Government and sports regulations mandate motorcycle riders to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. However, many riders are looking beyond basic protection to premium features on the helmet for the ultimate riding experience.
There are various premium helmets with distinct features like high-quality materials (carbon fiber and fiberglass for added security), Bluetooth, LED lighting, wireless speakers, and adjustable visor.
The future of premium motorcycle helmets
In recent years, there has been an unprecedented motorcycle market growth, especially in developing countries. With a lack of reliable public transportation, underdeveloped road connectivity, and an increasing demand for affordable means of transportation, the developing world is projected to register robust growth in the years to come. Despite the pandemic, the global motorcycle market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% during the 2021-2028 period, reaching a market size of $485.67 billion in 2028. For instance, the African motorcycle market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.72% for the period of 2020-2026, reaching $2,793.65 million by 2026.
The CAGR is believed to have been influenced by the need for individual means of transport during social distancing measures.
Whether it is as a means of transport or leisure, an increase in motorcycle demand brings along an increase in motorcycle helmet demand. Entrepreneurs dealing in motorcycles and their helmets can expect improved profit margins for their businesses.
Highly-demanded types of motorcycle helmets
Though there are several motorcycle models and brands, they fit in seven broad categories. These prime helmets fit different groups of riders depending on the type of ride. Entrepreneurs should establish their target audience and stock appropriately. Let’s consider some examples in each case.
Premium modular helmets lie in between full-face and open-face helmets. They have hinges, enabling riders to raise or lower the chin bar according to their needs. They closely follow full-face helmets in popularity among commuters. Classic leisure riders also love this helmet since they can open the front area and order coffee or chat with fellow riders.
Features that make modular helmets sell
It has an open position (flip-up) that allows riders to gasp some fresh air between rides without taking off the helmet. Its breathability and versatility are adored by many riders, especially those living in humid or hot climate areas and touring riders.
The internal sun visors make modular helmets an excellent seller since riders do not need to wear sunglasses. Unlike full-face helmets, where riders are forced to switch from clear visors to tinted visors for sun protection, riders with modular helmets only need to flip the sun visor down when needed.
Modular helmets are considered more futuristic and modern because of their built-in accessories not found in many regular helmets. They have double lenses to allow riders to switch in and out of dark visor shade without causing inconveniences.
Riders with prescription glasses can comfortably wear modular helmets with their glasses on because it has larger front space. The modular helmet’s comfortable and washable inner liner and pads are also lovable features.
- It is convenient for riders who hop on and off their bike regularly.
- It has better ventilation than the full-face helmets.
- Many people consider them quiet.
- It makes it easy to talk.
- The hinges offer weak spots for breakage in case of accidents.
- It offers less head protection than a full-face helmet.
- It is slightly heavier than a full-face helmet.
They are called full-face helmets because they cover the whole head, including the face and the chin. Full-face is the most popular helmet often seen on the streets and in MotoGP sports.
Full-face helmets are probably loved due to their safety features. Full-face helmets are made using different materials, including polycarbonate, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.
What is the difference in the degree of safety that these three materials provide?
Well, all three are safe, garnering a 4 to 5-star range from SHARP, which is excellent. However, they vary in weight and how they behave upon impact. Polycarbonate is susceptible to abrasion. As more material is required to provide adequate protection, these helmets are relatively heavy.
The beauty of polycarbonate material is that it adequately absorbs impacts on the outer shell. Therefore, it is ideal for lower speed impacts.
Fiberglass motorcycle helmets are built with stronger materials with impact absorption flexibility. Most middle- and high-end touring helmets with features like sun shields are made of fiberglass materials.
A fiberglass helmet is lighter than a polycarbonate one. However, it absorbs less energy on the outer shell because it is harder. To increase its energy absorption, most manufacturers fit it with extra EPS.
Carbon fiber is another material used for building full-face helmets. It is common with top-range helmets used in speed racing. Since it is harder and less material is needed than in the case of fiberglass, carbon fiber helmets are lighter. The lightweight, coupled with its rigidity, makes this helmet ideal for high-speed impacts.
Entrepreneurs should examine the target market and determine the ideal helmet material for their customers.
What makes premium full-face helmets sell?
Apart from the ultimate head, neck, and face protection, full-face helmets also block wind noise, UV rays, raindrops, and flying objects.
Premium full-face helmets also have a comfortable inner lining with high-density foam. They also have multiple ventilation and breathable liner to help the rider get fresh air. Additionally, they are versatile, meaning they can be used for off-road moto racing and leisure rides.
