How Do You Choose The Right Motorcycle Helmet?
Motorcycle helmets can be as varied as the heads they protect. With a puzzling array of styles, shapes and materials available, where should you start? If you are looking for a DOT-approved helmet that is as stylish as it is safe, you can start right here! Our guide will help you through the process so you get the right look and feel, the perfect size, and a safely protected head. Let's take a closer look!
What are motorcycle helmet shells made of?
Bikers of a certain vintage will remember the days when the only choice of a safe bike helmet was one that made you look as though you had just signed up for NASA. These huge bowls had to be carried around every time you stopped, which was fine if you needed somewhere to put a week's worth of groceries; otherwise, it was a pain. You may have even seen grainy footage from many decades ago of bike racers wearing nothing more than a cloth cap. While this may have looked pretty cool and kept their hair in place, it offered zero protection.
Thankfully, things have changed. These days, you don't have to sacrifice style for safety. Early research into motorcycle accidents established that most head injuries were caused by the brain being rocked back and forth inside the skull. The materials available in the early days of biking were not particularly good at preventing this, but as the technology progressed, a combination of high-strength, composite material with some internal padding was shown to be effective.
Since then, most bike helmets have gone down the route of fiberglass, polycarbonate, carbon fiber or ABS plastic shells. As long as they meet the safety standards, all these materials will do the job. Fiberglass is a lightweight material and is now mixed with other materials to overcome the brittle nature these helmets suffered from in the early days. Polycarbonate, while strong, tends to be heavy because its easily abraded surface means it needs to have extra thickness.
For a more in depth look at this we have an article here - What Are Motorcycle Helmet Shells Made Of
Are lightweight helmets safe?
A motorcycle helmet must meet the DOT standard (Department of Transportation FMVSS218) to be considered safe. All of our helmets meet that required standard without compromising on the other major factors of comfort and style. No NASA wannabes here!
There is a wide range of benefits to lightweight helmets. A heavy helmet naturally puts more strain on the neck, especially on a long journey. The lightweight nature of our Beanie-Style Helmets means less fatigue on a ride. This allows you to enjoy a more focused, safe ride and a more relaxed arrival at the end of the trip, and we all know how important that can be. Heavy helmets are also more prone to buffeting during cornering and in windy conditions, making it harder to keep the head stable and putting even more strain on the neck.
For a more detailed look at the safety elements of a lightweight helmet you can read our article here - Are Lightweight Helmets Safe?
What is the ideal weight of an average motorcycle helmet?
There really is no definitive answer to this as every rider is unique, with different head shapes and sizes. What is comfortable for one person may not be as pleasant for someone else, which is why our helmets come in a full range of sizes.
Typically, full-face helmets can range in weight from around 3 pounds to upwards of 4 pounds. A lightweight DOT-approved helmet from us, such as this MicroLid Curve, can weigh as little as 0.9 pounds, making it ultra-lightweight while still having that all-important DOT certification. Our lightweight helmets are also easier to slide into backpacks or bags when you are on the go, making them more convenient even when you are not on the bike. After all, even the most dedicated biker has other things to do from time to time!
For a more in depth look at the ideal weight for a motorcycle helmet you can read our article - What Is The Ideal Weight Of An Average Motorcycle Helmet
How many motorcycle riders wear helmets?
While laws vary from state to state, it is an indisputable fact that wearing a helmet saves lives and prevents life-changing injuries. The Department of Transportation estimates that 1,872 lives were saved by wearing helmets in 2017 alone, while a further 749 deaths could have been prevented had the riders worn helmets . National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data reveals that in 2012, 60% of bikers wore DOT-approved helmets, around 7% wore non-DOT-approved helmets and the remaining 33% went without a helmet. This varied from state to state .
We all know bikers who believe their skills and experience mean they don't need a helmet. However, even on the open road, you are never alone, and a split second of carelessness from another road user is all it takes. Since you can stay safe without compromising on style or comfort, we hope the popularity of helmet use will rise. You only get one head, after all, so you need to take care of it. It will look great in one of our helmets - trust us!
More information on these statistics can be found in our article - How Many Motorcycle Riders Wear Helmets
How do I know when my motorcycle helmet is too small?
We know many of you will be thinking that the answer to this question is obvious: it's too small if it doesn't fit on your head. This is, of course, partly true, as a helmet that you cannot wear is worse than useless. However, just sitting on your head is not good enough as far as a motorcycle helmet is concerned; it needs to really fit you well. Not many people know that the DOT safety rating only applies to helmets of the correct size. If the unthinkable happens and you are involved in an accident, a poorly fitting helmet can mean the difference between life and death.
If an impact occurs, you do not want too much of a gap between your head and the padding or too tight of a fit as both can increase the degree of injury caused. An overly large gap means your head is rocking back and forth, while an excessively tight fit means your head is getting the full force of the impact. Therefore, it is important to measure your head correctly or get somebody else to do it for you when ordering a new helmet.
We provide detailed guides on the correct way to measure your head so there is no risk of an ill-fitting helmet. You can even take a quick quiz on our website to help your head find its perfect match. A well-fitting helmet will look better, too, which means you can look good while staying safe. Whatever shape or size you are, we have a helmet to suit you; from baseball style to beanie style, the choice is yours. Be seen and be safe!
You can find more information regarding helmet sizes in our article - How Do I Know When My Motorcycle Helmet Is Too Small