Motorcycle Helmet Size Chart: Determining How Tight Your Helmet Should Fit

Choosing the right motorcycle helmet is an essential step for every rider who values both safety and comfort while on the road. A helmet that fits correctly can make all the difference in providing ample protection during an accident, but with a wide range of shapes and sizes on the market, finding the perfect one may seem daunting. In this article, we will explore a motorcycle helmet size chart to help guide you through this important decision.

When it comes to selecting a helmet that suits your head, it’s crucial to determine your head shape before making a purchase. The three main head shapes include round oval, intermediate oval (the most common), and long oval. Identifying which one you fall into will narrow down your search, ensuring a helmet that not only looks great but also optimally protects your precious noggin.

To ensure a comfortable and secure fit, it’s essential to measure your head accurately, as sizing may vary among different manufacturers. Use a tailor’s tape to measure the circumference of your head at its widest point, which is typically about an inch above your eyebrows and around the back of your head. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently consult a motorcycle helmet size chart and select a helmet that fits like it was made just for you.

Measuring Head Size

When choosing a motorcycle helmet, it’s essential to measure your head size accurately. I’ll walk you through the method I’ve found most reliable. First, grab a flexible measuring tape, a string, or a similar tool that can wrap around the curves of your head.

Place the start of the measuring tape or string just above your eyebrows, approximately half an inch above them. This is where the head’s circumference tends to be the fullest. Then, wrap the tape around your head, making sure it crosses just an inch above your ears and slightly above the back of your skull. Keep the tape straight and snug, but not uncomfortably tight.

To ensure accuracy, I always recommend having a friend or family member assist you with this step. It can be challenging to hold the tape in place and read the measurement by yourself. Hold the tape or string at the point where it meets its start and then measure the length with a ruler if you used a string.

Once you’ve obtained this measurement, be it in centimeters or inches, you’ll now have a better idea of your helmet size. Many motorcycle helmet manufacturers provide their own helmet size chart that converts these measurements into a suggested size, denoted by small, medium, large, and so on.

Keep in mind that different helmet brands may have slightly different sizing charts, so always consult the specific brand’s chart or guidelines when purchasing a helmet. Additionally, be aware that head shapes may vary, and some helmets cater to different shapes better than others.

After measuring your head and consulting the appropriate size chart, you’ll be better equipped to find the right motorcycle helmet that provides both comfort and safety.

Helmet Shape

When choosing the right motorcycle helmet, one of the most important aspects to consider is the helmet shape. Helmets come in different shape styles to accommodate the varying head shapes of riders. In this section, I will discuss the three primary helmet shapes: Long Oval, Intermediate Oval, and Round Oval.

Long Oval

Long Oval helmets are designed for riders with heads that are longer from the front to the back (forehead to the back of the skull) than they are side-to-side (ear to ear). This particular shape ensures a snug and comfortable fit for individuals with this head shape. An ill-fitted helmet can cause discomfort during a ride and may not provide adequate protection during an impact. So, it’s crucial to choose a helmet that fits your head shape correctly.

Intermediate Oval

The most common helmet shape is the Intermediate Oval, which is slightly longer front-to-back than it is side-to-side. This shape accommodates a wide range of head shapes and is suitable for most riders. When trying on an Intermediate Oval helmet, it should feel snug and secure around your entire head without any uncomfortable pressure points or gaps.

Round Oval

Finally, we have the Round Oval helmet shape, which is designed for riders with a head that is almost equally proportioned in length and width. Round Oval helmets provide a balanced fit for individuals with this head shape, ensuring that the helmet sits comfortably and securely on the head without causing discomfort or compromising safety.

Head Shapes and Sizing

When it comes to motorcycle helmets, understanding your head shape is crucial for finding the right fit. There are three main head shapes that most people fall into: Long Oval, Round Oval, and Intermediate Oval. I’ll give you a brief overview of each type and how to recognize them.

