Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet

For most riders, choosing a Motorcycle helmet can be a time consuming task.

These are the questions I’m frequently asked my riders:

  • What style of helmet should I buy?
  • How do I know if a helmet is the correct fit for my head?
  • Is my Motorcycle Helmet safe?
  • What’s this helmet like in hot weather?
  • How noisy is this helmet?
  • What colors motorcycle helmet should I get?
  • What’s the most comfortable helmet?
  • Which helmet is the lightest?

What style of helmet should I buy?

The main types of motorcycle helmet are Full Face, Open Face, Flip Front and Half. By far the safest is the Full Face style, but this might not always be the most practical.

Full Face motorcycle helmets

For general riding a Full Face helmet makes the most sense, they are the safest and in general they suffer from the least wind noise. These helmets are used in racing and the technology used in the road versions comes directly from the racing versions.

 

Flip Up motorcycle helmets

If you are touring and make a lot of stops then a Flip Up helmet is the best choice. The front of these helmets is clipped down and can be easily lifted up without having to take the whole thing off. This is very useful when making quick stops to look at maps and refueling at petrol stations. There’s a wide range of Flip Front helmets to suit most budgets.

 

Open Face motorcycle helmets

A favorite with cruiser, scooter and moped riders, this style of helmet looks pretty cool but has no face or lower head protection. Open face helmets are great for riding around town but for higher speeds a Flip Front or Full Face helmet is more suitable.

 

How do I know if a helmet is the correct fit for my head?

Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet – Fitting

There are an endless amount of forum posts from new and accomplished riders about helmet fitting, many of them are confused about how a Full Face or Flip Front helmet should sit on their head.

Is my Motorcycle Helmet safe?

Helmet safety ratings

To manufacture a helmet for use in Europe or the USA it has to pass safety regulations set by the government. Every helmet that is available to buy from a reputable seller in these areas has passed these regulations.

Helmets in the UK are marked out of 5 in a safety test known as SHARP.

What’s this helmet like in hot weather?

Helmet ventilation systems

Most helmets have ventilation systems to draw in cool air through the front and expel hot, stale air out of the back. How well this system performs depends on how aerodynamic the helmet is and the placement of the vents to ensure that the maximum amount of cool air is drawn in, as well as the maximum amount of stale air being drawn out.

The best helmet manufacturers test the ventilation systems in wind tunnels to see where the air is flowing around the helmet.

How noisy is this helmet?

Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet with low wind noise

Manufacturers test wind noise in the same way as they test ventilation systems, by using a wind tunnel.

Wind noise is normally reduced by making sure that the visor fits correctly and the minimum amount of air is sucked up through the helmet opening.

What colors Motorcycle Helmet should I get?

Helmet finish and graphics

This is completed up to you, but the finish of the helmet can affect how much the helmet costs. Plain color helmets, known as ‘Solids’ are generally the cheapest, while more intricate graphics will cost more. It’s better to spend the money on safety and comfort than buying a helmet based on looks alone.

What’s the most comfortable helmet?

Motorcycle helmet shell shapes and comfort liners

This depends completely on the rider. One person will say that their helmet is the most comfortable while the next person will say it’s the most uncomfortable thing they have ever worn!

A lot of the comfort is in the shell size and shape of the helmet. Manufacturers often make 2 or more shell shapes of their helmets to fit both round and long head shapes.

 

Which helmet is the lightest?

Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet – How to find the lightest motorcycle helmet

The material that the helmet shell is made from gives it it’s weight. Helmets made from Fibreglass composite or Carbon-fiber are almost always the lightest but can be expensive. A full racing Carbon-fibre helmet can cost as much as £2,000! Don’t worry, there are cheaper versions.

Carbon-fibre is used in F1 racing cars are is very strong.

If you want the lightest helmet but also need it to be extra safe then get one with a Carbon-fibre shell.

 

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