How to Purchase Motorcycle Helmets Online (2024)

Riding a motorcycle brings a sense of freedom and excitement, but safety should always be a top priority. One of the most crucial pieces of safety gear is your helmet because choosing the right motorcycle helmet can mean the difference between life and death in an accident. With the convenience of the internet, buying motorcycle helmets online has become increasingly popular, however it can certainly come with its challenges. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to purchase the perfect helmet online.

Types of Motorcycle Helmets

There are several types of motorcycle helmets, each designed for different riding styles and preferences:

  • Full-Face Helmets - Full-face helmets offer the most protection, covering the entire head and face. They are ideal for all types of riding, especially at high speeds.
  • Modular (Flip-Up) Helmets - Modular helmets feature a flip-up front, combining the benefits of full-face and open-face helmets. They are versatile but slightly heavier due to the hinge mechanism.
  • Open-Face (3/4) Helmets - Open-face helmets cover the top, back, and sides of the head but leave the face exposed. They offer good protection but less coverage than full-face helmets.
  • Half Helmets - Half helmets cover only the top of the head and are popular among cruiser riders. They provide minimal protection and are best for low-speed riding.
  • Off-Road Helmets - Designed for dirt biking, off-road helmets feature a larger visor and enhanced ventilation. They usually don’t include a face shield, so goggles are necessary.
  • Dual-Sport Helmets - Dual-sport helmets are a hybrid between off-road and full-face helmets. They are suitable for both street and off-road riding.

Measuring Your Head for a Perfect Fit

A properly fitting helmet is crucial for safety and comfort. Use a soft tape measure to measure around the widest part of your head, about an inch above your eyebrows. This measurement will help you determine your helmet size. Helmet sizes vary by brand, so always refer to the manufacturer’s size chart. Try the helmet on if possible, ensuring it fits snugly without being too tight. We really want to stress that the helmet need to fit SNUGLY here, because the comfort padding will eventually start to shape to your unique face shape – but we’ll get into that further a little later.

Helmets come in different shapes to accommodate various head shapes. Common shapes include round, intermediate oval, and long oval. Choose a helmet that matches your head shape for the best fit, and if you need help figuring out what head shape you are, its best to contact customer support if you already have a helmet in mind that you are interested in.

Helmet Materials and Construction

There are a few options in material and construction of a helmet that will impact its safety and durability:

  • Polycarbonate Helmets - Polycarbonate helmets are affordable and offer good impact resistance. They are often lightweight and provide satisfactory protection.
  • Fiberglass Composite Helmets - Fiberglass composite helmets are more expensive but offer better impact absorption and durability. They are also relatively lightweight.
  • Carbon Fiber Helmets - Carbon fiber helmets are among the lightest and strongest. They provide excellent impact resistance and are ideal for high-performance riding.
  • EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) Liner - The EPS liner is crucial for absorbing impact energy. Multiple density EPS liners provide better protection by managing different impact forces effectively.

Understanding Helmet Safety Standards

Before diving into the list of helmet features to look out for, it’s essential to understand the various safety standards that helmets must meet. These standards ensure that the helmet provides adequate protection:

  • DOT certification is mandatory for all helmets sold in the United States. It ensures the helmet meets specific criteria for impact resistance, penetration protection, and retention system effectiveness.
  • ECE standards are similar to DOT but are required for helmets sold in Europe. These standards are recognized in over 50 countries and are known for rigorous testing procedures.
  • Snell certification is a voluntary standard that some manufacturers choose to meet. It involves more stringent testing than DOT or ECE, making Snell-certified helmets among the safest on the market.

Helmet Features to Consider

When choosing a helmet, it’s important to consider how the following features can enhance your riding experience:

  • Ventilation Systems - Proper ventilation keeps you cool and comfortable during long rides. Look for helmets with adjustable vents to control airflow. Also consider how adjustable vents may impact noise levels inside your helmet: if it is always hot and humid in your area you may always be riding with them open, which can make wind noise louder.
  • Visor Types and Their Benefits - Different visors offer various benefits, such as anti-fog coatings, UV protection, and scratch resistance. Some helmets come with tinted or photochromic visors. It’s important to consider price point value for all these items noted above. Some offer a higher quality riding experience than others, and as you start to add feature on feature, then you can expect to start to pay more at the checkout.
  • Interior Padding and Comfort - High-quality interior padding ensures comfort and a secure fit. It’s important to pay attention to how the helmet feels as soon as you put it on after receiving it in the mail. Most online helmet companies now offer a returns/exchanges grace period so you can determine how it fits before committing to it. You should also take note at this time, not only of any pressure points, but also how the fabric of the comfort padding feels on your skin, and if you can tolerate that feeling for long durations. Consider purchasing a helmet with removable and washable liners for maintaining hygiene.
  • Noise Reduction - Wind noise can be distracting and tiring. Helmets with good aerodynamics and noise-reducing features provide a quieter ride. This one is a bit trickier to determine pre-purchase, so make sure to pay attention to reviews and online helmet discussions for help here, which we’ll touch on below.

Reading Online Reviews and Ratings

When shopping online, reviews and ratings provide valuable insights into the helmet’s performance and quality, so make sure you do a thorough search through the reviews on the product page, as well as any other active helmet discussion forums that you can find. YouTube is also a great place to start.

Look for detailed reviews that discuss fit, comfort, and durability. Be wary of overly positive or negative reviews that seem biased. Analyzing reviews may require a fair bit of deduction, as each individual’s experience with a product is unique. Take time to read the words on the discussion boards and contemplate how they apply to you, your preferences and your lifestyle.

Professional reviews (can usually be found on YouTube, or other reputable retail and informational sites) often include comprehensive testing and comparisons, offering an objective perspective on the helmet’s performance. These are also great sources to discover any intentional helmet design features, some of which you may find beneficial, and some not.

Comparing Prices and Finding Deals

Getting the best deal on your helmet requires a little research by navigating the web. Use online tools and websites to compare prices across different retailers. This can help you find the best price and available discounts. Furthermore, keep an eye out for seasonal sales, such as Black Friday or end-of-season clearances, to snag great deals on helmets. Many retailers will also have sporadic special occasion sales events as well, so if you’re lucky one might fall around the time that you are looking to buy.

Warranty and Return Policies

Understanding the warranty and return policies can save you from potential headache. Check the manufacturer’s warranty to understand what is covered, such as defects in materials or workmanship. If you cannot easily locate this information on the retailer’s website, make sure to contact customer service for additional information.

Checking Return Policies

Ensure the retailer offers a flexible return policy in case the helmet doesn’t fit or meet your expectations. Again, you can do this by contacting customer support if you cannot easily locate their company return policies on their website.

Conclusion

The most important thing to remember when purchasing a piece of safety gear online is to continue to seek answers until you are completely satisfied with your decision. Shopping online presents a buyer with plenty more options than purchasing in store, but the downside is that you do not have a physical retail associate right beside you to guide you through the process. The good thing is that most online retailers have customer support available to answer your questions via email, telephone or online chat through limited periods on the day. While it may take a little longer to get a response than shopping in store, we highly recommend utilizing these resources as much as you feel necessary. Not only can you gauge the level of customer service the retailer is accustomed to offering, but you’ll also be better off with a little peace of mind.

How to Purchase Motorcycle Helmets Online (2024)
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