If you own a motorcycle, you need to have riding gear to boost safety and make riding fun. A motorcycle helmet is one of the items you should have and is the most important gear every rider should own. Besides the safety factor you also want a motorcycle helmet that looks cool, as one factor that helps you decide. Before you bought your motorcycle, you did some research to help you make the right decision. You are supposed to do the same when you are planning to buy a helmet for your motorcycle. A new motorcycle comes with a helmet among other accessories but if your helmet is stolen, broken or you need an extra one, you will have to consider some factors. When buying a helmet you will notice that motorcycle helmet look different when compared to dirt bike or motocross helmets. Helmets that are designed for a motorcycle are usually more round without an extended chin protection that’s needed for a dirt bike. Your choice will be determined by your budget and your preference because there are different types of helmets to choose from e.g. full face helmets, half shell helmets, open face helmets, dual sport and modular helmets. For you to select a good helmet, consider the following:
What will you be using the helmet for?
How you are planning to use your helmet will determine the type of helmet you will buy. For instance, if you are planning to be riding with a group, you will need a helmet that has built-in communications to facilitate communication within the group. If the helmet is for racing, a high-performance helmet is recommended because they offer additional features e.g. tear off posts and aggressive venting for riders.
What features do you want from your helmet?
Here, you will have to consider a number of features to make the right choice:
a. Helmet shell material
The material used in making a helmet determines the number of factors such as weight, safety rating and comfort. Some popular materials used in making helmets include:
• Polycarbonate – the material flexes as it absorbs energy and hence less expensive
• Fiberglass composite – as it absorbs energy, the material flexes, crushes and splits but it’s more expensive than polycarbonate
• Carbon fibre – carbon fibre distributes energy evenly upon an impact. It is the most expensive helmet material and it is also the lightest
• EPS – this has a foam material that’s densely compressed to be able to absorb shock upon impact
b. Helmet weight
Helmets weight ranges from 1400 – 1800 grams. It is important to consider weight because it determines comfortability when riding. A properly fitting helmet has its weight distributed evenly around your shoulders and head.
c. Comfort features
You can consider buying a helmet that has additional comfort features to improve your riding experience. Nowadays, helmets have additional comfort features like wind reduction measures, communication provisions and an integrated sunshade to enhance the riding experience.
What are safety ratings of the helmet?
Consider different safety ratings of a helmet before buying. Some of the ratings you should consider include:
• DOT ratings. – Department of Transportation in the United States have set minimum requirements that a helmet should have for guaranteed protection.
• ECE22.05 – in Europe, the UN Economic Commission has set a standard level of protection for helmets
You should only buy a helmet that meets the standards set by DOT or ECE because they offer guaranteed safety.
The size and shape of the helmet
The size of the helmet is important because it plays a major role in case of an accident. You should first determine the size of your head and then go ahead and buy a helmet. The shape also plays part in safety and comfort when riding. There are different shapes and sizes of helmets to choose from. If you don’t know how to go about it, you can seek help from a friend or even the one who is selling you the helmet.
The price of a helmet is mostly determined by the materials used and the features a helmet has. An expensive helmet offers better technology, comfort and protection. However, that does not mean you cannot get a quality helmet at a reasonable price.