Motorcycle Industry Consulting With 30 + Years of Extraordinary Experience

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Our motorcycle industry consulting services offer our clients a wide range of services, from sales and marketing to operations and supply chain logistics. We can provide high-quality referrals for a variety of legal matters, including intellectual property and product liability.

Our experienced consultants have worked with industry leaders like the GLG Group (Gerson Lehman Group), The Third Bridge, and Cognolink.

Our mission is to help our clients grow their businesses and succeed in the motorcycle industry. We are passionate about the sport and motorcycle industry and are committed to providing the best possible motorcycle industry consulting services to our clients.

If you are looking for a team of experienced, professional, and knowledgeable motorcycle consultants, you have come to the right place. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and requirements and provide you with a proposal outlining our services.

Motorcycle Industry Consulting – Key Responsibilities

AGVSPORT-office-Motorcycle Industry Consulting

Our team of consultants is responsible for providing sales, marketing, and operational consulting services to clients in the motorcycle industry. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and challenges and develop customized solutions that help them grow their businesses and succeed in the marketplace.

Some of our fundamental responsibilities include the following:

  • Conducting market research and analysis to understand industry trends and identify opportunities for our clients
  • Developing sales and marketing strategies to help our clients increase their market share and grow their businesses
  • Creating promotional materials, such as website content, brochures, and email campaigns
  • Organizing trade shows and other events to promote our clients’ products and services
  • Providing training and support to our client’s sales and marketing teams

Reach out to us to see how we can help grow your business!

The Importance of Seeking Motorcycle Industry Consulting

The global pandemic brought about a significant shift in personal and business interactions by introducing a so-called “new normal.” There has been a demand boom for affordable individualized transportation, e-commerce, and same or next-day delivery services, steering society to embrace motorcycling as a socially distanced activity. These have accelerated the fast recovery of the motorcycle industry post-pandemic and unlocked the potential for exponential growth. Motorcycle manufacturers and distributors must quickly reshape their business models and strategies to take full advantage of the oncoming opportunities.

As an established global consulting firm with over 30 years of expertise in the motorcycle industry, we can help your enterprise thrive with unbeatable strategies to stay ahead of evolving market conditions, break into new markets, and streamline global operations.

Our Capabilities

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1. Developing Go-To-Market Strategies


When the time is appropriate for your business to expand to a new market, we will be there to assist you. We have unrivaled capabilities to aid you in exploring new markets successfully. At AGV Sports Group, we leverage our proprietary software, database, and refined processes to secure the best prospects for your company quicker than anyone else.

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2. Fine-Tuning Business Strategies


Most businesses want to find the shortest route to long-term success, and having a sound business strategy brings you one step closer to achieving this. At AGV Sports Group, we assist enterprises in testing their current plans, developing new strategies, and fine-tuning them to meet their evolving business needs and changing market conditions.

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3. Continuous Performance Monitoring


It’s best to be aware of where your business is at all times. Your company receives thousands of metrics and indicators daily. Focusing on what really matters and making the right decisions is crucial for success. Our role will be to eliminate complexities and effectively pick the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will propel your enterprise to success faster.

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4. Providing Insightful Monthly Market Updates


Need to stay updated on the dynamic of your industry or your competitor’s moves? At AGV Sports Group, we extensively monitor the global market, including all products and services delivered. Inform us of what matters to you, and we will prepare a detailed Market Insights Report (MIR) for your enterprise monthly.

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5. Breakthrough Supply Chain Planning and Optimization


Today, business partners and clients expect things to be done as fast as possible with zero compromises. You need to frequently adjust your logistics and supply chain process to satisfy business partners and clients. We will help your enterprise continuously find areas of improvement to maintain your logistics and supply chain process optimally fast, lean, and efficiently.

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6. Consistent Change Management


Most enterprises forget employees when adapting to the ever-changing business environment. Our change management program is designed to close this loophole while allowing employees to stay productive. Our flagship offering has been embraced by management teams of many leading companies in the motorcycle industry. We will help your employees stay in the best form to deliver the best outcomes for your company consistently.

Our Latest Achievements

We serve some of the biggest motorcycle manufacturers and distributors globally, and our most recent achievements with some of them include:

  • Assisting an Indian manufacturer and its distributor to enter the Latin American motorcycle market and develop a multichannel sales strategy
  • Helping a notable Italian helmet manufacturer become the top brand in the United States market
  • Aiding an international motorcycle manufacturer to restyle their business processes and policies to match various local market standards

How We Can Help You


Our motorcycle consulting company offers a full range of services to help you grow your business. We can provide everything from strategic planning and market research to sales training and support, and we measure results to adjust our strategies as needed to ensure success.


