How Tight Should a Motorcycle Helmet Be? [ Video Guide ]

Man in White Crew Neck T-shirt Wearing Black Helmet

Most motorcycle riders believe that the right fit for a motorcycle helmet is a snug fit. But how tight should a motorcycle helmet be?

The answer? Tight. Only snug enough to keep the wind out and the helmet from wobbling around your head, but not so tight that the rider feels uncomfortable. Also, when the helmet straps are too loose, it’s very easy to slide off during a crash. You also need the helmet to fit your face snugly, so it’s vital to ensure the chin strap is tight.

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How tight is tight?

The most important thing we can tell you about fitting a helmet is that it should be snug enough to provide support but not so tight that it stops blood flow or hurts.

A helmet is much more than a device that keeps your skull intact when you crash into a tree, a light pole, or a brick wall. It’s also a life-saving device designed to protect your brain and neck during a crash. As such, a helmet should fit snugly.

The Right Tightness

It should stay in place without much movement when putting on the helmet. Never allow it to be too loose or too tight. 

A loose helmet might cause the following problems: They might come off unexpectedly in an accident and maybe loud with the wind passing through the inside of the helmet.

While helmets should not be too tight, it is good to remember that a helmet loosens up with use. A too-tight helmet will leave marks on your face and give you headaches or discomfort. Remember, however, that it should loosen up to the proper tightness after wearing it for a while.

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Always check that the protective equipment fits properly. You can perform fit checks by making sure that the helmet is comfortable and that the cheek pads touch your cheeks without causing any discomfort. You can also feel the chin pieces and make sure the face shield isn’t touching your chin or nose.

Are there pressure points? 

A snug-fit helmet should feel comfortable, not painful or uncomfortable. Check if you’re able to pull off the helmet without any trouble. If it slides easily, the helmet might be too big for you.

If your head feels painful or if you have red spots on your forehead, then the helmet is too tight. Remember that you can experience a headache when riding if pressure points are uncomfortable.

Getting the right fit

How to fit a motorcycle helmet correctly – Use a tape measure to determine the width of your head at its widest point. Place the tape just above your eyebrows, feeding it around your head at the most important part, making sure that the measuring tape is flat against your scalp.

You should check with the helmet manufacturer if buying directly or online how they size their helmets. If purchasing your helmet in a store, ask to try a few sizes to get the best fit.

After putting on the helmet, remove the chin strap and let the padding press against your skin. Before you fasten the belts, check in the mirror to ensure the helmet is seated correctly and see if it is the correct size.

There should be no gaps between the pads above your eyes and skin. Make sure the chin part of the helmet is snug and doesn’t move up or down.

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Fitting the helmet

Getting the fitting helmet for your head isn’t that tricky if you’re buying it from a physical store where you will have the chance to fit it. However, if you’re buying online, that’s where the extra effort will come in, but it’s not that hard or complicated either. All you need is the help of a friend and a tape measure. 

The soft tape measure will let you wrap it around your head (just above the eyebrows), keeping it flat on your skull. Remember that you are measuring the largest section of your head. The result (in inches) is the circumference of your head, proportional to the size of the helmet. 

Also, you need to be aware that there are three types of helmet shapes. This is where your friend with a smartphone camera comes in. Ask him to take a photo of your head from above. Flatten your hair as much as possible to expose the shape. You can check if your head shape is a long oval, intermediate oval, and round oval. (Credit: RevZilla)

Usually, motorcycle helmets come in five sizes: XS, S, M, L, and XL. A lot depends on the brand and model of helmet you’re looking to purchase. Here is a sample chart for HJC, Bell, and Klim helmets to give you an idea. (https://www.upnorthsports.com/HelmetSizingChart.html).

Conclusion

It may be challenging to find the proper helmet size for your head. It’s best to start with the biggest size you can comfortably wear and see how that feels. If you’re comfortable with the helmet, then go down in size. If not, then go up. Finally, if you bought the helmet online and it’s the wrong size, it’s best to contact the seller and arrange for a refund or exchange.