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Ranking The 10 Best Motorcycle Helmets!

Which Motorcycle Helmets Are The Best Out There?

Best Overall Choice

Shoei RF-1200

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Best Budget Choice

Bell Qualifier DLX

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Best Premium Choice

AGV Sportmodular Carbon

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AGV Sportmodular Carbon

Data Shows You Should Probably Be Wearing A Helmet

We looked at data from the GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) on motorcycle fatalities as a percentage of total motor vehicle deaths. We then cross referenced that data with motorcycle helmet laws in each state, and the results show something that is fairly common sense… you should wear a helmet. Looking at the map, we see that of the top 10 states with the most motorcycle fatalities (as a percentage) 8 of the 10 only require you to wear a helmet if you are under the age of 18 (21 in some states).  Considering the average age for motorcycle riders is WELL above that, we can assume a good amount of these riders aren’t wearing a helmet.

 

Additionally, we looked at NHTSA data (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to compare helmeted motorcycle fatalities with unhelmeted motorcycle fatalities in each state. Outside of 3 states (Utah, New Mexico, and Michigan), the map follows the motorcycle helmet law states almost identically (which makes sense, if motorcycle riders are required by law to wear helmets, most of the fatalities will be categorized as helmeted). However, almost all of the states without helmet laws, or only required one under a certain age, have more unhelmeted motorcycle fatalities.

 

 

Shopping for the best motorcycle helmet you can afford is always a tough job. There are so many variables involved that there’s no such thing as “one helmet to rule them all.” Different riders have different demands, and one size certainly does not fit all. Youth motorcycle helmets are sized smaller, off-road helmets have different properties, women’s motorcycle helmets are generally tailored for narrower face structures than male equivalents, and there’s the matter of closures, ventilation, eye protection, and more. To help point you in the right direction, we’ve decided to put together a handy list and buying guide all about motorcycle helmets to ensure that you make an informed choice on your next purchase.

No matter what kind of helmet you’re looking for, from a novelty Batman motorcycle helmet to a top of the range racing helmet, always make sure that it conforms to recognized helmet safety standards: either SNELL, DOT, or ECE certified. All of our recommended helmets meet this criteria, so without further ado, let’s look at the best motorcycle helmet products on the market!

What Are The Best Motorcycle Helmets On For Sale?

Best Overall Choice

1. Shoei RF-1200

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Shoei has been producing top quality motorcycle helmets since 1958, and the Shoei RF-1200 model is the best they’ve produced so far. It’s comfortable, practical, aerodynamic, and incredibly protective. This helmet is ideal for any road rider, on track, touring around the twisties, or cruising around town. It’s a lightweight full face helmet with heavyweight protection capabilities.  It’s made out of a strong AIM+ shell with a dual density EPS liner that offers incredible shock and impact absorbing features, reducing impact trauma and keeping your head cushioned in the event of an accident. The use of these modern materials allows for a slim and lightweight helmet that increases rider comfort and improves aerodynamics. In fact, it’s the lightest DOT and SNELL certified helmet in the brand’s current collection.

The aerodynamic shape isn’t just to improve performance. Thanks to extensive wind tunnel testing, the shape of the helmet works in partnership with other features of the helmet, such as the liner and visor, to drastically reduce wind noise, making for a seriously quiet ride experience. The lining and cheekpads offer a comfortable and close fit without sacrificing neck articulation. Shoei’s unique CWR-1 Pinlock visor system seals closed nicely and eliminates any wind buffeting, and prevents the shield from bending under physical pressure. The shield is fully adjustable for tailored settings, which makes this an even more attractive helmet. It’s excellent value for money.

Top Features:

  • DOT and SNELL certified motorcycle helmet
  • Dual Density EPS liner for added protection
  • 6 vents for superior air flow and circulation
  • Fully-adjustable face shield settings
  • Emergency Quick Release (EQRS) face shield

2. Arai XD-4

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The Arai brand was first established back in 1926, so you can depend on the quality of their products. Our top Arai pick is also out top pick for those looking for a versatile dual sport helmet. If adventure touring is your thing, then the Arai XD4 is the helmet for you. Straight out of the box, the most appealing thing about this helmet is its split personality. It comes equipped with a peak and a visor, but you can easily unscrew the peak to make it a street helmet, or leave the peak on and pop out the visor to make it proper off-road helmet. Or you can leave it as it is and enjoy the best of both worlds. It’s essentially three helmets in one, which is remarkable value for money.

