Can You Wear a Bicycle Helmet on A Motorcycle?

Choosing the proper gear to wear when riding is the safest thing to do. The truth is, there is a clear distinction between a motorcycle and a bicycle, and those variations extend to the kind of gear they use. But say, there are situations when the available headgear is a regular bicycle helmet, can you wear a bicycle helmet on a motorcycle?

A bicycle helmet will not offer the quality protection that you’re to get using a motorcycle helmet. So even though a rider can wear a bicycle helmet on a motorcycle, the safety levels are not guaranteed. Also, the laws in many places frown on such practices. In this article, we’ll answer your questions and enlighten you with further information.

What Are the Difference Between Bicycle Helmet and Motorcycle Helmet?

We would agree that both motorcycle and bicycle helmets are designed to protect the head from impact collisions. Even though they remain vital accessories for riding, they vary greatly in safety standard measures. The sections below present us with a closer look at the two headgear. They will outline their similar structures and, most importantly, their differences.

Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcycle helmets are usually more durable, heavier, and larger. They have a cushier and a more snug fit than bike helmets. One could say they are intended to protect the head in the case of a motorcycle accident. This doesn’t conclude that there are no accidents for bicycle owners, but motorcycles have the range of riding at higher speeds, increasing the severity of emergencies.Motorcycle Helmets

Motorcycle Helmets, therefore, go under rigorous testing as a direct result of these facts. Over time, certain standards have been in effect to approve motorcycle helmets that meet the safety requirement criterion. Some of these standards are:

  • DOT: This is a standard determined by the Department of Transportation, USA, and all helmets in the country are to operate by the current standard in use.
  • ECE: This standard is determined by the Economic Commission for Europe, and more than 50 countries use it.
  • FIM: (The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) they govern or sanction motorcycle racing. Their standard is currently in effect and applies to all FIM Endurance races and track uses.
  • Snell: Snell testing and certification are voluntary, unlike the others. It is, however, more rigorous, quite similar to the DOT testing.

Motorcycle helmets are generally exposed to varying temperatures, humidity levels, and water immersion tests during the testing stages. A height test is also carried out to check the impact effect from 2 to 3 meters or more at a speed of 14 to 17mph. Subsequently, from the test analysis and customers’ demand based on other uses, six different types of motorcycle helmets are now widely known.

  • Half helmets
  • Full face helmets
  • Off-road, dirt bike helmets
  • Modular or flip-up helmets
  • Adventure helmets
  • Open face helmets

When buying riding gear, there’s a popular quote: “If you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet.” So the level of safety is dependent on the kind of helmet purchased.

Bicycle Helmets

Bicycle helmets are designed asides from meeting the recommended safety standards to be lightweight, cool, and comfortable. By law, they need to also meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s bicycle safety measures. There are a few different types of bicycle helmets currently in use.Bicycle Helmets

They are:

  • Enduro helmets
  • Road & commuter helmets
  • Trail helmets

While the commuter helmets will offer minimal protection, trail helmets can hold their forte too. However, the enduro helmets offer top-notch protection.

Can You Wear a Bicycle Helmet on A Motorcycle

It’s possible to wear a normal bicycle helmet on your motorcycle. But you shouldn’t do so to avoid flouting the rules of the road. So the question “Can you wear a bicycle helmet on a motorcycle” cannot be given a different answer from the above. The act, however it may seem, is irresponsible, and the following reasons should be considered first.Can You Wear a Bicycle Helmet on A Motorcycle

Misuse of Appropriate Gears

Every road user is expected to know the right gears for their rides. A bicycle helmet is designed for cyclists and not motorcyclists. There are tendencies of less protection in case of accidents when using the wrong gear and high survival odds with the right gear.

Likelihood of Accidents

Riders will most often than not underestimate the level of damage their helmets protect them from. Accidents are unpredictable, and as we sincerely hope your helmet does not graze the ground, we can’t afford to be caught unawares. It is in fact, a conclusion that a motorcycle helmet can do a better job at protecting cyclists than even bicycle helmets can.

Less Comfort

A good helmet makes riding fun. The right headgear places emphasis on comfort. And due to the number of open sides, cutting down on the wind noise, wind blasts, and deflection of objects flying over your face may not be possible using a bicycle helmet on a motorcycle.

Thus, we take it that the bicycle helmets would offer less comfort on a motorcycle in comparison to a motorcycle helmet.

What Kind of Motorcycle Helmet Is Best for Safety?

A full-face helmet is the recommended kind of motorcycle helmet to buy, and we hope this will help narrow down your options on the safest motorcycle helmet.What Kind of Motorcycle Helmet Is Best for Safety

We’ll quickly examine the most important components of a safe motorcycle helmet. These four basic characteristics are a major influence in providing protection in the motorcycle helmet.

  • Good retention system: the varying differences in the retention system chosen is totally dependent on the customer’s preference. Essentially, they all work by pulling together an adjustable sling that fits the helmet to the face and head of the rider.
  • Impact-absorbing liner: the lining material should have unique impact absorbing properties to additionally protect a wearer from impact-related injuries.
  • Comfortable padding: Most recommended are the anti-bacterial, anti-sweat fabric.
  • Strong outer shell: they could be made of fiberglass, carbon fiber, or Kevlar. Fiberglass helmets are composite helmets that use glass fibers with epoxy resins. Carbon fibers helmets take their name from their primary source; carbon which organizes itself into strong crystalline patterns.

When it comes to motorcycle helmet materials, you want a magic combination of strength, flexibility, and lightness. Although you can easily find these qualities in composite materials, their prices are usually higher. Plastic helmets are affordable but are also larger & heavier to make up for their relative weakness.

Finally, finding the helmet that fits should be a top priority. It shouldn’t jiggle or turn on your head, even with the strap undone, and try not to get attached to a particular model or color combination. If it doesn’t fit, it’s not the safest helmet.

Should You Wear a Bicycle Helmet as A Passenger on A Motorcycle?

Nothing will physically stop you from wearing a bicycle helmet on a motorcycle, but should you do it? No. You shouldn’t.  A rider and his passenger shouldn’t ride a motorcycle using a bicycle helmet for head protection.

The main purpose of helmets is to aid in reducing acceleration generated when your head hits an object. Therefore, both of them should ride with motorcycle helmets that meet the minimum safety requirements.

In any case of an accident, the rider and the passenger are always at risk of serious danger. The rule still applies to proper motorcycle gear for both rider and passenger. Every cautious rider can always find the quietest motorcycle helmet under $300 for their passengers. So why keep a bicycle helmet for the passengers?

Final Words

Can You Wear A Bicycle Helmet On A Motorcycle? You can wear a bicycle helmet on a motorcycle, but you shouldn’t. For the sole purpose of human safety and doing what’s legally right, although they seem to serve the same purpose, they are for different vehicles.

Motorcycles ride on roads surrounded by cars and heavy traffic and, as such, require maximum protection over the head in cases of collisions. A bicycle helmet will offer significantly less protection in the case of a motorcycle accident. In contrast, a motorcycle helmet will give the rider the best odds of surviving and will just offer better levels of protection.

Ryan Walker

Ryan Walker

Hi, I'm Ryan Walker, the chief editor and the founder of this site, Motoable. I’m a bike rider, and I’ve been riding motorbikes for almost thirty-five years. I worked for a renowned motorbike accessories manufacturing company for twelve years as a quality in charge.Later, I start my own business where I sell different bike accessories and safety gear for motorbikes. I created this site Motoable to share my experience with other bikers who are new to this field and don’t have adequate knowledge about motorbikes and their accessories.

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