Motorcylce Helmets are a Must for Riders
Updated On: Dec 05 2013 03:30:12 PM CST
Wearing a helmet is important every time you ride your bike. Freedom Road Cycles wants to keep its customers safe, so here are some things to keep in mind about motorcycle helmets and why they’re important.
What do helmets do?
A helmet is the most important piece of safety gear you can wear while riding a motorcycle. Helmets are designed to disperse energy around your head when you’re in an accident. They also cut down on wind noise, protect your face from bugs and other flying objects, and reduce rider fatigue.
How do helmets work?
Motorcycle helmets are made up of four different layers: the outer shell, impact-absorbing liner, comfort padding and the retention system. Each layer plays a role in protecting your head.
- Outer shell- Outer shells are usually made up of fiber-reinforced composites or thermoplastics. These tough materials are designed to compress when the helmet hits anything hard, dispersing energy from the impact so that less force reaches your head.
- Impact-absorbing liner- These liners are made of Styrofoam and act as a shock absorbing cushion in a crash.
- Comfort padding- This is the padding inside the helmet that sits next to your head. It helps keep the helmet fitting snuggly, and adds a little comfort for your head.
- Retention system- The retention system is a fancy way of saying chin strap. The strap keeps the helmet on your head during an accident.
What are the different kinds of helmets?
There are three types of helmets, but only two that are recommended. The first (and most recommended) is a full-face helmet. This is one that goes over your whole head and has a moveable shield to protect your eyes. The next type of helmet is a three-quarter, open-face helmet. It’s made of the same components as a full-face helmet, but it doesn’t have chin or face protection. If you opt for a three-quarter helmet, it’s recommended that you purchase either a snap on face shield or good riding goggles to protect your eyes. The last type of helmet is a “shorty” half helmet. These are just shells that strap on to the top of your head. Shorty helmets are more likely to come off your head during an accident.
No matter what kinds of helmet you choose, make sure it complies with DOT and/or Snell Memorial Foundation safety test standards. Both organizations test helmets for impact, penetration, retention and peripheral vision. All new helmets that are worn during highway driving are required to comply with DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) safety standards. Before you purchase a helmet, check to make sure it has a DOT and/or Snell sticker on it.
If you are ever in an accident, you need to replace your helmet. Even a small dent in the helmet could indicate a loss in integrity. If you’re not in an accident, you should replace your helmet every couple of years. If you don’t remember when you purchased your helmet, check the chin strap or permanent labeling- new helmets have the date of production stamped on them. If your helmet is too old to have the date printed, that means it’s definitely time to purchase a new one.
If you’re out shopping for helmets, or have questions about what to look for, stop by Freedom Road Cycles on Tyler and Kellogg. You can visit them online at freedomroadcycles.net.
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