How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Helmet
When choosing a motorcycle helmet, there are many options to select from. This article will help you choose the right motorcycle helmet by discussing all the choices available for motorcycle helmets.
The first thing to consider when you choose a motorcycle helmet is safety, will the motorcycle helmet protect me? The performance of the helmet will depend on the quality of the material and how it’s made.
Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards
There are few different safety standards selections for motorcycle helmets and they can have different requirements.
Manufacturers that sell helmets in the US are already held to standards for safety. The majority of the helmets are DOT rated or Snell rated. Most motorcyclists will be fine when choosing a helmet that is DOT rated. The Snell requirement is designed for more of a racing standard and the choice to wear one is mostly street bikers, dirt bikers and motorcycle racing.
D.O.T. (Department of Transportation FMVSS218)
FMVSS218 is the technical standard that defines the criteria that a helmet manufacturer must certify against in the United States. It’s simply known as the D.O.T. helmet standard certification generally. The tests are very similar to the Snell tests, but the judged values are slightly different on criteria for impact, severity, and test equipment used.
Snell Memorial Foundation (M-95 / M2000)
The Snell Foundation certification is not a requirement by law in the United States (or around the world), but they go above and beyond the minimum criteria to thoroughly test helmets in many aspects.
Safest Motorcycle Helmet Type to Choose
There are numerous styles of helmets to choose from, but the three main design choices are the full face, ¾, and the ½ helmets. In regards to safety, the full face helmet is the safest choice of the three. The main thing remember is, that making a choice to wear a helmet is better than not choosing to wear one at all.
So, what is the safest motorcycle helmet to choose, any helmet that is DOT rated or Snell rated should be fine selection. The type of helmet you choose just depends on your own style.
What are Novelty Helmets
When it comes to novelty helmet choices, the thing to remember is they are not DOT or Snell rated. Novelty helmets are chosen by bikers for pure looks, they may look cool, but they will not protect your skull in a crash.
What is our recommendation when it comes to selecting and choosing a motorcycle helmet
If you are going to spend your money on a motorcycle helmet, you should choose to select one that is DOT or Snell rated. Any type of DOT or Snell rated helmet is a good selection and will help protect you in a crash. Why waste your money on a novelty helmet, when it is not going to protect you in a crash. You can put that cash towards a selecting a good DOT rated helmet when you choose and select one.
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How Much Money Should I Spend When I Choose a Helmet
When choosing a motorcycle helmet, it doesn’t have to be expensive. The main thing to remember when selecting a helmet is that it is DOT or Snell rated. Just because a helmet costs more does not mean that has more protection than one that cost a little less. The cost of the helmet is mainly dependent on some added features or the brand. Yes, that’s right, you can simply pay more for a helmet because of the brand name, not because it has more protection. Most DOT rated helmets are similar when it comes to protection and don’t have to cost an arm and a leg to purchase.
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Other Things to Consider When You Choose a Motorcycle Helmet
Motorcycle Helmet Fit Should Be Considered in Your Selection
Sizing will vary from brand to brand, therefore, a medium in one brand may fit like a large in another. Current helmet technology involves an inner liner to absorb shock, made of EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam. There is a comfort liner that riders often mistake for a protective component, which also does provide some padding. Fit is essential to finding the best helmet for you. What needs to fit is the EPS liner, not the comfort liner. A rough measurement should be taken from above the eyebrows, around the head at the furthest point of the back of the head, and around.
Keep in mind that there are non-safety factors that make a big difference. These include the feel of the safety liner, the amount of air flow, and the size and shape of the eye opening. Sound level is somewhat of a safety consideration, because it affects what is heard, and because wind noise over time will damage your hearing. Weight is more a comfort factor than a safety factor, but in an accident, the physics of weight may make a difference.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that the helmet fits your head correctly, and that the chin strap holds it on your head.
When To Replace Your Motorcycle Helmet
Motorcycle helmets should be replaced every five years, assuming you have not had any direct impacts that would jeopardize the impact protection of the helmet. Helmet degradation is caused by normal wear and tear, hair oils, and body fluids and cosmetics. Cleaners, paints, fuels and other materials also affect the liner materials and overall helmet performance.
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