Rating System

CRASH awards a star rating from 1 to 5 for each motorcycle helmet following independent crash protection and comfort assessments by independent specialist laboratories.

The rating system has gone through several significant changes with the aim of improving the level and clarity of information provided to motorcyclists. The rating system now provides a five-star rating system that better reflects the comparative performance beyond that required by AS/NZS 1698. All helmets assessed to the most recent testings have been rescored using this new system.

Some star ratings may have changed from the previous results because the way the scores are awarded has been revised to better represent the performance of the helmets in simulated crashes.

In the crash protection assessments, the helmets were rated based on their individual performance aspects. These aspects were ranked and weighted based on their importance to reduce the risk of head and brain injury in a crash and are listed as follows:

  • Energy reduction in a higher speed crash on a flat surface (30 per cent)
  • Energy reduction in a higher speed crash on kerb surface (25 per cent)
  • Energy reduction in a lower speed crash on flat surface (15 per cent)
  • Helmet's ability to minimise the rotation of the helmet in a crash (10 per cent)
  • Helmet coverage (10 per cent)
  • Helmet chin-strap's strength (5 per cent)
  • Helmet's ability to minimise rebound (5 per cent)

For the comfort level performance, the helmets were rated using comfort features which were considered important by motorcyclists. These features were ranked based on results from a 2010 survey conducted by the European project COST 357–PROHELM (Accident Prevention Options with Motorcycle Helmets) involving 598 motorcyclists. The study found 71 per cent of the riders wore a helmet that was not of the right size and 69 per cent of the respondents reported discomfort using the helmet.

The most common complaints related to noisiness of the helmet, followed by complaints about the visor steaming up too often and to the ventilation system not working adequately. The remaining features are ranked in the following order: Aerodynamics, helmet weight, peripheral vision and visor's ability to seal out water.