The most fundamental item of motorcycle gear is also, frequently, the most misunderstood. AMERiders wants to clear up the conventional wisdom and marketing confusion then help put the best, safest helmet possible on your head. So here is All the Motorcycle Helmet Information You Would Ever Want to Know or at least what we thought is all.
What’s The Best/Safest Helmet I Can Buy?
The best/safest helmet you can buy is the one that fits you best. Period. The fit is the single most important factor when choosing a helmet; so much so that it outweighs pretty much every other merit or feature a helmet can have.
A helmet that fits you properly should fit evenly around your entire skull with firm, but not overly tight pressure. Avoid any with distinct contact gaps anywhere but over your ears and especially any with any pressure points. To determine if a helmet is tight enough, use your hands to try to twist it around your head while resisting that movement with your head. The helmet shouldn’t rotate beyond just the deformation of the comfort liner. Next, sit on the motorcycle you intend to use the helmet with, move through various riding positions and examine the visibility. Can you see ahead without straining your neck? If so, then you’ve found the right helmet for you.
Next, and this is some Motorcycle Helmet Information. If you are ordering online not from not from a forum or buy your friend, Dave, from a reputable retailer, not an Amazon reseller, not from eBay. A helmet should be brand new, unworn, wearing all its stickers and in its original packaging. Everyone has their own unique head shape, hence the need to jump through these hurdles. These are generalized into four or five categories, but even within those, fit varies by brand and model.
AMERiders sells only new helmets in many popular brands such as HJC, Rodia, Caliber, and more. We have our customers safety in mind which is why
Helmet Components And What They Do
Let’s work from the outside in. The helmet’s shell is made from a strong, but deformable material like plastic or carbon fiber. Its job is to both act as a chassis, holding all the other parts together, while also spreading impact forces across a wide area, shearing them off to the sides and deforming to absorb some of those forces. Safety wise, one material isn’t better than another. Well executed plastic is better than cheap carbon.
The visor mechanism is what the visor pivots on and what attaches it to the helmet. Every manufacturer has their own take on this and all are surprisingly fragile. Learn how to use them, then do so carefully. On some helmets, you can tweak the way the visor fits against the seal with an adjustment screw.
Mounted to the outside of some helmets may be some sort of vent. These are designed to control airflow around the helmet Vent holes come in either 10 or 20mm varieties, the latter obviously flowing more air. Ones in the back draw air through the helmet from ones in the front, providing a cooling and/or defogging effect. Brow vents really help in hot weather. Are those 10 or 20mm in diameter and how many of them are there? Can they be fully sealed-off when it gets cold?
What about the Liner?
The liner is another important piece of Motorcycle Helmet Information you should know. The helmet’s major impact-absorbing element of the helmet is a foamed polymer liner, commonly made of expanded polystyrene (EPS). Polymer foams are chosen because they are easily fabricated and because, unlike honeycombs, their ability to absorb energy is omnidirectional. The helmet designer empirically selects the density and thickness to meet standard impact-tests which are at constant velocity (5 m/s) onto rigid anvils In your helmet, its densities are precisely varied to slow the deceleration of your head to a survivable level.
The comfort liner is the foam and fabric that touches your head providing, wait for it, comfort. A helmet that fits your skull precisely needs very little padding; beware heavily padded helmets. Look for nice, soft, long-lasting fabrics that will spoil your scalp and face; you’ll be spending days at a time pressed against this stuff. Bonus points for wicking and antimicrobial properties. Some helmets include press-on adjustment pads that allow you tweak the fit a little bit. These work, but only in very small amounts; a long oval helmet can’t be made to fit a spherical skull using press-on pads. Think of them as a final 1% bit of tailoring.
The chin strap is the only thing holding your helmet on. They’re bolted through the styrofoam to the shell. Buckles can be ratchets, seatbelts or D-Rings. The first two might sound more convenient, but in the real world, they’re a hassle. D-rings adjust perfectly and quickly every time without any fuss.
I Don’t Have A Cheap Head, Should I Buy A Cheap Helmet?
Here is another peice of Motorcycle Helmet Information for you. There is no correlation between helmet price and safety. That’s probably because there’s been virtually no technical safety innovation in helmets since about 1968. Since that first Bell Star, they’ve all been some styrofoam stuck in a shell with a hole cut in the front so you can see. Helmets have gotten much safer over time, but they still follow that same formula, so it’s not hard to do the safety thing right. Buy a brand new helmet from a reputable manufacturer being sold by a reputable retailer made to Snell M2015 or DOT standards and you’ll be getting as much safety as anyone dropping $900 name brand helmet.
More on Friday
Of course, we don’t want you to read all day so we are going to split this into two posts for you. On Friday we will finish out this for you with the rest of our Motorcycle Helmet Information for you.
~And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders give you All the Motorcycle Helmet Information You Would Ever Want to Know.
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