Selecting a Youth Motorycle Helmet for Street

By: On: February 12th, 20090 Comments »Updated: October 14, 2012

I am quite fortunate to have a son that loves to ride on my motorcycle with me.  Obviously, my wife and I are concerned about his safety and we want to make sure that he won’t have to wiggle around much trying to get comfortable or having to fuss with his helmet.

Borrowing a motorcycle helmet is not the greatest idea when it comes to safety.   A borrowed helmet may have hidden flaws, it may have been dropped or cracked, and it might not fit your child’s head properly.

Motorcycle helmets must fit properly to actually be safe. The same is true for youth size motorcycle helmets.  Fitting properly means that it must be snug, but not extremely tight.  For a full-face helmet, the cheek pads should push in against the cheeks, but again, not in a painful or uncomfortable way.

I decided to get my son a full-face helmet.  He wanted to make sure his helmet would have adjustable air vents like mine has.  Being the son of an engineer, he shares my appreciation for gadgets, so having the adjustable air vents and face shield helps keep his interest in wanting to wear his own special motorcycle helmet.  Also, he got to choose the color from a variety of cool helmet color graphics.

I set out looking for youth size motorcycle helmets at several online stores, and also at motorcycle shops near me.  I learned pretty quickly that youth size motorcycle helmets for street are not plentiful, and many shops don’t even carry them.  The motorcycle shops near me only had a few, and said they could special order one if I wanted.

After a few days of solid research, I decided to order him a AFX youth helmet online from Motorcycle Superstore. They have the best prices that I could find for this helmet, and they also have a really good return policy.  I was a little afraid that it wouldn’t fit, so their return policy was important to me.  The helmet we chose was the AFX Youth FX-10Y Helmet, which has since been replaced by the better model AFX Youth FX-20Y.

There are several reasons why I chose this particular AFX youth helmet.  First, the padding is available in three different sizes making the helmet adjustable to fit small, medium or large.  Since he is growing quickly, the different size padding options will help make the helmet last a few more years.  Second, the customer ratings for this motorcycle helmet were all very high and with good comments.  Third, the colors and graphics are attractive and my son really likes the colors (not necessarily a great reason to buy a helmet, but it does help).

Another thing about youth size helmets is that their shell is a little smaller than an adult helmet shell.  Putting an adult helmet on a child can cause extra strain on the child’s neck due to the extra size and extra weight of an adult helmet shell.

To show the difference in shell size, I took a photo of my adult helmet next to his youth helmet as shown here.

AFX is not the only company making youth size helmets that are DOT approved, but from my personal experience, theirs seems to have been well worth the money the approximately $60 I spent for it.  For a little more, AFX also makes another youth helmet available at Motorcycle Superstore, that is a little bit lighter weight.  That also would have been a good choice, and was one I was seriously consider in case this one didn’t work out.

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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