The move of banning the non-ISI helmets was welcomed with open arms by motorcycle fans all over the country. The era of cheap, non-usable but still on sale helmets will soon come to an end. The move not just benefits the common man but, also brings a large customer base to Indian brand that preferred safety over cheap ways of manufacturing. For those who still think a helmet is a helmet, those plastic shells filled with the lowest quality foam cannot even protect an inch of your head in practical conditions. If you are still thinking about escaping a traffic police fine, your head may not be happy with your thought process.
This positive move came with drawbacks, one of which is the ban on export specific brands that are certified with more sophisticated levels of protection. The government has asked the manufacturers to cap the maximum weight at 1.2 kg, leaving the option of either using a lighter raw material or leaving the industry. When seen in terms of export spec helmets, those who were thinking on going through the certification process, will not be able to comply with the new weight limit. The helmets with lower weight than 1.2 kg cost well over INR 50,000, which is actually not practical for the majority of buyers.
The worst hit brands will include those who were selling in good numbers between INR 5,000-10,000. Buyers looking for extra safety were attracted towards LS2, Sol, MT, and SMK, which are soon going to enter the illegal zone. Not just wearing them will be an offense, those importing and keeping an inventory of such helmets will be fined like those roadside vendors. They will not compromise on quality for a single market and thus, extinction is guaranteed. Will the superbike owners feel undervalued and disappointed? Yes, they surely will.