The passion of riding motorcycles has increased over the years. Not just the trend, but the technology made it easier for motorcycles to reach a very high speed in a very short amount of time. No doubt! Safety has been worked out too, motorcycles, these days have a better grip, but it must be realized that the motorcycle is basically a very unsafe vehicle. With both sides open, top uncovered there is not a single part of the body that is safe when on a motorcycle. Of course, we all know that getting a hit or two on the leg or on the arm will not be much of a problem. However, getting a hit on the neck or head can be very harmful and for that very reason we use helmets.
Why Is it so important to wear a helmet, anyway?
With increasing accidents on motorcycles, governments of countries across the globe have made it a compulsion for riders to wear helmets while riding motorcycles. Although, this has made a significant amount of difference and many lives have been saved, many deaths of motorcyclists while wearing helmets have been witnessed too. That can be due to a number of reasons:
- Not wearing the helmet correctly
- Low quality helmet
- Helmet too big or too small
- Wearing a helmet which is too old or already broken
Low quality, or broken helmets can be replaced by new ones. But when it comes to wearing a helmet that is of the right size, it is never too simple. You might have to follow a few simple steps and even wear the helmet before coming down to a conclusion, whether the helmet is about your size or not.
What you should know
First of all, you must know the size of your head. To do that, you should probably ask someone for help, as this is something you cannot do all by yourself. Take a tape and measure your head in width first. From just the top of one ear till the top of the other ear.The next thing is to measure the length of your head. This is done by putting one edge of the tape just an inch above eyebrows till the back of the head. This should give you a good idea of your head. You can go to the shop and simply ask the hat size of the helmet and whatever matches your head size, should be your pick.
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But wait! There is more to it. You should also have an understanding of the shape of your head. That’s right, not all heads have the same shape. Helmets might come in a common shape, but if they don’t match the shape of your head it can be a bit of a problem, I am afraid. Technically, we have different head shapes and there might be innumerable people with different head shapes, yet a large proportion falls in 3 two types:
Even if it is different, it is of significant important for you to know it. You should understand that helmets are produced on a large scale to satisfy the majority and customization is only very rare. Although, some brands may still agree to produce helmets of varied shapes to satisfy everyone. Wearing a helmet that has the same shape as your head will not only let you be comfortable while you wear it, but it will protect the head from all sides and thus more protective. It is recommended that you take your time to buy the helmet that has the same hat size and shape as your head.
Different aspects that you need to look into
One very effective way to measure the size and shape of your head is to use a soft vinyl. It will smoothly wrap around the head and you can take it off to see how your head is shaped and the size can be measured as well. Again, this method is more independent, but a little help can produce more effective and accurate results.
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Once you have made sure the helmets you are looking at have the same hat size and shape as you need, you will have to look at other important aspects. It is important that the helmet fits you perfectly from the sides and the chin, that is the bottom. How do we figure that out? Let’s see!
A helmet might still be very loose, even though its head shape and size is same as yours. The reason for that is, some people might have a long face, with the same head size as the others. If you buy a helmet which is of your head shape and size, but is loose from the bottomsides and it will be useless. In case of accidents as you fall down, the helmet will not cover you perfectly and possibilities are that your jaw might break down.
One of the finest techniques is to grab the helmet from the straps, put it own and make sure the helmet’s top starts just an inch above the eyebrow. Check if the straps fit perfectly and aren’t too loose or else the helmet is bigger than required.
As you drop down the helmet slowly, make sure it balances perfectly on your head. Once this part is done, you fill have to do a few more small tasks to make sure the helmet is what you need. Look carefully for a check pad and check whether the cheek pad perfectly touches your cheeks or not. If it touches too much, then you need to take the helmet off. It is too small.
So 2 simple tricks to know whether the helmet is yours or not from the bottom. Checking whether the straps are too loose or too tight, checking whether the chin pad fits easily or not.
Wait, there is more!
