How Tight Should A Motorcycle Helmet Be?

It is a commonly accepted fact that a motorcycle helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment a rider can have. But have you ever wondered: what is the proper fit for a motorcycle helmet?

It’s an important question to ask, as according to the Transport Research Laboratory(TRL) survey around 25% of people wear the wrong size helmet. A helmet that fits properly can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your head safe in the event of an accident. A helmet that is too tight could be uncomfortable and cause headaches, while a helmet that is too loose could fail to provide the necessary protection.

So, what is the ideal fit for a motorcycle helmet? Let’s take a look at the answer, and talk about what you can do to make sure you have the perfect fit for your head and your riding style.

How Tight Should A Motorcycle Helmet Be?

When trying on a helmet, there should be no pressure points on the wearer’s head. The helmet needs to fit snugly, but not too tight. It should not cause any discomfort or restrict movement. There should be no ups and downs while wearing it; the helmet should feel like an extension of the rider’s head. 

It is also important to make sure the helmet is the correct size. The helmet will slip off if it is too large, as nearly 20% of people who report accidents say their helmet fell off

In addition to the size of the helmet, the fit is also important. The cheek pads should fit snugly against the cheeks, the chin strap should fit securely but not too tightly, and the eye openings should be aligned with the eyes for maximum visibility.

How Should A Motorcycle Helmet Fit?

When fitting a motorcycle helmet, it’s important to ensure that it fits properly on your head. A good-fitting helmet should be comfortable, and secure, and should not obstruct your vision. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. The helmet should be like a good hug – snug and comfortable, not too tight or too loose.
  2. The helmet should sit on your head like a crown, level and not tilting forward or backward.
  3. The cheek pads should feel like they’re giving your cheeks a gentle squeeze, and the chin strap should be tight enough that you can’t just pull the helmet off your head like a hat.
  4. When you put on the helmet, it should feel like an even pressure all around your head, not just pushing down on certain spots.
  5. You should be able to see out of the visor like a boss, with no blurry or distorted vision. Just like you’re looking through a clean window in the world.

Motorcycle Helmet Fit Test Checklist

To ensure that your helmet fits properly, you must complete a helmet fit test. This test is quick and easy, but it is essential to your safety. It is important to check the fit of your helmet before each ride and to replace your helmet if it no longer fits properly.

To assist you in making sure your helmet fits correctly, we have created a Helmet Fit Checklist. This checklist includes the following points:

  1. Measure your head circumference to ensure you are purchasing the correct size helmet.
  1. Try the helmet on and ensure that it sits snugly on your head, with no gaps between the helmet and your skin.
  1. The helmet should not move or shift when you move your head.
  1. Check the fit of the chin strap. It should be tightened enough that you cannot pull the helmet off your head with the strap fastened, but it should not be so tight that it is uncomfortable or painful.
  1. Check the fit of the cheek pads. They should be snug but not too tight, and should not put too much pressure on your face.
  1. Check the fit of the ear pads. They should not put pressure on your ears or interfere with your hearing.
  1. Check the fit of the eye-port. The visor should not obstruct your vision or cause any discomfort.
  1. Check the ventilation system to ensure that it is functioning properly and providing adequate airflow.
  1. Check the fit of the liner and padding. They should be comfortable and not cause any pressure points or discomfort.
  1. Walk around and move your head in various positions to ensure that the helmet remains comfortable and secure.

Finally, wear the helmet for 20-30 minutes and check again for any discomfort. After a longer period of time, the helmet should start to feel completely comfortable and snug. If it doesn’t, try adjusting the straps and pads to find the perfect fit.

How Do I Know If My Motorcycle Helmet Is Too Tight or Too Loose?

If your motorcycle helmet is too tight, you may experience discomfort and pressure on your head, forehead, and temples. You may also feel a pinching sensation on the sides of your head. An improperly fitted helmet can also cause headaches. If your helmet is too loose, you may feel the helmet move around on your head and not stay in place. Additionally, you may feel too much air coming in at the sides or top of the helmet.

To check if your helmet is correctly fitted, do the following: 

1. Put the helmet on your head and fasten the straps.

2. Shake your head from side to side and up and down.

3. Move your head forward and backward.

4. Place two fingers between your eyebrows and the front edge of the helmet. If you can fit more than two fingers, the helmet is too loose. If you can’t fit two fingers, the helmet is too tight.

