How to Select the right Motorcycle Helmet for You; Does Price Really Matter?

California biker motorcycle injury accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez on selecting the right motorcycle helmetA Biker Law Blog visitor named Randy read my article titled “Helmets and Face Protection; You Decide!” He posted the following question;

“I am looking for a full face DOT helmet. There are so many. How do you know if you are buying a good DOT helmet or one that is not as good as another one? I have seen prices from $ 59.99 to $ 700.00 dollars. I realize that one gets what he pays for but, why the tremendous difference in prices and they are all DOT?

Randy”

I thought that this would make an excellent article because if you do decide to wear a helmet, you want to make sure that the thing is actually going to protect your head. A quick caveat; this article is not in anyway related to your decision to wear a helmet or not, it is about selecting a proper helmet if you decide to wear one. I have already covered this issue in a couple of articles that you can read by clicking here, or by clicking here.

I have found an excellent article on the subject by Art Friedman at Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine that you can read by clicking here now. This is probably the best article that I have seen on the subject. Rather than trying to regurgitate his article in a nutshell, I highly suggest that you actually read the article. Again, you can read his article by clicking here now.

There is a huge point that Art makes in his article; buying the right helmet can often take more time than finding the right motorcycle. I agree. I myself started our wearing no helmet at all in my early days of riding. I then switched to the novelty beanie helmets when California made wearing a helmet mandatory. After doing enough motorcycle cases and seeing my clients really jacked up in motorcycle accidents, I opted to go with a full face helmet. Another reason I went with a full face helmet is that they make certain rides more enjoyable. However, that is not the subject of this article.

I now wear a Modular (Flip Up) Helmet. You can read some reviews of Modular Helmets by Motorcycle Cruiser magazine by clicking here now. As for me, I like the modular helmets because I can flip it up at a Gas Station while getting gas; to take a swig of water or a bite to eat, or to have a smoke. You do not have to remove the helmet to do these things with a modular helmet, and they arguably have the same protection as a full face helmet.

Per Art, the safest helmets are of the full face variety. I must admit, a full face helmet does have less wind noise, and feels more comfortable than my present modular helmet.

I suggest that everyone read Art’s article, and take the time to find the right helmet for you. Think about it; you spend tens of thousands of dollars on your motorcycles, customization, and accessories. Is your helmet that contains your brain and your face as important as those aftermarket pipes?

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

18 Responses to How to Select the right Motorcycle Helmet for You; Does Price Really Matter?

  1. That is a great article by Art Friedman about what to look for when buying a helmet. I have recently bought my second full-face helmet. I like the idea of the flip-up, but they aren’t readily available here. I discovered on a day trip that my first helmet was too tight. By mid day my jaw was aching. To get a proper fit is so important and the article covers some great ideas to ensure that.

  2. I will look into the modulars the next time I’m shopping for a helmet. Maybe they will be more available in my area by then. I have to say, though, that I read another person’s complaint about the noise increase in their modular helmet too. They didn’t like it.

    This brings another subject, though. I have read that even with full-face helmets we should be wearing ear plugs. There is still enough noise even with helmets to hurt our hearing. So I guess if one helmet is noiser then another, either way we should be wearing ear plugs.

  3. Yea, I have had those who don’t wear their helmets much tell me the noise is awful without the helmet. They still don’t wear their helmets much and I respect their choice. Many of them have bought earplugs and even went the extra expense to buy the molded earplugs.

    I have heard about similiar earplugs to listen to music, but wasn’t sure they really exist. I have also heard the cost is astronomical and out of the range of what I would pay for a set of earplugs. I have heard that they are great in filtering out the noise and you listen to the music at a lower level. You hear all around you, you hear the music and you save your ears. Now I just need to find them and hope they don’t cost much.

    I will look for your earplug article.

  4. Tony is from my neck of the woods……”WELCOME”! Looked at his website. Where can one find the Goldstein Report? Norm, have you found a class act around Asheville, North Carolina for a partition to sale? I am not having a good time on this safari!!! I never realized how hard it can be to find a lawyer out of state in a area where you do not know anyone.

  5. My wife and I want to start wearing helmets but everything we have tried so far is not
    very comfortable. There seems to be alot of turbulance. It makes our teeth chatter and
    impairs our vision. I rode for about 200 miles and the vibration gave my a headache.
    We have tried an open face with shield and a modular but the results are the same.
    Any suggestions?

