Real vs Fake Motorcycle Helmets 

Fake helmets are always a hot topic, especially when the fakes are becoming increasingly harder to distinguish from genuine helmets. It’s recommended that you always purchase your motorcycle crash helmets from recommended retailers with an approved SHARP rating.

Research conducted by SHARP found that up to 50 lives could be saved if motorcyclists wore the safest helmets available to them.

In recent years there was been a massive crack down on those who have been dealing with selling fake helmets. Not only is it illegal but it could seriously impact a riders life if there were to be any injury from a crash.

2019 has seen another sharp rise in the number of counterfeit helmets being sold on the internet including on Facebook, eBay and other online outlets. A recent investigation conducted by ITV found that these fake helmets were being sold at almost the 10th of the price of a normal motorcycle helmet, as well as claiming to have full safety certification – however this is not the case.

Fake motorcycle helmet

Latest example of a fake helmet bought online credit 50bikecop twitter

When approached by ITV about counterfeit helmets being sold, eBay responded that they are continually monitoring the sellers to stop any illegal sales: “Using a combination of technology, enforcement and strong relationships with brand owners, eBay has consistently been an industry leader in working to stop the sale of counterfeit goods, which is a global issue – both online and offline.

“In the rare case a buyer believe that he or she has purchased a counterfeit item, eBay’s Money Back Guarantee applies to virtually all transactions and will overcome them accordingly.”

Watch this short clip from Fake Britain as they take on counterfeit motorcycle goods including fake helmets…

Cast your vote on our poll now… 

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Spotting a fake helmet 

As the years pass counterfeit goods are becoming extremely hard to spot from the real deal, but there are certain ways of making sure you’re not purchasing anything underhand. Not only should you be looking out for the SHARP star rating when buying a helmet, you should look out for:

  • Stickers that haven’t been applied properly
  • Not in its original box
  • Lack of booklets/labels and tags
  • Poor quality paintwork
  • Scratches on visor/helmet
  • The weight of the helmet
  • No E-numbers – this shows the product has been tested in Europe

The best way to educate yourselves in spotting real from fake is to spend time in lots of different authorized dealers, where you are allowed to touch, feel, test, weight and even smell original gear so you can become more accustomed to it, especially if you’re a new rider.

It goes without saying that price is also a big factor to look at when buying a helmet, they’re not the cheapest things on the market but it’s the one piece of equipment that is compulsory but will save your life in the event of an accident. If you find a branded helmet online on an unknown website at a lot lower cost than the manufacturers then this should trigger alarm bells for you.

Check reviews for the website and the product before buying, make sure it seems legit and ask your friends too!

How to report a fake helmet

Any ‘fake’ helmets spotted by SHARP during their safety assessments would raise concern with Trading Standards. Alternatively, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) are the dedicated force that look into counterfeit goods like fake helmets, so if you ever suspect some dodgy dealings then you can contact them by filling in an online referral form.


Price vs SHARP rating

Our recent survey found that the average price motorcyclists will pay for a crash helmet is between £100 to £300 (59%), so does the price of your helmet really reflect its quality?

There are hundreds of different makes and models of helmets available in the UK, so that’s a lot of testing to be done by SHARP. To make it easier for you when looking for a helmet, we’ve broken it down for you.

If you were going to buy a helmet based on the SHARP rating alone then check out these tables below to see what the best helmet you can buy for your money…

Under £100

Make & Model Type Price Rating
Caberg Trip System £90 *****
Caberg V2 407 Full Face £90 *****
Duchinni D832 Full Face £59.99 *****
Lazer Bora Full Face £79.99 *****
Lazer LZ6 Full Face £70 *****
Marushin 777 Samura Full Face £90 *****


Marushin 777 Tiger Full Face £99 *****
MT Revenge Full Face £64.99 *****
Nitro Aikido Full Face £70 *****

Under £200

Make & Model Type Price Rating
AGV S-4 Full Face £170 *****
AGV Stealth Full Face £199 *****
Bell M1 Full Face £165 *****
Buell Turbulent Full Face £180 *****
Caberg Duke and Tourmax System £144.99 *****
Caberg Konda System £119.99 *****
Caberg V2R Full Face £110 *****
Caberg V2RR Full Face £139.99 *****
Caberg Vox Full Face £129.99 *****
HJC IS-17 Full Face £139.99 *****
Marushin RS1 Carbon Full Face £200 *****
MT Matrix Full Face £139.99 *****
Nitro Evo Carbon FF Full Face £189.99 *****
Nitro N1700VF Full Face £119 *****
Shark RSX Full Face £169 *****

Under £300

Make & Model Type Price Rating
AGV T2 Full Face £299 *****
Arai GP5X Full Face £250 *****
Bell M3R Full Face £250 *****
Bell MR4 Full Face £300 *****
Bell M5X Full Face £299 *****
Bell M6 Full Face £299.99 *****
BMW System 5 System £255 *****
HJC HQ1 Full Face £270 *****
Marushin RS1 Carbon Full Face £200 *****
Marushin RS2 Carbon Full Face £229 *****
Shark Evoline 3 System £299 *****
Shoei Qwest Full Face £259 *****
Suomy Vandal Full Face £299 *****
X-Lite X603 Full Face £229.99 *****
X-Lite X702 Full Face £289.99 *****

Under £400

Make & Model Type Price Rating
AGV GP Tech Full Face £399 *****
AGV Veloce GT Full Face £329.99 *****
Bell M4R Full Face £300 *****
Shark Race R Full Face £339 *****
Shark RSR2 Full Face £320 *****
Shoei XR-1100 Full Face £379 *****

Under £500

Make & Model Type Price Rating
Bell MR4 Carbon Full Face £410 *****
Bell M5X Carbon Full Face £495 *****
Shark Race R Pro Full Face £499 *****
Shark Race R Pro Carbon Full Face £431 *****
Shark RSR2 Carbon Full Face £439 *****
Shoei X Spirit II Full Face £480 *****

 As you can see from the tables above, you don’t have to blow-the-budget to get yourself a 5* rated helmet, but it’s always worth doing extra research and testing plenty of helmets before you buy.

Sharp confirmed: “There is no correlation between the price of a helmet and how it might perform in our safety test.”

Safety and price are just two factors that you should consider when purchasing a motorcycle helmet and although most will say ‘how much is your head worth?’ but it’s not always about brand or price. Research is important when buying your helmet, and making sure you buy it from a legitimate outlet with a trusty SHARP seal of approval.

Although there are currently no plans for SHARP to begin testing other motorcycle garments such as leathers, jackets and boots, or that there is any other organisation testing these materials either, it would make for interesting findings if they were.

Now you know how to spot a fake helmet, check out our guide to helmet construction!

More information about motorcycle helmets...

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