In January, 2022, the new helmet certification ECE 22.06 was introduced. The new standard sought to increase even further the level of safety standard motorcycle helmets provided, and this meant the addition of rigorous tests, particularly impacts from odd angles. After all, you can’t really predict the angle at which your head will slam onto the pavement during a crash.
Although rolled out in January, 2022, the standard only came into effect for all brand new helmets starting July, 2022. This means that all new helmet launches will subsequently need to conform to this new standard in order to be legally classified as a motorcycle-approved helmet in Europe. Of course, you could expect prices of new helmets to go up drastically, as most manufacturers will have needed to redesign key pieces of their lids, such as the shells and EPS liners. However, a few brands have managed to retain their entry-level pricing while rolling out ECE 22.06-compliant lids.
Case in point: Scorpion. Popular all over the world, and the helmet of choice of current MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo, Scorpion’s newest updated helmet, the EXO-491, manages to retain the accessibility of its predecessor, the EXO-490, while offering all the new features required to conform to the ECE22.06 standard. It’s made out of a polycarbonate shell that comes in three sizes spread across six actual sizes ranging from XS to 2XL. Furthermore, it features Scorpion’s Ellip-Tec visor mechanism, and is compatible with Pinlock MaxVision anti-fog film.
Inside the helmet, the paddings are all removable and washable, and are lined with Kwikwick C fabric for added moisture wicking properties. The helmet is also eyewear-compatible thanks to grooves on the side of the helmet, while a full ventilation system allows you to toggle just how much airflow you want to let through. Last but not least, the EXO-491 makes use of a convenient micrometric buckle chinstrap.
As previously mentioned, the EXO-491 comes in six sizes ranging from XS to 2XL, and in a variety of colorways, the newest of which is the sleek and elegant Spin, which features a black base with gray and white accents, and a carbon-fiber pattern. The EXO-491 starts at a reasonable 169.90 Euros, which translates to around $170 USD.