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Motorcycle Buyers: Caveat Emptor
 by: Maricon Williams

Some riders are denying the fact that motorcycle apparel is important to every ride. This is especially true to helmets.

Many riders are against the idea of wearing it. However, a lot of riders are on the other stand and I am one of them. I tried riding without my helmet on twice. At first, it made me feel uncomfortable. On my second time to do it, the bike in front of me collided with another. To stop from bumping on it, I forcibly stepped on the brakes thus, my body moved forward and my head hit the handlebar. It resulted to a cut coupled with a debilitating pain. Good thing I was not as injured as the ones in front of me! From then on, I never drive without a helmet.

As we can observe, there are different types, designs and colors of helmets. Some can provides more brain protection, some less. Before a helmet is sold to the public, it must first meet the helmet standards. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Snell Memorial Foundation (SNELL) are the two primary testing standards in the United States. They test the helmet’s retention, impact reduction, shell penetration and peripheral vision. Nonetheless, they differ in testing procedures and limits.

Even if helmets have already passed the standards of both the federal DOT and the private SNELL, their level of protection still varies. Impact points must be given enough attention and must be well-distributed. The rule of thumb is – the more the coverage, the more protection it gives.

Between practicality, rigidity, weight, energy absorption, and cost, what must be prioritized? If there is a helmet that gives all of these benefit, grab it! Rarely though we find helmets like that. However, if this kind of helmet is hard to find, grab something that is close to these qualities however, prioritize protection over anything else.

An ideal helmet is one which spreads impact loads without deforming it too much. Further, it must be strong yet light. Fiberglass for everyone’s information is a superb shell material. It is lightweight, reasonably stiff and does the ‘delaminating’ stroke during impact. In addition, it must be comfortable, water-resistant, low cost and has a snug fit and lower noise level.

When you purchase your helmet, be sure that it is of high-quality and provides excellent protection. The price only comes next.

Bear in mind that helmets should be replaced every two years or after a grave accident.

About The Author

Maricon Williams

Please visit Motorcycle Parts, Apparel and Accessories site at for comments and inquiries regarding this article.

This article was posted on November 26, 2005


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