Buying a new motorcycle helmet any time soon? There are a few things that you should know that might just keep you alive when you're in the middle of the worst day of your life. The guys from Shark Helmets have shared a few tips with us that we wanted to pass along to you.
Motorcycle helmet image via Shutterstock
Most of these tips from Ficeda, the makers of Shark brain-protectors, are common sense, but it pays to actually have a serious sit down and think before you buy. The commonly held rule is that when you're on a motorbike, you should buy the best tyre you can afford for your front wheel, and the best tyre at any price for your rear wheel. The same applies to helmets.
Think of your head like your bike's rear wheel -- don't skimp and save a few dollars just because you don't want to spend a bit more -- it's the little things that might mean the difference between a bit of a concussion and a serious long-term head injury. And above all, fashion isn't nearly as important as safety.
Get The Right Shape And Size: Everyone has a different size and shaped head. Whether yours is a huge melon or of the smaller variety, you’ll need to get to know yours before choosing your helmet. Having a poorly fitted helmet is almost as bad as wearing nothing at all. If you’re inexperienced in helmet fitting, make sure you consult a member of your local motorcycle store to ensure you've sized up correctly.
Keep It Clear: The right helmet shouldn't impair your vision. Make sure you can see clearly through your visor. To minimise visual impairment, look at choosing a helmet with an anti-fog coating like the Shark Speed R. Also consider buying a helmet with an internal sun-visor. Some states in Australia consider aftermarket-tinted visors to be illegal, which could mean a hefty fine if you get unlucky.
Make Sure It's Safety Certified: All helmets sold in Australian motorcycles stores must legally be approved under the Australian Standards. When purchasing your helmet in store or online make sure it has a sticker quoting “AS/NZS 1698.2006”. If this number isn't on the helmet, then the helmet is illegal to wear in Australia.
Know When To Replace Your Helmet: There are a lot of grey areas when it comes to knowing when to replace your helmet. As a general rule, the inner foam shell and lining of most helmets can degrade over time, so replacement after around 5 years or so is recommended. Even sooner if your helmet has ever been exposed to petrol fumes or excessive sweat. If you are ever involved in an accident and hit your head, your helmet should be replaced immediately. Similarly, if you ever drop your helmet, even from knee high, it should also be replaced. Even a small impact is enough to condense the foam underneath the outer shell and could leave you at risk of serious injury if you hit your head in that same location again.
Don’t Be Cheap: Thrift shopping may be all the rage, but leave that to picking your next pair of cut-off jeans. Helmets that have seen a crash or that you don’t 100% know for sure haven’t been dropped should be deemed unsafe, so spend an extra couple of dollars and make sure you buy a brand new lid and greater piece of mind. Also keep in mind that buying cheaper helmets from overseas or online also has its pitfalls. You can’t try them on before you buy and returns are also a real hassle, plus your new helmet may not be certified for use in Australia.
For more information on the Shark’s helmet range head to www.ficeda.com.au.