Friday, August 25, 2006

Helmet Hullabaloo: Snell vs ECE 22-05


If you're riding a 320km/h ZZR1400, make sure you get a Snell-certified helmet!

European helmet crash protection standards (ECE 22-05), which came into force from the year 2000, have come in for some serious flak. It is being said that ‘Due to the way the standard is written, it is easy for manufacturers to build helmets to pass the test by applying additional strength in the specific test areas, rather than building a totally safe helmet.’

Apparently, these claims are backed up by some of the leading helmet manufacturers, who’ve admitted that it is easier to pass the European test rather than the American ‘Snell’ test, which has much higher safety standards! And proof of that is in the fact that most MotoGP and WSB riders only wear helmets that have passed the Snell test, while their cheaper replicas are often sold with an ECE 22-05 marking!

What about India? Forget Snell and ECE 22-06. What we have here is ISI mark, issued by the bureau of Indian standards. I suppose their safety standards would be antiquated, but still, wearing an ISI mark helmet should still be better than going without one. Not convinced? Read an earlier post on rider safety here

Snell or ECE? :-)
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