What to consider when buying a motorcycle helmet
How well the motorcycle helmet fitsA motorcycle helmet that is to loose will not protect your head properly, it may even come off in an accident.
A motorcycle helmet that is to tight will focus crash impact into one point on your head once again this is not good for your safety and it will also cause you a headache after you have been wearing it for a while.
Your head is organic and changes size if you have a head cold and when you get a hair cut.
Different heads are different shapes so simply measuring your head will not guarantee a good fit, a medium from one manufacturer may be a good fit whilst a medium from another manufacturer or even a different model helmet form the same manufacturer may not be a good fit.
The only way to see if a helmet is a good fit is to try it on in a shop.
Helmets deteriorate with ageCheaper helmets are made from the same sorts of plastic as garden furniture, if you leave your garden chairs out over winter the following summer when you have a barbecue, you sit down the leg breaks everyone laughs. It's the same with helmets but no one will be laughing. The UV rays make the shell brittle, these helmets should be replaced every two years. More expensive fibreglass helmets will last up to about five years but check the literature that came with the helmet.
Helmet Visors need to be replaced if scratched
Visors must conform to the appropriate safety standard and are considered integral to the helmet. You will only be able to find Legal replacement visors for recent models of helmets. Holographic visors are illegal.
Helmets are a sacrificial form of protection
The helmet disintegrates on a microscopic level to protect your head rather like a crumple zone of a car, you may not be able to see the damage caused by an impact but if it has been damaged it will no longer offer you enough protection for it to be certified as protective clothing. If it has been drooped or miss handled by the delivery agent it may no longer be in a condition fit for use. Although I have had a lot of good experiences buying things on eBay I have had enough "sort of OK if you squint a bit" experiences to not bet my life on the honesty of an eBay seller.
Helmets must conform to an appropriate test standard to be legally used on the road
Not all helmets sold in international markets are legal for use in the UK, some helmets that are legally usable can no longer legally be sold.
Insurance companies usually stipulate that you must be wearing a helmet that conforms to the latest safety standards and is not damaged or modified in any way. Head injuries can result in incredibly costly payouts so if they find you were wearing a £20 mail order bargain from eBay they will not pay out and the burden of provide for your long term care will fall on your family.
British Standard No
2001:1956 may be worn only (and your insurance will probably be invalidated by doing so)
1869:1960 may be worn only (and your insurance will probably be invalidated by doing so)
2495:1960 may be worn only (and your insurance will probably be invalidated by doing so)
2001:1972 may be worn only (and your insurance will probably be invalidated by doing so)
5361:1976 may be worn only (and your insurance will probably be invalidated by doing so)
2495:1977 may be worn only (and your insurance will probably be invalidated by doing so)
6658:1985 may be sold and worn (Check your insurance policy)
The British kite mark has been superseded by the UN ECE standard.
The ONLY UN ECE standard that is legal in the UK is the current one
UN ECE 22.05
UN ECE 22.04, UN ECE 22.03, UN ECE 22.02 & UN ECE 22.01 are not and never have been legally usable on UK Roads
Helmet's from outside of Europe will need to conform to one of these standards in addition to any non European standards.
This information is current at time of writing more information is available from SHARP.
A motorcycle helmet is the only form of motorcycle gear I would never buy anywhere other then a reputable motorcycle shop and even then I would not accept the display model. Any other gear you find cheap on eBay go for it.