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Purchasing helmets online

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by Maka1991, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. Hello and G'day Everyone,

    As you all may (or may not) be aware, recent laws regarding use of DOT and CE 22.5 rated helmets are now allowed in Australia (or just QLD, memory fogs up) I would like to know if anyone has purchased motorcycle helmets online since then.

    As a relatively small packaged lady, I find that my helmet (even with gear on) makes me look like a bobble head. And so I am looking at purchasing a helmet by Scorpion particularly the EXO-500 because they have 3 shell sizes. Why a Scorpion? Well, Shoei isn't really in my budget...so are other well known brands in Australia. my Shark S900 I managed to haggle down to 300 bucks. (Womanly guile...I know...)

    If you guys can give me tips on how to purchase helmets online or if you have purchased an EXO-500 yourself please let me know!

    This week I'll be riding around motorcycle apparel shops to find matching fitment of the EXO-500 with the same shell size. Good Luck to me!

  2. Whatever you do, make sure the helmet you are looking at fits your head! That means you have to try it on first of course. Otherwise you risk buying something that just won't work for you, and you have to go buy another anyway. So find it somewhere and try it on. If not retailed in Australia then you have to understand you are taking a chance on a) size and b) fit and that it may not work out for you.

    I have no issue with buying online but would always try on at a store first - then give store the option to better their price if you've seen it online for much cheaper.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. By online, do you mean from overseas suppliers? Also, there is still great confusion over helmets, as the DOT USA certification may not carry the 'approved' labeling or sticker. I'm new so I cannot yet post a link, but I'll keep an eye on this thread. For info, I have been using USA purchased helmets for 6 years now without any problems (I'm based in SEQld)
  4. Hey There mate,

    I have come to understand some risks, putting link below. This site essentially tells me similar fitting to the exo-500 comparing to brands and particular helmets that have a high chance of being at the local shops so that I can at least try these on and have feel for them at the shops and then make my decision.

    Scorpion EXO-500 Review - webBikeWorld
  5. Look, nothing like trying the actual helmet obviously, but at least with your research you will have some idea - and as long as you're aware of the inherent risks then no probs! Have fun....
  6. Hey dudette,

    Agree with what the others say. I also don't believe in cheaping out on your noggin though. Cant put a price on your own health and protection. Too many twits on the road to put my trust in anything else. I'm more than happy to pay a little more to support a good local store who put the time and effort into helping me try on and assess helmets from a wide range. Especially when I was a noob and needed fitting advice. Everyone's head is a different shape and size. Some helmets look awesome, but certain styles and brands just wont fit you right. Once you get a good brand you like, that particular range generally stays the same fitting wise through updates and new iterations. After a few years you can always buy the replacement online a bit cheaper and with more confidence, or get the same one again at a runout price.

    Happy helmet hunting!
  7. I bought my helmet from EU. I did however try it on here first for probably 30-40 minutes to make sure it was comfortable and fit properly.
    Price here was ~$550, I ended up getting it for $300 delivered.
    I reckon if you can get a good discount online, then do it, but I would still definitely try the helmet on first.

    Good luck!
  8. One of the issues with Australian Standards helmets is that the Aussie Standard is the only one (or one of the very few) that has to pass a test for penetration damage, which is a very unlikely injury. This means that some Aussie helmets have a far more rigid shell, which is not a good thing in two ways: It is heavier (which exacerbated any whiplash injury - fairly typical in a crash), and it doesn't absorb forces/flex as much in the event of a typical impact, such as being smacked down onto the road or hitting a kerb. The Australian Standard is well out of date, and, in my opinion, has not kept pace with current research. This is why I have stuck with USA DOT & SNELL approved helmets for me.

    We had the misfortune to test our helmets recently, and our Shoei helmets USA DOT & SNELL) both performed excellently - my wife's in particular absorbing the crushing force of a 260 kg motorcycle on her head, flexing to absorb shock but retaining it's core structural integrity.

    When we have bought our USA sourced helmets we have always tried in locally first. Pricing now does not make buying from the USA as attractive, but a few years ago the Shoei we bought was listed as $1,150 here = $2,300 for 2, but "special for us, as we were buying about $4,000 worth of gear - $2,000 for the 2 on the shelf). We ended up paying $1,300 including 2 spare visors & Pinlock inserts. At least the local distributor doesn't gouge quite as badly anymore.
  9. If I wanted to cheap out on my noggin I would have bought a china-made helmet... You know.. ones that with one hit of a hammer that shatters it into a bajillion pieces...

