December 3, 2023

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Motorcycle Helmets – How to Determine Proper Fit

Being a motorcycle enthusiast, motorcycle helmets are one of the highest ranking safety items you will ever purchase, whether it is motorcycle helmets, motocross helmets or scooter helmets you want all the protection possible. This head protection must not only be an approved quality but properly fitted for maximum protection. The difference a between good motorcycle helmet and cheap motorcycle helmets can be the difference between life and death. Why go to the expense of buying and wearing motorcycle helmet if they are not going to protect you?

Number one advisory, never buy used motorcycle helmets or borrow a friends. Over time the protective foam and removable pads will adjust to the contours of the primary users head. Used or borrowed motorcycle helmets are a safety compromise for you. New helmets that closely fit you offer much more protection and safety. Beyond that reason, you never know how often or how hard a used/borrowed helmet has been dropped. Dropped enough times and a helmet loses its’ ability to protect you and may not perform up to the standards, even if it is DOT approved.

Number two advisory, stay away from so called “Novelty Helmets”. These are exactly what they claim to be, novelty, and not intended for street use or protection of any kind. They are manufactured to set on a bookshelf somewhere to generate conversation. These helmets are not DOT approved and do not have the ability to protect you in any shape, form or fashion in an accident.

Proper Fit & Sizing: Wearing the wrong size helmet can increase your risk of serious injury or death in an accident. To select and purchase the right size motorcycle helmets is much easier if you are purchasing at a brick and mortar location; internet purchases are a little more difficult but there are some things you can do to simplify the process by following these suggestions:

1.) Measure your head by wrapping a cloth or paper tape measure around your head about one inch above your eyebrows.

2.) Use the standard sizing chart to select the motorcycle helmets size that corresponds most closely to your head measurement. Size charts can usually be found on the internet retailers site, if not you can always Google “motorcyle helmet size charts“. If your head size falls between two motorcycle helmets sizes, try the larger size first and then the smaller size. All motorcycle helmets vary somewhat in sizing and shape but most manufacturers have standardized the sizes. I don’t know of any internet retailer that will not happily exchange sizes for you.

3.) Once you have received the product, try the motorcycle helmets for fit by grasping both chin straps to pull the helmet completely onto your head, ensuring that the top of you head is in contact with the top of the helmet interior.

4.) Check for a Proper Fit by checking that:
• The helmets inner lining fits snugly around your head
• The top pad presses firmly on your head
• The Cheek pads contact your cheeks.
• There is no space around your brow under the inner lining.

You can check the final fit by trying to insert your fingers between your head and the helmets lining. With the chin strap tightened move your head quickly in a front to back motion; the helmet should not slide in either direction. Next move your head quickly from side to side; again the helmet should not slide in either direction. You should feel the helmet move your skin and cheeks slightly. If the helmet slides around or moves considerably you should try a smaller size. Last but not least, put both hands on the back of the helmet and try to pull it upward of you head; you should not be able to pull this helmet off if it is properly fitted.

If the helmet fits so tight it is really uncomfortable, or the top of your head feels like it is not fully inserted into the helmet you should try the next size larger.. All helmets seem a little uncomfortably tight when new. Over time, however, the padding and lining will contour to your head measurements. A tight fitting helmet, opposed to a snug fitting helmet, can give you a headache on longer rides. The motorcycle helmet needs to fit snugly, but not tightly.

It is also a good idea to check your field of vision when tying on motorcycle helmets. If the helmets shape obstructs or blocks your vision when looking left, right, up or down, consider another product.