How To Break In A Motorcycle Helmet – All You Need to Know with Expert Advice

Every motorcycle rider knows the extraordinary significance of wearing a helmet. They also know that nothing is worse than having a classy helmet that just doesn’t fit your head right. 

Without a doubt, your helmet can become a cause of accident instead of a safety gear, if it hurts your head. 

Many people complain about new helmets being too tight. Well, every helmet requires some expansion and stretching.

This in-depth guide will help you understand how you can break in your motorcycle helmet without damaging the protective structure of your helmet. 

Quick Summary


In this article, we will go over the following points:

  • Methods that can help you break in your helmet
  • How to choose a right fitted helmet
  • Tips and FAQ’s

Without further delay, let’s get you started. 

How to Break in a Motorcycle Helmet? – Detailed Guide with Pro Advice, FAQs, & More

Wear your Helmet Over and Over

Think of your helmet as a new pair of shoes that are pretty snug at the start. You need to wear it multiple times to achieve the perfect fit

Similarly, wearing a new motorcycle helmet for 15 to 20 hours is the easiest way to break into it. The inner lining and the foam start to wear down and deflate, which allows it to contour to your facial features. 

Moreover, this method is highly recommended because once the foam molds itself to your face, you will feel like it is custom-made. It gives a similar advantage to using memory foam. Also, it gets easier for you to wear and pull out your helmet.  

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Apart from this, if you are in a rush and can’t wait to get back to riding your bike. It is suggested that you wear the helmet whenever you can. Wearing it around the house, watching TV, reading articles, etc. can speed up the process of breaking in. 

Note: Remember not to wear your helmet for so long if it hurts your head or has hotspots. It might lead to further pain and blisters. Pick a new helmet instead.  

Insert an Expandible Ball in your Helmet 

If you are an oval-shaped rider who owns a helmet constructed for round heads, this method for breaking in is especially for you. 

You are required to insert a deflated soccer ball inside your helmet. After doing so, pump up the ball and let it press against the foam. Inflate it until its diameter reaches a minimum of 8 inches. 

Now, wait for your helmet to expand. 

Next, you need to keep in mind that the stretching of the helmet depends on the inflation of your ball and the time you allow it to rest. You can leave it for a few hours for minor stretching and overnight or even days for further expansion.

Lastly, take out the ball and enjoy your helmet being all comfortable and fit 

Note: Inflating the ball too much can press the ESP lining which can severely compromise the safety of the helmet.

Tip: If you aim to expand cheek pads, you will have to repeat the process several times with low inflation. 

Adjust the Liners of your Helmet

Struggling with stiff liners? Here’s what you can do to break in your helmet padding. Find similar accessories here.

Remove the inner foam of the helmet and mildly wet it with water. Now, press it underweighted thing so the padding breaks, leave it there for several hours. 

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Once done, dry the foam and adjust it back in the helmet. It will fit your head better without discomfort.

Moreover, you can also switch to other helmet liners with comparatively softer foam. Another effective yet expensive solution is to opt for custom-made paddings. 

Note: DIY foam adjustments are supported because they might reduce the overall helmet protection for your head.

Choose the Right Fitted Helmet

The above-mentioned techniques are for breaking in the stiff padding of a new helmet. Some of you still feel your forehead hurting or experience various hotspots. It is because your helmet is not according to your head shape or size. 

Additionally, having a right-sized helmet still requires some break-in efforts. Once you’re done with it, the comfort and safety you feel in your gear are unmatchable. 

Let’s have a look at how you can choose the right fitted helmet

Know your Head Shape: Generally, there are three types of head shapes in which helmets are constructed. Round oval, long oval, and immediate oval.  

If your head shape is round over and you pick a helmet made for immediate oval heads, it will fit you loosely. Moreover, it will not rest on your forehead and might sag over your eyes while riding. This can cause negative consequences. 

To avoid such situations, identify your head structure and go to the manufacturers or shops that sell your required headwear. 

Know your Head Size: All the helmets come with a size chart. Few of the manufacturers have their own size references and we suggest you contact them before making a purchase. 

Furthermore, you can know your head size, by measuring the largest circumference of your head. Usually, this is the area of your forehead stretching right above your ears. You can take someone else’s help if required. 

Wear it for a while: Keep wearing the helmet for a few minutes. This will help you know if there are any hotspots and other pressure points. You can also judge the comfort while doing so. 

motorcylce helmet

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)

How snug should a motorcycle helmet be? 

Keep in mind that your cheeks should be able to move freely within the space of the helmet. It should not squish your head and increase the risk of impact. 

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How long does it take to break in a motorcycle helmet?

Usually, it requires 15-20 hours of wearing the helmet to break it in by 15-20%. It highly depends on the rigidity of the padding. Moreover, you can speed up the process by wearing the helmet at home while doing your routine. 

Can a motorcycle helmet get stretched? 

Yes, a motorcycle helmet gets stretched with time and adjusts to your facial features. You can also forcefully expand them by inserting soccer balls or pressing the liner underweight. 

Don’t forget that the integrity of the padding can be compromised while doing so. We recommend you buy a helmet that fits perfectly or let the padding break in with time.

Why does a helmet hurt my head? 

A tight-fit helmet can squeeze your forehead giving you an external compression headache. Such a type of ache is caused when any point on our head is subjected to constant pressure. You can remove your helmet and find the hotspot. 

If you find pressure lines on your forehead, it means that this helmet type doesn’t suit you. You should switch to any other type of motorcycle helmet.  

How to Break In a Motorcycle Helmet – Final Verdict

Coming to the end of the article, we hope it’s easier for you to understand how to break in a rigid motorcycle helmet. 

Always remember that helmets protect the most crucial part of your human body. Modifying it forcefully can impact the internal structure of the helmet, rendering it unsafe so pick a method wisely. 

If you have any further questions, do let us know. CLICK HERE for more.