Last Updated on November 1, 2021 by Stephen Paul Robertson
The presence of a motorcycle helmet can make the difference between a fractured skull and an intact one. To omit permanent head injuries from your life equation, an article of clothing you need to possess is a motorcycle helmet.
As they come in different styles, sizes, and types, we get that you might be confused about how to choose a motorcycle helmet that is the right fit for you. Well, the only advice we have for you right now is to dig into the article; hopefully, by the end, you will have an answer to leave with.
How to choose a Motorcycle helmet
Although choosing a motorcycle helmet may seem like no big deal, you need to take extra care and be thorough before making a purchase, as selecting the wrong type might instead end up creating problems that will increase the risk of accidents. Hence, follow our step-by-step guide diligently.
Choose the type of helmet
When shopping, you will be surprised to find out that there are various types of motorcycle helmets to choose from.
To start with, there is the full-face helmet which provides full protection by shielding all sensitive areas; it is overall non-adjustable but some will let you lift the visor.
Unlike the full-face helmet, the open face helmet has a revealing front that allows you to feel the breeze with every ride. It is overall safe for the head, but cannot guarantee the safety of your chin.
Next is the touring helmet, which has the special characteristic of blocking out some unnecessary noises and helping you focus on your riding. It has an adjustable visor that can be flipped up to reveal your entire face.
The Hi-Viz motorcycle helmets are the choice you should make if you intend to show off a little. An amazing combination of sleek style and bright colors makes such helmets attention grabbing on the street.
When you want the best of both worlds (i.e., street helmets and dirt helmets) the got to option is a dual-sport motorcycle helmet. It has the perfect balance between style and safety, making it equally suitable for use on the road and racetracks.
Once you have looked into all types of helmets, identified how they differ, and figured out which would be best for your line of use, you can go ahead with the next step.
Identifying one’s head shape and size
Believe us when we say that seeking a helmet that fits your head properly is one of the most important parts of your purchasing journey!
A motorcycle helmet that doesn’t fit properly will give you a headache on the road, which in turn will cause you to lose focus and be prone to accidents. Wondering how to tell if a motorcycle helmet is too small or too big?
Firstly, get somebody to identify which shape your skull is – round oval; intermediate oval, or long oval; you can also ask them to click a picture and then figure it out yourself. Afterward, using a measuring ribbon, find out the circumference of your head and in between motorcycle helmet sizes present on a helmet size chart, identification seems to be compatible.
Trial and error
Now that you have narrowed it down to the various types and sizes, it is time to try some on!
Do not be shy and put a few different helmets on to find the one for you; you will need to avoid ones that cause even the slightest discomfort. A good motorcycle helmet shouldn’t be too tight or too loose around any place, cause your ears to fold or make your head ring; the sides should cushion your cheeks and the front shouldn’t hinder your view.
Wear a few different ones and select the helmet that allows you to be at ease.
Wear it for a while
Leaving the helmet on for a couple of minutes will let briefly experience how the helmet feels. If it fits like a glove, it is okay to go with, but you shouldn’t feel any sort of pain that makes you want to get it off. Once removed, the helmet shouldn’t leave scarring even if temporary.
Following all these steps will have likely led you to a motorcycle helmet that is meant to be for you!
How do I choose my first motorcycle helmet?
Research brands and types
When shopping for your first motorcycle helmet, you will be naturally unaware of a lot of details. Hence, a good thing to do is research motorcycle helmet brands and the different types of motorcycle helmets they offer.
However, to ease your way of choosing your first motorcycle helmet, our list of top 6 best beginner’s motorcycle helmet can come in handy.
With the help of a friend, get an aerial shot of your head to determine its shape; make sure your hair is flattened down so that it doesn’t interfere with your view of the shape. Up next, measure the circumference, and then, using the size chart provided by the helmet brand you have chosen, select the one that will be right for you.
Visit the store
While purchasing your first motorcycle helmet, it is best to shop physically from a store rather than ordering online. This will allow you to try different ones, acknowledge all types and be more aware of the fitting.
Trying on helmets
Select a few helmets that seem to appeal to you and then try them all on one by one. You are meant to be looking for something that is not too tight or too loose; it should not cause any pain and it should not move around on its own. The eye port should start from your eyebrows and end at your cheekbones. You can also try leaving them on for a couple of minutes to see which seems more preferable.
Make a purchase
When you have found one that seems to be the overall right choice for you, you can go ahead and buy it. Although it may seem to be a little tight at the beginning, with time, the inner lining will break to match your facial features.
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How much does a motorcycle helmet cost?
Like all things, the prices of a motorcycle helmet will vary between brands, quality, types, and sizes. Prices can range between $40 to $1800 meaning you will have a huge variety of options to choose from. Fancy helmets that are eye catching along with the ones that have good ventilation systems are more on the expensive side, whereas non-adjustable ones are cheaper as they have fewer features to offer.
