It had been awhile since I’d ridden my bike. I hopped on, zipped through Ocean Beach and hit the freeway for a 20-minute stretch. By the end of that 20 minutes, I was swearing into the air, “I need a new fu**ing helmet.”
That’s when I decided to make the switch from using my Biltwell Gringo S full time to something else. The very first helmet I ever owned was an HJC helmet. I knew nothing about it; I just picked it up from a local cycle shop in Milwaukee when I was going to take the course.
I rocked that thing for a year or two but felt weird. I felt clunky and out of place. Like the helmet didn’t match me and most certainly didn’t match the bike (Sportster or Honda). I couldn’t wait to buy a new helmet.
I wanted something sleek, something that didn’t make me feel like a bobble head, something cool. So I bought what every other female rider already owned — a Biltwell helmet. But, I was cool, so I got the Gringo S.
At that point, the shield on my HJC was kind of messed up, so I never wore it again. My new Gringo S became my full-time helmet. Whether it was road trips or daily commutes, I wore that helmet every single time I road.
So what finally drove me to shop for a new helmet? I felt unsafe. Something about not wearing it for awhile, putting the helmet on, and going a few high-speed miles made me realize that maybe this wasn’t the right helmet for me.
I wanted a helmet that made me feel like my whole head was protected. I wanted a helmet that I could wear while ridding through the rain. I wanted a helmet I could wear and hear my Sena.
Helmet Brands to Consider
As I started shopping for a new helmet, these are just a few of the brands I came across.
Full Face Helmet Considerations
Here are just a considerations that came to mind for me, that you may also want to think about next time you purchase a helmet.
How will it be used
Will this helmet be used daily or occasionally? Will you be using it for freeway riding or running errands around town? These are important questions to answer as what you wear on a daily commute may not be the same as something you throw on to run down the street.
If you’re wearing your helmet often, weight and distribution of weight are important factors. You don’t want the helmet to weigh you down to the point where it starts to hurt your neck. If possible, try on the helmet before you purchase to get a feel for how the weight is distributed.
Helmet weight goes hand-in-hand with comfort. Take a look at the padding and how the helmet fits your head to ensure it’s something you can often wear and maintain proper visibility.
Inspect the chin strap to make sure the helmet will hold up in the case of an accident. Avoid helmets with a strap that’s too flimsy or doesn’t secure properly.
The DOT sets a minimum standard of protection for motorcycle helmets. Look for this on a new helmet purchase.
Many helmets come with “extras.” This could be additional shields for day riding vs. night riding or even speakers/communications enhancements. Think about how your helmet will be used and determine which additional features are important to you.
The Final Purchase
After a lot of back and forth, I decided to go with the Icon Alliance.
Icon Alliance benefits
- Meets or exceeds DOT FMVSS 218
- Injection molded polycarbonate shell for strength
- Multiple oversized intakes and exhaust ports
- Quick-change fog-free pro shield with side plates
- Prolock shield locking system
- Removable molded breath deflector
- Removable HydradryTM Moisture Wicking Liner
- Recessed twin channel super vent cooling system
I couldn’t be happier with my purchase of this helmet. On the first ride I took, I knew immediately that I had made the right decision for me. My favorite part? I COULD SEE STUFF. The visibility in this helmet was way better than in my Gringo S.
I ended up purchasing the Icon Alliance from Get Lowered Cycles which I have to give a shout out here because of their awesome 30-day no questions asked return policy. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Leave a comment below and tell us what helmet you’re rocking.
Disclaimer: It’s a little unfair to compare the Gringo and the Alliance as they are in no way shape or form constructed or meant for the same purpose. This is strictly my opinion as an almost daily rider. I personally just felt I needed a helmet that felt more secure. As for my Gringo, that will 100% remain my helmet of choice for around the town riding.