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All About the Different Types of Motorcycle Helmets

Isabella lives in the outback countryside in Far North Queensland. A survivor of a motorcycle accident, she loves nature and motorcycles.

Do you where a helmet when you ride? What kind of helmet do you wear?

Do you where a helmet when you ride? What kind of helmet do you wear?

Choosing a Helmet

To help you make an informed decision on the type of motorcycle helmet that is best for you, in terms of ample protection, comfort, design, and purpose, let's look at the different types of motorcycle helmets on the market. In this post, I discuss five (5) different types of motorcycle helmets:

  1. Full Face Helmets
  2. Half Face Helmets
  3. Modular Helmets
  4. Off-Road Helmets
  5. Open Face Helmets

1. Full-Face Helmets

Full-face motorcycle helmets cover the head, face, jaw, and neck area, in the front, the back, and at the top. The best feature of full-face helmets is that they provide more all-around maximum protection to your head than the other types of helmets. The primary purpose of helmets is protection and safety.

Another key feature of full-face helmets (or all helmets for that matter) is comfort. You want to enjoy your ride so there's no point having an uncomfortable helmet, especially when you're riding for long hours.

The aerodynamics of full-face motorcycle helmets are optimized for riding positions so you can be comfortable. You can ride without worrying about UV rays, wind noise, raindrops, bugs, and other flying objects. They are preferred by racers and high-speed riders.

Traditionally, full-face helmets were round or bubble-shaped, but today they come in many different shapes and sizes. Nowadays they include features like ventilation, moisture and sweat absorption, impact shielding, and additional accessories nowadays to give maximum protection and comfort.

Modular Full Face Motorcycle Helmet With Bluetooth Integration

ILM Bluetooth Integrated Modular Flip up Full Face Motorcycle Helmet Sun Shield Mp3 Intercom (L, MATTE BLACK)

ILM Bluetooth Integrated Modular Flip up Full Face Motorcycle Helmet Sun Shield Mp3 Intercom (L, MATTE BLACK)

2. Half-Face Helmets

As the name suggests, half-face motorcycle helmets cover half the face only, effectively a compromise between full-face motorcycle helmets and having no helmet. It frees you from the restrictions of a full-face helmet but doesn't provide the full protective covering of the front, side, and back of the head. Half-face helmets compromise your protection somewhat, yet give you the freedom to enjoy the ride with the wind in your face, see what's around you, hear the sounds or even smoke a cigarette while riding. Half helmets are more popular with cruiser riders. Accessories like sunglasses and helmet face shields are often worn for added protection against insects and dust.

3. Modular Helmets

Modular motorcycle helmets are the newest type of full-face helmet with the main distinguishing feature of having chin bar sections that pivot upward on hinges at the back. When you need to take a quick break, chat with someone, or drink water, for example, you don't need to remove the helmet. You flip the chin bar and it transforms the helmet into an open-face one.

Modular helmets are common amongst new generation hybrid riders. They come in a range of shapes and comfort features, making them ideal for all riders. For protective strength, modular helmets still fall short of the one-piece full-face helmets because different parts of the modular helmets have different responses to crashes.

Although the lower chin sections of modular motorcycle helmets are reinforced for strength, they are separate from the rest of the helmet. All these different parts also make them weigh more than full-face helmets.

4. Off-Road Helmets

Also referred to as dirt bike helmets, off-road helmets are built tough for tougher conditions like off-road adventures on dirt bikes. Off-road helmets are lightweight with special specifications to allow maximum ventilation to enable the rider to breathe easily and maintain a cool head. The design is not intended for high speeds thus the helmets do not include a wind visor. Riders use goggles inside the helmet for eye protection. It is a very strong one-piece gear offering maximum protection around the chin. If you love off-road dirt-biking adventure, off-road helmets will give you both the comfort and protective edge to overcome the challenges of the desert, forests, trails, mud, or water.

5. Open-Face Helmets

Open face helmets cover the sides, top, and back of the head only and leave the face completely open, with only an adjustable strap around the chin that keeps them securely fastened to the head. It is typically used by slower-speed bikers and cruiser riders. It allows the rider to have better views and gives that freedom that full-face helmets don't normally give. Open face helmets don't provide the maximum all-around protection offered by full-face helmets. There is no structural chin section for crash protection. The freedom that comes with open-face helmets also exposes the rider to water, bugs, road grit, and UV rays.

Double Lens Open Face Motorcycle Helmet Men Women Anti-Fog Full Helmet Cover Locomotive Four Seasons Security Protection (Color : Black Purple Dodge)

Double Lens Open Face Motorcycle Helmet Men Women Anti-Fog Full Helmet Cover Locomotive Four Seasons Security Protection (Color : Black Purple Dodge)

There are a wide variety of motorcycle helmets on the market today, with manufacturers coming up with the best designs for different purposes. Think about your protection, comfort, and safety as paramount. You can buy add-on accessories to give you the desired functionalities and confidence in your gear so don't compromise your safety. New styles and funky designs can be attractive so knowing your purpose can help you make better-informed choices.

As a victim of a motorcycle accident, I must say that don't ride your motorcycle without a helmet. Motorcycles are the most riskiest and hazardous form of road transportation. Statistics all over the world show that helmets save lives. In 2017, 5172 motorcyclists were killed in the United States. Helmets saved the lives of 1870 people. That is a 36% success rate of helmets saving lives. Research shows that human factors rank as the highest cause of motorcycle accidents. Not wearing a motorcycle helmet is one of the major factors.

Always wear a helmet when you ride!

Always wear a helmet when you ride!

It is my hope that reading this article will help you not only choose the best motorcycle helmet for your needs but place safety and protection as the number one (1) priority when choosing helmet gears and accessories. Put safety ahead of trendiness and self-expression. Choose your helmet carefully with confidence. If you don't find the information you need here, do check other sources for detailed information on what are the different types of motorcycle helmets.

Protect Your Head—Ride Safely—Live Longer!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Isabella