Long Oval: If my head appears longer from my forehead to the back of my head, then I have a long oval head shape. Helmets suited for these head shapes might feel slightly loose at the sides but should fit snugly from the forehead to the back.

Round Oval: When my head has a more rounded shape, with the width and length being almost equal, then I have a round oval head shape. This type of head shape requires a helmet that provides a balanced fit all around the head without pressure points.

Intermediate Oval: The most common head shape is the intermediate oval, with my head slightly longer front-to-back than side-to-side. Helmets designed for this type of head shape will typically be a comfortable fit for a broad range of riders.

It’s also important to try on the helmet and wear it for at least half an hour to test its comfort and functionality. When I put on a helmet, I should make sure it fits snugly without any excessive pressure or discomfort. Finally, I should take my motorcycle for a spin to ensure the helmet feels good while riding.

Determining Helmet Fit

When it comes to choosing the right motorcycle helmet, the fit is of utmost importance. As a motorcycle rider, I have learned that a proper helmet fit is crucial for both comfort and safety. In this section, I’ll share my knowledge on how to determine the right fit for your helmet.

Firstly, it is essential to measure your head correctly. Using a soft measuring tape, start just above your eyebrows and circle it around the thickest point in the rear of your head. Cross-reference this measurement with a helmet size chart to find the appropriate size. A helmet that is too loose will move around or not sit down completely on your head.

Next, consider the shape of your head. The shape plays a significant role in selecting a properly fitting motorcycle helmet. Different helmet manufacturers design their lids to fit specific head shapes. There are generally three types of head shapes: long oval, intermediate oval, and round oval. Try on various helmets to find the one that fits your head shape the best.

In my experience, a well-fitted helmet should feel snug but not overly tight. It’s essential that the helmet’s interiors come in contact with the entire surface of your head. There should be no pressure points, as they can cause discomfort while riding. Ensure that the cheek pads are comfortably snug, and that the helmet doesn’t shift when you move your head from side to side.

Lastly, check the retention system – usually a strap that goes under your chin. The strap should be securely fastened, allowing only two fingers to fit between it and your chin. This will ensure that the helmet stays in place in case of an accident.

Motorcycle Helmet Sizing

When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle helmet, finding the right size is crucial for both comfort and safety. For this reason, we have provided a sizing chart below for your convenience. Keep in mind that every manufacturer will size their helmets differently, but this at least will provide a starting point for you in your helmet search:

Adult Motorcycle Helmet Size Chart

SizeHat SizeHead Circumference (Centimeters)Head Circumference (Inches)
XX-Small6 3/8 – 6 1/2 51-52 20 – 20.5
X-Small6 5/8 – 6 3/4 53-54 20.87 – 21.26
Small6 7/8 – 7 55-56 21.65 – 22.05
Medium7 1/8 – 7 1/4 57-5822.44 -22.83
Large7 3/8 – 7 1/2 59-60 23.23 – 23.62
X-Large7 5/8 – 7 3/4 61-62 24.02 – 24.41
2X-Large7 7/8 – 8 63-64 24.80 – 25.20
3X-Large8 1/8 – 8 1/4 65-66 25.60 – 26.00
4X-Large8 3/8 – 8 1/2 67-68 26.40 – 26.80
5X-Large8 5/8 – 8 3/4 69-70 27 – 27.50

Lastly, don’t forget to check for hot spots or areas of pressure when trying on a helmet. If you feel any discomfort, it may be a sign that the helmet is not the right fit for you. Remember, you want your helmet to be comfortable, especially if you’re going to wear it for long rides.

Types of Motorcycle Helmets

As someone who rides motorcycles, I understand the importance of finding the right type of helmet that suits your needs and preferences. In this section, I’d like to discuss the primary types of motorcycle helmets: Full Face Helmets, Modular Helmets, Open Face Helmets, and Half Shell Helmets.

