Brain bucket, skid lid, dome, lid, shorty—the helmet has many different nicknames and many different looks, but the purpose (protecting your noggin) always remains the same. Picking the right motorcycle helmet is essentially about two things: safety and proper fit.
Not all helmets are created equally, and when it comes to picking the safest, best quality helmet always make sure it’s DOT approved and/or SNELL certified. These two standards are by no means the start-all end-all of motorcycle helmet safety, they act as a great set of guidelines to build on so always look for the tell tale sticker before buying.
Next, assess the type of driving you will be doing and match a helmet type to it. For example, if you’ll be doing a lot of off-road racing or exploring, a shorty or open face may not be some of your best choices. On the other hand, if you’ll just be motoring to and from work in an urban setting, a helmet that provides slightly less coverage may be for you. Always make sure your temples are protected. Check out what different styles of helmets there are for different types of riding at this neat little site.
After settling on the style of helmet that fits your need it’s time to choose the one that fits and feels the best on your head. Things to consider at this point are the weight, and visor of the helmet. A helmet’s weight is not just a matter of personal comfort; the heavier a helmet, the more it could contribute to a broken neck or serious neck injury in the case of an accident. However a helmet that is too light will also not offer the right kind of protection so make sure to balance function (safety level) with comfort of fit. Visors are just as necessary as the helmet itself.
Visors and goggles—often times a combination of the two—are your first and best defense against rocks, insects, and everything else the road will thrown at you. If you think a bit of road rash hurts, try taking a rock to the eye going 65 m.p.h. Not only will sunglasses, visors, and goggles protect your eyes from foreign objects, they will also prevent things from blowing in and causing a possible accident.
Author bio: Ben S. is a writer for Competition Accessories, a provider of motorcycle gear, clothing, and accessories. Rachel takes pride in her gear and rides a 2010 Triumph Speedmaster.