While riding a motorcycle or even a bicycle for that matter, you need head protection. Your head houses one of the most important organs in your body, and a brain injury due to a crash is a very life-altering experience. Trust us, we’re aware of the dangers of getting hit on the head.
The problem is, riders will need to buy into a safe helmet, and in third-world countries like the Philippines, it’s not always immediately accessible to everyone. A good quality open-face helmet can cost well into the thousands depending on the brand and the material it is made of, and knock-off and sub-standard helmets are cheaper but are equally as cheap when it comes to material choice, build quality, and safety, but it’s cheap so the price seems right.
We don’t condone spending cheap amounts of money on a cheap lid, but FIA’s new helmet is an exception. The helmet will cost about $10 USD, wholesale, which translates to just about P500 PHP given current exchange rates. We expect that once this helmet reaches retailers, it could cost somewhere around the P1,000 mark, which is extremely affordable.
Taking a look at the lid, it looks like it meets the general standard of what we expect from a basic lid. There are two models in the lineup, one with and one without ventilation holes. The perforated model should vent similarly to a bicycle helmet or a skateboard helmet, which is a god-send for anyone that spends long hours in the tropical heat of the Philippines. Otherwise, it offers good amounts of protection for a rider’s head. The other helmet is of a more standard fare with a nonperforated shell. Both lids get a visor which we believe is essential when riding a motorcycle, especially on dusty roads. It also receives a ratchet strap for convenience. As we see it, it seems like the perfect helmet for riders on commuter bikes, scooters, and other small-displacement city-slickers.
FIA? The same FIA that handles the safety regulations and rules of motorcycle racing? The same FIA in charge of the FIA helmet homologation standard, and the same FIA in MotoGP? Yes. It’s that FIA. Apparently, they take safety very seriously, and the global motorsport sanctioning body will be fielding an affordable helmet.
The FIA’s plans came about back in July 2020, and the goal was to create a low-cost helmet that is ventilated, comfortable and suited for riders in hot, humid, and tropical climates. To us, that sounds just about perfect as a majority of the population in the Philippines is mobilized on two wheels anyway. Though, let’s not forget that other south-east Asian countries also have a big chunk of their population on two wheels. On top of that, there are also multiple regions like South America, Africa, and South Asia.
A helmet manufacturer was contracted to undertake the project. Spanish brand, NZI came up with a design that meets the ECE 22.05 helmet safety standard, which is a great standard to follow. On top of that, the company also designed the helmet with ample ventilation built-in. While the helmet does exist, it’s not the only helmet that the FIA wants to see. One of the other goals of the project was to introduce a template for other manufacturers to get on board with so more brands could get on and make affordable and highly functional helmets that won’t cost an arm and a leg to procure.