Choosing the right helmet for your new motorcycle is a matter of both style and comfort, because there are a lot of options out there in a range of styles and colors. What’s most important to remember is that while there might appear to be dozens of helmet shapes at first glance, they really just reduce to three basic designs when it comes to coverage and protection. Knowing that makes it a lot easier to find the right sport bike helmets for the next season, and it can help you find alternative options if you’re looking to keep different helmets for different riding conditions.
The Three Types of Oval
All motorcycle helmets have an oval shape of one kind or another, and the exact helmet type depends on how elongated the oval is.
- Round oval is the type most commonly associated with older helmet designs, before a visor was common for eye protection, although a lot of modern choices have eye coverage as a modular design option
- Intermediate oval is the most common design today, with the majority of the standard styles for street bikes falling into this category
- Long oval designs have the most room at the front, and tend to be those designs with the most pronounced chin coverage
A lot of dirt bike helmets take the long oval design path, but most of your common street helmets will be intermediate oval designs. It’s also important to remember that while helmets without chin guards and eye coverage are most commonly round ovals, there are round helmets that provide full face coverage. The kind of helmet will affect the fit, so even if two different types are built for the same head size, one is more likely to be comfortable for you than the other. It takes some experience to feel out your best shape.
In addition to the general shape of the helmet, the style can play a huge role in the final shape you see. Style is what differentiates long oval dirt bike helmets from the same general shape in street bike helmets, for example. A lot of the choices made around style are aesthetic, but there are some fit and safety considerations to take into account as well:
- Eye coverage and tint
- Ear contact, or lack thereof
- Chin and neck protection
- Anti-fogging features
- Insulation against sound and cold
You might not think of the insulation level as a fit issue, but consider how much harder it would be to enjoy a ride if the helmet is too heavy or if it causes you to overheat in the summer sun. That’s why so many experienced riders choose to rotate between several different motorcycle helmets as the seasons change.
Pick Your Next Helmet Today
Whether you just got your bike or you’re shopping for a new helmet to kick off the season this year, now is the right time to get a great deal. Not only are new model designs hitting the shelves and catalogs of your favorite online parts suppliers, the old year’s designs are usually priced to move as warehouse space is needed for new stock. That can make spring the best time to be on the market for a new helmet. Check out your options today.