    Moving on...

    I actually have two reasons to replace my helmet: 1.) I dropped it from a height of 5 feet. 2.) it makes me looks like a bobble head.

    I have researched Scorpion, they have 3 shell sizes and they used to have an apparel line but now they just focus on their helmets. So I'm deducing that they are really making their helmets top quality because that's all they're selling now...
  10. That may well be the case. But not necessarily - they could be focused on a particular market segment that isn't that good and is more price driven. I have no idea. But wouldn't assume top quality without further research. If you've done that, great.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. HI all

    I guess I'm now in a similar boat. I'm wanting to purchase a Shoei J-Cruise open face helmet. However my dilemma is that the color (wine red) is not offered here is Aus.
    Can I assume that if I order from o/seas that the helmet will be ok for use here. I've seen two types, the US DOT ones and a Japanese JIS one.

  12. #13 robsalvv, Oct 23, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
    Leaving aside all the issues of not supporting your local shop, you were lucky that the AS1698 version of the helmet you tried on in the store was the same fit as the one you bought online and overseas. The ECE22.05 standard uses different headforms than the AS1698 standard so often the same "model" for Australia is slightly different than the EU version.

    One of the reasons that AS1698 helmets cost more here is the certification process that a helmet model must go through and often the small batch runs required to provide a helmet for Australian conditions.

    In Victoria you can now legally wear AS1698:1988 (try and find one!), AS1698:2006 and UN ECE r22.05 helmets. You can legally only buy AS1698:1988 helmets, but new helmets are only made to AS1698:2006. And that's barely the tip of the iceberg of the helmet crazy in Australia.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. I would strongly advise anyone to watch this video:

    Until you can buy these helmets off the shelf, be very cautious where you get your helmet from. Call me a patriot, but buy from your local business - in a world when foreign workers will soon flood the country, the economy needs it more than ever: there is always a helmet or two on sale if the price is your issue. heck, we'll sell you a 5 star SHARP rated composite helmet that is not only ECER22.05, DOT but also AS1698 approved for $139 and we won't make a buck. How cheap people want a good helmet for god's sake to be? And you'll get the Australian Consumer protection and your money will flow back into the economy coz it stays here (in a form of GST and business tax). Exactly because of these look where we are: you'll find hardly a brand in Australia that manufactures here. Even Dririder makes most of it's apparel in Pakistan.

    And a proper helmet fit is very important. How do you know how does a helmet fit your head if you have never tried it? Anyhow, I'd never buy any riding gear of the internet from another country. Even when you buy locally after trying, you still may have uncertainties here and there, but you get to resolve it easily because you can walk back to that store (or post it back) for an exchange.

    But it is your call and you are free to do what you'd like...
  14. Oh I'm not looking for a cheaper option, I'm looking for a specific color that seems to be sold everywhere but here.
    However on that note, the hoops that I have to jump through and the criteria that I have to meet to import a helmet is just too much to worry about and not worth the risk, so I've decided just to buy a color that is on the market here in Aus.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Guys can you shed light on differences between AS 1698 and ECE 22.05 ? I checked both of them ECE 22.05 is a 110 page document where as AS 1698 is a 12 page document and the first 5 page is the title etc. ECE is a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulations and Standards document which is done by UN who has way much more power and skilled person than a mere AU governed standards institute. How come is it possible to believe that AS 1698 is better than ECE ? I'm not even mentioning the US DOT or Snell ? Which in this video they specifically highlight that Snell is a very hard standard to achieve than any other.

    If someone over there who knows about the differences between AS 1698 and ECE 22.05, please share. I really did not had the time to read it all... But i came to a conclusion that ECE 22.05 is safer. (Fix me if i'm wrong)

  16. AS1698 is about as long as ECE 22.05 when you add all the subordinate mandatory standards into AS1698. ECE 22.05 just includes everything in one document.

    The review document Fractalz linked in the other helmet thread includes a reference to an analysis of all the different standards.
  17. Yep i will, btw i found my answer in this review.

