Your Complete Guide to Buying Motorcycle Helmets

Finding and buying motorcycle helmets is much more than figuring out your size and your favorite paint job. Learn how to buy a motorcycle helmet here.

Motorcyclists are roughly 28 times likelier than other motorists to get into an accident that ends in a fatality. 

While we know there are few things you enjoy more than your days on the open road, you need to make sure your safety is your number one priority. Yes, this means getting your motorcycle serviced regularly, following all traffic laws, and even buying protective padding to wear under your clothing.

But more than anything else, you need to know how to choose a motorcycle helmet capable of saving your life if you get into an accident. 

Consider this your ultimate guide to buying motorcycle helmets. 

We’ll fill you in on important features to look for, how to ensure you have the proper fit, and much more. 

The Basics of Motorcycle Helmet Sizing

Having the proper motorcycle helmet fit is the first step towards making sure you’re choosing the best possible helmet. 

To properly learn how to measure for a motorcycle helmet, you’ll need a tailor’s measuring tape. 

To find your size, wrap the tape around the largest part of your head, right above between your ears and eyebrows. Connect the tape in the middle of your forehead, and you have the circumference of your head. 

The truth is that it’s a lot like buying a standard hat, but you’ll need a bit of a tighter fit. This quick guide goes into more details about how to properly manage the circumference of your head.

Most motorcycle helmet stores will list their sizing by head circumference, so always look for a sizing chart before you make any purchases online. 

Motorcycle Helmet Shapes

When you’re buying motorcycle helmets, you’ll also need to consider the specific shape. 

Depending on the unique shape of your head, you’ll be able to choose between the three main shapes. They are long oval helmets, intermediate oval helmets, and round oval helmets. 

If you have a head that’s longer from front-to-back than from side-to-side, you should go for a long oval helmet. To see if you fit this description, measure from the forehead to the back of your head, and then from one ear to another. 

Next, there’s the intermediate oval shape — the most common type of motorcycle helmet. (Learn other cool motorcycle facts here.) If your head is only a little bit longer from front-to-back than it is side-to-side, you should get this shape. 

If you see a helmet without a specific shape marked, it’s generally safe to assume it’s an intermediate oval. 

Finally, there’s the round oval motorcycle helmet shape. 

This is ideal for riders that have heads that are about equal in length from front-to-back as they are from side-to-side. 

Once you’ve chosen the correct shape and size, you’ll need to ensure you have the proper fit. Let’s cover how to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need now. 

Ensuring You Have the Right Fit

The proper motorcycle helmet fit is, far and away, the most important aspect of shopping. 

In order to prevent annoying sliding when wearing (not to mention improper protection) you should select a helmet that’s a bit tight. The inside of the helmet should be covering/touching the majority of your head. 

However, if you feel pain, or if the helmet squeezes parts of your face together, you’ll know what you’ve chosen is too tight. 

Remember that, with a bit of wear, modern helmets will adjust to the size and shape of your head. Just make sure you pick a model that’s tight so that when it does shift, it doesn’t become too loose. 

Make sure that the helmet rests evenly, and that it’s not leaning towards one side or another. It should sit with its edge right above your eyebrows (covering most of your forehead.) Test to make sure you can still see out of the corners of your eyes. 

For one final test, put a finger between your forehead and the helmet itself. 

If the finger slides in too easily, you’ll know you’ve chosen a helmet that’s too loose. 

Consider the Color

When you’re choosing your motorcycle helmet, the level of comfort and safety it offers should always be your first priority. 

However, choosing certain colors can make it easier for drivers to spot you when you’re out on the road. 

If you plan on doing a lot of riding at night, we suggest going with a bright red, yellow, or orange helmet. You should also look for a model that comes with a shield tint for increased visibility, especially in bright sunlight. (Just make sure you never use the tinted shield at night — lots of riders absent-mindedly forget to put it back up.) 

We also encourage you to purchase reflective vests you can wear and stickers to place on your helmet when out on the road. 

Ready to Start Buying Motorcycle Helmets?

Now that you’re an expert in buying motorcycle helmets, it’s time for you to share what you learned with your other rider friends. 

This guide might also have made you think about doing standard motorcycle maintenance, investing in some new clothes for riding or even getting a new model altogether. 

No matter what kind of advice you need about how to enjoy your time on the road, we make sure you get the very best. 

Bookmark our blog to learn even more about how to stay safe, fix your motorcycle, and even how to spot potential signs of trouble when riding.