Types of Motorcycle Helmets

types of motorcycle helmets
(Last Updated On: June 11, 2019)

There Are 6 Distinct Categories of Helmets

  • Half Helmet.
  • Open Face Helmet.
  • Modular Helmet.
  • Full Face Helmet.
  • Dual-Sport Helmet.
  • Off-road/Motocross Helmet.

You will find that each category of the helmet suits a certain style of the bike and the rider. The half-helmet is popular among the hog and cruiser motorcycle scenes, whereas an off road helmet will feel at home on the dirt-bike, supermotard, or some styles of the adventure bike. If you are riding on the street, be sure to verify that the helmet is DOT approved. Many States need an approval sticker to be visible on the outside of the helmet. For higher safety and quality, look for the SNELL M2010 or M2015 certification. SNELL is a voluntary testing process run by the non-profit group which sets higher standards for the manufacturers. Helmets meeting both of these standards are of the highest quality and safety.

Half Helmet

Most commonly associated with the cruisers and hogs, the half helmet offers a particular aesthetic at the expense of the coverage and protection. Many various configurations exist, with the options such as integrated earpiece communications from Harley Davidson and the muzzle-style protection available on the Bell Rogue. The riders who choose this style of the helmet typically choose it with regards to form over the function, so beware that significantly better protection exists in some other helmet designs.

Open Face motorcycle Helmet

The open face helmet is the classic design which has remained a staple of the motorcycle culture for decades. Providing the rider with the complete cranial protection, though the biggest difference between this helmet and a Full Face helmet is the lack of the frontal face protection. Open Face users usually prefer the classic styling and an improved airflow over the other helmet styles, though they still benefit from more protection than the half bucket. A major drawback to the Open face helmets comes in the form of running the intercom system. Without the structural accommodation to mount and conceal the microphone, the logistics of integrating all of the features of the Sauna U-Clear or equivalent hardware becomes a bit hard. This is one of the shortcomings which overcomes by the design of the Modular helmet.

Modular Helmet

Like the name suggests, the modular system affords the user the ability to retract and lift the entire frontal section of the helmet. This style of the helmet integrates the benefits of an Open Faced helmet and the safety features of the Full Face helmet. It’s common among sport touring riders and dual sport, they are offered by almost all of the major helmet brands and proponents tout their convenience and versatility as significant advantages to their design. The Bluetooth intercom systems are effective when they are integrated properly into the modular helmet.

Also Read: Best Motorcycle Helmets under $300

Full Face Helmet

Full face helmets are generally the standard for user protection and the most common style of the motorcycle helmet. They are aerodynamic and thus minimize wind noise. Aesthetically, full face helmets are associated with the super sport riders but are most commonly seen in all the disciplines of road riding. Full face helmets basically facilitates the integration of an intercom unit with the maximum ease over any other style of the helmet, and many other brands offer their own helmets with the Bluetooth capability.

Dual Sport Helmet

The biggest difference between the dual sport and the full face is the addition of the visor peak, while the fixed face shield relieves users from relying on the goggles used with off-road helmets. Aesthetically, this type of the helmet will navigate the lines between the full face and off-road designs. Typically, heavier than the full face but offering more street protection than an off-road helmet, this style is most frequently associated with the adventure bike community. Installing the communications platform will be no more difficult than the full face helmet.

Off-Road Helmet

Off-Road helmets are made to maximize the airflow and heat dissipation in an off highway scenario. This style of the helmet is made to be worn in conjunction with the goggles. An adjustable visor provides the protection from roost and the sun. These helmets are usually associated with the motocross and off highway vehicles, although some of the users will operate them on the street too. Be sure to verify that your off-road helmet is DOT and SNELL rated before using it on the highway.

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