How do you measure your head for a motorcycle helmet?
We all know that to ride safely and keep our heads protected, we should wear a helmet. However, few riders appreciate just how important the fitting of the helmet is when it comes to protecting our precious heads. So, how do we get that all-important sizing just right?
The first thing to consider is whether your head is oval or round. Oval means that your head is longer from top to bottom than it is from ear to ear. This shape can determine what type of helmet is suitable for you.
Next up is measuring the circumference of your head. This can be harder than it sounds, so if you have a friend or family member available, consider asking them to help. If not, you can do it in front of a mirror.
The measurement should be taken just above the eyebrows with a soft tape measure like those used by tailors. If you are doing it alone, it is best to bring the tape measure ends to join in the middle of your forehead so you can read the measurement in the mirror easily. If you are still unsure, we have a fun quiz here at Microdot to guide you through the process and ensure you find that perfect helmet.
How should a motorcycle helmet fit?
Should a motorcycle helmet fit tight? Tight can mean different things to different people, but a helmet should fit snugly and comfortably without causing any pain or pressure to any part of the head. A helmet that is too tight can ride up as the pressure of your head slowly pushes it. This could mean that in the event of an accident, the helmet will not be sitting in the way it was designed. On the other hand, a helmet that is too loose will cause your head to rock around in the event of an impact, which can cause brain damage.
A helmet should not be able to roll around on your head when the straps are tightened, which means there should not be too much movement either backward and forward or side to side. You are looking for that sweet spot in between. It really is worth taking the time to get this right because not only is a correctly fitting helmet safer, but it will also be much more comfortable, allowing you to enjoy a better, stress-free ride.
You can find out more info on how a motorcycle helmet should fit by checking out our in depth article here - https://microdothelmet.co/blogs/news-events/should-a-motorcycle-helmet-fit-tight
How effective are helmets?
Numerous studies have been carried out showing that wearing a helmet saves lives and reduces the risk of injury in the event of an accident. For example, a 2016 study by the United Nations  estimated that of the 3.4 million motorcycle-related deaths worldwide projected between 2008 and 2020, as many as 1.4 million of those could have been avoided with the correct use of headgear.
What makes motorcycle helmets effective against injury? There are various types of injuries commonly associated with motorcycle accidents, with injuries through impact or penetration and abrasion injuries being the most common.
In an impact, a helmet will be designed to dissipate the shock through it, preventing the head from taking its full force in one place. The inner soft lining of the helmet will further cushion the blow and reduce shaking, which can cause injury.
Penetration is prevented by the use of high-grade materials such as ABS plastic like these DOT-approved Beanie-style helmets. The use of such materials protects against abrasion injuries, too. In an accident, your helmet is sacrificed to save you, and it should never be worn again afterward. This is why we have a free replacement service (you pay only shipping) after a registered accident.
How do I know if a helmet is safe?
Are all motorcycle helmets sold actually road legal? If a helmet is sold purely as a motorcycle helmet, it must be DOT-approved. However, there are some gray areas. A helmet sold as a fashion accessory and not purely as a motorcycle helmet may not have DOT approval, but when you can have both style and DOT approval, why take the chance? At Microdot, we have a range of approved, lightweight and ultra-stylish helmets, such as this Twister Original.
DOT, or Department of Transportation-approved, helmets will be labeled with the manufacturer name, model name, or model number and DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified. This is your guarantee that the helmet has met the testing standards.
What are these standards, and how are motorcycle helmets tested for their safety metrics? The helmet will be tested for impact by dropping it from a specified height onto a flat and a round anvil. It will be penetration tested to ensure that it can prevent sharp objects from getting through to the rider's head. Finally, the strap will be tested to make sure it can withstand the force of a crash and keep the helmet securely on the head. When a helmet has passed all of these tests, it gets the FMVSS No. 218 certification and is considered road legal and safe to wear.
How many different kinds of motorcycle helmets are there?
DOT approval is granted to many different styles of motorcycle helmets as long as they pass the tests. The different types of helmets can be divided into several groups. First, there is the full-face helmet with a visor and chin bar. These are made from a variety of materials. The most expensive and lightweight models are generally carbon-fiber or a composite. There are also the modular-type helmets that are full-face but generally have a hinge mechanism for ease of opening, a type favored by couriers and delivery riders to save them from having to keep removing their helmet at every stop. The hinge mechanisms add considerably to the weight, however.
Then there are the open-face helmets, sometimes known as three-quarter helmets. They cover the head and ears. Think of the classic motorcycle helmet here and you'll get the idea, with some also including a clip-on visor.
A more specialist type of helmet is the off-road helmet, which is open-faced but designed to be worn with goggles. These helmets are peaked to keep flying mud and dirt from the rider's face.
Finally, we have the half helmet ,which covers a number of styles such as the beanie, such as this Twister 360, or peaked style. These are preferred by bikers who want the full open road, wind-in-the-face experience. Half-helmets sit on top of the head and are kept in place with secure chin straps.
We look into how many different motorcycle helmets there are in more depth here - https://microdothelmet.co/blogs/news-events/how-many-different-kinds-of-motorcycle-helmets-are-there
Ultimately, your choice of helmet will come down to what you are comfortable with, your style of riding, and the environment in which you ride.