Buying a Motorcycle HelmetMay 2, 2016
All helmets used in the UK, must be approved to either the British Standard BSI:6658 or EU Standard ECE-R 2205
This is an independent helmet testing facility which only tests fully approved helmets.
They then give these previously approved helmets a rating of up to 5 stars.
In the tests, some cheaper helmets are comfortably out-performing much more expensive helmets.
It shows that you do not necessarily get a better helmet by paying more.
The website can be searched by price, manufacturer or star rating.
Definitely worth a look before you go shopping for your first helmet!
So……… full-face, open-face or flip-front helmet?
Well, the full-face helmet will offer the most protection. The flip-front must be in the down and locked position when riding (unless it has P and J markings on the strap label, showing it has approval as an open-face and as a full-face helmet) but will not offer quite as much protection as the full-face helmet.
The open-face helmet obviously has disadvantages in protection, but offers more peripheral vision.
Without doubt, the most important thing to consider when buying a helmet, is the fit.
You are safer with an approved £20 helmet that fits, than a £400 helmet that doesn’t!
Do not buy from the internet, as you cannot try it on!
All manufacturers seem to have a different idea of the shape of the human head, so try as many helmets as possible before making a decision.
When put on for the first time, the helmet should feel very snug but not painful. You should be able to feel a firm even pressure all round your head, without too much pressure in any particular area.
The cheek pads should be a very close fit, compressing your cheeks slightly.
Wear the helmet in the shop for at least 10-15 minutes – what initially felt snug could become painful after a few minutes.
Make absolutely sure that you are happy with the type of helmet you have chosen and the fit, as good helmet stores will NOT take returns (because a helmet is a one-use item). If a helmet takes a significant impact, it must be replaced as it could be damaged internally (the outer shell may be unmarked).
Take good care of your helmet.
Do not lend your helmet to anyone (they may drop it and not tell you).
If you drop it, replace it!
Do not paint your helmet or affix stickers (the solvent in the paint or sticker glue could compromise the integrity of the helmet, causing it to fail when needed).
Make sure, when wearing your helmet, that the strap is fastened securely – you should not be able to get more than two un-gloved fingers between the strap and your neck.
Keep the visor clean and clear. If the visor becomes scratched, replace it as soon as possible.
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