You’ve just bought yourself that awesome new motorcycle and now you want a lid that matches that sexed out paint job. You take a nice little ride down to the motorcycle store and look around, your helmet doesn’t look as cool, you throw in the bin and start drooling over all the awesome helmets that surround you, and then it hits you – “Which helmet is the best choice for me?”
You sit there at the store, confused, after trying on a million helmets and then curl up in a corner, sobbing quietly, hoping death will come sooner. Worry not though, The Fat Flash is here to save your day and all for a measly slice of pizza in return.
There is a saying – “Dress for the crash, not the ride”, while it may be tempting to put that brightly colored graphic that guarantees, you will be drowning in attention, over some drab and dull ECE or SHARP standards that come printed on a tag no one will ever read, you need to consider all aspects when you consider buying a new helmet. It could just be the only thing that will save that perverted head of yours.
The first thing you need to check on a helmet even before you decide to try it on, does it qualify to any of the safety standards, ECE, DOT, SNELL, SHARP or ISI. Most of the helmets I have used have either been ECE or SHARP approved. Now I am just going to go out on a limb here and say, I do not condone the use of open face helmets, yes, they do look cool on that even cooler café racer you own but trust me when I say this, it is going to be of zero help when your face kisses the tarmac. Invest in a full-face helmet.
The next question to ask yourself is, what kind of a motorcycle you ride and what kind of riding do you do. Do not be a pompous ass and tell me that your motorcycle lets you go where no motorcycle has gone before, we know that’s a load of bull, you feed your buddies over beer. Seriously though, what kind of riding do you do? Are you the weekend track guy or the daily commuter or are you a seasonal tourer or are you the guy who just bought your first motorcycle?
If you use your motorcycle to commute on a daily basis, you will want to invest in one which has spares readily available, maybe a drop down sun visor. Keep that HJC RAPHA+ for your weekend track days and use one that you know, you can change visors without losing one of your fingers. If you are into touring, you might one which is super silent, wind noise can get irritating and will take the joy out of your highway adventure. If you are a track junkie, you might want to invest in a lid that is track approved. In general, you should look for helmets with removable liners that are washable.
You should also take into consideration the type of weather you usually ride in, if it’s hot and dusty, you might want a helmet that offers great ventilation, if you ride in cold & wet weather, a fog-resistant visor should be your priority
Now that you have figured out what kind of a helmet you want, we will need to find a helmet that fits you just right. All of us have differently shaped heads, some of us have nice round knobs, topped with glorious hair while some of us have sad lumpy excuses for heads. Anyway, jokes aside, you are going to be extremely lucky if you find a helmet with a perfect fit but with the range of shell sizes and types of padding you get nowadays, you can get pretty close to perfect.
Now, go ahead and try that helmet. Did you just say, it felt awesome???
Now, take it off and go stand in the corner and think about what you just did. You don’t want a helmet to be loose and comfortable, you want that new helmet to be super snug, almost to the point of being uncomfortable. Why, you ask. Because no matter how good a helmet, it isn’t going to help you one bit. If it going to move around. Grab the front of the helmet and move it around, do you feel the padding move, congratulations, you have just purchased a useless helmet. It is not only unsafe if you ever crash in it but it will also end up causing fatigue because it will move about at higher speeds causing neck fatigue.
You want that helmet to hug you like sweet suffocation. That came out wrong, but you get the point. When you move the helmet around, you should feel the skin move along with the helmet. You need to keep trying different helmet until you find that fits you right. When you do find one that fits, leave it on for a few minutes, you can contemplate life while you wait. The reason to do this is so that any pressure points that may cause discomfort, will become . If you do feel discomfort around your crown, look at a different helmet.
Now, that you figured out the fit, look at the graphics and color options available in the model, make sure to follow through the above steps before you finalise on the helmet. Now, buy that helmet and walk out like a boss.
Ride hard. Ride Safe