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30 motorcycle helmets rated for safety

Helmet still crash tested in Australia rated
Crash testing a helmet

Only seven out of 30 helmets tested this year for safety and comfort by the NSW Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) rated four out of five stars.

Worst performing helmets were open-face helmets.

Three open-face helmets scored just one star (Bell Scout Air, Eldorado EXR and R Jays Navona II) two scored two stars (LS2 Spitfire and Scorpion Bandit) and only one scored three stars (Arai SZ-R VAS).

The RXT 817-Street was the only full-face helmet to score two stars.

Top rated

The top-rated motorcycle helmets in this year’s tests with four stars are:

  • Airoh Valor
  • Bell Star (with angular acceleration management system)
  • HJC RPHA 90
  • O’Neal Sierra II
  • Alpinestars Supertech M8 (with angular acceleration management system)
  • Answer Racing AR1
  • Fly Racing F2 (with angular acceleration management system).

Three stars were awarded to the following helmets (full face unless specified):

Biltwell Gringo and Gringo S
Biltwell Gringo S (3 stars)
  • AGV K1

  • AGV X3000

  • Arai Renegade-V

  • Bell Eliminator

  • Biltwell Gringo S 

  • HJC i70

  • LS2 FF353 Rapid

  • Nitro N2400 Uno

  • RJays Apex II

  • Shark Vancore

  • AGV Compact ST

  • Caberg Tourmax

  • LS2 Valiant

  • Nolan N100-5

  • Arai SZ-R VAS (open face)

  • Shark Nano (open-face)

  • Shoei Ex-Zero (adventure)

CRASH tests 30 helmets a year and releases the details every spring.

AGV X3000 retro helmet review
AGV X3000 (3 stars)

Aussie testing

It seems strange that helmets are still tested in Australia when European-standard helmets have been available here for four years.

However, Centre for Road Safety active executive director Craig Moran says that while all helmets sold here meet either Australian Standards or global standard UNECE 22.05, CRASH ratings “give riders more information so they can chose the best helmet for their situation”.

By “more information” they mean ratings out of five for safety and comfort. The standards just say they passed the tests, but don’t provide ratings.

For example, a helmet only has to achieve the lowest one-star CRASH rating to pass Australian and Euro helmet certification.

AS/NZ 1698 and UNECE 22.05 certification make no mention at all of comfort which is important for reducing rider fatigure which can distract your attention.

Helmets rated

CRASH has now tested and rated 52 full-face helmets since 2017 and 102 pre-2017, 24 open face helmets since 2017 and 35 prior and 14 dual-purpose helmets since 2017 and 23 prior.

It is not as comprehensive as the similar British SHARP helmet safety scheme which has tested and rated hundreds of helmets, almost all of which are now available for sale in Australia.

“The helmets are chosen based a number of criteria including their approximate number of sales or popularity or if the consortium identifies a particular helmet as requiring further performance testing,” Craig says. 

“Helmets are proven to reduce the severity of head injuries as well as the likelihood of death and disability.

Helmet still crash tested in Australia
CRASH testing

“We also recently launched MotoCAP which is a consumer information program designed to provide riders with scientifically-based information about the protection and comfort of a range of motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves available in Australia and New Zealand.”

CRASH is run by a consortium of NSW government agencies and Swann Insurance.

It assesses and compares motorcycle helmets in terms of their ability to protect the wearer’s head in a crash and how comfortable the helmet is to wear.

Click here for more information about CRASH testing procedures.

Last year we assessed helmet ratings from CRASH and SHARP to assess whether price correlates with safety.

We found some surprising results! Click here for the full story.


  1. How about all helmets sold have a star rating sticker like a TV or fridge, so we can make a informed descision on what we are buying, would you buy a one or two star TV? I doubt it very much. The star rating would make distributors get rid of the poor quality helmets & improve the sales of the better helmets. Good to see some of the more afordable helmets rate well

    1. I have to say I agree with you 100% I would also like to add the life span of a motor bike helmet , I do feel that some out there should beyond there use by dates and the sale of second hand helmets should be band,
      Why no one in a motor bike shops will take a helmet back after it has left the store, on top of that it all about safety ,now I do under stand that some can not afford a new helmet but they buy a second hand one and not knows the helmets history even though the sell says its never been dropped .
      If NSW motor bike safety council is strong on the laws that they set, well the age and second hand helmets should come into question as one can not buy helmets that are the same brand from over seas and can’t wear them here so with that in mind the council says and have laws in place for one side but failing the other side ,
      If NSW motor Bike Council are testing and setting the rules of helmets for the safety of a rider I have to say that they are letting every body down,
      Now if it was a bike that goes for insurance they say oh its going to cost you x amount and you say why’s that’s ,its a bit high there come back is well the bike is old and it don’t have all the safety feacture that a new bike has .but they never ever ask about your helmet nor it is inspected by any one ,
      So I feel this is all one sided and the whole thing on motor bike helmets should be changed for the safety of a rider and if NSW safety council fail to look at this they may as well close there doors and walk away in shame, as they keep saying they want to protect the rider and it seems to me they really don’t give a shit .
      Im sorry but this is how I feel as a rider

      1. Hi Alf,
        The Motorcycle Council of NSW has nothing to do with the testing of helmets.
        As it says in the story: “CRASH is run by a consortium of NSW government agencies and Swann Insurance.”

  2. Rather revealing! So the saying “you get what you pay for” ain’t that relevant when it comes to safety in a helmet, according to this test

  3. Many so called helmet tests are not worth reading. Too much variation in the standards and many meaningless tests that do not translate to real world scenarios.

    And you idiots that automatically think that a dropped or older helmet is scrap need to get out of your armchairs and get a life. Neither of these factors automatically mean a helmet is not safe.

    I am fed up of these idiots calling for more legislation, one day you will all end up being banned from stepping outside your front door!

  4. Really, there is no evidence that these super premium helmets provide any better protection than the DOT full face helmets that you can get at Cycle Gear for $49.99. If there is, I would like to see it. Me, personally, I use a 2010 Bell Star, but that is because of comfort and features, not because I think it provides more protection than other Snell approved helmets costing hundreds less.

  5. Of course, you’d like to see more shell sizes for this model but understand that at the price this helmet goes for it’s probably wishful thinking. As far as cost is concerned, what’s not to like?

Comments are closed.