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Are you buying your first motorcycle helmet or has it been awhile since you’ve worn one? I’ve been riding for quite a while and have seen my fair share of helmet replacements, which means that I need to size my head each time I buy a new one and it can be quite the tedious task.
It is very important that your helmet fits properly because in the event of an accident, if your helmet it too large, it may come off or it may not protect you completely. If your dome protector is too small, it can put added pressure on your head and may be difficult to remove.
So, the main question here is how should a motorcycle helmet fit? I can surely answer this particular question while giving you helpful tips on how to figure out the proper size.
How Tight Should A Motorcycle Helmet Fit?
The fit of your helmet is vital to your comfort and safety while out on the open road. Yes, you may be an experienced rider with many years under your belt, but others on the road don’t pay enough attention to us bikers. If they were to cause you to drop your bike, that helmet on your head is what is going to protect you.
Your helmet should be slightly tight, but not too tight. There should be no areas of your head that have pressure on them, this means that it is a little too snug. If there is any kind of pain from the tightness of it, this could become a distraction while riding. We don’t want that to happen.
Your helmet should also not be able to move around freely. This means that it is too big. As you wear your helmet in, it should loosen up a little, but not to the point of moving from side to side easily. A helmet that is too loose can cause the following nuisances:
- Moving around when you least want it to
- It can be noisy with the wind coming inside of it
- It can come off in a crash
So how can you be sure that your helmet is the proper fit for your head? Well, the best thing to do is to try it on and do some quick tests.
Figuring Out Shape
Before you go out and start picking out random helmets, you should first determine which one matches the shape of your head. The shape of your head plays an important role when deciding which helmet you want to use.
This shape is ideal for those who have a longer front-to-back head rather than a longer side-to-side head.
This type is best suited for those who have a head that is slighter longer from front-to-back than it is from ear-to-ear. This is the most common head type and you will find more helmets with this shape than any others.
This helmet shape is ideal for those who have a head that has almost identical measurements from front-to-back and side-to-side.
Once you figure out which shape you are, it will be much easier to determine which helmet is more appropriate for your head.
If you can’t make it to a store or you found an awesome one that you absolutely love, but you don’t know if it will fit, don’t worry. There are a few simple things that you can do to ensure you are getting a properly fitting helmet from an online store.
Wrap Your Head
Take a flexible tape measure, such as one a seamstress would use, and wrap it around the fullest part of your head. You can find this just above the ears and about ½ an inch above the eyebrows. Connect the tape at the forehead and take the measurement.
Once this is done, take that number and use a motorcycle helmet fit guide and size chart and examine which size matches the dimensions you took. Each manufacturer has specific sizes, so make sure you locate their chart to ensure a proper fit.
Trying It On
If you are in a store, the best way to ensure a proper fit is to try the helmet on. There is a proper way to do this to ensure optimal results. This could take some time, especially if you have many options available.
It Should Be Comfortably Snug
If the helmet fits properly, it may feel a little snug and a tad uncomfortable. It should not be tilted back on your head, the cheek pads should not be pressing uncomfortably on your cheeks, there should be no gaps between the brow pads and your temples, and the face of it should not touch your nose or chin.
Move It Up And Down
Another thing you are going to want to do is move it up and down, side to side with the straps still fastened. If the helmet fits right, you should feel your skin move along witht eh helmet. You may even feel a slight pressure on your head, which is fine.
Roll It Forward
The last thing you are going to do is to try removing the helmet by rolling it forward with the chin strap still fastened. If you can, it’s probably too large and will most likely come off in an accident. If your potential helmet is too small, you’ll notice indentations. If this is the case, go up a to the next size.
If you are looking to buy a helmet online, my advice to you is to follow those simple instructions. Yes, that awesomely designed, super-ventilated helmet may be the talk of the town and the perfect one for you, but if it doesn’t fit, don’t buy it.
It will take you just a few minutes to ensure that your helmet is going to completely protect you while remaining comfortable and safe for use. If you have any comments, please be sure to drop us a line or two.
Make sure to follow these simple steps to properly size your helmet:
- Figure out your head shape
- Size your head with a measuring tape
- Try it on if in a store
- Move it all around
- Try to remove it with the chin strap fastened