    Mike

  6. Thanks for some great articles on helmets and helmet safety. It is great to have so much relevent information in one place! I just purchased my first ‘full face’ (actually a modular) helmet and was worried about field-of-view, feeling claustrophobic, etc. Since I had to work (I work from home) I wore the helmet around the house a couple of times, about 30+ minutes each time. This has helped me get used to it and my confidence level is much higher after doing so. The field of view is just as good as wearing no helmet at all and I don’t feel the least bit claustrophobic. I am actually typing this while wearing the helmet! Hopes this helps anyone that is on the fence about trying a full-face or modular style.

  7. Betty you really do need to check the fit on the Modulars. I went to a major motorcycle shop out here that has a huge selection of helmets. I tried on every modular they had but none of them felt good. I went to a small shop in LA and they had one flat black modular helmet on the rack and it fit perfectly. I bought it.

    The one thing I have noticed about the modular is that it does get more wind noise than a standard full face helmet. Then again it may be the brand that I purchased. There is a trade off. There is nothing better than a true full face helmet as far as comfort on a long ride through the desert. However the benefit of being able to flip the front up at will makes it a better choice at least for me. Then again, I did not buy a very expensive modular. I am sure if I really shopped around, I would find one that is extremely close to the feel of a full face helmet.

    Norm

  8. It is true there is a noise increase but it is nothing like wearing a beanie or half helmet!

    As far as ear plugs, I wrote an article about wearing ear plugs here on the blog. If you do a search I am sure you will find it. I have a sound system on my Harley so I stopped wearing ear plugs so I could hear the music. I have heard that there are musicians ear plugs that filter out all noise but the music. I may try to find some of those.

    Norm

  9. Thanks Tony. I am kind of like a paradox. People who I ride with and who see me outside of the law office or in Court are blown away when they find out that I am a lawyer.

    When I am practicing law in the ubiquitous suit and tie, they cannot believe that I am a biker. Go figure.

    I just checked out your website and I am impressed on your articles related to motorcycle accidents. I am presently building a network of good biker lawyers throughout the nation who practice what they preach. Send me an email offline at norman@norman-law.com so we can discuss the geographic areas that you cover.

    Where can I find the Goldstein Report?

    On another note you should submit your website to a law directory that I just put online at http://www/lawnosh.net . It is free. You look like a class act which is something that I look for when referring cases out.

    Take care,

    Norm

  10. Nobody in my circles bit on the partition sale referral. You might be able to find a lawyer for your issue through your State’s State Bar Association. You may want to look them up online, and give them a call tomorrow.

    Norm

  11. I hear you Mike, I had the same problem when I switched to a full face. Getting a properly placed windscreen will decrease and/or take away the turbulence!

    You just need to go and try on helmets until you find one that fits right. I have a big head. I went to a place that sells all sorts of different helmets. I could not find one that fit right.

    Eventually I have found a few that fit right.

    As far as the chattering teeth, I have had that issue too. When you ride without a helmet you get used to keeping your mouth closed and stone face. As far as the chattering teeth, just keep your mouth slightly open and that will take away that problem. With a full face helmet you do not have to worry about keeping your mouth closed or stone faced anymore. As a matter of fact you will find that your skin will not get beat up so much and it is a pleasure not to get hit in the face with bugs, rocks and other debris!

    In the end, you will eventually get used to wearing a full face helmet. It is my opinion that if I were to go down, I would much rather have a helmet on than not.

    Good Luck Man!

    Norm

  12. Thanks for the compliment Doc. Sounds like you have a good idea by wearing your helmet around before riding with it.

    As for me, I got used to mine while riding.

    You will find that you will have a much more enjoyable ride, especially when traveling on freeway’s or interstates, then you would because of the extra protection against wind and noise. You can actually turn your head and see without the wind blowing through your sunglasses.

    Eventually it will be second nature. I have never felt claustrophobic. If you do feel that way, heck either open up the visor, or the modular part of the helmet!

    Norm

  13. You obviously put a lot of work into that post and its very interesting to see the thought process
    that you went through to come up with those conclusion. Thanks for sharing your deep thoughts.
    I must admit that I think you nailed it on this one.
    just sharing to you Kids motorbike

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The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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