Finding the right motorcycle helmet is crucial for ensuring safety and comfort during your rides. This comprehensive guide focuses on riders with smaller heads, providing detailed information on measuring, helmet types, safety standards, materials, and additional features. We aim to help you make an informed decision and find the perfect small motorcycle helmet.
Measuring for the Right Fit
- How to Accurately Measure Your Head: Use a soft measuring tape to measure the circumference of your head at the widest point, typically just above the eyebrows and around the back of the head. Take several measurements to ensure accuracy.
- Using Helmet Size Charts: Consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart, as sizes may vary between brands. Match your head measurement to the appropriate size on the chart.
- The Importance of Proper Helmet Fit: A properly fitting helmet should be snug but not uncomfortably tight. It should not move easily when you shake your head, and there should be no pressure points causing discomfort. A good fit ensures optimal protection and comfort while riding.
Exploring the Types of Motorcycle Helmets
- a. Full Face Helmets: Offer the highest level of protection by covering the entire head, including the chin and face. They provide excellent noise reduction and can be well-ventilated, but they may feel more restrictive and heavier than other types.
- Open Face Helmets: Leave the face exposed, providing a wider field of vision and a sense of freedom. They offer less protection than full-face helmets and may require separate eye protection.
- Modular Helmets: Combine the features of full-face and open-face helmets, with a flip-up chin bar that allows for easy conversation and ventilation when not riding. They provide versatility but may be heavier due to the hinge mechanism.
- Half Helmets: Cover only the top and back of the head, leaving the face and ears exposed. They are lightweight and stylish but provide the least amount of protection.
- Off-Road Helmets: Designed for off-road and motocross riding, these helmets provide excellent ventilation and a sun peak. They typically lack a face shield, so separate goggles are necessary.
- Dual Sport Helmets: Combine the features of off-road and full-face helmets, offering versatility for both on and off-road use. They usually have a sun peak and a face shield.
Prioritizing Safety Standards
- DOT (Department of Transportation): U.S. standard that requires helmets to undergo impact and penetration testing, ensuring a minimum level of protection.
- Snell Memorial Foundation (SNELL): A voluntary, private organization that sets higher standards for helmet performance. SNELL-certified helmets undergo more rigorous testing than DOT helmets.
- Economic Commission for Europe (ECE): An international standard accepted in over 50 countries that evaluates helmets based on impact absorption, rigidity, retention system effectiveness, and field of vision.
Evaluating Helmet Materials and Construction
- Polycarbonate: An affordable and durable material, polycarbonate helmets use a molding process that results in a strong, impact-resistant shell. They tend to be heavier than other materials.
- Fiberglass Composite: Made from layers of fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon fiber, these helmets provide a lightweight and strong shell that flexes upon impact, helping to dissipate energy.
- Carbon Fiber: Offers the best strength-to-weight ratio, resulting in a lightweight, strong, and rigid helmet. Carbon fiber helmets are typically more expensive than other options.
- Multi-Composite: A blend of materials such as fiberglass, Kevlar, and carbon fiber, these helmets offer a balance