Updated Feb 8, 2016
Your motorcycle helmet is the only thing separating your head from the pavement. When considering such a purchase, it’s better to know as much as possible about the product before opening your wallet. Not all helmets are alike and some are certainly less protective than others.
The suggestions below come from Dan over at DragFever.com and from our perspective, he’s spot on. For the kind of riding we do around here, “ego” may as well stand for “irresponsible”. We all have our pride and the best way to insure we keep it at bay is to mute it’s voice in a safe and sturdy shell.
Most reputable motorcycle helmet companies manufacture items that live up to Dan’s Demands. Once safety is accounted for, filtering your results to suit head shape is also of importance. Measure carefully and try on multiple brands before committing to your final decision.
1) Make Sure It’s Certified
It’s not mandatory to get D.O.T. (Department Of Transportation), E.C.E. or Snell ratings on a helmet. Before purchasing, check the back of it’s shell to see if there are any safety stickers. Also be sure that these stickers are original, as some of the local dealers may sell lower quality helmets with non-genuine safety stickers on them.
2) The Chinstrap Should Tighten Properly
By “tight”, I mean that only two fingers should be able to fit between your chin and the strap of the helmet. This makes sure that the helmet doesn’t roll off should you down your bike.
3) Save Your Hearing! Huh?! What?!
Many people ignore this but it’s also important to protect your ears, especially if you have a bike that produces higher decibals. The helmet you’re purchasing should suppress sound while you’re riding. A helmet that’s too noisy can also be a problem as it makes riding generally uncomfortable.
When considering the purchase of a motorcycle helmet, it's good to know as much as possible about the product before opening your wallet.
Some like to listen to music while riding. Should you fit within this demographic, make sure the helmet you’re purchasing has speaker compatible ear wells in it. Alternatively, you can purchase a pre-installed bluetooth helmet, though aftermarket bluetooth kits tend to be more effective.
4) Wear It Before You Buy It
Always test a helmet’s fit and comfort before purchasing online. If you don’t, chances are you’ll find the helmet a bit uncomfortable (or in some cases reeeally uncomfortable). It’s worth it to test helmets at your local dealer before completing your purchase online.
I purchased a helmet from amazon that was twenty five dollars less than what my local shop was offering. You might be tempted to purchase on site, so let this serve as notice to hunt online as well. There are often steep discounts that are there for the taking!
How Do You Go About Purchasing A Helmet?
Dan’s made a lot of good points above. What helmets have or haven’t lived up to your standards? What do you like about your favorite and why? Your input is invited. Post an article!