DOT approved motorcycle half helmets are quickly becoming the most popular type of motorcycle helmet. Fashioned after the German motorcycle helmet, these small and light weight helmets are among the best available today for the motorcycle rider.
Many materials are used in making a motorcycle half helmet. The best manufacturers of motorcycle half helmets use super lightweight materials, and can have a helmet weighing as little as 28 ounces. Better quality half helmets are made from a durable, yet light weight carbon fiber shell. The manufacturer will use styrofoam as a spacer/padding inside of the shell. Lined with a plush cloth, and double d stainless steel rings for the chin strap, a half helmet can offer the best combination of comfort and safety. Some half helmets are finished with a leather exterior on the shell, or simply a paint scheme with graphics.
There are many sub styles of half helmets available. The retro style is simply a round shell with no visor. Simply a shell and chin straps. There are some retro style half helmets that have a patch of leather over where the ear would fit in the chin strap to offer some warmth to the rider on cool nights or days. This is commonly referred to as a neck warmer.
The jockey/polo style most closely resembles the German motorcycle helmet. Shaped like the retro, with a small extension of the shell in the back, and a permanent visor molded into the shell, these offer a comfortable fit as well. These can be fitted with neck warmers as well.
The beanie/shorty style of half helmets are very similar to the jockey/polo style half helmet, with the exception that the visor is removable. These can also have neck warmers optionally, and also have face shield visors that flip up snapped into place. The beanie/shorty style is the most popular among the half helmet categories.
When purchasing a half helmet, use a cloth measuring tape to measure your head size. Have someone help you so that you can get an accurate measurement. Measure around the circumference of your head just about one inch above your eyebrows, or whichever point gives you the largest measurement. If your measurement falls between two sizes, use the larger of the two sizes. The measurements for sizes are XS 20 1/4 – 20 7/8″, S 21 – 21 5/8″, M 21 3/4 – 22 3/8″, L 22 1/2 – 23 1/8″,XL 23 1/4 – 24″, XXL – 24 1/8 – 24 7/8″.
Remember to always check for DOT approved helmets, and ask for the DOT number available for the helmet, so that you can verify yourself that the helmet is legitimately manufactured to meet or exceed DOT standards. This can be the deciding factor in some cases as to whether or not you can wear a helmet in some states that require helmets to be worn when riding on a motorcycle.