How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Helmet

The helmet is possibly the most crucial part when it comes to safety on the motorcycle. It’s the only thing that can protect your head in case of an impact – be it from a fall or from a crash. But not every helmet fits every motorcyclist. That means that you should consider a lot more than just the style of helmet and its paint job when trying to buy one.

The DOT safety rating should be something you should definitely pay attention to but beware: In the worst case, the safest helmet cannot protect you, if it doesn’t fit you well enough. In order to find the perfect motorcycle helmet, make sure to use this guide.

How Can a Helmet Protect You?

If you didn’t know that the perfect fit is the main prerequisite for your helmet to be able to protect you, that´s most likely the case because you haven’t asked yourself how motorcycle helmets function yet. For a motorcyclist, that’s basic knowledge, though, which is why we’d like to give you a short overview.

A high-quality helmet is equipped with an impact-absorbing liner. In case of an impact, the liner manages at least a good part of the forces that act on your helmeted head. We all know that a motorcycle crash can become fatal a lot easier than a car crash would: There is simply nothing around you to protect you. The only thing that can offer you some protection in case of an impact is motorcycle gear like a helmet or a protective vest.

Why Size Does Matter

If someone tells you that size doesn’t matter, that goes for a different subject – definitely not for motorcycling. The right size of a helmet is the key to a safe driving experience, but why does size matter so much?

We just explained how a helmet functions in case of an impact: It absorbs the forces that are impacting your head if you crash. But the impact-absorbing liner can only work if the helmet fits you well. If the helmet sits too loose, it can even become a coffin nail: As there would be too much space between your head and the liner, the helmet would multiply the impact of the crash and cause you harm. But a helmet that is too tight isn’t a good solution either: It could hurt and make you focus on the pain instead of your driving, which would be fatal on the road.

Your Guideline for Purchasing a New Helmet

You now know that the size of your helmet is crucial for your safety. But how exactly should you go about purchasing your motorcycle helmet?

Helmet Style

You can pick from open-face helmets, which are less safe than others, full-face helmets, modular helmets, ADVs, which are so-called adventure helmets and dirt helmets. Make sure to pick a style that protects you well and that’s suitable for the kind of motorcycling you do.

Head Shape and Circumference

There are basically three typical head shapes: round oval, intermediate oval and long oval. Make sure to have someone determine what your head shape is and measure your head circumference above your ears.

Fitting Test

Now it’s time to choose motorcycle helmets that you find appealing. It’s best to choose a little selection of different brands, as they usually have an individual fit. Some people swear on one brand, while others cannot bear wearing certain helmets because the fit and shape of the head don’t go together.

Try to pay attention to the way the helmet slips over your head: Does it go smoothly or do your ears get stuck? Afterward, make sure you like the way it sits on your head – is it too tight or too loose? Is it too heavy or too light? You should wear the helmet for at least half an hour in order to see whether it causes you a headache or other types of discomfort and pain. If it does, try another one.

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