The physical outer-shell of the XD-4 is made from a CLC laminate construction using “superfiber” fiberglass layers. The result is a ridged shell that offers excellent shock absorbing capabilities. On the inside, the helmet boasts a comfort headliner with snug fitting temple protection pads, FCS (Facial Contour Support) cheek pads, and Dry-Cool technology that wicks moisture and keeps your head cool at the same time. Air circulation is provided by a series of vents, on the chin and on the side cowls, with exhaust ports on top of the diffuser vents. Overall, this is an excellent all ‘rounder that will protect you and keep you comfortable no matter what kind of riding you’re doing. It’s SNELL, DOT, and ECE approved, and comes with an impressive 5 year warranty. What’s not to like?

Top Features:

  • Essentially three helmets in one
  • Strong laminate outer shell construction
  • Adjustable facial padding for increased riding comfort
  • SNELL, DOT, and ECE approved
  • Arai Helmets come with a 5 year warranty
Best Budget Choice

3. Bell Qualifier DLX

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Bell’s Qualifier range has become synonymous with affordable quality over the last few years. They’re strong, sturdy, DOT and ECE certified, and at a price point that everyone can afford. If we had to choose a best budget motorcycle helmet option, then the Bell Qualifier (in any configuration) would easily be our number one choice. This full face motorcycle helmet is constructed from a lightweight polycarbonate and ABS plastic outer shell, and it’s available in three distinct shell sizes to suit a wide range of head shapes and sizes. Underneath the protective shell, the Bell Qualifier boasts a removable and washable moisture-wicking interior liner, contoured cheek pads, and a padded wind collar that reduced wind noise.

The Bell Qualifier DLX also includes a number of interesting features that you wouldn’t normally expect on a budget helmet. For a start, the interior of the helmet also includes clever concealed cutaways for the installation of speakers or a Bluetooth communication device. It also comes with a fully adjustable ventilation system that tailors the amount of air flow you’re getting. Similarly, it features a breath deflector and a useful chin curtain to stop your face from overheating or getting too cold. The visor is NutraFog II anti-fog, anti-scratch, and UV resistant shield, and it uses ClickRelease technology so that you can swap it out for a replacement in double-quick timing. It even comes with two visors as standard: a clear and a dark smoke shield. If you need a helmet that ticks all the boxes but comes with a super low price tag, these Bell motorcycle helmets are worth investigating.

Top Features:

  • Affordable but strong full face motorcycle helmet
  • Includes two face shields
  • D-ring closures with a padded chin strap
  • DOT and ECE certified
  • Each helmet has a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty

4. AGV K3 SV

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Like all things Italian, the AGV brand is often associated with premium price tags. This isn’t always the case though, and here we have a premium Italian product at a very affordable price point. AGV’s K3 SV is a full face helmet is a svelte and aerodynamic helmet that has all the flair and aggression you’d want from a premium street helmet but it’s not expensive! Constructed from a clever High Resistance Thermoplastic Resin (HIR-TH) outer shell and complimented with a fully removable and washable 3D inner liner with comfortable form fitting cheek pads, this helmet is snug and secure and will protect your head in the event of an accident. But there’s more to this helmet than a strong outer shell and a comfortable liner.

The actual shape of the shell is quite interesting. It’s been designed with aerodynamics in mind, and it’s optimized for stability and speed. Not only that, the design also has an important safety feature. The base of the helmet is contoured to reduce the risk of collarbone injuries, and the chin bar extends further forward to protect more of your face in an accident – and it increases airflow too! The air circulation is controlled by four vents and two exhaust ports, and a handy breath reflector stops you from overheating the inside of your lid. A clever X-tra Quick Release System (XQRS) controls the visor, allowing for fast tool-free shield swaps, and a special Perimetrical Visor Seal (PVS) helps secure your visor closed and reduce drafts and wind noise. The standard visor is a GT2 scratch-resistant, anti-fog, and UV-resistant shield with an improved field of vision. Naturally, this AGV helmet is DOT and ECE certified.

