During our tests to find the best helmet, we conducted a survey. We wanted to see how many helmets in India were actually ISI certified. We went to over 50 shops and inspected over 100 widely available brands of helmets to see if they were actually ISI certified. What we found scared us. To conduct our survey, we took a printout of BIS’s list of certified helmet brands and then jumped from shop to shop and inspected helmets for their CM/L code.
CM/L number is the number located on below the ISI mark. Each company has a unique CM/L number.
We cross checked the CM/L number with the BIS’s list.
Here we found, 5 helmets with CM/L numbers that didn’t tally with our BIS list. The five helmets with were:
- Rstar (also Rocking and Ggod Singh) - 8100017593 - Cancelled
- Recron - 8835091 - Expired
- Blaze - 2655362 - License does not exist
- Bright - 8225691 - License does not exist
- King - 2567843 - License does not exist
On closer inspection, we found that Rstar had their license cancelled and Recron’s license was expired. But for the other companies BIS’s site gave the same message “License does not exist”.
Here’s what is horrifying. These helmets are actually claiming to be ISI certified when in reality they are not. In our opinion this is far worse than a helmet without ISI certification. Atleast on helmets without certification, they do not put up these fake ISI marks. So when people buy a helmet wihtout an ISI mark, they know what they are doing. But here, these 5 companies are actually misleading people who want an ISI certified helmet to believe they have an ISI certification. Helmets are our last line of defence, and it only makes sense to wear certified ones. We highly recommend you stay away from the above mentioned companies and their brands. Also, you should check if your helmet is ISI certified here.
BIS being the tech-savvy geniuses they are have made their site super user friendly. But in case you find it a little difficult to use it:
- Click “Status of License”
- Choose “license no.”
- In the box that appears, enter the complete CM/L number.
- The final step is to hit the aptly named “Report” button. If the license number exists, the report should pop up, if it doesn’t a line appears next to the box saying “License number doesn't exist”
- We bought and tested 2 of these fake ISI helmets and needless to say they crumbled in out tests with our bare hands.
How we tested?
We bought two of the helmets with fake ISI marks and tested these helmets as we tested other helmets, as our previous post suggests. We dropped these helmets for crash tests, to ascertain if these helmets could withstand some damages, checked for wind noise, their fit and the comfort offered by them.
Through vigorous testing, we found the following:
- Protection: Both the helmets with fake ISI marks did not survive the drop test. Recron, which is even available on Flipkart and Indiamart, could be easily bent with the mere force of hand, which does not allow for a lot of protection. Furthermore, we also tested the retention straps, which could be easily undone with a pull. Retention straps which can be easily undone do not offer any protection to the rider.
- Wind Noise Isolation: Our panel of riders used the helmets and drove at a speed of 30 to 40km/hr. There was no wind noise isolation; the wind could be heard clearly and irritated the drivers. Our drivers found that these helmets made their ears ache.
- Comfort: These helmets offered no comfort to our riders. The helmet’s had foam padding, which was extremely uncomfortable for our riders. Additionally, the retention strap was non-adjustable, thereby defeating its purpose. Along with this, we also found that these fake ISI marked helmets come in free sizes and do not fit the rider properly and is tremendously uncomfortable.
- Build Quality: The two helmets we tested with fake ISI marks had terrible build quality. The helmets shattered easily, and as mentioned earlier, Recron can be bent with the force of hands. Furthermore, these helmets can be scratched easily.
You can find our main article on helmets here.
Share this article with people you know who have helmets. This would be useful for them and could one day save their life!