The 2 choices for motorcycle helmet retention systems are either a standard D ring closure, or quick release ratchet system. There are a few things to consider first when deciding between a buying, modifying or upgrading a helmet.
First, making any modifications to a DOT, Snell, or ECE rated motorcycle helmet is not always the safest route to go. There are some helmets on the market that are interchangeable. Just keep in mind that helmets are designed, and typically tested to ensure the retention system is up to par.
Every rider might have their own preference, but we will outline a few pros and cons for each option.
Very common on all DOT, Snell, and ECE rated helmets. Double D-ring fasteners consist of two D shaped metal rings that fasten the strap to a very precise fit. One of the drawbacks for this style is that they tend to be a bit of a two handed task to loosen and undo. This means that if you ride with gloves then you’ll probably have to remove them to take off your helmet. Not the end of the world, but some riders who make frequent stops might prefer something a little easier to remove.
- Found on all styles of helmets across all price points
- Precise fit every time you wear your helmet
- Involves both hands to tighten and undo
- Need to ensure proper tightness every time
Quick release (micro ratcheting systems)
Quick release buckles on motorcycle helmets are a nice alternative for those who find double D-ring straps too much to fiddle with. A bit less common and typically found on helmets above $100, or more depending on the brand. Quick release makes removing a helmet a lot easier and can be done without taking your gloves off in most scenarios.
Helmet fitment is crucial for safety (learn how to measure for size). Quick release micro ratcheting systems offer the same fit every time and are a bit easier, or at least faster, to fasten than D rings. Still a two handed job similar to D rings, but these retentions systems only require inserting a buckle rather than snaking a strap through a few metal rings.
- Quick tighten and release - convenience
- Easy to unfasten with gloves
- Less common and not all helmet models come with this option
- A bit more bulk against the neck