    He basically explained the differences between ANSI z.90 based standards (australian standard is based on that ), and ECE, Snell, Dot etc. I loved it, to summarize, Helmets which fail in Snell, Dot or ECE may pass AU because their expectations are lower than them. So That's the end of the story. AU standard 1698 is worse than other standards which are ECE, Dot & Snell. Its a really good read. I recommend everyone to read the link.

    Standards - A Brief Review - Motorcycle Council of NSW
  18. Incase if the link above goes down, i'm pasting the review here. So when buying online, if i were you, i would go for ECE 22.05 just because it is being accepted here in Australia these days. If you're in somewhere else i would go for DOT, and also if you're not a speed enthusiastic racer no need to buy a Snell approved one.

    Cheers guys ! Good luck on searching for the best !

    Standards - A Brief Review
    See also:
    Helmet Rules
    Certification History

    Basically, there are two “types” of helmet standards that we see today as viable alternatives. Motorcycle helmet design is further directed by specific requirements of each standard.

    1. European Reg ECE 22-05
    2. ANSI Z.90 based standards (Australia, USA, Japan)
    They’re quite different in some ways, but the same in others.

    The European helmet standard was developed from studies of head injuries to crashed, helmeted motorcycle riders. It is specific for motorcycle riders, as can be seen from its title “Protective Helmets and their Visors for Drivers and Passengers of Motor Cycles and Mopeds”

    The ANSI Z.90 based standards are essentially a car racing driver helmet that has been “adopted” or “endorsed” for use by motorcycle riders.

    The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z.90.1 first published in 1966, was revised in 1972 and used as the basis for the USA national Standard for motorcycle helmets.

    The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) declared Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218 (FMVSS-218) “Motorcycle Helmets”on 4 January 1974.

    Japan followed suit and based their national standard on ANSI Z.90, declaring JIS-T8133 “Standards for Protective Helmets for Motor Vehicle Users” on 23 May 1974.

    Australia then based a new national helmet standard on ANSI Z.90.AS 1698-1974 “Protective Helmets for Vehicle Users” was put forward for publication on 27 September 1974.

    Since 1974, each of USA, Japan and Australia has “tweaked” details in their own Z.90 based standard. Yet, they remain essentially the same even if a helmet in compliance with one cannot pass another due to these “tweaks”.

    We note that the Australian version has weaker impact attenuation than the other two due to acceptance of a longer duration of the impact pulse. At its extreme, this means helmets that fail USA or Japanese impact attenuation tests may still pass for Australia.

    Each of the two different “philosophies” (ECE or Z.90) for setting test methods has inherent assumptions that form a “suite” of tests. We can’t simply play cut-paste or mix-n-match. Each suite is an entity.

    It’s not possible to say one suite is “better” than the other. It’s going to depend on what sort of crash you’re planning to have. Both suites have their own advantages and disadvantages, but both the Z.90 and ECE 22 types offer excellent protection.

    When helmet standards are "mixed", such as by modifying a European helmet to enable it to also pass AS/NZS1698, we get unpredictable results. Laboratory tests may prove it capable of passing higher impact tests, but "stiff" helmets are implicated in higher injury in quite low impact crashes. This is one reason we reject the Snell private standards. It's a bit like taking a car with frontal crumple zones and stiffening them up so it will provide protection for very high speed impact such as on a race track, but provides no "give" in a lower speed impact typical of normal traffic speeds.

    It's worth remembering that no matter how good you think they are, you can exceed the engineering limitations of even the best helmet at the speed a man can run. It all depends on the type and angle of impact.

    One difference between the two types of standard is that the European ECE 22-05 does not use penetration to test for “shell integrity”, but instead uses a kerb anvil test and other methods within the suite, such as flexure.

    Research in Europe indicates that helmets over 1.5 kg in weight are implicated in neck injury and basilar skull fracture. Helmet weight is increased by a heavy shell needed to pass the penetration test of the Z.90 based standards.

    The 1996 publication of ECE 22-04 removed the penetration test from earlier versions and significantly varied the test suite with methods of testing shell integrity. This was followed up with the COST 327 Action to track public health outcomes for crashed helmeted riders in Europe to determine if any negative outcomes arose. COST 327 confirmed the soundness of the decision.

    Penetration tests were criticised by Hume, et al in 1995 and confirmed by Otte et al in their 1997 study for the COST 327 Action.

