The Types of Motorcycle Helmets for Different Riding Styles

When you think of a motorcycle, your mind probably conjures up images of speed, danger, and thrill. But because the risks involved are much more apparent when you’re straddling a small engine with wheels propped up on the ground, the safety standards for riders have also evolved significantly over time.

That's why, even in the early days of motorized two-wheelers, helmets were a must. Still, around 41% of motorcyclists who die in accidents don't wear helmets. Even among survivors, head injuries can result in serious lifelong complications that could otherwise have been avoided.

Today, different types of helmets are no longer just about keeping your head safe from bruises and bumps in the unfortunate event of a fall or crash. They now come in various shapes and sizes to suit various road conditions and rider preferences.

Keeping that in mind, we've crafted this comprehensive guide on types of motorcycle helmets so that the next time you ride, it'll be with confidence and all the right gears!

Why are There Different Types of Motorcycle Helmets?

The most critical thing to remember when trying to understand the differences between motorcycle helmet types is that no helmet is perfect for every use. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses, whether in the level of protection offered, the amount of airflow, the noise level, or the fit and comfort of the helmet.

It’s mandatory that every motorist should be aware of ideal helmets according to their riding styles.

Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of different helmet types is important because it can help you figure out what you need in a helmet. For example, if you want protection but like more exposure to wind, you might want to try a half-face helmet.

Types of Motorcycle Helmets According to Riding Styles

Motorcycle helmets come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. While most offer similar protection, they are designed for specific purposes or user types.

Some important factors while choosing a helmet may not be immediately apparent.

The two most common motorcycle helmet types include:

  • Full-face Helmet
  • Modular/Flip-Up
  • Half-helmets
  • Open Face Helmets
  • Off-road Helmet
  • Dual Sport Helmets

Not only this, but many helmets come with certain bikes. They are fashioned according to your motorcycle styles to give you a specific smart look.

There are various reasons why you might need one type over another. Let’s look at some of the most common types of helmets and what makes them unique!

Full Face Helmet for Every Need

A full-face helmet has a hard plastic covering that covers the head's top, back, and sides. The most noticeable feature of a full-face helmet is the visor that protects the eyes from wind, dust, and other elements.

Such helmets usually don't have space for goggles or glasses because they already have a built-in visor to protect the rider's eyes. Some full-face helmets have an integrated sun visor that can be adjusted according to light intensity.

This type of helmet is mainly suitable for sunny weather since the built-in visor might not be able to smoothly withstand the impact of flying heavy debris, snow, or heavy rainfall.

But the full-face helmet has many advantages over other types. According to BMC’s comprehensive research, full-face helmets offer better protection than their counterparts.

A study by Whitaker gives statistical information about the effectiveness of full-face helmets against facial injuries. The study says facial injury among full-face wearers was only 7 percent, while other types resulted in whooping 24 percent facial injuries.

These types of motorcycle helmets have internal liners that are easily removable and washable, which is a great plus, especially for long-distance riders.

Ideal Use Case

  • The main use of a full-face helmet is for off-road biking and extreme sports.
  • Full-face helmets are designed to provide maximum protection from debris, rocks, and dust.
  • They’re also useful for everyday commuting and can be used in any weather.

Best Full Face Helmet: HJC IS-16

Why should you choose the HJC IS-16 helmet?

  • The HJC IS-16 Full Face Helmet is a great choice for those looking for a quality, affordable helmet.
  • The helmet features a polycarbonate shell construction, which is both lightweight and durable.
  • It also features a multi-stage visor system, which provides excellent protection from the sun and other elements.
  • The helmet is equipped with a chin bar, which can be used to provide additional protection in case of an accident.

Modular Helmet for Versatility

A hybrid between full face and open face helmets for street use is the modular or "flip-up" helmet, also sometimes termed "convertible" or "flip-face". When fully assembled and closed, they resemble full face helmets by bearing a chin bar for absorbing face impacts. Its chin bar may be pivoted upwards (or, in some cases, may be removed) by a special lever to allow access to most of the face, as in an open face helmet. The rider may thus eat, drink or have a conversation without unfastening the chinstrap and removing the helmet, making them popular among motor officers. It is also popular with people who use eyeglasses as it allows them to fit a helmet without removing their glasses.

Best Modular Helmet: Nolan N91 EVO

Why should you choose the Nolan N91 EVO?

  • The Nolan N91 EVO Modular Helmet is a great choice for those looking for a quality, modular helmet that is bluetooth ready.
  • The helmet outer shell is made of Lexan® EXL, SABIC technology has been used, which offers more benefits than other plastic resins.
  • "Dual Action" aperture system: 1) "Smart Lift", aperture with just one hand. 2) avoids accidental opening of the chin guard.
  • Predisposition for the N-Com communication system.

Half Helmet for City Ride

Often confused with the full-face helmet, the half helmet is a great option for riders who want the best of both worlds. The most distinguishing feature of a half helmet is the chin guard that extends all the way to the lower lip. The chin guard opens and closes using a spring-loaded mechanism.

The half helmet also has a visor that protects the eyes from dust and other elements. The visor is usually attached to the helmet with hinges and can be raised or lowered according to the rider’s needs. These types of motorcycle helmets are more suitable for city riding and long-distance commuting.