Top Features:

  • Super strong HIR-TH thermoplastic construction
  • Bluetooth speaker recesses for more comfortable connected riding
  • Drop-down sun visor for bright days
  • Double D-ring fastenings
  • DOT and ECE approved

5. HJC RPHA 11 Pro Helmet

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The HJC RPHA series of helmets are some of the best motorcycle helmets out there. Check the reviews, because it’s hard to find a negative one. The RHPA 11 Pro is a continuation on the RHPA’s theme of excellence, but the overall helmet style is a little more refined towards track racing and aerodynamic enhancements. The shell is constructed from advanced PIM Plus Fiberglass (Premium Integrated Matrix Plus), which is a composite blend of carbon fiber, aramid, and fiberglass that’s incredibly strong, exceptionally light. The overall shell has been shaped to increase performance at high speeds and to optimize air flow and improve ventilation. The interior features a Multicool Interior anti-bacterial fabric liner, with moisture wicking and quick drying functions. Both the cheek pads and the crown pads are designed for safer removal in an emergency, and of course, they’re removable for regular washing too.

The face shield is a Pin-Prepared HJ-26 visor with UV protection, and it’s held in place by a clever Rapidfire II Shield Replacement System that allows for tool-free visor swaps in the blink of an eye. The most talked about feature of this helmet is the Advanced Channeling Ventilation System (ACS) which uses a series of strategically placed vents and exhausts that work with the overall shape of the helmet to provide impressive air circulation, which can be controlled by glove-friendly dials to increase or decrease the air flow. There’s room for Bluetooth communication systems to be installed, there’s a breath guard and chin curtain, too. You name it, this helmet has it. If aerodynamics and an extra hundredth of a second on a lap time are important to you, consider this helmet.

Top Features:

  • Aerodynamically formed PIM fiberglass shell
  • Intelligent ACS ventilation system
  • Ships with two visors: clear and dark smoke
  • Race-ready shield lock for high speed riding
  • DOT and ECE certified

6. Shoei NeoTec 2

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Next up, we have another helmet from Shoei. This time, it’s a modular motorcycle helmet in the form of the Shoei NeoTec 2. This is a sports touring helmet that offers the protection and aerodynamic profile of a full face helmet with the simple practicality of an open face helmet. Shoei’s aerodynamic modular effort is constructed from a multi-ply matrix AIM shell that uses a blend of high-performance fibers to create a lightweight but strong outer shell, twinned with a dual-layer EPS liner for improved impact resistance and practical air ventilation. On the inside, the helmet features a removable interior liner that includes a series of ergonomic and comfortable pads for the ultimate snug and secure fit. The inner liner also boast moisture wicking materials, clever recesses designed specifically for glasses wearers, and a Sena Bluetooth communication device holder.

The most attractive part of this helmet is the flip-up system. Controlled by a clever 360-degree Pivot Locking System that utilizes stainless steel parts for a strong and secure closure, the flip-up helmet can be opened and closed with a single-button release button on the chin bar that can easily be accessed with gloved hands. If that wasn’t enough, Shoei have equipped the NeoTec with a drop down sun shield, noise reducing cheek pads, a sophisticated ventilation system, and an interlocking micro ratchet chin strap. It’s one of the most advanced touring motorcycle helmets on the market, and it does come with a premium price tag, but if you take touring seriously then its more than worth the money.

Top Features:

  • Premium modular motorcycle helmet
  • Constructed from Multi-Ply Matrix AIM materials and dual layer EPS
  • Practical flip-up helmet with easy controls
  • Fully compatible with SENA SRL communication systems
  • Noise reduction technology

7. Biltwell Gringo ECE

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Biltwell Gringo ECE

The Biltwell Gringo helmet is an absolute gem of a helmet if you’re into retro apparel. Why have we chosen the ECE version of the regular Biltwell Gringo? Simple. The ECE version is just a touch more in the way of protection. The standard Gringo is DOT certified, the ECE is DOT and ECE certified. The only real difference is the amount of EPS foam on the inside of the helmet, but when it comes to keeping your head safe there’s no point taking a gamble on second best. If you want to wear a super cool retro helmet then you want to be wearing the safest and most protective model that you can, and the Gringo ECE’s extra protection doesn’t cost that much extra anyway.

The Biltwell Gringo is constructed from an injection-molded ABS shell, with an expanded polystyrene inner shell. On the inside, it’s equipped with a fully removable Lycra liner, with quilted open-cell foam padding around the crown and cheeks, and finished a BioFoam chin pad. Since this is an honest retro replica, there’s not much in the way of sophisticated technology. It doesn’t even include a face shield. However, if you want to add eye protection, there’s enough room for almost any type of goggle, and the add-on bubble face shield is an affordable upgrade and easy to install by using the snap fastenings. Other cool features include special recesses to accommodate Bluetooth speakers, and the hand made, hand stitched, and generally hand-finished nature of this iconic product. Is it the safest helmet on the market? No, but it is one of the coolest.

