Ultimate Motorcycle Helmet Fit Guide
So, you finally found the helmet you’ve been looking for all along, the one that best fits your style, safety requirements and budget. Now, all you have to do is get the right motorcycle helmet fit so you can take your bike out for a spin anytime without needlessly worrying about your safety. If you’re not 100% sure that you know how to find a motorcycle helmet that fits you best, here’s a no-frills, no-fuss motorcycle helmet fit guide that can take the guesswork out of the equation.
Getting the Right Motorcycle Helmet Fit Can Save Your Life
While it may seem simple enough, many riders are absolutely clueless about finding the right motorcycle helmet fit so they end up buying one that doesn’t fit them well. This can be a problem since injuries to the chest and the head are the most lethal injuries sustained by people involved in motorcycle accidents.
However, here’s some good news. Studies indicate that the use of safety helmet is the single most critical factor that can help prevent or reduce the risk and severity of head injuries in the event of a crash. According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, using a helmet with the right fit can help reduce the risk of concussion by 69% and death by up to 42%. Additionally, helmets helped saved 1,772 lives in 2015 while 740 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists have worn their helmets, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) 2015 Traffic Safety Facts.
Aside from causing significant injuries and claiming lives, motorcycle accidents are also quite costly. In fact, the United States could save more than $1 billion if only all motorcyclists wear their helmets whenever they hop on their bikes.
Want to know more reasons why you need a great fitting motorcycle helmet? Here are some of them.
- Full face helmets provide increased level of protection which significantly reduces the risk of face injuries.
- Using a good quality motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of neck injuries.
- A good motorcycle helmet can help keep you warm in the winter and cool during the hotter months.
- Considering the fact that 73% of motorcycle related accidents result from impaired vision due to bugs and road debris, using a helmet that provides adequate eye protection can help prevent road accidents.
- Thanks to the reflective materials used in manufacturing them, motorcycle helmets make it easier for other drivers to see you. This is extremely important since 30% of motorcycle-car crashes result from the failure of the car driver to recognize the presence of the motorcyclist.
Motorcycle Helmet Fit Guide: The Right Way to Fitting Your Lid
A correct fitting helmet can spell the difference between your safety and sustaining an injury after a crash so you absolutely need to get it right. Here’s how you do it.
Motorcycle Helmet Fit Tip #1 - Get Measured
There are no shortcuts when it comes to determining your head and helmet size. Your safety is too important to take this step for granted so don’t even think about playing the guessing game. To know your exact head size, take the measurement around the fullest part of the head. Take note of the measurement (in centimetres) and check the helmet manufacturer’s size chart to determine your normal helmet size.
Some Helpful Tips:
- To get the right measurement, wrap the tape measure (or a piece of string) at least half an inch above the eyebrows, over the eyes and ears to a point at the back of the head, and take the measurement at the forehead. Do several measurements to make sure you have the correct figure. You may also want to get the help of a friend to do this.
- Different manufacturers may have different sizing charts so don’t expect all helmets will fit the same.
- If your head measurement is between two sizes, choose the smaller one.
Motorcycle Helmet Fit Tip #2 - Determine Your Head Shape
Aside from your head and helmet size, you should also take note of your head shape to get that perfect motorcycle helmet fit. There are a variety of human head shapes imaginable but most people have long oval (long from forehead to crown and narrow from side to side), round (wider near the temples with the ears as wide apart as the head is long) and intermediate oval (head is slightly longer than it is wide, and ears are somewhat closer together) head shapes.
Always keep in mind that getting your correct head size and head shape will give you a comfortable fit!
Motorcycle Helmet Fit Tip #3 - Try It On
You won’t know if your dream helmet fits you right if you don’t try it on so go ahead and do it! If this is your first time putting one on, hold onto it by the chin straps with the front of the helmet facing you. Put your thumbs on the inner section of the helmet straps and slip it over your head while tugging the straps apart. The helmet should feel a little tight when you first put it on and should fit snugly and comfortably around the baseball cap area without causing any pain or discomfort on your forehead, the temples or the back of the head. It should not leave any ugly red marks either since these may indicate pressure points or hot spots.
You’ll also know that the motorcycle helmet fits you properly if you feel a slight compression on the sides of your face. It’s okay if it feels slightly uncomfortable or even awkward, as long as it does not cause you any pain or give you any difficulty when talking.
Next, try to rotate the helmet from side to side, and repeatedly tilt it forward and backward while keeping your head steady. If the helmet moves freely or slips easily and you don’t notice any skin movement and/or resistance, the helmet is definitely too big for you.
Some Helpful Tips:
- There should be no gaps between your cheeks and the cheek pads and between your temples and the brow pads.
- The neck roll shouldn’t be pushing the helmet away from the back of your neck.
- The face shield should not touch your nose or chin even as you press the chin piece.
- You should not be able to insert your fingers between the lining and your brows.
Motorcycle Helmet Fit Tip #4 - Check if It Stays On
Your helmet will not help protect your head in the event of a crash if it does not stay on, right? To find out if it can do its job well, fasten the chin strap and reach over the top of the helmet. Grab the bottom edge with your fingers and try to roll the helmet off your head while keeping your head steady. If it rolls off, it’s too big for you so try the next smaller size.
Motorcycle Helmet Fit Tip #5 - Move Around
Okay, so you think you have the perfect fit, but don’t buy that helmet just yet. You still have to do one final test! Move around with the helmet on and keep it on for about ten minutes so you can have a better feel.
Motorcycle Helmet Fit: Getting the Facts Straight
Believe it or not, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding choosing the right motorcycle helmet fit so let’s settle these issues once and for all!
- On wearing glasses. Contrary to what most people believe, you don’t need a bigger helmet to fit your glasses. You need glasses that go well with your helmet! So, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing your glasses with your helmet, consider using glasses with straight arms when you go riding.
- On cheek room. Some riders feel that they need more cheek room so they can smoke, eat, chew gum or drink even with their helmet on. This is simply absurd! A loose fitting helmet will compromise your safety. You don’t want that, do you?
- On prioritizing style or price over protection. Okay, I get it. You can’t seem to let go of that cool helmet or the great discount you’ll get so you’re willing to go one size up or down, and just change the comfort liners thinking that it will do the job. Sorry to disappoint you but doing so will not guarantee your safety in the event of a crash. Helmets are meant for protection so getting the right fit should be your main concern when choosing a helmet.
- On sweating. If your helmet makes your head sweat, it probably is too small for you, right? Wrong again! Motorcycling is a physically challenging sport so you’ll naturally sweat in the process. Switching to a bigger helmet won’t solve the problem since the venting patterns will not work as designed.
Getting the perfect motorcycle helmet fit can spell the difference between your safety and sustaining an injury or losing a life during a crash so do yourself a favor. Get a helmet that fits you perfectly, follow the basic motorcycle safety rules, and enjoy your ride!