Dear MO,

I am new to motorcycling and I have a problem. I understand it’s not a thing you talk about in polite society, but as you have probably guessed from the title, I have a big head. No, not just my ego which any number of folks will tell you is already swollen to an unusual size, but the actual globe that sits atop my shoulders.

On a recent trip, I ended up ordering three helmets before I found one that worked – a 4XL FLY Racing carbon motocross affair. While the helmet is nice, I would very much like to find a full-face helmet. Unfortunately, I am a gear snob (see swollen ego above) and like comfortable quality gear, so the only 4XL street helmets I have found leave me wanting for quality and snob-ability.  Do you have any recommendations for a quality 4XL full face or modular (bonus points for adventure style) helmet. Shoei, Arai, AGV just don’t seem to have anything in that size. I loved the 3XL AGV I ordered, but it was so tight I could take my own pulse through the helmet.

Do you have a recommendation for a quality 4XL full-face helmet?

Thank you,
Fred Frith

Say, aren’t you #11 in Top 10 British GP Champions? All the helmet makers we contacted said the same thing: Man, that’s a big head! Unfortunately, because of the rarity of skulls as big as yours, hardly any of them make a helmet to fit. Our man at Shoei says: “We only offer up to XXXL in a few models. Only an extremely low percentage of the population actually fits into a XXXL, and even more rare to find someone who needs a true XXXXL size. According to our experience, many of the consumers request larger sizes than their actual helmet size, but that can vary depending on head shape.” So maybe if the 3XL AGV was close, the Shoei might work?

The best helmet I found for you could be the HJC IS-Max II modular, sometimes referred to as a flip-front, which looks none too shabby and is available up to 5XL.


Modulars are really popular with the MO crew, as we can’t usually wait when the ride ends to start talking and swilling beverages. For street riding, modulars provide the safety of a full-face with the convenience of an open-face and the ability to yell at people when you need to. Also, the IS denotes an internal shield, which is like having a tinted one inside the clear one.

HJC’s online sizing chart says the 5XL should fit hat sizes 8-¾, melons sized up to 27-⅝ inches circumference. The three biggest sizes all use the same shell, with liners of decreasing thickness making room for expanding noggins. The 3XL uses an EPS liner 15mm thick, and by the time you get to 5XL, it’s down to 9mm. Ditto cheek pads, which sleeve down from 20mm to 14mm. Suggested price is a reasonable $234.99, and our experience is that HJC generally provides a lot of quality helmet for the money.

Vega makes a B17 full-face helmet up to 5XL which it says fits heads up to 27.5 inches in circumference. For around $125, though, we’re not sure how “premium” that’s going to be, and nobody at MO has any experience with Vega. The Germot GM720 also pops up, a German made full-face available in sizes up to 5XL that should fit heads 69 to 70 centimeters around, or 27.6 inches. You’ll have to get it through a European outlet looks like, since Germot doesn’t seem to have a U.S. distributor – and a price around 200 Euro doesn’t scream “high-end” either.

Another possibility is Bell’s Custom Fit program. The Bell people say they have never custom-fit a head as big as yours, but they’d be happy to give it a shot. Unfortunately, that would require you to travel to one of the big bike shows or special events listed here to get your cranium measured.

Good luck and write back to let us know what works out.

Direct your motorcycle-related questions to, though some say we’re better at non-motorcycle-related ones…

  • Ian Parkes

    Dear Bighead Fred. I’m curious now. Just how big is your head? Have you run a tape measure around your cranium? Would you care to share?

    That could be much more interesting than trying to assess stretch in a bike chain, which was the last thing I recall someone on this website inviting us to measure.

    • Old MOron

      You’ve forgotten the naked johnson already?

      Okay, okay, there was no invitation to measure (thank God), but I wanted to link back to Gabe’s funny riposte.

      Hey Bighead Fred, are you sure you’re not really Jorge Lorenzo? That sure would explain your inflated sense of cranium and your aversion to low-budget helmets.

  • Starmag

    Using a picture of Moai for this subject is hilarious.

  • Buzz

    Maybe get in touch with the Jack in the Box guy. He might have an old one laying around his garage.

  • Old MOron

    Good ol’ John Burns has been giving very helpful and considerate answers to these “Ask Anything” questions. The rest of us, perhaps with the exception of Ian, are taking every opportunity to play the wag. Oh well, what do you expect from a bunch of MOrons?