J.D. Power: Arai & Icon Rank Highest

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Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study

For the 13th straight year, Arai has ranked highest in the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates study for consumer satisfaction.

But the Japanese helmet marquee wasn’t the only motorcycle helmet manufacture in the top spot; Icon tied with Arai.

Both Arai and Icon scored 852 out of a possible 1,000 points across 11 customer satisfaction attributes: ventilation/air flow; de-fogging performance; face shield effectiveness of keeping wind out; face shield resistance to scratching; ease of replacing face shield; scratch resistance of shell; color/graphic design; weight; ease of fastening the strap; and fit and comfort.

The study shows that Arai performs well across all 11 attributes, particularly in fit and comfort and face shield effectiveness of keeping wind out. Icon performs particularly well in color/graphic design. Shoei follows in the rankings with a score of 831 and performs well in ease of replacing the face shield.

The J.D. Power & Associates motorcycle helmet satisfaction study also finds that nearly one-fourth (23%) of motorcycle helmet owners purchase their helmet on the Internet, compared with 20 percent in 2010. In 2002, less than 10 years ago, this proportion was just four percent.

Brent Gruber (Senior Manager of the Powersports Practice at J.D. Power and Associates) says: “While the dealership is still the main source for a majority of helmets purchased, it’s clear that customers are continuing to shift to the online channel to purchase their motorcycle helmets.

“The percentage of helmets purchased online has increased steadily during the past 10 years. As a result, it’s crucial to ensure that dealers have an e-commerce website available for customer use as their preferences change.”

The J.D. Power study also finds the following key trends regarding motorcycle helmets:

  •  Overall satisfaction across the industry continues to improve to an average of 788 in 2011, reaching its highest level since the study’s inception in 1999.
  •  The average helmet purchase price this year remains consistent with 2010-$209 in 2011, compared with $206 last year. In fact, the average price paid for a new helmet has remained relatively constant since 2007, when the average price was $203.
  •  With a consistent increase in the median age of new helmet owners since 2000, this year’s study shows the highest median age to date-48 years.

The 2011 U.S. Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,820 purchasers of new 2009 and 2010 model-year motorcycles who provided information about their most recent helmet purchase experience and helmet use. The study was fielded between August and October 2010.

To see the full results of the J.D. Power Motorcycle Helmet Study, click on the fifth image above, and then expand by clicking X in lower right corner.