However, the half helmet doesn't provide adequate protection to the back of the rider's head. Many half helmets now come with built-in drop-down internal visors to protect the rider’s eyes from sunlight.

Ideal Use Case

There’re a few scenarios where you might consider using a half helmet.

  • A half helmet can provide adequate protection if you're going on a short ride where you won't encounter any rough terrain or weather conditions.
  • Additionally, half helmets tend to be more comfortable than full-face helmets, so if you're going on a leisurely ride or are new to motorcycle riding, a half helmet can be a good choice.
  • Finally, half helmets allow for more airflow, so if you're riding in hot weather, you may find that a half helmet keeps you cooler than a full-face helmet.

HJC CL-Ironroad Half Helmet

Why should you choose the HJC CL-Ironroad half helmet?

  • The HJC CL-Ironroad Half Helmet is a great option for motorcycle riders looking for a budget-friendly helmet that still offers plenty of features and protection.
  • This helmet features an advanced polycarbonate composite shell that is lightweight and strong and has a large eye port that provides great visibility.
  • The helmet also includes a removable and washable anti-bacterial liner and a clear and smoke-tinted visor.
  • The HJC CL-Ironroad Half Helmet is DOT and ECE-approved and is available in various sizes to fit most riders.

Open face or ¾ Helmets for a Windy Ride

The open-face helmet is the least protective type of helmet. It has an open face with no chin guard and no visor. This type of helmet is unsuitable for riding in heavy rain or winds since it has no covering or shield to protect the eyes and face. In fact, the open-face helmet is not even meant for riding a bike. It is usually worn for skating, scooters, roller skating, and skateboarding.

In comparison to head, unfortunate motorists usually get chin injuries. So, if someone is wearing an open face, he must be aware as a chin guard isn't available in these helmets.

However, most open-face helmets come with ear flaps that can be pulled over the ears. The open-face helmet is useful if a rider wants to enjoy the feeling of the wind on his/her face while riding a motorcycle.

Ideal Use Cases

There are a few different scenarios in which an open-face helmet may be used.

  • Some people prefer these types of motorcycle helmets for mountain biking or other off-road activities, as they can help keep you cooler and more comfortable in hot weather.
  • Also, open-face helmets are sometimes worn by snowmobilers, as they can help prevent facial injuries during a crash.

Kabuto Avand II Helmet - Open Face

Why should you choose the Kabuto Avand II Helmet?

  • The Kabuto Avand II Helmet is an open-face helmet that offers great protection for your head.
  • It features a comfortable inner liner that helps to absorb sweat and keep you cool.
  • Avand II also has a visor to protect your eyes from the sun and other debris.

Off-Road Helmet to Stay Away from Dirt

An off-road helmet has a full-face chin guard and a visor that can be lifted up or removed. Off-road helmets are made for riders who spend a lot of time on dirt roads and trails. These types of motorcycle helmets provide the most protection against flying rocks, branches, and other obstacles in these areas.

Ideal Use Case

  • An off-road helmet is a good choice if you regularly ride on roads with sand and dirt.
  • They also provide more protection against bugs and flying debris.

SS2300 Tapout Youth Helmet - Off Road

Why should you choose the SS2300 Tapout Youth helmet?

  • The Tapout Youth helmet is made of a lightweight polycarbonate shell.
  • The helmet has an advanced ventilation system to keep the head cool and dry.
  • It has a quick-release buckle for easy on and off.
  • Tapout helmet also comes with a removable and washable liner.
  • The helmet has a youth-sized shell and is DOT approved.

Dual Sport helmet for Street and Off-Road Riders

A dual-sport helmet is designed for riders who want one helmet they can use on both street and off-road riding. They are a cross between full-face and off-road helmets because they have a full-face chin guard. It is also a dual-visor motorcycle helmet that can be lifted up or removed.

Ideal Use Cases

  • There are many scenarios where dual sport helmets can be used, such as riding a motorcycle on paved and unpaved surfaces.
  • These types of motorcycle helmets are also popular among dirt bike riders and protect them from flying debris and the sun.
  • Additionally, dual sport helmets are often used by ATV riders and UTV drivers, as they offer superior protection compared to traditional motocross helmets.

EVS - T5 Dual Sport Helmet - Venture Arise Black

  • Why should you choose the EVS-T5 Dual Sport Helmet?
  • The EVS T5 Dual Sport Helmet is a great option for those who want a versatile helmet that can be used for both off-road and on-road riding.
  • The helmet features a removable visor and an adjustable chin bar, making it easy to transition from one riding style to the other.
  • EVS-T5 is also very comfortable, thanks to its cushioned liner, and it comes with a helmet bag for easy storage and transport.

The Bottom Line

Motorcycle helmets are not just a piece of protective gear; they are your best friend when you are riding on the road. They provide optimal protection against impact, debris, and other dangers that can lead to serious injury or even death in unfortunate events.

Motorcycle helmet styles come in various types and designs, each with its own pros and cons. So, before you hop on your bike, ensure that you wear the right type of helmet for your riding conditions and preferences. Hence, wait no more! Visit Discount Moto Gear and grab your favorite protective yet stylish gear to shield yourself from trouble.