Can You Wear Any Helmet on A Motorcycle? [A Complete Guide]

Can You Wear Any Helmet on A Motorcycle [A Complete Guide]

A helmet is the most important safeguard for motorcycle riders. It protects the head area from severe injuries, collisions, and concussions. Also, it covers your facial structure and eyes from danger. People who have just bought a new motorbike fall into confusion about which helmet they should choose as there are many types of helmets in the market. That brings the question: Can you wear any helmet on a motorcycle ride?  If not, how to select the proper helmet. 

According to the Universal State Law of the US, Riders are obliged to wear only motorcycle helmets while riding a motorbike, and should pass the age of a minimum of 17 to ride motorcycles on the street. The age barrier differs state-wise but the law of wearing motorcycle helmets is mandatory with few exceptions.

So if only motorcycle helmets are allowed to use, which motorcycle helmets should you choose? There are many types of them and their quality, pricing is different too. In this writing, I am going to share with you some really interesting facts about wearing helmets. so stay tuned for more updates. 

Is It Illegal To Ride A Motorcycle Without A Helmet?

According to the US Helmet law, it is illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet in 19 states. These states have their regulations and laws regarding helmets of motorcycles. For other states, the act of wearing a helmet is not bound by legal barriers.  States like California,  Alabama, Georgia have strict helmet-wearing laws for all riders. 

What Happens If You Wear A Wrong Helmet To Ride Motorcycles? 

If you wear a helmet that is not legal or ideal for a motorcycle ride,  this can cause you many problems, such as :

  • Helmets of the scooter, sports gear, bike,  construction have no approval of protection to ride a motorcycle. You may face severe life-threatening injuries. 
  • Wrong helmets won’t give you any benefits instead you may face legal punishments in the street if you ride a motorcycle with them. 
  • Motorcycle helmets are specially designed for head, face, and neck protection at top speed. Wrong helmets can’t save you in speedy moments. 

Which States Of The USA Can You Ride A Motorcycle Without  Helmet? 

3 states in the US haven’t changed laws regarding helmet safety for a long time. The states are :

  1. Illinois 
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Iowa 

For the remaining states, it’s either mandatory to wear a helmet for everyone or an age limit for helmet and motorcycle ride. 

Will You Be Fined If You Wear Other Off-road Vehicle Helmet During Riding A Motorcycle? 

According to most state laws of the US, motorcycle helmets should have safety approvals like ANSI, SNELL, DOT, ECE. Using Off-road vehicle ( ATV) helmets in streets is OK, and you will not be fined as long as they meet all the standards of the US helmet laws.Off-road helmets, however, are not that protective so you will have to attach extra guards such as goggles, neck brace, etc. 

Motorcycle Helmet Laws of The Different States Of The USA: Here’s What You Should Know :

Among the 50 states of the US, there are differences in motorcycle and helmet laws. The differences are in rider’s age group, helmet wearings, helmet standards, and safety issues. Here are some interesting facts about helmet laws of different states :

  • There are three states which don’t have any helmet-wearing laws! They are Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire. 
  • A total of 19 states have strict motorcycle and helmet laws. If you are found guilty during an accident without any helmets the injured person can sue you for a hefty amount for his loss. California,  Alabama, Georgia are some of the states that have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. 
  • The fine for not wearing a helmet or keeping insurance paper varies across states. In California, for example, you can be sentenced in jail along with a nearly $1000 fine if you are caught without a helmet. For Texas, the fine is nearly $200 and if you don’t have papers the money can rise to $500. 
  • In some states, the helmet wearing is decided by a minimum age.  Take Arizona for example, People under 17 are bound to wear helmets by state laws here. 
  • In the remaining 22 states, it is not mandatory to wear a helmet but advised for your safety and others. 

Motorcycle Helmet Vs. Other Helmet: Here’re The Key Differences You Should Know : 

Motorcycle Helmets and other helmets have day and night differences in every aspect starting from the material, price, safety, and lasting time. The following table sheds an observation about the differences between two types of helmets :

Motorcycle HelmetsOther Helmets
Motorcycle helmets are made of materials such as carbon fibres, acrylic foams for better shock protection and absorption.Normal helmets are made of polycarbonates that don’t provide much safety while riding. 
Motorcycle helmets provide safety for head, face, and neck individually. Non motorcycle helmets act as a basic level of protector to save head from injuries. No shields are attached for safety. 
Motorcycle helmets have inner protective layers that save head from sudden hits. Ordinary helmets such as bike helmets, many construction helmets or bunny hops have no inner layer of protection. 
Able to save riders from injuries in high speedy situations. Does not protech riders from high speed type of injury situations, made of basic works. 
Motorcycle helmets are produced with many safety tests and approvals.Ordinary helmets don’t pass through hard extensive tests and have no standard approval. 

Can You Wear A Bike Helmet On A Motorcycle?

Using a bike helmet in a motorcycle is neither allowed legally nor safe at all. The reason is bike helmets are designed to protect riders at a very low speed such as 15-20 MPH. On the other hand, a motorcycle helmet can protect riders up to 70 MPH and they come with necessary safeguards. So using a bike helmet on a motorcycle ride is not recommended at all.

Can You Wear A Football Helmet On A Motorcycle? 

Wearing a football helmet while riding a motorcycle is a dangerous idea as football helmets are no way near the protection level of a motorcycle helmet. Football helmets or bunny helmets are good for sports or events but not appropriate for riding a motorcycle. 

Can You Wear A Snowmobile Helmet On A Motorcycle? 

Yes, you can wear snowmobile helmets on a motorcycle but this will lower your protection level. Snowmobile helmets are lighter than regular motorcycles and made for different conditions such as tracking in a cold condition. Also, they keep your upper part warm, which you will try to avoid in hot weather. 

What Is A Legal Motorcycle Helmet?

A legal motorcycle helmet is something that is permitted by the state or federal government after passing all the safety tests. In the US, there are standard certifications for helmets, such as DOT, ANSI, SNELL, etc. Any helmet that is approved by these standards is legal motorcycle helmets. 

Why Do Not Some Motorcyclists Wear Helmets? 

Many motorcyclists don’t prefer wearing a helmet during motorcycle rides. The reasons are many. With some related to law and insurance, others are more personal and they are: 

  • Not Wearing a helmet is legal in many states, such as Illinois. Many riders take advantage of current law and avoid helmets. 
  • Many motorcycle riders don’t want to cover themselves inside the helmet as they believe their vision power gradually decreases over time. 

Are Carbon Fibre Helmets Better Than Glass Helmets? 

Carbon is a durable material so anything made of it is equally durable. Carbon fiber helmets are tougher than glass fiber helmets. They provide better shock absorption, crack and scratch resistance than glasses. 

When Should I Replace Motorcycle Helmet?

Motorcycle helmets should be replaced when inner protective layers are disrupted and shin guards or face shields are damaged. Also, change the helmet according to the instruction period of the bike manufacturer. 

Final Words:

The helmet is the ultimate protector of your head area and neck region. It is important to select a quality helmet that has good body and material, solid parts protective lines, and good adjustability. Don’t go for used or cheaper ones as they can possess a threat to your life safety. 

Mahbobur Rahman

Mahbobur Rahman is a motorcycle enthusiast who loves to ride and share his experience with others. He has learned a lot from his own experience and wants to help others do the same. If it's your first time on a motorcycle or you're looking to improve your skills, Then Candy Outdoor is the right solution for you.

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