Top Features:

  • Injection-molded ABS shell with EPS liner
  • Chic retro helmet style with hand finished details
  • Plated steel D-ring fastening
  • Equipped with Bluetooth speaker pockets with Velcro closures
  • DOT and ECE approved

8. Bell Bullitt

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Continuing the retro theme we have the Bell Bullitt, a modern reimagining of the legendary Bell Star helmet from the 1960s. This modern version takes the simplistic but safe nature of the original and upgrades it to meet modern standards without diluting the original recipe. If you’re looking for a helmet that’s practical, protective, and an interesting talking point, then this might be the one for you. Constructed from a low-profile carbon fiber composite material for the outer shell, twinned with a multi-density EPS liner, the Bell Bullitt satisfies the requirements for both DOT and ECE certification, with flying colors too.

Inside, the Bullitt boasts a removable and washable anti-bacterial liner that’s teamed up with a very plush perforated suede interior fabric detailed with leather trim. The lining holds on to 3D cut cheek pads for a snug and secure fit, and special speaker pockets for Bluetooth enabled speakers and devices. Ventilation is performed by a series of metal mesh intakes and exhaust ports, and the helmet is held in place with a padded chin strap with a stainless D-ring fastening. Unlike the Biltwell Gringo, the Bell Bullitt ships with a visor, though it only comes with a flat shield rather than the bonus bubble-style shield that can be purchased as an optional extra for the full retro look. Naturally, the Bell Bullitt is for those discerning riders who like show off their rugged individuality, much like the helmet’s namesake, Frank Bullitt, as played by Steve McQueen.

Top Features:

  • Retro-styled helmet made from modern construction materials
  • Strong fiber composite shell with EPS multi-density liner
  • Magnefusion magnetized visor closure
  • DOT and ECE certified
  • Each helmet ships with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty

9. HJC CS-R3

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Next up, we’re back to HJC – but this time with a budget model. Over the last few years, HJC have made a big impression in the budget motorcycle helmet market using excellent sales tactics to win new customers. They’ve made a number of Star Wars motorcycle helmet products, Marvel inspired models like the Iron Man motorcycle helmet, and plenty of other themed lids too. This helmet isn’t one of those themed models. Instead, it’s the stripped down, no frills CS-R3: a basic and budget friendly helmet that will keep your head safe in the event of an accident, at a price point that everyone can afford. And if you can’t afford one of these, you’re probably best off taking the bus anyway. It might be a cheap helmet, but you get a lot for your money.

The HJC CS-R3 comprises of a strong and lightweight polycarbonate shell designed for a superior fit thanks to the use of CAD design. On the inside there’s a Nylex liner that can be removed and washed, with close-fitting cheek pads for increased comfort and fit. These cheek pads are interchangeable and replaceable to make sure you get the best fit possible. Ventilation comes in the form of an ACS Advanced Channelling system with adjustable vents and exhaust ports that increase airflow and expel humidity. The shield is a HJ-09 anti-scratch visor with UV protection, and it’s attached using a RapidFire Shield Replacement System for easy visor swaps. It also comes with Bluetooth speaker pockets for those who like to ride connected. This is a great budget helmet.

Top Features:

  • CAD designed, aerodynamic polycarbonate outer shell
  • 2-stage visor closing system that eliminates as much noise as possible
  • Attractive and understated look
  • Can be upgraded with other HJC products
  • DOT and ECE approved
Best Premium Choice

10. AGV Sportmodular Carbon

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Lastly, we have another cool motorcycle helmet from AGV. This time it’s a modular helmet. The AGV Sportmodular Carbon helmet is targeted at riders who enjoy clocking up serious mileage and doing it at speed! It’s a sports touring helmet that’s based on the premium AGV Pista GP R helmet but with some significant differences. It’s just as protective, and just as lightweight (weighing in at a tiny 2.85 lbs) but it features a flip-up front and a number of exciting touring accoutrements. Manufactured from a 100% carbon fiber shell with a 5 density EPS inner shell, this helmet is shaped for increased aerodynamics with an interesting shell shape that helps to reduce collarbone injuries in the event of an accident. It’s excellent on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that makes this such an interesting purchase.

