Motorbike helmets create an additional layer of protection for riders, lessening serious brain injury in case of accidents. But, not all helmets are created equal. Therefore, you need to be critical when selecting your protective head gear.
A typical product has three layers: the shell, the foam, and padding. The shell is responsible for distributing the force when the impact happens, while the foam absorbs as much impact as possible. The padding gives it a good fit versus the head. Of all the three, the determinant of a top notch helmet lies in the shell.
If you are in the process of choosing a product based on the material of the shell, here are some good picks.
Fiberglass shells are costlier than plastic primarily because of the painstaking manufacturing process and its durability. It is lightweight but harder. The only thing that you must take note is that fiberglass is relatively inelastic and is prone to cracking.
Kevlar and Carbon Composite Shells
Kevlar motorbike products undergo the same rigorous manufacturing process as fiberglass. However, their difference lies mainly on the type of fiber cloth used. Kevlar is so strong and flexible; it can be used in making papers to building homes. Moreover, these composite helmets are 20% to 30% lighter than most fiberglass helmets. This type of material is highly recommended for those that are into motorsports.
If you use your motorbike for the regular commute or for leisure, and you are working on a tight budget, the thermoplastic helmet is a fair option. It is made up of polycarbonate material and is comparatively harder and heavier than the first two.
Aside from picking the material that suits your need and budget, you also should look into other factors before deciding to buy one.
The sheer force of the wind can hurt your face or head. Especially when you are up for a long drive, one with too much wind resistance can be bothersome and can cause fatigue.
Always look for a brand that is approved by regulatory bodies and has these key words: ECE, SNELL, and DOT. These marks signify that the product underwent an evaluation process and passed specific quality standards.
Good products snug around the head and face within zero to minimal pressure. If you are able to stick your fingers making it move, you may need a smaller size. It is best that you try it out before purchasing. The eye port should also be placed just right above your eyebrows.
It is also important that you determine your head shape. There are three common shapes when talking about motorbike helmets: long oval, intermediate oval, and round oval.
For a rider that requires all around safety, full face helmets are perfect. Half helmets are recommended for those who use their motorbikes for leisure, while modular types will give motocross enthusiasts a mix of protection and comfort as they speed up from one course to another.
While safety should not be compromised, you should also consider comfort and visibility. Look for a helmet with wide eye visor as much as possible.
Most countries are implementing a law concerning the use of head protection for any bicycle or motorcycle riders. It can be as strict as everyone should wear head protection, to as simple as imposing the law to certain age bracket. In the United States, laws vary from one state to another.
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