SHARP (helmet ratings)

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SHARP logo - UK helmet rating scheme.png

SHARP (the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme) is a British government quality ratings scheme for motorcycle helmets, established in 2007.[1]

SHARP tests shop-bought helmets, seven for each model, using 32 tests which aim to measure the protection they offer the brain in impacts at a variety of speeds and against both flat surfaces and kerbs.[2] It rates the helmet models from one to five stars, and states that a five star helmet "offers good levels of protection right around the helmet."[3]

Nigel Mills of the University of Birmingham criticised the SHARP scheme in a paper in 2009, examining its testing of rotational acceleration,[4] despite SHARP using the test procedures specified in British Standard 6658 and also the UN ECE (United Nations) Regulation 22.

The UK's Transport Research Laboratory delivered a detailed response addressing the Nigel Mills paper in November 2009. Technical response to Nigel Mills paper

SHARP has been given two prestigious road safety awards; the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award (2013, Motorcycle category[5]) in recognition of its outstanding contribution to improving road safety and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) annual Road Safety Award recognising achievements in helping motorcyclists.[citation needed]

Some retailers of helmets use SHARP star ratings as a selection criterion.[6]


  1. ^ "FAQs". SHARP. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "SHARP TESTING". SHARP. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ratings". SHARP. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Mills, N J (2010). "Critical evaluation of the SHARP motorcycle helmet rating" (PDF). Int. J. Crashworthiness 15: 331–342. 
  5. ^ "Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards". RoadSafe. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Sharp 4 & 5 Star Ratings". Retrieved 26 May 2013. 

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