How Should a Dirt Bike Helmet Fit to Give You the Best Landing on the Triples
If motorcycles are for adventurers, dirt bikes are for those who love the ultimate off-road adventure. Thus, it is obvious that ‘how should a dirt bike helmet fit’ is utterly essential for a dirt biker than a casual motorcyclist. I have many friends who recently joined this ultimate off-road double-wheeler club and are a bit worried about which motorcycle helmet to pick.
Well, I have made your job partly easy with this article. Before you reach my final thoughts, the issue of dirt bike helmet fitting will never be an issue for your next off-road extreme sports session.
How Dirt Bike and Dirt Bike Helmet is Different?
Dirt bikes are made to absorb jumps and shocks while dealing with rough terrain at a slower speed. On the contrary, motorcycles are more on to speed rather than terrain hopping. These two versions of two-wheelers will have significant differences in the frame, suspension, and even in seat design.
Dirt bike suspensions are more advanced than motorcycle and come with hydraulics. They can absorb higher and more frequent jumps than any other two-wheeler. Contrarily, a street motorcycle has a low-powered hydraulic suspension. It helps it to absorb the regular bumps, not any extreme shocks.
With a lighter frame, dirt bikes can literally fly on muddy terrains whereas, the motorcycles are stable on a flat road. This lightweight frame bike is more comfortable to control than any heavyweight motorcycle.
Like the bikes, the helmets are also different from each other. Any dirt bike helmet has additional chin protection to protect you from roosting. Because of the extreme speed and jumps, a rider can easily hit the ground with his/her face down. This additional guard saves face literally and metaphorically.
Besides, dirt bike helmets have more ventilation than their regular counterparts. You exert less power while riding a stable motorcycle. But in the case of dirt bikes, control is all about putting in the extra effort. So you need extra ventilation to keep cool.
How Should A Dirt Bike Helmet Fit?
Any helmet, whether dirt bike or motorcycle, should fit snugly on your head. If you feel headache or discomfort after 10/15-minutes that is not a proper size helmet is not a good fit for you.
Are you a beginner and planning to get your first one? Or, this will be the replacement or replacement of the old one. No matter what you are up to, a wrong-sized motorcycle helmet will only create problems and nothing else.
I will recommend you better take the right measurement of your head size before even thinking about getting a new one. And when you measure your head, it is always better to make someone else take the measurement. Tell that person to follow the steps.
- Use cloth tape measures. These measuring tapes are flexible and easy to use.
- Wrap your head with the tape measure in a way that it stays half an inch above your eyebrows.
- The tape should pass through the points above the ears.
Now you have the circumference of your head, and all the manufacturers use this number for helmet sizing. Compare the number with the size chart of the manufacturers and select the correctly sized one.
I have rounded up the complete size chart and head sizes for your convenience. Want to take a look? Well, then stay with me.
The Ultimate Buying Guide of the Helmet for Dirt Bike
Buying a perfect motorcycle helmet is as tricky as choosing the right bike. However, if you consider the following factors, the entire purchasing process will be smoother and hassle-free.
A dirt bike, aka motocross helmet, is a considerable investment. Therefore, you should think twice before going for one.
If you are a newbie in off-road sports, spending too much will be unrealistic. However, you cannot compromise with safety, though. It will be a delicate balance between wallet and welfare.
As a newbie, it is better to invest more in bike control and adaptability with extreme sports. So, stick to a basic but get a well-built motocross helmet for the initial stages.
However, for a veteran dirt biker, it is a lifestyle. You can and should invest a little more on the motocross helmet and get a high-end one. Features like ventilation, chin straps, or cheek pads should be the main focus.
Pricy motorcycle helmets are typically packed with features. They are perfect for pro bikers to tackle the triples. You will be surprised to see features like extra ventilation, mobile camera slots, Bluetooth connection, and a hat not in the helmet.
In some full-face helmets, you will also find specialized visors for better vision in the low light or nighttime. But for that, you have to pay extra. Typically the feature-packed high-end motorcycle helmets start from $45 and can go up to $100s.’
On the other side, inexpensive motorcycle helmets are perfect for beginners and have all the basic techniques and safety features to hit the dirt road. A basic medium-range helmet starts from $30s’ with all the safety standards.
Motorcross Helmets are generally lightweight due to the materials. The typical weight ranges from 1.4 to 1.8-kgs. Yes, the weight is very light unless they are correctly fitted.
One of the significant factors of headache or pressure on the skull when you wear the helmet is the uneven distribution of weight. If the entire 1.4-kg puts pressure on one or two pressure points, it will be unbearable.
Along with picking the lighter-weight helmet, it is essential to choose the right fit. If the helmet is too big or has a smaller size, it will be of no use.
Almost all high-quality helmets come in two layers: the hard outer shell and softer inner liners. The outer surfaces are made either with Kevlar, fiberglass, or composite carbon fiber materials. Liners are made with polymer foams. So the construction is robust but light.
If you shake your head too much during the ride, it is better to choose a lighter one. Contrarily, a steady head can maintain a heavyweight motocross helmet. Now you can select the perfect one for you.