Usually, you can find good quality helmets within $150 to $250 but if you are looking for something that is made of a harder material and offers more protection, you can also look into higher-priced ones.
Read Also: How much does a motorcycle helmet cost?
What key features should I have to check?
Firstly, when choosing the best motorcycle helmet for yourself, you need to look into its protection ability. A motorcycle that meets safety standards and will not break upon impact is worth the money.
Secondly, you will need to look at the comfort factor. While riding, discomfort can cause you to lose focus which can lead you to accidents. Thus, check if your motorcycle helmet offers good ventilation and has visors that do not become blurry with breathing. Removable liners are also important, as they can be replaced when it frays or becomes smelly.
Lastly, the color will help you be noticed in the street. Bright colors are more reflective and will make sure you never go unnoticed in heavy traffic or the dark, while black or dark-colored helmets may seem cool but will not include this factor.
How tight should a motorcycle helmet fit?
A motorcycle helmet should not press too tightly onto any points, cause pain at pressure points or leave any red marks on your forehead and cheeks upon removal; any of these is a sign that your motorcycle helmet is too small. It should not make you feel the need to remove it. However, the helmet should also be tight enough to prevent it from wobbling around and creating noises; you should not feel the need to fix it constantly.
To conclude, you will need to make sure the helmet serves as no distraction throughout the entire ride to make it wearable.
How to test the fitting of a helmet
Here are some things that you need to check to make sure your helmet passes the fitting test.
- The eye port should not be more than 2 fingers above the eye.
- Ears should be able to easily unfold after putting the helmet on.
- The helmet shouldn’t move unless you are moving your head.
- A helmet should leave no scarring once remove.
- There should be no pressure points that are likely to cause you pain.
- The motorcycle helmet should not be in your line of vision.
How to measure motorcycle helmet size
Browsing online will help you stumble across charts for helmet size. These charts vary for adults and youth. Once you have measured the circumference of your head by holding a measuring tape from the back of your head to the top of your eyebrows, you can check which helmet size is suitable for you. XXL, XL, L, M, S, XS, XXS are some of the available sizes.
If you are purchasing a helmet from a known brand, they are likely to have their own size chart, which will help you shop easily.
Helmet Care and Purchasing Tips
You will need to often clean the visor using water and soft tissues to make sure it is perfectly clean and easy to see through. Do not use anything rough to avoid scratching. Besides that, you can also clean the shell using a rag and mild shampoo. After cleaning, let it dry, and always keep the visor open to provide good ventilation so that the lining doesn’t get damaged.
When purchasing, you should look for ones that have removable liners so that it is easier to clean; you can also replace the liners with new ones. This allows long-term usage. Besides that, the fit, type, and comfort are other characteristics you need to look into before purchasing.
What Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet?
- Not buying based on needs: Choose your motorcycle helmet type based on whether you intend to use it for traveling, daily commute, or on racetracks. Otherwise, you will miss out on all the features that the helmet will have to assist your journey.
- Buying based on looks: Remember that you are originally buying the helmet to ensure a safe journey and not for how it will make you look on the road. Protection should be your topmost priority.
- Purchasing the wrong sized helmet: As we have mentioned before, a helmet that does not fit is anything but a hassle that will make you lose focus. Hence, be sure to make a fit test prior to making a purchase.
- Buying without trying it on: There could be many unwanted features of the helmet that would go unnoticed if you didn’t bother trying it on first.
If the harness is too tight, will I have any problem with a long ride?
When the harness is too tight, it can choke you or leave an ugly scar. However, you should only loosen it up a little, as otherwise, your helmet will not be able to protect you properly.
What will the helmet be used for?
Motorcycle helmets are used when riding to prevent severe injuries to the head in cases of accident or crashing. It is affecting in terms of reducing risks in dangerous situations.
How can I improve my helmet fit?
You can swap the inner lining or cheek pads to loosen the helmet up and allow more comfortable usage.
What is the safest motorcycle helmet?
Motorcycle helmets made of carbon fiber are the safest. Despite being lightweight, the can withstand a large amount of pressure or force.
Which type of helmet is not allowed?
This differs depending on the helmet standards set by a different country. Usually, very lightweight ones are banned as they do not provide good safety.
Now you know how to choose a motorcycle helmet for yourself. Although lengthy, the process should be gone through with patience as the best motorcycle helmet will keep your head safe even during the worst crashes. Look into the material, the type, and the fit before making a choice.
Lastly, we hope you had a good time reading and had all your queries answered. Have a safe ride!
Paul, a graduate from the University of California, has been a Safety Advisor for over 5 years in USA. Along with his other 2 partners, who are professional bikers, he has been the chief of the headsafetyguard.com to create mass awareness on an often neglected issue: HEAD SAFETY