Some of the ways we can help you include the following:

  • Developing customized marketing and sales strategies: We will work with you to develop strategies tailored to your business goals. We will also help you implement these strategies and track their success.
  • Conducting market research: We can help you understand your target market and what they want from a motorcycle company. We can also help you find new markets for your products or services.
  • Creating marketing and sales materials: We can help you make marketing and sales materials that will appeal to your target market and help you close more sales.
  • Training your sales team: We can train your sales team in effectively selling your products or services. We can also provide support for your sales team so they can close more sales.
  • Managing your online presence: We can help you create and manage an online presence that will reach your target market and help you sell more products or services.
  • Analyzing your marketing efforts: We can help you track and analyze your marketing efforts to see what is working and what is not. This will help you focus your efforts on the most effective marketing activities.
  • Implementing customer retention programs: We can help you create and implement programs that will keep your customers returning for more.
  • Increasing brand awareness: We can help you improve your business’s brand awareness to attract more customers.

Contact us today if you’re looking for a partner to help you grow your motorcycle business. We’ll be happy to discuss your specific needs and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Connect With Us Today for All Your Motorcycle Consulting Services!


We are proud to offer motorcycle consulting services to clients worldwide. No matter where you’re based, we can help you take your motorcycle business to the next level.

Our team of experts has a wealth of experience in the motorcycle industry, and we’re ready to put our knowledge to work for you. We offer a wide range of services in motorcycle industry consulting.


If you’re ready to take your motorcycle business to the next level or be a motorcycle owner, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Consider Our Services Today for All Your Needs!


As a full-service motorcycle consulting firm, we are equipped to provide you with the resources and knowledge you need to get started in the industry. We have a team of experts who are passionate about motorcycles and are committed to helping our clients succeed. Contact us today to learn more!







Information for this article on Motorcycle Industry Consulting Services was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative Government, educational, and nonprofit organizations:


Michael Parrotte Resume (Click to Download)

Michael Parrotte at Submit Point

Sales and Management Executive

Marketing │Product Development │Import/Export │Risk Analysis / Management

Professional Summary

Seasoned and globally skilled sales and management expert equipped with expertise in international trade and extensive knowledge of international markets. Accustomed to defining short- and long-term business road maps toward significant profitability while sustaining regulatory guidance and support to multiple client companies worldwide; providing expertise in international sales and in cultivating long-term client relationships and managing an entire range of manufacturing and distribution across the globe.

Synopsis of Accomplishments


Accomplished business development strategist; successfully founded a company into a multimillion-dollar international enterprise while ensuring overall integrity in the design, development, sourcing, and management of an extensive product range; managing relationships with manufacturers in Italy, Romania, Brazil, China, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Vietnam.

The visionary leader of revenue increases; instituted and expanded $10 million US market for Italian parent company and secured sales agreement with American Honda; driving the largest sales in AGV Helmets company history

Areas of Expertise


Strategy Plans and Business Development International Trade and Licensing
Global Account Management Sales and Revenue Optimization
Strategic Market Positioning Operations, Logistics, and Technical Support
Product and Material Sourcing Staff Development and Process Improvement

Professional Experience


Founder and President AGV SPORTS GROUP, INC.-Frederick, MD (1985-Present)

Established and currently managing a business in line with sales and distribution of sports and safety apparel. Oversee daily business operations, international transactions, and business development functions, including advertising, sales, marketing, and strategy development

  • Successfully broadened the firm’s marketing presence and established a network of suppliers and distributors in 15 countries
  • Administered and maintained coordination in activities of license holders in emerging markets and developing countries, including Brazil, Russia, Eastern Europe, and China
  • Determined and capitalized on business opportunities and spearheaded efforts to add license holders
  • Maintained comprehensive knowledge on product liability, risk management, and intellectual property
  • Negotiated business agreements with diverse groups of international business leaders across Europe, Austral-Asia, Asia, and Latin America; maintained a team of interpreters
Consultant VEMAR HELMETS, Grosseto, Italy 2005-2007

Strategically guided clients and provided business solutions based on their specific needs and thorough assessment of international markets. Sustained global marketing strategies and advised on product development and product liability issues to ensure clients’ successful business launch and profitability.

  • Strategized and ensured proficient execution of marketing campaigns for the firm’s line of motorcycle helmets in North America and provided advice to foreign business investors on how to penetrate the US market
  • Managed overall advertising campaign and developed all US advertising programs
  • Secured agreements with and directed the entire sponsorship campaign with racers
  • Spearheaded the successful facilitation of tradeshows, exhibitions, and conventions
  • Liaised as a registered agent between the firm and the US Department of Transportation
  • Achieved the goal of establishing a new distribution network in North America
  • Trained and maximized skills of regional managers and sales representatives of nationwide distributors
Consultant KBC AMERICA-KBC HELMETS-Burbank, CA/Seoul, Korea 2000-2004

Optimized the development and promotion of new brands of motorcycle helmets to be manufactured for national and international distribution; consulted by global business entrepreneurs on marketing procedures and key requirements to penetrate the US markets and conduct international trade.