Motorcycle or dirt bike helmets come in a variety of designs. They can be full face, modular, off-road, dual-sports, and open-face helmets. However, modular, full face, dual sports, and off-road helmets are popular among dirt bikers.
You will find one thing common in those models. All of them cover the maximum portion of the face for extra protection. Some off-road helmets have extra chin support to prevent roosting.
As dirt bike riding is much more eventful than conventional motorcycle riding, so you need extra safety gear for sure. However, you can choose bright graphics or metallic finishes no matter what.
Motorcross helmet liners work as padding to prevent any damage to the skull, chin, and side face. These comfort liners are either removable or fixed. Removable liners are washable, and you can reuse them.
As the fixed comfort liners are not easy to wash, so they are made with antibacterial and antimicrobial material. No matter how sweaty or stressful the ride was, you won’t feel it in the next trial.
Safety Rating Features
Helmets normally come with three safety ratings.
- DOT Standard
- ECE22.05 Standard UN ECE Regulations
- Snell2015 Standard
The United States Department of Transportation sets the DOT standard whereas the ECE22.05 is the UN ECE regulations standard for Europe set by the United Nations. Based on your location, you need to check whether your choice meets these standards and comes out as certified helmets.
The Never-Ending Argument on Helmet: Loose or Tight?
‘Egg or chicken’ for the scientists and ‘loose or tight’ for the bikers are almost the same dilemma that is yet to resolve. Who knows, it may never be decided. However, what I have found while reviewing numerous open discussions and talking with veteran bikers is that “it depends.”
Yes, you heard it right depends.
Till now, the best line I ever heard about this debate is from a pro-biker named Johnnybmoto. In one of the discussion platforms, he said, “It should be tight, but not so tight that it hurts.” That means it needs a delicate balance between too loose and tight helmet measures.
If a motocross helmet squashes your cheek without hurting, that is good. The same goes for the head surface. Snugly hugging the head without making a headache is the sign of a perfectly fitted helmet.
A portion of the dirt biker relies on movement. They prefer helmets that have the minimum movement while moving the head side to side. It’s the helmet that is supposed to move with your head, not the other way. If you need constant shoulder manipulation, it’s time to think about a replacement.
Pro-bikers also use the ‘cheek and tooth’ method. Try to speak while wearing the motocross helmet. If the cheek touches a part of your teeth, it’s snug enough. However, if you feel the teeth are grinding the inner cheek, it’s not ok.
Last but not least, try to insert fingers between your entire head and helmet. If you can do it, the headgear is too loose. When you are buying the gear, you can check whether it is too loose or tight using any methods.
Dirt Bike Helmet Size Chart and Shapes
How Should a dirt bike helmet fit on my head? Don’t worry. Helmet manufacturers use head circumference to size the headgear. So the bigger the head circumference, the larger size the helmet will be. Adult and kid’s helmet size charts are completely different. Therefore, get used to the dirt helmet sizing chart first before we move to the head shape.
Adult Helmets Size Chart
|Head Circumference (cm)||Size|
|54 – 55||XS|
|56 – 57||S|
|59 – 60||L|
|61 – 63||XL|
|64 – 65||2XL|
Youth Helmets Size Chart
|Head Circumference (cm)||Size|
|47 – 48||YS|
|49 – 50||YM|
|51 – 52||YL|
|53 – 54||YXL|
Along with the correct size, the shape is also a vital factor while choosing the perfect fit helmet. The length between the front and back of the head and side-to-side distance tells about the shape of the helmet.
It’s more like an oblong shape. Front to back length is significantly longer than the side-to-side distance.
This is a more balanced-shaped head. It means the length from front to back is slightly longer than the ear-to-ear distance. Most of helmet makers follow this head shape.
It is the opposite of a long oval shape. Thus, the side-to-side distance is significantly longer than the face-to-back length.
The Head measurement and shape is directly related to comfort. A wrong-shaped helmet can cause a lot of discomfort. So make sure you know your approximate head shape before buying a dirt helmet.
Is it Possible to Stretch a Bike Helmet?
No matter how precisely you measure head circumference and shape, there can be a slight tightness of the helmet. As long as the discomfort is minimum, it is possible to correct it.
You can stretch the helmet using expanding materials like soccer or basketball. Nevertheless, keep in mind that this method works only for minute tightness. If the problem is persistent and too much, it means you picked a completely wrong-shaped and sized helmet.
Professional and experienced bikers use deflated soccer balls to stretch their Kevlar or Polycarbonate helmets. After putting the ball they inflate and let the air pressure stretch the hard outer shell. As long as you are within the expansion limit of the material, it works great.
However, if the expansion is too much for the helmet material, it may get permanently deformed.
So, how should a dirt bike helmet fit? The answer relies on many factors. But I am sure now you know all of them.
A comprehensive buying guide, most updated size and shape chart, and bikers’ preferences and techniques on picking perfectly fit helmets will help you the right headgear before hitting the dirt roads.
Have an awesome adventure on the off-road track.
Jason, a helmet enthusiast, is the owner of HelmetsAdvisor.com shares his innovative idea that helps people get the proper knowledge of helmets and their accessories to go ahead!
Helmets are usually life-saving elements to run! That's why, an expert on helmets, Jason built this site to express his gathering knowledge and first-hand user experience over decades.