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Choosing the Best Motorcycle Helmet in 2020 | Safety Comfort and Styles

As any seasoned motorcyclist knows, it is essential to have a well-fitting helmet that suits your needs. There are many different types of motorcycle helmets out there, so it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about the different types of helmets so that you can purchase the best option for you. This article should help you decide on the perfect motorcycle helmet for your personal blend of safety, comfort and style.

Feel free read on, or choose a section in the article contents below for easy-access:

  1. Motorcycle Helmets: The Basics
  2. Choosing the Right Size Helmet
  3. How to Try on Your Motorcycle Helmet
  4. Different Types of Motorcycle Helmets
    1. Full Faced Helmets
    2. Modular Helmets
    3. Half-Shell Helmets
    4. Dirt Bike or Off-Road Helmets
    5. Dual Sport Helmets
    6. Open Face Helmets
  5. Caring for Your Helmet

 

Motorcycle Helmets: The Basics

Motorcycle helmets are incredibly important for the safety of motorcyclists. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends that every motorcyclist and rider should wear long pants, over-the-ankle footwear, full-fingered motorcycle gloves, a long-sleeved jacket, and also a helmet that has been manufactured in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation standards.

No one can predict when motorcycle accidents will occur, so it is crucial to always be prepared and wear proper safety gear. While safety is the most important reason to wear a motorcycle helmet, there are also other reasons.

Wearing a good helmet and one that is geared toward the specific activity you are doing (dirt bike riding, casual motorcycle riding, off-road riding, etc.) can make the experience more enjoyable by cutting down on the wind noises and by deflecting bugs and other objects flying in the air. The right helmet can also reduce rider fatigue and help provide comfort from changing weather conditions.

 

How to Get the Right Fit for Your Motorcycle Helmet

It is extremely important that you not only get the correct helmet for the activities you plan to use it for, but also that you get the right fit for your helmet. There is more to getting the right helmet fit than just purchasing a helmet that matches your hat size, or guessing at small, medium, or large sizes.

Hat sizes are a good starting point and can give you an idea of what your helmet size will be. To get the correct helmet size, measure your head at the largest circumference. In the front of your head, this area is usually just above your eyebrows, and also above your ears and around in the back.

Some things to note about motorcycle helmet sizing:

  1. You should attempt to measure your head circumference multiple times just so you can be sure that you have gotten the correct number.
  2. If your head size ends up falling between the numbers that are listed—a good plan is to try the smaller size helmet first and give it some time to conform to your head.
  3. Most helmets are sold in sizes ranging from XXS up to XXL, so you may need to confirm size equivalents with the manufacturer.
  4. Keep in mind that helmet sizes may vary among model types and manufacturers.

If you’d like more information on finding the right size, the Vega Helmets website has a great motorbike helmet sizing chart.

 

How to Try on Your Motorcycle Helmet

Man Putting on Motorcycle Helmet

Getting the proper fit for your motorcycle is vital, so you will want to ensure that you are trying on the helmet correctly. To try on your helmet:

  1. First, hold it by the chin straps. The bottom of your helmet should be facing you with the front of it pointing down.
  2. Next, put your thumbs on the inside of the straps, making sure to balance the helmet with your fingertips.
  3. Finally spread the sides of your helmet apart gently and then slip it down over your head by using the chin straps.

Your helmet should fit snugly. It may even feel a little tight until your helmet is correctly in place. Make sure that your helmet is sitting squarely on your head, not tilted back on your head (like a hat).

Keep in mind that if your helmet is too big, there can be several consequences. A helmet that is too big may result in it moving around and up and down on your head, or it may be too noisy and allow in too much wind. Most importantly, a helmet that is too big may come off in a crash—which is exactly what you do not want to happen.

 

Different Types of Motorcycle Helmets

Types of Motorcycle Helmets

The first thing you will have to consider when making your motorcycle helmet purchase is to decide what type of motorcycle helmet would work best for you. When you think about what helmet to buy, think first about your riding position. Will you be riding on a speed bike, crouched down? Or will you be on a cruising bike, sitting upright?

Each riding position is enhanced through the use of a helmet with the right ergonomics and visibility. Other things to consider when making this decision are the surfaces you will be riding on, your desired visibility, average speed, helmet weight, and your overall comfort. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of helmet, so you will want to consider your individual needs before making your purchase.

Full Face Helmets

Ultra Max Full Face Helmet

Full face helmets cover the back, front, and top of your head. Due to their coverage, full face helmets offer motorcyclists the most complete protection as compared to other helmet styles.

Full face helmets are traditionally bubble-shaped and round. They typically feature aerodynamics that have been optimized for different riding positions. Regardless of the exact look and shape of a full-face helmet, these helmets are structurally strong due to a thick chin bar that is integrated into the remainder of the helmet.

Full face helmets feature wind visors in the front, which can be easily opened or closed. A closed visor could potentially create ventilation issues—so to prevent this, these helmets typically feature ventilation channels on the top and in the front and the sides of the helmet. These ventilation channels allow fresh air to flow throughout the helmet.

