Motorcycle HelmetsWhen I started riding motorcycles as a kid of 13, there was a saying that was popular regarding the approach to buying a helmet: "If you have a ten dollar head, buy a ten dollar helmet."
Years later, when I was a parts manager at a motorcycle shop I was always amazed by the customer that would come in, buy a new street bike, add on a Kerker exhaust and other high-performance stuff without a concern about cost.But when they bought a motorcycle helmet they’d invariably ask for the cheapest thing we had. This is why we used to keep a small pyramid of cheap, overseas, no-name helmets on the floor with a big sign that read: $39.95. And we had to constantly replenish that stack of boxes.We’re talking about your brain here. Your personal, irreplaceable computer. Your human motor drive, engine, traction control, everything, including all the saved files from your life. Basically, everything that makes you, you.Why would anyone not surround that with the best possible device?Among helmet brands there are some very substantial, respectable manufacturers. However, one that consistently is at the top of both customer satisfaction and various research findings is Arai.In a time of mass processing and automated manufacturing it’s interesting to note that Arai shells are still individually handcrafted one at a time. Fifteen employees literally construct each and every Arai shell that leaves the factory.That’s a pretty impressive statement. Just think, 15 people create all the Arai shells for Arai’s F1, Indy car, NASCAR and motorcycle helmets on the globe. That’s a serious commitment to detail.You’d think there’d be hundreds of men and machines cranking out Arai shells for the world. But that’s not what a rider who buys an Arai expects. Arai’s obsession with excellence is so extreme that the composition of the resins used to bond the shell components can be changed several times a day to compensate for changes in ambient temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure inside the factory, whic could affect the bonding properties.Finally, every single Arai shell is measured for thickness and weight to conform to Arai’s rigorous tolerances. No easy random or batch testing.This approach has netted Arai the number one ranking in the J.D. Power & Associates annual Helmet Customer Satisfaction Study an amazing 12 consecutive years, according to Arai. How do you put a price on that?