  • Determined feasibility of new products through in-depth market analysis and monitoring of the product’s marketing performance
  • Advised clients on product liability and licensing issues
  • Designed innovative marketing, advertising, and promotional program
Vice President AGV-SpA AGV HELMETS-Frederick, MD, MD/Alessandria, Italy 1985-1999

Expertly directed all efforts in optimizing sales, marketing, and product development in order to broaden business and align product development plans in the US market.

  • Directed and ensured functional efficiency of training, risk management, product liability, shipping, receiving, warehouse operations, and all aspects of the business
  • Co-managed quality control, product design, and development
  • The primary point of contact responsible for winning contacts with Kawasaki Motors Corp. and American Honda Motor Company
  • Successfully hired and developed a field sales force of 33 independent representatives nationwide.
  • Key involvement in SAP global shipping system implementation; trained employees in the proper use of the system in offices globally
  • Streamlined all functions associated with the testing of helmets in accordance with US DOT S218 safety standards and product liability.

Motorcycle Helmet Market Deep Dive
Competitive Analysis & Growth Avenues

Michael Parrotte
Founder & President at AGV Sports Group

Andy Roberts


Andy Roberts

Hello, everyone. My name is Andy Roberts from the content team, and I am your host today for our discussion on the motorcycle helmet market deep dive, competitive analysis, and growth avenues. Thank you for being with us today, Michael. As a reminder, we are talking with you today because our clients are interested in your personal insights and expertise. ‘you should not be sharing any confidential information or any information that you are not authorized to share. If you are all unsure about the confidentiality of the info, you should be advised to keep it off-limits in the discussion. I am very pleased to present our speaker today, Mr. Michael Parrotte, founder and president at AGV Sports Group. Michael has been the founder and owner of AGV Sports Group, a global apparel company operating in the motorcycle industry since 1985. So before we begin, I would like to remind all of the audience that Mr. Michael Parrotte will not discuss AGV Sports Group and any of his consulting engagements. He may have limitations on what he is permitted to discuss and will decline to answer questions related to confidential matters.

And with that, let us dive into our topic today. So, just of all, welcome, Michael. I think you have just joined one of the largest conventions of motorcycle helmets in Milan. So maybe you could give us a little bit more insight on that by the end of the session. Today, the rising demand for two-wheelers, and hence the global motorcycle helmet market size was valued at USD 2,287 million in 2022, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.8% from 2023 to 2030. So, as the market evolves, what are the drivers in place to shape the landscape of the motorcycle helmet market in 2024 and the coming years? Perhaps we can start by going down memory lane a bit before we review the current state of the market. Michael, what did the last five years of the motorcycle helmet market look like to you? Do you recall any kind of significant milestones or disruption, say COVID impacted supply, demand dynamics, et cetera, or perhaps the entrance of some very strong new players in the competitive scene in general? Over to you, Michael.


Well, in the United States, the sales of motorcycle helmets are very directly connected to the sales of motorcycles, probably more so than in any other market because in the US, banks and finance companies, when someone buys a motorcycle, will enhance a helmet, especially an expensive helmet right into the purchase of the motorcycle. So when motorcycle sales go down in the US, you always see a decline in helmet sales. Before COVID, motorcycle sales were rather flat. I think, actually, ever since the financial crisis back in 2008, the motorcycle business was okay, but it wasn’t on fire. And COVID, I think was a big surprise for everyone because the sales of motorcycles and all related parts access and apparel exploded to the point where people ran out of inventory, they were backed up for months, and a lot of stuff was out of stock. And that stayed strong for two years. So that was a big surprise, and that was not just in the US; I think that was around the world.

Andy Roberts

And, Do you think in the midst of COVID, a bit of a surprising rise of motorcycle helmet sales, was there any strong entrant of new players into the scene?


Are you specifically talking about the US or just in general worldwide?

Andy Roberts

Just in general. Was there any rising star that got its entrance during the COVID time?

There’s been a lot of Chinese companies have entered the market in the last 10 or 15 years. But the one company to me that was sort of not well known among the public that really came on strong during the COVID years was the KYT brand, which is the TCK company that owns Soumy and KYT. I think they have more than 20 brands, but KYT is their premier brand. And no one has ever heard of KYT in the United States three years ago and they’ve just really come on strong. And when I was in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand and also in Vietnam, they were all over the place. So that company is certainly a company that’s really recently come on strong.

Andy Roberts

Interesting. And with their entrance, we would like to look back to a little bit of a disruption from COVID, as you’ve mentioned, like China or any other Asian countries, they would be the manufacturer of these motorcycle helmets. In terms of the supply chain, do you see any disruption during the COVID, despite the sales going up surprisingly?


