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The first thing to check be­fore buy­ing any mo­tor­cy­cle hel­met is that it’s le­gal. In the UK that means com­ply­ing with ei­ther Bri­tish Stan­dard 6658 or, more com­monly, EC22.05. This in­for­ma­tion’s con­tained on a cer­tifi­cate that’s usu­ally sewn onto the chin­strap and shows in which coun­try the hel­met was tested, its cer­tifi­cate num­ber and a code de­not­ing what type of chin pro­tec­tion it pro­vides.

The lat­ter is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant as it’s quite com­mon for the chin piece on flip front and mo­tocross hel­mets to of­fer no chin pro­tec­tion at all. The de­ci­sion on whether to wear an open or full face is down to the in­di­vid­ual – it’s per­sonal choice – but it’s worth be­ing aware of what ex­actly it is that you’re buy­ing.

With­out the EC/BS cer­tifi­cate, in the eyes of the law you’re not wear­ing a hel­met. While it’s highly un­likely that this’ll be checked on the road­side by your lo­cal con­stab­u­lary, an in­sur­ance com­pany will be very in­ter­ested in what head pro­tec­tion was be­ing worn at the time of an in­jury ac­ci­dent. It’s not un­usual for Amer­i­can or even In­dian spec hel­mets to be sold on­line and coun­ter­feit ex­am­ples are not un­known. All good rea­sons for sup­port­ing your lo­cal ‘bricks and mor­tar’ dealer.

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