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How to choose the right motorcycle helmet

Every motorcyclist knows that even if you’re the world’s most careful biker, all it takes is one careless motorist to cause an accident. Because of that, safety features are even more important when you’re on your motorcycle. A good helmet is the cornerstone of motorcycle safety, but not all helmets are created equal. Choosing the right one can literally save your life.

Helmet Style

Motorcycle helmets come in a variety of styles with differing levels of protection. The greatest protection comes from a full-face helmet, which covers your entire face and protects your chin, too. It also gives you the greatest amount of wind protection and offers the quietest ride.

Some bikers prefer three-quarter helmets, which have an outer shell and face shield, but don’t have the same chin protection. If you use the open-face kind, be sure to have the snap-on face shield in place whenever you’re riding. Eyeglasses or sunglasses can move or even fly off in a gust of wind.

Motorcycle safety organizations don't recommend half helmets, since they offer even less protection.


A motorcycle helmet should sit snugly on your head, so have yourself sized at a bike shop to ensure the proper fit. Never get a helmet that’s too large, since increased wind will make for a noisier ride. In the worst-case scenario, it could even fall off in an accident when you need it most. Here are signs of a well-fitting helmet:

  • The cheek pads touch your face without being uncomfortable.
  • The brow pads touch your temples without gaps.
  • The helmet still hugs the back of your neck even if it has a neck roll.
  • The face shield doesn’t touch your nose or chin when you press on the chin piece, which simulates what will happen in high wind on the road.

Replacing Your Helmet

If you’re involved in any type of accident at all, be sure to replace your helmet. Even if you think it’s okay, remember that helmets can absorb damage that’s not visible from the outside, and you don’t want to ride with a compromised helmet. Some manufacturers will repair certain kinds of helmet damage, so check into that option if necessary.

Wearing Your Helmet

Every motorcyclist should wear their helmet every time they ride, regardless of state laws requiring it. Accidents are unpredictable, but what should be predictable is your safety. Every time you get on your bike, use all the safety equipment that’s available to you. If you ever need it, you’ll be glad you did.

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.

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Wheaton, IL 60187

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