A motorcyclist’s health and safety is extremely important – whether it’s the motorbike accessories you choose or how you ride, there are a multitude of things you can do to stay as safe as possible. Helmet choice is extremely important for your protection – you only have one head, so it’s essential to look after it.
Where to start…
While looks are important – and a fun place to start – it’s not always the best when looking for a new helmet. Ensuring it’s as protective as possible is first and foremost. Motorcyclists health and safety is paramount, along with the best bike insurance you can find..
Look for a label on the inside of the chin strap confirming that it meets one of the two regulations required to be worn on UK roads – the British Standard (BS 6658:1985) and carry the BSI Kitemark or UNECE Regulation 22.05 – a European Economic Area member standard.
It’s worth checking out how a helmet performs in the SHARP test – the ‘Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme’ – funded by the Department for Transport, it subjects the helmets to even more tests than the standard regulations. They’ve tested hundreds of helmets, so take a look to see if the one you’re thinking of buying is rated.
Fit – for purpose…
It may sound simple but choose a helmet which does what you want and need it to do. There’s little point in picking an open face if you plan to ride in cold and wet environments the majority of the time or choosing an off-road style helmet with a peak and goggles if you plan on racking up mile after mile on the motorway.
If you’re an all-year-round-mile-muncher then look for a helmet with an aerodynamic shape to help with neck fatigue, an integrated sun visor, an anti-fog visor, washable and removable interior and good ventilation. If you ride occasionally and are more into the ‘look’ then why not consider some of the funkier designed helmets out there?
Fit – for your head…
Sizes can vary between brands so it’s always good to start with a base measurement around your head and use the brand’s size guide for reference. Many helmet manufacturers have different thickness linings to try out too to get the best fit.
You want it to be snug, but not tight or ‘digging in’ isn’t good. Test for size by twisting and pulling the helmet and seeing that there’s enough resistance, but not too much – if in doubt, your local dealer should be able to help or check out some of the fitment guide videos from manufacturers. Bear in mind too that the linings will ‘give’ with time, like a pair of comfortable shoes. Keep it on for as long as you can – without looking weird – and check for any uncomfortable bits.
Now’s the time you can look and choose the design that you like the most, but keep in mind the brighter the design, the safer it is! Get a brand-new one that’s still in the box – you might get a good deal on the demo helmet, but you don’t know if it’s been dropped – the interior of a helmet can be damaged without showing it on the outside. Then get riding – or thinking of what other motorbike accessories you need to buy!