Choosing the Right Motorcycle Helmet

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Image: Peter Stevens
Image: Peter Stevens

What is the right motorcycle helmet for you? With so many options available, there’s a number of considerations, ranging from the aesthetic to the practical. Here’s what you need to know before choosing the right helmet for your riding needs.

In 2017, more than 1,850 motorcyclists’ lives were saved by helmets and another 750 would have been saved if they were wearing helmets, according to Advocates For Highway Safety. In the U.S. that same year, motorcycle helmets reduced the risk of head injury by 69 per cent & the risk of death by 42 per cent. So it’s a no brainer that helmets matter.

Size matters

One of the most important things to consider when buying a helmet is the fit. You should really be trying a helmet on for size and comfort. Here are some points to remember when trying on a helmet.

  • Do not lend your helmet to others! They don’t have the same shaped head as you, and their wearing the helmet may re-shape it
  • Your head is unique, so it benefits to have your head measured
  • If you’re unsure what size helmet to get, our staff can help ensure you get the correct fitting helmet

Once you know the size, then its time to think about the style.

The Open-Face Helmet

The open-face helmet is also known as the 3/4 helmet. It leaves your face exposed while covering the top back and sides of the head. Those who like to feel the wind on their skin often choose this type of helmet. They’re very popular among cafe racers, scooters, tourers, and cruisers. If you enjoy touring on your Harley Softail bike or other touring motorcycles, this might be the choice for you.

Riding through city streets can be made easier with features that allow for phone calls, listening to music and turn-by-turn GPS. Open-face helmets have no chin bar, usually favoured by riders who enjoy casual riding in hot weather. The open-face design also easily accommodates riders to wear glasses & sunglasses.

A disadvantage of an open-face helmet is the wind and weatherproof factor. Without a bandana or face mask, there is always the chance of eating a bug for lunch. And if safety is what you value above all else, then the open-face design will often come in second place to the full-face helmet.

The Full-Face Helmet

Full-face helmets provide the highest safety factor among helmet designs. This type of helmet is heavier and offers more protection & is effective against strong winds, making it especially suited for touring.

Full-face helmets also keep your face dry and offer protection against bugs, sun, noise, cold, stones & debris. And a tinted visor can offer a nice bit of mystery & intrigue if that’s what you’re thing. Visors also mean there’s no need for sunglasses, if you don’t have prescription lenses. These combined benefits make the full-face helmet ideal for long trips, as they often help reduce fatigue.

Full-face helmets offer a high degree of customization too, including hands-free communication via Bluetooth.

So what are the disadvantages of full face helmets? While their more robust design increases overall safety, it in turn masks the sounds of traffic, meaning riders have to be more alert in high-traffic conditions. Another drawback of this design is the added difficulty of communicating with other riders. A full-face helmet can potentially decrease a rider’s peripheral vision too.

Finally

There are many helmet styles and brands to choose from. While a full-face design offers more safety from its additional protection on impact, it comes with some drawbacks, as it can affect a riders’ ability to hear and use their peripheral vision. And some riders will always prefer to feel the wind on their face.

No matter your decision in choosing a helmet, the main objective is to be safe on the road while enjoying the ride. With customisation available, you can have the helmet that suits your taste, your riding style & protects you at the same time.

Whatever the style, design or colour, we want you to be safe and happy while on your motorcycle. Enjoy the ride!

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