After getting your first motorcycle, the first accessory you should look for is the best motorcycle helmet. This is not just for compliance; it is primarily for your own good. Your head needs good protection against impact.
An ideal motorcycle helmet covers your entire head and face. It should have tinted visor to help you manage the glaring brightness from the sun and city lights. It should also have pads and liners for comfort.
Motorcycle Helmet Reviews
HJC Solid Men’s CL-17
This full-face motorcycle from HJC features an advanced ventilation system that ensures there is good airflow and prevents heat and fog. Its shell is made from sturdy yet lightweight materials. It’s approved by both DOT and SNELL.
Shoei Qwest Helmet
The Shoei Qwest Helmet is a good choice for new and experienced riders. It is equipped with a noise reduction system for quieter rides. Other features include air vents and comfortable paddings.
Arai Vector-2 Helmet
Arai’s Vector-2 is a light helmet with a semi-round oval design. Air vents are strategically placed on the chin, rear and brow area for better ventilation. This is generally a quality helmet with good design.
Scorpion EXO-1100 (4.6)
Easy-to-use features make the EXO-1100 a good buy. The helmet is lightweight because of its composite construction. Vents provide good air flow, and the sun visor is easy to swap out. It also has soft interior paddings for your comfort.
GMAX GM54S Helmet
This helmet from GMAX comes with a flip jaw feature for an easy switch to full-face or open face. Vents allow good coverage from wind, heat and humidity. Full-speed riders will appreciate this tough helmet.
LS2 Helmets Strobe
Versatile and comfortable, the LS2 Strobe is a nice choice for newbie riders. It’s strong enough to protect you from fatal accidents. It also features an adjustable flow-through airflow system to keep the helmet’s inside temperature regulated.
Bell Solid Adult Qualifier
Bell’s Qualifier is a high-performance, DOT certified motorcycle helmet. It packs an aerodynamic shell design, adjustable vents, removable contoured cheek pads and a ClickRelease visor system. This one is a good entry-level helmet.
1Storm Motorcycle Modular Helmet
Newbie riders will appreciate this helmet from 1Storm. It has a 5-lb shell with a UV protectant and a glossy finish. The face shield can be lifted for extra air ventilation. A built-in inner visor protects you from glare.
This full-face helmet is made from lightweight thermoplastic to ensure each user’s comfort. It has snug chin straps, removable cheek pads, and an internal venting system to keep you cool during warm weather rides.
The Vega X888 is a DOT certified, lightweight and comfortable entry-level helmet. It features mouth, top, cheek and rear vents for easy air control. A clear outer shield efficiently protects you from the harsh road elements.
Types of Motorcycle Helmets
Full-Face Helmet – This is the most common of all types of helmet as it offers the ideal combination of protection, weight, visibility and aerodynamics. It covers the rider’s face and entire head. Only the eye port is open to provide visibility.
Three-Quarter Helmet – Also called open-face helmet, this one covers only the rider’s head, leaving the face exposed. As such, there is a higher risk of injury during an accident. Nonetheless, it is popular for riders who aren’t comfortable covering their entire head.
Modular Helmet – The modular helmet style is a cross between the full-face and three-quarter helmets. It is a 2-piece unit, which offers the same features as the two aforementioned types.
Half-Shell Helmet – This is lightweight and usually comfortable, but offers minimum coverage and the lowest level of protection. It is also called a “shorty” or a “skull cap.”
Off-Road Helmets – known for their elongated chin unit and long sun visor. They offer ideal protection from debris and dirt during off-road riding. They typically do not have a face shield, so it is advisable to wear goggles for eye protection.
Dual-Sport Helmets – specially designed for riders who do both on- and off-road riding. They come with vents that you can shut to prevent the heat from escaping.
How to Select a Motorcycle Helmet
Comfort – For ease of use and to receive utmost protection, your helmet should fit snugly. It should not be loose that it slips off your head easily or overly tight that it causes strain on your neck and head.
Safety – Choose one, which meets the standards of the Department of Transportation (DOT). For further safety and peace of mind, it should also comply with the standards of SNELL, a non-profit organization that aims to determine helmet’s optimal safety requirements.
Aerodynamics – When you’re riding at full speed, substantial amount of air is being pushed towards you. To keep head straight, your neck muscles work against that force of air, an effort that can result to neck strain. A helmet with good aerodynamics helps prevent this problem.
Weight – A heavy helmet adds too much pressure on the neck muscles, causing headaches, backaches, neck aches and injuries. A light helmet is more favorable as it is less likely to cause such strain.
Visibility – When riding, it is important to see dangers and obstacles easily and clearly. A helmet with right-size eye port promotes good visibility while protecting your face and head.
Cost – Avoid going for the extremely cheap ones. It is better to invest in a high quality helmet than suffer the consequences that may arise out of using a cheap one with poor quality.
Benefits of Wearing a Good Motorcycle Helmet
Wearing a good-fitting and well-designed helmet greatly improves safety for both the rider and other motorists on the road. Other benefits include the following:
Protection from serious head injuries – A good helmet can effectively protect your head in case of accidents. It also reduces risk of acquiring serious injuries. Head injuries can lead to long-term disabilities and can even be fatal.
Weather protection – Your eyes can get distracted by dust, wind and other elements while riding. The visor from your head gear can deflect these things and keep your vision unimpaired.
Visibility – A good motorcycle helmet keeps your hair away from your eyes. It’s well designed to provide optimal visibility. It eliminates distractions, thereby allowing you to focus more on driving.
Medical bills – According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, most non-helmet motorcyclists don’t have health insurance. In case of accidents that lead to injuries, riders who don’t wear helmets often have higher healthcare expenses than those who do.
To emphasize the importance of helmets, the government made wearing it on the road mandatory. The law applies to motorcycle owners of all ages.
Maintenance Tips for Motorcycle Helmets
Wear a bandanna or skullcap under your helmet to prevent body oils and sweat from permeating into the liner. This also helps prevent odor.
Always bring a pack of regular cleaning wipes. Wipe down the outer surface of your helmet and get rid of bug guts and other dirt before they harden and stick to your gear.
Apply a coat of good quality automotive wax onto the shell of your gloss helmet. This will make grime and bug guts easier to wipe off in the future.
Never scrub the visor of your helmet as it may abrade the surface and leave scratches. Use a clean, damp cloth or wipes for cleaning, instead.
You can also simply let the water and cleaner do the job. Soak the dirty helmet or visor then wipe it clean with a wet towel.
Every after use, avoid shoving the helmet into your bag. This prevents the sweat and moisture from evaporating. Let your helmet sit in an open area overnight to allow the air out.