So the sun is out and the open road beckons, but you take a quick look at your favorite old helmet as you prepare to ride – and find it has seen better days. Maybe it is scratched from that tumble off your handle bars last year, or may time and UV rays have taken their toll. You absolutely have to replace your helmet after any type of motorcycle crash. But sometimes we just want to get a new helmet for a new look or to take advantage of new technology.
Whatever the reason, you know what that means – before you can hit the road, you’ll have to go helmet shopping.
Today, it’s time to shop. There is a lot more to doing it right than finding your favorite color or the hottest new look. The right fit is the key to the effectiveness of any helmet.
First, don’t forget that all helmets fit differently, so always try a helmet on before you purchase it.
Here is a basic guide to help you buy the safest helmet:
- Hold a tape measure about one inch above your eyebrows. This will indicate the size of the helmet you should start with. If your measurement falls between two sizes, try the larger size first.
- Put the helmet on and fasten the chin straps securely so there is no space between your brow-line and the inner lining.
- Test the fit and the retention system by moving your head from side to side and front to back. You should feel the skin on your head move with the helmet. The helmet should fit as tightly as you can comfortably wear it, because the helmet’s inner liner will compress with use.
- With the chin strap securely fastened, you should not be able to roll the helmet forward, off your head. If you can, the helmet is too large. You should try on the next smaller size.
- Wear the helmet for at least 15 minutes prior to purchase to ensure there are no uncomfortable pressure points. If you experience uncomfortable pressure points, try on a helmet that is one size larger.
- If you typically wear eyeglasses or sunglasses, bring them along to ensure that they will fit without causing pressure points at your ears and the bridge of your nose.
- Once you have found a proper fitting helmet, remember to check your range of vision to the left, to the right, up and down, to ensure that no part of the helmet obstructs your field of vision.
Now that you know what size and brand of helmet fits you best, you can pick out one that looks good, too.
Thanks for reading, and ride safe!
Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901
My book, “Would You Ride Your Motorcycle Naked?” is available FREE to New York and Pennsylvania bikers. Follow the link to order your copy today!
COMING NEXT: How to care for and store your new helmet.