When it comes to riding a motorcycle safely, understanding road rules and adopting safety precautions are paramount. Equally essential is investing in the right safety gear, starting with a properly chosen motorcycle helmet. To make an informed decision about this crucial purchase, follow our guide on how to select the ideal motorcycle helmet tailored to your needs.
Considering Your Riding Style
Before delving into helmet specifics, it’s important to assess your riding intentions. Different riding styles demand different helmet features. Identify your riding type among the following:
- Commuting and Leisure Riding For everyday use and weekend getaways, opt for a versatile helmet that reduces wind noise and offers comfort.
- Group Riding If you frequently ride in a pack with friends, consider a helmet equipped with a built-in communication system, enabling seamless on-road conversations.
- Motorcycle Racing Enthusiasts interested in track racing should invest in a high-performance helmet that caters to aggressive riding needs and ensures top-notch protection.
Deciphering Helmet Ratings
Safety standards play a pivotal role in helmet selection. Familiarize yourself with these key safety certifications:
- DOT (Department of Transportation): Helmets bearing the DOT sticker meet stringent safety requirements set by the Department of Transportation, involving rigorous testing.1
- ECE (Economic Commission for Europe): More than 50 European countries adhere to the ECE standard, which necessitates thorough testing before granting approval.2
- SNELL (Snell Memorial Foundation): Considered a gold standard in helmet certification, SNELL subjects helmets to intensive testing procedures.3
- SHARP: A more precise rating system that builds on the ECE standard, assigning one to four stars based on performance.4
Prioritize safety by ensuring your chosen helmet adheres to at least one of these certifications. Be cautious of novelty helmets lacking these safety standards, as they might compromise your protection on the road.5
Selecting Helmet Design
Helmet designs vary, including half, three-quarter, and full-face options. For maximum protection, a full-face helmet is recommended. Lesser designs may jeopardize facial and skull safety in the event of a collision. Even minor accidents can escalate if adequate face and head protection is lacking.
Within the category of full-face helmets, diverse shapes and sizes exist. Your perfect helmet should fit snugly and comfortably. Due to variations in head shapes and sizes, physically trying on different models is crucial.6
Helmet shapes range from long oval to intermediate oval and round oval, with varying fits. The chin strap should secure the helmet comfortably while ensuring a snug fit without discomfort.7
Consulting with a Retailer
A reputable retailer can guide you through the helmet selection process, especially if you’re a novice rider. Though there’s no universal “best” helmet for beginners, collaborating with a knowledgeable retailer ensures an enjoyable riding experience with optimal safety.8
As a critical safeguard on the road, the right helmet complements a tailored motorcycle insurance policy. Prioritize safety by securing appropriate coverage that aligns with your lifestyle and needs.