Department for Transport
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New motorcycle helmet safety ratings unveiled

New motorcycle helmet safety ratings unveiled

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (047) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 8 April 2009

New safety ratings for motorcycle helmets were published today by Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick.

An extra 28 motorcycle helmets have been rated by SHARP - the Department for Transport's Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme - taking the total number of ratings published to 125.

To tackle the disproportionate number of motorcyclists killed and injured on the roads the Department for Transport also runs THINK! campaigns such as the 'Take longer to look for bikes' TV and radio adverts. In addition, the THINK! Motorcycle Academy recently announced that it will be sponsoring the British Superbike Championship (BSB) for a sixth consecutive year after independent research showed that 98% of race goers are in favour of THINK! sponsoring BSB and 61% said they were more likely to take further training as a result of visiting the THINK! Motorcycle Academy.

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"If all riders wore the safest helmets available 50 lives could be saved each year so I am delighted to announce these new SHARP ratings. "By providing the best safety information, reminding drivers of the importance of looking out for bikes and promoting further training and safe riding through the THINK! Motorcycle Academy I hope we can make the roads safer for motorcyclists and reduce the number of terrible tragedies we see each year."

All helmets must meet minimum legal safety standards but the SHARP scheme uses a wider range of tests to provide riders with more information on how much protection a helmet can provide in a crash. The objective advice, which includes important guidance on how to select a good fitting helmet, will help riders to choose the safest helmet suitable for them. The SHARP tests - which award ratings of between one and five stars - showed that the safety performance of helmets can vary by as much as 70%. With helmets across a wide price range scoring highly all riders should be able to find a high performing helmet in a size and style that fits them and at a price they want to pay.

For more information about the SHARP programme, visit the SHARP website at

Notes to Editors
1. The ratings published today are:

Make           Model Rating    (out of 5)
      AGV               K3             4
      Arashi           Galaxy          3
      Arashi           Sonic           3
      Arashi           Turbo           3
      Bell             M5X             5
      Box              BX3 Dagger      2
      Box              BX5 Hurricane   4
      Duchinni         D701            4
      Givi             HPS40.1         3
      HJC              FS 10 Carbon    3
      Kawasaki         Ninja           4
      KBC              Magnum          1
      KBC              TK8             1
      KBC              XP3             3
      Marushin         Ikusa           4
      Marushin         Samura          5
      Marushin         Shivan          4
      Nitro            N1700 VF        5
      Nuvo             SP2             4
      RST              PC1S            1
      Shark            S650            4
      Shark            RSX             5
      Vemar            VSSEV           1
      Vemar            VTXE            2
      Vemar            VXP             3
      Marushin         M401            2
      Nitro           F347VN           3
      X-Lite          X1002            4 

2. All final results of SHARP testing can be found at:

3. The SHARP tests and assessments are valid for all types of helmet and further results will be released on a rolling basis. Full face helmets represent the largest part of the market (approx. 80%), but 'flip front' style helmets are gaining in popularity and therefore, SHARP announced ratings for some of these helmets in November 2008 and 3 more are included with this latest release. Open face helmets will be considered later.

4. Motorcyclists are one of our most vulnerable road user groups. In 2007, 24,381 motorcyclists were injured in accidents, with 588 being killed.

5. Head injuries occur in 80% of all motorcyclist fatalities and in 70% of these the head injury is the most serious.

6. Currently no comparative rating system is available on motorcycle helmets anywhere in the world.

7. Helmets sold in the UK must meet the minimum standards of UN ECE Regulation 22.05 or comply with British Standard 6658:1985. SHARP assesses the extent to which helmets offer protection above these minimum requirements.

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