Protect Your Head Part 2: Confusion About Snell M2010

If you saw my recent review of the Arai Profile, you know part of the reason I purchased a new helmet was to get one that was compliant with the new Snell M2010 safety standard.  Snell’s own website lists the Arai Profile as M2010 certified so I was confident that’s exactly what I was getting when I ordered it.  It wasn’t as clear cut as I had hoped.

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Arai Profile Review

Arai Profile in Riptide Silver

Updated 4/23/10 (notes at bottom)

After four years with my trusty Shoei X-Eleven and the new Snell M2010 standard in full effect, I finally felt justified in buying a new helmet.  It’s a big deal for me since I’m not the gear hoarder that some of my riding buddies are.  I could have extended the life of my X-Eleven by just replacing the flattened cheek pads, but it’s a good idea to replace helmets every few years anyway and more importantly I wanted a helmet that was either Snell M2010* or ECE 22.05 compliant.  Enter the Arai Profile.

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Protect Your Head: The Snell M2010 Helmet Standard

helmet

Look at the back of most full-face helmets sold in the U.S. today and you’re likely to see a SNELL logo sticker.  It means the helmet meets or exceeds the Snell Memorial Foundation’s standards for motorcycle helmets.  Here’s a snippet from their (terribly outdated) web site, www.smf.org:

In order to continuously monitor the quality of helmets being sold to the public, Snell purchases and tests samples of currently certified helmets from the marketplace. These helmets are tested only in Snell labs by Snell technicians. Should a currently certified helmet fail, the helmet manufacturer must take corrective action to Snell’s satisfaction.

In other words, if you make a helmet and want to have that Snell logo on the back so you can tell potential buyers that your helmet is Snell certified (and presumably safer than one that isn’t), your helmet has to pass Snell’s tests.  In the American motorcycling community, seeing the Snell logo on the back of a helmet is generally accepted as a good thing.

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