Snell Aligns With Euro Requirements

Helmet Helmet law Motorcycle safety Safety gear

The Snell Memorial Foundation says changes in testing procedures means that many of the motorcycle helmets currently carrying M2005 certification will need to be modified extensively to meet Snell M2010 standards.

The changes proposed for Snell 2010 standards are in response to recent anthropometric measurements of the human head. Although the new requirements are expected to force a redesign of current headgear, particularly in the smaller sizes, Snell M2010 helmets should also encompass all of the requirements in ECE 22-05. As a result, for the first time in many years, manufacturers may be able to build the same helmets for distribution throughout Europe and North America.

Snell standards are updated about every five years. To allow manufacturers to meet the forthcoming standards in a timely manner, the Snell Foundation proposes a longer transition period between ending M2005 certification and beginning M2010 certification: M2010 will begin a year early (the first units may be offered for sale as early as Oct. 1, 2009); M2005 will continue for a year longer than usual (manufacturers will not be required to stop production of M2005 certified helmets until March 31, 2012).


Certification Testing Started: March 1, 2008

2010 Labels Available: July 1, 2009

First 2010 Helmets Available: Oct. 1, 2009


Certification Testing Ends: June 30, 2011

2005 Labels Last Available: June 30, 2011

2005 Production Ends: March 31, 2012

A list of Snell M2005-certified motorcycle helmets for public distribution (effective October 2008) is available on

Guido Ebert