What is the ideal weight of an average motorcycle helmet?
The ideal weight for a motorcycle helmet depends on many factors, although it is a much-overlooked part of the process of choosing a new helmet. Many riders don't give the matter much thought. You can try a helmet on in the store and it may feel fine, but how will it feel after a 500-mile trip? You can't really ask the store manager if you can take it for a day's ride to see how it feels afterward.
A ride through winding corners sees your neck going from side to side, with this extra weight adding to the G-force. On a ride during a windy spell, although your shiny new helmet may be as aerodynamic as possible, the wind and speed will still be exerting some pressure on it. For your head to stay upright, your neck must resist that pressure. This may not be a big concern on a 30-minute ride, but after a few hours, neck strain can lead to fatigue. This can lead to sloppy riding, and we all know where sloppy riding leads!
Anything that causes a rider to lose focus should be avoided. A full-face motorcycle helmet can weigh anywhere from about 2 pounds to upwards of 4 pounds. This doesn't sound like too much, but it's cumulative, much like the shopping bags we carry around for a while and then suddenly notice we have red aching fingers. The lower end of that weight range will tend to be the pricier composite or carbon-fiber models, while the heavier end tends to be polycarbonate helmets. Although polycarbonate helmets are tough and cheaper than carbon fiber, they are prone to easy surface damage.
The other factors that influence weight are adding extras such as sun visors or the opening front of modular-style helmets that are needed by couriers and delivery companies to save them from having to constantly take their helmet on and off. The mechanisms and hinges for these all add weight.
Finding what is right for you
In the end, everyone is different in shape, size and strength. What is comfortable for one rider may not be as comfortable for another, and a larger helmet will weigh more than the same type of helmet in a smaller size. This means that extra care should be taken to make sure a helmet is comfortable and a good fit. How does the strap feel? How easy is it to fasten and unfasten? Riding with the strap not fastened correctly is dangerous and can also be uncomfortable. These may seem like small things, but they can be irritating over a longer period of time.
You need to find what feels right for you. Whether you towering well above six feet or more of an average height, the same rules apply. A well-fitting helmet is safer in the event of an accident, whatever your size. You don't want the helmet to be so loose that your head is shaken around inside it, nor do you want it to be so tight that it takes the full impact. What is important here is not so much the weight but the load impact of the material and how secure your head is inside it. The helmet needs to absorb the impact by spreading the force around the non-impacted part of it, ensuring that a single part of your head is not taking that full force.
Impact load is when the head is subject to a great force in one place, even for a brief time. The mass of the helmet should be able to displace this force, which is why a snug fit is really important here. The other point to keep in mind is that riders are less likely to wear a helmet if it is uncomfortable, heavy, tiring or gives them a sore neck. The whole point is to encourage their use and get it as close to 100% as we can. All the research shows that DOT-approved helmet use saves lives and reduces injuries substantially, for both riders and passengers.
The lightweight alternative
Here at Microdot, we believe there is another way. We offer lightweight, comfortable, and stylish helmets made using ultra-tough light and durable materials such as ABS and fiberglass. While a typical open-face helmet can weigh in at 3 to 4 pounds or more, our Micro Lid baseball-style helmets, such as this Micro Lid Curve, come in at just under a pound. In fact, they weigh just 0.9 pounds, which is pretty impressive. You have the choice of some great colors, too, ensuring you not only stay cool but look good at the same time.
We also have a range of beanie-style DOT-approved bikers helmets. These will look great whether your ride is a modern technological marvel, a lovingly restored classic, or a weekend cruiser. These are real bikers' helmets, with a sleek no-nonsense look and matte black or black carbon-fiber effect finishes completing the look perfectly.
Not content to offer just the standard Beanie, we decided to give it a twist with our reversible Twister Beanie helmet. The slight peak, which can be worn at the front or the rear, gives it a different profile from the standard Beanie hat type while still having that all-important DOT-approved certification. Worn with a pair of shades and maybe a face shield if it gets dusty out there, they recall the classic years of biking but with the bonus of modern safety standards and tough, durable finishes.
Don't let it weigh heavy on your mind
As you can see, weight is indeed one of the critical factors in a safe motorcycle helmet but is just one of many features to look out for. The next time you need a new helmet, whether you are tired of the fishbowl look or just want an upgrade, remember the weight issue and be assured there are solutions.
We have an easy-to-understand guide on how to measure your head, along with a quiz to get you started on finding the perfect helmet that is comfortable, lightweight and boasts DOT-approved certification. If you choose a good, snug-fitting helmet that feels and looks right, you can ride for hundreds of miles with reduced fatigue, less neck strain and more enjoyment of the ride - which is why we are bikers in the first place! Check out our website; the reviews say it all. We are confident you'll agree that these are helmets designed and made by bikers for bikers.