A motorcycle helmet is the most crucial piece of riding gear any rider can own, as it prevents injury to the most vital of human organs. Even crash test data suggests that most fatal and lasting injuries to motorcycle riders occur because of a injuries to the head, most of which are caused by either lack of a helmet, or an improper helmet size. So, what is it that you can do to make sure that your head is well protected in the event of a crash? The answer is simple - get a helmet that fits your head perfectly.
Find out your head shape
The first step to finding the right helmet is figuring out the shape of your head. Head shapes differ from region to region, but even in the same region, you will find people with differing head shapes. When viewed from the top, your head can look like an oval. Exactly how oval it is decides the shape of your head. There are three broad classifications for this - Round Oval, Intermediate Oval and Long Oval. Round Oval means that all sides are of the almost equidistant from each other. Intermediate Oval means that the front-to-back measurement is slightly more than the side-to-side measurement. A Long Oval simply means that the front-to-back measurement is significantly more than the side-to-side measurement. Once you know your head shape, you can start looking for the right helmet. Although, you should know that some manufacturers are more prone to making helmets of one shape than the other, depending on who their predominant buyers are.
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What size should you go for?
Once you have figured out your head shape, the next thing you need to know is the size. Most helmet manufacturers offers helmets in three or four sizes such as Small, Medium, Large, and possibly extra Small. To find out which size will work for you, you will have to measure your head with a flexible measuring tape. Start measuring around the top of your eyebrows and go all the way around your head. Take multiple readings and pick the largest one. That’s your size. Helmet manufacturers offer a detailed guide on their websites for this process, and it can differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Make sure you check the exact method listed by the helmet maker before measuring your head.
How snug should a helmet be?
Now that you have narrowed down the size, there is still a fine scope for adjusting how the helmet feels on your head. The thing that you need to remember is that your helmet should not move freely on your head. All or most parts of the inner liner should be in contact with your face, but not close enough to create pain points after a few moments of wearing the helmet. Many helmet manufacturers offer additional inner liners to give you as snug a fit as possible.
Is that all?
In terms of buying a new helmet and picking the correct size, yes, that’s all. However, it’s important to know why this necessary and what else you can do to make sure you stay safe. Firstly, a well-fitted helmet means you will tire less often, meaning that you will be actively safer on a motorcycle. Secondly, make sure you do up the strap of a helmet securely and in the right manner. D-rings are considered the gold standard as you can’t go wrong with them. Lastly, a helmet is built to take the impact of a crash, and to protect your head, it destroys itself. Even though a helmet might look visibly okay after a crash or might have small scratches, it could very well be beyond use. Get a new helmet or if you think you actually got away in a crash without impacting your helmet, at the very least, contact your helmet manufacturer and get a professional opinion before carrying on riding in it.