Choosing a motorcycle helmet is a very important decision. In the unfortunate case that you are involved in an accident, this could be the difference between telling the story and a terrible result. Therefore, it is important that you get a helmet and that you make sure it’s a comfortable one, as you don’t want it to take any of the joy of riding your bike.
Motorcycle Helmet Standards
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a set of standards that need to be met for a helmet to be considered safe. If you have ever asked yourself how effective are motorcycle helmets, you should know that the safest out there are the ones that comply with these characteristics.
- One of the first things to consider is the weight of the helmet. The reason why is because just by grabbing a helmet you will be able to tell if it might be within the safety standards or not. Usually, helmets that meet these characteristics weigh at least three pounds.
- Another safety standard refers to the presence of chin straps. These are mandatory according to the DOT and any helmet you try on should have them.
- In addition, there is the inner lining. The minimum thickness is estimated at one inch and this is also easy to measure. The inner lining is the polystyrene layer that you can easily feel inside the helmet.
- Customizing your helmet is a great idea as it allows you to personalize your overall ride even more. However, when adding an external item to the helmet, keep in mind that anything you add shouldn’t be higher than two-tenths of an inch. If it’s any higher than that then it will go against the DOT safety standards.
Motorcycle Helmet Styles
Among the many styles of helmets that are available, you should consider what you will be using your motorcycle for before choosing a style. While it might look good, it might not have the characteristics you need to optimize your ride.
If you are looking for the safest style, then a full-face helmet is the one to choose. They cover you from the neck to the very top of your head while fully covering your face as well. In addition, they have room for internal customization as this is the most spacious model out there.
If you are constantly on dirt roads, then an off-road style or a dual-sport helmet will be the best options for you. Both types of helmets make sure you have the best possible visibility. The main difference is that the dual-sport tends to be larger, while the off-road has a more angular design.
For a lighter design, you could try the half-face helmet or a carbon fiber helmet. This style leaves your face completely uncovered but it protects the top of your head. It is not the safest of models and it requires you to wear goggles to protect your eyes but it is often a more affordable style.
Size and Shape of Your Helmet
To ensure the perfect fit, you should try your helmet on before buying it. However, you might be unable to go to a bike store or you want to get there knowing what size to ask for. Whatever the case is, getting this information is very easy.
To get the size of your head, all you need to do is use a measuring tape and measure from the top of your eyebrows to the back of your head, making sure you reach the thickest spot. To know the shape of your head, you can use a mirror, making sure to look at your head overall and not your face. The different shapes are round oval, long oval, or intermediate oval.
Things to Consider When Selecting Your Helmet
As it was said before, it’s all going to depend on your needs. However, some universal things to consider when choosing your helmet are if it has good ventilation, if it provides sun protection, and if they comply with DOT standards.
There are great helmets that offer the option to open or close the ventilation part, which is a smart choice if you live in a region with different seasons. When it comes to sun protection, there are helmets with double visors that allow you to protect your eyes and skin against the sun during your ride.
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