Motorcycle helmets are important for any motorcycle rider. Not only do they protect your head from injury in the event of an accident, but they can also provide a feeling of security when you’re out on the road. They also provide protection against non-fatal injuries.
A motorcycle rider’s safety depends on the quality of their protective gear, but, with so many options on the market, how do you find a helmet that fits your needs?
In this guide, we will cover the basics about what you need to look for when buying a new helmet.
What to look for when buying a motorcycle helmet?
When buying a helmet you should know which type of helmet do you need. As there are many types of helmets for different motorcycle experiences.
Types of helmet
When you’re shopping for a motorcycle helmet, it’s important to remember that there are mainly two types of helmets: full-face and open face. Full-face helmets offer more protection than open-face ones because they have an extra shield in front.
- Full Face Motorcycle Helmet – Full-face motorcycle helmets cover the entire head and provide a double shield in front of your eyes. This type is usually more expensive than open-face ones, but they offer better protection for the rider. With these types, goggles are not needed because there is no opening on the bottom half that could allow dirt or debris to enter into one’s eye area. You do sacrifice some peripheral vision since with this helmet it can be difficult at times to see what is happening around you when viewed from an angle other than straight ahead.
- Open Face Motorcycle Helmet – Open face motorcycles provide air circulation on your cheeks or at the top of your head. These helmets do not protect you as much as other helmets, so you need to wear eye protection. Open face motorcycle helmets still have good peripheral vision, but only when looking forward and not when wearing sunglasses.
- Modular helmet – A modular helmet is a type of headgear that offers an expanded range of vision, while still providing the coverage and protection necessary for motorcycle use. This type of helmet can be found in two styles: “flip-up” (which includes a chin bar) or “modular” with no protective bars.
- Off-road / motocross – Off-road or motocross motorcycle helmets may have a chin guard but not a face shield. These are typically worn with goggles to keep dust and other particles from entering the helmet’s eye-port. These types of helmets are designed for use in less populated areas like deserts, jungles, swamps, and off-road tracks.
- Dual-sport or adventure helmets – Dual-sport or adventure helmets are designed to be worn in all types of terrain. This type of helmet is usually a hybrid motorcycle helmet combining the best attributes from full face and open face styles. A dual-sport may also have a visor, goggles shield for eye protection, and built-in sun blocker.
- A helmet can be a great investment, but the first step is to make sure it’s the right size. The helmet should fit snugly around your head without feeling tight or too loose–it should sit low over your forehead with enough space for about two fingers between it and your eyebrows; there shouldn’t be any room in front of either eye.
- A helmet that’s too big will not provide the protection for which it is designed, while a helmet that’s too small will be uncomfortable and won’t protect you as well in an accident or fall. The only way to make sure your motorcycle helmet fits correctly is to try one on before buying it.
You want a helmet that has good ventilation, preferably with vents. This is important, so your head doesn’t overheat on hot days and get too sweaty when it’s humid outside–leading to the possibility of getting heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
The right size
Helmets come in different sizes which are measured either by circumference (the measurement around the largest part of your head) or by length (the measurement from front to back, not including the chin strap).
You want a helmet that has removable liners for replacement. If you have a motorcycle crash and find out that there’s an irreparable crack in the shell–or if it gets wet inside and smells bad after a while–you can replace the liner.
You want to make sure that your helmet has an outer shell made of either Kevlar, Fiberglass, or Carbon fiber. These materials are stronger than plastic and will help protect you if you get into an accident with something heavier like a car.
While price shouldn’t be the primary factor that dictates what helmet you get, it is an important consideration.
- Low-end helmets – You want to avoid these at all costs–they don’t offer the same level of protection, and some even have vents that can easily break off in a crash. The price for low-end helmets will be around $50 or less.
- Mid-range helmets – These helmets have more protection and a higher level of quality. They usually cost around $250-$400, but they offer better safety features that are worth the investment.
- High-end helmets – Some people would say these types of helmets are overkill because they’re often double or triple as expensive as other options (they can go up to $1000). But if you’re looking for the highest level of protection, it’s worth investing in a high-end helmet.
Material of construction:
The construction material for the helmet will affect how it feels on your head and how much protection you’ll have.
- The most common shell material for a helmet is polycarbonate, which can’t be crushed by hand and bends before it breaks. However, this means that some helmets made of this type may shatter upon impact if hit at just the right angle
- ABS plastic: (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) ABS is a strong, durable type of plastic that’s lightweight but offers little protection from potential impact to the skull. It also can make noise if it comes into contact with another surface, such as an asphalt road or a car bumper.
What are the laws in your state?
Some states have universal helmet laws, which means all riders must wear one. Others require only certain people to do so (i.e., minors). Be sure you know the law in your state and whether or not you’re required to wear a helmet before hitting the road!
How much should you spend on a helmet?
- The price of a helmet can range from $50 to over $1000! It’s important that you consider your needs and budget, so be sure to do some research before making the purchase.
- First-time buyers are often surprised by how many different features there are available for motorcycle helmets, which may lead them to spend more than they intended. If this is something you’re concerned about, it might make sense for you to get an inexpensive helmet first and buy another later when your needs change or if money becomes less of a concern.
Where are motorcycle helmets made?
Helmets are made all around the world, including in Europe and North America. The government has strict safety regulations for helmets manufactured within its borders, which is why many U.S.-based manufacturers ship their products overseas to be distributed back home.
How much does a motorcycle helmet weigh?
