A Bikers Guide to Buying the Right Helmet

Motorcycle helmets are required by law in many places, but regardless of whether it is or not, a rider should always wear one for safety because riders who do not wear helmets are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an accident.

A Bikers Guide to Buying the Right Helmet

A buyer can choose from various types of motorcycle helmets, including full face helmets, motocross helmets, modular helmets, open face helmets, and half helmets. In addition to featuring different designs, these styles offer varying levels of protection. After selecting a type of helmet, a buyer still has to consider other factors, including finding a helmet that fits properly and choosing a colour that stands out on the road. Helmets are also rated for their safety standards by different organisations, so a buyer should review these standards to find a safe option.

A helmet is needed to protect a motorcycle rider, so it is vital that a buyer chooses the right one. Numerous options can typically be found in shops that carry motorcycle accessories and possibly even at motorcycle dealerships. Alternatively, riders can search online on eBay and other retail websites.

Types of Motorcycle Helmets

When shopping for motorcycle helmets, a buyer has a variety of styles from which to choose. Five basic types he or she can choose from include motocross, modular, full face, open face, and half face styles. A buyer needs to know the level of protection that each style of helmet offers.

Full Face Helmets

A full face helmet wraps entirely around the user's entire head. The helmet covers the back of the skull and has a protective section over the chin. Because of the coverage it provides, this kind of helmet is the safest. Some riders do not like this type of helmet, though, because they do not have a lot of ventilation and can be very hot and can dampen sound. Nonetheless, studies have shown that a lot of crashes affect the chin area, and these helmets protect that part of the face. Most of these helmets have vents at the chin and inside the shell that can be closed when riding in cold weather. The inner shell has a lot of padding, and the helmet may have a strap.

Motocross Helmets

Also known as an off-road helmet, a motocross helmet is a full face helmet that is designed to be used by off-road riders. These helmets have a longer visor and an elongated chin bar compared to other full face helmets, and these features protect the rider better when falling face down. It is also designed to protect from flying debris that is common when riding off road. Motocross helmets may have an opening that allows the rider to wear separate goggles.

Modular Helmets

A modular helmet is also known as a flip-up helmet and is a cross between a full face and open face helmet. The design has a removable chin bar. When the visor is in place, the helmet looks like a full face helmet, and when it is removed, it looks like an open face helmet. This helmet may be a good option if a rider cannot stand wearing a full face helmet. By flipping up the top, a rider can have a conversation, eat, or drink while wearing the helmet. These are often used by police officers because of their versatility and convenience.

Open Face Helmets

Also called a three-quarter helmet, the open face helmet style was popular in the 1970s when full face helmets were very heavy. These helmets leave the rider's face and chin exposed and susceptible to crash damage and flying objects. Since the chin is hit in a lot of crashes, this helmet is not a very good choice for safety reasons. In some cases, a rider may wear goggles or wraparound sunglasses with this type of helmet.

Half Helmets

A half helmet offers the least amount of protection to the rider and is sometimes called a puddin' cup or a brain bucket. A half helmet is the most lightweight, but it does not protect the ears or much of the rider's face. These are often worn by those who do not enjoy wearing helmets. They are not a good choice in terms of safety because they offer almost no protection. 

Considerations When Shopping for Helmets

Part of selecting the right helmet is taking various factors into consideration to select the best helmet for the buyer's needs. It is essential that a helmet fits correctly in order to protect the rider in case of a crash. The buyer should look for a colour that is easily visible so that other drivers can see him on the road. A buyer can also find helmets in different price ranges.

Choosing the Right Helmet Fit

Finding a helmet that fits right is one of the most important things a buyer can do. When not buying a helmet in person, the buyer should measure his or her head and compare these measurements to the dimensions of the helmet. The buyer should measure the widest part of his or her head just above the eyebrows. When worn, a helmet should feel tight but not too binding. If choosing between a helmet that is tight or loose, one should choose the tighter helmet. After fastening the chin strap, the wearer should move his or her head around. The helmet should feel snug and a little bit tight and not roll around at all. If the user's head feels sore after wearing the helmet for a few minutes, then it would be very uncomfortable for long rides. If the helmet is pushing on pressure points, the buyer should choose a larger one.

Helmet Colour

Although a buyer may think that the colour of a helmet is simply a design choice, it actually relates to safety. Some colours are a lot easier to see on the road, which means that other drivers can spot a motorcycle rider more easily. Graphics may look cool, but from farther away, they are just a blur and are not very visible. Fluorescent colours, such as green, yellow, and orange, are good choices. If the rider is only on the road during the day, red is also a good choice. 

Helmet Safety Ratings

The main purpose of a helmet is to protect the rider in case of an accident, which is why one should look at safety ratings when shopping for a motorcycle helmet. The buyer wants a helmet that provides impact protection, retention, and penetration protection.

Type of Protection Description
Impact Protection Force from impact distributed around the outer shell
Penetration Protection Outer shell prevents objects from penetrating it
Retention Designed to keep the helmet on the wearer's head in case of a crash

Obviously, a buyer needs a helmet that provides all three kinds of protection. One should look for helmets that have been reviewed by different organisations and have received good marks for safety from all of them.

Helmet Cost

A rider may also need to consider the cost when shopping for a motorcycle helmet. They do come in a range of prices, but, first and foremost, the buyer should make sure that a helmet can adequately protect him or her in a crash. If the buyer is very concerned about price, he or she may be able to afford a better quality helmet by purchasing a used helmet.

Finding Motorcycle Helmets online

You can take advantage of a number of tools when shopping for motorcycle helmets on Amazon or Ebay. One of the first search tools you should use is the keyword search. This simple tool just requires you to type keywords, such as 'full face helmet' into the search box. You may find that there are way too many product listings for you to look through. If that is the case, narrow your search by clicking on some of the filters or categories on the results page.

Do not forget about all the other practical tools that eBay offers to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. Take the feedback tool, for instance. This is a great feature that lets you review what other buyers have said about a seller before you decide to make a purchase from him or her. You should look at both the amount of feedback a seller has and what buyers actually said about the seller. After you make a purchase, you can leave feedback to help other buyers find reliable sellers.


Motorcycle helmets are essential for every rider, even if they are not required by law in one's area. A buyer can choose from basic helmet styles, including a full face helmet, motocross helmet, open face helmet, half helmet, and modular helmet. A rider should consider his or her activities when selecting a helmet as well as how much protection a certain kind of helmet offers. Generally, the more coverage a helmet has, the more protection it offers. A helmet needs to fit right because it cannot protect the wearer if it does not fit properly. It is also a good idea to choose a helmet in a colour that other drivers on the road can easily see and to review safety ratings before purchasing any helmet.

Purchasing a used helmet is a good way to get a higher quality helmet at a better price. Online Shops is a good source to consider for both used and new helmets, although local shops with motorcycle gear may offer a nice selection, as well. After considering all the important factors for choosing the right helmet, a rider can easily select the right helmet for his or her needs.