Aug 13, 2011

23 Guide: Branded Motorycle Helmets available in India [2011]

A list of the best motorycle helmet brands available in India..

For many Indians, a helmet that costs Rs. 1,000 or above seems to be a preposterous idea. Actually in most cases Indians don’t bother to wear a helmet at all. So even if one decides to get one, he/she mostly opts for something within the range of Rs. 500 (ok maybe Rs. 700), sometimes even resorting to buying from the roadside vendors.

Also in many cases, guys who are new to biking are not aware of which helmet brands are of good quality, and in the process end up buying anything from the market which has a snazzy design.

Yet, I hope that there would be at least a few who wouldn’t mind loosening their purse strings to get the best quality helmet that they can afford. Posted below is a list of a helmet brands (Indian and International) available in India (in 2011). Hopefully one can use this list as a guide to get a decent helmet for himself/herself.

Update 15'th Aug 2011: If anybody has any information about MPA helmets (like its website),please let me know. I am not sure if MPA helmets still exist in India


1. Entry Level Brands (Vega, Studds, Steelbird)

Entry Level Helmet Brands in India

These 3 are Indian brands which have been around for many years. There are umpteen other desi helmet brands available in the market, but among them I have found only these 3 worth talking about. All these 3 brands have the mandatory ISI (Indian standards) certification. If you are just a normal biker who is looking for some decent quality protection at an affordable price, then you could look at these brands.

Vega Helmets:

(Pros: Attractive designs/options, Cons: Relatively flimsy build quality, inadequate padding)

Internationally there also exists a brand called Vega Helmets but this one is a different Indian brand. I have not used any Vega Helmet so far but I have checked out a few. The flip up helmet called “Boolean” and the Motocross helmet from Vega are among its flagship models.

The distribution/availabilty and marketing of Vega helmets seem to be quite good. But so far I have never been impressed by the build quality or the internal padding of Vega Helmets.

Check out: Vega Auto's Website


Studds Helmets:

(Pros: Decent Build at an affordable price, Cons: Need for a premium model)

This brand has been for many years now. Although I have not used helmets from Studds, the Ninja (a flip up model) was the first helmet which had impressed me 15 years back..!! But Studds have not upgraded much over the years and their Ninja model still continues to be among their flagship models.

Studds Ninja, Price: Around Rs. 1,500

Check out: Studds Helmet Website


Steelbird Helmets:

(Pros: Decent Build at an affordable price, Cons: Flimsy face shield on its Premium GP one model)

The Steelbird “GP One” was my first helmet and back in the early 2000’s it was the first near international quality helmet in India. Steelbird has a technical tie up with an international helmet brand called “Bieffe”, so sometimes the helmets are branded as Steelbird Bieffe. Recently Steelbird has launched India’s first carbon fibre helmets.

Till a couple of years back, the Steelbird GP One was the best quality helmet in India. The fit and build quality of the GP One was quite good but the only issue was with its face visor which has a relatively flimsy build quality.

According to me among the entry level Indian brands, Steelbird is on the Top. I just wish their website was a bit more informative; as the current one doesn’t reflect well on its brand or products.

Steelbird GP One, Price: Around Rs. 2,000
Steelbird Carbon Fibre, Price: Around Rs, 10,000

Check out: Steelbird Helmets Website



2. Best Bang for You Buck Enthusiasts Brands (LS2, Daijya, Nuvo)

Best vaule for Money Enthusiasts Helmet Brands in India

Moving up the ladder would be these 3 brands. These models are a step above in terms of design, fit and comfort. They are also priced over a premium over the entry level Indian brands. If you are a bit more enthusiastic about your bikes than a normal desi biker and have a budget of around Rs. 3,000-6,000 for a motorcycle helmet, then these are the best brands of helmets that you can buy in India.

These helmets are not certified by ISI (Indian standards) as they aren’t manufactured in India but are certified by DOT (American Standards) or ECE (European Standards).


LS2:

(Pros: Attractive designs, decent build, decent face shield mechanism, Cons: The padding could have been better, quality varies depending on the Indian retailer)

LS2 is a Chinese helmet brand. Usually a Made is China tag is looked at with suspicion but after having checked out a few at DSG (Pune), they seem to be of more than ok. Decent build quality of the shell and the face shield plus attractive graphics make the LS2 a good buy at its price point. The padding could have been a little better though.

One big issue with the LS2 brand is that it is being brought to India by a couple of different retailers and therefore the quality and hence price can vary from as low as Rs. 1,800 to about Rs. 4,000. Therefore if you are really looking for some good quality stuff, you better be sure of what you are buying.

