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What to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Helmet?

Updated on March 4, 2014

When you have a motorcycle, the most important you need to have is a helmet. Helmets protect your head when you fall down from your motorcycle due to an accident or any other dangerous situation. You feel safer when you wear a helmet. A helmet’s purpose is not only to protect your entire head but to also protect your eyes from outside elements like dust or smoke. This article will guide you on what motorcycle helmet to buy that is within your preferences.

Helmet Construction

There are different materials used when helmet manufacturers make helmets. Some helmets are made from polycarbonate shells and some are made from fiberglass or Kevlar-like materials. The polycarbonate helmets are less expensive because polycarbonate costs less compared to fiberglass or Kevlar-like materials. However, fiberglass or Kevlar-like helmets are lighter in weight compared to polycarbonate ones. A helmet also has an inner liner that absorbs shock during a crash. It is made up of expanded polystyrene. The material crashes when it’s involved in a crash so make sure to replace your helmet when it has already been involved in a crash.

Helmet Rating Systems

There are different rating systems of helmets. The first one is DOT rating, the second one is Snell standards, and some other rating systems like British Standards Institute certification and European Union certification. It is a requirement that helmets that are being sold in the United States should pass United States’ Department of Transportation or DOT. For a helmet to pass to the DOT rating, it must withstand significant impact, have a secure fastening system, and must not penetrate. The Snell certification is also a type of rating system. This certification, though, is not required compared to the DOT rating but whenever a helmet has a Snell certification, you are assured that the helmet is following the best safety practices. Other rating systems are British Standards Institute and European Union. These are certifications that are similar to DOT ratings.

Motorcycle Helmet Fitting

Motorcycle Helmet Designs

There are lots of motorcycle helmets’ designs to choose from. You can choose from full-face helmets, open-face helmets, half helmets, and beanie helmets. These motorcycle helmets, although different in designs, will give you your head’s safety when riding. Full-face helmets are helmets that cover your whole head. This is the best helmet to use to maximize protection of your head. The open-face helmets protect the top part of your head, ears, neck, and eyes but do not protect your chin and lower face. The half helmets protect the half part of your head. It also is convenient to use because you can remove it easily. Finally, the beanie helmets offer protection to the top part of your head only. You can freely choose what type of helmet you can have. You only need to make sure that it passed the certifications of DOT or Snell and you’ll know that it is a good helmet.

Helmet brands like Bell motorcycle helmets offer a wide range of motorcycle helmets depending on your preference. Always remember to ride safely and wear your helmets at all times when riding a motorcycle.


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    • HowToLoveOne profile image

      Joshua Pine 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow awesome... I was just talking about getting a dual sport and I've been looking a gear. Now I know what to look after. thanks!