Things You Should Know About Cheap Motorcycle Helmets
Are you looking for cheap motorcycle helmets? There are a few things you should know about helmets before you buy a cheap motorcycle helmet so that the helmet you buy will keep you safe.
There may be various reasons for buying a motorcycle helmet, but price should not be one of them. The first question you should ask yourself about any helmet you are thinking about buying is "Will it protect me?". Then you need to ask yourself if it is comfortable to wear. If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you can get around to considering the cost of the motorcycle helmet.
In order to answer the question of whether the motorcycle helmet will protect you, you should look for the DOT (Department of Transportation) sticker on the back of the helmet. The DOT standard means that the helmet will perform in the event of a crash. The DOT standard requires among other things, that a helmet soak up a significant amount of impact energy, prevent most penetration, and have a fastening system that will withstand significant force.
If a manufacturer certifies that its helmet meets the DOT standard, they can make and sell the helmet with a DOT sticker. The Department of Transportation will periodically buy such helmets and send them to independent labs for testing to ensure that the helmets actually meet their standard.
The results of their testing can be found here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/comply/
Another certification you can look for is the Snell certification. It is worth looking for cheap motorcycle helmets that meet this certification. If the manufacturer of the helmet has gone the distance to meet both DOT and Snell they have probably included other features and benefits.
The Snell foundation independently tests the performance of different makes of motorcycle helmets. The testing is so comprehensive that if a helmet is Snell certified, you can be completely sure that the helmet will perform.
You can find cheap motorcycle helmets that meet the DOT standard and are Snell certified on the market. These helmets will protect you as well as the more expensive ones. You can find a full list of the helmets that have been certified by Snell at their website.
The main difference between a helmet that meets DOT standards and a really low quality, cheap helmet is the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam liner (it resembles styrofoam) inside of the helmet. It is the EPS which actually absorbs the energy of an impact.
In a crash the EPS is permanently crushed. So if you hit your head with your helmet on, your helmet is probably not any good any more - it will no longer protect you since the inner lining is crushed where you hit your head. Your helmet may look just fine, maybe just a few scratches, but it probably no longer has impact absorption capability.
There is no doubt that full face helmets offer more protection than any other style helmet. There are many places that you can find cheap motorcycle helmets in this style both on and off the Internet.
As a rule of thumb, if you are a road user you should replace your helmet every 5 years or so as the plastic foams used in the helmets do break down over time from exposure to sunlight. If you are into racing you should make sure to replace your helmet more frequently.
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