ISKANDAR PUTERI: He once sold a motorcycle helmet for RM20,000 to a businessman.
Saifudin Mohd Yasin’s interest in collecting these hard hats has turned into a lucrative business for him at the young age of 25.
It all began due to his fondness for bikes. But he is no Mat Rempit.
Then an invitation to visit Japan marked a turning point for him.
When Saifudin completed his diploma in business studies, his brother-in-law asked him to visit Japan.
“My brother-in-law was doing his masters and doctorate over there. I had always wanted to go to Japan as the helmet culture over there is quite different, ” he said.
Saifudin went on to visit Japan several more times to learn about helmets from the experts there.
He has more than 20 helmets in his private collection.
His most prized helmet is one that he personally designed which he called the Samurai as it was inspired by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Look East policy.
He eventually opened a shop in Pontian, selling helmets mostly from Japan and Indonesia.
“The average price for an original helmet is about RM2,000 but there are helmets that are priced between RM17,000 and RM20,000, ” he said.
He said the pricey ones are due to its rarity or of limited editions.
“Motorcyclists like to own such helmets as it makes them stand out from others, ” he said.
Saifudin said he sells mostly Arai, Shoei and NHK helmets.
“Besides local motorcyclists, most of my customers are Singaporeans and expatriates living around Iskandar Malaysia who have big bikes, ” he said.
He observed that his foreign customers preferred to buy full face helmets.
Business has been good so far, he said, adding that he just opened a fourth branch in Setia Eco Garden here after Pontian, Selayang and Kuantan. He plans to open an outlet in Kedah soon.
Saifudin said there is more awareness among Malaysian motorcyclists to own original helmets due to its safety features.
“Copy” helmets were made out of plastic and easily damaged.
“Original helmets are made out of carbon fibre where its shell is extremely hard. This makes it safer for motorcyclists, ” he said.