In accidents which involve two-wheeled vehicles the helmet plays a life-saving role, but very little is known about the motorcycle rider's perception of the helmet. We evaluated the relationships between having been involved in an accident and dissatisfaction with the helmet, and between the perception of motorcycle riders and the objective features of the helmet. This was a case–control study: riders of motorized two-wheelers who had been involved in accidents (accident cases) were compared against a similarly interviewed sample of riders that had not been in accidents (control cases). Information about the driver, the vehicle and the helmet was collected in all interviews. To evaluate the relationships, logistic regressions were carried out. The majority of drivers were dissatisfied with their helmets, but no evidence was found to link this dissatisfaction with having been involved in an accident. The two most common complaints related to noisiness, followed by the helmet visor. Complaints did not seem to be statistically associated with physical features of the helmet.