Well, some of these companies have their own distribution. If you look at, I’m not sure if they’re the largest in China, but MHR, if they’re not the largest, they’re one of the largest helmet companies in the world, and they own the LS2 brand, and LS2 owns their own distribution in the United States and in Europe. They have their primary warehouse in Spain and Europe. They don’t have the same distribution issues, maybe Shoei or Arai, because they have everything. They own the brand, they own the manufacturing, they own the distribution, they have their own salespeople. I mean, they have everything from A to Z , so they’re in a quite different situation.

The companies that relied on traditional distributors had problems because the distributors were totally caught off guard. At the beginning of COVID, everybody was pulling back, and everything was cutting back on purchases, advertising, and maybe even staff. And then it turned out to be exactly the opposite. They needed to have bought more, to have more staff, to have more advertising. So really, that first summer of COVID, there was a huge supply problem for everything: motorcycles, helmets, apparel parts. I mean, sometimes people take their motorcycle to the shop, and you have to wait six months to even get a part from ‘Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, or Honda. So it was quite a surprise to everybody, a pleasant surprise.

Andy Roberts

Thanks, Michael. So I guess now we are in more of a recovery or even having an upward trajectory. So maybe we can move on to sharing your comments on the overall market outlook, more specifically for the first three quarters of 2023. And writing on that, how do you see the momentum in the rest of the Q4 and 2024?


Well, in 2023, the sales were up a bit, but at the beginning of the year, the motorcycle sales were down a bit, but they recovered, and they’re up a bit, but not too much should be read into that because people are saying, oh, sales are only up a little bit, or they’re down a little bit. But that is based on the prior COVID pandemic when everything was great. I think it’d be more accurate to compare what it was to 2017, ’18, and ’19. So things are still very good to me. Now, the fact that they’re not at the same level of COVID, I don’t think that’s reasonable to expect that. Now that’s for the North American market. I spent a lot of time in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, and there it’s quite different. To me, the growth is double-digit, it is going crazy, and it’s a different story. That area of the world is exploding.

Andy Roberts

So I guess in general, the sales has been going well for 2023. Do you think that the momentum can be sustained through 2024, or are there any kind of critical changes to the landscape that would potentially impact the sales volume in 2024?

In the US, YES, and probably in Western countries, yes, more so in the US than in Europe, because motorcycles are realistically, exclusively recreational products. The number of people who own a motorcycle for basic day-to-day transportation in the US is relatively very very small. So when you have a recession or any kind of economic retraction, recreational things are the first to go. Boats, motorcycles, ATVs, these kind of things are the first thing they get hit, it’s what happened in every recession. In the United States, we have a very unusual political election year coming up. There is a lot of economic uncertainty because of the national debt. The situation with the war in Ukraine, there’s all kinds of things. So, if the United States enters a general recession that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the motorcycle industry, the motorcycle industry will be more impacted than it would be in a country where people buy motorcycles for transportation.

Actually, in those countries, motorcycle sales could actually go up because a family that maybe a year or two was thinking that they were going to trade in a motorcycle and get a small car, and if the economy retracts some, they might go out and buy another motorcycle. But in a country like the United States, nobody’s using a motorcycle for transportation. So it doesn’t matter how bad the economy is a motorcycle for any large amount of people, there is not going to be a positive impact. So if the US economy has a problem, then recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, are going to go down, and that’s going to affect helmet sales. I can’t predict. Nobody can predict what is going to happen. Everyone is watching. Everywhere I go in the world, people ask me about the political situation in the US. So it’s up for anyone’s guess. But there’s definitely a more direct connection in the United States between the economic situations, sales, and motorcycles than there is the economic situation, sales and motorcycles than there is in Europe and certainly than in Asia, where there’s a big transportation market.

Andy Roberts

So I guess from your perspective, like motorcycle helmet in U.S. is more positioned as a recreational items.



Andy Roberts

So it would definitely be heavily impacted as it doesn’t fall under any kind of necessary consumer products. Hence, it would be heavily impacted by economic uncertainties and potentially rather sluggish economic growth in the U.S. market. So now that we have gone into the U.S. market, I do think a lot of people still believe, of which you could definitely disagree, that the U.S. market dominates the industry and is expected to sustain the leading position in the coming years. So maybe we could talk a little bit about the maturity, like how mature is the U.S. market in terms of penetration and consumer purchasing power, which also has relations to general economic sentiments, I guess?


Well, I think the market is mature, but I don’t think it’s exactly in the situation where it’s necessarily going to decline or even not have any growth. The birth rate in the United States is like most Western countries, not high, but we have a very high immigration rate, unlike Japan or Europe. So our net population is still growing. So, I think the motorcycle market will continue to grow, but I don’t expect it to have the explosive growth that like Asia will have. Europe is another story that’s more difficult to say. But Europe has a big transportation market, and that’s much more stable because people have to commute and so that part of the market should be very stable.

