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MOTORCYCLE HELMETS

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Motorcycle Helmet Safety Rating Certification Guide

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Motorcycle Helmets for Dirt Bikes, Street Bikes and Adventure Motorcycles

The helmet is arguably the most important piece of gear that any motorcyclist owns. It plays a vital role in protecting the rider from impact or abrasion to the head in the event of a crash. Perhaps because it is so important, numerous types and styles of helmets have become available to meet the needs and preferences of a variety of riders. This page is the perfect starting point to find the right helmet for you.

We want your shopping experience to be as simple as possible. That’s why we’ve split our helmets into categories based on the type of motorcycle you ride: dirt bike, street bike and adventure motorcycle. All you have to do is pick a style that you like, and you’re ready to go. The product description of any particular helmet can fill you in on the finer details, and the customer reviews can give you real insight directly from other riders.

Types of Helmets

There are several types of helmets. Full face helmets provide the most protection, while open face and half helmets leave your face exposed. Safety is the primary advantage of full face helmets, while freedom and the open air are the primary draws of open face and half helmets. Modular helmets are also available. These appear like full face helmets and feature a chin bar and face shield, but they can convert to open face helmets when you are not riding – the chin bar flips up. Most modular helmets are not designed to be used in the open-face position while you are riding.

Off-road helmets borrow concepts from the full face helmet, but the design is modified for the needs of dirt bike riders. Goggles are designed to be used instead of a built-in face shield, helping to improve visibility in dusty environments. A long visor is included on top. The chin bar is long and pointed. This improves airflow, allowing the rider to exert more energy while riding without running out of breath. Adventure or dual sport helmets feature a hybrid concept, preserving the built-in face shield of traditional full face helmets while including the visor and pointed chin bar of off-road helmets. They’re a fantastic option if you think that your riding will take you anywhere from highways to forest roads.

Construction

In the simplest terms, motorcycle helmets are built with a durable outer shell (made out of materials like fiberglass or carbon fiber) and an inner layer of EPS foam which cradles the skull. In an impact, the outer shell protects the rider’s head from abrasion and punctures, while the inner shell cushions the head against the impact. As a result, some accidents can occur that leave the helmet looking perfectly fine even though the inner foam has been compromised from the impact. Because of this, you should not continue to use any helmet which has been in an accident. If you want to maintain impact protection, you need to get a new helmet.

Safety Certifications

One thing that you will notice as you research helmets is the safety certifications you will find. The DOT standard is the most common in the United States. DOT stands for Department of Transportation, and in order for a helmet to be street legal, it must meet the DOT standards. As such, you should never purchase a street bike helmet that doesn’t meet DOT standards. (Don’t worry – all of ours do.) Off-road helmets don’t always need to meet DOT standards because they don’t need to be street legal (unless you have a dual sport adventure bike).

The Snell safety certification is enforced by a private, non-profit organization. The two standards are not the same, though the Snell standard is generally accepted as being more rigorous on most of its testing requirements. Nearly all Snell-approved helmets also meet DOT requirements. A third safety certification is ECE. This is a European standard and is widely recognized internationally. It uses a relatively rigorous testing procedure and is regularly reviewed and updated.

Fitment

A safety certification is one thing to watch out for when you are shopping for a new motorcycle helmet, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Your helmet also needs to fit well. An improperly fitted helmet will not protect you in the way it is designed to do. Because of this, proper fitment is essential. We have fitment details on all of our helmet product descriptions to ensure that you’re able to get the right fit for that specific helmet. If by chance you order a helmet that doesn’t fit quite right, please take advantage of our fit guarantee. It allows you to exchange your helmet for the right size – and on the first exchange, there is absolutely no cost for you (not even shipping). It’s important that you take safety seriously and get a helmet that fits correctly.

Keep in mind that a new helmet will generally fit a little tight when you first put it on. Through the normal course of wear, the material will loosen. If you get a new helmet that doesn’t fit tightly, after a few months, it might be too loose. If your helmet feels a little snug when you first get it, don’t worry – it’s intentional.

Other Considerations

Although safety should be your primary concern with any helmet, there are a number of additional features that might persuade you toward one helmet or another. For example, some helmets feature fog-resistant face shields. This can be important if you ride in cold weather. If you ride in warm weather, you might want to look for extra vents in the helmet for increased airflow. Removable liners can make cleaning your helmet easier. Remember, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with your head inside of your helmet. A little comfort and convenience can make a huge difference in how you feel about your helmet six months down the road.

If you’re ready for a new helmet, you can’t go wrong with Rocky Mountain ATV/MC. We’ve got a selection of many brands, designs and colors. Check out our options today and pick out your next helmet now.

Latest Helmets Reviews – You could win up to $500 for reviewing products!

  • AFX FX-41 Dual Sport Motorcycle Helmet

    matthew in ID

    Best Bang for the Buck!

    I ride a TW200 mostly on single track and desert. I love that goggles fit in this and you can close the visor over the goggle band with no issues. I really like the vents at slow speed you still get some great airflow. Since most of my riding is slow. The sun visor is great doesn't however work with goggles, they would take up the same space. I wish I cloud pull just a little foam out if the left cheek as it seems on that side. Maybe my face is Crooked? I still think this helmet is the best bang for the buck.

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  • HJC IS-Cruiser Half-Face Helmet

    charles in MT

    It's good.

    New to riding & helmets, so no reference for comparison. Prefer this style, fits well, not heavy. Little hard on the ears. Price seems reasonable.

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  • GMax GM11D Dual Sport Helmet

    Micah in CA

    Great budget adventure helmet.

    Pretty sweet helmet for the price. This one is ever so slightly more loose than my other gmax dirtbike helmet, but adding a small strip of open cell foam under the liner has snugged it up that tiny little bit. Unfortunately the strap is made of the typical abrasive gmax strap fabric, which is a bit uncomfortable, but it's not a deal breaker. I definitely would recommend. There is plenty of flow between the visor and the helmet which makes it useable at highway speeds, I only really notice the extra drag when I turn my head.

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  • Scorpion EXO-AT950 Helmet

    Greg in CA

    Great helmet. Just needs more space around ears if ...

    Would give this 5 stars if there were a little more room in the ear area for mounting speakers. Had to chip a little foam out to make room.

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  • Klim F3 Helmet

    Kirtus in NV

    great helmet

    love this helmet light, breathes nice only downside is the wind noise at speed can get a little annoying

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  • HJC DS-X1 Helmet

    RICH in CA

    HJC DS-X1 for Dual Sport Bike

    I recently bought my first bike (WR250R) and so this helmet is also my first helmet buying experience. I ordered both the BELL and HJC helmets to try on and test, but chose the HJC because it offered everything the BELL did aside from the MIPS technology for $50 less. Additionally the HJC has much better venting, and it just fit better. I like that it has face shield replacement options cheaper than the BELL, and it doesn't look as huge as the BELL, and is lighter weight. After 100+ miles I'm really happy with it, sound insulation seems to be fine. Anti fog lens works good.

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