There are many ways of making the risky hobby of motorcycling a bit safer. The proper training and insurances are one part. Equally important is the choice of the appropriate safety gear. In many countries, wearing a motorcycle helmet is mandatory. But just choosing any helmet isn’t enough. There are some factors we should look at when deciding on the right gear. Here are the best tips for buying an effective motorcycle helmet.
You Should Pay Attention to This With Motorcycle Helmets
These days, we have a huge variety of motorcycle helmets and many ways to buy them. Buying motorcycle helmets online is often the best choice for finding both affordable and highly rated products. If you order motorcycle helmets in a web shop, consider the following characteristics:
Motorcycle Helmet Standards
There are several institutions that test the quality of helmets. Some work in tandem with the government, others are private organizations. They each come up with a quality standard they expect a good helmet to have and test products on whether they can fulfill them. In these tests, the helmets get subjected to high force impacts, rotational forces, weather influences and much more to see how well it would do in an actual crash.
If the helmet succeeds in these tests, they get a certificate that is typically marked as a badge if you are looking for a new helmet. Make sure your helmet has one of the following institution’s blessings:
- BSI | British Standard Institute
- DOT |U.S. Department of Transportation
- ECE |European Economic Commission
- FIM |Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
- SHARP |UK Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme
- SNELL |Private US non-profit Snell Memorial Foundation
Motorcycle Helmet Styles
Motorcycle helmets have many variants. These are suited for different uses and have different protective qualities. The difference between full-face helmets and open or ¾-helmets is the most distinctive. The latter might be comfortable to wear, but do not protect your jaw, chin, or nose, which get often impacted in crashes.
The best choice for a protective helmet is a modular or full-face helmet. These cover your entire head and protect your face and chin with a visor and chin guard. When using modular helmets, you can flip these up to reveal your face if necessary.
Make sure to do some research into what helmet would suit your purpose best, for example, if you are looking for a helmet for commutes vs a helmet for racing.
Motorcycle Helmet Sizes
Motorcycle helmets come in different sizes and often different models that fit various head shapes. Typically, if you order online, a specific helmet’s shop page will give you the model’s sizing guide and which measures you should take. These are typically your head’s circumference and shape.
- The circumference is measured with a tape measure. You start approximately 2 cm above your eyebrows and lead the tape measure around the back of your head back to your forehead.
- Head shapes for motorcycle helmets can be divided into long ovals, intermediate ovals and round ovals. The best way to determine your head shape is to flatten your hair as best as possible and take a picture of the top of your head, or let a friend do it.
Order the helmet that is closest to your shape and circumference on the sizing guide, or try the two closest in either direction out and buy the one that fits better.
If you pull on the chin bar and try to move the helmet, your cheeks should move with it, and it should barely slide from side to side or past your eyes when you move it up and down. Equally, if you can fit four of your fingers under the padding at your forehead or cheeks, the helmet is probably too big still. You should also never be able to pull it off your head in any way when the chin strap is fastened.
Motorcycle Helmet Prices
A good motorcycle helmet will most likely be a bit pricey, but with most products, the highest prices aren’t always a signifier of the best quality. A good starting point is to compare the helmet prices of those who have passed the safety standards and choose one among these.
Extra Features in Motorcycle Helmets
Helmets can have many features next to their protective ability. Some helmets have more vents than others, allowing you to ventilate the helmet better. If they can be closed manually, you can shut them in the winter and keep the inside warm. Your visor might be tinted or coated with special, scratch resistant materials. Some helmets allow you to remove and switch out the inner lining. Others might have buttons on the side of the shell that allow you to control connected Bluetooth devices.
Take a look at a helmet’s extra features to determine which one will be the most comfortable and helpful.
The Lifespan of a Motorcycle Helmet
Since you want your motorcycle helmet to always be in its peak condition to efficiently protect you, you have to replace it regularly. For a helmet that has not been in an impact at all, the materials start to degenerate after about five years. If you have been in a crash, or have accidentally dropped your helmet, it is best to replace it immediately. Even invisible damages can lessen its efficiency.
If you take good care of your helmet and don’t handle it carelessly, you will have to replace it every five years.
When riding a motorcycle, your head is vulnerable and impacts to your brain can easily be fatal or leave you with long-lasting medical consequences. That is why wearing a motorcycle helmet is critical. A good helmet was certified by appropriate organizations and fits the intended purpose of your rides. Additionally, the helmet should be exactly the right fit and must be replaced at least every five years to protect you efficiently.