Whether riding a motorcycle for commuting, regular travel, off-roading, or racing, it is essential to wear a good motorcycle helmet. Motorcycle helmets come in several different shapes based on appearance, protection, and riding needs, including full-face helmets, three-quarter helmets, half helmets, and off-road helmets. Do you know which type of motorcycle helmet is good? How should you choose the right helmet for your needs? In the following article, we will introduce these different types of motorcycle helmets and teach you how to select the one that suits you best.

Full-Face Helmet

A full-face helmet is a fully enclosed helmet that includes protection for the chin. Its main shell is one-piece molded, and the helmet typically features ventilation vents for airflow.

Pros and cons of full-face helmets: Full-face helmets offer excellent structural integrity and protection. They provide chin protection, effectively reduce wind noise, offer good insulation, and are suitable for high-speed riding. However, they can feel a bit stifling, have limited peripheral vision, are relatively heavy, not easily removable, and may not be compatible with glasses. They also limit the ability to hear traffic sounds.

Suitable for riding: Track racing, street bikes, scooters, cruisers, touring.

Three-Quarter Helmet

A three-quarter helmet is a helmet that lacks protective features for the chin and resembles a fighter pilot helmet. When wearing it, it allows for easier hearing of surrounding sounds, and it offers better ventilation and comfort for the face during summer rides.

Pros and cons of three-quarter helmets: Three-quarter helmets have a stylish appearance and provide a wider field of vision. They allow for wearing glasses while riding and offer good ventilation. However, they provide less protection for the chin, have higher wind noise, average insulation, and lack a face shield. Riders need to use additional protective gear like goggles and face masks to protect the face.

Suitable for riding: Street bikes, touring, cruisers.

Half Helmet

A half helmet, also known as a Harley helmet, has similarities to a military steel helmet. It lacks protective features for the chin and back of the head, covering only the top half of the skull. It provides limited overall protection and is suitable only for low-speed riding.

Pros and cons of half helmets: Half helmets are lightweight and easy to carry. They offer good comfort and provide a cool sensation when worn, making them suitable for hot weather. However, they have the lowest level of protection and do not effectively protect the chin and back of the head. They also have high wind noise, poor insulation, and are not suitable for high-speed riding.

Suitable for riding: Low-speed riding.

Modular Helmet

A modular helmet is a flip-up helmet where the chin portion can be raised up to the top of the head. It offers flexibility as it can be used as a full-face helmet, as well as a half or three-quarter helmet.

Pros and cons of modular helmets: Modular helmets are convenient for removing and offer good versatility. The face shield can be lifted for ventilation at low speeds and closed for high speeds. However, since they are not one-piece molded, there is a gap where wind and noise can enter. The weight of the hinge and flip-up mechanism also makes modular helmets relatively heavy.

Suitable for riding: Street bikes, touring, cruisers.

Off-Road Helmet

An off-road helmet is a variation of the full-face helmet with enhanced protection for the chin and a visor on the forehead to block dirt and sunlight. It usually does not come with a face shield and requires additional goggles for eye protection.

Pros and cons of off-road helmets: Off-road helmets have a unique and exaggerated design, which gives a cool appearance. They offer professional-level protection, and the pointed chin design helps prevent secondary injuries to the chin and front of the helmet during impacts. The visor helps block sunlight, dirt, and branches. However, they are less concerned with aerodynamics and are not well-suited for high-speed riding.

Suitable for riding: Off-road terrain, freestyle/stunt riding.

Dual Sport Helmet

A dual sport helmet combines features of a full-face and off-road helmet. The chin portion is designed to be more compact, and it comes with a visor and helmet shield. It is a multi-functional helmet with relatively high protection.

Pros and cons of dual sport helmets: Dual sport helmets provide a larger field of vision, allowing riders to see the dashboard without needing to lower their heads. The helmet shield effectively blocks sunlight and mud. They offer better protection for the mouth and are suitable for neck protection compatibility. The downside is that they have higher wind resistance and are not ideal for high-speed riding. They are also relatively heavy and have poorer noise reduction capabilities.

Suitable for riding: Street bikes, touring.

How to Choose a Motorcycle Helmet:

Helmet Type: Choose based on riding scenario

As mentioned above, motorcycle helmets come in various types such as full-face, modular, three-quarter, half, off-road, and dual sport helmets. For regular riding, it’s best to choose full-face, three-quarter, or modular helmets. For off-road riding, opt for an off-road helmet. Select a helmet type that suits your specific riding needs.

Material: Choose based on personal requirements

Motorcycle helmet shells are made of materials like ABS resin, composite, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber offers the best lightweight and strength, making it suitable for mountain roads and high-speed riding, but it comes with a higher price tag. For regular commuting and general riding, ABS resin and composite materials are more cost-effective options. Fiberglass can be considered for adventure touring and highway riding.

Size: Fit for your head shape

To ensure comfort and safety, it’s crucial to choose a helmet that fits your head shape properly. Measure your head circumference, using the widest point above your eyebrows as the measurement. The helmet should fit snugly without causing any discomfort or pressure points. When you move your head from side to side, the helmet should not wobble excessively. A helmet that is too small can lead to headaches, while one that is too large may be loose and allow wind to enter.

Brand: Ensure product quality

It’s advisable to choose a reputable helmet brand that ensures product quality. Look for helmets that meet national standards and manufacturing regulations, as they typically come with proper certifications. Keep in mind that there are different tiers of helmet brands, ranging from top-tier to high-end and mid-range options. Choose a brand that fits your budget and meets your requirements.

Remember, the primary focus when choosing a motorcycle helmet should be safety and comfort.