How To Choose The Safest Motorcycle Helmet

It is difficult to describe the sensation of riding with the wind blowing across you and feeling free. However, motorcycling gives you a lot of freedom, so remember to ride with a suitable, safe motorcycle and protective gear

Helmets saved 1,772 people in 2015 and might have additional than 740 lives had the motorcyclist worn one. Whether or not your state requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets, you should ride with one every time. We have put up a list of the most important aspects to consider while selecting the safest motorcycle helmet, including motorcycle helmet types and safety criteria, as well as fit and safety features.

The Safest Motorcycle Helmet Type

There are many varieties of helmets, but the three primary forms are the full face, ¾, and half. The full-face helmet is the most secure option of the three. 

The most protection surrounding your head and neck is provided by a full-face helmet. A full-face helmet, in addition to protecting you from the elements you are riding in (whether it is bad weather or debris and bugs hitting your visor), also protects you from the world around you.

A chin bar, which is missing from ¾ and ½ helmets, is one of the helmet’s most prominent features. The chin faces around 50% of severe impacts in one European research. As a result, riders should think about how much protection they want while deciding on how much protection to wear.

Motorcycle Safety Helmet Features

The current helmet technology uses an EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam inside the liner to absorb shock. There is also a comfort liner that riders frequently mistake for a protective component, which does offer some cushioning. To adequately safeguard the face and jaw, the bottom portion of the helmet should include EPS foam.

person wearing black full-face helmet
safest motorcycle helmet

Always look for a shell-built design when shopping for a helmet. It is the first line of defense that protects your head from coming into direct contact with the road. If you don’t see a reinforced composite shell made up of polycarbonate or thermoplastic in the helmet you want, consider choosing another one. 

The impact-absorbing liner is the second feature to search for. It is the helmet’s inner liner, which not only provides comfort to your top head but also absorbs impact in collisions. It is the next line of defense that can prevent potentially fatal brain injuries. 

The chin strap is the third feature. A helmet can only function properly if it is firmly fastened.

How To Choose The Safest Motorcycle Helmet

Find Your Fit

Shape

Everyone’s head is different, which is why helmets are available in a variety of shape forms—round oval, intermediate oval, and long oval are the most common. While we all have between a round and an oval-shaped head, it is crucial to understand your genuine form before purchasing a helmet. Have a buddy or use a mirror to check your hair from the top. Keep in mind that you are looking for your head shape, not the form of your face.

Size

A cloth tape should be used to measure your head. Begin at the top of your brows and wrap it around the fat point in the back of your head. Compare this measurement to a helmet size chart. A helmet that is too large will move about or won’t completely cover your head. A helmet that is too small may cause discomfort by providing uneven pressure across your head, as well as uncomfortable pressure points. When you shake your head, it should not move.

Style

There are many distinct sorts of helmets, each with its own set of characteristics that relate to the many types of riding and different sorts of bikes, as well as varying price points and safety features.

Check Safety Ratings

The DOT (Department of Transportation) symbol must be on the outside back of your helmet; this indicates that it adheres to FMVSS No. 218, which is our federal motor vehicle safety standard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not certify helmets or other motorcycle vehicle equipment, instead believing in a self-certified process. However, we do conduct tests on certain helmets to ensure that they meet our criteria. While our choice is usually random, we do consider consumer feedback and complaints while selecting which helmets to test each year.

When a helmet is not designed or manufactured according to our standards, we can issue a formal recall of the helmet, which would have it removed from stores. Our findings are added to an internet database.

D.O.T. (Department Of Transportation FMVSS218)

The FMVSS218 is a regulatory standard that sets the minimum requirements that a helmet maker must meet in the United States. It’s commonly known as the DOT helmet standard certification. The tests are quite similar to those conducted by Snell Memorial. Nonetheless, on impact, severity, and test equipment used, the judged values differ somewhat.

The Snell test, on the other hand, is more difficult to pass than the DOT examination. One thing to keep in mind is that the helmet was certified by the manufacturer in their research facilities. In contrast, the Snell exam certifies every helmet given to them by any manufacturer.

European Standard 22/05

The European standard is similar to DOT and Snell in terms of testing. The values and procedures vary somewhat across the board, as well as a retention standard test for slipping, retention, abrasion, and durability. ECE 22/05 requires an additional test for helmet shell sturdiness that is not part of Snell or DOT.

European BSI 6658-85 Type A

The European standard for helmets is stricter than the US requirement, and it also has a second test that helmet manufacturers must pass. Passing values on certain tests differ slightly from the Snell criteria. However, many of the types list the advantages as “equally as” or “similar to” those listed by the  M2005 Snell test as a guide. The BSI tests also include chin strap slipping, retention, and abrasion testing similar to those in ECE 22/05.

SHARP

SHARP is a helmet testing and rating system that is only available in the UK (United Kingdom / England). It uses comparable testing to the other criteria to assess impact protection, and helmets are assigned a star rating rather than a pass/fail grade. The rankings range from 1 to 5 stars.

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I have been riding on two wheels on and off the road for +20 years. Having access to 100's of brands of helmets, gear, and bikes - you could say that I have the dream job of a motorcycle junkie.