What Material Makes the Lightest-Weight Motorcycle Helmets?

Written by deirdre havers
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What Material Makes the Lightest-Weight Motorcycle Helmets?
Motorcycle helmets offer protection in the event of a collision. (motorcycle 2 image by Vitezslav Halamka from Fotolia.com)

Motorcycle helmets protect riders' heads in the event of an accident. Helmets comprise two basic parts: the hard outer shell and the shock-absorbing inner shell. The weight of the shell material is a key factor in selecting a helmet.

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Kevlar Shells

Kevlar and carbon fibre shells weigh the least while offering the most protection. These lightweight composites, also used in body armour, offer superior performance. This performance comes at a cost, however, and Kevlar helmets can be costly.

What Material Makes the Lightest-Weight Motorcycle Helmets?
Selecting a motorcycle helmet can become almost as in-depth as purchasing a motorcycle. (motos image by thierry planche from Fotolia.com)

Moulded Thermoplastic Shells

Helmet shells may also incorporate moulded thermoplastics such as polycarbonate or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Though these helmets are less expensive, the materials are not as strong or lightweight as Kevlar. F-16 canopies and face shields incorporate these materials, however, so they certainly offer a high degree of protection.

What Material Makes the Lightest-Weight Motorcycle Helmets?
Kevlar outer shells offer the most protection at the lightest weight. (Helmet for motorbike image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com)

Selecting a Helmet

The weight and strength of the outer shell play important roles in the selection of a helmet, as does cost. Helmet buyers should also take the inner lining of expanded polystyrene (EPS) into strong consideration, since this material cushions the brain from impact.

What Material Makes the Lightest-Weight Motorcycle Helmets?
Research the available materials when choosing a helmet. (Latina rider image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com)

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