2010 JD Power helmet satisfaction study

Arai tops list for 12th straight year

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 20, 2010
Arai ranked the highest in customer satisfaction among motorcycle helmet makers in a J.D. Power and Associates study.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study received information from 4,800 customers who bought 2009 model year motorcycles about their most recent helmet experiences. Helmets were rated based on three key factors: face shield, ventilation, and style. Each factor is broken down into 11 different attributes, such as weight and face shield scratch resistance. Customer responses were compiled to form an overall score on a 1,000-point scale.

Among the helmet manufacturers included in the study, Arai scored 836 to earn the highest score for the 12th time in the 12 years of the study. Shoei was second with 827 while Icon fell just behind with 826.

The overall industry average was 784, up 18 points from the 2009 study and the highest score in the history of the study. Improvement in attributes such as air flow, fit and comfort, color and graphics, and shell scratch resistance contributed to the record score.

Bell showed the highest improvement, improving by 55 points to 777, though it still fell short of the industry average. Fulmer also ranked below the industry average, but it showed the second highest improvement with 769 compared to 730 in last years study.

The study also found that 41% of highly satisfied customers (those giving ratings higher than 900) say they definitely will buy the same brand again. Only 4% of helmet owners who are dissatisfied (with ratings lower than 550) would stay with their brands.

As new-motorcycle sales have declined considerably during the past few years, the market for motorcycle helmets has also dwindled, says Todd Markusic, senior director of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. As a result, its more important than ever for motorcycle helmet manufacturers to ensure their current customers are highly satisfied, increasing the likelihood that they'll return to the brand the next time they are in the market for a new helmet. Since owners typically replace their helmets every three to four years, fostering customer loyalty may bring substantial benefit to the bottom line for manufacturers.

J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study
Brand 2010 2009
Arai 836 830
Shoei 827 815
Icon 826 806
Harley-Davidson 815 790
Scorpion 785 782
Industry Average 784 766
Bell 777 722
Fulmer 769 730
Nolan 758 752
HJC 757 738

AFX, AGV, Gmax, HCI, KBC, Outlaw,Shark, Suom, Vega and Z1R were included in the study but not ranked because the sample size was too small.