Arai Motorcycle Helmets

Purchasing helmet via the internet

For the second year in a row, Arai motorcycle helmets dominate the field in overall customer satisfaction among owners of new motorcycles, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2000 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction StudySM released today.

Arai tops a majority of measurements comprising the Helmet Satisfaction Index. The index includes quietness; ventilation; de-fogging performance; color/graphic design; weight; how easily it straps on, overall fit and comfort; the face shield's ability to keep out wind and resist scratches; and ease of face shield replacement. Following Arai in customer satisfaction are Shoei and Nolan, respectively.

The 2000 Motorcycle Helmet Study is based on responses from more than 6,700 owners of new 1999 model-year street and dual-sport motorcycles sold in the United States. The study also investigates various aspects of consumer satisfaction and shopping patterns in the helmet industry.

"Style and comfort are more important than price when it comes to purchase decisions among motorcycle owners surveyed," according to Scott Allison, manager of motorcycle studies at J.D. Power and Associates. "Only 40 percent of study respondents identify price as one of the top three helmet purchase considerations. However, consumers who paid premium prices for their helmets (more than $300) reflect high levels of customer satisfaction."

An overwhelming majority of riders (86 percent) purchased their helmets at a traditional retail outlet (either in a motorcycle dealership or an accessory only store). Only 10 percent of new 1999 motorcycle owners used the Internet to shop for a helmet, and less than one-fifth of those consumers purchased their helmet over the Internet.

The study also reveals that 99 percent of motorcycle riders in the sport segment purchased full-face helmets, compared to 93 percent among riders in the standard segment.

One third of the full-face helmet purchasers cited safety as one of the top reasons in their decision. Cruiser owners show an affinity for half helmets (43 percent), while three-quarter, open-face helmets are the most popular among riders in the touring motorcycle segment.

"Owners of sport and standard bikes typically have more aggressive riding tendencies," said Allison. "This type of riding warrants the protection that a full-face helmet provides. On the other hand, riders of cruisers and tourers are likely to have a more laid-back riding demeanor and are more inclined to buy an open-face helmet."

The study also shows that new motorcycle owners of Japanese or European makes prefer full-face helmets, which represents 68 percent of new import bike owners.

Author Notes:

Dustin Armstrong contributes and publishes news editorial to  A buyers guide to all types of motorcycle helmets plus shields, googles, custom and wired radio helmets.

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