"This time around we’re featuring helmets – and these safety devices are more than just practical, they’re art. More than that, for a professional race driver or rider they’re also their trademarks – their identities whilst their faces are "
Davida Helmets – Excellence in safety and design
Jeremy Webb visited the UK's only motorcycle helmet company to see why they are so highly respected by bikers and racing drivers.
When we think of motorcycle helmets we generally name Arai, Shoei, AGV, Shark, Nolan et Al. Not many motorcyclists globally would name Davida helmets, a small family-run business in Birkenhead, Merseyside. But this will soon be changing as the company expands its reputation and product range.
I was invited up to North as the M1 and M6 signposts, to visit Davida – a small company making a big name for itself. I jumped on my bike and rode to their headquarters.
The company produced the first Davida helmet in 1984 and has now become the only UK manufacturer of motorcycle helmets. The brand has established a firm position as a valued British Heritage brand. Experience gained from over forty years of riding, engineering, and manufacturing, Davida has been rewarded with an international reputation for the quietest, most comfortable, and well-made open face motorcycle helmets available.
The brand has now expanded to creating Full Face helmets, with their Koura model already receiving great reviews.
The Koura is a retro-inspired, high performance, full face helmet, clearly identifiable as a Davida, with an exceptionally low profile and strikingly bold styling that will be impossible to go unnoticed on the streets and track.
A result of the enhancement of Davida’s Technical Team, with the very best expertise of Italian MotoGP & F1 racing helmet designers, the Koura looks superb and fits – to coin a phrase – like a glove. Sound blocking is excellent which is always essential when choosing a helmet.
Building on the success, Davida produces equipment to augment and enhance your riding experience. They produce their own visors and leathers. Also selling goggles to many countries as the sole distributor of Jeantet Aviators.
While visiting the relatively small company I was impressed by the dedication and passion the whole team puts into the products. This is seen in the finished items. From helmets to gloves the brand has a luxury look and feel. The majority of staff have devoted more than 20 years of service to the company, which brings a wealth of knowledge, manufacturing flexibility, and technical strength. The brand is derived from the collective expertise of a talented and loyal staff.
Their replica designs of bygone racing helmets are glorious to see, invoking so many memories for me and many others of a certain age. Being that my Grandad rode at the IOM TT he would have worn one of the helmets now reproduced so well by Davida.
Davida offers the buyer a uniquely accessible custom design service which has enabled the company to establish a solid position within the marketplace. They are now the go-to manufacturer of choice for a wealth of notable companies, brands, and individuals, in fashion, motorcycling and the media, requiring product collaborations. They are in demand from celebrities and racers, with many open-face helmets now being used at events such as the Goodwood Revival and the Silverstone Classic.
Looking around the factory, I viewed the whole process of producing a helmet. It is a time consuming and dedicated operation.
There are seventeen steps to produce each helmet.
From Step 1: Shell Preparation – Drilling holes into GRP shells for the location of the chin strap and goggle strap retainer,
To Step 17: Quality Testing – A quantity of every batch is independently tested by TUV and British Standards to ensure quality & performance of materials and construction.
It is important to acknowledge that Davida is the smallest helmet manufacturer in the world with the most safety certifications and they are proud that the helmets are still handmade in the UK by highly skilled technicians to the precise and exacting manufacturing standards required by the latest safety standards such as DOT FMVSS no. 218, ECER2205 and BS 6658:1985Type B.
Thanks to the Davida team for showing me around and I will certainly be using their products on road tests. The helmets not only look superb, they are highly effective at their primary function of protection. Proven to give an outstanding performance on the road, Davida’s unique helmet shell and absorption liner follows the shape and size of the head to prevent lift at speed and give an exceptionally quiet ride. All their helmets are lined with real leather.
One notable thing to mention is their positive customer reviews, showing the company and client engagement. They have received over 500 positive comments on their website. The people at Davida offer a personal approach and excellence of customer service, which is rare these days.
This along with the quality of the products makes the company stand out and survive amongst the big players in motorcycle products.
Photos permission of Davida. July 2018
To find out more about Davida Helmets:
Davida (UK) Ltd, 4-6 Pilgrim Street, Birkenhead, CH41 5EJ T: +44(0)151 647 2419 F:+44 (0)151 649 9611 http://www.davida-helmets.com Facebook: @Davidahelmets Twitter: @DavidaUK. Instagram:davidaukltd
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