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When you hit the road, a quality helmet must accompany your riding gear. Given its role in protecting you in case of a crash, you must choose a helmet that is durable yet comfortable. However, a wide variety of different types of helmets in today’s market can easily throw you off balance.
So, how do you take a pick? Fret not! Browse through this guide on the types of motorcycle helmets to make an informed choice.
1. Full-face helmets
The best full-face helmets are explicitly designed to cover your entire face and head. A subtle but distinguishing feature of this sort of headgear is the presence of a chin bar. It guards the chin and jaw against potential impact in case of an accident. In fact, studies indicate that the chin encounters 50% of severe impacts during a crash, and only a full-face helmet can protect it in such cases.
Although bulkier than its counterparts, a full-face motorcycle helmet offers maximum protection against wind and sun. Additionally, it keeps the noise level to a minimum as well as prevents rain from creeping inside. It is a versatile choice. A diverse range of bikers uses a full-face helmet, irrespective of their type of ride. Furthermore, you can pick a full-face helmet for a bike based on your biking style.
For instance, sport bikers tend to have a crouched riding posture. Therefore, they require a helmet that does not lift at higher speeds. Here, a full-face helmet with a higher chin bar alongside a visor opening angled faintly upwards is suitable. In contrast, cruisers and tourers usually opt for a helmet with a lower chin bar and a more direct visor opening. Choose one from among the reputed full-face helmet brands.
2. Half-face helmets
Also known as a three-quarter helmet, this one shields your head but leaves the face exposed. So, the best half-face helmets cover the top of your head and the area from your eyebrows to the forehead. The face is shielded through the visor, which also offers a complete view of your driving field.
Needless to say, these half-face motorcycle helmets provide superior airflow. However, they offer minimal protection in case of accidents, leaving one vulnerable to facial injuries. Further, you will encounter more wind resistance while wearing this helmet.
At the same time, a classic half-face helmet is a perfect pick for those who experience suffocation in full-face helmets. So, if you like to enjoy short and comfortable rides, this helmet is well-suited for you.
3. Modular helmets
The best modular helmets are a cross between half and full-face helmets. These are also known as flip-up helmets as you can open their front by flipping up the visor and chin bar. Made up with the same fitment and materials, modular motorcycle helmets are designed to be as protective as full-face helmets.
The best modular motorcycle helmet includes an additional internal visor for optimum eye protection from sunlight. It tends to weigh slightly more than a full-face helmet as it incorporates extra design hinge features at the flip-up front area. The chin bar of these helmets sits lower on the face, and eye openings are straightforward.
Designed for an upright riding position, modular motorcycle helmets are apt for adventure riders, cruisers, and tourers. Nowadays, some of these helmets also feature an anti-fogging coating on their primary visor.
Although it marginally reduces safety due to the hinge structure, the helmet offers superior protection compared to half-face helmets. So, if you are looking for a helmet that extends optimum protection and comfort, we suggest you go for this one.
4. Half-shell helmets
Also known as skull helmets, these are designed only to cover the top of your head till the ears. Therefore, when you wear the best half-shell helmets, your neck, jaws, and face remain exposed. As a result, this helmet offers a complete view of your driving field.
However, when it comes to protection against impact, these helmets do not make the grade. These are known to offer minimal possible safety on the road. Thus, it may not be a choice of helmet for those looking to push the envelope.
Additionally, the best half-shell motorcycle helmets extend increased wind resistance and put an extra strain on your neck. The absence of a visor also exposes your face to several damaging elements, such as heat, UV rays, rain, wind, and dust.
Therefore, half-shell motorcycle helmets are ideal for those who ride over short distances or travel via a scooter. That being said, if you are a biker, we suggest that you do not compromise on safety and opt for a more protective and durable helmet.
5. Off-road helmets
This type of helmet is configured for those who prefer riding away from city streets and rough roads. Needless to say, it is not ideal for use in cities and highways. However, this one compliments your off-road drives like none other.
Although similar to half-face helmets in terms of appearance, off-road bike helmets have some key distinctions. It comes with a more accentuated chin bar, thereby enhancing the airflow by several notches. Additionally, an off-road helmet’s design is sharper and more angular as well as features a larger visor. In a nutshell, you can rely on off-road helmets for optimum protection, ventilation, and superior comfort due to their lightweight.
However, these usually do not extend eye protection. Therefore, if you plan to buy an off-road motorcycle helmet, be prepared to ride your motorbike with goggles or glasses. Such protective gear is of utmost importance to guard you against debris intrusion from the sides, front, or bottom.
Furthermore, the best off-road helmets come in several composite options, namely Kevlar, carbon fibre, and fibreglass. These materials are not only robust but also lightweight. So, you can be assured that your neck and back will not get fatigued after a long ride.
6. Dual-sport helmets
A mix between full-face and off-road helmets, the best dual-sports helmet offers you top features of both. Its appearance resembles an off-road helmet with a lower chin bar and large visor. However, this helmet consists of interior padding, thereby offering the comfort of a full-face helmet. As a result, the best dual-sports motorcycle helmets stand out as the halfway point between each of these styles, making them apt for both on-road and off-road uses.
Now that you are familiar with the similarities among dual-sport, off-road, and full-face helmets, let us highlight their differences. A dual-sport helmet’s visor is aerodynamic, so it does not lift with the wind, unlike most off-road helmets. On the other hand, its chin bar does not protrude as much as an off-road helmet, leading to enhanced soundproofing and decreased airflow.
Furthermore, the top dual-sports helmets are equipped with an eye protection visor that is larger than that of full-face helmets. Additionally, the visor of a dual-sport motorcycle helmet can also snap up to make room for glasses or goggles. Therefore, this helmet is an incredible addition to your gear if you switch between terrains on the same day.
When it comes to buying one, we suggest you bear the following points in mind:
- Safety standards for helmets in India: As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, every helmet must feature the ISI mark from June 1, 2021. ISI standardisation prohibits helmets from weighing over 1200gm.
- Your head shape and size: Wearing the wrong helmet can put pressure on certain points in your head. The right-sized one, on the other hand, fits you perfectly. For this, you can wear a helmet and try nodding your head. If the helmet moves, it means that it is loose and will most likely come off in a crash.
- Visor: Visors are as diverse as the types of motorcycle helmets. Although smoked or mercury-tinted visors are pleasing to look at, they hinder clear vision. Moreover, you can consider investing in a helmet with an anti-scratch and anti-fog visor, which are extremely popular nowadays.
- Inner cushioning: You must ensure that your helmet has the proper cushioning. It allows a helmet to absorb impact in case of an accident, thereby safeguarding one’s skull against damages and injuries.
And this concludes our article on the different types of helmets. We have successfully covered six types of motorcycle helmets so that you can make the perfect purchase. So, choose wisely and ride safely.