Full Face Helmets

Full-face helmets are the most popular choice among riders due to their excellent protective coverage. They provide full coverage for the head, face, and chin, ensuring maximum protection in case of an accident. The built-in visor offers protection from wind, rain, and debris. Full-face helmets also reduce wind noise and provide better insulation during cold weather or long rides.

Modular Helmets

Modular helmets combine the features of full-face helmets and open-face helmets. They have a chin bar and visor that can be flipped up, allowing you to access your face, drink water, or have a conversation without needing to remove the helmet. While they are heavier than full-face helmets, they offer more versatility and are favored by riders who prefer the ability to switch between open and closed-face protection.

Open Face Helmets

Open-face helmets, also known as 3/4 helmets, cover the top, sides, and back of the head, but leave the face and chin exposed. Riders who prefer open-face helmets enjoy the freedom of feeling the wind on their faces and appreciate the improved peripheral vision. However, these helmets do not provide the same level of chin and face protection as their full-face and modular counterparts. Some models may come with optional or removable face shields for added protection.

Half Shell Helmets

Half-shell helmets, or “beanies,” provide the least amount of protection among the various helmet types. They only cover the top half of the head and are often favored by cruisers or custom bike enthusiasts. While these helmets are lightweight and well-ventilated, they lack the comprehensive protection offered by other styles. Keep in mind that half-shell helmets may not be compliant with the safety standards in some regions or countries.

When choosing the right motorcycle helmet for your needs, consider factors such as your riding style, frequency of use, and personal preferences. It’s crucial that you wear a properly fitted and certified helmet to maximize your protection while enjoying the freedom of the open road.

Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Helmet Sizes

1. Why is it important to wear a properly fitting motorcycle helmet?

A correctly fitted helmet is essential for both safety and comfort. A helmet that is too loose can come off during a crash, providing no protection. A helmet that’s too tight can cause discomfort and distraction, potentially compromising your ability to safely operate your motorcycle.

2. How tight should a motorcycle helmet be?

Your motorcycle helmet should be snug, but not overly tight. It should not move or wobble when you shake your head, but it also shouldn’t press too hard against your cheeks or forehead. It’s normal for a new helmet to feel slightly tight, as it will conform to your head shape over time.

3. Can I wear headgear under my helmet?

While it’s not illegal to wear thin headgear under your helmet, it can affect the helmet’s fit and safety effectiveness. Helmets are designed to fit directly onto your head. If you plan on wearing something underneath, you should wear it when trying on helmets.

4. Do all helmets fit the same way?

No, different helmet manufacturers and styles can fit differently, even if they’re marked as the same size. This is why it’s crucial to try on a helmet before buying it. You want to ensure it fits your head shape well and is comfortable.

5. What should I do if I’m in between helmet sizes?

If you’re in between sizes, it’s usually safer to go for the smaller size, provided it’s not too tight. Motorcycle helmets will loosen slightly with time, so a helmet that’s a bit snug to start with should fit well after a period of use.

6. How often should I replace my motorcycle helmet?

Even if your helmet hasn’t been in an accident, it’s recommended to replace it every 5 years. Over time, the materials in the helmet can degrade, reducing its protective capabilities.

7. What happens if my helmet is too big?

A helmet that’s too large can shift during a ride, obstructing your vision. In the event of a crash, it could also slide off or fail to provide adequate protection.

8. Are more expensive helmets safer?

Not necessarily. The price of a helmet often reflects factors like brand, materials, and features, rather than safety. All helmets sold in the US must meet the Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards, regardless of their cost. Always ensure any helmet you consider is DOT-certified.


Choosing the right motorcycle helmet is an important decision that should never be taken lightly. A properly sized and fitted helmet can mean the difference between a minor and major injury, or even life and death, in the event of an accident. Comfort also plays a significant role in your overall riding experience and your ability to focus on the road. While all helmets that meet safety standards offer a certain level of protection, the best helmet for you is ultimately the one that fits you the best. Remember, safety should always be your top priority when riding, and it starts with the right gear. Ride safe!

You May Also Like