Motorcycle helmets play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and comfort of riders on the road. A well-fitted helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries and increase the overall riding experience. However, finding the perfect fit can be challenging, as helmets come in various shapes and sizes, and each person’s head shape is unique. In this guide, we will delve into the process of making a motorcycle helmet fit better, taking into consideration factors such as helmet size, shape, adjustments, and padding. By following these steps, you can achieve a snug and comfortable fit that enhances your safety and enjoyment on your motorcycle adventures.
To make a motorcycle helmet fit better, follow these steps:
Measure your head size:
Use a soft measuring tape to measure the circumference of your head, wrapping it around the widest part of your head, about an inch above your eyebrows and ears. Make note of the measurement in inches or centimeters, and use it as a reference when selecting a helmet size. Most helmet manufacturers provide size charts to help you choose the appropriate size.
To measure your head, follow these steps:
- Use a soft measuring tape or a flexible string that won’t stretch. If using a string, you’ll also need a ruler or tape measure to obtain the measurement.
- Wrap the tape or string around your head, positioning it about an inch (2.5 cm) above your eyebrows and ears. This is typically the widest part of the head, and measuring here ensures you get the most accurate measurement.
- Hold the tape or string securely, making sure it is level all around your head and not too tight or loose.
- Note the measurement in inches or centimeters. If using a string, mark the point where the string meets, and then measure the length using a ruler or tape measure.
Refer to this measurement when selecting a helmet size. Most helmet manufacturers provide size charts, which correlate head circumference measurements with helmet sizes such as small, medium, large, or extra-large. Following the manufacturer’s size chart will help you find the appropriate helmet size for your head.
Determine your head shape:
Helmets are designed for different head shapes, typically categorized into three types: round oval, intermediate oval, and long oval. To determine your head shape, look at the top view of your head or take a picture and compare it with head shape diagrams. Choose a helmet designed for your specific head shape to ensure a better fit.
The three common head shapes are:
- Round Oval: This head shape is characterized by a more rounded skull and equal front-to-back and side-to-side measurements. The width and length of the head are almost equal, resulting in a more circular appearance.
- Intermediate Oval: The intermediate oval head shape is the most common and has a slightly longer front-to-back measurement compared to the side-to-side measurement. This results in a subtly elongated appearance compared to the round oval.
- Long Oval: The long oval head shape has a significantly longer front-to-back measurement than the side-to-side measurement, creating an elongated or oblong appearance.
To determine your head shape, you can stand in front of a mirror and look at the top of your head, or have someone take a top-down photo of your head. Compare the image with head shape diagrams to identify which category best matches your head shape. Selecting a helmet designed for your specific head shape will ensure a more comfortable and secure fit.
Try on the helmet:
When trying on a helmet, make sure it sits level on your head and doesn’t tilt backward or forward. The cheek pads should be in contact with your cheeks, and the helmet should feel snug but not uncomfortably tight. Keep the helmet on for a few minutes to see if any pressure points develop. If you experience any discomfort, try a different size or shape.
When trying on a motorcycle helmet, follow these steps to ensure a proper fit:
- Hold the helmet by the straps and spread the opening apart to make it easier to put on your head. Lower it gently onto your head, making sure it sits level and does not tilt forward or backward. The helmet should sit about an inch above your eyebrows and not obstruct your vision.
- The cheek pads should be in contact with your cheeks, providing a snug fit without causing discomfort. There should be no excessive pressure on your forehead, temples, or any other part of your head.
- Keep the helmet on for a few minutes to see if any pressure points or discomfort develop. This will give you a better idea of how the helmet will feel during extended use. If you experience discomfort or pain, consider trying a different size or shape.
- Fasten the chin strap, ensuring it is snug but not overly tight. You should be able to fit one or two fingers between the strap and your chin.
Trying on a helmet properly will help you determine if it’s the right size and shape for your head, increasing comfort and safety while riding.
Check the fit:
Perform the following checks to ensure a proper fit:
- Roll-off test: Grab the helmet from the back and try to roll it forward off your head. If the helmet comes off, it’s too loose and you need a smaller size or different shape.
- Two-finger test: Slide two fingers between the helmet’s interior and your forehead. If there’s room for more than two fingers, the helmet is too big.
- Shake test: With the chin strap properly fastened, shake your head side to side and up and down. The helmet should remain securely in place without causing discomfort.
Adjust the padding:
Many helmets come with adjustable padding, allowing you to fine-tune the fit for a more comfortable and secure experience. If the helmet feels loose in certain areas, consider adding extra padding or replacing the existing padding with a thicker one. Some helmets also have removable cheek pads that can be swapped out for a better fit.
Wear the right accessories:
If you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses, make sure the helmet can accommodate them without causing discomfort. Additionally, consider wearing a thin, moisture-wicking balaclava or skull cap under the helmet to help with sweat management and provide a more comfortable fit.
Consider these tips when choosing accessories:
- Eyeglasses and sunglasses: If you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses while riding, make sure the helmet can accommodate them without causing discomfort or affecting the fit. Some helmets have special channels or grooves in the padding to accommodate the arms of glasses. Trying on the helmet with your glasses will help you ensure compatibility.
- Balaclavas and skull caps: Wearing a thin, moisture-wicking balaclava or skull cap under your helmet can help manage sweat, reduce skin irritation, and provide a more comfortable fit. These accessories can also make it easier to put on and take off your helmet, as they reduce friction between the helmet lining and your hair or skin. Choose a balaclava or skull cap made from breathable, moisture-wicking materials like Coolmax, bamboo, or microfiber to ensure comfort during extended rides.
By measuring your head size accurately and selecting appropriate accessories, you can significantly improve the fit and comfort of your motorcycle helmet, enhancing your overall riding experience.
Keep in mind that new helmets often feel tight initially but will conform to your head shape over time. Allow for a break-in period where the padding compresses and molds to your head for a better fit.
By following these steps, you can make your motorcycle helmet fit better, providing enhanced comfort and protection while you enjoy your rides. Remember to regularly inspect your helmet for signs of wear or damage and replace it as needed to ensure optimal safety.