Buying a Motorcycle Helmet
Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t offer much in the way of built-in safety equipment. There are no seat belts, no side-impact airbags, and no roll cages. The only thing standing between your head and the pavement is your helmet, and that makes it the most important piece of safety equipment a motorcycle owner will ever buy.
Finding the right helmet can be a little bit complicated, though. There are many styles of helmet that offer different levels of coverage. On top of that, there are numerous manufacturers and different levels of crash test certification.
Finding the right one takes a little bit of knowledge, so we’ve designed this short guide to offer you useful information. For all your motorcycle needs, stop by Lucky Penny Cycles in Bedford, Texas. We proudly serve the Dallas Fort Worth area including Waco, Wichita Falls, Sherman, and Tyler, Texas.
Types of Motorcycle Helmet
The first question you should ask yourself when trying to find a motorcycle helmet is: what style of helmet will work best for me? If safety is your main goal, a full face helmet can’t be beat. This type of helmet completely covers the head and usually uses a face shield to offer eye protection.
The next step down in protection is the three-quarters helmet. This type of helmet extends down the back of the head towards the base of the skull and then forward to cover the ears. This helmet won’t protect your chin, which is one of the portions of the head that is most likely to cause brain damage when hit. Instead of a face shield, this type of helmet usually has a visor to help shield some rain and sun.
The most exposed type of helmet is the half helmet or skull helmet. Some riders in warmer climates prefer this type of helmet because it offers more air circulation around the face.
<h2″>Comfort and Fit
Getting the right fit on your helmet can take some trial and error research. The “average” human skull has a slightly oblong shape from front to back. Some skulls have a more spheroid shape, while others are more almond-like. If you want know what your skull shape is, sit on the ground and have a friend look at your head from the top down. This will give you a good reference for finding a helmet that fits.
When trying on helmets, they shouldn’t pinch or put too much pressure on your head. There might be some pressure when you put the helmet on, but it shouldn’t hurt and it should go away after awhile. It shouldn’t be too loose, either. If the helmet moves when you turn or tilt your head, you’ll probably need a smaller size.
Crash test ratings are important because they’re the best way to estimate as to how the helmet will perform in a crash scenario. There are many different independent crash testing bodies that provide proprietary ratings, but some are substantially more thorough than others.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) crash test approval is something of an industry standard. Other testing agencies include AUS and SHARP, which have their own loyalists. One of the most rigorous testing agencies is Snell. The Snell agency was named for a man named Pete “William” Snell who tragically died in a motorcycle accident. Since then, the organization has been committed to advancing the science of helmet testing.
On the Road
Getting out and riding with your new helmet will provide the best test of whether or not you’ve made the right choice. The helmet shouldn’t limit your field of vision or slide down as you ride. If it’s too claustrophobic, you might need to find an open-faced model. If it’s too hot, you might want to find a model with better ventilation. It’s important that you don’t stick with a helmet that’s poorly suited for your riding style just because you already bought it. You might have to return a couple helmets before you find the right one.
Hopefully, this short guide has given you some helpful information for finding your first motorcycle helmet. When you’re ready to find the perfect motorcycle, stop by Lucky Penny Cycles. We’re located in Bedford, Texas, and we proudly serve the areas of Dallas Fort Worth, Waco, Wichita Falls, Sherman, and Tyler, Texas.