A Complete Guide to the Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards

Helmets have become an essential accessory for bikers nowadays. That’s because the speed of modern vehicles is increasing by the day. The faster they are, the more efficient they’re considered to be. But these vehicles are not at all safe, for that matter.

The motorcycle helmets safety standards have been imposed to ensure the safety of the riders. There are a few standards around different countries of the world. Some are set by the government, and some by private organizations. DOT, ECE, Snell, and Sharp are some of them.

These safety standards are essential for a biker. It maintains a certain quality that saves the biker from any hazardous situations. So, read along if you want to acquire more knowledge on this topic.

Importance Of Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards

Motorcycle helmet certification is something that you need to check before you want to buy one. This certification makes sure that the helmet can take any and every type of damage and save you from an unfortunate accident.

People who ride bikes realize the importance of safety and know that no safety precaution can be enough if something goes wrong. It’s literally the one thing you can’t take lightly because your own life depends on it.

The helmets approved by certain safety standards go through extremely tough conditions and a rigorous testing process. These certification tests include different kinds of resistance, energy absorption, impact attenuation tests.

After passing all these tests, they give it the tick of clearance. By which, you can tell if it has the required safety standards.

There’s about a 67% chance of preventing injuries to the brain. And about 37% chance of avoiding death in a motorcycle accident just by wearing a helmet.

If a helmet has these safety standards maintained, then it’s safe to assume that one can use it daily to keep himself safe.

Motorcycle Helmet Safety

Few Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards

Before the helmets are certified, they go through different types of tests and processes. After the manufacturers see that the helmets have the requirements needed, then they are approved.

These standards may differ from region to region. For example, the DOT was established by the United States. The ECE, on the other hand, is set by the Economic Commission for Europe.

The Snell, however, was set by the Snell Memorial Foundation situated in California. And finally, the Sharp standard was developed by the UK government.


Do you know what does DOT stands for on motorcycle helmets? It’s the short form for “Department of Transportation.” It’s often considered as the basic standard amongst the other helmet safety standards.

However, though it’s considered as the basic standard, the testing process is pretty extensive.

The DOT-approved hot weather motorcycle helmets also have a great ventilation system. It keeps your head cool in the hot and humid weather during the summer times.

It has a strict requirement in penetration resistance, retention systems in the field of vision. Its impact test process is also very extreme. For that reason, motorcycle helmet dot standards are widespread.


  • The testing process is highly energetic.
  • Its maximum energy transfer allowed is up to 400g.
  • A hemispherical anvil is used, and per location, they prefer two strikes.


  • A small number of head forms are used.
  • Friction resistance, removability, and optics test are not included.

Snell M2020

The Snell M2020 is the highest standard considered by the helmet industry. It uses an aggressive edge anvil while the energy demand is very low for two blows.

It’s specially made for the race tracks keeping the aggressiveness of the sport in mind. So, it definitely can be considered as the supreme standard. They also conduct “Helmet Autopsy” for signs of weaknesses.


  • The Snell-approved motorcycle helmets are also thoroughly tested.
  • 275 g peak energy allowed.
  • Includes extreme edge anvil test


  • As Snell is a private certification, the Snell-certified helmets might be a little costly.
  • Snell certification is applicable primarily for the helmets used in racing.

ECE 22.05

The ECE 22.05 is a relatively new standard in the field. It’s a better version of the other European standards as it offers more detailed tests and processes.

However, an independent lab must test the ECE-certified model before it can be approved to enter the market.


  • Helmets that are ECE certified are thoroughly tested.
  • About 275 g peak energy is allowed.
  • It has an extensive testing program that includes a lot of features.


  • Variation of head forms can cause displacement of the center of gravity, which reduces the impact energy up to 20%.


Sharp Helmet Safety Scheme is the name of the organization which came up with this certification. First, they test the helmets on energy levels and multiple impact points.

Then they give it a “star rating.” It implies how much energy the helmet can take.


  • It’s tested with impacts of both high and low velocity.
  • An “autopsy” of the helmet takes place to identify the weak points.


  • The rating system is quite controversial.

Motorcycle Helmet

Motorcycle Helmets Snell And Dot Approved

Snell and DOT-certified motorcycle helmets are the best kinds of helmets. As these can take on two different tests and get certified, you can guess how sturdy they are.

Here are some of the helmets which are Snell and Dot approved –

  • Scorpion EXO-R420
  • Shark Race-R Pro
  • AGV Pista GP-R
  • Shoei X-Fourteen
  • Shark Evo-One 2

Final Words

The different motorcycle helmet safety standards are necessary for the safety of a biker. As they ride around without any cover or protection around their heads, it’s a must that they at least have a helmet that can withstand the blow of an accident.

So, check out to see which standard seems suitable for you and get one with the proper certification before you get pulled over again. Drive safe & enjoy riding!

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