Standards and Testing


A precis from the .GOV website… The letters ‘CE’ appear on many products that are traded in the European Economic Area (EEA). “CE” is the abbreviation of the French phrase “Conformité Européene” which literally means “European Conformity”.

It shows that the manufacturer has checked that these products meet EU safety, health or environmental requirements. By placing the CE marking on a product a manufacturer is declaring conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking. The manufacturer is thus ensuring validity for that product to be sold throughout the EEA.

CE marking does not mean that a product was made in the EEA, but states that the product is assessed before being placed on the market. It means the product satisfies the legislative requirements to be sold there. It means that the manufacturer has checked that the product complies with all relevant essential requirements, for example health and safety requirements.

If you ride a motorcycle in Europe, you must wear protective motorcycle apparel and a motorcycle helmet that has CE approval.

CE Tested: - Implies that the manufacturer tested the whole or just a piece of a garment within their own facility that might meet certain standards. However, the garment is not necessarily tested in a certified testing facility.

CE Certified: - States that samples of the garment or parts of the sample garment (e.g. just the armour) were tested in certified testing facilities.

CE Approved: -This means several parts of a garment were tested in certified facilities and are accredited to meet or surpass the required standards.

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Regarding motorcycle helmets, ECE 22.05 is the marking you’re look for and clothing should have CE level 1 or CE level 2.




SHARP, the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme. SHARP provides advice on how to select a helmet that fits correctly and is comfortable. They also provide information about the relative safety of helmets to help motorcyclists to make an informed choice. There are 475 helmet test on the SHARP website.

Motorcyclists represent one of the most vulnerable road user groups. Typically in the UK motorcyclists represent 1% of traffic but 19% of the casualties. Significantly, around 80% of all motorcyclist fatalities and 70% of those with serious injuries, sustain head injuries. Research also shows that, statistically, head impacts are distributed uniformly around the circumference of the helmet.

Research has also highlighted that helmet detachment can occur during the accident sequence with reports indicating a frequency varying from 10% to 14% of casualties. Separately, there was concern that there may be poor knowledge concerning the best practice when choosing a properly fitting helmet.

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The United States of America “Department of Transportation” issues safety standards on a wide variety of products including motorcycle helmets. The abbreviation DOT and supporting information will appear on a sticker on any motorcycle helmet that meets standard FMVSS 218, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #218, Motorcycle Helmets, and it is applicable to helmets sold in the U.S. for on-road use.

FMVSS 218 sets standards in three areas of helmet performance: impact attenuation, basically energy absorption; penetration resistance; and finally the retention system effectiveness. The standard also requires peripheral vision to be not less than 105° from the helmet midline.  Projections from the surface of the helmet (snaps, rivets, etc.) may not exceed 5 mm.

The impact test measures acceleration of a headform inside the helmet when it is dropped from a fixed height onto a spherical and flat surfaced anvil. The standard allows a peak acceleration energy of 400 G (G being “gravity constant” or an acceleration value of ft. per second x seconds).

The penetration test involves dropping a piercing test striker onto the helmet from a fixed height. The striker must not penetrate deep enough to contact the headform.

The retention system test involves placing the helmet’s retention straps under load in tension.  For this test the load is progressive; first a load of 22.7 kg (49.9 lb.) is applied for 30 seconds, then it is increased to 136 kg (299.2 lb.) for 120 seconds, with measurement of the stretch or displacement of a fixed point on the retention strap from the apex of the helmet.

The authentic DOT label is displayed on the back of compliant motorcycle helmets must now include, in this order: -

The manufacturer’s name

Model number or name

“DOT” below the manufacturer’s name

“FMVSS 218” centred below DOT

“Certified” below FMVSS 218

DOT certification does not necessarily mean that the helmet complies with ECE standards and vice versa. We recommend ensuring your insurance policy covers you by having ECE approval on your motorcycle helmet too.

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