    The penetration test is NOT a test against penetration injury which has historically been and remains very rare.

    As a consequence, helmets in compliance with ECE 22-05 are lighter in weight than their counterparts in compliance with Z.90 based standards.

    In the early days of helmet manufacture, glass fibre inadequately impregnated with viscous polyester resin left ”dry” patches that were weak and brittle. Improved resin formulations and new manufacturing methods have largely solved this.

    A helmet penetration test is used as a “shell integrity test” to ensure a fibreglass or carbon fibre helmet shell is sound and not “dry and brittle”.

    There is no research base to modify AS/NZS 1698 by simply taking away the penetration test. The suite of tests depend upon each other and unproven helmets would result.

    Another difference between the two types is total coverage above the test line. ECE 22-05 has greater coverage than any of the Z.90 derived standards.

    Chin Bar Testing
    The Z.90 based standards do not test chinbars at all. ECE 22-05 provides for chin bar testing and distinguishing between open-face and full-face testing. This is significant, particularly for "flip-face" (modular) helmets. The marking below indicates this helmet has been tested both as an open-face and as a full-face helmet.


    J =Jet style P= Protective, i.e. with protective chin-bar
    E11 = UK Notifying Body
    Certified to ECE 22-05 by the UK Notifying Body
    050113 = ECE 22-05 + Approval Number 0113 issued in UK
    P/J - P = “Protective”, i.e. chin bar tested and approved as a protective full-face helmet, J = “Jet” style open face approval
    553863 = Batch Test control number – identifies the production batch for which test results are available

    ECE 22-05 does allow full-face helmets with non-protective or untested chinbars, but these must be marked with the following symbol and/or wording to indicate "Does not protect chin from impacts".


    External Projections
    Unlike the Z.90 based test suites, ECE 22-05 includes a test for determining rotation-inducing forces on external projections, using a corrugated surface bar-anvil and an abrasive anvil in an oblique impact.

    Some Z.90 derived standards require limits on the height or edge shape of external projections. The 2010 Japanese version references the external projection tests of ECE 22-05.

    The Australian version is weird, an Amendment requires compliance with a unique prescriptive diagram sourced from an equestrian helmet standard via the bicycle helmet standard. The Standard is not performance-based for this aspect. For non-rigid projections, Australia requires a test pass of the rather severe 1985 British standard BS 6658 Oblique Impact Test.
    It's a bit of a puzzle as to how so many helmets not meeting the diagram reach the market as certified to AS/NZS 1698:2006. The Amendment (Amdt 2) to the local standard was made to allow flip-face (modular) helmets into the Australian market.

    When a Standard stifles innovation, commercial pressure increases.

    Multiple Compliance
    One problem with a unique helmet standard in a small market is that we often receive helmets that have been “beefed up” to pass multiple small-market requirements and often have multiple compliance markings.

    Besides being heavy, this tends to make these helmets quite “stiff” and hence not as good at protection from concussion in low-level impacts.

    The Snell helmet standard for race car drivers was also “adopted” for use by motorcyclists back in the 1960’s and contributed to development of the 1968 & 1972 ANSI Z.90 standards. Marketing of helmets with Snell stickers in the 1960’s continues today, in a struggle for relevance against the USA national standard.

    We’re not persuaded that heavy, stiff helmets are good for street use.

    Dexter Ford writes in more detail on this subject.

    Brief References

    Konrad, Ch., Fieber, T.,Schuepfer, G., Gerber, H., 1996. Are Fractures of the Base of the Skull Influenced by the Mass of the Protective Helmet? A Retrospective Study in Fatally Injured Motorcyclists The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care Issue: Volume 41(5), November 1996, pp 854-858

    Krantz, G., Peter, K., 1985. Head and neck injuries to motorcycle and moped riders with special regard to the effect of protective helmets Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Lund, Sweden Injury (1985) 16, 253-258

    Hume, A., Mills, N.J., Gilchrist, A., 1995. Industrial head injuries and the performance of the helmets. In: Proceedings of IRCOBI Conference, Switzerland.

    Otte, D., Chinn, B., Doyle, D., Strurrock, K., Schuller, E., 1997. Accident description and analysis of motorcycle safety helmets. In: Cost 327 Interim Reports, Accident Research Unit, Medical University, Hanover, Germany.
    • Informative Informative x 2