Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Choosing a helmet

A motorcycle helmet is an extremely important element of motorcycle gear for aesthetic and most importantly safety reasons. For neophyte riders, choosing a good helmet is almost as difficult as deciding on the motorcycle itself. The purpose of a motorcycle helmet is to enhance your riding experience to a fun and secure level. Some people consider a bike helmet merely as an afterthought and end up making rash decisions regarding appearance and motorcycle helmet safety. A hastily chosen motorcycle helmet may lessen your riding experience, particularly if the helmet fails to fit or work properly.
Difficulty in choosing a helmet is not an annoyance singular to novice riders. Even experienced riders that wish to replace their old helmet find the process irksome. A motorcycle helmet dealer, for example, may not carry the make, model or size a rider is interested in. Other times, a rider may not even understand proper sizing. Don't be misguided when it comes to comfort or fit of a motorcycle helmet. False information is particularly detrimental to motorcycle helmet safety since everyone's head is shaped differently and requires different helmet features. The fact is, many factors play into the process of motorcycle helmet choice. We're here to help you find a comfortable, convenient and safe motorcycle helmet.

Helmet Comfort
Along with the motorcycle saddle, the motorcycle helmet is a piece of motorcycle gear that can make or break your riding experience. Motorcycle helmet comfort turns potential agony of a ride to pure joy. Helmet comfort, however is difficult to determine straight off. Some riders aver that a comfortable helmet simply doesn't exist. It is true that many riders, even seasoned bikers, have never had the pleasure of riding with a perfectly fitted helmet. Don't be discouraged. It takes several visits to various motorcycle helmet dealers to find the ideal size, make and model of helmet for your head.
Highly recognizable brands are generally the most comfortable. Other factors that contribute to motorcycle helmet comfort are soft foam-rubber padding touching your head, a solid seal around the ears (although not on the ear itself) and a neck roll that cradles the back of your head and neck.
Keep in mind that a good fitting helmet may seem tight as you tug on it due to the foam layers that seal out wind and noise. These foam shells are smaller than the inside the helmet proper. If when pulling on your helmet there is a lack of resistance, it probably won't block out sound or fit snugly and is likely to shift about your head. Although a snug, heavy helmet may feel constricting, riders who wear heavy helmets suffer fewer neck injuries than those who don loose, floating helmets. Motorcycle helmet safety should come before motorcycle helmet comfort.
The best advice when it comes to motorcycle helmet comfort is to try on numerous brands and models before settling on any one.

Convenience Features
Most motorcycle helmets are equipped with convenience features that can heighten your riding experience. An additional shield or a quick-change face shield is an example of handy motorcycle helmet mechanism.
A storage bag another convenient item along with motorcycle helmet face shields for carrying a spare helmet for yourself or a fellow rider.
Many helmets provide a special feature for fastening and securing straps as loose or flapping straps can be quite an annoyance.
There are dozens of other elements that enhance riding convenience, such as a breath guard. Riders with larger features can also utilize breath deflectors that are removable if they become inconvenient for nose or facial bones.
For those motorcyclists in humid climates, certain motorcycle helmet padding can be removed and washed for a fresh and clean ride.

Safety Features
The "best" motorcycle helmet is one that provides ample motorcycle helmet safety. There are a few ways to ensure the efficiency of your motorcycle helmet.
First, try out various helmets before settling on any one. Motorcycle helmet comparison is an effective means of judging comfort, fit and security. The helmet must fit snugly around your skull--pads can augment the fit, as well. Perfect motorcycle helmet size is a key component to motorcycle helmet safety.
Second, check out the chin strap. The motorcycle helmet's chin strap must reach around your ear and under your chin comfortably and securely so that the helmet does not shift about laterally or lengthwise.
Third, assess the overall fit. A motorcycle helmet should be settled low on the forehead and just above the eyebrows. Make sure the helmet appears straight and aptly situated by using a mirror or a buddy. Knowing proper helmet fit is an integral step in helmet safety. If you cannot gage the right fit just by looking, visit a motorcycle specialty store whose experts can assist you in fitting.
Lastly, before purchasing, be sure you're choosing a DOT approved motorcycle helmet or one that meets other standards, such as Snell certification. Founded in 1957, the Snell Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization that researches, develops and tests helmet safety standards. Motorcycle helmet rating ensures the rider that he or she is using reliable head coverage.
In addition to checking motorcycle helmet test stickers upon purchase, you may also want to peruse a motorcycle helmet review to learn about motorcycle helmet crash tests. Make an informed decision for the sake of motorcycle helmet safety.

Helmet Fitting Guide
To help you choose the best motorcycle helmet for you, we've provided you with a series of steps below to ensure proper motorcycle helmet fit. - Utilize a motorcycle helmet manufacturer's fitting chart and measuring tape. - Find the corresponding motorcycle helmet size category: small, medium, large, extra large. - Widen the helmet by tugging chin straps outward and place it over your head. - Keep in mind that the helmet should fit snugly and comfortably on your head. - Make sure the helmet rests tightly against your forehead--you should not be able to wedge your thumb between the helmet and your forehead. - Adjust and fasten the chin strap, but don't allow it to cinch your neck. - Give your head a shake to ensure that the helmet does not shift around or slide off your head. - Mount your motorcycle in riding position--the top of the helmet should not affect your vision. Along with clear vertical vision, you should have 100% vision to your left and right (motorcycle helmet manufacturers are required by law to account for lateral vision). - If you wear glasses while riding, make sure the helmet fits properly over and around them. - Press down on the top of the motorcycle helmet. Hold it down and make certain the helmet feels comfortable and surrounds your whole head. - Lastly, check for all additional comfort, convenience and motorcycle helmet safety features before taking your motorcycle for a ride.

Motorcycle Helmet Tips
Below we have provided you with a list of motorcycle helmet tips for choosing a helmet that perfectly suits your head and your riding experience:
1. Try on motorcycle helmets for at least five minutes to detect bothersome areas. Look in the mirror for symmetry, to ensure that the helmet rests just above your brows and to see if any red marks remain after taking off the helmet.
2. After you have purchased your helmet, try not to store in a high or unsteady place where it could come crashing to the ground (such as the motorcycle saddle or side of the mirror. Don't risk scratching or busting an expensive motorcycle helmet.
3. Observe motorcycle helmet safety standards. If a cheap motorcycle helmet has not been Snell certified, for example, or is not a DOT approved motorcycle helmet, your insurance company may refuse to provide accident coverage.
4. Make sure your helmet has undergone anti-scratch and anti-fog treatment. In addition, be sure the visor doesn't touch the helmet outer shell resulting in scratches or fuzzy vision areas on your visor.
5. A lighter helmet may be more comfortable than its heavier counterpart, but is perhaps less equipped to ensure motorcycle safety.
6. Consider your chinstrap while checking your motorcycle helmet--the strap should not be too long and should be able to be tucked away so as not to hit your chin repeatedly.
7. Poor ventilation systems are chief causes of noisy helmets. The more aerodynamic the helmet and the better the vents, the less noise there will be.
8. A motorcycle helmet's comfort liner can mold a bit to the shape of your head so the helmet typically becomes more comfortable over time and use. Be sure, however, that you start with a good fit.
9. Inquire about the motorcycle helmet safety standards the motorcycle helmet manufacturer has met. A cheap motorcycle helmet may eschew certain safety testing standards. Moreover, always observe motorcycle helmet law by state, particularly if you are a young rider.

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