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Motorcycle Helmets

When riding a motorcycle on a public road, you are legally required to wear a protective helmet, and it must be securely fastened. As it protects your most valuable body part, it is very important to select the best helmet for you. As with all motorcycle protective clothing, your helmet should afford you good impact protection while keeping you safe and comfortable. It should be a snug fit on your head, you should test to make sure the strap cannot come past the chin and the rear section of the helmet should not be able to lift upwards.

The 3 main types of motorbike helmet are shown and described as below.

How to fit a Helmet

Full Face Helmetshelmet_1

Full face helmets are the most popular because they offer the best protection from both the elements and impact injuries. Studies have shown that 35% of motorcycle accidents, the helmet chin bar section took some of the impact. Favoured by racers, police and other professional riders, a quality full face helmet is the popular choice for good reason.

Flip-up/Hybrid Helmets

helmet_2Flip-up helmets have gained popularity in recent years due to their versatility. They combine some of the benefits of the full face helmets with some from open face helmets. Often favoured by people who wear glasses while riding as the helmet can me taken on and off without taking off the glasses. They also allow you to eat, drink, and speak to others without removing the helmet.



Open Face Helmethelmet_3

Open face helmets may offer more comfort than full face or hybrid helmets in some hotter climates. However, due to the lack of chin/face protection at the front of the helmet, they will not offer the same level of protection in the event of an accident.

All motorcycle helmets sold in Europe must comply with EU standards (ECE 22.05). This assures that the helmets have been tested to a known standard, and are fit for their purpose. It is also worthwhile to check for other testing standards. The ACU (British Auto Cycle Union) issue a Gold standard to helmets they have tested which meet their high standard.

As mentioned earlier, to comply with the law, your helmet must be securely fastened. There are several types of fastening system available, but which ever one you choose, make sure its securely fastened at all times.

  • D-ring fasteners are the lightest, simplest and arguable the safest fastening system available, and are required for racing. Because the straps must be pulled tight each time the helmet is put on, the chance of the helmet being loose on the riders head is slim.
  • A Buckle system (similar to a car seat belt) is an easy to use system one you’re used to it, but the adjustable straps holding either end of the buckle can work loose over time, so it is important to ensure the straps are kept tight.
  • Ratchet systems are also easy to use a less finicky than a D ring, but can be bulky and prone to wear too.

It is important too to protect your eyes when riding your motorcycle, so if your helmet isn’t fitted with a visor, then it would be wise to get goggles or some other form of eye protection. Visors and goggles should be kept clean and free from scratches which may impair your vision. Tinted visors can be of benefit in very bright conditions on with a low sun, but they quickly become useless when daylight starts to fade, so carry a clear visor just in case. Dark visors also make is impossible to see oil on a wet road.

In summary, you helmet should be secure, comfortable and well fitting. Try different brand, models and sizes, and ask for advice from shop staff. Buy the best you can afford, with a view to buying better next time, and remember, only buy a €20 helmet if you have a €20 head!

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