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Motorcycle Helmet Size Guide

THIS IS A GENERIC SIZE GUIDE AND MAY NOT ACCURATELY REPRESENT THE SIZE OF THE ITEM PURCHASED


HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT MOTORCYCLE HELMET: YOUR GUIDE TO SIZES, TYPES AND WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR.

*Complete size guide at the end of this article


Essential tips to finding your perfect fit:

  • Be aware of the unique features and strengths of the helmets you may be looking at
  • Take time to familiarise yourself with the construction, size and homologations before choosing your helmet
  • Features key for any type of helmet include its maximum safety, the field of vision and your comfort

Some features of different helmets:

  • Full-face: closest to what professional riders wear, particularly light, with advance sport aerodynamics
  • Modular: great comfort and practicality, can be opened when stationary
  • Adventure: inspired by the off-road style of riding, their peak protecting against the sun and any debris, can be used in different configurations


IMPORTANT! The innermost layer with respect to the shell of the helmet is EPS, expanded polystyrene, which is there to absorb the force of impact. EPS is not an elastic material, so it doesn't return to its original shape after compression following an impact. THAT MEANS IT CAN NO LONGER ABSORB IMPACTS IN THE COMPRESSED AREA. WHICH IS WHY A HELMET THAT HAS CUSHIONED AN IMPACT MUST BE REPLACED.

MEASURING YOUR HEAD:

Using a tape, measure around your head about an inch above the ears, across the forehead (about an inch above the eyebrows), and over the natural bump at the back of your head. The measurement should lie somewhere within 50-64cm (on average).

CHOOSING THE CORRECT HELMET SIZE:

*Complete size guide at the end of this article

Once you chose your preferred helmet, use your measurements as a guide to the size you choose. When your measurements lie between sizes, lean towards the smaller size as the lining of the helmet will give slightly over time, so you need it to be snug without being uncomfortable at time of choosing.


Using the table provided by the manufacturer to find the corresponding size will give the correct measurement or size you should try on. Heads with the same measurements can have different shapes, it is always a good idea to try a helmet before committing to it.


TRYING IT OUT:

When you put your new helmet on for the first time move it around to make sure the crown feels like the correct size. Keep it on for some time and make sure you are comfortable, push against the forehead are as that is most likely to feel uncomfortable.

When fastening the retention strap do not make it too tight against the throat, on the other hand, do not let it be loose so that the helmet could come off easily.

Check if you can get a couple of fingers between the top of the cheek pads and your cheeks. If you can then you might need a size smaller, though, you could buy larger cheek pads to fill in the gap. Make sure this is not too loose as it will limit the safety of the helmet.

The visor protects you against more than air and insects, it acts as a shield protecting your face against impact. When trying on your helmet, make sure the width of the visor, both horizontally and vertically, gives you a wide enough field of vision. It is important you do not have obstructed vision when riding with your helmet on, if you feel it is not the correct width do check for other helmets with a bigger visor.


WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

You need to pay attention to the safety of the helmet you ultimately choose.

For those who use their bikes a lot, it is best to opt for a helmet with an outer shell in composite fiber or carbon fiber.

For short or medium urban and touring use, thermoplastic resin helmets are a good choice, especially for those new to riding, or those not looking for a featherweight or race performance.

Consider the composition of the absorbent layer, which is safer if it is in EPS that varies in density depending on the points of the head it must protect.

Ventilation: increased heat slows down reflexes and affects rider perception. It is important that you look out for the helmet that does not give you the air flow and ventilation system you need to ride comfortably. Helmet shapes with more aerodynamics and fluid heighten rider comfort and reduce air resistance.


WHEN TO CHANGE YOUR HELMET

A helmet’s life cycle depends on many things: where, how, how often it is used, and the care taken with it. Some components of the helmet, like the EPS, tend to deteriorate over time.

The general suggestion is to change your helmet at least every 5 years.

Before the 5 years, you should replace your helmet if there are clear visible signs of wear on the shell, the straps, EPS, or the mechanisms, or when the helmet absorbs an impact.


SIZE GUIDE

(Use as a generic guide only, may not apply to some brands)


SIZE CENTIMETERS INCHES HAT SIZE
X SMALL 53-54 20 7/8 - 21 1/4 6 5/8 - 6 3/4
SMALL 55-56 21 5/8 - 22 6 7/8 – 7
MEDIUM 57-58 22 1/2 - 22 7/8 7 1/8 – 7 ¼
LARGE 59-60 23 1/4 - 23 5/8 7 3/8 – 7 ½
X LARGE 61-62 24 - 24 3/8 7 5/8 – 7 3/4
2X LARGE 63-64 24 3/4 - 25 1/8 7 7/8 - 8
X LARGE 65-66 25 5/8 - 26 8 1/8 – 8 1/4

QUICK GUIDE ON HOW TO MAKE SURE THE SIZE YOU CHOSE IS CORRECT

A helmet too tight will be uncomfortable, whilst one too loose will not fulfil its protective functions.

Helmets provide maximum protection only when the size is correct.

FIVE STEPS TO MAKING SURE THE SIZE YOU CHOSE IS CORRECT:

  • Put the helmet on and fasten it, make sure the strap is neither too loose nor too tight; it must be close-fitting, but nor uncomfortable.
  • Once on, there should not be a gap between the head and padding. The helmet should fit snuggly around the whole face.
  • You should not feel any pressure points, especially in the front area and on the nape of the neck. It is best to keep the helmet on for some time to make sure there are no uncomfortable contact points.
  • Tilt the helmet sideways and up and down. A full-face helmet of the right size should not move around, the cheeks should remain in contact with the cheek pads following their movement. If the helmet moves around, the size is wrong.
  • To test the retention, with the helmet fastened on, tilt your head slightly forward and apply light pressure at its rear bottom edge. The helmet must not slide forward.

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