The interior is made from a reversible liner which features a Shalimar side for colder weather and a Ritmo side for warmer climates. The cheek pads are also made from Ritmo, and they also feature Dry moisture wicking technology, with a sanitized bacterial protection layer, and a Microsense skin comforting treatment. Other cool interior features include a Shalimar and Nabuk neck roll, a removable nose guard and wind protector, and an internal sun shield. Ventilation is provided by a smart IVS (Integrated Ventilation System) which boasts a number of vents and exhausts, and inner channels, plus a larger rear extractor to remove humidity. The visor is a GT3 anti-scratch and anti-fog unit that can be removed without the use of tools thanks to the rapid visor release system. As for the flip-up system: it’s a dream. Built from 100% carbon fiber, it’s strong and tough, but lightweight and won’t throw your head off-balance when in the up position. It’s a premium product, but it’s one of the best motorcycle helmets in the modular configuration out there.

Top Features:

  • 100% carbon fiber shell and chin bar
  • Advanced ventilation with internal chin channels
  • Sophisticated Visor Lock System (VLS) to stop accidental openings
  • Titanium double D-rings
  • DOT and ECE certified


Helmet Buying Guide & FAQ

Why You Should Wear A Motorcycle Helmet

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. There’s no doubt about that. So it should make sense to wear the best protection that you can to help avoid serious injury in the event of an accident. In the US, different states have different laws about the legality of riding with or without a helmet, and in many places it’s up to the rider to decide whether they want to ride protected or not. Unfortunately, there are riders that don’t want to wear helmets, and that’s totally up to them, but we really don’t recommend it. At the end of the day, motorcycle accidents are exactly that: accidents. No one wants to crash on purpose. An accident can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of riding skill, or precautions taken. That’s why we suggest that you wear the best protection that you can.

The NHTSA has produced studies that show that a motorcycle helmet can reduce the risk of death by as much as 39% in an accident situation, and reduce the chance of a head injury by up to 69%. Head trauma is a big killer, and wearing a helmet helps to reduce the risk of a serious injury and death. And that is why we always suggest that you wear a helmet.

Which Helmet Is The Best For You?

Wearing a helmet is essential but you can’t just wear any old lid and call the job done. There’s more to helmet wearing and buying than finding something you like the look of that suits your budget and sticking it on your head. There’s a wide range of different helmet types available, in a wider range of shapes and sizes too. First things first, you need to work out what kind of rider you are, what level of protection you want from your helmet, and you need to know what size to buy too.

Firstly, different motorcycle helmet types are better suited to different types of riding? If you’re an off-road rider you’re not going to want the same kind of helmet that you see MotoGP riders wearing on race day. Similarly, if you’re looking for a motorcycle helmet to keep the elements out all year ‘round, you’re probably not going to want a flimsy half helmet. Here, we’ve put together a short overview of the different motorcycle helmets for sale, the different shapes they come in, and a guide of how to properly size your head for the best fit possible.

Types Of Helmets

Motorcycle helmets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, specifically designed to serve different purposes. Here’s a quick run down of the most popular types of motorcycle helmet available, with a little description about their overall shape, purpose, and other practical features about each one.

Full Face Motorcycle Helmets

Full motorcycle helmets are the most popular type of helmet you’ll see. They’re designed to offer full face and head protection, fully enclosing the head with only a small opening for the motorcyclist to see through. The gap between the top of the helmet and the chin bar is covered by a visor that can be flipped up or closed, protecting the eyes at speed. Modern full face helmets are highly customizable, with different visor types available, and the ability to add extra padding on the interior, install a communication system, or different chin strap fastenings. Some helmets even feature drop-down sun protection, fully adjustable vents, and more.

Modular Helmets

Modular motorcycle helmets are very popular these days. These helmets are essentially full face helmets with a moveable chin bar, which allows the entire bottom half of the helmet to “flip-up.” They’re often called flip-up helmets for this exact reason. Helmets like these are useful for people who don’t want to keep removing their helmet and putting it back on all day. They’re ideal for riders who have to speak face-to-face with other people regularly. Some say that the flip-up nature compromises the helmet’s overall integrity, but they’re just as safe as full face helmets these days. These helmets are very versatile, and incredibly useful.

