Best Motorcycle Half Helmets 101
Before getting on a motorcycle, it’s absolutely essential to ensure the right helmet is purchased. Helmets do much more than just protect the head, though a quality helmet is going to do a great job at this.
It is also going to help protect the rider from rain, wind, road debris, noise pollution and more. All these items won’t be able to access a rider’s ears, neck or head with a quality motorcycle half helmet in use.
The most basic motorcycle half helmet includes three essential components, which include the hard outer layer, which is called the shell, a softer inner layer, typically made out of polypropylene or polystyrene, and a latch or strap to keep the helmet on the rider’s head.
The majority of modern helmets available for purchase today offer a higher level of protection than helmets that were available for purchase a decade ago. Thanks to the many advancements that have been made, modern half face helmets are safer, lighter, and offer more features than ever before.
Several advanced materials are also in use for these helmets, including the use of carbon fiber, new safety mechanisms, and more. This makes it easier than ever to protect the head in the case of an accident or impact of any type.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Motorcycle Half Face Helmet
The most important purpose of the helmet is head protection. When it comes to riding, one area that should never be compromised is safety. It’s important to purchase a high-quality, well-designed motorcycle half helmet to achieve this high level of safety and protection.
At the very least, the helmet needs to pass the local regulations. In the U.S. that’s the DOT, Department of Transportation. For the EU, it’s the Economic Commission for Europe, ECE. Any helmet that has these approval ratings are safe and considered a road legal.
Fit and Comfort
The way a helmet fits is a critical component. Helmets that fit properly not only offer a maximum level of protection for the wearer, it also allows for a comfortable and enjoyable ride. Many riders are surprised at how long they can ride back roads with a properly fitting motorcycle half helmet.
There are several factors that can influence the fit of a helmet.
Size.For those who don’t know how to determine the size, it’s a good idea to use a sizing chart provided by the manufacturer.
Materials.Foam is offered in various densities, just like the majority of materials used in a helmet or helmet liner.
The Rider’s Head.No one has a perfectly shaped head. There are some half helmets that work best with specific types of head shapes, as such, it’s wise to try them on prior to making a purchase.
Customization:There are some helmets that come with removable sections, inserts, and pad that can alter the way that a helmet fits.
Weight:Riders need to place a larger amount of emphasis on the weight of the helmet. The lighter the helmet is, the less energy it is going to transfer after an impact. Also, a lightweight helmet is more comfortable and more enjoyable to keep on for longer periods of time.
The Importance of a Helmet that Fits Properly
A common question that many new motorcycle riders ask when purchasing motorcycle half helmets is: what exactly, makes a helmet more comfortable to wear? This is an important question because this is a personalized consideration. There is no type of one-size-fits-all approach when buying a helmet. There are two main reasons for this, which include the rider's head shape and the liner used in the helmet.
For a helmet to provide the highest level of protection possible, it’s absolutely essential that it fits the wearer’s head properly. This means the helmet fits securely and snugly and that it provides a superior level of coverage if a crash or accident occurs.
An ideal helmet is going to be both comfortable and secure. To accomplish this, the right helmet for a rider’s particular head shape is required.
A rider’s head shape, along with their jawline, plays a huge factor in the comfort of the helmet. While everyone has a slightly different head shape, there are three predominant shapes.
Long Oval.A person with this head shape is longer from the forehead to the back of the head, versus the ear to ear measurement.
Intermediate Oval.This is the most common type of head shape. The measurement from the front to the back of the head is just a bit longer than the measurement going from ear to ear.
Round Oval.Both the front to back and the ear to ear measurements are close to the same.
This doesn’t mean there’s going to be a specific helmet for each of these head shapes. In fact, most manufacturers are moving toward a more “neutral” or intermediate oval, helping to ensure the helmet works for everyone interested in the purchase.
Liner and Interior of the Helmet
This is a multifactorial element that needs to be considered. The material used for the liner of the motorcycle helmet needs to feel comfortable against the skin. Also, the internal padding for the helmet needs to serve as a comfortable cushion between the head and the helmet’s internals. Also, the shape of the liner needs to perfectly match the shape of the rider’s head.
Ideally, the helmet is so comfortable that the rider forgets they have it on completely.
Finding the Best Half Helmet
Selecting the proper motorcycle half helmet is something that takes both time and consideration. It’s a good idea to keep the tips and information here in mind to ensure the best helmet is found and purchased.
Don’t rush into the decision of what motorcycle half helmet to purchase. There is a wide array of motorcycle half helmets available on the market today so considering all the options is smart. Remember, the first factor to consider in any purchase decision is how much protection the helmet offers. After all, the helmet a rider wears is the only thing between their head and the asphalt if an accident or impact occurs.