If you had to choose a single piece of safety equipment for your motorcycle, it would be your helmet. While proper gear from head to toe is important, your helmet is the one that will provide you with the most critical protection in case of a fall or a collision. That’s why having a helmet that fits you perfectly is so important. It needs to offer comfort and freedom of movement as well as a fit that provides your head with the protection it needs if you do suffer an accident or fall.
At Design Corse, we’re huge fans of sports motorcycles (especially Ducati and MV Agusta). These machines are made for high speeds and impressive handling. Like you, we enjoy making custom upgrades and modifications to improve performance. To make sure you stay safe even in an accident, take a few minutes to learn how to measure your motorcycle helmet size and choose the right helmet for you.
Comfort and Safety
Being safe doesn’t mean being uncomfortable! On the contrary — if your motorcycle helmet isn’t a good fit and does not feel uncomfortable, you risk being distracted from focusing on the road ahead of you. Helmet comfort can be considered in these terms:
General fit: Your helmet should fit over your head without forcing it and should not squeeze or hurt your head.
Weight: An overly heavy helmet will tire your neck and discourage you from keeping your head up.
Temperature: The right helmet will allow you to adjust airflow for a perfect temperature at all times.
Wind and rain protection: Smart helmet designs manage wind and air flow across and around the visor and keep water out of your eyes in the event of rain.
If any of these factors are bothering you today, you’re not wearing the right helmet.
Know Your Head Shape
Before you measure your head, you need to know its shape. This may sound funny, but motorcycle helmet manufacturers propose three different helmet shape designs that correspond to three different head shapes:
Long oval: This is where your head is longer from front to back than it is from side to side when viewed from above.
Intermediate oval: This is the most common head shape, where the length of your head is slightly longer front to back than it is wide.
Round oval: Some heads are almost round, with the length and width measurements nearly identical.
If you can’t decide, ask someone to look at the top of your head and determine which category your head fits into. If it isn’t obvious, you’re probably in the “intermediate oval” class, like a large majority of riders.
Measuring for Your Helmet Size
You likely know your leg length, waste size and body weight, but do you know your head size? Most people don’t. When we’re buying a hat, we often simply try them on and choose one that fits. But in the case of a motorcycle helmet, it’s important to know your exact head size so you can select a helmet that’s both comfortable and safe. Measuring your head size is simple:
Use a flexible tape measure like the kind used by tailors for measuring fabric.
It may help to have a friend help you, since reading the measurement alone is difficult.
Wrap the tape measure around the fullest part of your head, just above your ears.
Note the measurement in inches and re-measure two or three times to be sure.
This measurement is what you will use to choose your motorcycle helmet size from helmet manufacturer size charts. This helps you save time so you're only trying on helmets that are the right shape and size for your head.
Determining the Best Helmet Fit
The “fit” of your helmet isn’t easy to quantify. Unlike your head shape or head size, which can be measured, the overall fit is hard to define. This is why it’s important to try on a large number of helmets that match your head shape and size and compare for the feel and comfort they provide. There are a few guidelines for finding the right fit, however:
Your helmet should feel slightly too snug at first. It will quickly feel less tight as the padding conforms to the shape of your head.
You should not be able to insert a finger between your helmet and your head. If you can, try a helmet that’s one size smaller.
Try turning your helmet around on your head. You should not be able to turn it more than a few degrees, as having it rotate while you’re riding could be very dangerous.
The top of the face opening should sit just above your brow. If it’s too low, your view can be blocked. Too high and your forehead isn’t protected properly.
Try on as many different helmets as you can before making your choice. Make sure the weight, feel and pressure points are all acceptable. This will help you maintain control and allow you to focus on the road and track ahead of you.
Wearing the right helmet protects your head in the event of a fall or accident, and allows sportbike enthusiasts to enjoy their high-performance ride safely.
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