News from Oakland Harley-Davidson

Tips for a Proper Fitting Helmet

Posted by Liesl Bettencourt on Mar 29, 2017 3:00:00 PM
Picture of Liesl Bettencourt

Fitting a helmet should never be rushed. It takes time and patience. You'll want your helmet to be comfortable. If you are constantly thinking about the pinch or slide of a improper fitting helmet then you won't be enjoying the ride. There are so many factors -  helmet manufacturer, shell style, riding style, eyewear and personal preference. Here's how to find a proper fitting helmet:C11-17953.jpg

  1. Ask Yourself the Following Questions:

    • Do you wear a helmet now? Have you before? What style is it?
    • What features do you like?
    • What type of riding do you do most?Helmet Construction.jpg
  2. Measure

    • Helmet styles are unisex. The only difference between women's and men's helmets? Typically it's just the graphics and sizes available.
    • The sizes suggested below are specific to the manufacturer of the helmet. Still, it is recommended that you try on helmets to identify the best fit.
      Inches Hat Size Bell Size HJC Size J-Tech Size MHR Size AGV Size KBC Size Scorpion Size
      20 1/4" 6 3/8" 2XS 2XS 2XS 2XS 2XS 2XS -
      20 1/2" 6 1/2" 2XS 2XS 2XS 2XS 2XS 2XS -
      20 7/8" 6 5/8" XS XS XS XS XS XS XS
      21 1/4" 6 3/4" S XS XS XS XS XS XS
      21 5/8" 6 7/8" S S S S S S S
      22" 7" M S S S S S S
      22 3/8" 7 1/8" M M M M M M M
      22 3/4" 7 1/4" L M M M M M M
      23 1/8" 7 3/8" L L L L L L L
      23 1/2" 7 1/2" XL L L L L L L
      24" 7 5/8" XL XL XL XL XL XL XL
      24 3/8" 7 3/4" 2XL XL XL XL XL XL XL
      24 3/4" 7 7/8" 2XL 2XL 2XL 2XL 2XL 2XL 2XL
      25 1/8" 8" - 2XL 2XL 2XL 2XL 2XL 2XL
      25 1/2" 8 1/8" - 3XL 3XL 3XL - 3XL 3XL
      26" 8 1/4" - 3XL 3XL 4XL - 4XL 3XL
      26 3/8"  8 3/8" - 4XL 4XL - - - -
      26 3/4" 8 1/2" - 4XL 4XL - - - -
      27 1/4" 8 3/4" - 5XL - - - - -
      27 5/8" 8 7/8" - 5XL - - - - -
    • Use the sizing chart above as a guidance in determining your helmet size. To measure correct helmet size, measure around the head with a flexible tape measure, one inch above the eyebrows and match inch measurement to chart. If between sizes, it is suggested to go with the smaller size. The interior padding of your helmet will loosen and form to the shape of your head the longer it is worn. A helmet that is loose when new will get even looser once broken in. The final sizing decision is up to you!
    •  As you have noticed by now, the size of helmet you require depends on the manufacturer. So what company manufacturers Harley-Davidson helmets? There are several manufacturers used to create Harley-Davidson helmets including Bell, HJC, J-Tech, MHR, Shark and Scorpion. How can you tell which helmet is manufacturered by which company? New Helmet styles typically have a code identifying a specific shell and helmet manufacturer and you will find that code in the product name. For example:
      B Bell Example: Tantalus Retro B01 3/4 Helmet
      H HJC Example: Steadfast SunShield H05 Modular Helmet
      J J-Tech Example: Contempo J05 5/8 Helmet
      M MHR Example: Splendor Sun Shield M01 3/4 Helmet
      S Shark Example: FXRG® Sun Shield S01 Dual Helmet
      X Scorpion Example: Frill AirFit™ Sun Shield X03 Full-Face Helmet
    • Did you know that helmets outer shell sizes are limited? Typically, they're only manufactured in two or three sizes. The thickness of the EPS lining is adjusted according to size. So a Small will be the same size shell as a Large, but with thicker EPS lining. This is also why extended sizes are rare. The manufacturing processes and certifications are more complex with sizes over 2XL.
    • If you don't have a measuring tape, start with a size Large and follow the following steps.
  3. Try On the Helmet

    • SP4-02477.jpgTighten the chin strap until comfortably snug.
    • You should find it hard to slide a finger between your chin and strap.
    • If a gap exists between the brow line and inner lining of helmet, try a smaller size.
    • If the helmet is too tight to pull down to about one inch above brow line, try a larger size.
  4. Roll and Shake

    • Move the helmet side to side and front to back.
    • It should fit snugly, with skin and scalp moving with the helmet.
    • The EPS liner will compress with use, so it should fit snugly without pain.
    • A loose fitting helmet will lift in use due to air buffeting. If helmet moves too freely, try a smaller size.BLC1-23289-153387-edited.jpg
  5. Put On Your eyewear

    • Put on any glasses you will wear while riding to ensure a good fit with the helmet. Check if there's any pinching to your ears or bridge of your nose.
  6. 15-Minute Wear Test

    • Wear the helmet for at least 15 minutes prior to purchase. It takes about this long to develop any uncomfortable pressure points.
    • Check to make sure no part of the helmet obstructs your field of vision.

Hopefully these 6 tips help you get a better understanding of what makes a proper fitting helmet. But it's also important to know that you are not alone in the quest for the most comfortable helmet. Our MotorClothes Product Experts are here to help! They have gone through hours of training and have fitted countless riders for helmets. Schedule a one-on-one appointment to get fitted for all of the gear you will need.

Schedule Appointment

Ready for more? Check out The Guide to Gearing Up to Ride.

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Topics: Oakland H-D News, MotorClothes Gear & Apparel, Riding in the Bay Area, Current Rider

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