Motorcycles are one of the most used means of transport both by commuters and pleasure seekers. Most people like the feeling of riding on two wheels and the enjoyment that comes with it. Some people can even decide to ride to the countryside on motorcycles instead of using vehicles. For commuters, bikes are faster and more efficient, especially during traffic. Thus they can get to work quicker.
Nevertheless, there is motorcycle gear that any motorbike owner should have. The riding gear is essential as it offers body protection during the rides. Helmets are thus among the most critical motorbike gear for protection. If you love to ride motorcycle so just “ride safe so you can ride again”.
There are so many types of helmets for you to choose from. However, the type you select depends on your preferences and how you intend to use your bike. Below are some of the common helmets that you can choose from.
Types of Motorcycle Helmets
1. Full-Face Helmet
The full-face motorcycle helmet normally covers the whole head as well as the entire face. It extends down to the lower jaw and the base of the skull. This helmet is very popular and provides maximum protection to the head. It has a small opening on the front side for visibility. Its aerodynamics is excellent as it protects the face of the rider from wind and projectiles.
You are therefore assured of maximum head protection in case of a fall or crash, and you happen to fall face-first to the ground.
Some riders who have used this helmet claim that it is a bit bulky and reduce sensory experience. However, since the choice of a helmet is personal, it is wise to look at all the other types so that you make a sound decision.
2. Open Face Helmet
This type of helmet is also known as a three-quarter motorcycle helmet. It is lightweight and way lighter than the full-face head shield. Its visibility is even better because it is an open-face shield.
However, riders should have goggles for eye protection because the face is exposed to the weather and other flying objects. More so, this helmet cannot sufficiently protect the face and head of the rider in case of an accident.
This type of helmet can allow the rider to eat, talk and drink without taking off the helmet, unlike the full-face shield which is entirely aerodynamic.
3. Modular Helmet
The modular head shield is also called flip-up helmet because the front part can entirely flip up. This flip-up helmet is thus very handy in hot weather as it can form an open helmet. More so, it is very convenient in case of city traffic because the rider can flip it up to gain more visibility.
When the visor is down, this head shield offers protection like the full-face headgear, making it very convenient. More so, it has an added advantage because the rider can flip up the visor if he/she wants to eat, drink or communicate.
Nonetheless, this headgear is heavier than full-face head shields due to the extra bracing and moving parts.
4. Half Shell Helmet
This helmet covers only the back and top of your head thus offering the least protection to the head and face. It is mostly used classic bikers who adapt to the minimal protection provided by these helmets. Motorcyclists that are more safety-conscious tend to avoid this type of headgear. It is also not recommended for new bikers.
This head shield is lighter and more comfortable than the full-face. It also offers better visibility, but its aerodynamics performance is poor. Riders should always have goggles on for eye and projectiles protection as this helmet does not guarantee security.
5. Motocross headgear & Off-Road helmet
Motocross helmet is also called off-road helmet, and it is more specialized for off-road cycling. This helmet has a sun visor and an extended chin guard. Riders can also decide to wear goggles that have tear-offs to keep them clean always. The extended chin guard, as well as its more open design, ensures that there are less fogging issues during off-road riding.
Although the goggles are not very protective, the helmet’s protection is improved when goggles are combined with the enlarged chin and sun visor. This head shield is not as aerodynamic as the full-face headgear hence the rider can experience head and neck fatigue when riding for long distances.
Dual-sport motorcycle helmet is a combination of the off-road helmet and the high-way helmets. Its design is thus very convenient for minimalists who would like to use the headgear for multiple purposes or people who cannot afford to purchase tow helmets. However, for people who love specialized helmets, this dual-sport headgear is not for you.
How to Choose Motorcycle Helmets
Before you buy a helmet, it is imperative to look at several factors that will influence the choice that you make.
1. Safety standards
The safety rating of the helmet you is about to buy is critical. An expensive helmet does not mean that the head shield is safe. Similarly, a cheap helmet does not mean that it is not safe to use.
Any helmet must meet the minimum safety standards thus any approved headgear must comply with the DOT, ECE22.02 or SNELL.
2. Second-hand Helmets
Any biker is warned against buying a helmet that has already been used. This is because the second-hand headgears may be damaged in a way that the biker cannot realize. More to that, the older helmet may not comply.
Additionally, newer headgears have materials that are more modern thus providing better protection.
3. Features of the headgear
Before you select a helmet, make sure you have checked all the elements to see whether it has the features that you want. Some of the highlights include:
The material used to make the helmet can significantly influence its weight, safety rating, and comfort. Some of the materials used to make head shields include polycarbonate, fiberglass, EPS and carbon fiber.
Most helmets range between 1400-1800 grams depending on the materials used to make them. The weight is distributed around your head, neck, and shoulders evenly. Therefore, ensure you measure the weight to see if it will be suitable for you.
The comfort of a head shield is essential. This is because you might be using the helmet for a whole day and if it is not comfortable, you can end up having headaches. Sunshade, communication provision and wind reductions that guarantee the comfort of a helmet.
