When you select motorcycle helmets, a lot goes into the decision. It is a consideration that extends far beyond aesthetics and fit. One of the most important factors (other than safety) is your riding style. You want to have a helmet that is well-suited for the type of riding you will be doing. Wearing a dirt bike helmet on the highway, for example, may not offer enough protection from wind and debris.
Riding Styles and the Types of Motorcycle Helmets That Fit Them
There is a variety of riding styles that can affect which type of helmet is right for you. The most common helmet types are full-face, modular, off-road, half, open-face and dual-sport. Below are a few riding styles and the type of helmet that is right for each:
- Sport: If you are riding on roads a lot, particularly at high speeds, you should consider a full-face or modular helmet. These offer the protection you need in the event of an accident.
- Cruising: This is a slower type of road riding, often on bikes with a more upright riding position. Half helmets are very popular for this, but they don’t offer the best protection. Consider an open-face, modular or full-face helmet instead.
- Touring: This is similar to cruising in terms of riding style. However, it is focused on long-distance rides and exploration. Open-face and modular helmets are the most popular.
- Adventure: Adventure riding involves a combination of road and trail types. It may involve both highway and off-road riding. So, the dual-sport helmet style is usually best.
- Off-Road: If you expect to be riding on trails, you need an off-road helmet. This type of riding is relatively slow but with a lot of dirt and debris.
What Each Motorcycle Helmet Safety Rating Means
There are a few organizations that provide safety ratings for helmets. Each one typically provides a pass/fail certification. The most common in the U.S. are DOT, Snell and ECE. The Department of Transportation is required in many cases in the U.S. and is the easiest for manufacturers to acquire.
The Snell foundation offers optional testing that is more rigorous than the government bodies. Snell-rated helmets are considered very safe. The Economic Commission for Europe’s certification is a required test in Europe. It is more in-depth than the DOT but less so than Snell. The ECE rating is considered to indicate a safe helmet.
The Differences Between Women’s & Men’s Motorcycle Helmets
There are no fundamental differences between women’s motorcycle helmets and men’s helmets. All humans’ skulls are roughly the same shape. Women’s helmets may have some smaller sizes available. However, a lot of helmets are simply listed as being unisex. Any rider can wear any helmet that fits and provides appropriate safety features.
Find Your Ideal Helmet Today
Wearing the right gear when you ride is essential to your safety. Knowing the appropriate type of helmet to wear for your riding style is a good starting point. Additionally, make sure to check out the best motorcycle jackets for men and women. They can be as important for your safety as your helmet. Start your search today.