Andy Roberts

So you would say that there is still room for growth in the US market, is that correct?


Yes, absolutely. It is still a big market. I mean, mature or not, we’re a country of approaching 350 million people, with Canada, it’s close to 400 million, 390, 400 million people. It’s a huge market. In total numbers, it’s not the size of any of the Asian markets, but the average income of people is very high. So the potential to buy middle to high-end products is very good.

Andy Roberts

Just a follow-up questions actually from me. Do you see any potential, like currently, in the US? Consumers have identified motorcycle helmets as a recreational item? Do you see the trends
or the momentum for it to transform or shift into a necessity, especially given in any case, there will potentially be more regulations coming through on mandatory use of motorcycle helmets in commuting? Do you see such trends in the future for the U.S. market, or it’s going to just stay as recreational items for years to come-


Well, let’s address that as two separate things because I have a lot of knowledge and experience from my years of working at HV to know that the relationship between mandatory helmet laws and helmet sales, there really isn’t a relation. California was one of the states that didn’t have helmet laws. It was the biggest motorcycle market in the country. It was the biggest helmet market in the country. If you looked at states like California and Bhio, which back in the ’70s didn’t have helmet laws, they had some of the highest rates of helmet sales in the country. I don’t think there’s any relationship between helmet laws and the sales of helmets. You have people that don’t want to wear helmets, and those people, when they’re in states with mandatory helmet laws, they’re buying very inexpensive helmets that don’t even meet any safety standards that are basically plastic bowls.

The people, if you see someone that doesn’t wear a helmet, maybe they’re in a Honda or Suzuki. Maybe it’s the middle of summertime; it’s 40 Celsius outside. Those people have helmets. They might have three Arais and two Shoeis back at their house. It’s not that because sometimes they choose not to wear a helmet that they don’t buy helmets, they don’t have helmets. And I think if you talk to anyone who has a lot of experience in the motorcycle business and they look back 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years, you see that there’s not really a direct connection between, it’s not like if tomorrow all 50 states put in helmet laws, the sales of helmets would shoot up. I don’t believe that is the case. The sales of some very cheap helmets that would not even be legal to sell in Europe or Asia might go up, but not the sales of the helmets that your clients are looking to invest in companies that produce.

As far as the commuting thing though, I don’t believe that is the case. There’s just too big a cultural difference in the United States. I mean, I guess you could look a hundred years into the future, and some dramatic change could happen throughout the world. But we are talking about realistically in the near future. I don’t see anything in the next five, 10, or 20 years that would change Americans to commute on motorcycles. Americans don’t like riding when it’s raining out. They don’t like riding when it’s freezing cold out or when it’s snow. They like to ride when it’s sunny and warm and pretty, and there’s a lot of people that are afraid of the motor. I just don’t see a commuter market of any substantial size. I mean, there’s certainly hardcore people that commute on motorcycles in the United States, but it’s not a big enough number that like a foreign company would say, Let’s go sell in the 6nited States because of this market. It’s not significant enough for that, in my opinion.

Andy Roberts

Thank you, Michael. I guess the cultural differences really determine the consumer behavior in terms of motorcycle helmets and how the users see what kind of products it is to them in their daily usage I guess. After having this overview of the U.S. market, perhaps we can narrow down into a little bit of an overview of its hot categories and fastest-growing segments. Say there are all kinds of differentiation, like open face, full face, road, recreational, off-road, and fashion market. Which of them do you see the greatest growth potential and which of them maybe originally in the past few years, they have been dominating and their leading position is about to change.


That is a lot of different things. So let’s talk about off-road first. So if you’re a company that produces off-road helmets, the U.S. is still the place you want to be. Canada and Australia are great as well, but they’re just much smaller populations. But if I was a company and I produced off-road helmets and I could only be in three countries, I would be in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The market for off-road motocross helmets in Europe compared to those markets are relatively small. Now, in the United States, full-face street helmets have about 60% of the market. In Europe, because of the commuter people that ride scooters and stuff, there’s a greater percentage of open face, what they call jet helmets. But I think that if you excluded them and you just looked at motorcyclists, you’d actually have a higher rate than 60% in Europe if you just looked at real motorcyclists and not scooters and small motorcycles used for commuting use.

As far as trends go, one of the things that I noticed at the show in Italy, the EICMA show last week, was how many new companies are selling, I don’t even want to call them retro or vintage helmets because when the retro and vintage fashion craze started more than 10 years ago, they were modern helmets that were styled to reflect back to the ’50s or ’40s or ’70s. But at the core, they were still a modern helmet, they were just superficial aesthetic changes to give them that retro look. But now what companies, that a lot of companies are doing is they’re actually making helmets that look exactly like the helmets that were sold in the ’40s and ’70s, but they’ve just made them with modern technology that isn’t visible to the eye that passes the modern safety standards. But if you look at the things on a table, you would swear they were made 40 or 50 years ago.