Other features for premium full-face helmets include:
Bluetooth connection: The Bluetooth intercom and anti-noise microphone mean the helmet provides exceptional sound quality. Riders can receive clear GPS Navi, FM, music, and conduct calls.
Built-in speakers: The built-in speakers near the ears eliminate the need for stuffed speakers that could add pressure on the rider’s ears and prove dangerous during a crash.
Tinted visors: Riders do not need to wear dark goggles for sunlight protection. They can simply turn on the tinted visors and continue the ride.
- It is safer than other types, protecting the head, face, and neck area.
- Quitter rides as noise and wind are reduced.
- It has no hinges, meaning no potential weak spots.
- It has reduced ventilation since it covers the whole head.
- It has reduced hearing and isolation from the traffic.
Entrepreneurs who want to sell these helmets should target riders with physically demanding activities. Riders in an engaging physical activity like those in the distribution services will need to vent heat out of their body faster than a typical commuter. These riders often prefer motocross helmets. Why?
Motocross helmets have their glasses and chin bar elongated away from the rider’s face, thus allowing improved air circulation. The visor helps with sunlight protection and shields the face and the eyes from debris.
Quality off-road helmets coupled with a good set of goggles enhance full-face protection. The modern designs have comfortable linings and attractive LED lighting that most consumers love.
- Riders feel cooler and breathe with ease.
- It provides good protection in off-road conditions.
- They do not have visors.
- They provide less insulation against cold weather.
Open-face helmets have no chin bar in the front, offering full ventilation. The target market for these helmets is riders in hotter climates. Tropical climate conditions may not favor full-face helmets due to heat build-up.
An open-face helmet still has a snap-on visor to protect the rider’s eyes from insects and debris. Apart from the face, the other parts of a rider’s head are protected, as would a full-face helmet.
Advantages/selling points of open-face helmets
- Riders have the freedom to smoke, scratch their face, and poke their tongues at other riders. Riders can also clearly hear what is going on around them and what others are saying.
- Open-face helmets are lighter on a rider’s head, causing less fatigue than full-face ones.
- Riders do not need to take off their helmets when filling up at gas stations and they have a wider view with no blind spots.
- They have a low protection mechanism.
During a crash, the chin bar area slams the ground 19.4%, meaning that open face-helmets offer limited face protection.
Riders need to wear a protective face mask and glasses to prevent windburn, sunburn, cold, rain, stones, and bugs. Wearing a face mask can be annoying and uncomfortable to breathe through. The wind and the noise can add to the rider’s fatiguing effects.
The adventure/dual sports helmets manufacturers make them with on- and off-road riders in mind. In the UK, for example, there has been a boom in adventure motorcycle riding in the last decade. This offers a unique market for entrepreneurs that plan to deal in adventure helmets.
Young men and women who love hiking or other adventurous sports normally prefer these helmets to protect their heads from potential falls. Entrepreneurs with helmet businesses operating in hiking areas or places that organize these sports can reap big from selling sports helmets.
Common features/selling point of adventure riding helmets
Adventure helmets have wider face openings for enhanced peripheral vision. They also have adequate ventilation and space to wear goggles.
Riders also benefit from the helmet’s visor blocking the sun or debris interfering with vision.
Some premium adventure helmets offer various configurations, allowing riders to enjoy riding in any weather conditions.
- They are safer, warmer, and adaptable for riders.
- They have multiple configurations, meaning riders can enjoy several worlds.
- They are often expensive since they are high-end goods.
Smart motorcycle helmets are probably the new kid in the block and steadily penetrate the market. Adventurous and affluent riders who want to make statements love these helmets as they stand out.
Smart helmets can be full-face, modular, or open-face with unique features. Their selling points include an installed rear view camera, LED light, Bluetooth, and in-built speakers.
Some also have a touch panel, customizable dual heads display, and smartphone connectivity.
The direct connection between a rider’s smartphone and the helmet is an excellent feature, meaning that they do not need headsets or speakers when riding. As technology continues to shape various market trends, entrepreneurs should watch this group of helmets.
- They have advanced features for comfortable riding.
- They have ultimate head and face protection.
- They are relatively expensive.
- Since they are new, many riders are not accustomed to them.
The motorcycle industry is still growing, especially in the developing world, as people look for convenient and affordable means of transport. Businesspersons do well to focus on this growing market. Developed worlds could have a higher demand for smart, and adventure helmets as the middle and affluent classes seek unique pleasures. As an entrepreneur, it is essential to examine target market dynamics and stock highly demanded helmets that meet the needs of that market.