Don’t rush! Finding the right helmet comes for a price. The next thing you would want to check is the difference between your temples and brow pads. Yes! There should not be any space or gap left between the 2 parts temples and brow pads that is not required.
Lets fall into different things you might have to do for different helmets. Of course helmets come in different shapes, designs, styles and sizes. If you are looking forward to buying a full face helmet, that’s not a bad option either. It will protect you thoroughly.When you wear it, press the chin area of the helmet. If this chin area makes the helmet or the inside part of the helmet touch your nose or chin, than you will have to let it go. The reason is, while you are riding a motorcycle at top speed, the wind pressure will be very high. It can not only leave gaps for the wind to hit in, but also the wind will pick the helmet up and hit you in the nose and/or chin. This can be irritating and will certainly prevent you from driving safely. Some helmets have a neck roll. Helmets with a neck roll can protect the neck fairly well and can be very useful in case of accidents. After the skull, next most important part is the neck when you are on a bike. While wearing a neck roll helmet, just make sure the neck roll part doesn’t push the helmet away from the helmet.
Now that you have made sure the helmet is perfect from the top and the bottom, we will progress to the last stage. Checking whether the helmet fits from the sides.
If your fingers slip in from the sides, then know that the helmet is too big and can be too much of a problem. If not, try to move the helmet slightly in all possible angles. If your face and skin move in the same direction as the helmet, without you making any effort than you may assume that the helmet is of the right size. While wearing the helmet and chin strap connected, trying to pull off the helmet like you would normally take it off. Make sure it doesn’t allow much movement.
Buying a helmet that doesn’t fit you from the sides can be very dangerous too. If you fall down and get hit from a side, your entire head will be shaken up real bad and the helmet might hurt you. Your skull might be physically protected, but it can shock you up and really make you lose control as it will move you from inside.
If it passes all the exams, consider walking around for a while while wearing the helmet that fits you. When you take it off, look for any pressure points or any other marks. You might be too conscious while trying it that you may misjudge the size and it is a common mistake. After wearing it for a while if you get tired and there are marks than buy a helmet slightly bigger in size.
Remember, different companies around the globe produce helmets of different sizes on a different scale of measure. There might even be companies that make helmets which will fit perfectly for you. Make sure you relax while trying a helmet and be open for any odd effect.
Err, Common mistakes
Sometimes, people get used to a helmet that is not their size. Maybe too big or too small, but the body gets used to it and they do not realize the potential harm. As a result, when they go to the shops to buy a new helmet, even if the helmet is about their size they are not comfortable in it and put It off. For this reason it is suggested that you open yourself to a new helmet mentally and give it a few minutes as you wear it, to let it adjust and settle. This can help you buy a more accurate helmet, really!
When you will go to buy yourself a helmet, all helmet might have a somewhat same look from outside. While one will have better graphics and print on it, than the other you might easily be deceived into thinking that the “good looking” helmet has to be better. Its not! All helmets might be shaped same from outside and one might look more gorgeous, but the inside part very often differs. It is recommended that you take a good look of the helmet and see its structure from inside. Moreover, make sure you know how to wear a helmet correctly, before trying it and coming to a conclusion. Helmets usually have 3 different shapes from inside:
- Intermediate oval
- Long oval
- Round oval
Designed to fit the general population as mentioned earlier.
Not a single helmet fits me!
No problem. Many helmets now come with cheekpads that can be replaced and even liners to allow you to adjust the way you want from inside. They might not make a huge difference, but they can still count in fitting you better.
Remember that when you buy a new helmet, it might seem a bit tight at first, but after a few months of use it will get loose and fit you better.
Phew! This brings us to an end. Surely there are plenty things that must be looked into when you buy a helmet. Honestly, It can be boring and even tiring. But it is all worth it, once you buy a helmet and stick it, the helmet will stick with you. Last thing, A secure helmet is more important than a stylish helmet which will not save you if you fall down!