LS2 Price: From as low as Rs. 1,800 to Rs. 4,000 (depending on the quality and the Indian retailer)

Check out LS2 Helmet’s international site


Daijya

(Pros: Attractive designs, good build quality of shell and face shield, good padding, Cons: A bit on the heavier side)

After the Steelbird GP One, Daijya was my second helmet. Daijya is a Helmet brand which DSG (Pune India) owns. The manufacturing of the helmets is made in China. In terms of quality the Daijya for me was two steps ahead of my Steelbird GP One experience. Apart from the build quality and finish, I was particularly impressed with the padding inside the helmet which was very good. Very firm yet comfortable. Just that the Daijya is slightly on the heavier side.

Daijya Price: Rs. 4,750

Check out: DSG's website


Nuvo

(Pros: Excellent padding, reasonable weight, ok quality of the face shield mechanism, Cons: nothing particular)

Nuvo is a helmet from from the UK brought to India by DSG (India, Pune). The padding of the helmet is excellent and the helmet is reasonably light weight. The face shield mechanism could have had slightly more positive feel to it. But this is one of the best helmets that one can get within Rs. 6,000 in India and is worth every paise it’s price.

Nuvo Price: Rs. 5,990

Check out: DSG's website & Novo Helmets international site



3. Slightly Expensive Brands (Sparx, KBC, Joe Rocket)

Slighty Expensive Helmets Brands

These helmets are a step above in the pricing ladder and for those who are ready to spend slightly more. All the above mentioned three brands are from the USA and brought to India by Performance Racing Store (Mumbai). In the USA these brands aren’t considered exactly premium brands, but due to it’s pricing it can taken to be slightly premium offerings in India.

I have not checked out the Joe Rocket and KBC Helmets so can’t comment much on them but I have checked out one particular Sparx helmet that belongs to one of my friend. It cost him about Rs. 8,000 and have been using for over a year and a half now.

The Sparx brand is actually a budget brand of KBC helmets and it certainly did seem a bit budget to me. The shell and visor was ok but the padding could have been better and after one and half year of use, the rubber beading at the bottom of my friend’s Sparx helmet was coming off.

Price range:

    Sparx, Rs. 8,000-8,500
    KBC, Rs. 8,500-25,000
    Joe Rocket, Rs. 15,000-25,000

Check out the international website of Sparx, KBC & Joe Rocket



4. Top of the Line Brands (HJC, Arai)

Top of the Line Helmets in India

These brands are like the Ferrari, Lamborghini and BMW’s in the world of helmets and they are available in India as well. Needless to say that they will be the best that money can buy.

Prices range from Rs. 15,000-30,000 for the HJC helmets in India and Rs. 33,000-50,000 for the Arai Helmets.

These helmets can be bought from the Performance Racing Store (Mumbai). Check out the international website of HJC Helmets, Arai








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Disclaimer:

This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.






23 Comments:

Mitz said...

You missed out AGV helmets bro.. MPA AGV can fit perfectly in your category 1 with a price range of approx 2000 INR & build quality better then all 3 brands viz: Vega, studds & steedbird..

& AGV italy is available in india as well at Bachoo motors with a price range of > Rs 30000 & it can fit in ur TOP of the line category

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

Hi Mitz, thanks for the info.

I was aware of the MPA-AGV Helemts but was not able to find the website of MPA Helmets. So was/am not sure whether they still exist or whether they have closed shop in India. Therefore I did not include MPA in the above list.

Anonymous said...

Hi S.P. it's right you should must include MPA Helmets.

Anonymous said...

Hi S.P.
I have a studds Rhyno
Can you tell me how to remove the visor for cleaning
Ajit

Praveen said...

nice article....btw why havent you included CROSS...????

Aamir J said...

You have not mentioned SHOEI and Airoh.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Aamir, I have no idea whether there is any retailer who imports SHOEI helmets in India.

@Praveen,

I do not rate "CROSS" helmets highly. It feels very flimsy plus it does not have any safety standards mark. On the back on Cross helmets, there is something written as "ISO 9001", but that is NOT any safety standard mark.

@Ajit,

the shop from where you bought your helmet will be able to help you

gary said...

I got mind a KBC Helmet and a X-Lite....seeing helmet as a small issue is wrong. Helmet is the most important protection, and also all the protector for our body. So safety first.

Good posting Satadal. Nice bro.

ATHUL said...

is arai hybrid helmets starting from 33,000?
my friend own one and he is going to sale it for 800rs shall i buy. It full black. he got it from a taxi cab. the real owner forgot to take it.

Anonymous said...

I tottaly agree wid S.P........For all riders the best suitable helmets for biking starts from desi ISI(Basically not preferred safety wise),followed by STUDDS,VEGA & STEELBIRD...
For exclusive range in delhi,budgeting 1500+...till 3500 ,there are many brands like BEON,YOHE and LS2 all chinese top brand helmets with good shell and inner lining......Above this is the range of DAIJJYA,NUVO,and Sparx,......Good news for all delhi riders- most of these hlemets collection you will find under one roof :)

The Helmet Shoppe said...

