Do not just purchase the first motorcycle helmet you find. It may not meet the necessary safety standards, or it may not fit your head properly. Buying a suitable motorcycle helmet is a process that requires due diligence on your part.

When it comes to choosing a motorcycle helmet, there are two important considerations to make: safety and comfort. Obviously, you need a helmet that will afford you the proper protection in the event of a crash. However, you also need a helmet that fits the size and shape of your head. The following is a guide to choosing the right motorcycle helmet for you.

Safety

A helmet that meets the applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard will have a label on the back bearing the symbol of the Department of Transportation. You should not purchase or use any helmet that does not have this label.

However, the label alone is not enough to ensure safety. Some retailers sell novelty helmets affixed with fake DOT labels. Look for other signs that the helmet is unsafe, such as decorations that extend out from the helmet’s exterior surface, a weight of less than three pounds or a thickness of less than one inch.

Comfort

The helmet you choose should fit snugly on your head, applying even pressure all the way around. A helmet that is too loose will move around when you shake your head.

A size chart can help you find a helmet that fits well, but you will have to measure the size of your head to use one. To do this, place one end of a cloth tape just above your eyebrows and wrap it around the back of your head. Make sure the tape goes around the thickest part of your posterior skull.

It is not only the size of your head that matters but the shape. Most people’s heads are an intermediate oval, but some are longer while others are rounder. A helmet that is the wrong shape can cause pressure points on your head, leading to unnecessary pain and problems. Some helmets come with replaceable liners and pads that allow you to adjust the interior fit and shape of the helmet.