Different Types of Motorcycle Helmets: Choosing the Right One

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               Motorcycle helmets are necessary for any rider who wants to up their skill level, while staying safe. However, there are a wide variety of Motorcycle helmet types on the market right now, which can make it difficult to choose the right model. Especially if you are not up to date on the features different types have.

        To help readers make an informed decision, we have looked all over the Internet to determine the different factors that help different helmet types stand apart from each other. By assessing safety rating systems, specific design features, brand names, and more, we have created a buyer’s guide that will educate you about all considerations you need to make.

motorcycle helmet types & Style

             Check out the information to begin planning your purchase today. Ultimately, this purchase will inform the safety and comfort of your motorcycle rides for the foreseeable future.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing the Right Motorcycle Helmet Types

Terrain:

The terrain you ride on most frequently should inform your choice of helmet type. Ultimately, a full-faced type of helmet will give you the best visibility and safety. However, the choice between motocross style helmet, or on-road types will be decided by whether or not you’re driving on the road, or on dirt/gravel.

If you are driving off road, it really is a good idea to take the jump to a motocross helmet. Those driving on the regular road, well be much better served by a full-faced or modular helmets.

Commuting Needs:

Are you using your motorcycle for commuting? If so, you need to consider the many features that will keep you steady and safe while riding alongside cars day in and day out.

Commuters will be well served by a non-bulky design, that keeps you protected in any environment. One of the most important features you can look into, is the ventilation system of a helmet.

If you want to avoid sweating every time you get on the bike, you need a helmet that is not stuffy, and ventilation systems are the way to avoid sweat build-up.

Visor:

Visibility is extremely important, and the visor on a motorcycle helmet defines the state of this essential feature. A well-made visor will protect you from the sun’s harsh visibility and UV rays.

Additionally, many visors provide rear view mirrors, which allow you to stay aware of your environment at all times. However, some helmets are completely visor-less. For those who want the full experience of feeling the wind on their face, open-faced helmets are the way to go.

In some ways this increases your visibility, but fails to protect you from potential debris.

Comfort:

Even if your helmet is perfect in every other way, your investment will end up being frustrating if it is not comfortable. Whether you are riding to work every day, or doing extreme jumps on dirt, a comfortable helmet will allow you to concentrate on the things around you, and allow you to enjoy your ride to the fullest.

Many features add to the comfort of a helmet, such as the pads used, the inner lining installed, and the shape of the helmet, so take a good look at each product before deciding.

Additionally, you will want to try on a product before buying it if at all possible.

Safety:

Keeping your head safe is the top priority of any motorcycle helmet, no matter what type it is.

Consider the above areas, and then every other quality you can think of, and then determine what safety features you will be best served by. From the chin strap, to the visor, to the bulkiness of the design, safety will be affected by every single aspect of the motorcycle helmets design.

Additionally, you will need to consider the safety rating system used to certify the helmet, and whether or not it allows a particular model to be street legal in your area. To help you with this task, we have detailed the three most popular rating systems in the next section of this guide.

Additional Considerations:

  • Shock Absorption
  • Style
  • Brand Name
  • Price Tag

Types of Motorcycle Helmets:

Full-Face Helmets:

full Face motorcycle helmetFor those who use their motorcycle for everyday commuting, a full-face helmet is the most popular choice of helmet type. The mixture of style, safety, and features are what really help to set these helmets apart.

Due to the design of many of the other helmet types on this list, things such as rear view mirrors, Bluetooth technology, and protection from UV rays is difficult to build into the product.

However, there are stand out luxury helmets that provide these features in some of the other helmet types as well.

One of the main downfalls of full-face helmets is the price tag. Full-faced helmets are almost always more expensive than the other types on our list.

However, those who need to drive safely on their bikes day after day will be well served by this important investment.

Highlighted Features:

  • More Features Built In
  • Higher Price Tag
  • Perfect for Everyday Commuting
  • High Safety Ratings
  • Tend to Have More Features than Other Helmet Types

Open-Face Helmets:

open face helmetWhile full-faced helmets may be more popular for everyday commuters than open-faced ones, there are many features that help open-faced models stand apart.

