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How to Tell if a Motorcycle Helmet is Too Small?

How to Tell if a Motorcycle Helmet is Too Small

A motorcycle helmet is very important for a motorcycle driver. If the user chooses a motorcycle helmet of the correct size, it guarantees head protection in an emergency. A motorcycle is all about speed, it can exclude such moments. Therefore, you need to buy a motorcycle helmet, and you need to select it not only by color or brand.

What affects the size of a motorcycle helmet

The size of a motorcycle helmet depends on many factors. For starters, the size of the helmet depends on its inner shell. The inner layer acts as a shock absorber during shocks and falls. It comprises polystyrene foam of different densities. The manufacturer chooses the rules for the production of a motorcycle helmet. Because of this, a motorcycle helmet can have from 2 to 5 inner shells, up to 4 different cases. The sizes change. There are no clear criteria for this.

As a result, the rider will select the most accurate helmet size based on the number of shell sizes in one helmet model. A properly selected motorcycle helmet will ideally match the physiological features of the driver’s head structure.

When choosing a motorcycle helmet, we, first, pay attention to the size of the head and helmet. At the same time, not many riders know it is worth considering the individual shape of the head. These three criteria together will help a rider find and buy a helmet that will be ideal for his use on the road. The human head can take several forms. 60% of the world’s population has a long oval head. The second type of skull has 10-15%. It is a round head with extended sides at the temples. The third head type has the remaining population. This shape is intermediate-oval. It is wider and longer, not very tapering towards the temples.

Based on these criteria, manufacturers create their helmets for motorists. They are different, but the head shape is different as well. This way you can choose a helmet that will perfectly fit the shape of your head. For example, the Spanish brand LS2 makes a long oval shell for motorcycle helmets. Some companies consider the characteristics of two types of heads. Their helmets come in several versions. You can buy both helmets with a long oval and a round shape.

How to determine the size of a motorcycle helmet

There are several ways to determine which helmet size you need. We want to tell you about the simplest and most popular method. You only need a sewing meter to measure. Take a sewing meter and measure your head circumference. For the best result, apply the measuring tape to the widest part of your forehead. Defining this area is easy. Place your finger on your forehead, the distance from the palm down, and it will be exactly the place we are talking about. It’s about 1.5 – 2 inches.

For a more accurate determination, repeat the procedure several times to make sure that the measurement was carried out correctly. Write the result and use it when choosing a helmet online. There is always a specialist in the store who will help you perform such measurements. You can also try on a helmet in the store and see if it suits you or not. Having received the ready-made results, you can use a special table with the dimensions of motorcycle helmets and choose the one that you need.

So that everyone knows how to determine the size of a helmet to buy the required option, there is a general size chart:

  • 20.87 – 21.26 inches is the XS helmet size;
  • 21.65 – 22.05 inches is S size;
  • 22.44 – 22.83 inches is M size;
  • 23.23 – 23.62 inches is L size;
  • 24.02 – 24.41 inches is XL size.

Depending on the manufacturer, the same head circumference can have two helmet sizes. Here, you need to try on both options. The helmet will sit on your head as tightly as possible, but you will not experience discomfort and is your size. A helmet of this size will not fall off your head during an impact and will provide maximum protection when wearing and riding a motorcycle.

Remember the fundamental rule. If you put on a helmet and experience pain, look for a different size. A helmet that is loose on the head will not provide protection. It will fly off your head at the first blow, and you are most likely to get injured.

Correct fitting helmet

Helmet dimensions may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer you choose. One brand may suit you in size L. For another manufacturer, a helmet with the same head circumference will have a size M. During the first fitting, the helmet may fit snugly and even press a little in the ears. Don’t be afraid of this. To determine how comfortable you will feel in this or that model of helmet, you need to put it on completely, fasten it. If the helmet is seated correctly on your head, you will feel the upper part of it touching the crown of your head. You can consider a helmet small when you feel more than just discomfort while wearing it, but pain. If you cannot put on a helmet without feeling pain, you need to choose a different size.

Another way to try on and determine if the helmet fits your head type is to snap the chin straps tight. Then try to move the helmet. Grab it by the edges or chin area to make sure the helmet doesn’t wobble. With such actions, feel that it fits snugly against the skin.
Next, you need to remove it from your head. If the helmet does not lend itself to you, and you cannot take it off, and the strap is tight, then you have chosen the right option. Such a helmet will reliably protect you in case of impact, it will not fly off, respectively, the injury in case of a fall or a frontal impact will be minimal.

Even then, you shouldn’t buy a motorcycle helmet right away. It so happens that after 5-10 minutes of wearing a motorcycle helmet, it may press. We advise you to put on a helmet and walk in it for up to 10 minutes. Also, visually assess the appearance of the dispatch. See that there are no production defects. The distance between the sides to the eyes must match. The top of the visor should not be much higher than the brows.

Make sure the glass is of excellent quality and installed correctly. To do this, put on a motorcycle helmet and focus on a distant object and turn your head. If the glass does not blur or otherwise distort the view, then you can safely buy such a helmet. It is important to test with a motorcycle helmet on the road, in motion. This will help the bike rider determine how comfortable the helmet is on the head and whether it causes discomfort with prolonged wear. Remember that the primary task of a motorcycle helmet is not only to be recognized on the road but, above all, for protection.

Other tips we need to know to choose the best helmet size

In order not to be mistaken when choosing a size, below we will tell you about a few simple tricks.

First, when you put on your helmet and zip it up, try shaking your head in different directions with short, sharp movements. Sometimes the helmet can sit freely on the head, dangle in different directions. This helmet is not fitted correctly. Using such a motorcycle helmet, the bike driver reduces his safety. During high-speed movement, the wind will blow in you, you will hear the whistle of the wind in the air.

The second thing we advise you to do is put the helmet on your head and shake it. After that, slide your index finger between the helmet and forehead, and at the temple. If your finger can easily slide through this hole, then you should try a helmet one size smaller. Most likely this size will suit you.

Third, take the helmet by the back with one hand and try to pull it off. Now shake it up and down. If the helmet slides up and down easily, then the size is wrong. You need the other. Don’t risk your safety and life.

Fourth, when you put it on and notice a lot of pressure and discomfort on the forehead, you may need to measure one size up. The longer you wear the helmet, the thinner the lining at the top of the helmets will become. But the discomfort in the part where the cheek pads are located, which are compressed from putting on and taking off the helmet, should not bring discomfort.

To conclude, we want to remember that each person has a different type of skull head. What will be convenient for your friend will not always suit you? It would be better to buy a motorcycle helmet in a specialized store, and not in an online catalog. Put your motorcycle helmet on, fell it on your head, and wait for about five minutes. You will understand how you feel yourself in this helmet and make sure it is putting too much pressure on your head.


Depending on the individual head shape and the helmets, we can feel uncomfortable in helmets from various makers. We may be more satisfactory in one helmet than another. It depends on the easy fit of the helmet, the diameter, and the stuff from which they made it. Lining, filling of different weights, inner border, and the use of the expansion of the cheeks also naturally change the bike rider’s feeling in one brand of motorcycle or another.

And before we finish, let’s remind you of the principal thing. The most powerful security for a motorcycle driver is using the right helmet. Take the selection of this accessory seriously. Your life, riding comfort, and comfort when putting on and taking off your helmet will depend on what your motorcycle helmet will be.