It's time to share with you guys some words of the mastermind behind the amazing "Helmets For India" project, Mr. Niels-Peter Jensen, read below his thoughts about the motorcycle world and how he every day works to make a safe ride for thousands of riders over India.
- How you have the insight to start the whole process?
NPJ: While filming for a TV show in India in 2018, I witnessed an
accident involving a small Kid and that affected me profoundly. The more
I looked around, the more I looked around and paid attention, I saw
riders, pillions and children not wearing a helmet. And as a passionate
biker and I felt compelled to bring about a change and do something.
After many discussions with my friends and colleagues in India and
abroad, I flew back home to Germany with a clear mission. Already on
my flight home, I designed the logo and from that day on, I spend all my
time and energy organizing the launch of “Helmets for India. Safe ride
for everyone, everywhere!“
-How many people are involved in backstage to make it happen?
NPJ: Well, the first 6 months I was doing everything on my own. Most of the
people I told about my idea, they thought I´m crazy and told me I will not
make a change in India. But those kinds of reactions just gave me more
ambition to move on! The three months before the trip I got amazing help
from Ben Arslan from Germany and from a friend of mine Mallika
Prakash from India. Mallika organized the MOTO ART SHOW that we
did in Mumbai before we started the road trip towards Goa. Besides that,
she organized two Helmet Giveaways in Mumbai and Pune. Without her
support, things would have been difficult! But in the past 9 months, I´m pretty
much alone again and it is pretty hard! But when you believe in
something strongly and you have a vision, you don´t limit. I live for this
project and I will not stop before I see a change happening in India!
-Which Brands are inside the project, and how was the approach to
have the guys onboard?
NPJ: We have amazing brands who believed in this project from the very
first second. NOLAN, NEXX, HEDON, ARAI, and SENA jumped in and
helped me to realize this project. Without them, it would have been
impossible. They helped us to covert the traveling cost and they gave us
many helmets to give away during our trip from Mumbai to Goa. On the
last minute, we also got GULF Oil India involved and they sponsored 200
Kids helmet, that was a big surprise and huge last-minute support.
Royal Enfield supported us with Himalayan`s, those Bikes where perfect
for our adventure trip, because we rode a lot of off-road.
- How was the logistics in order to the helmets arrive on India,
there is any Shipping Company involved in the program?
NPJ: The logistics were the biggest problem and we tried to get a
shipping partner, but no shipping company was open to help us. I
sent about 50 helmets through the normal post office which was
risky and super expensive, but all the helmet brands who
supported us, did an amazing job and managed to send their
sponsored helmets to India and almost every helmet made it on
time to India. But still today 15 helmets are stooked in customs!
Hopefully one day we will get them out and we can give them to
people in need!
- How long you're working on this project?
NPJ: I started this project in spring 2018 and since that day I´ve been
working on it non stop! It is very hard because it takes a lot of my
time and energy, but I believe so strongly in this project and the
more I traveled to India, the more I fell in love with this beautiful
country. For me, it feels like my second home and I dedicated a big
part of my life to this project.
- Do you see the "Helmets for India" getting involved to provide
other kinds of safety materials?
NPJ: Helmets For India is about road safety, so safety gear and
education on how to behave in traffic is a big part of the movement. I
want that everybody hast he chance to ride safe on two wheels and
I want that the next generation knows how to behave on and of two
wheels. 327 people die daily in motorcycle accidents in India and
70% because of heavy head injuries, that are fatal and not
- We've seen on the page a group of artists involved, how many
artists are working together and how these people get on
board on the project?
NPJ: In total, we have 28 amazing artists and well know people
involved. They are from all over the world and I´m so grateful for
their amazing support and the unbelievable great artwork they
have done for this cause. For me, it was clear from the very
beginning to involve the artist in this project. I wanted to show people
the beauty of helmets, I wanted to show the people in India and
around the whole world that helmets are cool. If you just point with
a finger towards people and tell them „wear a helmet, or you die“
people will not use it because they want to use it. They will feel
forced to use it. We have to try to open their minds and show them
that wearing a helmet is something cool, it is a statement, you are
part of a big worldwide family! Also, I wanted to get the attention
of people who don't ride bikes. It is important to involve people
from outside the motorcycle world. Having artists involved also
opened many great doors to other scenes, events and media
- Which artist you have a special admiration? Why?