More than anything else, the comfort of having less of your head covered can make for a more enjoyable, and “full-experience” type ride. However, this also hurts the overall safety features of open-faced motorcycle helmets.

If you’ve had issues breathing well when driving around on your motorcycle, you will love the open-faced nature of these helmets. While full-faced models do over ventilation systems in some cases, they have been known to be quite stuffy at times.

Thankfully, open-faced helmets let you feel the wind in your face; just make sure you have a quality pair of goggles to protect your eyes.

In terms of visibility, open-faced helmets beat full-faced ones in every area besides rear view mirror features. However, when wearing an open-faced helmet, it is much simpler to use the built in rear view mirrors of your bike without feeling uncomfortable.

Highlighted Features:

  • High Visibility Features
  • Extreme Comfort
  • More Affordable
  • Stylish
  • More Traditional Build

Modular Helmets:

Modular Helmets:One of the most recent innovations in helmet design, modular helmets give you the option to switch between a full faced and open faced use at any time.

However, due to its bulky design, it does have some comfort issues in comparison to the rest of the competition.

Ultimately, the flexibility of modular helmets is what keeps them ahead of a lot of the competition. Your safety is not compromised at any time when using one of these helmet models.

If you want to enjoy your ride in different ways at different times, this is the motorcycle helmet for you.

Safety is another huge selling point of the modular helmet type. Overall, no other helmet type features as many models that receive extremely high safety ratings.

Lastly, the unique style of modular helmets makes them interesting for consumers who enjoy showing off their knowledge of current styles and trends. Few other helmets look as modern and sleek as modular helmets do.

Highlighted Features:

  • High Safety Ratings
  • Useful Hybrid Design
  • Expensive
  • Modern Style
  • High Visibility

Off-Road Helmets:

Off-Road HelmetsSimilar to other open-faced motorcycle helmets, air circulation features are given a lot of thought when the helmet is being designed.

No matter what environment you are biking in, the combination of an off-road helmet and goggles will keep you comfortable.

Some open-faced models face issues with keeping the sun out of your eyes. When off- Roading this is a feature that really makes or breaks a helmet.

Thankfully, off-road helmets also provide a peak that keeps the sun from messing with your ride.

By designing their helmets with looser foam, which is perfect for shock absorption, off-road helmet manufacturer’s know how to keep their target audience comfortable on any terrain.

Overall, the biggest drawback of the off-road helmet type is the safety ratings. While they are still safe, motocross helmets and dual sport helmets tend to be a much better safety investment for those who spend a lot of time off roading.

However, you will be spending much more money on these products on average.

Highlighted Features:

  • Affordable
  • Shock Absorption Features
  • Lower Safety Ratings
  • Provide Peaks to Help Block Sunlight
  • Excellent Circulation Features

Dual Sport Helmets:

Dual Sport HelmetsDo you have a healthy balance of off-road and on-road use when riding on your motorcycle?

If so, the dual sport helmet type is perfect for your needs. Dual sport helmets are built to provide enough hardcore protection and shock absorption features to keep you comfortable while off-roading, while still providing the comfort features you would expect from a high-quality on-road motorcycle helmet.

Practically every dual sport helmet is full-faced, so you need to be ready to wear such a product.

Additionally, they tend to have a very similar design, no matter what the model.

Similar to modular helmets, dual sport helmets often offer visors that can be put down or brought up, allowing you to feel comfortable in different ways at different times.

When determining what dual sport helmet is right for you, you need to give a lot of thought to the type of terrain you plan on braving.

Those that are doing simple off-roading may still be able to get away with a regular full-faced or modular helmet, but those who will be dealing with a lot of bumps and harsh turns, a dual sport helmet type is necessary.