5. Check that the helmet does not move beyond an inch when you move your head.

6. Finally, check for any pressure points. If your helmet is too tight, it will create pressure points and cause discomfort. If your helmet is too loose, it will move around on your head and won’t provide the necessary protection in the event of a crash. 

By following these steps, you can make sure that your motorcycle helmet fits correctly and provides the necessary protection. You can also see this helmet sizing chart for measuring the right size of the helmet for your needs.

How to Break in a Motorcycle Helmet?

One way to break in a motorcycle helmet is to wear it indoors or under a knit hat. This method can take up to 10-15 days, depending on the stiffness of the helmet’s padding. You can even wear a helmet while watching television or doing other sedentary activities. This will help the padding to conform to your head shape and make it more comfortable to wear.

If the padding in your new helmet is too thick or stiff, you can speed up the process by squeezing it against an object like a folded towel or a rolled-up magazine. This will help soften the padding and make it more pliable.

It is important to remember that motorcycle helmet pads deteriorate with time and use. Make sure to check your helmet’s padding from time to time to ensure that it is still in good condition. If not, you should replace the padding to make sure it still provides optimal protection.

Tips for How to Wear Your Motorcycle Helmet Correctly on Your Head

As a motorcycle rider, wearing a helmet correctly is essential for your safety. Wearing a helmet correctly not only ensures that your head is properly protected in the event of an accident but also ensures that your helmet provides you with the maximum amount of comfort when riding. 

Here are some tips for wearing your bike helmet properly:

1. Measure Your Head: Before you buy a helmet, make sure to measure your head. This will give you a better idea of what size helmet you need to buy. To do this, measure the circumference of your head with a tape measure, starting at the forehead and going around the back of the head. Make sure to measure at the widest part.

2. Choose the Right Helmet: Once you know your head size, you can then choose the right motorcycle helmet for you. You’ll want to make sure the helmet fits snugly but comfortably on your head. It should not be too loose or too tight. Look for helmets that have adjustable retention systems to ensure the perfect fit.

3. Put It On Correctly: Once you have the right helmet, it’s time to put it on. Put the helmet on with the chin strap unfastened and the chin bar up. Position the helmet so that it sits low and level on your head and just above the eyebrows. Then, secure the chin strap and make sure it is not too tight or too loose.

4. Check the Fit: After you have the helmet on, move your head up and down. If the helmet moves more than an inch in any direction, it is not fitting correctly. Inspect the helmet for pressure points and gaps also; if you find any, the size may be incorrect.  You may need to adjust the size or try on a different helmet.

5. Make sure the visor is in the right position: The visor should be down in front of your eyes when riding. This will help you to see clearly while riding and protect your eyes from the sun, insects, and debris.

6. Wear It: After the helmet fits correctly, you should always wear it while riding your motorcycle. It is important to wear it correctly at all times, to ensure maximum comfort and protection. Also, make sure to replace your helmet after any accident or impact.

Do Motorcycle Helmets Stretch?

Yes, Motorcycle helmets are designed to be stretchable and adjustable. The interior padding of a motorcycle helmet consists of adjustable straps, foam pads, and other materials, all of which can be adjusted and stretched to fit the shape of your head. The adjustable straps allow the helmet to fit snugly against the head, while the foam pads conform to the shape of the head to provide a comfortable and secure fit. 

Additionally, some helmets are equipped with a chin strap, which can be adjusted to ensure a snug and secure fit. The materials used in motorcycle helmets are designed to be lightweight yet durable, and can easily stretch and adjust to the shape of the head without sacrificing safety. The flexibility of the materials allows the helmet to conform to the shape of the head while providing maximum protection against impacts and other hazards.



A motorcycle helmet should be tight enough to stay in place without any movement when you shake your head up and down, side-to-side, and turn it in a circle. The helmet should be secured with the chin strap and should feel comfortable and snug when wearing it.

The size and fit of the helmet should be appropriate for your head size and shape and should not be loose or too tight. To ensure proper fit and safety, it is advised to take time to find the best helmet for your body type and to always wear the helmet correctly when riding.

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.

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