Finding the right motorcycle helmet can be difficult, especially if you’re looking for a specific style or design, and at the cheap prices you can afford. One of the most important things you have to make sure is that your new motorcycle helmet is DOT approved. Below you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions of those who are looking to buy a new motorcycle helmet.

So what is DOT approved mean?

DOT stands for Department of Transportation. All DOT approved motorcycle helmets have been tested and meet the standards for protection in the areas of impact absorbing, penetration resistant, and a retention system (strap) designed to keep the helmet in place in case of an accident.

So which brand is best for me?

You can choose any brand you like as long as the helmet meets DOT standards. There is also a website you can visit to see if your helmet of interest meets the safety test. Check out http://www.helmetcheck.org for more information. It doesn’t list all helmet brands and for those that are not listed it doesn’t mean they don’t comply with DOT standards and safety test. You would then need to contact the manufacturer to find out the compliant status of their helmets.

What different types of helmets are there?

• FULL FACE – offers complete protection to face, ventilation varies on size and styles, and comes equipped with a movable face shield. Helmet must fit snuggly for security and protection in the event of a crash. This type of helmet will be commonly used by riders of sports bikes and professional racers.
• THREE QUARTER OPEN FACE – although some riders prefer these helmets they don’t offer face and chin protection, to make up for some protection you can either purchase a snap on face shield or goggles made specially for when riding a motorcycle as they must withstand stones and other debris. Do not attempt to substitute these with prescribed glasses or sunglasses as they will, shatter or fly off when riding.
• HALF HELMETS – also known as “Shorty” offers even less than the Three Quarter Open Face helmet. This helmet can actually come off your head in case of an accident, not recommended for riding. Although the riders who do buy these know they are taking risks.

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