Can you use a motorcycle helmet for karting?

You’re a great rider and want a change into motorsport such as karting. You have an expensive motorcycle spec helmet that will surely be good enough and exceed the needs of driving on four wheels. Or will it?

No. Motorcycle helmets are different to karting helmets in subtle but significant ways. First, the testing and certification are different, and neither helmet should be interchangeable whatever you are riding.

The angles of impact protection designed into a motorcycle helmet are different to a karting helmet.

What helmet do I need for karting?

Helmets have a Snell certification. Snell provides the user with a certified helmet that will provide the best protection in the event of an impact.

At first glance, the helmets look the same until you get into the details. Snell K2020 is the certification for a karting helmet, and this should be the only helmet you will use when on the track. 

You can notice the helmet is shaped differently and is less aerodynamic looking but has a fuller roundness for head protection. 

When a collision occurs with a kart, the forces exerted on the head are entirely different from when a bike rider is in a collision.

When you examine the certifications for both helmets, they are very different in safety and protection.

Are Go-kart and motorcycle helmets the same?

You may think a crash helmet is a universal safety measure and is suitable for all occasions. It offers the same protection; this is not true.

Motorcycle helmets are designed to be more streamlined and aerodynamic. 

When a motorcycle rider encounters an accident, the dynamics of how the rider falls and the impacts the head receives are designed into the helmet to provide maximum protection.

When compared with a karting helmet, the differences in helmet design are subtle but essential in the way the helmet protects in the event of a collision.

Can I use a motorcycle helmet for track days?

As long as your helmet is a minimum of a Snell SA 2020 certification, you will be allowed to wear your helmet on a track day.

Snell certification protects motorcycle riders and autosport enthusiasts by providing the best helmet technology available today that complies with the laws.

Can I use a motorcycle helmet for ATV riding?

Yes, you can use your motorcycle helmet for riding your ATV. However, the best helmets to use are full-face helmets.

Motorcycle helmets are more streamlined for aerodynamics than ATV helmets but have many of the same safety features, so it makes an ideal helmet for riding your ATV.

It is true that when you look at the broad range of helmets, they all have different features and safety elements designed into the helmets, which anticipate the types of forces you will experience if an accident occurs.

The best advice is to purchase a helmet specifically for your needs, be it motorcycle riding, karting or ATV riding, to ensure maximum protection.