Modular Helmets

2020 Modular Motorcycle Helmets

Another type of helmet to consider is a modular helmet. These helmets come equipped with chin bar sections on rear hinges that pivot upward. Modular helmets have the ability to essentially flip from a nearly full-face helmet to an open face one with a flip of the chin bar.

These types of helmets tend to range in shape from a round helmet to a slightly elongated helmet style. Round modular helmets tend to be more ideal for upright riding styles and lower speeds, while the elongated style is often better for faster riding, as it is more aerodynamic.

One thing to keep in mind while considering purchasing a modular helmet is that these helmets do not have the same crash integrity and strength that full-face helmets do. The lower chin sections of a modular helmet are reinforced for strength; however, they are still separate pieces from the remainder of the helmet, which causes them to respond differently in the event of a crash. Another consideration is that due to the numerous components of a modular helmet, these helmets tend to weigh more than full-face helmets.

Half-Shell Helmets

Vega Warrior Half Shell Motorcycle Helmet

Half-shell helmets are typically worn for style and to allow you to enjoy the wind in your face. These helmets provide the absolute minimum required head coverage, which is something to keep in mind regarding safety issues.

Since half-shell helmets allow you to hear the sounds and see the sights of the outdoors better than any other type of motorcycle helmet, these helmets are valued by riders of cruiser bikes and vintage classics. Unfortunately half-shell helmets do not shield your mouth and face from bugs and other road grit. Half-shell helmet users also often wear goggles, sunglasses, and bandannas for further protection from the elements.

Dirt Bike or Off-Road Helmets

Orange Off-Road Dirt Bike Helmet

Dirt bike helmets aka Off-Road helmets are lightweight and are also designed for maximum ventilation, allowing the rider to breathe easily. This feature is especially important while off-roading during warmer months. To help you stay cool, dirt bike helmets also have less insulation inside. Their one-piece construction offers excellent levels of protection for the chin area.

Since dirt bike helmets do not include a wind visor and are not intended for high speeds, riders usually wear separate googles inside of their helmets to protect their eyes. This is helpful because the googles are much easier to remove to clean when they get covered in mud.

Off-road helmets generally have large and adjustable sun peak attachments that serve several different functions. One such function is that the attachments keep the sun glare out of the rider’s eyes. A second function of sun peaks is that they effectively block much of the mud and dirt kicked up by the rear wheels when you are behind another rider on a dirt trail.

Because of the lower insulation and lighter weight, you will hear the most noise inside of a dirt bike helmet. However, this can be beneficial when you are traveling at low speeds over a rough terrain because these sounds may be necessary for you to properly determine if your tires are skidding, sliding, or maintaining contact.

Dual Sport Helmets

Dual Sport Helmet

These helmets are basically dirt bike helmets that have been re-engineered for street use. Ventilation for on-road riding is improved through the use of vents and ducts, and you can flip face shields down when you are on the move. You can also opt to flip the face shield up to use with your goggles during off-roading.

Dual sport helmets are built to provide the rider with better jaw protection with their permanently integrated chin bars. Additionally, dual sport helmets have glare-reducing sun peaks that are not quite as subject to aerodynamic lift with increasing speeds.

These helmets feature more insulation for warmth and sound muffling than dirt bike helmets do; however, not as much insulation as full-face helmets offer.

Open Face Helmets

Magna Open Faced Motorbike Helmet

Open face helmets cover the top, sides, and back of the head. However, these helmets leave the facial areas completely exposed. An adjustable strap is used around the chin in order to keep the helmet securely fastened to your head.

Since these helmets do not contain a structural chin section, open face helmets do offer less crash protection, which is something important to keep in mind. These types of helmets tend to be popular with scooter riders and lower-speed bikers.

Open face helmets give motorcyclists a thrilling open-air feeling; however, that does come with a downside—the exposure to bugs, water, and road grit. One way to solve this problem is to purchase removable air filtering face masks or visor pieces if it does not already come with one.

 

Caring for Your Helmet

How to clean motorcycle helmet

Though motorcycle helmets are durable, it is important to properly care for them so they can last and continue to keep you safe. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for your helmet. You should also use the mildest soap that is recommended to use. Keep in mind that you should be avoiding any petroleum-based cleaning fluid – this is particularly true if you own a poly-carbonate helmet. Your helmet may lose protective value and may decompose if it is exposed to strong cleaning agents.

You should take care to keep the face shield of your helmet clean. Typically, warm water and mild soap used with a soft cloth will be sufficient to get the job done.

If your face shield gets scratched, you should replace it because a scratched face shield can make it difficult for you to see. At night, this can be particularly dangerous as it may distort your vision and block your view of oncoming lights. You should also be careful not to drop your helmet, as the main purpose of it is to absorb impact, and this can cause damage.

 

Moto Helmets Plus

Moto Helmets Plus Logo

Moto Helmets Plus offers safe, stylish and affordable products made from the highest quality materials.

They pride themselves in making sure that you are satisfied with your purchase through strong manufacturers’ warranties, leading safety inspections / certifications and incredible prices. Moto Helmets Plus focuses on stocking quality products, not just quantity to ensure an easy, enjoyable shopping experience.

Browse their website today to learn more about the variety of helmets they have to offer. If you have any questions whatsoever they would love to assist you – simply use the contact form on this website.