Over 10 million American households have at least one motorcycle, proof we’re a nation of passionate bikers.
Aside from having a gleaming bike, it’s crucial to have a stylish but functional motorcycle helmet to complete the set-up. Perhaps you’re struggling to find the perfect fit for you, and you’re not sure where to start.
Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know.
How Are Motorcycle Helmets Different?
Before you find the best motorcycle helmet, it’s important to understand how they’re unique. Although new technology adds features, the four components stay the same: the outer shell, impact-absorbing liner, padded comfort layer, and chin strap.
You’ll notice the outer shell is the exterior part and is often made from carbon fiber, molded plastics, or a blend of the two. Its goal is to protect your head from impact and prevent rocks or grit from hitting you.
The impact-absorbing liner is inside the outer shell, often made from polystyrene foam. This is crucial as it absorbs shock so that it doesn’t hurt your head. Also, there’s a padded comfort layer where your headrests and are designed to wick away sweat.
Holding it all together is a chin strap. It’s covered in a similar material to the comfort layer to help wick away sweat. Lastly, motorcycle helmets have vents so you don’t overheat as you ride.
As you browse models, make sure they feature a U.S Department of Transportation (D.O.T) sticker. This shows the helmet has been tested so it meets certain standards. For instance, organizations will test whether you get enough peripheral vision or if it effectively protects you.
For example, you’ll find stylish and safe helmets here: https://americanlegendrider.com/collections/skull-helmets-motorcycle.
Know the Different Types of Helmets
To guarantee safe riding, you must find the ultimate helmet for you. Decide the type of biking you plan to do, whether it’s touring or off-road, as it will determine the style. For instance:
Full Face Helmet
A full face helmet offers the most protection as it encloses your head and neck. Plus, your eyes and nose are protected by a face shield.
You’ll notice there’s a chin bar to protect your jaw should an accident happen. The beauty about full face helmets is that they’re versatile and accommodate many types of bikers like tourers, cruisers, and adventurers.
But while full face helmets offer the most protection, they are least ventilated, problematic if you’re in a hot climate.
Another great style is the modular helmet, otherwise known as the flip-up helmet. Unlike the full face style, you can unclasp the chin bar and visor but this isn’t intended for while you’re riding. It’s useful for stationary riders who want to grab a bite without removing their helmet.
Modular helmets are also heavier because of the hinge features installed. This is a popular option for touring and commuters.
Open Face (¾) Helmets
Open face helmets, or a ¾ helmet, cover the top and sides of your head while the rest of your face is exposed. There’s no chin bar, making this a less safe option.
Many open-face helmets have a partial or full-face visor so you’re protected from the elements. Open face helmets are popular with cruisers, retros, and classics.
Half helmets cover the top of your head to your eyebrows, so there’s less protection. But some models offer coverage on the back of your neck and ears while exposing your face.
These are the go-to helmet if you want airflow, but there’s less protection than an open-face helmet. It’s also wise to grab sunnies or goggles for a comfortable ride.
As the name suggests, off-road helmets are designed for riders who want to tear along dirt roads. The design is like a full or open-face helmet and has a large visor. Off-road helmets are designed for maximum protection, little weight, and excellent ventilation so you can explore during the warmer months.
Determine Your Head Shape
Once you’ve decided on the style, it’s time to determine your head shape. The three main ones are long oval, intermediate oval, and round oval.
If you’re not sure which you are, ask a friend to snap an aerial photo of your head. Then, use the results to find the perfect helmet for you.
How to Find the Perfect Size
You’ll need a soft tape measure to figure out your motorcycle helmet size. Ask a friend to run this tape above your eyebrows and around the back of your head, including the widest part. Once you’re finished, compare the results with a helmet’s size chart so you know what to buy.
Try the Helmet On
Whether you’ve ordered a helmet online or in-person, try it on. You likely have to grab the straps and spread them apart so they fit over your head.
When it’s on, consider how it feels. If there’s any pain or obvious discomfort, then check it’s the right size. When a helmet fits, the cushion sits against your cheeks and when you grab the chin bar, your face should move and not the helmet.
Note, if your helmet slides then you’ll need a smaller one. It’s wise to wear the helmet for at least 30 minutes to ensure it’s not uncomfortable or digging into you.
Enjoy Our Motorcycle Helmet Guide
Hopefully, you’ll use our motorcycle helmet guide to find your perfect match.
The type of riding you enjoy will determine the style, so consider this as you browse. It’s important that you accurately measure your head so you can find the best size and always try on helmets before hitting the road. Good luck!
Did you find this article helpful? Awesome! Then check out our posts on everything from Motor to Entertainment.