- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2009

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. | Arai ranks highest in satisfying motorcycle helmet owners for an 11th consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction StudySM released this week.

The study measures the overall satisfaction of motorcyclists with their new helmets in three key factors: ventilation, face shield, and design and styling. There also are 11 attributes that are considered: quietness, ventilation/air flow, defogging, face shield ability to keep out wind, face shield ability to resist scratching, ease of replacing face shield, scratch resistance of shell, color/graphic design, weight, ease of fastening the strap and fit and comfort.

With a score of 830 on a 1,000-point scale, Arai ranks highest and performs particularly well in the ventilation and design and styling factors. Shoei follows with a score of 815 and performs well in face shield. Icon ranks third with a score of 806.

“Arai continues to improve in the areas critical to customer satisfaction, which has further differentiated it from other manufacturers,” said Tim Fox, research manager of the power sports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Arai’s focus on fit and comfort — the most important consideration when purchasing a motorcycle helmet — and its ability to cater to different types of riders have given the manufacturer a consistent edge in satisfying customers.”

Overall satisfaction with motorcycle helmets has increased to an average of 766 in 2009 — up five points from 2008 — the highest level since the study’s inception in 1999.

The study finds that while the percentage of helmet owners who conducted research online before buying has remained relatively steady from 2008 at 36 percent, the proportion of helmet owners who purchased their helmets online has increased — up to 17 percent in 2009 from 14 percent in 2008. Additionally, those who purchased more expensive helmets ($200 or more) are more likely to both research and purchase their helmets online. More than one-half of these helmet owners researched online prior to their purchase, and 22 percent of them made their purchases online.

The 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,600 purchasers of new 2008 model-year motorcycles who provided information about their most recent helmet purchase experiences and helmet use.


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