Deep down, we all know that fake motorcycle gear is dangerous. Everyone wants to get a good deal as often as possible, because that means more money for gas, bike parts, lunch on rides, and so on. Still, your head will not thank you if you slap a garbage helmet on it—and this ITV video terrifyingly demonstrates why.
Fake leather, terribly stitched textiles, counterfeit boots and gloves—these are all bad ideas. Somehow, fake helmets seem like the most nefarious things of all. This isn’t just someone’s intellectual property being illegally copied. That’s bad enough but on its own, but a fake Rolex or Louis Vuitton bag usually isn’t life-threatening.
No, this kind of counterfeit goods manufacture is extra offensive because it could potentially cost someone their life. Just watch the video above to see what happened when ITV took a counterfeit helmet masquerading as a genuine AGV lid to the British Standards Institute for testing.
Your local shop probably doesn’t carry such a waste of shelf space—but surely you’ve shopped online. Now, there are plenty of reputable internet sellers, of course. I’m not talking about them. What I am saying is that you should always be suspicious if you see a deal on a very expensive lid that looks too good to be true.
I’m also not talking about legitimate closeout sites that have an established reputation among motorcyclists. We all know that gear designs frequently change, and manufacturers want to clear out their old ones to make room for all the hot, new ones they want to sell at full price. Sometimes, you can get great deals when legitimate distributors leave your market, too. (IXS, we miss you!)
I am talking about eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Wish, Amazon Marketplace sellers, and any other place that random humans can sell random goods to other random humans. Quite frankly, if you’re buying your helmets from OfferUp or Goodwill, you might as well wear a bicycle helmet. Are there legit sellers on some of these sites, too? Of course there are, but you'll need to take the time to find the reputable ones.
ITV noted that in the video example, that fake AGV crash was simulated at just 30 mph before it cracked in half. It makes you wonder if the thing would have just completely shattered if hit at a very high speed instead. The British Standards Institute tested two fakes and one real helmet using the same four tests. The fakes failed them, while the real one passed with flying colors.
Yes, riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car—but if you’re going to wear a helmet in the first place, that’s one place you shouldn’t cheap out. Choose quality, even if it costs you a little more. Isn’t your head—and potentially, your life—worth it? There are plenty of decent helmets available at a range of prices, so there’s no excuse to pinch pennies on your personal safety.