“Lets see how far we’ve come….”

It was new helmet time for Mrs T as her old Shark RSX was 5+ years old. Despite the fact that the Shark looks perfect, I subscribe to the view (and evidence) that 5 years is a reasonable lifespan for optimum protection from a helmet. After trying on a Bell (made in China), a Shark (Thailand) and a Shoei (Japan), Mrs T opted for the Shoei TZ-X in XS size as the best fit. It’s also called a Qwest in the USA. Good review HERE

Mrs T has some history with Shoei’s and I knew that her first helmet (circa 1977) was a Shoei and was still in the garage gathering dust.OK, lets compare and contrast a little then.

The lovely looking Shark that has now been replaced. It’s a light weight, well constructed helmet from a French company, but actually made in Thailand.

Now here’s the 1970’s Shoei S-12. It’s been collecting dust for many years!

State of the art in 1970’s! Shoei were quite new to the market back then and Bell was the dominant brand. If you couldn’t afford a Bell, second best was a Shoei.

The first thing that struck me when I handled it was that it was actually quite light, despite being fibreglass, the second was how thin and flimsy the visor was. Okay, lets have a closer look….

Snell 1970 certification and Australian standard 1698 sticker to the right.

Close up of the Aust standard and some good advice to the left.

Below are a couple of pics of a young Mrs T with that very same Shoei. Seeing the first pic reminded me – the Small size was too big for her head, so she used to wear a beanie under it to ensure a snug fit. How safe was that??

New TZ-X, size ‘extra small’. It’s made in Japan and excellent quality. Sharp rates it at 5 out of 5 for crash worthiness.

But what’s this? Aust (and now NZ) standard,……… you guessed it…. 1698. I know that it has been revised a couple of times, but really!  For the life on me, I can’t understand why we need an Australian specific helmet standard for such a small market, rather than just accepting the US or European or Japanese standard?  Maybe it’s so we can’t import them directly ourselves and save 40% on Australian retail prices? I am sounding cynical now!

Nice interior, no SNELL certification nor any other info. There is one paper thin sticker on the inside of the jaw piece with construction materials info and Aust compliance. I’m sure it wont last long.

Color matched with my Shoei Neotec

Mrs T wore it for a 300 km ride recently and loved it.She found it really comfortable and much more quiet than the Shark, even though she always wears earplugs under the helmet.

Does anyone recall the 1970’s Bell helmet advertising slogan? “If you’ve got a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet”.