You absolutely must make sure that your motorcycle helmet is properly fitted – MotorBiscuit


Loud pipes don’t save lives, but a sturdy motorcycle helmet can do it. This is why it is one of the most vital motorcycles accessories, if not the most important. However, no matter how much safety organizations have certified your helmet if you don’t wear it or use it incorrectly. And that means making sure it fits properly.

An ill-fitting motorcycle helmet is not only uncomfortable, it is dangerous

MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi checks the size of his motorcycle helmet during 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix practice | TENGKU BAHAR / AFP via Getty Images

Motorbike helmets are not the same as racing and do not address the same types of impacts. However, some helmet guidelines are universal. First, choose the most suitable helmet for the environment. you wouldn’t wear a bisport helmet to a paved race track, for example. And second, like car-specific helmets, motorcycle helmets should fit your head properly.

Making sure your helmet size is perfect isn’t just about comfort. True, like with gloves and boots, improper fit impairs the ride. But in this case, comfort comes after outright safety. Whether your motorcycle helmet has a Snell, ECE, or just a DOT sticker, its safety rating is only valid if it fits correctly, RevZilla Explain. If the helmet does not fit your head perfectly, it cannot absorb and redirect impact forces properly. Instead, a large impact will hit the helmet into your skull, potentially causing further injury. And a loose fit can also interfere with other protective measures, such as MIPS liners designed to reduce concussions.

However, a motorcycle helmet that is too tight-fitting is not good either. For one thing, an uncomfortably tight helmet is a helmet you probably won’t want to wear. And a helmet only works if it is on the head. Second, a tight helmet can cause circulation problems, pressure points, headaches, and general pain, distracting you on your ride. Also, if you regularly wear glasses, a well-fitting helmet might not give them enough room.

In short, when shopping for motorcycle helmets, a good fit is a top priority.

Use or rather measure your head to make sure your motorcycle helmet fits

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The easiest way to buy a motorcycle helmet that is right for you is to go to an equipment store and try out the helmets one at a time. But not everyone has that kind of time; the ongoing pandemic also makes this tactic a bit risky. That being said, you might need to try it out on IRL and walk around for around 10-20 minutes. Not only to confirm your size, but also to make sure the helmet does not create pressure points, Bike world said.

However, you can speed up the sizing and fitting process by measuring your head before going to buy a motorcycle helmet. Take a flexible tape measure and wrap it around the widest part of your head, about an inch above your eyebrows, Motorcyclist Explain. If you don’t have this kind of tape measure, you can also use your hat size if you know it. Next, check where your hat size or head measurement is in the chart below (courtesy of Motorcyclist). This is the size of your motorcycle helmet.

Motorcycle helmet size Inch Centimeters Hat size
XS 20 7/8 – 21 1/4 53-54 6 5/8 – 6 3/4
S 21 5/8 – 22 55-56 6 7/8 – 7
M 22 1/2 – 22 7/8 57-58 7 1/8 – 7 1/4
THE 23 1/4 – 23 5/8 59-60 7 3/8 – 7 1/2
XL 24 – 24 3/8 61-62 7 5/8 – 7 3/4
XXL 24 3/4 – 25 1/8 63-64 7 7/8 – 8
XXXL 25 5/8 – 26 65-66 8 1/8 – 8 1/4

Note that the table above is a general guide, not an absolute guide. Each motorcycle helmet manufacturer has a specific size chart. Helmets also have different shapes: some are rounder, others are more oval. And depending on your head shape, your measured size may look loose or tight, Motorcyclist Remarks.

Check your fit and shape in the store, especially if you’re in between sizes

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Choosing the right size motorcycle helmet, however, is only the first step in the fit. As stated before, try before you buy in the store, preferably with an employee on site. And once you do, there are a few things to watch out for.

First, once you’ve put on the headset and secure the latch, press down on the back. If the helmet rolls forward easily, it is too large. Then push it horizontally; again, if it moves easily, it is too big. If he’s putting pressure on your temples, it’s not round enough. But if it leaves a red line on your forehead, it’s not ovular enough, RevZilla Explain. And while all full face helmets push your cheeks up slightly, if they’re really pushed up, the helmet is too tight. Ditto if it puts pressure on your forehead.

Speaking of cheeks, there is a way to tweak an unopened helmet slightly if you land between sizes. Swapping the motorcycle helmet cheek pads changes the way it rests on your head and face. So if a Medium is too tight, but a Large is slightly too loose, try putting thicker pads in that latter helmet.

It should be noted that all new motorcycle helmets have a break-in period, just like boots and shoes. After a few riding sessions, however, the pads mold to your head, making the helmet even better. And that should allow you to ride safely.

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