Plucky upstart Icon has tied helmet giant Arai in the 2011 JD Power Helmet Satisfaction Survey. That’s a huge achievement for the brand, which originally set out to create safety gear for an audience that wouldn’t otherwise wear any. Tieing for first puts Icon ahead of Shoei, Scorpion, Bell, HJC and other brands more often associated with brain buckets.
The study measures owner satisfaction with helmet across 11 parameters: quietness; 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.
JD Power reports that, while Arai continued to receive top marks for fit, comfort and shield effectiveness, Icon is close behind and exceeds the Japanese company in color/graphic design.
To conduct the survey, JD Power used responses from 4,820 people who purchased helmets in 2009 and 2010, asking them for their reviews last fall.
Other trends reported in the survey back up what we’re seeing elsewhere in the motorcycle industry. The median age of a helmet purchaser is now 48, one year younger than the average age of a US motorcycle buyer.