Guide how to determine head shape for motorcycle helmet

How to determine head shape for motorcycle helmet ? The decision to purchase a motorcycle should always be accompanied by the purchase of a motorcycle helmet that protects your head in the moment of a crash or accident as you you occasionally fall from the transport or are hit by someone else during riding. Your health and safety depend on helmet fitment.

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We are going to help you to determine your head shape and choose the right motorcycle helmet.

Importance of helmet shape

The fit of a motorcycle helmet shows whether your helmet manufacturers can provide safety. When your helmeted head experiences an accident, the impact-absorbing liner is designed to resist the forces. Otherwise, in the case when there is too much space between the helmet and your head, you may take a blow damaged by your protective equipment.

To reduce injuries from such forces, some helmets include slip liners built-in. When the head shape is wrong determined, this part cannot perform its function.

We have already said that wearing a larger helmet is not the best solution. This also applies to smaller helmets. If the helmet is too tight, you will either feel uncomfortable wearing it. You might stop wearing helmets at all because of discomfort. This can lead to disastrous consequences.

Head shapes

Each person has their head shape. Three types of human heads are usually distinguished – long oval, intermediate oval, and round oval.

To determine which of these types your head shape belongs to, you need to take a photo of your head above, it is advisable to pre-comb the hair, or ask a consultant at a motorcycle (equipment) store to help you to determine head shape.

Look at the just-taken photo. If your head is almost round oval like a ball, so your head shape is round oval shaped. If it is long and thin, it means your head enters a long oval-shaped group. If you see something average, then this shape is an intermediate oval. An intermediate oval is one of the most common head shapes in the U.S.

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Determining the motorcycle helmet correctly sized helmet is very simple. In this case, there are no difficult notations. You only need to measure your head circumference with a soft measuring tape. It should draw a line with the tape above your eyebrows and round oval the back of your head, including the widest part.

Compare your result with a helmet sizing chart to determine your head correctly sized helmet. It lists head circumference measurements including small, medium, and large sizes. The safety rating you may have seen when purchasing the item is only valid for the correct helmet size.

By the way, the back of your head is the best part to measure because it’s where your helmet sits. The second part to measure is on the top of your head. Make sure you measure both of these parts.

Helmet style

There are 5 main types of motorcycle helmets that you should learn before making a purchase decision.

Open-face helmets

The open-face helmet is the least protective helmet among all types. At the same time, it is the least restrictive one. The outer part of the helmet does not cover the chin or face of the rider. This type is cheaper than others, remember that safety is paramount.

These helmets can call half-helmets because it protects only the top of the head. Some cover everything but the rider’s face. These are sometimes called three-quarter helmets.

Full-face helmets

This type encloses the rider’s head. The full-face helmet protects your face – the nose and eyes, while an extension of the shell called the chin covers the lower part of the face. It is the most protective choice.

Although it may be the least ventilated, thinking about safety. If you have any breathing problems, do not choose this type of helmet.

By the way, such type of helmets is used like a mountain bike helmet or just ordinary bike helmet.

Modular helmets

Modular helmets are similar to full helmets. Their feature is a hinged mechanism. At the moment of the incident, it swings the chin strap and faces the shield out of the way. Thus, the rider gets full face protection when riding, although the face is not completely covered, which makes it feel free and comfortable to operate.

ADV (adventure) helmets

If you love to travel, and adventure and prefer to use a motorcycle as your main means of transportation, then ADV helmets are made especially for you!

In addition to enhanced protection, this helmet also has a mud visor and good ventilation. The option of wearing glasses is available.

Dirt helmets

It is a special type of motorcycle helmets for off-road riding intended to be worn with goggles. It has plenty of airflows and a large peak to keep the roost out of the rider’s eyes.

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Unlike most motorcycle helmets, this variant is not intended for use in the urban area.

Fitting required

After you determine head shape & size, already choose the type of motorcycle helmet you need, it’s high time to put it on. At the first fitting, you will most likely feel uncomfortable. You need to adjust the helm focusing on the filament to suit you.