NPJ: That's a tough question! Honestly, I love them all and I really
enjoy all their kind of art. I have a great connection to all oft hem
and we are all in contact and see each other many times since day
one. Every single artist who is involved as part of this project and
part oft he HFI Family!
- Do you have some numbers of how many helmets were
distributed by "Helmets For India" this Year?
NPJ: We only did one tour in 2019 and on that tour, we handed out
almost 500 helmets. The goal was 1000 helmets, but we could not
manage it. This year in April we are going back to India and I hope
we will manage to hand out much more than last year. I traveled to
India for some meetings with helmet manufactures, so it looks
pretty good that I will get some great support from their side in the
near future. But it is not just about handing out helmets, it is
important to reach out tot he people and to speak tot hem about
road safety and to educate the younger generation about helmets
and road safety. If you look what has happened in the past month
in India and if you type #helmetsarecool on Instagram, you can see
that there is a movement starting in India and the daily messages I
get from India shows me that we plant a seed and that the flower is
growing slowly but very strong! That makes me really proud and
- Do you guys see "Helmets For India" expanding to another
NPJ: Oh YES, FOR SURE! Road safety is in many countries a big
issue and needs to be changed! The focus is on India for now, but I
will cover more countries and I just hope to get more support from
people and especially from the industry from around the world. If I
show you my Email account, you will see that I get many emails
from Indonesia and Africa. But they are more countries, many more
who need a movement as HFI started in India.
- We know about lots of countries with safety issues, do you
have the "Most scary riding place on earth"? Why?
NPJ: The scariest ride I ever did was the night ride from
Mumbai to Pune! That was like a PlayStation Game with no rules
and you only have one life and if you don`t pay 100% attention and
just do one little mistake, you are gone! But I have been riding
Bikes all my life and I love everything that has two wheels and me
feel more comfortable on two wheels that just on my two feet, so
I´m not scared, I know what to do and I concentrate and try to go
with the flow and enjoy it!
- Which bike do you consider the most dangerous to ride and
the most fun?
NPJ: Every bike can be dangerous, depends who rides it and
depends on how you ride it! I rode so many different bikes and I loved
all oft hem. Every bike I rode had something unique and his own
character and was fun for what is offered to me while I was riding it. I
love Motorcycles, it is my life, but I only ride bikes that touch me, I
don't like those soulless modern plastic bikes, they are not fun to
me at all. They don`t speak to me! But speaking about my favorite
Bike of all time...it is my Triumph Bonneville from 1969 that I rode
when I was 17 and lived in San Francisco. After 28 years, I have it
now at home in Germany. That bike is my biggest two-wheel
treasure and I don't think any other bike could beat that. IT IS
- How you deal personally with the Fun versus Danger
meanwhile, you ride?
NPJ: Another tough question! You know, I really feel safer and
comfortable on two wheels than I feel when I walk on my two feet!
I was over 20 years a professional Mountainbiker (Downhill,
Slopestyle, Freeriding, and Dirtjumping) and I always pushed
myself whenever I rode my bike. I´m not scared when I ride, I know
what I can do and I know my limits, still today I try to push my
limits, but I´m old enough to step back and to understand that this
ist o much. But I also know, it is not just you who can make a
mistake, when you share the roads with thousands of other road
users, then there are thousand other reasons to have a crash that
can end fatally. So I use ta helmet, the right protection gear and I´m
paying a lot of attention and try my best to stay out of trouble!
- Any safety tips that can be useful for travelers and everyday
NPJ: Don't think too much about what could happen, enjoy the ride,
feel the bike and feel comfortable, be one with your Bike. Don´t
push your personal limits, don't try to show off and do stupid things
and use a HELMET and the right protective gear. The industry
offers so many cool products that make you look cool and protect
you in case you have an unlucky day.
SAFE RIDE FOR EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE!