Buying motorcycle helmets?
What are the BASICS I need to know to buy my first motorcycle helmet?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Great question Andy, Motorcycle Helmets are an important part of a safe and enjoyable ride. So I’m always glad to see people taking the smart step of doing a little research before they buy. And congrats on buying your first bike!
A word of caution before I answer your question: there's no such thing as the "Best Motorcycle Helmet". More expensive motorcycle helmets are not necessarily better, safer, or more comfortable. It's about finding the helmet that is the correct match for YOU.
So, let's get to it then! You asked for the basics, here ya go:
First: make sure the motorcycle helmet is certified by either DOT or SNELL. This means it has passed at least the basic safety requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT), or the SNELL Foundation. A motorcycle helmet approved by either of these organizations is safe enough to wear confidently.
Second: Many people don’t realize this, but finding the best motorcycle helmet for you means finding one that fits your head shape. Just like people have different shaped heads, motorcycle helmet manufacturers make helmets with different internal shapes. One of the best ways to figure out what works for you is to find a motorcycle helmet store with a large selection and just start trying them on. A motorcycle helmet that’s the “right” size but the wrong shape will fit strangely and not be as comfortable or as safe. Which leads to...
Third: Of course, size. But it’s important to consider size and shape together, because like I said, a motorcycle helmet that’s the wrong shape will not fit right even if it’s the right size.
When you try them on, you want to make sure you don’t feel any pressure points. You want the motorcycle helmet to fit snugly, but not be painful. If you’ve never worn a motorcycle helmet before, it will probably feel too tight. This is normal. Having a full-face motorcycle helmet on is an odd feeling at first, but again, you want it to be as snug as possible without being painful. You don’t want your head bouncing around inside your motorcycle helmet if you fall. Over time, the pads inside the motorcycle helmet will break in, so a helmet that feels really tight at first will essentially “form” to you within a few weeks or months.
Another thing to consider is the climate where you live. Motorcycle Helmets can get extremely hot in a warm climate. So you’re going to want to get a helmet with vents if you’ll be doing much riding in hot weather. Again, the more comfortable your motorcycle helmet is, the less potentially distracting it can be, and you want no distractions when you’re on the road.
Like I mentioned at the top, I’m going to refrain from recommending specific manufacturers, because as I’ve said above, it depends on many factors. There is no “Best Motorcycle Helmet”. Rather, there are a wide range of motorcycle helmets that fit the basic needs, and beyond that it’s about finding what’s right for you. And you don’t need to spend a fortune to do it either. I bought my motorcycle helmet for about $150 and it’s perfect for me.
Well, you asked me to keep it basic, so for now I’ll leave it at that. Those are a few things to keep in mind when you’re first learning about motorcycle helmets. To recap: buy a motorcycle helmet that’s approved by DOT or SNELL; do a little research to figure out your head shape and which manufacturers tend to make helmets in your shape; consider the conditions you’ll be riding in; and go try on a bunch of motorcycle helmets to find one that fits “comfortably snug” with no pressure points.
Good luck and ride safe!
Here’s a guide with some further details on understanding and buying motorcycle helmets: http://motorcycle-helmets-guide.blogspot.com/
- Anonymous1 decade ago
If you're on a budget, buy a cheap one but make sure it fits right, it should not just slide on/off your head, it should kind of pop on and there should be no movement. Put the helmet on and hold it tight and move your head side to side and up and down, if it's loose, try a smaller one. Make sure you can check over your shoulder easily as cheap helmets are usually bigger shell and padded out than the expensive makes.
Do some research on the materials helmets are made and don't just go for the most expensive, shop around and get different advice. The big name brands are not always the best helmets as you pay for the name, no doubt someone will argue this point but you are better off with a proper fitted helmet than a loose big name brand one.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Basically, a helmet should be snug on your head and face, without giving you a headache. Put the helmet on your head and try to rotate it while keeping your head still. It should move your skin with it, and not just rotate on your head. Make sure it is comfortable, too. Note that the padding will adjust over time to fit your face, however, different helmets are more comfy for different people.
Don't listen to people about buying an Arai helmet. Sure, they are great helmets, but so are cheaper helmets like AGV, Bell, and HJC. I crashed at 50mph with an HJC and it worked just fine. It didn't even crack. Arai helmets are way over priced. You are pretty much paying for the name and the lame graphics (pictures of wizards and clowns and other lame stuff like that). All DOT helmets go through the same testing. As long as it is DOT approved, then you will be fine. Snell approval goes beyond DOT, so Snell approved helmets are even better.Source(s): I used to work at a bike dealership. I've sold plenty of helmets. I have also been riding for 8 years. I currently use an HJC full face helmet and an HJC half helmet.
- 4 years ago
Last I remember, DOT doesnt actually approve helmets, and a DOT sticker on a helmet is showing that the manufacturer is saying their helmet meets the guild lines the DOT put out
Here is some info from the NHTSA site:
Helmets that meet FMVSS 218 must have a sticker on the outside back of the helmet with the letters “DOT,” which certifies that the helmet meets or exceeds FMVSS 218. It is important to note that some novelty helmet sellers provide DOT stickers separately for motorcyclists to place on non-complying helmets. In this case, the DOT sticker is invalid and does not certify compliance.
Snell or ANSI Label
In addition to the DOT sticker, labels located inside the helmet showing that a helmet meets the standards of private, non-profit organizations such as Snell or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) are good indicators that the helmet also meets the Federal safety standard. To date, we have never seen a novelty helmet that has a phony DOT sticker in addition to a phony Snell or ANSI label.
Manufacturers are required under FMVSS 218 to place a label on or inside the helmet stating the manufacturer’s name, model, size, month and year of manufacture, construction materials, and owner’s information. A helmet that does not meet the Federal safety standard usually does not have such labeling.
Remember a DOT sticker on the back of the helmet and proper inside labeling do not necessarily indicate that a helmet meets all DOT requirements. Many helmets have counterfeit DOT stickers and a limited few also have manufacturer’s labeling. But the design and weight of a helmet, thickness of the inner liner, and the quality of the chin strap and rivets are extra clues to help distinguish safe helmets from non-complying ones.
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- TammyLv 44 years ago
You should not buy a helmet without first trying it on. Is your head shape oval? Round do you know? How about the HJC what head shape is it made for? Do you know? Do they run small or large? Never buy a helmet without having it fitted first. Trust me. I rode around with an ill fitting and dangerous helmet for years then I had a pro help me find a proper fit. Huge huge difference. Try it on first!
- 1 decade ago
Should be comforfable but not so loose it wobbles or twists on your head.
Cheek pads need to pinch in a bit but not so much that they hurt or cause you to bite your inner cheeks
Do not buy a used one - they don't like being mistreated and you won't know what has happened to it.
Some have removable liners - might be important if you use gell on your hair for instance.
Some have ventilation that can be adjusted.
Some have bluetooth so you can take phone calls.
The best ones are not always the most expensive ones - in recent tests in EU £60 ones have proved safer than £300+ onesSource(s): Biker 31 years, Motorcyclenews.com
- 1 decade ago
Get an arai helmet. Top rated for safety, very comfortable, and very stylish in my opinion. Point is, make sure you get top-quality gear. Don't try to save more money for a better bike by sliding by with bad gear. Instead, save more money for a good helemt and jacket and gloves and go for the maybe slightly lesser quality bike
- 5 years ago
Some long *** answers ..sweet an short what is your head worth ? If you got a 10 dollar head buy it you got 150.00 dollar head get that one an at that price it will have the DOT sticker on it that is what haveSource(s): Common sense an reading material
- 1 decade ago
Go to most motorcycle shops and the can help you find one that you like and fits you well.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The first and third answer will get you the same thing, the most over priced bucket the Sales person can sell you.Source(s): See what you can afford, I agree with light, and sound proof as possible My wifes Scoprion was a tad over $300, and its light and quiet. and it has a nifty speed racer inner goggle that pops down