So you have your new race bike and you are ready to hit the track. One of the most important decisions you have to now make is deciding which motorcycle racing helmet to buy.
With the massive range of helmets on the market, this can be quite a daunting task, but for this piece of essential safety equipment it is important to make the right choice.
In the event of a motorcycle accident the consequences can be severe, especially if your head is impacted. The chances of death or brain damage are greatly reduced by wearing a good and well fitting helmet. It may be tempting to save costs and get the cheapest helmet you can, assuming that all helmets are equally safe, however, it is likely that the cheaper helmets are simply built to the minimum safety standards.
Consider: How important is your brains health to you? An injury which results in brain damage cannot be reversed and can cause life long disability. It is worth protecting at all costs with a quality helmet.
Make sure you try on a variety of helmets
Visit a motorcycle store and get properly fitted for a helmet. Try on a variety of different makes as their sizes and shapes differ internally. What feels comfortable to one person may not to another due to the different shapes of each of our heads.
A well fitting helmet will be safer in the event of an accident, will be quieter and will not give you a headache.
For these reasons it is not advisable to measure your head at home and then just order a helmet online that you have not had the opportunity to try on. Instead, it is advisable to visit a store and try on the helmets for proper fitment and comfort. The sales person will be able to assist with ensuring the helmet sits correctly for both rider safety and comfort. That does not stop you, once you know which helmet suits your head best, from then shopping online to find the best price on that model.
Motorcycle Race Helmet
When choosing your helmet for either racing at the track or undertaking track days, it should be considered that any accident which may occur is likely to be at high speed. Given this, it is of the utmost importance that you choose a helmet that has been designed specifically for such intense activity. This is definitely not the time to reduce costs, and instead, if costs are an issue, it is worth saving on the cost of the motorcycle to ensure ability to obtain the best helmet possible.
Race specific helmets have been designed specifically with safety and focus in mind, to ensure the rider is protected and that no features of the helmet will cause distraction to the rider which could cause a rider to lose focus, and ultimately crash.
Race Helmet Shell
A race helmet will be lightweight in comparison to other cheaper everyday commuter helmets, however, due to the technology involved in their build, they should offer additional protection. The composition of the helmets shell will dictate the weight of the helmet, with cheaper helmets being made with a heavier poly carbonate shell. The next level up in terms of weight are a fibreglass shell. Race specific helmets usually come with a composite shell which made be made from kevlar, carbon fibre, fibreglass or aramidic fibre. The use of such composite keeps the helmet lighter weight while maintaining the same level of safety.
Race helmets will also contain Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), which is a lightweight, crushable foam, which will offer protection in the event of an impact.
Other Safety Features
A good race helmet will also have additional safety features such as an emergency cheek pad removal system, which allows medics, in the event of an accident, to be able to easily remove the helmet from your head without risking movement to your spine. This is a feature which is incredibly important as the risk to your long term health, should your spine be further damaged by movement from removing your helmet cannot be understated. For example such inadvertent movement of an injured spine could cause increased damage and lead to partial or total paralysis, permanent loss of sensation in parts of the body or permanent ongoing pain.
Consider what type of face shield the helmet you are considering purchasing has. Does the helmet you are looking at have an upgraded thicker shield to ensure that it does not break in the event of an impact with either the ground or a flying object.
A locking mechanism on your visor is an important safety feature to check for on your helmet as this will ensure the visor stays down at high speed.
Another feature to consider on your proposed motorcycle race helmet is the neck roll which is built into it. A good neck roll in the helmet will reduce wind noise which will ensure there is less distraction to the rider’s concentration. This in turn helps to reduce rider fatigue, which as a result reduces the risk of an accident.
Choosing the correct fit for your motorcycle race helmet
Your helmet needs to fit you around the widest part of your head, which should be located just above your eyebrows. A properly fitted helmet should not be moving around from the wind at high speed and should be fitting snug against your cheeks with no room for wiggling it around. This will ensure the best protection in the event of an accident, rather than a loose helmet which may move in an accident and not provide the protection as intended.
Most motorcycle race helmets will be made with aerodynamics in mind, taking into account where a sports bike racer will be positioned on their motorbike, their body position, and the hump which would be built into the back of the rider’s leathers. Many race helmets will have a rear wing built in which will assist to keep your head stable at high speed.
In conclusion we would recommend that when purchasing your motorcycle race helmet, you attend a motorcycle shop to ensure correct fitting and try a variety of helmets to ensure correct fit for your shape of head. We also recommend purchasing a race specific helmet which will ensure the best safety features and least distractions to the rider.
With your safety taken care of, it will be time to get on track, and enjoy the exhilaration that it provides.