As someone, who rides a bike, motorcycle, or ATV, you’re putting yourself at risk each and every time you go for a stroll. Although you might have fun along the way, the risk is there and the possibility of an accident remains no matter how proficient you become. So How to Measure Your Head Size For A Motorcycle Helmet, we will answer this question.
With this in mind, it is absolutely pertinent to protect yourself from potential brain injuries. In order to do this, you will need to equip yourself with the best helmet possible. Although there are numerous things to consider when finding a helmet, the fit is more important than anything else! Within this guide, you will learn how to measure your head for a helmet, so you can guarantee you get the perfect fit!
What You’ll Need
Before going forward, you’ll first need to acquire a measuring tape. Not just any measuring tape will cut it. Since you’re going to need to measure the circumference of your head, you’ll need to acquire a roll of flexible measuring tape. This type of tape will wrap around your head and give you the ability to get a precise measurement.
Take The Measurement
Once you’ve acquired the measuring tape, you will want to go ahead and wrap it around your head. Make sure the tape remains flat and doesn’t pinch or fold along the way. The two loose ends of the tape should remain between your fingertips. Pull these tight, until they crisscross above your eyebrows.
Read It: For the next step, you may need the assistance of a friend. Grab the center of the tape above your eyebrows and hold it tight. With the center of the tape held securely, you should remove the measuring tape from your head.
Now, read the measurement. This will provide you with the circumference of your head and will help to make selecting the right helmet much easier. Be sure to write down this measurement, so you can keep it nearby while scouring through your helmet options.
Know Your Shape
Another thing to remember is your head’s shape. Some people have oval heads, while others will have an egg-shaped head. The shape of the head will be very impactful on your decision. The good news is that most manufacturers accommodate various head shapes.
Each helmet will be made for specific head shape, so this is another thing you will need to look at when purchasing a motorcycle helmet.
How do I know my helmet size
Ready to get started? The steps to choosing the right helmet are simple:
1. Choose a helmet style
Motorcyclists have never had so many helmet choices available. While it’s fantastic to have all these options, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect one. Where to start? Speaking broadly, there are five basic types of helmets you should be familiar with before making your decision.
First is the open face helmet, which is the least restrictive and least protective. Open face helmets flow tons of air since the helmet’s shell does not cover the rider’s chin or face, hence the name. An open face helmet could be a “half” helmet, which just covers the top of your skull, or a “three-quarter” helmet, which covers everything except the rider’s face. Open face helmets tend to be less expensive than other types of helmets, and they’re usually short on features as well. You’ll typically see these helmets worn by riders on cruisers, retros, and classics.
The full-face helmet, on the other hand, totally encloses the rider’s head. A face shield protects the rider’s nose and eyes, and an extension of the shell called the chin bar covers the bottom of the rider’s face. Full face helmets are the least ventilated, but the most protective against impacts and the elements. They’re also the quietest helmets available. A full-face helmet is the only option if you aspire to take your helmet to the track. Full face helmets are common around every kind of street bike.
Modular helmets are a subset of full-face helmets. These helmets use a hinged mechanism to swing the chin bar and face shield out of the way when the rider hits the release, instantly converting the full face helmet into an open face helmet. This modularity gives the helmet its name. Modular helmets let riders choose between the benefits of both open-face and full-face helmets, all in one.
For example, a touring rider might want full-face protection on the highway, but the ease of an open face while grabbing lunch at a rest stop. (Note that modular helmets are not intended to be used in the open position while riding.) With modular, the tradeoff for its convenience is often increased weight and noise over conventional helmets, though modular helmets are improving every year. Modulars are especially popular with the touring and commuter crowds.
If your rides take you on- and off-road, consider an ADV, or adventure, helmet. ADV riders transition from the street to the trail in a single ride, so their helmets combine features for both disciplines. On the street, an ADV helmet offers a face shield and a street-legal safety rating. For riding in the dirt, they mimic a dirt helmet with a peak (like the bill on a cap over the eyes), lots of ventilation, and compatibility for goggles. Of course, their hybrid nature makes for some compromises, but there’s no better choice if your adventures incorporate both street and trail. ADV helmets are most at home with dual-sport and ADV riders.
Finally, there’s the dirt helmet, made exclusively for off-road riding. Note that these helmets do not require a Department of Transportation (DOT) rating, so they might not be street-legal. Dirt helmets feature plenty of airflows, plus a large peak to keep roost out of the rider’s eyes.
They’re intended to be worn with goggles. (Goggles are almost always sold separately.) They’re exceptionally light, though they sacrifice face shields and other comforts to make that possible. A dirt helmet is designed for off-road riding, so if you’re going to be riding on the street, it’s recommended that you choose something else.
2. Determine your head shape and size
Hopefully, one of the helmet categories sounds right for you. Now that you have a direction, it’s time to figure out your head shape. People generally fit into one of three head shapes: long oval, intermediate oval, and round oval. To find out what you’ve got, ask a friend to take a photo of your head from above.
Flatten your hair down as much as possible, because it can obscure your head’s shape. Looking at the picture, is your head almost round (round oval), or is it long and thin (long oval)? Somewhere in between (intermediate oval)? In the United States, intermediate oval is the most common, but check to be sure before moving on to sizing. You can filter your results on German Helmets to select only helmets that match your head shape.
Now, find your helmet size. Helmet sizing is a little strange for most people since we don’t use head size as commonly as waist size, shirt size, or shoe size in everyday life. Fortunately, it’s not hard to figure it out. Ask your friend to measure your head’s circumference with a soft tape measure.
