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All About Helmets

  07/20/2013 at 12:31 pm

All About Helmets

July 20, 2013


All About Helmets!

What do you think about them?
       
The mandated use of a helmet while riding a motorcycle is a  hotly debated topic in the riding community. Those who support helmet laws  argue that helmets make everyone safer on the road. Those who oppose the laws  believe what you wear should not be dictated by any governing body and that the  use of a helmet should be a personal choice.
       
At Eagle Leather, we understand and support both sides of the debate. We also happen  to have the largest selection of motorcycle helmets in the Pacific Northwest. When  it comes to buying a helmet, it all comes down to one thing: safety.
 
How Helmets Work

Helmets are the single most effective means of preventing a  debilitating or life-ending head injury in the event of a motorcycle accident. A  helmet is comprised of an outer shell, an impact-absorbing liner, comfort  padding, and a chin strap.

The outer shell compresses upon impact, dispersing energy  from the blow and lessening the force before it reaches your head, similar to a  brake or shock absorber. It also prevents sharp objects and debris from  penetrating the helmet. The expanded polystyrene liner crushes and absorbs the  shock of an impact, preventing the dangerous energy of the crash from reaching  your skull. The chin strap keeps the helmet strapped to your head in the event  of a fall.

A helmet reduces the risk of debilitating or  life-threatening brain injuries by giving the brain extra time and space to  stop in the event of an impact. Inertia propels the brain into your skull when  your head comes to a sudden stop at high speeds. Think of it like throwing a  wet sponge at a brick wall as hard as you can. Because the helmet absorbs and  disperses the shock of the impact, your brain does not stop as suddenly, and  the impact it takes is lessened.
 
The Five Year Rule

Helmets should be replaced every five years. Over time, a  helmet’s protective qualities become degraded by body oils, sweat and other  bodily fluids, cosmetics, and normal wear and tear. Furthermore, helmet  technology is constantly improving. Within a few years of purchasing a helmet,  advancements in materials, design, and production standards contribute to the  availability of safer helmets.
 
Helmet Drops

Generally, dropping your helmet does not mean having to  purchase a new one. While helmets are one-time use products, an occasional drop  from a few feet should not damage it—they are highly durable. However, spiking  the helmet hard into the ground, dropping it frequently, or dropping it at  highway speeds while not on a head could contribute to an accelerated  degradation. But generally speaking, the most damage is done when an impact  occurs while the helmet is on someone’s head—so you want to avoid hitting  things with your head while wearing your helmet. After one spill involving your  helmet, you will need to replace it, and when in doubt—change it out.
 
Purchasing a Helmet  Online

A helmet purchase is a lot like buying shoes—fit matters. You can’t try on shoes that you order online, and the same goes for your  helmet. That’s why we really don’t recommend making helmet purchases online. It helps having an expert fit you, as there is no way to truly know if a helmet will fit according to the size designations listed on a website. The shape of  your head also affects a helmet’s fit, so there really is no way to know if a  helmet fits properly without physically trying it on.
 
Helmet Fit

To get the proper size, measure your head at its largest  circumference. That is typically just above the eyebrows. Most helmets are sized  S, M, L, or XL. Most manufacturers offer sizing charts that help you decide which size matches the circumference of your head. But helmet sizes vary  depending on the brand. That’s why it is important to be fitted by a professional.

When trying on helmets, try a few different models until you  have one on that fits snugly all around your head without being uncomfortable.  A brand new motorcycle helmet should fit very snugly.
 
Selecting a Helmet

The four main factors to consider when selecting a helmet  are: Fit, Comfort, Style, and Safety.

  1. Make sure your helmet is the right size, as  described above. An expert in helmet fit at a store like Eagle Leather is best  suited to help you with this.
  2.        
  3. Your helmet needs to be as comfortable as  possible. An uncomfortable or annoying helmet will distract you while riding.
  4.        
  5. You need to choose a style of helmet that is  appropriate for the environment in which you are riding. For instance, full  face helmets protect the rider from debris to the face and bugs to the teeth.  However, they retain much more heat. So it’s important to consider which style  of helmet best suits your riding habits. Furthermore, the stylishness of a helmet is also a factor to consider. Riding is a  lifestyle—and you are more likely to wear a helmet that looks awesome than one  you don’t like!
  6.        
  7. Your helmet is meant to keep you safe to the  highest standards. Only wear DOT and Snell certified helmets. Period.

What are your thoughts on helmet safety and mandated usage?  We want to hear your thoughts on the Eagle Leather  Facebook Page!
       
Source: http://www.smf.org/helmetfaq#aWhyHelmet

By Eagle Lether