In the below post I share my personal experience as well as those of my fellow riders on how to fit a motorcycle helmet correctly.
Ok! Ok! You might think to yourself why write a post about this? How should a motorcycle helmet fit? Is this not very obvious? You pick it up and if it goes over your nob, it fits. What is so difficult about that?
Well, second to purchasing a certified safe helmet, the most important part of your helmet investment is to buy the correct size. It is very important to size your helmet correctly and I discuss this below.
Lastly, I will touch on some very popular questions regarding wearing your helmet.
Measure your head
I am going to share the correct way to measure the circumference of your head in order to choose the correct size helmet. If you regularly wear a hat, do not use the hat size as a reference to get your helmet size. Not all helmet brands use the same size chart. What I mean with this, is that, you should assume that every brand and even models of the same brand, fit differently and not every motorbike helmet will fit the same.
To measure your head accurately you will need a seamstress tape measure. If you don’t have one of these, (maybe the misses does’t do sewing then ask Grandma…), no problem, use a non-elastic string or ribbon together with a normal measuring tape or long ruler.
I like to start at the back of the head, on the thickest part where your skull meets the spine and then wrapping the measuring tape or string to the front. You will need to measure just above the ears and meet at a point 25 mm above the eyes.
You want to make sure that the tape is not too tight (a normal pencil diameter should fit between your skull and the tape) and definitely not too loose. Just a snug fit will do.
If you are using the measuring tape, take the reading of where the end of the measuring tape meets the other end. If you are using a string or ribbon, make a mark or cut the string or ribbon where the end crosses the string. Once you have the measurement, you will use a bike helmet size chart to see your particular helmet size.
As an example; my head circumference measures 58 cm and wear a HJC helmet, size M. In this case I used the motorcycle helmet size chart as prescribed by HJC to get the correct size.
Why does Fit matter
Sizing motorcycle helmets correctly guarantees a comfortable fit and ride, but the most important reason is for safety. The helmet is designed to protect your skull from impacts and objects flying off the road, and if it does not fit correctly, it will not protect you the way it was designed.
If the helmet is too loose, it will move around in the wind, possibly obscuring your vision which could cause a preventable accident. A loose helmet is also very uncomfortable and causes irritation which none of us want while trying to enjoy our ride. Any wind buffeting you may normally experience is aggravated.
Too tight a helmet, will cause a throbbing headache and make it very difficult to put the helmet on and take it off. If you wear prescription glasses or sunglasses, it will be extremely difficult to put them on and will cause pressure points on your temples, aggravating the already unbearable headache.
Bottom line – It is important knowing your helmet size and choosing correctly.
When it Fits correctly
Fit a motorcycle helmet right and I guarantee a comfortable ride all day long. But when does a helmet fit right?
You know when –
- It feels snug right around your head with no uncomfortable pressure points anywhere
- the helmet cheek pads (with a full face helmet) should fit with some even pressure to your cheeks
- your skin moves as the helmet moves
- no helmet lift at high speeds
- no moving or shifting of the helmet while riding
- Airflow inside the helmet works as it should and
- fog or condensation is removed effectively or prevented completely
Popular questions answered
- Does a tight-fitting helmet loosen up after a while?
- Yes it will loosen up very slightly, especially around the cheek pads but that is only because the cheek pads take the shape of your cheek bones. It is better to ensure you choose a correct snug fitting helmet.
- Does wearing a helmet cause hair loss?
- Yes it could. Wearing a motorcycle helmet regularly may cause the condition called “Traction Alopecia” which is when the hair roots move close to the scalp, losing their anchoring and could fall out
- Excessive sweating inside your helmet could lead to the accumulation of bacteria in the scalp and this could lead to hair loss.
- What to wear under your helmet?
- Wear a “buff” or helmet liner. This will prevent your hair from losing excessive natural hair oils and also protect your hair from the continuous putting on and taking off the helmet.
- Ladies, for you – How do I maintain my hairstyle while wearing a helmet?
- wear a ponytail and make it into a braid
- Tie long hair to one side with a silk scarf or belt
- Wear your hair in a bun
- Use of head scarfs or “Do-Rag”
- Use a hair glove
You now know how to find your helmet size and fit a motorcycle helmet.
You have measured your head circumference and used the correct bike helmet size chart to determine your personal helmet size.
You have also invested in a certified safe bike helmet and now all that is left to do is for you to climb aboard and enjoy a comfortable ride to a destination only you know.
I really hope that you found the above information helpful. I enjoyed researching it and sharing with all of you. Please leave a message with any suggestions or feedback below.
Stay safe and remember to keep it on 2 wheels.