I mean, they literally are replicas out of a museum, and it is not like an odd thing. There are a lot of companies doing this, and they have big displays, spent a hundred thousand euro or more for these displays. I was very surprised that it hasn’t come to the United States yet, but if the show in Italy was any idea of a trend, that’s definitely something that’s worth eyeing. And it’s the opposite of the smart helmet thing, because the buyer of these helmets is exactly the opposite of the buyer that wants to buy a smart helmet that has a heads-up display and all that kind of technology built into it. So the motorcycle helmet market continues to become more and more segmented and specialized than it ever was when I just started the helmet business.

Andy Roberts

Thanks, Michael. So we’ve gone quite far into the U.S. market scene, so maybe we could do a little bit of a comparative analysis of the key players that goes beyond the U.S. market. Would you be able to identify one or two top-performing players from each region, U.S., APAC in particular? I do see that you have a lot of passion and confidence in the APAC and European markets as well. So Hust one or two players. And how are their respective market share and sales volume over the past year?


All right. LS2 is a brand of MHR, which is probably the largest Chinese helmet company. They are the market leader in Europe by far. Nolan is number two, and LS2 sells almost twice as many helmets as Nolan, so they’re huge. LS2 does well in the United States, but I don’t think they nearly have the market dominance that they have in Europe. In the US, I think HJC is still really strong. Shoei is very strong. Then you have companies such as Arai, and it’s is not ever a volume helmet company. But Arai, I think historically for 50 years, if you ask people, ” What is the absolute top helmet, not the top-selling helmet, just the best helmet, the best reputation?” I think overwhelmingly, most Americans would say Arai. I think Arai produces maybe 500,000 helmets a year in the whole world. And you look at a company like TKC that owns the KYT and Suomy brands, they made six and a half million helmets last year. So, they made Arai’s production plus 6 million.

So, when you’re saying the best, the market leader, I sort of divide them into the market leader in terms of numbers or the market leader in terms of image because they’re not usually the same. LS2 has a very wide price range. They have quite inexpensive helmets. So, companies like AGV, Schuberth, and AIROH from Italy have a very great reputation. Alpinestars is trying to get in on that market. Those are very brand-high-end images. They’re never going to sell the numbers that a MHR from China or TCK in Indonesia is going to sell. But I wouldn’t say they’re not market leaders because they don’t have the sheer numbers.

Andy Roberts

Thanks, Michael. I think you’ve also mentioned that Southeast Asia is one of the high-growth regions for the helmet market. How would you compare the competitive edges of Southeast Asian markets, say Indonesia to China? That would be an interesting comparison.


Well, I have never ridden a motorcycle in China. I would love to, but most of the places I go to are not really motorcycle-friendly. I ride everywhere in the world I go. I actually own motorcycles in three different countries. I own a motorcycle in Vietnam. I own a motorcycle in Thailand, and I have a motorcycle in Ukraine. When I travel to all those places, I ride my own bike there. China is not so motorcycle-friendly. Hopefully, that will change now that the motorcycle industry is becoming such a heated market. There are over 200 different helmet companies in China, and there are probably that many different motorcycle manufacturers, too, if you add in all the electric ones.

But the weather in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, you can ride a motorcycle 365 days a year. And there’s many parts of China where it’s very cold. So, the climate in Southeast Asia is just ideal for motorcycles. The traffic is horrible, and that’s ideal for motorcycles. And the people remind me personality-wise of more like Italians. They’re very enthusiastic racing. I mean they love racing and the MotoGPs that are coming there have great attendance. And the whole racing is Hust exploding in all of those markets. So, I can’t even imagine what the growth in those countries will be in the next 10 or 20 years.

Andy Roberts

I think you have also mentioned in your earlier sharing that there are certain, say, top-performing products and most popular products and flagship products, say, from the set key players or market leaders. Would you be able to name a few of them and tell us about their growth momentum and how it indicates the growth of these companies?


Well, when Dainese, the Italian apparel company bought AGV, and subsequently two different private capital companies have bought them, they pumped in just an enormous amount of money into product development, which really changed the whole AGV line and made it a world-class product. The AGV Pista helmet really has set the standard for everyone for design. Because if you look at the new high-end KYT helmet, you look at the new Alpinestar helmet, you can definitely see it’s the Pista concept, but then modified to be individual for KYT or Alpinestar or whatever. So, AIROH, the Italian company AIROH has an incredible beautiful helmet, GP500. Suomy, which is the same company as KYT, has some great helmets. So, to me, personally, the AGV Pista, the KYT Suomy top-end helmets, the AIROH top-end helmets, and this Alpinestar helmet, if they could ever get it produced, those would all be in terms of image and Hust absolute features, Hust really in a class by themselves.

