If you want to stand out from the crowd and you’re tired of seeing the same ten different helmet designs that everybody seems to be wearing these days, then why not learn how to customize your motorcycle helmet? Making a custom helmet can mean simply adding some stickers or pinstriping, or you can have a helmet tailored and designed by a professional, according to your preference. Of course, even if you decide to go with a custom model, you’ll still have to ensure that it’s designed to pass safety standards and can keep you safe on the road.
There are many ways you can go about making your helmet unique, whether you want to paint it a different color, add a stenciled design, airbrush it, or have a uniquely shaped helmet designed just for you. Below, I’ll go over both affordable and pricey ways you can make a helmet you’ll be proud to wear.
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Custom Paint Job
If you’ve done your research and decided on the type of motorcycle helmet you want to use, adding some personal touches can give your helmet that unique touch you’re looking for.
Many of the best motorcycle helmet brands offer helmets in a variety of colors and styles, but in most cases, these models are often available in the same colors such as blue, gold, red, and black. If you want a unique color or a different shade, then you’ll probably have a hard time finding a helmet that checks all the boxes in terms of make, color, and style. Fortunately, there’s a solution.
The first and most common way you can customize your helmet is to transform it into a totally new one by giving it a paint job. You can go about this two ways. First, you can paint the entire helmet, using special paint and a sealer that will work specifically for helmets, or you can have it airbrushed.
If you have some painting experience, then this can be an affordable and easy way to give your helmet a makeover. But if you’re not handy with a paintbrush, or you want your helmet airbrushed, then I recommend going to a professional.
If you’ve decided to paint the helmet yourself, then you’ll want to remove all the hardware before you start. This will also include the pads, liner, straps, and visor. Make sure you carefully clean the exterior of the helmet to remove grime, dirt, and dust. You’ll need to sand the surface to remove the coating on the outer shell.
This will help the new paint stick to the surface. Take some take and cover any part of the helmet that you don’t want to get paint on.
Before you get started repainting your helmet, you need to purchase all the supplies, including the paint. But before you buy the paint you need to learn what type of material your helmet is made out of so you’ll know what type of paint is compatible. If you’re not sure, look at the manufacturer’s website, or contact them directly to learn which paints are safe and which type you’ll want to avoid.
Once you’ve painted your helmet, you can also create a custom stencil design to make it more your own. You’ll need to use tape and paper to make the design. Make sure you focus on the details of the design and that it lines up well and looks straight, then use this handmade stencil to give your helmet another way to showcase your individual style.
The last step of the process involves sealing the paint job. For this step, you’ll apply a couple of coats of urethane. Urethane will protect the paint job and will give your helmet a nice shiny finish. Most pros recommend three to four layers.
To make your helmet look glossy once the urethane dries, you’ll need to buff it. Use a compound that’s specifically designed for this purpose. Next, you’ll re-attach all of the components, re-insert the liner, and you’re good to go.
Adding a new paint job is one of the best ways to personalize your helmet or breathe new life into an old helmet with a dated look. Fortunately, there are many different types of paints to choose from these days that will allow you to do it yourself and all without harming the integrity of the shell.
The quickest and most affordable way to customize your helmet is by applying decals. There are countless styles and designs to choose from.
However, before you apply a decal, you’ll need to clean your helmet to remove grease, grime, dirt, and anything else that can prevent the adhesive from sticking to your helmet. Lining up your decal correctly will also be important. If you apply the decal or decals without ensuring they’re straight, it can give your helmet a lopsided look.
Once you’ve determined where the decals will go, you can use a grease pencil to lightly mark the areas where the stickers will go. Now that you’re ready to apply the decals, make sure that you do so carefully and ensure that the center of the decal makes contact with your helmet first.
This will prevent wrinkles and bubbles. Next, you’ll carefully press down the sticker from the center out. This technique will ensure that the vinyl conforms to the helmet’s surface and any contours in the helmet.
If you’ve applied the decal correctly then there should be no wrinkles or bubbles. If there are, you can use gentle pressure starting from the center of the decal and work your way out to smooth out the design.
If you’re not able to straighten it out this way, most decals can be removed and smoothed out before reapplying.
Skins are much different than decals and they’re another affordable way you can customize your helmet. Stickers and decals are much smaller and won’t fill out a large area. A helmet skin is much larger and will cover the entire helmet’s surface to cover or replace the original paint job.
Helmet skins will not only allow you to basically redesign your helmet, but it will also protect your helmet’s paint job from chips, dings, and scratches.
If you have pinstriping experience, then this is another affordable and simple way to give your helmet a unique look. However, if you’ve never done pinstriping before, then it’s also one of the easiest ways to completely ruin the look of your helmet.
You’ll need to use paint that’s specifically designed for pinstriping and you must tape off your helmet prior to painting to avoid getting any paint on the wrong area or ruining the interior. There are simple and complex pinstriping designs to choose from, or you can create one of your own.
But if you don’t have any experience with this painting technique, I definitely recommend having a professional do it for you.
What is it?
So, what is pinstriping exactly? Pinstriping involves using a very thin line of paint that’s applied for decorative purposes. It’s commonly done on cars and trucks to give a vehicle an extra touch of customization, but it’s also used on motorcycle helmets.
The process itself is not very simple and requires careful hands and a delicate process. There are a couple of different types of pinstriping, such as freehand striping and mechanical pinstriping. With mechanical pinstriping, a machine is used.
Freehand striping is done by hand and it’s a complicated process that often takes years of experience to get it down. This is why I recommend having a professional handle the job. However, you can Google some videos on pinstriping to learn more about the process, how to do it, and the different types of designs you can create.
Use a Mask
Masks are pretty popular these days and they’re another great way to achieve your own look. If you want a whole new look, you can wear a mask that’s compatible with the style of helmet you wear.
There are a variety of masks to choose from such as leather or neoprene. Masks are usually worn in cold weather and can provide protection from wind, rain, and low temperatures. I recommend pairing one with a standard half helmet or ¾ helmet. A mask can’t be worn with a full-face or modular helmet for obvious reasons.
Learning how to customize your motorcycle helmet is a great way to stand out from the crowd and display your individuality, especially if you’re tired of seeing the same makes and models of helmets on the road.
However, some of these customization options can be difficult and should only be attempted by the pros, otherwise, you’ll risk damaging your helmet, or you may be left with a bad paint job. So, if you want to save time and money, talk with your riding buddies or visit a local pinstriping shop to learn how much it’ll run you to have your helmet pinstriped or painted by a professional.