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How To Choose Helmet Size

Thinking of buying a motorcycle helmet? The first thing you must consider after finalizing the style is the fit. Motorcycle helmets are designed to protect in the event of a crash. It offers the most important safety feature on the asphalt. Thus a rider should buy the best fitting bike helmet he or she can afford.

Buying the helmet requires much research to understand different features, styles, shapes, and the best fit. The most popular way to determine helmet size is by measuring your head circumference. Although a personal helmet fitting session in the store is the best option. You must choose the correct size because you don’t want to spend a fortune on a lid that doesn’t fit correctly or hurts at high speed. 

In this motorcycle helmet sizing guide, we will break up the post into the following essential elements:

  • Helmet Shape
  • Sizing A Helmet
  • Helmet Fit
  • Types Of Motorcycle Helmets

How To Choose Helmet Size – Motorcycle Guide 2020

Helmet Shape

Even before you check for the correct size of the helmet you must consider its shape. The shape of the rider’s head is an important factor in selecting an appropriate helmet.  All helmet manufacturers design their nutcase to fit a particular head shape. 

There are three primary head shapes – long oval, intermediate oval, and round oval.

  • Long oval: This shape is longer from front to back than side to side.
  • Intermediate oval: This shape is slightly longer front-to-back than it is side-to-side. Most helmets fall in this category as it is the most common head shape.
  • Round oval: This helmet has almost identical front-to-back and side-to-side measurements.

Next, it’s time to find the correct size of the helmet for you.

Sizing A Helmet

Measuring for the best-fitted helmet is pretty straightforward. The best tool for measuring your head size is the seamstress or tailor’s tape measure. It is flexible enough to wrap around your head for taking accurate measurements. 

How to measure your head:

  • Wrap the measuring tape around your head – from just above the ears to about an inch above the eyebrows – take the measurements at the forehead.
  • Now compare the measurement to the manufacturers sizing chart and select one that will best fit you.

Here is an example helmet sizing chart for adults:

SizeInchesCm
XS20.9 – 21.3 in53 – 54 cm
S21.7 – 22.0 in 55 – 56 cm
M22.4 – 22.8 in57 – 58 cm
L23.2 – 23.6 in59 – 60 cm
XL24.0 – 24.4 in61 – 62 cm
XXL25.0 – 25.2 in63 – 64 cm

Helmet Fit

When a motorcycle helmet is worn first it should fit snugly to your head, but no so restrictive that it hurts you. The helmet shouldn’t put any pressure on your head or face, but it should not move around freely too. With time, the helmet will adjust with your head shape and loosen up. However, it should not become loose enough to turn side to side as you shake your head.

how to check fit of helmet

Trying on a helmet:

  • Put on the helmet; it should be a little tight initially.
  • The helmet should sit evenly on your head. If anyone twists the helmet from the top your head should move along. If the helmet moves freely it’s too loose.
  • Some helmet models provide adjustable cheek pads for a better fit. Check this for proper sizing.

Lastly, decide on the color and pattern you want for your helmet. Choose a brighter shield to increase your visibility. The face shield should not obscure your vision and the tinted visors should be used for sunny days.

Types Of Motorcycle Helmets

Types Of Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcycle helmets are available in different types offering rider-specific benefits. Some riders like full-face helmets while others prefer a slim approach that allows them to ride legally in places where helmets are mandatory. 

Regardless, you have an array of options to choose from:

  • Full Face Helmets
  • ADV Dual Sport
  • Half Shell Helmets
  • Open Face Helmets
  • Modular Helmets

Picking the best helmet might be a tedious task. However, you may feel free to ask questions to get your doubts cleared. Meanwhile, the popular suggestion for buying motorcycle helmets are:

Now that we have discussed in detail how to choose helmet size, it is also important to know a little about safety ratings and government guidelines. All helmets approved in India should bear the ISI Mark. The IS code is a non-removable laminated print. In the US, the helmets come with a Department of Transportation (DOT) rating. High-end brands offer Snell and Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) ratings which have more rigorous testing done.

The bottom line is a well-fitting helmet contributes to a safer and more comfortable riding experience.  If a helmet fits too tight, it can cause destruction and not protect your head completely in a nasty crash. If the helmet is too loose it may come off. Thus, choosing the helmet with the perfect fit is a smart choice.

Dropdown your questions in the comment section below.

Be diligent. Drive Safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if your helmet is too big?

If you buy a large helmet, it will twist around your head; it can be noise; and worst of all, it may come off in the event of an accident. So, choose your helmet size wisely – neither to snug nor to lose.

Does wearing a helmet cause hair loss?

Wearing a helmet that’s too tight can make the roots of your hair stick to the scalp all the time. This condition is called traction alopecia. If your scalp is unwashed and dirty for a long period of time this may develop hair fall.

Is a full-face helmet safer?

Yes, when safety is the concern, full-face helmets bag all the stars. It offers full-protection around the head and neck. A full-face helmet also protects you from the rough weather or debris and bugs hitting your visor.

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