WHEN IS A HELMET NOT A HELMET?
The first thing to check before buying any motorcycle helmet is that it’s legal. In the UK that means complying with either British Standard 6658 or, more commonly, EC22.05. This information’s contained on a certificate that’s usually sewn onto the chinstrap and shows in which country the helmet was tested, its certificate number and a code denoting what type of chin protection it provides.
The latter is particularly important as it’s quite common for the chin piece on flip front and motocross helmets to offer no chin protection at all. The decision on whether to wear an open or full face is down to the individual – it’s personal choice – but it’s worth being aware of what exactly it is that you’re buying.
Without the EC/BS certificate, in the eyes of the law you’re not wearing a helmet. While it’s highly unlikely that this’ll be checked on the roadside by your local constabulary, an insurance company will be very interested in what head protection was being worn at the time of an injury accident. It’s not unusual for American or even Indian spec helmets to be sold online and counterfeit examples are not unknown. All good reasons for supporting your local ‘bricks and mortar’ dealer.