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Your motorcycle helmet is one of the most important pieces of kit you’ll buy. If things go wrong and you are involved in an accident, your helmet is the thing that will probably save your life. However, motorcycle helmets will only do the job they are designed to do if they fit properly. Below is a guide which will help you to choose a motorcycle helmet which is the correct shape and size for your head.
Motorcycle helmets are manufactured to fit three head shapes. These head shapes are:
- Long oval
- Intermediate oval
- Round oval
The long oval helmet is designed for a head in which the distance between the forehead and the back of the skull is longer than the width of the face, ear-to-ear. The intermediate oval helmet is the most commonly used type of helmet. This helmet is designed for the typical human skull in which the distance between the forehead and the back of the skull is only slightly longer than the distance ear-to-ear. The round, oval helmet is designed for heads on which the length between the forehead and the back of the skull is almost equal to the distance ear-to-ear.
The easiest way to establish your head shape is to try on a range of helmets! You will soon find which helmet shape offers the best fit.
Helmets come in a range of sizes. To make sure you get one that fits you correctly, you will need to measure your head. To do this, you should use a vinyl tailor’s tape which will be flexible enough to wrap around your skull.
Start by wrapping the tape around your head at a point which is just above your ears and eyebrows. This will give you your forehead measurement. You should compare the measurement you have taken to a helmet size chart for the helmet you are interested in buying. Be warned – each helmet manufacturer produces their own chart for their brand, so you need to make sure you are using the right chart for the right helmet. Once you have identified the right shape and size of helmet, then you need to test how the helmet fits on your head.
When you first try on a helmet, do not be surprised if it feels a little tight. New helmets require “breaking in”, and as time passes, the interior of the helmet will change shape slightly to fit your head perfectly. You should make sure that the helmet is not putting pressure on any specific areas of your head and that it does not restrict your movement. A helmet which fits well should sit evenly on your head and offer excellent peripheral vision. A good test is to try to slip your finger between your head and the interior of the helmet, if it is easy to slide your finger in, the helmet is too large.
Once you have found a helmet which is the correct size, shape and fit, you can purchase it and hit the road. Getting the wrong sized or shaped helmet could cause you discomfort when out riding, and could place your life at risk.