not meeting Australian standards? I'm happy to dodge price hikes but not quality and safety.

    MV: This isn't anything that's happening at any time soon, was just googling about and got curious if the crazy marked-up prices in Australia were actually reasonable
  10. its not just a matter of meeting australian standards. it has to have a sticker saying it does. think you can some helmets for racing as they recognise international standards (and Rossi doesn't have to buy an aussie helmet to race here) but not the road.
  11. I read on the net the other day, that as of the 1jul2011, QLD will recognise the ECE standards. Due to someone arguing the case successfully in court.

    It even goes on that a few coppers were posting on the same site, saying that they've already bought oseas, as because of the ruling, they don't check anymore.

    I'm still yet to find something official, so if someone finds it first, please post.
  12. care to link to where you read that?
  13. Oh aye, I know that, but if I was 100% confident and assured that it was as safe a helmet as possible (AS approved and whatever else) then I would have no safety or moral qualms about faking up a sticker and tag somehow, or just swapping from one helmet to the other. Like I said though, I would only do this if it were guaranteed safe, same quality as here.
  14. I can not say they are - because i do not know the inner workings of the other companies northe specifications of their products

    I can say that a employee from my certifying body told me this though when my helmet testing was completed

    A. It was the first and so far only helmet they had done that had passed the Australian Standards test as well as quality and management controls on the first attempt

    B That a well known company had tried to get one or some of their european model helmets passed under Australian Standards and the helmet/s failed so the helmet/s had to be modified/reinforced to meet the standard

    I can only suggest to you to think of the worst case scenario - you get a head injury and insurance cover is denied you or significantly reduced because of contributory negligence

    This is not me saying other standards are bad - its just me saying that we have laws and although its your free will and choice ( which I support ) - there could be ramifications for you

    I like the Oneal Tirade helmets personally - but why are they not sold here or in Europe and only USA ? maybe too small a market here but surely not europe

    what ever helmet you choose all I care about is that you and everyone else stays safe and well and enjoys motorcycling -- this is my main concern
  15. Takamii,
    I seen a bloke with an open face helmet that the visor went up inside the helmet,
    the visor came down to the chin, It was $170-00
    It had not been approved in OZ,
    I dont wear full face helmets,
    Do you know if these have been approved yet, Seeing as your in the industry,
    I want one,
  16. Deadman - I have not seen or heard of any as yet

    although If they allow the drop down inner visor on full face units I do not see a problem with it passing certain aspects of our standard
  17. Thanks Mate,
  18. Takamii, I would never suggest that you valued profits and the rules over human safety. Like I said I would only do this if they were guaranteed the same. If that big company failed with the Euro helmet, do you think they'd upgrade the entire line? Or just manufacture a small amount specifically to export? Seems like it would be less effort to just upgrade the entire line, but I guess it really comes down to specifics we can't know, like how much the upgrade costs against the cost of a specific export model.
  19. I would say they upgrade the whole line - if it doesn't detract from the euro model in some way like make it 500 grams heavier etc - this would make better sense

    I would venture to guess it would be some extra shell reinforcement for penetration tests

  20. courts do not set state or federal legislation they can but interpret it for enforcement of the legislation

    you would need to search for qld parliament legislation that brings into existence a law that says it is okay to wear a ece standard helmet on public roads

    My certification body has not advised me of any changes - i think that court case is a urban myth