The Importance Of A Good Lid — How To Choose The Right Helmet

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how to choose the right helmet

Many a time, I’ve been asked the question — “Why have you spent so much on a helmet?”. For many years, I’ve had the standard answer — “Why haven’t you spent so much?”. Some take it healthily, while some think it’s rude. Honestly, I don’t care.

When such a question comes from someone close, say for example a family member, your attitude changes a bit, you would feel like explaining why a good crash helmet is important and how to choose the right helmet to protect something priceless — one’s head!

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Let’s face it, humans have a lot of head weight, meaning our heads are heavy compared to the rest of our body. When we fall, the head goes first. Some seasoned riders would throw out their hands first, but eventually, your head will smack the ground and knock you out, if not killing you. So in theory, when wearing a helmet, you are adding weight to your head, but protecting it at the same time.

Motorcycle crashes lead to head-first injuries

A good motorcycle crash helmet not only keeps your head protected but will also keep it cool while riding and gives you better airflow in terms of aerodynamics when out on long rides. A good helmet will even reduce fatigue.

I’ve also come across many who wear good helmets, but wrong sizes. Keep in mind, a wrong size helmet can cause more damage because your head moves inside the helmet and there are chances of it coming off.

So how do you choose the right helmet then? The answer is simple. First, look at what you ride and what kind of a motorcyclist you are — commuter, long-distance rider, or a recreational rider. Then, look at the types of helmets available in the market, half-face, modular, full-face, or the enduro/dirt models.

motorcycle helmet types

For city commuters, a half-face helmet would suffice, however, one can never go wrong with a full-face helmet. Modular helmets are great, too, as they offer the best of both worlds. If you are someone who likes going on long rides, pick a full-face over a modular as they are marginally safer and don’t even look at a half-face.

Enduro/dirt track helmets are good choices too, however, the dual-purpose helmets tend to catch the air on highways. The shade on the helmet is not aerodynamic and could cause a lot of stress on highways but are a great pick to be used in the city. These helmets are also good for recreational riders who do a lot of dirt tracks or have a mix between tarmac and trails.

Once you have made up your mind on the type of helmet, now measure your head and pick a helmet with a corresponding size. All good helmet manufacturers offer a choice of sizes and pick the one that fits you the best. Keep in mind, a helmet should fit your head like a woollen cap and should not move around.

how to choose the right helmet
Guide to choosing the right motorcycle helmet

When you have streamlined your choice, wear a helmet. Try walking around, look left, right and wear the helmet for as long as possible to see if there are any pressure points. If there are, look for another lid, if not, that could be the one. Pick a helmet with a clear visor, as they can be used in any weather conditions.

Now, coming to the part of taking care — the rules are simple actually. Never drop your helmet, as they are made to withstand one crash only and dropping it might damage the fibre shell inside. Rule two, never lend it out. Rule three, carry the helmet with you as leaving it exposed and chained to the motorcycle exposes it to weather, which can damage it.

Once everything is set, head out and enjoy the ride. However, before you crank your motorcycle, wear the helmet and strap it! Remember, good helmets are expensive but your head is priceless.

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Rajkamal Narayanan

Rajkamal Narayanan

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