Now, there are a lot of great race helmets that are still excellent helmets. Any of the helmets that have the FIM certification would be great. And there are Bell, HJC, LS2, Shark, Shoei, and Arai helmets that all meet those that are fantastic helmets, but they don’t have that sort of next generation. It’s like looking at jet fighters. I mean, it’s not like the last generation of jet fighters is really great and high-tech. It’s just that the absolute current one is just sort of head and shoulders above everything else. And that’s sort of how I think that right now that’s AGV, KYT, and AIROH are with their three helmets. And Alpinestar would be there, like I said, if they get the production bugs sorted out. The helmet is gorgeous. They just need to make it and sell it.

Andy Roberts

It sounds like some very exciting products. So, we’ve heard that you have just came back from EICMA, one of the largest Expo in motorcycle helmet industry. So, is there any kind of insight into the future product pipelines- Is there any kind of exciting products that are in the making to be shared, perhaps to be launched in 2024? Could you possibly name a few of them as well?


Well, the only thing that was really that I’d say new, because no one’s really seen one, is the Alpinestar helmets. All the other helmets were basically helmets that had been released in the last year or two. And the real thing every year that people wait for is the new graphics because there’s just so much you can do with a helmet. I mean a human head hasn’t changed in 300,000 years. And you have the safety standards that sort of control also the design. So, there are certain limitations in design, but there are no limitations in graphics. And you really see that all the companies, the explosion of personalized products. Mostly race replica, but also just licensing, licensing cartoons, movie characters, just all kinds of things that the individuality. The days of selling, just like the solid color red or blue helmets, are sort of over. Even the inexpensive helmets have just incredibly personalized, sometimes humorous, funny, or graphics to them.

The one thing that surprised me, besides what I talked about earlier, is these actual retro helmets, is that I did not see a lot of what people would call the smart technology, the smart helmets. To me, from what I saw at the show, and the show is huge, it’s the largest international motorcycle show in the world and always has been for 50 years. I mean, there might be larger shows that are domestic, maybe somewhere in China or something. But in terms of how many people come from every country, every corner of the Earth, there’s nothing that compares to EICMA.

They sold 560,000 tickets, and about 10% were traded. They had half a million motorcyclists came to see that show, and almost 60,000 business people. There’s nothing in the world that compares to that. But it surprised me that people, because whether or not they ever catch on with motorcyclists or not is another story, but people have money and they invest and they come up with ideas. And I thought that people would be pushing some of the smart helmets because the amount of electric motorcycles there was incredible. I couldn’t believe how many different companies were there. But the helmets, the trends were either retro or the race replica things.

A lot of companies selling Bluetooth there. And I think the smart helmet thing, the one thing that is a sure thing is sound. I could even see a day when almost all helmets come with Bluetooth or come with communications in it. As far as the other features, like the heads-up thing, I’m not so sure about that. There are some basic reasons why people ride a motorcycle that I’m not so sure that’s going to catch on. But the Bluetooth thing I think absolutely is going to keep growing and growing and growing. We’ve seen that in the US. The sales of Bluetooth communications have never seemed to be ending. It’s just growing. And there are not many companies that offer that. Usually, you buy the helmet and then have to add it. There are only a few helmet companies actually selling helmets with them already installed, and I think that’s going to change.

Andy Roberts

Thanks, Michael. So, you have talked a little bit about the smart helmet segment, which our clients might potentially be interested in looking into as well. You have mentioned that very most likely audio, like say including Bluetooth capabilities, would be the way to go for smart helmet. Do you believe that per your imagination and your many years of experience in a motorcycle helmet, what kind of product enhancement capabilities could we possibly fit in for a future smart helmet?


Well, I am trying to say this in a politically correct way. A lot of the people that, to me, are pushing the smart technology aren’t motorcyclists, they’re more tech people, and so they don’t really have a motorcycle mentality. I could be wrong, but I am skeptical that the heads-up visual stuff is ever going to be popular among the majority of motorcyclists because to me, the people that like that stuff are the people that don’t buy a motorcycle. They sit in front of a computer and play video games. That’s why you see that retro helmet thing going so much because the trend in motorcycles is to make them more simple. The naked bike sales are huge, is to be free. Like what happened during Covid, is to be out in the wind and be in nature and have the freedom of the motorcycle and having a bunch of images protected on the inside of your face shield is technically really cool but I’m just not so sure that it’s the mentality of the average motorcyclist.