If the helmet fits, you should feel the cheek pads. If you grab the chin bar and move it around, you should feel your cheeks should move during the motorcycle helmet remains immobile. This recommendation does not apply to open-face motorcycle helmets.

It’s normal if the helmet sits a little tight. Most helmet pads should be worn 15-20 %. It accounts for the first riding during about 20 hours. To be completely convinced that this motorcycle helmet is suitable for you, you should wear it for 20-30 minutes.

If you have a pressed red line across your forehead after removing the helmet, choose another one. At the same time, if you feel that the helmet is squeezing your temples, then it is not round enough for you.

We want to give you a little hint if you are still in doubt about the choice. If you have a round or oval-shaped head, you should wear a full-face helmet.

Some tests

Try the squeeze test. There is a polystyrene pad inside, that safeguards your head. This needs to fit fairly closely so that there isn’t a space between it and your skull. Try it on after you connect the chin strap.

Twist and rock tests include pushing it up from the front or the back while the strap is securely fastened.

Also, you should check the loosening and fastener. When you buy a new helmet, it should embrace your skull enough to prevent it from moving around.

Whatever fastener you decide on must be adjusted and fastened fairly tightly to keep this gear on your head in the event of an accident.

Possible problems

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There are times when people purchase helmets and then they get some problems that cause discomfort. For example, your ears curl up when you put on a helmet. But, if you can fix it and it doesn’t hurt, it’s alright. If you watch motorcycle racers getting ready for a race, you will notice that they are fixing their ears too.

What to do if you have determined the correct size, but you can’t put it on, because you can’t push the head in the helmet? Most likely It is your size, but you should make some more effort to put it on.

Some helmets have more neckroll cushioning than others. Hold the helmet by the 2 straps, with your thumbs pressing the straps against the helmet. Gently spread the helmet’s opening, then try pulling it over your head. If it still doesn’t fit, try to put on the bigger size.

Wearers of regular glasses sometimes wonder if there are any specific conditions for them to choose a helmet or if they thank that they can not wear a helmet at all. The presence of points doesn’t change the selection procedure.

If you are used to wear glasses, try them during the test fit. Don’t change the size to an increased one, if everything fits perfectly except your glasses. Consider another model helmet and a different pair of glasses. If those glasses just block the sun, give a chance to a drop-down sun shield. To make your eyes see better you also can try wearing contact lenses.

In general, people wishing to buy a helmet can get different pads for the helmet, or modify the pads to get the fit they want.

However, if your helmet fits, but still something is wrong, you can make small adjustments with some different pads. Add padding to the inside and on your forehead, nose, and cheeks for a snug and comfortable fit. As for the problems of too tight or too loose helmets, we have talked about them above.

Be sure to look at the helmet’s certification in case there are any safety concerns with the design or construction of the helmet you are considering buying.

To learn more about how to size and buy a motorcycle helmet , check out this post here.


We are ready to answer all questions you are interested in.

How do you tell if you have a round or oval head for helmet?

You should consider oval or round helmets if the width of the helmet is just equal to the length. It’s like a soccer ball-shaped.

Is my head intermediate oval or long oval?

Look at the photo of your head. If you see the long and thin shape, it means you should get a long oval helmet. If you can’t exactly decide what type it is and see something average, most likely the head is longer front-to-back, so you should purchase an intermediate helmet.

How do you know if you have a long oval head?

Look at the photo. In case your head is long and thin, it means it belongs to a long oval head group.


In conclusion, we showed you how to determine head shape for motorcycle and easily choose the motorcycle helmet to enjoy riding safely. After learning your own head’s shape, take the dimensions with measuring tape for determining your head size.

It doesn’t matter if you wish to purchase a motorcycle or bike helmet, it is a necessary decision for your safety. People’s head shapes are different and each person should approach this matter individually and seriously.

Hope this article was useful and now you could choose your perfect helmet.

If you need to read about how to carry an extra helmet on a motorcycle, please read our article.

Robert Miles

I have an immense love for fast motorcycling and a deep passion for motorcycles. With a decade-long involvement in motorsport, I have experienced thrilling adventures and have had the opportunity to explore various aspects of this exciting world.

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