Dual Sport Helmets

Dual sport helmets are perfect for riders who need protection for both street and off-road environments. They generally offer all of the protection that a conventional full face helmet would but with some differences. Rather than being aerodynamic, they feature a peaked sun visor on the top. They also feature a proper visor too. What really separates them from regular full face street helmets or dedicated off road helmets is the fact that they offer greater airflow and won’t steam up so easily, but the increased airflow often means you get less sound damping – which means that you’ll hear your motorcycle, and loudly. These helmets are idea for those who like to ride both on and off-road regularly.

Off-Road Helmets

Dirt bike helmets are different from regular road-riding helmets for a number of reasons. They have longer chin bars that extend further out, they don’t have a visor, and they feature a peaked sun shade on the top. The lack of a visor and the extended chin bar are there to increase air-flow. Off-road riding is more physically demanding than street riding, so a regular full face helmet would just steam up and get uncomfortable as you’re sweating your way through a trail at slow speed. That’s why off-road rider wear goggles: they protect the eyes but don’t get steamed up by your breath. These helmets are great off road, but uncomfortable on the road at speed.

Open Face Helmets

Open face helmets are cool helmets for summer riding, or urban commuting. As you can guess, they have an open faced nature, and don’t feature a chin bar like full face helmets do. The lack of a chin bar makes them a little less protective than full face helmets, but for slow commuting or urban riding, they’ll do just fine. Open face helmets can come with or without visors. Generally, it’s best to have one with a flip down visor to protect your eyes, or you’ll have to wear glasses or goggles to comfortably ride with one on. Some open face motorcycle helmets have poppers mounted around them to attach a removable sun visor peak on them if you so desire.

Half Helmets

Half helmets aren’t particularly protective. As the name suggests, they only cover half of the head, and only the top part of the skull. Still, they’re very popular. These helmets might only protect a small part of the head but they do offer a unique experience. They protect the bare essentials without obstructing the rider’s field of vision, or interaction with the elements. They’re very popular with cruiser riders and motorcyclists who enjoy the feel of the wind rushing around their heads. Half helmets are cool, but in terms of safety, they’re dead last.

Other Helmet Features To Consider

Some helmets accommodate Bluetooth communications devices, others do not. While Bluetooth motorcycle helmet tech is the most popular accessory, it’s also worth looking at what else a helmet might be able to do or what restrictions it might face in future. Motorcycle helmet camera technology is becoming more and more popular. Would you need a shell that can accommodate a helmet mount? What about security? Do you need a special fitting on your lid for a specific motorcycle helmet lock to make sure that a thief doesn’t run away with it?

Helmet Fitting Shapes and Helmet Sizing

Choosing a style of helmet you like is only half of the battle though. You see, the typical adult head falls into three discernible categories when you’re shopping for a motorcycle helmet:

  • Long Oval
  • Intermediate Oval
  • Round Oval

Helmets are manufactured to fit into these three head shapes. This is because the effectiveness of a motorcycle helmet largely relies on the closeness of the fit. You shouldn’t just blindly buy a helmet without knowing which of these three head shapes you have. In the United States, the most popular head and motorcycle helmet shape is the Intermediate Oval, but since each head is different, it’s very important that you take the time to learn which shape your head is. Fortunately, working this out is pretty easy. All you need is a friend, a camera phone, and a comb. Here’s how you do it:

#1) Sit up straight, and comb your hair as flat as you can. If you have to wet it, so be it. All that matters is that your hair doesn’t obscure the shape of your skull too much.

#2) Next, ask a friend to stand above you and take a picture of your head from a birds-eye-view. Make sure that the camera is pointing directly downward towards the center of your head.

#3) Use the picture to decide what shape your head is. If it looks nice and round from above, then you have a round oval head shape. If your head is long and thin, then you probably have a long oval head shape. Lastly, if your head isn’t quite either of those but something somewhere in between, then you’re most likely a standard intermediate oval.

What about sizing?

How to measure for a motorcycles helmet? So now you’ve found a helmet style that you like and they happen to sell one that suits your head shape, all that’s left is for you to select your size and head for the checkout, right? Easy. But wait, finding out your head size isn’t as easy as choosing Small, Medium, or Large, is it? Head sizing isn’t like checking your waist, chest, or shoe size. It’s not a common measurement, so you’re forgiven for not knowing what yours is. The easiest way to get an accurate measurement of your head is to call in the help of a friend, with a soft tape measure (or a length of string and a ruler if needs be). Here’s how you do it:

#1) Get your friend to measure your head’s circumference at the widest part. The widest part is generally considered to be just above your eyebrows. Take the measurement, measuring around the back of your head and note it down.