Nice post. Couple of comments-

MPA Helmets are manufactured by Forma Sports. While we Do Not believe in their quality, i understand that these have quite a fan following. Here's their only site (http://formasports.tradeindia.com/)

Both LS2 & Nuvo Helmets are manufactured at the same facility in China (http://www.mhrhelmet.com/index.asp). That is by no means a negative reflection on their quality. We deal in LS2 and are fairly convinced of its quality. Remember that these products carry the same DOT/ECE22-05 certifications as the more expensive Arai etc...

Anonymous said...

Looks like you missed out on RJays helmets from Australia too buddy. I use one and it is absolutely brilliant. I'd say as good as the Sparx helmet I used earlier. They are distributed in India by Bachoo Motors www.bachoomotors.com. I've also heard that Bachoo are now distributing AIROH helmets from Italy

Maahi said...

I have been using Davida helmets and I must tell you that this is best helmet so far I have used after Vega.The Vega offered good quality but I was looking for a vintage look on my helmets which Davida fulfilled.If you try this ,I bet you won't regret it.

Mach

Anonymous said...

I'm a world traveller and an avid biker for almost 30 years and so have seen (and used)quite a bit of gear. The above is a good attempt at helmet reviews but factually incomplete. As the Helmet Shoppe mentioned, NUVO is a brand owned by MHR which is also the manufacturer for LS2. Daijya is also sourced from the same manufacturer. They also manufacture some models of Sparx and Rjays.

However, MHR has a bad reputation for building helmets to a price. They maintain several production lines which cater to different markets. ECE and DOT destined products are manufactured off separate lines that conform to those standards. I have an LS2 bought in Germany for 175 Euros, which is a very well made product and I am sure conforms to ECE standards. Yet the LS2 helmets sold in India for INR 1750, are piss-poor quality in comparison. Obviously, the manufacturer is using lower manufacturing standards to cater to third world markets but using the same label. In my book, this smacks of duplicity and I would not touch ANY of MHR's products with a barge pole. How do I know that the LS2/Nuvo/Daijya(puhleeze!)/Cross (yes, same source)that they made actually conforms to the standards that they claim? Especially when I bought it in third world India, which has no standards monitoring system to speak of?

Ask yourself this - for an imported helmet to retail at Rs.1750, after paying import costs of about 40% and distribution margins of at least 40% at the least, the original cost must be about Rs.700, right? What do you expect to get for 700 bucks?

HJC's though good quality can hardly be put in the same league as Arai. HJC is a budget brand abroad and competes with KBC. SHOEI is Arai's competition worldwide. Sparx is nothing but a sub-brand of KBC and Joe Rocket is manufactured by HJC. Rjays is also manufactured by MHR and is just an Australian brand that sources and labels it's products from all over the world. They do not manufacture anything.

binodmk said...

Bro i heard about "GLIDERS". I think they dont have any website. They are best known in their motocross models that come with inbuilt visors.

Could you please share us something that you may know about this brand?

rahul said...

who is the distributor for LS2 in india , preferably mumbai or around?

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Binodmk,

I have seen the Gliders helmet that you are speaking of, but honestly I wasn't impressed.

@Rahul,

There is a debate on the quality of LS2 helmets available in India.. few people quote that they are good quality at a decent price and some also state that there are LS2 imitations available at very cheap prices. Therefore be on your guard is what I would suggest.

Anonymous said...

guys please check www.crosshelmets.in

i think CROSS helmets importer have started this website

Paresh said...

Hi S.P bro,
I have recently brought a Cb unicorn(Black) and I got confused to buy a helmet by its color. I am ready to spend 1500 to 2000 (can add another 500 is the helmets' looks are exceptionally macho).

Can you please suggest a color that will suit my bikes personality, rather decrease its looks, as all the helmets(with ISI) are good in some way or the other.

Santhosh said...

Uvex?

Unknown said...

u missed out on SOL which is a better helmet than ls2!!! comfort and air flow is awsome!!!

Sagar Kadam said...

SOL is the best helmet i used so far , awesome graphics, excellent air flow and is DOT approved. They are imported u can get one of them in the price range of 4,800-6,000.


While you are on a bike anything can happen anyone can come from no where and knock u down so spending a little more money is worth
Please dont go for cheap and roadside helmets they are useless and offer you no protection at all

rishabh srivastava said...

Hi can someone tell me hows the "Beon" brand of helmet...it seems they are ece approved and a priced above Ls2...has anyone got idea about it??

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