Highlighted Features:

  • Useful Hybrid Design
  • Adjustable Visors
  • Tend to Be Full-Faced
  • High-Quality Models

Motocross Helmets:

Motocross HelmetsIf you need a helmet that will keep you safest for off-roading motorcycle activities, you need to invest in a motocross style helmet.

Motocross helmets are full-faced, and have many features that keep you safe and comfortable when dealing with tasks such as jumping, turning, racing, and much more.

Shock-absorption features are the biggest selling point of motocross type helmets.

If you want to make sure you don’t sustain an injury due to sudden stops, falls, or simple shocks, you need a motocross helmet.

Off-roading helmets can deal with small bumps and other factors, but only the tough, durable, and full-featured design of motocross helmets will keep you from sustaining permanent injury in the case of an accident.

The visibility provided by motocross style helmets is also extremely attractive. You get a full-faced helmet esque design that keeps you protected from UV rays, that keeps the sun from blinding you, and that keeps mud and other debris from causing you pain or distraction while enjoying your die.

Additionally, some helmets have flip up visors for when you just want to feel the wind on your face.

Highlighted Features:

  • Extreme Shock Absorption
  • High Safety Ratings
  • Keeps Your Visibility High
  • Cool Stylistic Choices

Half Helmets:

Half HelmetsHalf helmets take many of the fantastic features of full-faced models, and provides them with less material.

If you want the safety and visibility features of those helmets, but with less bulky designs, and less strain on your head, a half helmet motorcycle type is important.

Ultimately, the features tend to be the same. To decide between the two types, simply give thought to how often you write, and how dangerous the roads you will be riding on before making a final decision.

Highlighted Features:

  • Many Similar Features to Full-Faced Helmets
  • Less Material than Full-Faced Helmets
  • Affordable
  • Extremely Comfortable

Tips on Choosing the Right Helmet Type:

Try Them on if Possible:

Those shopping for helmets online will not be able to try on helmets for themselves. However, if you have a shop nearby your home, you should try to make a trip to it.

By trying on different helmet types, your ultimate decision (even online) will be much more well informed.

Is the Safety Rating Right for Your Helmet Choice?:

With the different safety helmet ratings available, it can be hard to determine which one is right for the motorcycle helmet you’re interested in.

Ultimately, you want to go with higher safety feature standards when going with any off-road model. Due to this, the Snell safety rating system is most appropriate for off-road helmets.

Shock Absorption:

This point is particularly relevant to those who off-road, or who deal with rough roads during their commute. Shock absorption features will help you stay comfortable and safe while riding around every day.

If you want to keep your neck and head safe from damage due to bumps or falls, you need impressive shock absorption built into your helmet.

Ultimately, full-faced designs tend to have better shock absorption features.

Peaks:

For both helmets with and without visors, peaks can help protect you from harsh sunlight. Additionally, peaks provide a nice stylistic flair to motorcycle helmets.

Ultimately, you will see this feature included on helmets meant for off-roading, more so than those meant for commuting.

However, on road helmets will be served just fine by a sole visor, and do not need a peak in most cases.

Warranties:

When you purchase a helmet, you want it to last for years. No other product feature will help you more in this area more than a detailed warranty.

Warranties vary between brands and product types, but more expensive models tend to come with excellent warranty options.

If you do not see a warranty in a listing, you can always contact the manufacturer directly to check out the options available to you.

Final Verdict

With the wide variety of helmets available, coming up with just one type of helmet to recommend is impossible. However, two choices stand out as the most frequently impressive types of motorcycle helmets.

For those who do off-roading, a motocross type helmet will serve you best. Although they are more expensive, and slightly more bulky than other off-road types, they are also the safest and provide the most visibility. Additionally, the cool stylized design will prove attractive to a wide variety of consumers.

Those who are focused on commuting, and on-road rides, however, will be best served by modular type helmets. These helmet types combine all of the best features of both open-faced and full-faced helmets to provide a highly adjustable and comfortable motorcycle helmet.

Finally, modular helmets tend to get the highest safety rating of any motorcycle helmet type featured in this buyer’s guide.

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