Looking for a new motorcycle helmet? Or are you a new rider looking for your first motorcycle helmet? There is a lot to choose from isn’t there. You may have checked out the many other websites that sell motorcycle helmets directly to you. Were you amazed at the vast selection of helmets they had? Most sites boast that they have over 1000 motorcycle helmets to chose from. How do you choose which one with such large selection?
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It can be a bit overwhelming to pick out a new motorcycle helmet given the huge selection of options out there. I get that. It can be tough. Luckily there are ways to narrow down the selections.
Motorcycle Helmets – How to Narrow Down the Options
My biggest recommendation, if you are looking to buy a motorcycle helmet online, is to utilize the search filters usually found on the left sidebar of a quality website. The filters found here will help you reduce the number of helmets that may meet your needs.
There are filters like type, style, budget, review ratings, brand, color, size, and certification. Lets go through a couple of these in a bit more detail:
Type and/or Style – These categories are going to narrow your selection down depending on what type of riding you will mostly be doing. Are you off-roading, street racing, cruising, or scootering? Motorcycle helmet manufacturers design helmets around the type of riding you do. They incorporate different features and accessories for the different purposes.
Are you mainly a street rider that likes to open it up on the highway and really get going? A full face helmet is probably the type of helmet you are looking for. Or do prefer to kick back and cruise through the world around you on your hog? If that is the case, a half helmet is probably more your style.
Just shuffling around town on your scooter or small bike? Perhaps an open faced helmet is what you need. And, of course, if you are heading off-road, there are specific helmets for that type of riding as well.
There are also modular helmets, which are a combination of full face helmets and open face helmets.
Budget – This is a totally personal thing. Motorcycle helmets can cost anywhere from under $100 to well over $1,000. A low budget helmet, that is properly certified, may protect your head just as well as a high end helmet, but it may also lack certain qualities and features you desire. A high end helmet on the other hand may come with all the bells and whistles you desire, but buying a motorcycle helmet shouldn’t break the bank. The point is, there are motorcycle helmets out there that will meet your budget without having to sacrifice the basics like comfort and adequate protection.
Ratings – When it comes to buying a motorcycle helmet online, customer reviews and ratings are pretty important. The fact that others have tried out and given their feedback, both positive and negative, about any particular helmet is a good thing. You are taking a chance if you buy a helmet online that doesn’t have any reviews. Look for helmet that have multiple reviews and mostly positive reviews. Don’t be turned off by negative reviews too much. Not everybody is going to be satisfied all the time. It happens. So long as the majority of the reviews are positive, you can be assured the helmet is a decent one.
Brand – If you are familiar with motorcycle helmet brands, you may know exactly what you are looking for. If you are not sure about what brand to look for, Arai, Shoei, HJC, Bell, and Schuberth are just a few of the more respected helmet manufacturers that have put the time and money into research and testing to make sure they are providing the safest helmets to the market. You may pay a bit more for a brand, but in most cases it is well worth it.
Certification – Motorcycle helmets need to protect your head in the event of a crash. Not all helmets will do that. There are plenty of helmets on the market that provide little to no protection. These helmets, sometimes called novelty helmets, are not equipped to absorb any impact. While they may have a lower profile, they are not recommended for actual, real life, head protection. Helmets that do have adequate protection are typically certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) or Snell (a private third party helmet testing organization). Look for helmets that have been certified by either of these organizations. For more information, click here.
One Other Thing to Consider When Buying Motorcycle Helmets
One filter that doesn’t exist is “fit”. You can’t filter for how a helmet fits. This is going to be probably the most tricky part of buying a motorcycle helmet online. Primarily because it is hard to tell how a helmet is going to fit without actually trying it on.
This is where sizing charts and reviews come into play. Most manufacturers and seller include sizing charts in their online listings. These charts will help you determine what size helmets will best fit your head based on circumference, or, in some cases, hat size.
To measure your head, use a soft measuring tape, often found in sewing kits, and measure the crown of your head. This is the widest part and is usually just above your eyebrows. Note both inches and centimeters as sizing charts can use either or both. If you do not have a soft measuring tape, use a piece of twine around your head and then measure the twine with a ruler or stiff measuring tape.
Also take note of the shape of your head (sometimes it is a good idea to do this with a friend or partner to assist). Not all heads are shaped the same and they are definitely not round. Head shapes very in how oval they are and fall into three categories: long oval, medium oval, and round oval. Manufacturers do make helmets differently based on these three head shapes. Compare the different head in this diagram to give you a good idea of what shape your head is.
So now you should have a pretty good idea about how big your head is and what shape. Start there and then search reviews for comments about fit and comfort. A proper sized motorcycle helmet might fit your head pretty well, but it might also pinch here or rub there and reviews may indicate such things.
If a motorcycle helmet is not comfortable, you won’t wear it. And if you won’t wear it, it is useless. Also, if the helmet doesn’t fit well, it may not protect your head properly. So make sure you determine and order the right size helmet.
Motorcycle Helmets – Fit Test
The final test for motorcycle helmets in terms of fit is the Fit Test. This is a pretty quick test to see if the helmet actually fits well on your head. The general idea is that the helmet, once on, should not move in any one direction without some resistance. The skin on the face and head should move along with the movement of the helmet. This includes front to back, side to side, and up and down.
Upon first putting the helmet on your head, it should feel very snug. Keep in mind the lining of the helmet, as well as some of the protective padding will contour to your head as you wear it. This will loosen up the helmet just a bit, but the fit should still be snug in the end.
If you do purchase a helmet online and when it arrives, does not fit well, don’t be deterred. Many helmet suppliers offer free returns or exchanges.