By far the most important piece of safety equipment you will buy is your motorcycle helmet. It is fact that most severe accidents can be prevented by wearing one. Picking ‘the right one’ is as equally important as wearing one – whether you have a budget in mind or just an idea of certain features you may like, there are a few safety standards they all need to abide by.
Motorcycle helmet safety standards
All helmets sold in the UK must either:
- Meet British Standard BS 6658:1985 and carry the BSI Kitemark
- Meet UNECE Regulation 22.05
- Meet a European Economic Area member standard offering at least the same safety and protection as BS 6658:1985, and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark
Guides to fitting your helmet
Helmet fit is by far the most important of all elements when selecting a motorcycle helmet. Before you can consider selecting one, you need to know how it should feel.
When trying a bike helmet on, do the neck strap up ensuring you can get two fingers between the strap and your neck.
Key factors to be mindful of:
- There are no pressure points on your head
- The motorcycle helmet connects with all areas of your head.
- The motorcycle helmet won’t twist around when on your head.
Once you are positive that the helmet fits correctly, keep the motorcycle helmet on for a few minutes so that your head gets used to it and makes sure that there are no changes in feeling.
We recommend when choosing your helmet, to visit a retailer or a motorcycle show to try on the helmets you have shortlisted, so you get the right fit before purchasing.
Purchasing a helmet
First things first. NEVER BUY A SECOND HAND HELMET.
Assuming you knew that already you may have shortlisted some helmets. If you have, a great resource is SHARP, a helmet safety scheme operated by the government. Their website allows you to enter your helmet of choice and retrieve a wealth of information in return such as weight, fittings and fixtures and safety ratings etc. (see below)We had to start with this as its super important – you never know if they have had an impact and any helmet that that receives serious impact should be replaced as the inner layers of the helmet may be damaged and are not visible to the naked eye.
Alternatively SHARP allows you to enter features you may like, and a budget and they will present you with a list from which you can choose.
A pretty damn good resource we have to say.
Visor and Goggles
An important part, all visors or goggles must comply with either:
- British Standard and display a BSI Kitemark
- a European standard which offers a level of safety and protection at least equivalent to the British Standard and carry a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark (ECE 22-05)
You should also avoid wearing tinted glasses, visors or goggles if you are riding in the dark or where visibility is poor
Motorbike helmet care
Caring for your helmet is really important. Damaging it, as we have mentioned above, can spoil the integrity of the helmet and you may find that it loses its ability to work properly. Follow a few simple rules and you’ll be fine:
- Never rest it on your seat. If out always place your helmet down on the floor by your front wheel or in your bike box.
- Keep the visor (or goggles) clean regularly. To clean your goggles or visor wash them with warm soapy water. Do not use solvents or petrol.
- Store your helmet in a safe place at home, away from potential accidents and spills.
Following the above guidelines should see you straight when seeking out and maintaining your scooter, moped or motorcycle helmet.
Safety first! Happy riding follows.