What are the types of Motorcycle Helmets available?

As the name proposes motorcycle helmets are a type of safety gear used by motor cyclists.  The key objective of a motorcycle helmet is to protect the rider’s head during an impact, thus preventing or minimising the head injury.

We can find diverse kinds of motorcycle helmets used for different activities. Each type of helmet is specially designed to guard your head from the kind of impacts that characteristically are associated with a particular activity or sport.

It is appropriate to wear a helmet that is apt for the particular activity you’re concerned with. So do not wear helmets designed for other activities; it may not secure your head as efficiently.

It is appropriate to wear a helmet that is apt for the particular activity you’re concerned with. So do not wear helmets designed for other activities; it may not secure your head as efficiently.

Here’s a breakdown of the available types of motorcycle helmets

Full Face Motorcycle Helmets :

As the name says, full face helmet covers the front and rear of a rider’s head. The hard case extends from the forehead over the skull to the base of the head. The case rides forward as shielding section along the cheekbones to cover the jaws and chin.

full face motorcycle helmets

A further advantage of the full face design is its built-in eye protection in the form of a screen/face shield, which can be slided over the view port to chunk out the wind, rain and dust. The visor comes in tinted or non-tinted versions which eases out the exhaustion to your eyes.

Majority of the full face motorcycle helmets are vented at the chin and within the shell. These vents help to increase the airflow to the rider. Vents normally have sliding doors for use in cold weather.

full face motorcycle helmets

Full face Motorcycle helmets are considered the most safest to wear in terms of absolute protection, as they cover the large area of the head and face. Many of them do not prefer these kinds of helmets because of increased heat, lack of enough wind and inadequate sensory input. They are also the heaviest of all motorcycle helmets which makes them create an exertion on the neck.

Off Road or Motocross Helmets

These type of motorcycle helmets are used for off-road dirt biking. Most of the off-road helmets are full-face designs, although we can find some open-face helmets in the souk. Off-road helmets are distinguished from the regular full-face helmets by their sun peaks, elongated chin bars and visor.

Motocross helmets are designed to be used with goggles as they do not have integral face shields. The sun peaks, as the name says protects your eyes from the sun.

Dirt riding is often physically challenging for the rider and it’s often done in warmer climate. So, motocross helmets are intended to curtail weight and maximize ventilation. So a well ventilated helmet enhances the rider’s comfort.

Modular or “flip-up” Motorcycle Helmets : 

Modular helmets also popularly known as Flip-ups are a kind of hybrid designed helmets that proffers the best of full face and open face helmets. They are popular because of their versatility.

That means, these helmets have a hinged chin bar that can be flipped up which comes handy when the rider may want to grab a bite to eat, drink or talk without taking off the helmet.


They are popular among adventure and sport touring riders. With the chin bar up, they’re easier for riders to even put on or take off their eyeglasses.

Modular Motorcycle helmets are usually heavier mainly due to the hinge and locking mechanisms. They are also inherently not as secured as a full face motorcycle helmets as the flip-up device brings in a hinge to an otherwise rigid structure and this consequently weakens the helmet.

Also most flip-ups stint on EPS foam and use rubber or plastic line in the chin bar, which means they fail to provide the same crash protection to the face. However, modular helmets are still much safer when compared to open face or half helmets.

Open face or 3/4 helmet 

As the name suggests, open-face or 3/4 motorcycle helmets lack a complete coverage of full face design; particularly, there is no chin bar and in most cases there is no face shield either. An open face helmet covers top, sides and back of your head, leaving your face open.

Many offer flip-down visors which may be used by the rider to cut down the glare of the sunlight. As compared to full faces, open face helmets are constructionally same in terms of protection.

That is, the shells often employ similar composites and padding for impact resistance, however provide modest safety to the face.

The advantage of an open face helmet is it’s airy feel. Nevertheless, this can cause a problem in rainy or dusty weather. These helmets are enormously admired among cruisers and scooter riders.

They have a naturally vintage feel, and are popular among those that rack up road miles on large full dress bikes, like Harley Davidson. These are also popular with police officers, as it is easy to communicate with the helmet in position.

Half helmet : 

Half helmets often called as beanies or shorties or Pudding Basin, are barely considered a safety gear. These are the least invasive style of helmets which covers only the top half of the cranium.

They have the least weight, do not block the ears, and proffer the slightest wind resistance. Half-helmets guard only the top of the head while leaving the face and vital base of the head exposed. They offer the least safety.

With the abridged protection of an open-face design, riders are vulnerable to airborne substance and the climate. Riders should wear sunglasses or goggles to supplement for an added eye protection.

Half helmets offer secure chin straps. Though chin straps are significant in any type of helmets, it is even more prominent on an open-face design. Rider’s need to be extra cautious that the half-helmet they procure is DOT-approved and not just a novelty design.

They are enormously popular with cruiser and vintage riders with a particular following in the Harley-Davidson category. They have also seen some popularity with a street fighter style naked bikes like Ducati Monsters, BMW S1000Rs, Kawasaki Z1000s.

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