"I'm new to riding what helmet should I get?"
It's a question we get almost weekly. New motorcycle riders trying to decide on the best helmet. Wearing a helmet takes some getting used to especially if you don't have previous riding experience or have ever participated in activities that require some type of head protection.
The short answer to the best helmet for new riders really depends on the rider and their budget. We can't say "any helmet" though any helmet certainly bodes far better than no helmet but wearing a helmet you can't stand completely ruins the riding experience and might prove a distraction.
Though riding a motorcycle offers a cheaper alternative to driving a car when used for commuting purposes, new riders probably quickly take notice of the price tag for new helmets. You can certainly bust your budget when motorcycle helmet shopping and you don't necessarily have to. However, one of the answers we give to the question above is "if you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet." No, $10 helmets don't exist at least not for riding motorcycles but you get the point.
Expensive helmets feature the latest and greatest in safety technology and comfort thanks to the load of features built into them. In all likelihood, shelling out the extra cash for a more expensive helmet probably nets you a lighter, better fitting helmet that prevents overheating, limits distractions and of course keeps your wits about you in the event of a crash. Less expensive helmets often offer the same advanced safety features (bonus!) but with less luxuries and a heavier thus less expensive construction.
We can offer this hint: Until you become a seasoned rider who throws a leg over almost daily and/or spends nearly every weekend on long excursion you probably don't need a high-end, high-priced helmet. But if you have the means, we highly suggest picking one up.
Don't Buy a Used Helmet
Don't buy a used helmet! We don't say that because we have some skin in the game in terms of a sale we actually mean it for your safety. You don't know the history of the helmet and anything older than five years needs replacing anyway. Of course, we can't stop you if a buddy has a spare one he swears has never hit the pavement and you like the fit and finish. But as a general rule, get one fresh off the shelf.
Five Types of Motorcycle Helmets
When shopping for a motorcycle helmet you have some decisions to make. You will notice not all helmets look the same and some completely encapsulate your head while others look more like a large hat. We sell the following helmets:
Keep in mind the need for eye protection so if you go the open face or half shell route you need sturdy eye wear to protect your eyes from the wind and road debris that kicks up. We like to steer new riders towards the full face or modular style helmets simply for the advanced safety features and ease of use.
If you find the full face helmet a bit claustrophobic, the modular style has the flip up feature that helps alleviate the tight fit. Alternatively, open face helmets also have offer safety features so as long as you grab goggles or eyewear for riding you can't really go wrong there. The half shell is more for the old-school look and complying with state law while the Dual Sport style works on the open road but best used for those who ride pavement on their way to off-road adventures.
At any rate, whatever your pleasure, all helmets MotoSport sells bear the Department of Transportation approval stamp (and some have passed more stringent testing methods) so ride with confidence that you wear adequate head protection and adhere to state helmet laws.
So, how do I size it?
The second question, which usually follows the first, asks about sizing. Helmets should fit snug but not overly tight, and absolutely not loose even when strapped in. Trying on different helmets usually turns into a taxing afternoon often resulting in little to no solution. Each helmet company has their own manufacturing process so similar sized helmets might fit quite different on your head.
To determine helmet sizing, grab a friend who can help wrap a soft measuring tape around your head about a half inch above your eyebrows, above your ears and around the back of your head at the largest point.
Now compare your size to the helmet manufacturer's sizing chart. Don't use the size chart for Shoei when looking at a Bell helmet. We include the chart sizing for every helmet we sell so after measuring the circumference of your head just match that with the size chart located on the specific helmet page.
What if it doesn't fit?
Usually the third question we get when recommending a helmet. Yes, you can return it! We employ a "Free First Exchange" program so when you decide on a helmet, measure your head and choose the size sometimes what you get still doesn't fit quite right. Don't worry about it. We will gladly take it back and make sure you get a helmet that fits properly.
Now, it's up to you
Once you decide on the type of helmet now the fun begins. We carry many styles of helmets and once you decide on a budget you can start there. To help further get you situated we recommend checking out "Best Motorcycle Helmets Under $250" and "Picking the Best Motorcycle Helmet." Both should help narrow your choices and the "Under $250" guide features a video that walks through some of the features of our more moderately priced helmets.
Ready to buy? Check out all of our motorcycle helmets here.
Written By: AndrewT