Motorcycle Helmet Guide - Find Your Lid

Motorcycle Helmet Guide - Find Your Lid

In the world of motorcycle helmets, figuring out the best lid for your head just takes a little bit of lookin, some reading and a few decisions on your part. We’re here to help find the right one for you. So first off let’s consider a few factors that could influence your decision:  

- Style
- Getting the Right Fit  
- Price
- Brand Certification

You should decide which of these factors (for most, it’s a combination) is most important to you. For example, if you say you want the best Full Face coverage you can get for under $150, then we have already narrowed your options down quite a bit. However, in a perfect world you could find a helmet in the style you want, from a brand that matches your head shape and it would fit within your ideal budget.

 If you are not sure what you are looking for or what your options are check out the Helmet Page and look at the price range and styles and see if anything peaks your interest. If you aren’t sure what the differences are between a few lid options, or why some models are at a much higher price point - give us a call 1-800-241-0847 or shoot us an email at - we are happy to help you out.  

Helmet Styles

Full Face

Relatively straight forward, a full face helmet is just that. It is designed to fully encompass your noggin and provides the best overall protection for your head, face and eyes. This style tends to limit the amount of noise and wind turbulence you experience while riding and usually provides the best aerodynamics when travelling at higher speeds. Over the last couple years, we have seen more riders choosing a full-face option not only for the safety aspect but also as a way to express their individual riding style and personal preferences. Full Face Helmets cover a broad range from retro inspired helmets to aggressively designed auto-inspired options to sleek, high-tech track helmets.

Open Face

If riding “with the wind in your face” is what you’re after, the 3/4 helmet might just be for you. This helmet style has become a staple in the iconic retro realm, paying homage to the “good old days”. But some riders who may be used to wearing a Half Shell may consider upgrading to the ¾ helmet for some extra coverage. Most manufactures now offer a variety of add on’s like a bubble shell, visors and some riders even pair it with a set of goggles that work well with the helmet.

Half Shell

Ranking as the least protective option would be the Half Shell helmet. While you could argue it is safer than not wearing a helmet at all, it is still very basic in terms of safety and function. While almost all Full Face and ¾ helmets allow you to add things like Bluetooth or face shield options, most half shells do not accommodate such things. One exception would be the Bell Rogue Helmet which offer a face muzzle with a very aggressive style. Other manufactures do offer a few safety upgrades like drop down visor or ear pads around the chin strap – but at the end of the day they offer the most modest coverage.

Modular Helmet

Extremely popular among the touring riders, and growing in popularity, Modular helmets offer riders full face coverage with the ability to open the front portion of the helmet using a chin bar hinge/locking mechanism. Modular helmets do tend to be slightly higher in price and heavier in weight than their full face counterpart due to the extra hinge/chin bar lock.But if you love the idea of flipping up your lid at a stop light or on the side of the road, without taking off your helmet - then this might be you lid.

Dual Sport

If you can’t pick a side, and tend to ride offroad just as much if not more than on the street – Dual sport helmets are a great option. They are designed as full-face helmets with an off-road twist.Manufactures construct a fully street legal full face helmetand add the top peak, most notably seen in Off-Road helmets to block any flying debris or dirt. It’s the combination of these two main elements that allows you to take the path less traveled to and from your daily commute. It should be noted that these helmets are not ideal for high speed travel. The peak can cause unwanted wind drag while riding. But for cruising around town and into the great outdoors – you’ll be fine.

Getting the Right Fit - Head Shapes 

Most manufactures have a head shape they base most of their helmet’s around. Others offer a variety of styles across the “head shape spectrum”. We are all a little unique so getting the right fit just takes a few measurements. The most common fit for riders is the intermediate oval, check out the graphic below to help determine what head shape you should be shopping for. 

Before you go measuring your head with a piece of string or worse guessing your head size, do yourself a favor and figure out your head shape! If you measure your head and based off of the manufactures chart you should be a Medium and you have Round Head shape, but you order a Long Oval helmet – not only will you be returning the helmet but you’ll think you need a bigger size. Wrong!! Our goal is to help you find the right helmet the first time so once it arrives you’ll be ready to ride. If you do need a size exchange, give us a call or email and we will help you get the return started and a new size sent your way. 

It should also be no surprise to most that depending on what brand/helmet style your looking at, you should always use that specific manufacture’s sizing chart. Brands vary on what they might consider a “Large” size helmet. So USE THE SIZE CHART


Price can vary drastically between brands and helmet styles. But if you have a tight budget and really want to get the best coverage you can afford, keep in mind that you could pay anywhere from $100-$1000 for a full-face helmet. Decide what helmet features are important to you within a price range your comfortable with and snag the color you like. Or just give us a call and we can help you select the best one.


If you have been riding for any length of time you may be familiar with a certain brand of helmets. Some of them like Bell, Shoei or Simpson have been around a long time and are well respected for having top of the line lid options. Other brands such as Biltwell and Icon have emerged in the last 10/15 years and offer modern helmet styles with affordable price points. When your looking for a new helmet, do a little bit of homework. You might find a new favorite!


We can discuss the different types of certifications as long as well can all understand that a properly fitted Full Face Helmet will always be safer than an improperly fitted one, regardless of what sticker is on the back. Getting started with the most common certification and the standard for most of the United State: 

DOT: The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that all motorcycle helmets sold in the United States meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. By passing the different safety requirements, the helmet will be able to show the DOT sticker on the back. The only issue with the DOT rating and one most people aren’t aware of, is the fact that a helmet model does not have to be tested before it can be sold/marketed as DOT rated. Instead, the Department of Transportation use the honor system to hold manufactures accountable and relies on Independent contractors to randomly test helmet models to see if they meet the requirements. 

ECE: This standard is held by the Economic Commission for Europe. It is widely used in European countries and combines slightly different testing methods that must be passed before a helmet can be ECE certified. And unlike the DOT rating, helmets must be submitted to independent labs for testing before they are able to be marketed as meeting the ECE safety standard. 

Snell: A non-profit privately held organization officially known as the Snell Memorial Foundation is responsible for setting and overseeing the safety requirements a helmet must pass to receive a SNELL rating. This certification is considered to have higher standards and slightly more difficult tests a helmet must withstand at low, mid and high energy force impacts. They also use a variety of anvil shapes to ensure the helmet could withstand all types of surfaces a rider may encounter. The helmets must also allow for easy removal from the rider in an emergency in order to pass.

21st Feb 2019

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