The tape should run above your eyebrows and around the back of your head, including the widest part. A piece of string will do in a pinch. Just lay it against a ruler after measuring to figure out the length. Compare your result against a helmet’s size chart to determine which size you need to order. German Helmets publishes both metric and imperial measurements, so don’t sweat the conversions.
3. Try the helmet on
So you know what style of helmet you’d like, as well as your measurements and head profile. That should narrow your search down to a range of helmets that will work. Time to order! When the helmet comes in, put it on, keeping in mind that you might have to grab the straps and spread them apart to slip the helmet over your head.
Helmets aren’t designed to be comfortable while your head is passing through the pads. You might need to adjust your ears, too. That’s totally normal, just like adjusting your sock after putting a shoe on. The focus should be on fitment with the helmet in place.
4. Check for proper fit
With the helmet on, how should it feel? Any severe discomfort means you should try another helmet. If you ordered an unwearable helmet after following the steps above, consider rechecking your size and shape assessments. You shouldn’t be that far off the mark if you measured accurately, checked the size chart, and paid attention to the product description/video.
If the helmet fits as it should, you should feel the cushions against your cheeks. They’ll be pushed up a little, like “chipmunk cheeks.” (Note: Open face helmets do not have cheek pads, so they will not give this effect.) Next, grab the chin bar and move it around. Your cheeks should move, not the helmet. If it’s sliding, go down at least a size. If the helmet’s a little on the tight side, keep in mind that most helmet liners break in 15 percent to 20 percent after the first 15 to 20 hours of riding.
5. Wear the helmet for about half an hour
Leave the helmet on for 15 to 30 minutes. Just sit, maybe watch your favorite TV show. Pressure points are what you’re looking for. Tightness is OK, but if you feel like you need to get the helmet off to stop the pain, that’s not the helmet for you. Discomfort is most common in two places: directly at the forehead, or just above the temples. If you have a big red line across your forehead after removing the helmet, try something else.
That helmet is not long-oval enough. If you feel the helmet squeezing your temples, it isn’t round enough for you. Keep in mind that this half-hour period should be spent off the bike. We can’t take returns on helmets once you ride with them!
6. Still, feels right? Go ride!
Wearing a helmet just won’t be as comfortable as sitting around your house without one. That said, you should feel decently comfortable wearing the helmet for a half-hour at a time. Make sure you spend some time in the helmet to pass that 15-20 hours of break-in. The helmet will mold to your head somewhat, making for an even better fit. Enjoy your new helmet!
Motorcycle Helmet Size FAQs
Do my ears get folded over when I put my helmet on?
That’s normal. Watch a MotoGP race and you’ll even see the pros adjusting their ears as they gear up. As long as you can push your ears back to a natural position and your ears do not hurt, you’re good to go. Again, it’s all about how the helmet fits once it’s actually in position.
I really can’t figure out my head shape?
Did you actually get a friend to help you get that bird’s-eye view of your head? Also, did you actually flatten your hair as much as possible? That should be all it takes. If you really can’t figure it out, intermediate oval is probably your best bet.
I can’t even get my head into the helmet, even though the chart said this was my size!
That might actually be your size. Some helmets have more neckroll cushioning than others. Hold the helmet by the two straps, with your thumbs pressing the straps against the helmet. Gently spread the helmet’s opening a little, then try pulling it over your head. If it still doesn’t fit, don’t force it. Stop and try the next size up.
I wear glasses or sunglasses when I ride. Does that change what helmet I order?
Probably not! Most helmets these days have some sort of accommodation for eyeglasses. If you wear glasses when you ride, try them when you test fit. Don’t size up if everything fits perfectly except your glasses. Consider another model helmet, a different pair of glasses, or contact lenses. If those glasses are just for blocking the sun, a drop-down sun shield might be a good solution for you.
See more >> Best Helmet To Wear With Glasses Brands
I think my helmet is too tight!
If you can’t put it on, at all, then that’s obviously too tight. If you can get it on, but it hurts where it presses against your head, that’s also too tight. If it’s snug all around, too snug to chew gum, that’s about right. Don’t forget about that 15 percent to 20 percent break-in that will occur.
I think my helmet is too loose.
If you can’t pass the “chipmunk cheeks” and chin bar tests (see step four above), you’re correct.
I heard I can get different pads for my helmet, or modify the pads I have to get the fit I want. What’s up with that?
It’s true, you can dial in the fit by altering the comfort pads inside your helmet. Not all helmets offer this feature. If your helmet is almost perfect, even after the break-in period, you can make slight adjustments with different pads and liners. The pad size is usually marked on the back, so you’ll have to remove them to see what you’ve got. Some helmet manufacturers, like Arai, pre-cut their cheek pads so you can peel layers off to buy clearance.
When it comes down to it, there are thousands of helmets on the market and a few will work exceptionally well for each individual. In order to get the best helmet for your individualistic needs, you’ll need to do a little research and take precise measurements.
A well-fitting motorcycle helmet contributes to a safer and more comfortable ride. If the helmet does not fit right, it can cause pain which often leads to dangerous distractions, and it may not completely protect the rider’s head in a crash. Therefore, finding a motorcycle helmet that fits the rider correctly is very important to the helmet’s twin missions of comfort and safety.
Spend enough time finding the right helmet and you will find that the helmet almost disappears while wearing and yet it is right where it needs to be should the ride go wrong. Be smart. Be safe. Ride with a correctly sized motorcycle helmet and enjoy the road for years to come.
That’s about all there is to it! You should have everything you need to find and fit your own helmet. All that measuring and testing will be worth it when you reach for that perfectly broken-in helmet on your next ride.