By: Katy B.
Women’s motorcycle gear has come a long way over the years. What was once low end gear with disproportional sizes is now high end protective gear that actually fits. Even though the selection of women’s motorcycle gear has dramatically increased, the most important piece of safety gear has been left out.
Motorcycle helmets are the single most important piece of gear, period. How a helmet fits is just as important as the quality of the lid. The current motorcycle helmet manufacturers use the same sizing for both men and women, with the exception of the Schuberth Women's C3 Pro Helmet. To assume that women’s heads are similar to men’s is a significant miscalculation.
The differences between male and female skulls are so significant that the skull is often used to determine the sex in forensics. The female skull is on average both smaller and lighter than the male skull. The typical size of the male skull is actually right on with helmet sizing, with the average falling right at a medium in most brands. The average size of the female skull adversely falls right at a small in most brands, leaving many women with difficulty finding a proper fitting helmet.
Additional to size, the female skull has a shape unique from the male skull. The male forehead is slightly sloping or receding while the female is vertical. The female skull is rounded, with smoother facial bones and a smaller jaw. All of these differences can boil down to fitment issues for women in the average helmet, after all they were made to fit men. We all know that a proper fitting helmet is a safe helmet, so let’s look at some tips that can help you find the best helmet.
• To make up for the differences in skull shape, try on different brands to find the one that fits you best.
• If you fall on the smaller side of the helmet sizing spectrum, seek out brands that run smaller than others.
• Once you find the right helmet, check to see if the manufacturer offers optional cheek pad and comfort liner sizes.
• If you are unsure of what a proper fitting helmet looks like, be sure to look at our Motorcycle Helmet Sizing Guide.
If you try every brand on the market and still can’t find a helmet that fits, don’t worry you are not alone! I have personally struggled with this for many years. Despite my head measuring out perfectly to an extra small, any helmet I tried easily slid side to side on my cheeks. After four concussions that could have been less severe had I been wearing a proper fitting helmet, I finally decided to reach out to the helmet manufacturers themselves to see if I was alone. Turns out, I wasn’t alone. With the help of 6D Helmets I was able to find a solution, now I can ride knowing my head is safe and secure. If you suffer from the same struggle, follow these steps to ensure a perfect fit:
• To accommodate for the differences between the shape of the female skull and the shape of male skull custom padding can be used in the comfort liner. Special note: DO NOT alter the EPS liner, this is dangerous and can compromise your helmet.
• Try your helmet on, pay attention to where you can feel it puts the least amount of pressure.
• Take out the comfort liner and add the extra foam evenly on front and back or the sides.
• Take out the cheek pads and add extra foam evenly on both sides.
• Try the helmet on again, make sure you have no movement from both side to side and back and forth. If you still have movement take note of where you feel the helmet slip and add more padding.
• Remember, your helmet will break in with time. Pay attention to make sure your helmet doesn’t become loose over time.
We hope this is helpful to any women struggling to find a helmet. Don’t ever settle for a size just because it’s as close as they come, your safety is our priority. Stay safe out there and enjoy the ride!