As you buy your dream bike and look forward to the many adventures that wait ahead of you, there is one more purchase that you must consider – a good quality helmet. Before you begin your biking journey, take a moment and understand that choosing the right motorcycle helmet can ensure your safety under varied conditions.
How to choose a bike helmet?
Choosing the right motorcycle helmet goes beyond its size and looks. Mentioned below are the answers to some commonly asked questions about how to choose a bike helmet.
1. How to choose a helmet size:
The size of your head determines which helmet to use. You can measure your head by circling a measuring tape above your eyebrows and covering the thickest point of your rear head. The ideal helmet will be slightly tight and not move when you shake your head.
2. How to choose a helmet shape:
Every individual's head is differently shaped, which is why one particular design may not fit all. Your head could be round oval, long oval, or intermediate oval. You can use a mirror to check the shape of your head.
3. Legal safety standards:
Your helmet should conform to the legal safety standards for it to pass off as safety gear. You can look for the ISI symbol on the outer back shell of the helmet to ensure that is it approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Types of motorcycle helmets available in the market
1. Full-face helmets:
A full-face helmet is a versatile choice for most riders. It gives major coverage around your head and neck. The helmet’s distinguishing factor is the chin bar that safeguards your chin and jaw. Opt for a model that provides optimum ventilation. High-end models come with inbuilt Bluetooth speakers and visors that tint as per sunlight conditions.
2. Modular helmets:
These are also known as flip-up helmets. In a modular helmet, the chin bar and visor can be flipped up to open the front of the helmet. While they look similar to full-face helmets, they may be slightly heavier and provide marginally lesser protection in comparison. They are the first choice for cruisers and adventure riders, as the design is meant for an upright riding position.
3. Off-road helmets:
As the name suggests, the helmet is meant for muddy roads, away from the city. It has a larger visor and an emphasized chin bar, designed to provide maximum protection. These helmets are lightweight, but you may need goggles, as they do not offer eye protection.
Pro tip: Try the helmet on with the complete protective gear, to ensure it is comfortable and fits perfectly together.
4. Half helmets:
These helmets provide minimal protection as they only cover the top of your head and forehead. They do not come with visors or face shields, which may require you to buy eye protection separately. Half helmets are basic in design, and very few of these are ISI approved.
5. Open face helmets:
This is also referred to as a three-fourth helmet. The product shields the top, back, and sides of your head, but does not cover your face. It also lacks a chin bar, which reduces the safety it provides. The helmet comes with a partial or full-face visor and is a favourite amongst scooter riders and tourers.
The Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways updated the helmet norms to make it mandatory for manufacturers to have ISI certification, as issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). There will be a ban on the manufacture, stock and sale of helmets that do not meet the BIS guidelines. Thus, make sure that you choose a helmet that is ISI Certified.
Wearing a helmet is the first step towards ensuring your safety while riding. Wearing a helmet is legally mandatory in India. Additionally, driving without a helmet is also one of the leading causes for rejection of bike insurance claims in case of a road accident. Choosing the right fitting helmet can save your life and make your ride comfortable. So, make sure you pick the right helmet before you start your bike’s ignition.