All in one buying guide for motorcycle helmets in India

19 November 2022

Long story short – We want to make your motorcycle helmet buying decision on the right track and the right product in this overloaded information era.

There is no need to explain what a helmet is and whether it is mandatory. We all know without a helmet how fatal it can be when an accident happens. In the previous year, 2021, nearly 70,000 people died in motorcycle accidents, accounting for 45% of all accident deaths in India. In most cases, the rider/pillion has no helmet or uses sub-standard ones.

In this digital era, there is a lot of information regarding each topic, making our choices more confusing while buying. We need clarity and knowledge of marketing and sales tactics used by dealers, showrooms, etc., to make our right helmet-buying choice. So we at Bikeleague want to make your buying decision on the right track and the right product. Before that, you need to know some safety tips for bike helmets.

How a motorcycle helmet works and what is the anatomy of a helmet

The helmet comprises several high-quality materials, each with a clear-cut purpose, and works together to protect the head from all sorts of worse situations. Let’s check the anatomy of a helmet and how it works.

Hard outer shell

Most helmets use polycarbonate or fiberglass, which is economical compared to Kevlar or carbon fiber. Premium helmets use the latter, which is the cost and protects the rider in the worst conditions.

Protective inner shell

Every helmet has an inner shell to protect the head against physical impact when it hits the road. This protective inner shell is expanded polystyrene or EPS. EPS does the most important job of absorbing the impact force and cushioning the skull, so the head stays protected.

Removable soft lining

The third layer is a removable soft liner that keeps the face and neck protected against the hard surface of the EPS. The removable soft lining can be washed frequently and is usually made of hypoallergenic materials to prevent allergic reactions.

Protective padding

There is also protective padding to protect the cheek and jawbones. It is made of a soft sponge or shock-absorbing composite materials that are great at keeping you comfortable on long rides and protecting the facial bones.

Strapping mechanism

A high-quality strap is mandatory to ensure it stays on your head even during an accident. The release mechanism should be easy; otherwise, it will be frustrating to use

Vents

ventilation systems allow good air flow within and outside the helmet to keep the rider cool and comfortable on long rides. Without a good ventilation system, we cannot think of long rides, especially in hot conditions.

Visors

The visor is a curved piece of material worn above the eyes to protect them from the sun, dust, etc. They are designed to resist the normal wear and tear of an average daily ride for up and are replaceable.

Types of motorcycle helmets legal and allowed in India

Six types of helmets are legal in India, and they are

types of motorcycle helmets in India
  1. Full Face Helmet
  2. Modular Helmet / Flip Helmet
  3. Half Face Helmet
  4. Half Shell Helmet
  5. Off-Road Helmets
  6. Dual Sport Helmets

Many in India have the misconception that half-helmets and half-shell helmets are illegal, but the reality is that they are legal. Do note that they provide minimal safety and must have ISI certification.

What are the latest motorcycle helmet rules in India?

  1. The helmet’s thickness must be 22-25mm, and helmet manufacturers should use good-quality foam.
  2. The weight limitation of the helmet is reduced to 1.2kg from 1.5kg
  3. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has mandated all helmets to have an ISI mark and BIS. DOT and ECE certification alone is not enough.
  4. The eye-covering material in the helmet must be completely transparent as there is no obstruction in the eyesight.
  5. All helmets should pass the tests prescribed as per the BIS. These include absorption tests in different weather conditions.
  6. No cameras can be fixed on top of the helmet, resulting in several accidents.

Best Motorcycle helmet brands in India

Some of the best motorcycle helmet brands in India are listed below

  1. Vega
  2. Steelbird
  3. Studds
  4. Royal Enfield
  5. SMK
  6. LS2
  7. THH
  8. MT
  9. Sol
  10. Axor
  11. Aerostar
  12. HJC
  13. Shoei
  14. Gliders
  15. AGV
  16. Aaron
  17. Bell
  18. Arai
  19. Shark

If you are on a tight budget and need a decent amount of quality, then the best helmet brands are

  1. Vega
  2. Steelbird
  3. Studds
  4. THH

On the other hand, if budget is not an issue and quality is what you are purely looking for, then the best helmet brands are

  1. SMK
  2. LS2
  3. MT
  4. Shoei
  5. AGV

Best motorcycle helmets in India

The answer for this varies from person to person and purely depends upon his needs, budget, purpose, etc. There are many options in the market right now, and this article is purely a guide. So we will not specify the exact models in this article.

Motorcycle helmet fit and size measurement

motorcycle helmet measurement size India
  1. As per the image above, take a measuring tape and wrap it around the head.
  2. The measuring tape must go above the eyebrows in the forehead and just above the ears in the back.
  3. Next, check the size chart and compare your measurements with the same.
  4. If two-three fingers can be placed inside the head while wearing the helmet, it is loose and needs to check for smaller sizes.
  5. Initially, the helmet will be tight while wearing and loosen up a bit.
  6. There should be no movement of the helmet while shaking the head.
  7. Head shapes can also be considered, and there are three shapes round oval, intermediate oval, and long oval.
  8. Long Oval – Head shape is longer from forehead to back of skull vs. ear to ear.
  9. Intermediate Oval – The most common head shape. The front-to-back measurement is slightly longer than ear-to-ear.
  10. Round Oval – Both front-to-back/ear-to-ear measurements are nearly the same.

Where to buy helmets online?

Always look for helmet models on the official company website or in eCommerce portals like Amazon India or Flipkart. But never buy online reason is explained below.

Always buy bike helmets offline.

Yes, without a doubt. It would help if you always felt like wearing how the helmet. Customers can decide on color options and prices online but make the final decision only after wearing the helmet. So always purchase offline, and that too separate and dedicated one.

Never opt for free helmets given by dealers while buying a motorcycle.

Nowadays, dealers must hand over helmets and motorcycles while buying as per the rule mentioned by the Government of India, which they say is free, but hidden charges are there. Quality-wise, they will be lower, and we will accept the same. Do not get trapped in such pitfalls, and always prioritize your safety.

Replace the helmet with a brand new one every five years

The expiry date of a helmet is around five years, and the helmet should be replaced with a brand-new one. The chin strap, outer shell, and inner padding show the aging signs of a helmet. Check for the same before replacing the helmet. If a helmet is met with an accident, it should not be used further.

Certification, fit, visibility, air circulation, weight

Customers must consider certification, fit, visibility, air circulation, weight, and inner material washing options.

  1. A helmet should not be too tight or too loose.
  2. Maximum visibility is better for riding.
  3. Air circulation/ventilation should be proper inside.
  4. Weight should not be too much as it can result in neck pain.
  5. Internal materials like inner lining should be washable.
  6. Visors should be anti-UV and anti-scratch resistant and replaceable.
  7. Should have ISI, DOT, and ECE certifications. ECE is the most thoroughly tested, while ISI and BIS are mandatory for helmets in India.

Conclusion

The bikeleague team hopes all areas related to the bike helmet buying guide are covered, and this article will make your choice and decisions much more effortless. To summarize keep these things in mind

  1. Always opt for full face helmet
  2. Obey rules and follow laws of the land
  3. Opt for ISI & BIS marked certification helmets
  4. Donot fit cameras above helmet
  5. Always buy bike helmets offline
  6. Never opt for free helmets given by dealers while buying a motorcycle
  7. Go for helmets that has balance of features and strict quality