Tips for buying the right motorcycle helmet

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Riders of motorized two-wheelers with a maximum speed of more than 20 km/h are required to wear a motorcycle helmet. In the event of an accident, it protects the head from injury and further damage to health. We have compiled everything you need to know about motorcycle helmets.

Introduction of the helmet obligation

Helmets have been compulsory for motorcyclists in Germany since 1976. Two years later, this rule was extended to moped and mokick riders. In 1985, the state also made helmets compulsory for moped riders. Since the beginning of the 80s, a violation is also punished with a warning fine. A sensible motorcycle helmet protects one’s own integrity and life. In the following lines you can find out which aspects should be considered when buying a helmet.

Specialist helmet dealer

To find a helmet that fits you perfectly, you should spend enough time.
Look for a specialist dealer who has as many helmet brands as possible on offer. This increases the probability of quickly finding a suitable helmet. SIP Scootershop always has about 80 to 100 different helmets in their store in Landsberg am Lech.

The correct fit of the motorcycle helmet

Your helmet must fit tightly over your entire head without pinching. You can tell that it fits properly when the scalp on the forehead moves when you turn the helmet.
Do not choose a helmet that is too large, as the inner lining will give way with use.
Wear the helmet in the store for a few minutes to check for possible pressure points and skin intolerance of the lining.
If you are unsure of the correct helmet size, try wearing the same helmet model one size smaller. If this helmet presses strongly, you have already chosen the smallest possible size.
For people with a particularly large head, there is a wide selection of suitable helmets at SIP.

Correct adjustment of the chin strap

To ensure that the helmet provides complete protection in the event of an impact, it must not be possible to pull the helmet forwards off the head, even with great force, when the chin strap is closed and correctly adjusted.
The chin strap should not rest on the larynx and the chin strap buckle should not press on the lower jawbone. Check the fit of the helmet and the length of the chin strap regularly, as both have a decisive influence on the protective function of the helmet. Regardless of the external condition, a helmet should be replaced after an accident to ensure that it offers sufficient protection. In general, five years is considered a reasonable service life for helmets when used regularly. At the latest, a motorcycle helmet should no longer be used!

Helmet visor care

The visor should be cleaned regularly. On longer tours, this is recommended regularly during breaks. Insects and other dirt can severely restrict visibility in the rain or at dusk. Particularly in backlighting, soiling can lead to visual illusions. Light scratches in the field of vision of the helmet visor can cause “blindness”. Therefore, you should use a scratch-resistant visor. After riding in the rain, the helmet should dry well. Heat sources (e.g. heating) are unsuitable for drying. The helmet dries best if it spends one to two days in a dry room. If the interior of helmets remains damp for a long time, it may mold, fester or smell unpleasantly.

How to clean the inner lining of the helmet

Most helmets include a removable inner lining. This can be washed in the washing machine on the gentle cycle at 30 degrees without spinning.
For cleaning helmets with a fixed inner padding, it is recommended to first perform a rough removal of dirt residues before completely cleaning the padding. The vacuum cleaner or small brushes remove annoying hair and dandruff residues. Special cleaning agents for motorcycle helmets are available from specialist dealers. However, these often cost up to 30 EUR. Cleaning with mild hair shampoo or pure soapy water also cleans the inner lining well and is easy on the wallet at the same time.

Helmet approval according to ECE R 22/05

More modern helmets usually contain higher-quality materials. Therefore, they age much more slowly than models from earlier years. For this reason, motorcycle helmets that have not been approved in accordance with ECE R 22/05 should no longer be used. This is a regulation that contains guidelines for the manufacture of an approved helmet. Helmets are tested according to various criteria. Two test criteria are, for example, shock absorber values and the chemical resistance of the outer shell. You can recognize an approval by a small label that is usually sewn onto the chin strap. If the approval number starts with 05, the helmet was tested according to ECE R 22/05. The P after the slash refers to the installation of a tested chin guard.
Important note for the compulsory marking of ECE motorcycle helmets: There does not have to be an “ECE” or “ECE-R 22” anywhere on the test label. With the E in the circle and the test number, the label sufficiently refers to the application of the ECE-R test standard.

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