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Buying a Motorcycle Helmet

Updated on October 1, 2013

Motorcycle Safety

When it comes to motorcycle safety equipment the helmet is the number one investment a rider should make. Many states require riders and their passengers to wear a helmet and some states do not require one. Even in states where helmets are not required you should be wearing one. I will put a few questions to those that do not wear a helmet. Do you have a family? Does your family rely on you for emotional and financial support? Do you think it fair to have your family members take care of you if you are critically injured in an accident? Do you think if fair for family and friends having to deal with the fact that machines are keeping you alive? I am very harsh when it comes to riders sailing down the highway on their motorcycle with a bandanna on their head, shorts and tennis shoes on while riding.  My feeling is if you do not wear a helmet you are being selfish. Do everyone a favor and invest in a good helmet.

Choosing The Right Motorcycle Helmet

Buying a helmet will take some research and actually going out and trying a few on. A size 7 in a Shoei helmet will fit differently than a HJC in the same size. The best helmet for coverage is the full face helmet but if this is not your cup of tea that is fine as long as you wear a good helmet. Just remember if you are wearing a half or open faced your jaw is exposed.

What to look for when buying a helmet

DOT certified and a Snell rating. If it does not have a DOT sticker on it pass it up.

The fit is very important, and should be snug with maybe a finger width at your cheek. If it is more than that it is too big. It should be snug around your face but too tight or it will be uncomfortable. If it is too big, it could pop off even in a minor crash.

It should be comfortable, and this is where trying on different brands helps in finding that right helmet.

One thing that most do not do is put it on, then with your motorcycle gloves on can you raise and lower the shield. Many riders like to pop there shield up a bit for circulation or they are fogging up. This is done usually while riding and the last thing you want to be doing is messing with your helmet.

Do not buy a helmet with something suck on top of the helmet. You know who you are! We will just say many times they ride a Harley and when they do wear a helmet it usually isn’t a good one. I have seen someone riding with what look like a blade on his helmet and all I could think about, what happens if he gets into an accident with another motorcycle rider and impales him on his helmet.

Helmets to Check Out

A great top of the line helmet if you have the money is an Arai that can run in the $500 range but with some shopping around you may find a deal on one. Many times if you go with last year’s model it is a good investment since it will save you a few dollars. Another favorite is Shoei and HJC helmets with the HJC helmets being a favorite since you get quality without breaking the bank. Some other quality helmets to look at are, the Shark, Nolan, Simpson, KBC, and of course Bell.

When you first start out wearing your new helmet it does cut down on your peripheral vision so make sure you are aware of this and play around with just how much it is taking away what you see. Be comfortable with mirror placement and turning your head to check for traffic. No matter what you want in a helmet there is one right for you and just don’t stop at wearing a helmet. Invest in some gloves, goggles, boots and a jacket that will protect you just in case you go down on the road.

For the female riders or passengers out there, check out, Motorcycle Accessories for Women Riders.

To wear or not to wear a helmet

If you had a choice would you wear or not wear a helmet?

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    • michyoung profile image

      michyoung 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      You are really good! Keep it up! All beginners should read this hub.

    • mkott profile image

      Michele 8 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      resspenser it isn't always easy. One thing that determines a good fit is the shape of your head. Not looking at the shape of your face but looking down at the top of your head. Some helmets are more oblong , where others are a little more round. I wear a Shoei for street and Bell for off-road but will be looking to replace the Bell.

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 8 years ago from South Carolina

      The one I bought is too big and the one that came with the bike is just right!

      I didn't do such a great job when I picked out the one I bought and always wear the other one. It is an HJC. Hang in there, now.

    • mkott profile image

      Michele 8 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Thanks Motor leathers

      It is surprising how many do not know how to choose the right helmet. I have seen riders with helmets way too small and some that are so large you could almost turn the helmet all the way around on their head. Then you have those that do not use the chin strap or if the do it is so loose you could put your hand between the strap and your chin.

    • Motor leathers profile image

      Motor leathers 8 years ago

      Nice Hub! For me almost everything was well known. But it was really interesting to read it! Thanks.