According to research by RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), about 19,297 motorcyclists got injured in all of 2016’s reported road accidents.
Out of all these people, 5,553 were seriously injured and 319 lost their lives. Notably, most accidents emanated from collisions at junctions, overtaking collisions, drunkenness, speed, and loss of control, while many fatalities occurred because of severe head injuries.
Clearly, it’s crucial to invest in a worthwhile motorcycle helmet because you’ll need adequate head protection in case of a serious crash.
In that light, here’s everything you need to know before buying a helmet:
Types of Motorcycle Helmets
Some of the common motorcycle helmets on the market include:
1. Full-Face Helmet
This helmet offers a full coverage around your neck and head.
If anything, this is one of the safest helmets you’ll find in the market. It comes with a chin bar designed to cushion you against severe impacts.
Also, full-face helmets have ventilation systems to reduce visor fogging, evaporating sweat, as well as keeping you cool throughout your rides.
2. Flip-Up (Modular) Helmet
One of the major differences between a full-face helmet and a modular helmet is that the former comes with visor and chin bar than can flip up. Also, most modular helmets weigh more than full-face helmets. This is because of the hinge structure incorporated in the flip-up front area.
And since its ideal for riding in an upright position, the flip-up helmet is also suitable for adventure riders, cruisers, and tourers.
3. Open Face (Three-Quarter) Helmet
This helmet covers your entire head, but leaves the face exposed, hence the name three-quarter helmet.
This open face helmet is popular among café racers and scooter riders. However, it’s not as safe as most full-face helmets as it lacks a chin bar.
4. Half Helmets
Half helmets provide coverage only from your forehead to the back of your head.
As a result, these helmets offer minimal face protection. Not to mention they often come without a face shield or visor. Nonetheless, they provide excellent airflow when riding the motorcycle.
5. Off-Road Helmets
Just like the name suggests, an off-road helmet is suitable for riding on dirt roads.
Thus, they have a more accentuated chin bar and large visor for flowing ventilation. But don’t offer eye protection. You’ll, therefore, need to invest in goggles or glasses to comfortably ride your motorcycle with an off-road helmet.
6. Dual Sport Helmets
These helmets are a mix between full-face helmets and off-road helmets.
In essence, they come with the interior comfort and padding of a full-face helmet and the exterior styling of an off-road helmet. You can, thus, use dual sport helmets when riding either off-road or on the highway.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Helmet
Your motorcycle helmet should look great while also fitting perfectly. Additionally, you should go for a product with proper protection features as well as outstanding safety ratings.
Here are some consideration factors to help you land the perfect helmet more easily:
Shell Construction and Material
The material of a helmet not only affects its weight, but also the overall protection rating and comfort.
Most helmets feature one or more of these materials:
It’s less expensive and can expand to absorb shocks.
This material emanates for form fabric that’s densely compressed and creates an excellent shock-absorbing helmet inner shell.
This is one of the lightest helmet material. Also, it is the most expensive. A carbon fiber helmet protects your head by distributing the reverberations caused by a collision.
Fibre Glass Composite
This helmet material can be quite expensive. Nonetheless, it works by absorbing the energy from an impact before cracking and splitting up.
Comfort and Fit
It’s no brainer that the comfort of your helmet will affect all your motorcycle rides.
An ideal motorcycle helmet should fit your head not too loose and not too tight. It’s important to realize that an uncomfortable helmet can shift your focus as you ride, which can easily lead to a crash.
Don’t go for a helmet that’s too small because it can be so uncomfortable that it gives you headaches. On the other hand, a helmet that’s too large will move around your head, and, thus, fail it to protect it properly.
Most helmets have a weight ranging from 3lb (1400 grams) to 3.9lb (1800 grams).
Pointedly, a lightweight helmet is more comfortable and enjoyable to wear, especially during longer interval rides. But it isn’t a good shock absorber as like the heavy helmets.
Ensure to avoid buying a helmet with the wrong weight as it will eventually cause neck pain and even injury.
Without a doubt, the MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is one of the most important technological features in modern helmets.
Its main function is to protect the brain from impacts that can cause rational motion. In other words, MIPS reduces the risk of severe and minor brain injuries by redirecting and absorbing impact forces.
Therefore, go for a helmet that has MIPS. You can also get helmets with wireless speaker interfaces.
Looks and Aesthetics
Though it isn’t a must, the design and color should match your motorcycle parts as well as your wardrobe. View here to find motorcycle helmets and parts that match your riding style.
Before buying a helmet, ensure that it meets all ECE 22 guidelines as well as the Safety Rating Standards for helmets.
If you’re looking for a helmet for your daily commute, consider going for high-end helmets since they are more comfortable, and offer reduced wind noise as well as better dynamics.
For racing and riding tracks, pick a high-performance helmet with features like an aggressive venting system and tear-off posts.
Choosing the Best Motorcycle Helmet
The number of features and the material used in the motorcycle helmet often determine the price.
In short, the higher the price of a helmet the better the technology, protection, and comfort. Still, it’s possible to find a high-quality helmet at quite an affordable price. Just ensure that it’s safe enough for use.
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