Potential buyers enjoy putting a lot of thought into choosing a new motorcycle. There's the wandering of dealers, the debate among friends, research online, trawling through magazines and lots of dreaming. Buying a motorcycle helmet is less of an evocative experience.
It's difficult to get as excited about padding and chinstraps as torque and fuel injected engines. That doesn't mean it's a process that you can zip through. You shouldn't nip into your nearest dealer, grab the first helmet that appeals to your sense of aesthetics, pay and rush back out.
Follow these tips & tricks for making your decisions-
1. Helmet types:
There are three main motorcycle helmet types, and while they all provide a measure of protection, some helmets are safer than others.
Full-face helmets are the safest of the three, although many people find them claustrophobic. As the name suggests, they cover the entire face from the base of the chin all the way over to the base of the head.
Open-face helmets do not cover the chin and, as a result, offer less comprehensive protection than full-face helmets. They do, however, provide more protection than the last type.
Half-helmets (also known as shorty-helmets) perch on top of the head and are favored by Harley and Chopper riders. They meet the minimum safety requirements, but that is all; there is no chin or side protection, and if you come to a cropper, the damage is likely to be severe.
2. Helmet safety:
Safety certification tops the list
A helmet can be as comfortable as the womb and as sexy as Angelina Jolie, but if it doesn't meet the required safety standards, you might as well wear cotton candy on your head. Safety criteria differ from country to country, so make sure your helmet meets your local requirements.
Retention is the helmet's ability to stay in your head
It is suggested you do the chin test to determine the retention of possible helmets: fasten the chinstrap so that it fits snugly then try to pull the helmet off from behind. If you can do this, even if it hurts, then the retention leaves something to be desired, and you should keep on looking.
Fit and retention go hand-in-hand
Helmets should fit so snugly that when you try to move them, your skin goes along for the ride. If the helmet moves independently at all, it is too loose. You might wear a medium helmet in one brand and a large in another, so don't make assumptions.
A comfortable helmet
Factors to consider include comfortable padding, a good seal around the ear, a neck roll that rests against the back of your head and nothing that can poke you in the head from the inside. Full-Face helmets are considered the most comfortable but open-face helmets provide a feeling of greater freedom for those who don't like confined spaces.
Face-shields have their certification
They need to seal properly and open and close smoothly; they should also provide an undistorted view and be scratch-resistant. These days, most shields also come with UV protection. Furthermore, look for a mechanism that allows you to open it slightly to prevent fogging.
For many people appearance is everything
When it comes to looks, the price is everything. The flashier you want it and the more complex the design, the more you can expect to pay. Plainer is usually cheaper and brighter colors generally safer (they make you so much more visible to motorists).
What is its cost
It's advised that you buy the best helmet you can afford. Sometimes that works out nicely because the helmet that works best for you might not be the most expensive in the shop, but often it means that you have to sacrifice some of the nice-to-haves for the non-negotiables.
The bottom line is that when it comes right down to the crunch, your helmet can save your life. It's not an area where you want your inner Scrooge to shine through. Motorcycle helmets are too essential to be treated as an afterthought.
It may seem tiresome, but you need to spend a lot of time trying on different makes and models to find a helmet that not only has all the requisite safety features but also fits appropriately and is comfortable. This will ensure that increase your safety in case an accident occurs.