Weekend road trips, off-roading adventure, exploring unknown destinations or everyday commuting from home-to-work, motorcycles give a different thrill and the power to swiftly move anywhere. But every adventure brings in some risk and as a biker, surviving during rush-hour of traffic is an achievement. So, the next time you leave from your home to the office or convince your family for a biker trip go get a helmet.
Whether it is a powerful Harley or a sassy fascino, a helmet is a must for all. And, now it’s the time to finalize what sort of motorcycle helmet would suit you the best. Let’s understand in details about this head-protector before you make a purchase.
Common types of Motorcycle Helmets
- Full face helmets– They cover the whole skull as well as provide extra protection to the chin. They have an open cutout area across the eyes and the nose which is covered with a clear or at times tinted shield, also known as the visor. Many helmets also include vents which help in increasing the airflow for the rider. They are the most secure form of helmets, as they cover the whole skull and also provide extra protection to the chin.
- Off-road/Motocross helmets– These kinds of helmets have an elongated chin, chin bar, and visor portions. With an extended chin bar, they provide good protection to face. They also have a partially open face to give the riders a little extra protection while wearing goggles. These allow the unrestricted flow of air during the physical exertion typical of this type of riding.
- Modular or Flip-up helmets– These are a hybrid version of full face and open face helmets. These are also called “convertible helmets”. When fully assembled and closed they look like ordinary full face helmets. They are very popular among people who wear spectacles as it allows them to fit a helmet without removing their glasses. Thro modular helmets, riders are also accessible to quick water break or snack break without removing their helmet.
- Open face or 3/4 helmets– They only cover the eyes, cheeks, and back of the head, but they lack the lower chin bar which is present on full-face helmets. They provide the same rear protection as full helmets but very little protection to the face, even from less severe crashes.
Things to keep in mind while buying Motorcycle Helmets
- The outer shell of Helmet- The outer shell of the helmet needs to be made of strong lightweight material like polycarbonate so that it can endure the impact of the crash while not wearing the rider down with its excess weight.
- Inner Foam Material- The inner lining and the foam used should be of good quality. It should be hypoallergenic, it should be preferably laser cut to offer the comfort fit and also fully removable so that you can wash them once in a while and maintain the helmet well. They are constructed from an inner EPS “Expanded Polystyrene foam. They generally have fabric and foam interiors for both comfort and protection.
- D-Ring Strap- D-ring strap or a chin strap is an important part of any helmet. Always buy a helmet with buckle straps the reason for that is the tight end fit it offers such that your helmet doesn’t slip off.
- Size – The most important point is something which many people are not aware of, it is actually the tight fit that a helmet offers to check whether the helmet fits you well. The tighter the helmet, the safer you are. If you wear a helmet and nod your head and the helmet moves, it is likely to fall off when you’ll have a collision.
- Proper Certification -The helmet should carry ISI mark which is basically the safety standard for India. ISI stands for Indian Standard Institute. To check the originality of the helmet, every ISI mark helmet has an ISI number as also a 7 digit Central Mass and License number allotted to a helmet manufacturer who has opted for the ISI mark.
- Ventilation System and Visors of the Helmet – The helmet should offer sufficient ventilation ports all around for you to breathe easy and also ensure you don’t feel suffocated inside. The visors of the helmet should be scratch resistant as well as fog resistant.
- Weight – Material, size, design, etc. affect the weight of the helmet. The weight should be distributed equally over the head. A light-weight piece has the risk of slipping from the head and a heavy one can with time cause a headache. A helmet should make the rider’s head feel compact and comfortable.
When to change a helmet?
You cannot keep wearing a helmet forever. Undoubtedly, sooner or later, it needs to be changed. So, when does a helmet loses its protection role
- Deterioration– cracks, deep scratches, broken straps, inner material coming out are few conditions that call for a helmet replacement.
- Age– every object has its own age. Even if there isn’t any visible deterioration, the helmet would have material that loses its value and protection after a certain period of time
- Vehicle & route– posture and speed also influence your decision about buying a helmet. So a change of your two-wheeler or route (normal to heavy traffic or so…) would need you to buy a new helmet.