Congratulations, you’ve bought your first motorcycle! The adventure that comes with riding is sure to bring you years and years of enjoyment. But your time riding is only as enjoyable as it is safe. You need to invest in supplies before you can hit the road on your bike, and the most important of these supplies is definitely a helmet.
The most important thing that a helmet does for you is, of course, protect your head, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t countless other factors that go into deciding which helmet is right for you.
Helmets are essential, not only on a legal level, but on a protective and comfort level as well. They work to protect your brain, of course, but they have a lot more functions that make them valuable investments for your best interests as you ride. They protect you from the environment—that is, any wind and dust debris that may be getting in your eyes—as well as protecting you from dangers on the road that could be damaging. They cover your ears, therefore protecting you from earaches and possible ensuing headaches. Some modern helmets even have smartphone integration to help with GPS navigation and play music for your ride!
All this said, the functionality of a helmet lies in a few different qualities. Here, we’ll discuss the ones you should consider when you’re making your helmet purchase.
When you make any purchase, one of the most important things you’ll consider is probably the cost. If you’re just getting started, a good-quality helmet on the low end of the price range will run you around $300. You’re paying for material and construction quality—it’s important to have a helmet that’s going to protect you, so you’ll be paying that much at a minimum for security.
Mid range & premium helmets will range from $500 to $1000; these are, as their prices suggest, of much better quality and longevity, but we recommend those be an investment that’s made once you know how much time you dedicate to motorcycle riding. Losing interest after spending that much money can be frustrating, so it’s important to know how frequently you’ll ride to know what a helmet is worth to you.
At its bare minimum, the major function of a helmet is safety. Your helmet should, at the very least, pass local safety regulation tests such as the Department of Transportation (DOT) or Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) regulations. Third party safety standards, like SNELL & SHARP certification, can give you a better idea as to what a helmet has been tested for.
The fit of your helmet is also incredibly important in making it safe, as a helmet that fits poorly may fall off or not protect your head to the best extent.
Fit & Features
A fitted helmet provides not only the most safety, but also the most comfortable and secure experience with your helmet. When your helmet is properly fitted, it will offer the best possible protection. Here is how to determine your helmet size:
Wrap a flexible measuring tape around your head about a half inch above your eyebrows.
Compare this measurement with size measurements of the specific helmet you want.
Before you use the helmet on the road, try it on and make sure it isn’t too big. If the helmet moves around when you move your head, it is too big and you’ll need to size down.
Aside from the helmet’s size, there are also other features that you can control to make your helmet feel like your own.
The materials that the helmet is made out of can contribute a lot to its overall feel and comfort. Most helmets are made of polycarbonate, fiberglass composite, or carbon fiber, as well as having a foam layer on the inside for comfort. These three materials absorb energy in gradually varying ways, and the material your helmet is made of can contribute to its price. The material can also contribute to its weight; a lighter helmet is easier to wear for extended periods of time and transfers less energy upon impact.
Finally, there are many different types of helmets that a motorcyclist could want depending on what they value most. The most common motorcycle helmet types are:
Full face: As one might expect from the name, this type of helmet covers your full face, providing the widest range of protection.
Open face: This type of helmet is just overhead; there is no chin guard, and the face is exposed.
Modular: These helmets allow you to remove the lower part of the helmet, acting as a hybrid between a full face and open face helmet.
Off-road: These helmets are used, as the name implies, for off-roading, and they typically have visors, chin guards, and additional ventilation.
Half: A half helmet offers the least protection, covering only the top portion of the head.
Dual-sport: These helmets are for either on- or off-roading, with features such as removable face shields and visors that make them useful for both kinds of riding.
That’s the rundown of all you’ll need to know to make a decision as to which helmet to purchase. When you’re looking for a motorcycle helmet, you’ll want to find a manufacturer that works with quality parts that you know you can trust. Trust us at HHR Performance to get you what you’re looking for at the best quality and the best price. Make sure to contact us with any questions about your future helmet buying!