Many motorcyclists wear helmets simply to avoid traffic tickets. It is a good idea? Of course not. The helmet is a fundamental protection element and it can save your life . You should not take lightly the choice of something so important for your safety, and for this reason it is important that you know the types of helmets that are on the market and, above all, keep in mind that it is one more element of protection in the equipment of a motorcyclist ; You should not rely solely on fashion or aesthetic aspects when deciding.
Drivers who do not use their helmets due to the heat or to avoid discomfort must know that they can not only be penalized, but are in serious danger. In addition, there are many false myths surrounding the use of a helmet that you should be aware of, as they can lead to confusion for novice riders.
Index of contents
Date of Expiry?
A helmet is supposed to be five years old and if it has not suffered any major blow, we should start thinking about changing it, but this is not entirely true: Only polycarbonate helmets have an expiration date, fiber helmets do not expire if we keep them in good condition. state although over the years they also end up deteriorating
It seems that only helmets made of polycarbonate have an expiration date and this is shortened depending on the use we give it and also due to its exposure to weather agents. That’s why they carry the date of manufacture.
Helmets made with fiber or a mixture of tricomposite or bicomposite fibers do not expire , but both the inner pads and the layer of expanded polystyrene that is responsible for absorbing an impact do deteriorate. Therefore we have to keep an eye on the good condition of the interior and the hull in general without worrying so much about how old it is.
Tips for choosing the best helmet
If not, please don’t buy it. Think that an unapproved helmet has not passed a minimum resistance test to falls, so imagine if it is your head that is inside the helmet in the video. Those sold in the European Union must carry a label with the letter E, a number corresponding to the country where it receives the approval (in Spain it is 9) and the current European standard ECE R22-05 .
For their approval, the helmets and visors are subjected to a series of tests under the CEPE/ONU 22R05 Regulation . Impact and rigidity tests are carried out in which the outer shell of the helmet is struck with anvils, one flat and the other in the shape of a wedge or curb. It is subjected to extreme environmental conditions (temperatures between +50 and -20 degrees Celsius) and projection, retention and friction tests. The visual field and the qualities of the screen are also checked, pouring abrasive material on it or hitting it with a punch.
We must be careful with helmets from unknown brands from China because they are already being withdrawn from the market in England and Italy due to their lack of approval and how dangerous they can be because they do not withstand impacts.
#2 The integral is the safest
We always recommend full-face helmets because they use a more solid shell or outer structure and, in principle, are the safest. But both convertibles and flip-ups are more versatile and cool in summer, and in addition, most of the time they have full-face helmet approval. There are brands that have been encouraged to manufacture similar models, with the possibility of removing the chin guard, making a helmet with various configurations . By the time we choose a jet or semi-jet model, we already know that we are risking our pretty face in the event of an accident, but they are much more comfortable to use in the city, as well as cheaper.
#3 Preferably new
Even if they swear and swear that it is perfectly fine, never buy a used or second-hand helmet . It might have some structural damage from previous hits and be useless in protecting your life, which is what it’s all about.
It is another variable to take into account. You should not buy helmets that exceed 1,400 gr. In the event of an impact, more weight increases rotational forces that can cause more internal damage. But it is also a question of comfort because the weight is noticeable after a long time on the go.
It is essential that it have good channels that help to evacuate the heat keeping our head as cool as possible. It is important that the opening and closing is done in a simple way to be able to manipulate ourselves on the move, if necessary, but losing as little attention as possible on the road. If the helmet is of quality, the noise with the vents closed should be low (zero is almost impossible).
#6 Resistant material
This depends on the composition of the shell , which is responsible for absorbing the impact in the event of an accident . The tricomposite structure formed by Kevlar, fiberglass and carbon is the one that offers an optimal compromise between weight, absorption and resistance. Those made of polycarbonate are cheaper but with worse general qualities and less resistance to impacts.
It largely depends on the interior of the helmet , on the quality of the set of pads . It is highly recommended that it be made with hypoallergenic fabric and it must be easily removable to always keep it clean and in the best condition, although it should not be washed very often. Some brands offer different densities of the pads so that the fit to the physiognomy of our face is perfect. And others (Lazer and Scorpion) have patented an inflation system for the inner pads thanks to which it adjusts until it makes the correct pressure on the cheeks.
For winter and rainy seasons it is essential that you have a system to prevent the formation of condensation . The Pin-Lock is the most widespread system and almost all helmets are prepared to be able to install it. It is a small screen that is installed inside the visor and creates a “vacuum” area where moisture cannot penetrate, thus avoiding unwanted fogging. Other visors come with an anti-fog treatment (mist retardant) but it loses its properties over time, that’s why there are some sprays that allow you to restore the anti-fogging quality. The nose cups also help to evacuate the heat of our breathing to delay the appearance of condensation.
It is crucial, when choosing a helmet , because in 20% of serious motorcyclist accidents, the helmet is thrown off because the size or support are not adequate . And it is that according to the manufacturers, 60% do not choose the appropriate size. The helmet should not apply excessive pressure but it should not be too loose to prevent it from “dancing”, thus avoiding mismatching in the event of an accident. It has to fit the cheekbones and mold to the shape of our head but without creating discomfort for being too tight. We must take into account that over time the interior gives way, giving of itself, so it is not a bad idea to squeeze us a little at first, taking this into account.
Take your time to choose one that the helmet is your size. It should fit snug but not weigh you down. The best thing is that you know the sizes well so that you can make the best decision.
It is also very important that the closure is double ring as it is the safest system. To homologate them, powerful forces are applied to try to cause them to mismatch, something very dangerous in the event of an accident. On the other hand, micrometric closures are much more comfortable but also more insecure.
It is essential that you feel comfortable with your helmet, you are going to be together for a long time. In any case, remember that a helmet is not forever. Depending on its quality, you should renew it every few years, as it deteriorates little by little. Check the manufacturer’s specifications.
Now that you know what you need, all you have to do is decide… are you already clear about what your perfect helmet is?