#2) If you don’t have a soft tape measure, you can do this by using a length of string to measure the same distance, and then measuring the piece of string against a ruler.

#3) Repeat this process a few times and work out the average for the best result.

Once you have your measurement, you can find your desired helmet online and check your head measurement with the manufacturer’s sizing guide. The closest size to your head measurement is the helmet for you! Proceed to checkout!

Why Is The Sizing So Important?

Motorcycle helmet sizing is important. That’s a fact. Helmets are only effective when they’re stuck on the right sized head. You’ve probably heard of the DOT safety rating, but you might not know that a DOT safety rating is only applicable when a correctly sized helmet is being worn on a correctly sized head. A large helmet on a small head wouldn’t be considered safe according to DOT, even if it wears the sticker.

This is because helmets can only really work when there’s the closest fit possible. In an accident, your head gets thrown about uncontrollably, and your helmet works hard to stop that. Your helmet’s shock absorbing liners are there to manage and shock and impact. If there’s a large gap between that liner and your head, you’re essentially giving your own head enough room to hit the inside of the helmet, causing more injury and harm. It’s not all about helmets being too big though. A motorcycle helmet that is too small will be uncomfortable, and any kind of discomfort will distract you from the road in front, increasing your chances of being involved in an accident. That’s why it’s essential to wear the best motorcycle helmet you can buy, and in the correct size too.

Motorcycle Helmets: FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions

Where to buy motorcycle helmets?

For some motorcycle apparel it’s to your advantage to try on a product for the correct fit before you buy. However, in this day and age you can get better deals online, with free shipping and free returns policies too. If you’re unsure of your head size and the fit you want, visit a brick and mortar shop. If you’re in search of the best deals on motorcycle helmets for sale, then Amazon, Revzilla, and even WalMart’s online store offer some excellent deals. Be sure to check the return’s policies though – you don’t want to get stuck with a helmet that’s the wrong size!

How should you take care of a motorcycle helmet?

If you want to extend the lifespan of your helmet, you need to take care of it properly. The best way to do this is to keep it clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results, because harsh chemicals could do more harm than good. Some motorcycle cleaning products come with helmet-specific cleaners as part of the kit. A good clean is only half the battle though. You also have to make sure that you store it correctly. The sun can harm your helmet. So can minor knocks and scrapes. Keep your helmet stored somewhere away from the elements, with a stable temperature, in a place where it won’t fall down or get knocked around.

How to paint a motorcycle helmet?

Don’t. Unless you’re a professional paint specialist who knows about the properties of the paint you’re using and the possible effects they’ll have on the helmet, don’t do it. Motorcycle helmets are designed to protect your head and they use a wide range of plastics and specially formulated materials that could be damaged by using the wrong paints. A splash of paint might not seem like it will hurt a helmet but all it takes is for a slight chemical imbalance to ruin the overall structural integrity of your helmet – and that’s the last thing you want in a crash scenario. Unless you’re a professional or you’re paying a professional, leave it with the factory finish.

Which states require motorcycle helmets?

Riders in these states must wear a helmet regardless of age or experience: California, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Washington.

Riders in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, New Mexico, Utah, Maine, and other states can choose whether they were a helmet or not. Riders and passengers in those states who are under the age of 18 (or 21, depending on the state)however, must wear a helmet.

In Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire, helmets are not required for riders or passengers regardless of their age.

Check your state’s regulations before taking a risk. However, we will always recommend that you wear a helmet, regardless of the law.

How long are motorcycle helmets good for?

No more than 5 years is a good rule to stick to. A helmet that suffers any kind of impact – at 50 mph, or from being dropped off of your countertop – is also no good anymore. While impacts and crashes will compromise a helmet’s ability to keep you safe, there are other things to consider too. UV rays can harm your helmet’s integrity, bad weather can do the same. Even a well maintained helmet that hasn’t seen a lot of action should probably be replaced after a maximum of five years of ownership. There’s no point taking risks when it comes to protection, right?





About Joe Appleton

Joe is a motorcycle industry veteran who has not only been paid for his words on the industry but also to throw a leg over a bike on the track. Besides riding, and occasionally crashing motorcycles, he also likes to build up older bikes in his garage in Germany. He says; "I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…" We like Joe's educated opinion and hope you do too.

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