But sound is a different story because mobile phones have completely taken over our lives, and people often ride with their friends and one of the biggest pains that’s always existed is if you want to talk to someone, you basically have to pull over on the side of the road and communicate with them because unless you can figure out sign language, it’s not so easy. So I’m pretty optimistic on sound, but I think where people are missing on technology is just focusing on those two things. AGV helmets in 1988 and ’89 released an air-conditioned helmet. They called it air-conditioned, but it wasn’t really air-conditioned; it was more like a water-cooled helmet, and it was way ahead of its time. The technology should have all been made in Asia. They bought the thermal electric cooling chips in the United States and they did all the wiring and electronics in Italy.

And it just turned out, for quality control reasons, to not have been successful because of quality problems. But the concept was fantastic, and the concept would still be fantastic today, and I don’t know why anyone’s not doing it. And, if I were an investor, I would invest money in cooling and comfort before I’d invest money in projecting images on the inside of a face shield. Because the biggest problem with helmets and the biggest reason why people don’t want to wear a helmet is because of heat. And if you solve that problem, you just sold a lot more helmets, you sold a lot more expensive helmets, and you just removed the biggest obstacle to people not wanting to wear a helmet. After heat, the next issue is comfort and fit. And of course, we’re talking about the Asian market, one of the things that was holding back sales in the Asian market is sizing because the sizing in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Japan is quite different than it is in the United States and Canada, Australia, or the UK.

Would you be able to sum up today’s interview with maybe two or three key takeaways that you have learned from YICMA that kind of set the scene for the coming year of motorcycle helmet market.

I was in Thailand several months ago, and AGV has a big factory store there. All the helmets are Asian fit. They have entirely different production. The helmets in Thailand are completely different fit than the same model helmet in the United States. That’s brilliant because when Asian companies try to come to the United States and sell Asian fit helmets in the United States, they don’t succeed. They fail. So fit and comfort are more important than anything. And then, part of comfort is not overheating. And so I am surprised nobody is doing it. If someone listens to this and they have an idea of investing in a helmet company that has a cooled helmet, I think they’ll make a lot of money.

Andy Roberts

That would definitely fit the very practical mentality of a motorcyclist, basically. For these kinds of tech players, they have the capacity to develop these kinds of smart helmets. Just one last question on this particular topic, and we can come to a wrap maybe on this interview. Do you see any kind of potential barriers to developing smart helmets? As you mentioned, a majority of the players that are pushing through these kinds of smart helmets into the market would be the tech players. Do you see the kind of potential barriers of conventional helmet companies expanding into this particular helmet segment, no matter if it is going to be audio and visual enhancement or, as you’ve said, comfort and cooling enhancement? In terms of their R&D and manufacturing capacity, do you see difficulties for them to expand into this particular product segment-


Difficulties are a psychological one, not a commercial one. Helmet companies know about helmets, and tech companies know about smart technology, and smart technology companies don’t know anything about motorcycling despite the fact that some would say they do. And helmet companies don’t know anything about the technology. So I see the first winner here is a brand-name helmet company that makes a partnership with a tech company, and the helmet company focuses on making great helmets, and the tech company focuses on making the components that the helmet company can just put an assembly line and assemble into the helmet, and then you got a winner. Because I don’t see the helmet companies developing the tech, it is more of the computer industry than it is the helmet industry. And I don’t see the tech companies getting what being a motorcyclist is all about, but I see a partnership between the two could really work out if they both can just figure out how to respect the other one’s expertise in their area.

Andy Roberts

I guess it is all about cross-segment partnerships, then. Thank you for attending today’s interview. Would you be able to sum up today’s interview with maybe two or three key takeaways that you have learned from EICMA that kind of set the scene for the coming year of the motorcycle helmet market?


Well, the one thing that we didn’t talk about is just the general sales of motorcycles, which is obviously the most important indicator of helmet sales. And for the last decade, before Covid, motorcycles sales were not particularly great in either Europe or the Western countries. And that has turned around. I was talking to very knowledgeable people in Italy, and they’ve had double-digit growth even this year, well after Covid. People have a renewed interest in motorcycles and motorcycle sales, especially in Southern Europe, and only the UK was flat but not down. And even the Northern European countries had increases and the Southern European countries had big increases. The United States has sold a lot of motorcycles, and we, of course, have ATV and UTV, which are huge markets, and I think things are going well in Australia and Canada.

So, these companies that are investing, they have to look at the cultural reasons of why people buy motorcycles outside of the transportation. And when you get more of a feel for that, you can, I think, understand better where to invest your money. But something’s happening now, whether COVID-19 triggered it or it’s just a natural cycle; I couldn’t say it’s too soon, but things have turned around, and the interest in motorcycles is definitely much different than it was before January 2020.

Andy Roberts

Thank you, Michael. That would be a very accurate kind of forecast and a way forward for 2024 of the motorcycle helmet market. So thank you so much for your time and all your insight, Michael. We have come to the end of our discussion today. Thank you.


Thank you.


Picture of About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

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