What Are Motorcycle Helmets Made Of? – In-Depth Guide with Pro Advice, FAQs, & More

Motorcycle helmets come in different shapes and sizes. Due to this, they come in various weight classes.

However, it is affected by the material being used in its construction. Different materials are being used these days. 

These affect both the safety aspect and the comfort. 

Quick Summary


By the end of the article, we will go through:

  • What are motorcycle helmets made of?
  • How much should a motorcycle helmet weigh?

Let’s take a look into it. 

What Material are Motorcycle Helmets Made of?

Motorcycle helmets are made of various materials. They have many layers of protective material to secure your head. The helmets also are designed quite carefully. 

They are designed to be comfortable and offer maximum protection at the same time. As such, they have to fit your head perfectly and also not be too heavy or light. 

Helmet Anatomy 

To maintain this, there are different kinds of materials that are used in a helmet. They also have two different shells. These are the outer shell and the inner shell. There is also internal soft padding inside between the inner shell and your head. 

The outer shell abrasions and penetration of material while the inner shell absorbs the impact. The outer shell is made such that the impact is spread throughout the helmet. The inner compresses and absorbs the impact. Its polystyrene lining makes the crushed foam. 

As discussed earlier, the internal lining has a soft padding. This padding increases protection and also prevents chafing. 

Almost all the helmets available in the market have the same kind of padding and inner shell. The construction material only varies in the outer shell of your helmet. Let’s take a look at these: 

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Composite 

Composite helmets have different kinds of materials mixed in epoxy resins. Almost all the helmets are considered to be composite helmets.

Their price depends on their finish and design. If they have elaborate designs, they’ll be more expensive. 

Fiberglass 

This material is usually considered to be composite. Composites are made of various fibers mixed with epoxy resin. Fiberglass is made of glassed fibers mixed with epoxy resin

It makes for a highly lightweight but robust design. The material is also hard and offers a good amount of protection. They are also cheap and affordable to maintain. 

Sometimes, fiberglass helmets also have other materials in their weave pattern. These may be fiberglass or kevlar. The price of the helmet varies the more these materials are added. 

Kevlar 

It is one of the strongest materials available for protection. Kevlar was first produced by DuPont and is the trademark name for its synthetic polyamide fibers. Kevlar helmets are bound with very strong plastics. 

Kevlar has high tensile strength because of its parallel molecular structure. This makes the helmets lightweight and dense. However, it cannot be compressed as much as carbon fiber. That’s why these materials are usually mixed. 

Carbon Fiber 

Carbon fiber is a tough material that has a crystalline structure. Carbon fiber has thousands of these crystalline structures organized in lines. This gives carbon fiber high tensile strength and flexibility. 

Carbon fiber helmets have excellent shock deflection. They absorb a large amount of force without breakage. They are also more durable. 

One advantage of carbon fiber helmets is that the inner shell of the helmet absorbs the shock. Its crush foam will absorb most of the damage. For added protection, sometimes carbon fiber helmets come with some kevlar addition. 

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Synthetic Reinforced Shell 

These kinds of helmets combine all the materials discussed above. However, they are made from heat-cured thermoplastic resin. This binds the different fibers together. There are also multiple layers of fiberglass and other fibers in it. 

SRS helmets are renowned for their durability, strength, and flexibility. They are also lighter and more flexible than standard composite helmets.

Plastic Helmets 

Other than resin and fiber-based helmets, there are also plastic helmets. You’ll find two kinds of plastic: 

  • Thermoplastics 
  • Thermoset 

Thermoplastics are melted and poured into a mold. Thermoset resins need an additional curing agent to harden them.

Plastic helmets only contain these materials. They don’t have any kinds of fibers mixed in the material.

This means that they’re not as strong as the composite helmets. They are generally larger as they have to meet safety standards.

weight

How Much Does a Motorcycle Normally Helmet Weigh?

As we talked about earlier, helmets are available in different sizes. There are different reasons behind this. The main purpose of the helmet is to save your head from any injuries. 

For this purpose, they have been specially designed as important motorcycle accessories. One of the main features of a helmet is its weight. You don’t want a helmet that’s uncomfortable for you. 

The normal weight for a helmet is between 700 grams to 1.2 kgs. A helmet heavier than this can get too heavy for your neck to support.

Lighter headgear may be comfortable to wear, but its protection is not that great. That’s why it is better than a helmet is carefully chosen by you. 

So, you should be aware that you need to get a helmet that has a weight between the above range.

Reasons Behind Why the Weight Varies?

The mass of the helmet is different because of the material used in its design. Other factors also have to be considered. 

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There are different factors. To summarize:

Material Used

The kind of material used in the helmet will affect its mass. As discussed above, there are different materials used in a helmet. 

Some of these use fiberglass and polycarbonates. The amount of certain raw materials affects the mass. For instance, plastic helmets are lighter than other kinds of helmets. 

Size 

The size of the helmet also affects it. They are available in different sizes. These sizes may be small, medium, or large. 

Generally, the larger a helmet will get, the more it will weigh. 

We recommend that you get a helmet that is your size. It will provide you with comfort and also provide maximum safety. 

Remember, the more comfortable a helmet is for you, the safer it is.

Visor 

There are full-face and half-face helmets on the market. They have one major difference between them. Your helmet may or may not have a visor. 

Visors, however, have a minor effect on weight. But the main thing is their quality. 

There are different kinds of visors that can be put on the helmet. They may be transparent or tinted. Your helmet may weigh more from the front part if it has multiple visors. 

Wrapping Things Up…

Motorcycle helmets are made of different materials. These improve their safety and affect the design. As such, you must know what they are made of when you buy a helmet. 

We have discussed all the major materials that go into a helmet. With this, we reach the end of the article on “What are motorcycle helmets made of?”.

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