Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet

Choosing a motorcycle helmet is one of those areas where choosing what you like may be the best way to decide. It sounds a little crazy to say that when there seem to be so many different features to compare. Helmets come in a wide range of styles, they have different safety ratings of which you should be aware, and come with accessories like Bluetooth and intercom systems.

So why would I maintain that choosing based on what you like is the top priority? Motorcycle helmets only work if you are wearing them. If you buy a motorcycle helmet you absolutely love, then you will wear it more often. You should love it enough that you would never dream of riding without it. That way, it shifts helmet wearing from something you must do to stay safe to something you love to do because you look good. And those emotions are simply stronger than self-preservation and planning for unlikely events.

Unless you buy some sort of novelty helmet, you should be fine when it comes to safety. There are always two ratings to look for: DOT and Snell. The Snell rating means the helmet has been certified by the Snell Memorial Foundation after extensive testing. Manufacturers must submit their helmets and pay for certification. The DOT rating is less useful. It is based on an impact test which determines how much of the impact is absorbed before reaching your head. However, a DOT rating doesn’t necessarily mean that every helmet displaying it has been tested. Manufacturers can claim the DOT rating based on similar materials and design. You’ll pay more for a Snell-certified helmet, but it’s worth it.

Even after you take your motorcycle helmet home, you don’t have to stop there. There are many ways to customize and personalize your helmet. Although most people interested in motorcycle touring won’t want the helmet “Mohawk,” such a thing is available if you do. Custom paint jobs are probably one of the most popular customizations, but there are also decals available if painting is too pricey for you.

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