Different brands and models will have different weights since there is no standard weight for helmets. Generally speaking, a motorcycle helmet should weigh less than three pounds
What are motorcycle helmets made from?
Motorcycle helmets are made from different materials, including plastic and fiberglass. The helmet material should be lightweight yet sturdy enough to protect you in the event of a crash.
What helmets can I wear for different types of riding?
You might be wondering what the best type of helmet is for your specific needs. You can wear anyone you want, as long as it meets all safety requirements and fits properly. Here are some suggestions.
- Cruiser – If you’re riding a cruiser on city streets or early morning highways with little traffic, then an open face helmet may work for you; typically, these helmets are light and stylish–but they do not offer much protection to the back of your head in case of falls.
- Off-road – An off-road motorcycle rider who spends more time in nature than pavement would likely find that a full-face helmet offers ample ventilation while still protecting their entire head from falling debris–they also protect better against bugs and insects.
- Dirt bike – A dirt bike racer will probably need a motocross helmet with a full-face shield because dirt bikes can go off the track and get into all sorts of unpredictable situations.
- Motocross – A motocross rider will need a full-face helmet with an open-mouth design that allows for increased airflow.
- Street bike – Street bike riders need a full-face helmet as well, but the open mouth design is not necessary.
- Routine rider – Finally, a person who rides their motorcycle to and from work every day would likely find that a half-face helmet offers the best ventilation without sacrificing protection for their jaw.
How do I know if my helmet fits correctly?
- Make sure the helmet is level on your head.
- The helmet should fit snugly against your head.
- You shouldn’t be able to pull the helmet off by tugging on it with just two fingers, but you also don’t want it so tight that too much pressure is being put on your chin or neck.
Tip: If you can see the light between the bottom of a helmet and your eyebrows, it’s too large for you.
- The chin strap should be as tight as possible without causing discomfort or pain in order to ensure that the back of the helmet stays secure against your head during an accident–you’ll need to adjust both straps equally, so they’re not too loose or too tight at any point around your neck.
- It’s a good idea to get some help from someone else when you’re trying on a new helmet or to ask them for their opinion.
Do all helmets meet safety standards?
No, not all motorcycle helmets meet safety standards. In fact, some helmets are only certified for a single year, and then they have to be replaced with new ones. This is partly because you should replace your helmet if it’s been involved in an accident or even just dropped onto the floor from a height of about one foot, as this can cause the helmet to crack.
It’s also because the safety standards are becoming more stringent–both in terms of how helmets protect against head injuries and how they’re constructed–which means that some older models can’t be certified without substantial changes, which would make them expensive for manufacturers to produce.
Which is better modular or full-face helmet?
This is a matter of personal preference. There are advantages to both types of helmets, so it probably depends on how you intend to use your motorcycle and whether you’re willing to trade in some protection for convenience.
If you like the feel of an open-face helmet with goggles or glasses (which can shield your eyes from bugs or dust), they’re a good option.
If you want the extra protection of a full-face helmet but also like to talk on your phone or drink coffee without taking it off (or if you have an unusually shaped head), modular helmets can be really helpful–they let you easily flip up the chin bar when not needed and keep everything else secure against wind and rain.
Can I wear glasses with a motorcycle helmet?
Yes, many motorcycle helmets allow eyeglasses to be worn. If you wear glasses or goggles while riding your bike, it is important that the helmet has a face shield and/or open-face design with built-in ventilation so that air flows over your eyes for protection from bugs and debris. Some full-face helmets also offer removable cheek pads for eyeglass wearers.
There are some helmets that have a built-in sun visor, which protects against the glare of sunlight and makes it easier to see when riding at night or through foggy conditions. Remember: if you’re wearing glasses with your helmet, be sure they’ve been tested as safety glass! This is not just for the lenses but also for the frames.
Can I use a cycling helmet for motorcycle riding?
No, you can’t. The design of the bicycle helmet is different from that of a motorcycle helmet and offers much less protection than a regular motorcycle helmet.
Can snowmobile helmets be used for motorcycle riding?
Yes, you can. But remember: snowmobile helmets offer less protection than a regular motorbike helmet and they have been designed for use in different conditions with the risk of exposure to cold weather much lower, so be extra careful when choosing one!
Can motorcycle helmets be used for auto racing?
No, you can’t. Auto racing helmets are snell certified and are designed to withstand impacts on the corners of your head. Motorcycle helmets are not snell certified, so they offer less protection in those circumstances.
Can motorcycle helmets be recycled?
Yes, they can. You should always make sure to recycle your motorcycle helmet when it is no longer being used by you or any of the other riders who might need a new one in order to keep the environment clean and safe for everyone else!
Should a motorcycle helmet be replaced after an accident?
Yes, it should. A motorbike helmet is designed to withstand a single impact when traveling at speeds of less than 17 mph, but after an accident the design could be compromised and not as safe for continued use. You will also need to replace your motorcycle helmets if you have only one which has been in any form of collision or falls from a height of over six feet.
Related article: How often should you replace your helmet
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when choosing the right motorcycle helmet. Hopefully, this article has helped make your decision easier and safer for yourself and those around you on the road. We have also included links at the bottom that will lead you to more detailed information about each type of helmet if needed. If not already clear from our post, it is crucial to wear a properly fitted and certified helmet while riding any kind of motorcycle or bicycle in order to reduce head injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), which results from the trauma inflicted by sudden acceleration-deceleration forces experienced during an accident – so please don’t forget!