Choosing a Motorcycle Helmet: What You Should Know
December 27, 20172 min read
If there's one motorcycle accessory you don't want to leave home without, it's a helmet. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), wearing a helmet reduces the risk of brain injuries while riding a motorcycle by 67% and the risk of fatality by 37%. This alone should be reason enough to own (and wear) a motorcycle helmet.
While there's no denying the fact that helmets save the lives, only 19 states plus the District of Columbia have laws requiring motorcycle riders to wear them. Whether you live in one of these states that requires them or not, you should still wear a helmet. It's a simple and effective way to protect yourself from serious injury while riding a motorcycle. But there are a few things to consider when choosing a motorcycle helmet, some of which we're going to discuss in today's blog post.
The 5 Helmet Types
There are literally hundreds of different motorcycle helmets on the market, varying in terms of design, style, comfort, features and more. However, most motorcycle helmets can be broken down into one of five different categories:
Full Face – as the name suggests, full face helmets cover the entire head, usually featuring a cutout across the eyes and nose along with a protective transparent plastic face shield. Full face are also good for adding speakers and audio to your motorcycle helmet. There are many options available from headphones only to full on intercoms with Bluetooth integration.
Modular – a cross between the open face and full face helmet, the modular helmet is characterized by a chin bar that can be lifted or removed, allowing greater access to the face.
Off-Road – this motorcycle helmet features a longer chin and visor, along with a somewhat open face so the rider can wear goggles.
Open Face – also known as the “three-quarters” helmet, the open face motorcycle helmet provides coverage for the ears, cheeks and rear of head. However, it doesn't feature a lower chin bar that's found in the full face helmet.
Half Helmet – also known as the “shorty,” the half helmet became popular during the 1960s when Rockers and road racers wore them. It's pretty much the same as the open face helmet, but it doesn't have a lowered rear shaped like a bowl.
The cost of a motorcycle helmet can vary depending on which type you choose. Half helmets, for instance, are typically the cheapest, making them the preferred choice for budget-conscious riders. You can often find half helmets available for just $100 to $200. Full face helmets, on the other hand, will cost several times more.
It's important to consider the shape when choosing a motorcycle helmets. Most helmets feature either a standard oval, long oval or round oval shape. Because no two riders have the exact same size and shape head, there's no single “best” type. You'll need to try the helmets on in person to see which one fits your head best.