How Should A Dirt Bike Helmet Fit?


Riding a dirt bike is like the berzerker version of riding an ATV. You’re only on two wheels so balance and speed are everything, with one failed lean sending you off the side and into the dirt, or worse. 

black dirt bike helmet covered with dirt and mud
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That’s why wearing a helmet is so important, so you can focus on the purity of the adrenaline in your veins and focus on the ride without worrying about whether or not your helmet is going to come flying off at the most inappropriate time.

In this article, ‘How should a dirt bike helmet fit’, we will look into the proper fitting process for your dirt bike helmet to stay firmly on your head.

JUMP TO :
How Should A Dirt Bike Helmet Fit?
How To Measure Head For Dirt Bike Helmet
Proper Helmet Position
How Tight Should a Dirt Bike Helmet Be?
How to Adjust Helmet Straps
Dirt Bike Helmet Fit Test
Final Thoughts

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How Should A Dirt Bike Helmet Fit?

If the helmet doesn’t fit you, it’s compromised and might as well be a five-gallon bucket on your head for all the good it will do you. Dirt Bike Helmets aren’t like the helmets that you use for other outdoor activities and they need to fit tighter than usual. 

A dirt bike helmet should be a very tight and snug fit. Not so much that it will cut off your circulation but enough to where you can feel the pressure all the way around your head and in your cheeks. 

You shouldn’t be able to cram two fingers between the helmet and the back of your skull and if you can, your helmet is too loose. Fortunately, there are plenty of sizing guides available out there so you will need to be intimately familiar with your head size. 

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This boy’s helmet might be a little on the ‘too big’ side!

young boy wearing an oversized motocross helmet
canva.com

How To Measure Head For Dirt Bike Helmet

Since most dirt bike sizes are given in inches and centimeters, you would be best to measure your head in centimeters to be more accurate and you’ll need to do it with a cloth tape measure. Using a standard tape measure never works because the tape measure bends rather than constricting around your head securely.

IMPORTANT: How to Know Your Helmet Size

Each one of those bends is a few lost millimeters so you can’t expect to get an accurate measurement, no matter how well you think you wrapped it around your head. Of course, even with the cloth tape, you have to do it the right way.

After all, if you are trying to measure your head vertically, a dirt bike probably shouldn’t be in your near-term future goals. You need to wrap the cloth tape around your noggin about an inch above your brows.

You can always look in a mirror to get your measurement, pinch the measurement in place and remove it, or just get someone to read it for you, with the latter being the most sensible and accurate route to take.

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Proper Helmet Position

Everybody’s head is shaped a little differently and even how much hair you have on your head and face can make a difference. For women with long hair, it may be easier to put it up or leave it down, depending on the helmet and the head. 

You want the visor or eye slit even and center of your vision. With the ends of the visor centered as well. If you place your hands on either side of the helmet, you shouldn’t be able to wiggle everything around loosely or even slide it off with minimal effort. 

RECOMMENDED: Why Do Dirt Bike Helmets Have Visors?

No matter how good your shocks, you’re going to bounce around a lot on a dirt bike, so the helmet can’t fit loosely on your head. The last thing you want is to have it twist around on your head while you’re traveling at top speed.

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man on a dirt bike kicking up a lot of dirt and dust behind him
canva.com

How Tight Should a Dirt Bike Helmet Be?

Regardless of your head size and your hair, you have to find the right size helmet that will slide down over your head and press snugly against your cheeks, with the visor or eye slit even and centered in your vision. 

SUGGESTED: Lightest Motocross Helmet

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You should be able to feel the pressure on the back of your head and in your face but it has to be fine-tuned because too much will give you a headache in about 15 minutes and you will know that it is ever so slightly too small.

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How to Adjust Helmet Straps

Most of the best dirt bike helmets use a D-ring strap system and it’s relatively simple to use if you are already familiar with it. If you’re not, then you need to get the straps together before you tighten them on your head.

  • One strap will have two D-rings while the opposite strap has none
  • Take the opposite strap and run it through both D-rings
  • Now take the end of the empty strap and bring it back ‘over’ one D-ring and through the next D-ring
  • Now you have created a method for tightening the strap under your chin

When your helmet is on, all you have to do is grab the loose strap and pull it to tighten the strap under your chin.

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Courtesy Prajwal Y R on Youtube

Dirt Bike Helmet Fit Test

  • With the chin strap fastened, the helmet should be tight, but have enough room to allow one or two fingers to slip between the chin strap and your throat.
  • Try squeezing two fingers between your helmet and the back of your head. It should NOT be possible.
  • With the chin straps fastened, lean forward and allow the helmet to roll off your head. It should NOT roll off your head. It should NOT move.
  • Be sure the helmet is sitting level, not up nor down. Your eyes should be able to see forward clearly.
  • The helmet padding should be cuddling your head snugly and noticeably without causing pain. You can feel the pressure of the helmet all around, though it doesn’t hurt at all.
  • Your cheek pads are pushing against your cheeks but without any discomfort.
  • Shake your head from side to side, and up and down, the helmet should NOT move around. It is now part of your head.
  • Leave the helmet on for 20 minutes or so. Walk around, sit down, watch TV, read the newspaper, play with your phone. If the helmet starts to become uncomfortable, it is probably too small.
  • Take the helmet off. If there are red marks on your forehead, then the helmet is too tight/small.
  • Ideally, the helmet should continue to feel comfortable after wearing it for a period of time, while remaining snug.

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motocross rider gives thumbs up for his perfectly fitting mx helmet
canva.com

Final Thoughts

The right size helmet to begin with is the most important and easiest way to achieve a perfect fit. When you’re out on your dirt bike, the last thing you want to be worrying about is an uncomfortably fitting helmet.

It’s admittedly a very fine line to draw, keeping it tight while not too tight but getting it just right might make all the difference.

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