How To Fit A Motorcycle Helmet

April 7, 2009 by: MCg

Motorcycle Helmet Sizes


Although it may seem obvious you should protect your motorcycle head with a motorcycle helmet, what may not be so obvious is that the correct size and the right fit are vital to gaining the benefit of a helmet, should that day come when you really need its intended protective service.

In brief, just making a size selection based on reading “small, medium or large,” isn’t going to be enough, but it’s a good starting point.

An even better way to start is if you know your hat size although the exact dimensions vary from one helmet maker to another, and even the shape of the helmet can vary. So, trying it on is the best way to get a correct fit.


Here’s how to try on a motorcycle helmet:

♦ Grab the helmet by the chin straps so that you are looking at the bottom and inside of the helmet.

♦ Position your thumbs on the inside of the straps and pull the sides of the helmet slightly apart.

♦ Lift the helmet over your head (while simultaneously using the straps to pull the helmet sides wider), and slip the helmet down over the top of your head by pulling the chin straps down.

♦ The helmet should fit snugly, and may even feel a bit too tight until it
is fully and correctly placed on your head. In other words, be sure it’s completely lowered onto your head.

♦ Secure the chin straps under your chin.

♦ The cheek pads on the inside of the helmet should touch your cheeks, but they should do so without pressing uncomfortably.

♦ The top front of the helmet should be secure against your forehead.

♦ If the helmet has a neck roll, it shouldn’t push the helmet away
from the back of your neck.

♦ If you are trying on a full-face helmet, press on the frontal chin section. The helmet or face shield should not be touching your nose or chin, otherwise it would do so even more firmly at speed from wind pressure.

While wearing the helmet, and with the chin straps securely fastened, use your hands to move the helmet from side to side and up and down. In a good fitting helmet, your skin should move along with the helmet. It should feel as if a slight, even pressure is being exerted all over your head.

Keep in mind that a helmet will loosen up a little bit as the comfort liner compresses through use. The point is that a new helmet should be as tight as you can comfortably wear.

♦ Now, as a final check, try rolling the helmet forward off your head (with the chin strap still securely fastened and your head straight). You should not be able to pull the helmet off. If you can, the helmet is too large.

If you are at all unsure about the helmet’s fit and/or comfort, wear it around the store for a while. A helmet is an important piece of motorcycle safety equipment and you do want to ensure you get the right size.


OK, you can take off the helmet.

♣ Does your head feel sore anywhere?

♣ Are there any red spots on your forehead?

If the helmet is too tight, pressure points can not only be uncomfortable, but they can cause a headache after a long ride.

If your head is sore, try a larger size and/or a different helmet brand. As noted earlier, not only do helmets vary by size, but they also vary by shape, and different manufacturers may use different shapes as well as different size measurements.


NOTE: A common error new riders make in selecting a helmet is that they buy a helmet that is too large for their head.

If your helmet is too large, it can:

◊ Move up and won and around on your head. (It should be secure and snug!)

◊ It can be noisy and let in wind while riding.

◊ The main reason why you don’t want a helmet that is too large is because it may come off in a crash (bad news).

If you are ordering a helmet online, such as by clicking the link below, realize that it’s possible that the helmet you buy may not fit perfectly. In which case, you’ll need to return and request a different size.



Filed under: Motorcycle Helmets
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One Response to “How To Fit A Motorcycle Helmet”
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