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Open-Faced DOT Helmet Options

DOT is the standard for helmet sales, but swap meet booths and mail order outlets still litter the market with bargain-basement novelty lids designed for “fashion” worn by both uneducated, budget-conscious buyers as well as riders skirting their local helmet laws. Use this guide to stock up on appealing DOT-approved open-faced helmets.

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DOT is the standard for helmet sales, but swap meet booths and mail
order outlets still litter the market with bargain-basement novelty
lids designed for “fashion” worn by both uneducated, budget-conscious
buyers as well as riders skirting their local helmet laws. “The beanie
types are not really helmets at all, they’re really fiberglass hats,”
says Helmet House VP and co-owner Phil Bellomy. “The unfortunate thing
is that some people think there may be some safety value in them and
there really isn’t … so many people don’t really realize what kind of
risk they’re taking.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tested seven
popular novelty helmets to determine how they compare to properly
certified helmets. Novelty helmets, in general, had very little, if
any, impact-absorbing capability. In fact, computer simulations of head
impact attenuation tests show a 100-percent probability of brain
injuries and/or skull fracture for the person involved in a crash while
wearing a novelty helmet. A full summary of these 2007 findings are
available at www.nhtsa.gov
in an easy-to-print format, and this hand-out is a real eye-opener to
riders who may be unaware that their skull-branded beanie may spell a
death sentence in an accident.
Bellomy chairs the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Aftermarket Helmet
Task Force and says dealers need to help riders get past the fashion
issue and appeal to their customers’ senses when it comes to helmet
safety.  “That’s not really an easy conversation to have — it’s like
telling someone they shouldn’t smoke or drink so much alcohol,” says
Bellomy. But it is important to engage riders in this sort of “tough
love” conversation to outfit them in a helmet that meets or exceeds DOT
standards.
We want to make engaging customers in this oft uncomfortable dialogue a
little easier, and a staff trained on helmet sales can make a big
impact on the rider who comes in and asks for the cheapest bucket
you’ve got to offer. “Dealers can add serious value over an Internet
dealer by having proper fitment and demonstration of features,” says
Helmet House’s Richard Kimes. The distributor of both HJC and Shoei
helmets, Helmet House offers valuable resources for dealers as do most
reputable helmet manufacturers and distributors. Ask your rep for more
information on fitment training and more comprehensive product specs
for your entire team.
And while safety should be your first concern when it comes to your
customer’s helmet, that doesn’t mean comfort, fashion or the bottom
line need to be compromised.

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Want help stocking your shelves with open-faced DOT helmets? Check out these options from AFX, GMAX, Hot Leathers, Scorpion, Shoei and Z1R.

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Want more? Click on over to our Buyers Guide for a full listing of helmet manufacturers.

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