With more motorcycles on the roads today that at any other time in history, there is a whole lot of information out there about motorcycle helmet types. To make your choice of motorcycle helmet easy, we have provided a brief description of each motorcycle helmet type and what sort of riding it is most suited to. For more information and examples of each helmet type, go ahead and click on each helmet image.
Open Face - 3/4 Helmets
The Open Face Helmet also known as the 3/4 Helmet once again is named due to his coverage.
However, it is important to note that the ‘Three Quarter or 3/4″ description can be slightly misleading because it really only covers half of the expected impact points.
These “impact points” are the ears, neck, eyes and head area. The lower portions of facial areas are exposed which makes it similar to that of a Half Helmet.
Although there isn’t total coverage, it gives you more protection against dangerous elements such as small rocks, dirt and bugs. Quite a few of our the guys in our riding group move between 3/4 helmets and modulars. For some of their preferences, check out their feedback and reviews on 3/4 Helmets
The Half Helmet protects only a portion of the facial area around the ears and near the top of the head. There isn’t an obstruction of vision being that the style allows for a large visual frame.
Most of the Half Helmets offer ear flaps although the face portion is exposed. These flaps help help riders by minimizing skull injuries. They are built well, with many being DOT approved.
The obvious point is reduction in protection due to the lesser coverage when compared to a Full Face Helmet. But note, they are an extremely popular helmet choice worn by many riders. For more information on what we think are some high quality Half Helmets, click here.
Modular Helmets , once known as ‘Flip Ups’, are a cross between a Full Face Helmet and Open Face Helmet. When they are closed, they provide similar protection as the Full Face Helmet.
The front half of the helmet covering the face is hinged, which can be flipped all the way up, allowing for an open face ride.
The fact that the front part is hinged, and can come off suggests that it is not as durable or solid as a Full Face helmet in a crash.
The modular components make this versatile helmet a popular choice among dual sport riders, tourers, sport-tourers, with most manufacturers including one in their helmet offerings. For more information, read about our selected Modular Helmet picks for this year
Dual Sport Helmets
Dual Sport and Adventure Touring Helmets are also known as hybrid and enduro helmets. The original model was first used in dirt bike riding. Now with the addition of a shield and visor to the original dirt helmet configuration – a much more aerodynamic helmet is the result.
The shape is generally larger and due to the air vents- the sound is noisier compared to that of a Full Face helmet. They have the added benefit of sufficient space under the shield to wear goggles.
They cater for both on-road (high speed) and off-road (support upright-riding position) adventures. In fact, the Dual Sport helmets’ versatility has been picked up not only by dual sport riders, but also sport bike riders, tourers, street fighters, adventure riders and adventure tourers making them one of the most popular helmets today. For quality examples, check out our review on Dual Sport and Adventure Touring Helmets.
Touring Helmets are traditionally full face helmets (sometimes the Flip Up type) that can be worn in many seasons and for different riding type scenarios.
More specifically, they are multi-season (Summer and Winter), long range and can hold up in extreme and varying conditions. Generally they are more of an investment (ie. more expensive) because of their versatility and construction. Because of their quality ventilation, they are suitable for extremely cold and also hot temperatures.
A good helmet popular with more of an advanced rider doing 400 miles per day or long weekend trips. This can be attributed to their wider shape and their lighter weight composition.
Bluetooth Helmets have been fully fitted with a communication system as part of their structure. There is no requirement to include ear plugs, a mic or any speakers because they are all built in to the helmet.
As a result of the Bluetooth system inclusion, this helmet is a greater investment in comparison to a rider who has installed their own communications system into a new helmet.
The convenience of this system is that it generally includes features such as intercom (connecting with other riders during your travels), GPS technology, ability to integrate your phone and music playlist and the sound quality is usually superb. For more information on Bluetooth, checkout our Bluetooth Communications Systems Reviews