Motorcycle helmet communication is an essential component of rider-to-passenger dialogue. It is also an important factor in considering motorcycle safety issues, as prescribed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Snell Memorial Foundation, both of which certify helmet safety.
Obviously, there are many types and styles, but motorcycle helmet communication systems seem to focus on high quality at affordable prices.
What Makes a “Good” System:
Everyone seems to have their own opinion about what constitutes a “good” helmet communication system. However, it is generally agreed that high volume, thin-bodied speakers (designed specifically for helmet use) provide high-quality sound.
When driving down the freeway at 70 miles-per-hour, a “good” system couldn’t be more important.
Motorcycle helmet communication has some other essential features. For example, the system should plug directly into any personal AM/FM radio, tape, MP3 or CD player. It should also mount inside the helmet using Velcro, and attach instantly to any open or full-face helmet.
Size is reported to be important when purchasing a helmet communication system. Small is better. Riders also look for instant voice activation, a feature generally available on most newer sets.
It appears that prices for a “good” helmet communication system are within the $100 to $250 range.
Complying With Safety Standards:
Motorcycle helmets are required to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, as described at the DOT web site (www.DOT.gov). This standard also includes motorcycle helmet communication systems incorporated into these helmets.
Setting the bar higher would involve comparing the helmet communication system to guidelines set by the non-profit Snell Memorial Foundation, found at (www.snf.org).
It is very important to consider motorcycle helmet communication whenever you get on your bike. Dangerous situations can develop in seconds when you’re riding a motorcycle, and an effective helmet communication system can literally mean the difference between tragedy and a non-event.
Rider-to-Passenger and Other Applications:
While rider-to-passenger is the most popular and most frequently addressed type of motorcycle helmet communication, there are also other specific needs for this type of equipment.
For example, many riders require communication between two or more helmets. In researching this topic, it appears this is a desirable component of motorcycle helmet communication.
However, this system is somewhat difficult to locate and those who have used it complain they were not able to hear very much when competing with the noise of their bike and the noise of the road. Users noted the rider-to-passenger helmet communication system worked best on a larger vehicle, rather than on a sports bike.
Don’t Ignore the Need!
Use of a motorcycle safety helmet is legally required in most states. You can choose a plain, basic helmet that will protect your head and that’s it.
However, you can also choose a helmet that will give you the benefit of communicating with your passenger and/or other bikers. This same helmet will allow you to enjoy listening to the radio or self-selected music.
Most of all, because it is considered an element of safety equipment, a motorcycle helmet safety system may very well keep a dangerous situation from occurring while you’re on the road.