How to Size a Motorcycle Helmet for the BEST FIT!
The main job of a motorcycle helmet is to protect the rider in the event of an accident. But helmets cannot do their jobs effectively if they aren’t the right fit. If your helmet is too small or too large, chances are it won’t stay securely on your head during a crash.
This is why it’s important to size a motorcycle helmet properly to achieve a comfortable fit.
So, how should a motorcycle helmet fit? I own three different helmets, all correctly sized. In this article, I’ll show you how to size a motorcycle helmet for the best fit.
How Do You Size A Motorcycle Helmet Properly?
Measure the circumference of the rider’s head just above the eyebrows and ears using a cloth tape measure. Compare the measurement to the size chart provided by the helmet manufacturer to find out the appropriate size. You can try on different styles and brands of helmets to find the best fit. Shake your head to check for proper fit.
In the following paragraphs, I’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to size a motorcycle helmet correctly and everything else you need to know.
Sizing a Motorcycle Helmet Correctly: A step-by-step guide
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to size a motorcycle helmet properly:
Step 1: Determine your Internal Fit
The first step to correctly size a motorcycle helmet is determining which internal head shape you need. Most riders generally fit into three head shape categories. They can either be round oval, intermediate oval, or long oval.
One of the easiest ways to determine your head shape is by taking a picture of the top of your head. You’ll need to sit down and have someone stand above you to take a picture of your head. Looking at the picture, you can tell if you have a round oval head, a long oval head, or it’s in between (intermediate oval.)
Step 2: Determine your Head Size
The next step is to determine your head size. Again, you’ll need someone’s help to measure your head correctly. Ask the person to measure the circumference of your head using a flexible measuring tape or a piece of string.
Take the measurement at the widest point of your head. Place the tape about one inch above your eyebrows and ears when in doubt. This way, you can easily find out the size of your head. To get accurate results, I highly recommend that you measure in centimeters rather than inches.
Step 3: Check the Manufacturer’s Size Chart
Now that you know your head size, the next step is to consult a helmet size chart to find the corresponding size for your head measurement. Most motorcycle helmet manufacturers have their own size charts. Hence, you only need to check the chart for the specific brand and model of helmet you’re interested in.
Step 4: Try the Helmet On
Now that you’re armed with your head size and shape, you should be able to pick out a motorcycle helmet that’s a perfect fit. However, there’s nothing quite like trying on the helmet to see if it fits. So before buying a motorcycle helmet, be sure to try it on to see how it feels on your head.
A properly sized helmet should sit level on your head comfortably and not be too tight or too loose. Although it is normal for a new helmet to feel a bit tight, it shouldn’t be tight enough to cause you pain and major discomfort. The cheeks pads and liner should be comfy and snug.
The chin strap should not be so tight that it digs into your skin but should be tight enough to keep the helmet securely in place. Finally, move your head around and shake it to ensure that the helmet stays securely in place and does not shift or move. The helmet should feel comfortable and not restrictive.
Step 5: Use the 2-2-2 Rule to Check if it fits Properly
The “2-2-2” rule quickly and effectively checks if a motorcycle helmet fits properly. The rule states that the helmet should be:
- Two fingers width above the eyebrows
- Two fingers width from the ear
- Two fingers width between the chin strap and the chin
Hence, when fitting your helmet, you should be able to place two fingers above the eyebrows and two fingers between the helmet and your ear. With the helmet on your head and the chin strap fastened, you should be able to fit two fingers between the chin strap and your chin.
This will ensure that the helmet is snug but not too tight. It also ensures that it covers your head properly, which will help protect you in an accident.
Choosing a Helmet Style
When shopping for a new motorcycle helmet, the sizing shouldn’t be the only thing to look out for. You must also choose the correct helmet style for additional comfort and protection. Motorcycle helmets generally come in two forms. They are either open-face or full-face.
Open Face Helmets
Open-face helmets come in two different designs. There is the half-face helmet and the three-quarter helmet design. The half-face helmet protects the top of your head but leaves your entire face exposed. Meanwhile, the three-quarter design covers the top of the rider’s head and offers additional protection for the side of their face. But the front of the rider’s face is still completely exposed.
The problem with open-face helmets is that they don’t offer full protection for your face. This leaves you alarmingly exposed in the event of a crash. So if you’re buying a helmet for protection, an open-face helmet probably shouldn’t be your first choice.
But if this type of helmet can’t offer full protection, why do people buy them at all? Let’s look at the benefits of an open-face helmet.
Benefits of Open-Face Helmets
Here are some of the benefits of open-face helmets:
- Since a large part of the rider’s head isn’t covered, open-face helmets provide plenty of ventilation. This makes them perfect for riding in warm weather
- Open-face helmets are quite comfortable and easy to put on and take off.
- Open-face helmets come with long visors which offer protection against the weather. Also, the abundance of airflow helps to prevent fogging when riding on a rainy day.
Full Face Helmets
Unlike open-face helmets, full-face helmets have a built-in face shield to protect your eyes against the weather. It also has a chin bar that protects your jaw and chin during accidents.
There are different varieties of full-face helmets on the market. Each variety provides its own peculiar benefits and is perfectly suited for certain riding conditions. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of open-face helmets:
The most interesting characteristic of the modular helmet is that it allows riders to open it at the chin bar. This makes it much easier to get it on and off. The modular helmet also allows you to access your face without completely removing your helmet. So you can eat or drink without taking your helmet off.
These benefits have made them the go-to helmets for touring and commuting. However, modular helmets are much heavier than most standard full-face helmets. They can also be quite noisy while riding.
Adventure (ADV) Helmets
These types of helmets are suited for both off-road and on-road riding. They provide decent ventilation, winder view openings, and large visor apertures, which allow you to wear goggles when you remove the visor.
Adv helmets are quite comfy and pretty quiet when riding on the street. However, they’re also a bit heavy and come with a peak at the top that could cause them to lift when you’re riding at high speed.
Dirt Bike Helmet
The third and final variation of the full-face helmet is the dirt bike helmet. These types of helmets are specifically designed for off-road riding. They provide a lot of ventilation compared to other types of full-face helmets. And dirt bike helmets comes with the visor.
These helmets are also lightweight and quite easy to maintain. The drawback of dirt bike helmets is that they’re not street-legal. They are also noisy and have a peak that can lift at high speeds.
What size helmet do I need if my head is 22 inches?
Helmet sizes are typically based on the circumference of your head, measured at the widest point above your eyebrows and ears. A head circumference of 22 inches would typically correspond to a large or XL-size helmet. However, it’s always best to try on a helmet to ensure it fits before purchasing it.
Should my chin touch the motorcycle helmet?
Your chin shouldn’t touch the front of the helmet when the chin strap is fastened. A properly fitting motorcycle helmet should fit snugly and securely, with minimal movement or shifting when you move your head. The chin strap should be tight enough that you can open your mouth to eat an apple but not so loose that the helmet can move around on your head.
What is the 2 2 2 rule when fitting a helmet on your head?
The “2-2-2” rule is a quick way to check if a helmet fits properly. The rule states that the helmet should be two fingers width above the eyebrows, two fingers width from the ear, and two fingers width between the chin strap and the chin.
Sizing a motorcycle helmet is pretty easy. All you need is a friend or loved one who will help to confirm your head shape and measure your head size with tape. This information lets you check the manufacturer’s size guide for a helmet that fits you.
Although measuring your head with tape should produce accurate results, you should try the helmet on to see if it fits perfectly. You have a perfectly-sized motorcycle helmet if it’s not too tight or too loose!