Proper Fitting for Motorcycle Helmets
Headed out on the road for another epic biker trip? Don’t leave without a helmet that fits you properly! Undergoing the helmet-fitting process can help to ensure your safety and comfort on those long motorcycle rides. Your helmet is the most important piece of equipment you can wear. Don’t just settle for grabbing one off the shelf; sizes and shapes vary from company to company, meaning that one size definitely does NOT fit all.
There are several steps you can take to make sure you get the helmet that’s right for you. These steps go beyond size labels and styles; instead, they have to do with physically matching your head size and shape to a specific model of helmet.
The steps are as follows when fitting your helmet:
1. Measure the head with a tape measure (a cloth one is best). The head’s circumference should be measured from one inch above the eyebrows around to the largest point at the back of the head. Make sure to measure several times, and at different points, for accuracy.
2. Hat Size: Using your hat size as a guideline could be a useful strategy is you are dealing with someone who is unfamiliar with measurements.
3. Choose a motorcycle helmet to try on based on your head circumference and/or hat size. Most helmets have at least one of the two listed on the inside label. Make sure the listed circumference of the helmet is for the inside, not the outside. If you are between sizes, always round up!
4. A visual test can help determine if you have the right fit. Use a mirror to help check for the following.
a. Your eyes should be centered with the upper edge of the liner-padding coming just above your eyebrows.
b. Notice the way the helmet feels on certain points of contact. The cheek pads should be touching your cheeks but not squeezing them. The neck roll should gently rest on your neck. If it pushes the helmet away from your neck, it may cause the helmet to slip down over your eyes.
5. Wearing the helmet is a great way to check for an appropriate fit. With the helmet on your head but not fastened, try to gently lift the helmet off of your head. The helmet should cause your skin to move as it moves. Next, try to rotate the helmet from side to side. Again, your skin should move with the helmet. If this does not occur, then the helmet is too loose.
6. Fasten the chinstrap securely in place and try to take the helmet off by reaching around and grabbing the bottom edge of the opposite side. The helmet should not come off.
7. Comfort and safety are the most important factors. You want your helmet to not only fit securely but also to be comfortable. The helmet should equally distribute pressure around your head.
a. Helmets will get broken in over time. Therefore, you should choose a helmet that is as tight as you can comfortably bear so that as it loosens up, you’ll stay safe.