Motorcycles are mainly embedded in American culture. This is why main US residents prefer products from their local retailers. But are they manufactured in the US or imported?
In today’s post, we’ll shed light on helmet manufacturers inside the US and where you can get these helmets. Moreover, we’ll also go over the decrease of US-made helmets.
You can check the end of this post for the following topics:
- US-based helmet manufacturers
- Reasons why helmets aren’t made in the US
- Important tips
- Frequently asked questions
Let’s get started.
Helmets Manufactured in the USA
In the past, there used to be many companies that had their production plants inside the US. Their main customer base comprised US citizens and other North American/South American countries.
However, as their business grew and went to a global scale, so did their customer base. Producing helmets inside the US was longer efficient since you get cheaper labor elsewhere.
How did it impact the US motorcycle community?
As major companies like Bell moved outside of the US, the local customer base simply lost their interest in these products.
The reason? Simple. American population prefers US-made products. So, when they see a MIC (Made in China) tag on a helmet, it coins the opinion that it might not be as good.
Did companies compromise on the quality?
Companies like Bell moved their business to Bahrain and other parts of Europe but they upheld their quality.
However, companies are businesses and it is in their nature to cut costs. Unfortunately, this directly impacts the quality of the helmets.
There have been numerous cases where helmets made outside of the US did not pass the DOT standards.
What does that mean?
To put it simply, helmets unapproved by DOT are not road legal. You cannot wear them anywhere. Moreover, there is a heavy penalty for using a non-approved helmet.
So, if you live inside the US and have an unapproved helmet, it is better to discard it.
So, are there any manufacturers left inside the US?
As of now, there are no major helmet manufacturers inside the US except for one. Scorpion is the only company that has their productions plants inside the US.
Whereas other companies like Bell have moved their business decades ago. It has been almost 20 years since Bell moved outside the US.
Let’s discuss Scorpion and see what sort of products they produce.
Scorpion Motorcycle Helmets
Scorpion helmets have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years due to their unique and modern designs. They produce full-face, modular, and sports helmets.
As for the US-made aspect, Scorpion operates inside and outside of the US. You can order a helmet and request it to be specifically from US-based plants.
Are these helmets DOT approved?
Scorpion helmets have dual certifications for US citizens. They are approved by DOT and SNELL.
It means they are completely road legal and can be used for on/off-road purposes.
Why didn’t Scorpion move out of the US?
The market gap created companies moving left a big void. Scorpion seized this opportunity to establish a foothold inside the US.
This makes their helmets costly but they ensure that the quality is upheld at all levels.
What are the best Scorpion helmets?
Every Scorpion helmet is unique and serves a different purpose. Here are our top picks for Scorpion products.
- Scorpion GT930 (Modular)
- Scorpion EXO-R1 (Full-face)
- Scorpion AT950 (Sports)
Is it safe to buy Scorpion helmets that aren’t made in the US?
Scorpion helmets have no difference in their quality whether they are made in the US or imported from a different country.
For helmets made outside the US, Scorpion follows the ECE standards.
Where can I buy Scorpion helmets?
You can buy Scorpion helmets almost anywhere inside the US. Moreover, they can be ordered online on Amazon or from Scorpion’s own website.
Moreover, you can also physically purchase them from a motorcycle shop as well. Their website allows you to find the closest retailer to your location.
What sort of materials are used by Scorpion?
Since Scorpion produces a number of different helmets, they use different materials for them as well.
For modular and full-face helmets, Scorpion uses polycarbonate and carbon fiber. On the other hand, for open-face helmets, thermoplastic is their choice of material.
Can I order customized helmets?
Even though Scorpion has a variety of helmets, you cannot customize anything besides the color.
This is to ensure that you get your ordered product on time without any flaws.
The Decline in US-Based Helmets
As we have mentioned already, there are very few helmet manufacturers inside the US. Among them, Scorpion is the only viable option.
So, how did this happen? The main reason behind this is the strictness of US laws. According to the labor laws of the US, you cannot pay your workers differently.
What does it mean?
It states that a company has to pay a base amount of dollars per hour to their workers. This ultimately leads to high costs in just payouts.
To cut this cost and turn it into profits, many companies moved to the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
How did this help the companies?
This move helped the companies in two major ways. Firstly, it reduced their labor costs by a substantial amount. Secondly, it also reduced the import costs of the raw materials.
It is easier for them to manufacture a helmet outside the US and ship it to the US. Production of a helmet inside the US means high labor costs and high raw material costs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Following are some commonly asked questions we gathered from around the web.
Can I still buy US-made Bell helmets?
It is still possible to buy old Bell helmets that were made in the US. However, it can be tough to find one in a good condition. Many motorcycle enthusiasts keep Bell helmets as trophies from the past.
Is it bad to buy a helmet produced outside of the US?
No, that is not the case. Many companies uphold their quality standard even for helmets produced outside the US. Bell is a great example in this case. Even though their plants are all moved outside the US, their quality remains the same.
Should I always buy helmets made in the US?
Do your research. Just because a helmet is made inside the US doesn’t mean the quality is 100% up to the mark. Search the market and compare different products with each other to get a better idea about the quality.
Wrapping Things Up…
The US used to be the biggest manufacturer of motorcycle helmets. However, over the past few decades, it has seen a gradual decrease in it.
Many top companies have moved their business out of the country due to high costs. However, there’s still one that operates inside the US by name of Scorpion. They offer a wide variety of helmets you can choose from.
With this, we come to the finish line of our article on helmets made inside the USA.
Do let us know which US-made helmet you use. CLICK HERE for more information about helmets.