The aerodynamic capability of a helmet is vital because some helmets can create lift at high speed. More so, there are helmets that have an aerodynamic drag that can make the neck muscles to fatigue especially during long rides. Therefore, select a bike that has the right aerodynamic capacities.
5. Additional safety features
When choosing a helmet, make sure you have checked whether there are additional safety features such as an emergency cheek pad among other features. These additional features can come in handy during accidents, for instance, easier helmet removal by medical personnel if the rider is injured.
Motorcycle Helmet Buyer Guide
Buying a helmet is not a difficult task as most people think. So long as you know what you are looking for, the search for a head shield is effortless. Some guidelines that you can follow during you headgear search are:
Before you pay for the helmet you have just found, it is advisable to check whether it is legal. More to that, the helmet must comply with the minimum safety standards which are set by standard authorities of most countries like the U.S Transport Department (DOT).
Therefore, any helmet that is legal should have certification stickers like the AS1698 or labels from the Department of Transport of any country.
Helmets that have been approved are the best because their designs have been checked and approved.
Although this sounds obvious, fitting a helmet is very important. You don’t want to buy a headgear then find out that it is big or small when you get home. Therefore, ensure that you fit the helmet, feel whether it is comfortable, and feel whether it will be convenient when riding.
Even if the seller might try to convince you that the helmet is perfect for you, make sure you try it on to see if it fits well.
3. The type of helmet
Since there are so many types of motorcycle headgear, it is imperative to understand each type and decide which one will be most suitable for you. The different types of helmets include full-face, dual sport, modular, open-face, half-shell, and off-road helmets. Your choice greatly depends on the intended use hence ensure you know what you want before making a purchase.
The intended use of the helmet is also a significant factor that must be taken into consideration before buying the shield. For instance, if you plan to commute to work daily or ride a lot, a high-end helmet is the best choice as they are very comfortable. More so, comfort is essential for long distances.
If you are riding with a group, an open face helmet may be the right choice because you will need to communicate with the other riders from time to time.
5. Size and head shape
Finding a helmet of the right size can be very challenging. This is because different people have different head shapes. A helmet might fit you well but be bigger or smaller to the next person. Additionally, different brands that are made by different manufacturers may fit differently.
For instance, most Australian-made helmets tend to have flatter fronts and a visor that is close to your nose. Therefore, these helmets may be of the right size for you but refuse to fit because of the shape of the head.
Therefore, if you have to buy a helmet, make sure you visit the store physically so that you can have a chance to try the helmet on before paying for it.
6. Price of the headgear
Different helmets are priced differently. Thus you have to decide on the amount of money you are willing to spend. In case you have money problems, or you are operating on a very tight budget, it is advisable to buy a helmet that falls in your price range.
Most cheap helmets can be bought for 100 dollars or below with the most expensive ones costing over 1000 dollars. Therefore, depending on your budget, select a helmet that will be most convenient for you.
7. Additional features
There are so many other additional features that make helmets comfortable. These are the features that you should look for before you buy the helmet. For example, some full-face headgears have an additional chin pad for extra warmth during freezing weather.
Other elements that you can look for include ventilation, visors that have a pinlock-ready feature to prevent flogging, and Bluetooth among other features. These extras are not a must for people who are looking for simple plain shields. However, for people seeking adventure, Bluetooth enabled headgears can be a good choice.
Additionally, check whether the helmet has a washable or removable lining and internal padding as this will make the helmet fresh and extend its life.
Replacement of damaged helmets
In case you have been involved in a crash or accident, or your headgear falls and cracks, it is imperative to replace the helmet as soon as possible because the damaged helmet might not offer you maximum protection.
Most motorbike helmets last for about 3-5 years if they are well maintained. However, if the helmet regularly falls especially at highway speed, the impact can damage the shield. Therefore, as soon as the shield is damaged, buy a new one for your protection.
The life of the helmet can also be extended by protecting the interior pads from oil and sweat. This can be done by using a headscarf or bandana so that you prolong the replacement time of your headgear.
Selecting and buying the right helmet is very important for safety as well as compliance with the rules and regulations of the department of transport in your state or country. You cannot buy a helmet just by looking at it and deciding that it is the right choice. This information is to guide you to view the helmet at different angles before you come up with a decision. Therefore, ensure that you have followed all the guidelines so that you purchase a helmet that will be most suitable for you.
Best Reviews of Motorcycle Helmets that you must read
- Top 9 Safest Motorcycle Helmets
- Top 10 Carbon Fiber Motorcycle Helmet
- Top 10 Best Cool Motorcycle Helmets
- Top 10 Best Women Motorcycle Helmets
- Top 10 Best Daytona Helmets
- Top 10 Open Face Helmet
- Top 10 Kids Motorcycle Helmets
- Top 10 Full Face Mountain Bike Helmet
- Top 10 Scooter Helmets
- Top 10 Best Modular Motorcycle Helmets