How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Helmets


Choosing the best motorcycle helmets involves finding something that fits your personal style while it gives you a level of safety that you can trust. There are many different types of helmets available, each with its own different level of comfort and protection. They best motorcycle helmets for you may be different than the helmets that would work best for another rider. Helmets can be highly personal fashion statements, or they can be purely functional safety equipment, depending on your needs.

Protection and Visibility are Key

The most important function of a motorcycle helmet is to protect your skull and face from damage if you should be in an accident. The helmet can’t be too restrictive, however, or it will impede your vision and actually cause accidents. When you shop for a motorcycle helmet, it is important to try on as many styles as possible to find the right fit with the most visibility. The best motorcycle helmets will give you an equal amount of both. If the helmet is too tight or too restrictive it will be a distraction while you ride your motorcycle.

Full Face or Open Face?

Two of the most common types of motorcycle helmets are full face and open face. A full face helmet gives you the best protection in any situation because it has a reinforced chin that is part of the overall design. There is a small window for your eyes, but the majority of the full face helmet is made of strong protective material that covers your head and wraps around your chin, nose, and mouth. Full face helmets tend to be the most restrictive, however, and they can fog up during humid weather. Open face helmets eliminate the closed face of a full face helmet and allow wearers to breathe more comfortably. Open face helmets wrap around your entire head, but the section covering the mouth and nose is missing. A full face visor protects you from wind and weather while you ride.

The Benefits of a Hybrid

A hybrid helmet is a combination between a full face and an open face helmet. It covers the entire head, including the chin and mouth area, but it has a convertible feature that allows you to flip up the chin section. Hybrids are great for people who wear glasses because they are much easier to slip on and off over your face. They don’t give you quite as much protection as a full face helmet because the chin section is not as firmly attached to the top and sides.

The Safety of Shorty Helmets

Shorty helmets are without a doubt the best motorcycle helmets for making a style statement. They are much smaller than any other kind of helmet. Shorty helmets only cover the top and back of your head and a little of the side. Your entire jaw and face are completely uncovered. Shorty helmets provide protection from severe skull injuries, but they leave the majority of your lower head and face vulnerable to damage. If you choose a shorty helmet, you really are choosing style over safety.

The Difference with Competition Helmets

The best motorcycle helmets for sporting events like motocross or extreme sports look very different than street helmets. Competition helmets cover as much of the face and head as possible, with a cutout section near the eyes where goggles will fit. These helmets have a distinctive shape, with the chin section coming up to cover the mouth and nose and the cheekbones. To alleviate the problem of the helmet becoming uncomfortably warm, many helmets will have cutout strips in the mouth and nose section. Visibility is impaired somewhat by the goggles, but the rider is much safer wearing a competition helmet than any other type of motorcycle helmet.

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